back to article Microsoft offers $300m for web-washing ad campaign

Microsoft is touting $300m in advertising pork to the shiny suits of Madison Avenue in return for a smart way to pimp its lacklustre web services. "They are trying to make Windows cool, relevant and internet-centric," one contender agency is reported as saying in the New York Post. "They don't want to be seen as a stodgy …


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  1. Rob Mossop

    How about...

    "We're shit and we know you know that we know we are but how about you buy stuff anyway?"

    Seems to have worked out pretty well for them so far...

  2. Paul

    Do no Evil

    No. Wait. Someone already has that. Don't do to much evil, or at least try not to be noticed.

    More to come soon. Just need the ritalin to kick in.

  3. Insectecutor

    I know the one they'll chose

    'Live Live(TM)'

    How clever is that. If they don't come up with that one for $300m i'll feel let down.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Live search

    Live search. Like the name says, it takes as long to get a good result as if you, a live being, were searching by hand!

  5. g e

    Slogan attempt

    Just when you thought Microsoft Works was an oxymoron.


    Waiting to Service YOU

  6. Paul

    Windows live:

    Not just the rubbish site that comes up when you type a URL wrong.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    What happened to The Beast

    Since when did you stop referring to M$ as The Beast. This over sight is unsettling, we should never forget who the enemy is.

  8. b shubin


    Microsoft Live...

    [a] We're not dead yet! (a la Python)

    [b] Not as bad as you heard.

    [c] Quite useable, really.

    [d] A compelling solution for...forrr...ummm...

    [e] Like almost using Office!

    [f] You have to admire our nerve for pushing this stuff...

    [g] Exciting product with a name more accurate than "Works".

    [h] We take your money more slowly (giant sucking noise now a pinhole leak).

  9. Jonny Calcutta
    Jobs Horns

    Be all you can be

    To paraphrase Karen Dunbar -

    "Windows LIve - Its the Best We Can Do"

    Sums it up for me

  10. Adrian Waterworth
    Gates Horns

    OK, how's about...

    "Windows Live Services - now the Internet can be just as f***ed up as your PC."


    "Windows Live Services - trying to flog the pointless to the clueless."


    "Windows Live Services - finding innovative new ways to miss the Internet boat all over again."


    "Windows Live Services - all your shit are belong to us."


    "Windows Live Services - too incompetent to do any evil."

    or I'll get me coat shall I?

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. Finn
    Gates Horns

    Microsoft ad.

    Microsoft Live and let die.

  13. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Lose the name

    Don't brand it MSN. Windows or Microsoft

    Cut the bloat, make it simple and user friendly.

    Don't overload it with adverts.

    Use a clean simple look, concentrate on the features and making things easy to use, not how it looks or use it as a technology testing ground (ie. Passport).

    Don't spam users or disable the ability for them to mark your irrelevant news as junk.

  14. Billy Goat Gruff

    iLive uPay


  15. Eponymous Cowherd
    Jobs Horns

    Buy Vista......

    Or the chair gets it!

  16. Anonymous Coward

    I am sorry

    even for three million can't think of a thing.

  17. Andy Jones
    Paris Hilton

    How about ...

    How about ...

    "Just use us. You know we will destroy the competition anyway so you might as well."

    or better still:

    "Microsoft Paris Hilton Gets Her Tits Out Live".

  18. GettinSadda
    Gates Halo

    Microsoft Live Services

    Yoof version:

    Microsoft Live Services - It sort of, y'know, "does stuff"

    What PR thinks is yoof:

    Microsoft Live Services - How Cool is That?[TM]

    Realistic version:

    Microsoft Live Services - Like Google, but from Microsoft!

    My opinion version:

    Microsoft Live Services - Who gives a shit!

  19. Stephen Gazard

    on a mac, you can install live?

    I tried looking at (a near rip-off of, and was told I could install Windows live on my machine. Great. I've got a mac. Let's see how far you can go with this one.

    Select files, otherwise agree to everything under the sun, and you can download the file. Clever Microsoft. Install windows live messenger etc. on a mac via a windows download?

    No browser checking. shame on them. Wait, this is microsoft who thinks windows rules the world...? never mind...

  20. Spleen

    Please post $300m cheque to...

    Windows Live Search - the unspeakable in pursuit of the unreadable.

    Windows Live - Swindle, I vow.

    Windows Live - we paid $300m for this shit so you'd better visit us... or we'll /cry/.

    Windows Live - not just for Bill Gates' mother anymore!

    Windows Live - you know that pointless dungheap you get inexplicably dumped to when you log out of Hotmail? That's us.

    Windows Live - do no evil. Hey, Google gets away with it, and we don't even spend our spare time merrily throwing Chinese journalists to cattle-prod wielding Thought Police.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Wrong name, implys blame

    Should have called it something catchy and hidden the branding like, or

    then the video marketing campaign of a man in front of a screen with the site open, cursor blinking in the search box.

    thinking of all the possibilities the web has to offer he finally types ... 'porn'

    his little face lights up as the results come back and the tag line reads

    'we know what you really want today'

  22. Anonymous Coward


    Microsoft Live: Now please restart the internet to complete the installation.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows Live

    Windows Live - Shocking!

  24. This post has been deleted by its author

  25. Steve

    You must incetivize

    "Windows Live: Use it - we have your family!"

    "Windows Live - because Google like to drown puppies."

  26. garry


    cashback for search... and i'll use M$ search, half revenue to end users...

  27. Dave Bennett
    Gates Halo

    Hand me the cash now please...

    How about:

    Windows Live - It may be difficult to use, but at least it's slow.


  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Windows Live: Like Xbox Live, Only Not Fun.

  29. Thaddeus Aid
    Gates Horns

    Use the huge windows installed base to get

    Windows Live - More Porn for Windows Users!

  30. tim chubb

    live, its better than altavista

    live, fashion victim 2.0

    Live, the comedy version of your desktop apps now appearing at weddings, birthdays and bar mitzvahs!

  31. Curtis W. Rendon

    campaign slogan

    Windows Live, when AOL isn't sufficiently useless!

  32. Anthony
    IT Angle

    $300m please.

    Windows Live - it's what your PC has been waiting for.

    (Literally.. ever since we installed a sneaky trojan on your machine during a Windows Update last year, a clock has been ticking. We = teh sneakeh)

    Windows Live - Get it before we install it on your machine anyway as an upgrade.

    Windows Live - now with added Facebook.

    Windows Live - how do you use yours?

    Windows Live - better than Windows Dead.

    Windows Live - we spent $300m advertising this, ogle the models and buy into the spin or the next $300m we spend might have to go on actually producing a decent product.

  33. TeeCee Gold badge

    How about:

    "Windows Live. It's crap, you don't want it, but it's bundled with the O/S and YOU CAN'T TURN IT OFF!!!!! BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!"

    "Windows Live. We didn't really want to make this, but Intel give us a shed-load of cash to come up with things to sell faster CPUs."

    "The Internet. Some people think it could be safer. Some people think it could be better presented. Some people think that it could be easier to find what you want. We agree. But we only had fourpence and twentyfive minutes to spare. Windows Live."

  34. Andrew Brooks

    And the winner is

    Windows Live - The service you deserve!

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Waste of Wonga.

    No sorry that was the Vista strapline.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Dear My good friend,

    My name is Mr B Gates. The sum of $300000000 (Three Hundred Million Dollars) has come in to my posetion. I am wishing to move this out of the country. Due to our banking laws I am unable to do this myself. All you must do to gain a share of this money is use Windows live for 1 (One) week.


    Mr B Gates

    Having thought about it I think most people would trust the boys from Nigiria.

  37. thomas k.

    They might try ...

    "It's alive!" Windows Live - it's not just another pretty face.

    Superimposed on the appropriate still from James Wales' Frankenstein.

  38. Spleen

    Yoof version

    There's a tagline which would work for all Microsoft products, and also be a good contemporary yoof slogan.

    "Buy Windows - it's standard!"

  39. Mike Moyle

    Cash... and in small bills, please...

    Windows Live - Sucks slightly less than Vista!

    Windows Live - You want to go *WHERE* today?!!?

    Windows Live - Click here to add the Brooklyn Bridge to your shopping cart.


    Windows Live - We've also got some land in Florida that's above mean sea-level!

    Windows Live - "Live"... Ye-e-e-a-a-a-h-h-h... "Live"... That's the ticket... (Note: Get Jon Lovitz to voice this one.)

    Windows Live - Because we know that you'll buy anything!

    Windows Live - I'm Ming the Merciless, and I approve this message.

  40. Andrew Heenan

    "Windows May Be Broken ...

    ... But that makes us a Breath of Fresh Air"

    Honesty in advertising?

    I doubt it!

  41. Mike
    Gates Horns

    How about

    Windows live - crapping in the hand that feeds IT.

    Windows live - now you can wipe with both hands.

    Windows live - Lets shake on it.

    Windows live - I promise I won't cum in your mouth.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Like Smokin a Phatty

    You gotta market to the younger generation!

    Windows Live - Just like Smokin a Phatty (Seems like a good idea at first, then leaves you paranoid and craving something substantial)

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Maybe not...

    Windows Evil - deals with typos

  44. Crossbow
    Gates Horns

    How about...

    Resistance is futile, you WILL be assimilated (Win XP and 2000 only. Vista support soon(ish). Win 98 not supported. iMicrosoft iLive ifor iMac iavailable ivia iTunes. *nix version carefully compiled to cause kernel panic in 100% of *nix and Linux variants.)

    No warranty supplied or implied. Unauthorised copying will result in demonic possession of your children (Effects of this are not apparent in teenagers)

  45. Paul Brandon

    Something more apt

    Windows Brown Wire - Quality Sh*t on Demand.

    (P.S. For those who've never wired a UK plug - Brown Wire = Live)

  46. Nick

    Windows 419

    Virtual Lagos

    On a screen of blue.

    Fu*ks up your mind,

    And your computer too.

  47. Danny


    Windows Live - Why?

    Windows Live - Don't even think of visiting using Linux

    Windows Live - When we suck, you suck too.

    Windows Live - The world is not enough.

    Windows Live - Assimilate and extend.

    Windows Live - We are not a commodity.

    Windows Live - Better dead than Windows.

    Windows Live - You'll wish you were dead.

    Windows Live - You'll wish M$ was dead.

    Windows Live - Spam, not content.

    Windows Live - Only one ActiveX plugin away...

    Windows Live - Where clear thinkers dare to tread.

    Windows Live - A World of Pain.

    Windows Live - Abandon all hope.

  48. Colin Millar

    Windows undead

    Windows Undead is here (and as soon as SP1 arrives it might even work)

    You must restart your computer to complete the downloading of your search results

  49. Will Hill
    Jobs Horns


    M$ Live - The Interweb Searches You.

    M$ Live - Because we will break everything else.

    M$ Live - Extending the WORD.DOC monopoly again.

    M$ Live - Because "Good Enough" is what we say it is.

  50. Guy
    Jobs Horns

    Has anyone tried it yet?

    Windows Live - When someone sends you a message you can view it without having to install some stupid application to your page first, allowing third parties access to your private data, which you can't delete

    Windows Live - Might look boring but it does work

    Windows Live - Hey at least it's not Apple

    Windows Live - We only use your information internally unlike other services we could mention

    Windows Live - Be Different, everyones on those other sites

    Windows Live - No ones ever been invited to be turned into a zombie on live

    Windows Live - Unless your a Mac user, you'll find the apps / interface really easy to use, if you are a Mac user look over there, it's shiney, look at it sparkle, pretty

    Windows Live - Has anyone actually tried using it?

    Windows Live - Allows grandma to see photos of their grandchildren

    Windows Live - For people with real friends who don't need to have 200+ fake online pals to play with

    Windows Live - It's like Radio 2, all the services you used to get from that trendy Radio 1 place, but for grown ups

  51. joe

    I think a Jingle would help

    Remember that great song from Opus in the 80's?

    Live is Live

    na na na-na

    Going to F!@# you Life

    na na na-na

    Can't find shit on Live

    na na na-na

    And we all have the power

    to resurrect the dead

    Every minute of an hour

    We'll remind you what we said

    And you all get the power

    When you find the results are dead

    When everyone gets nothing

    And every song Billy sings

    Live is Live

    na na na-na

    Going to F!@# you Life

    na na na-na

    Can't find shit on Live

    na na na-na

    I think they should spend the $300M on improving the existing software they force down consumer's throats

  52. Piers
    Thumb Up

    Just Do Evil...

    There - that'll get past trading standards ok.

  53. OpenSorce Phreak
    Jobs Horns

    How about...

    Windows live! We've patented brainwave technology, so you're going to be using it one way or another. And be sure to check out our newest product line: Windows Live JediMind trick! Well, nevermind... you're going to be using that one way or another too...

  54. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Why not go with the tried and trusted slogans

    Use Microsoft Live Services or we will sue you for patent infringement.

    Use Microsoft Live Services because soon you will have to pay for them even if you do not want them.

    Use Microsoft Live Services or someone else will put up a shoddy site in your name.

    We spent $300,000,000 on advertising Microsoft Live. It's that good.

    Microsoft Live - we will not let your customers go anywhere else.

    Microsift Live. It is not like you have a choice.

    Microsoft Live. Who cares if it is crap. We are the monopoly.

    Trust Microsoft Live. Microsoft Live is your friend.

    Microsoft Live shreds your e-mails at the first hint of a law suite.

    (Picture a lion scratching himself and knocking over a chess board) Microsoft Lice has the beast spilling chequers.

  55. Ian Ferguson
    Gates Halo

    Windows Live

    We can spend $300,000,000 on a new slogan for an old product. Now think about how much we probably spend on lawyers. Don't badmouth us.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    I wish Live would just die

    Windows Live .. Looks like google but works like shit

  57. peter Silver badge
    Gates Horns

    All I've got

    Windows Live: It's live Jim, but not as we know it.

  58. David Haworth
    Jobs Horns

    Should be able to get a monkey joke in here somehow ...

    Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Just do it.

  59. Seanie Ryan
    Thumb Down

    give them confidence

    Windows Live : Built on Vista Technology

    based on that, it bound to go down a treat

  60. James Robinson


    Windows Live (W)OneCare - more than just a knuckle shuffler...

  61. Jim

    First, we need five live offerings

    Windows Live Home - you can get email but you can't send it.

    Windows Live Home Extreme - send email but can't get email

    Windows Live Home Extreme Pro Extra Strong - send and receive email, free botnet with activation

    Windows Live Executive - search the web using only nouns

    Windows Live Enterprise Extreme - We slowly suck the data out of your enterprise, then charge you $50 per seat to get it back, renewable every year.

  62. Steve P
    Gates Horns

    Windows Live: the future of search!*

    * We'll be bundling it in the next service pack so you won't get a choice.

  63. John

    Windows Live: Silverlight is almost not ActiveX

    Windows Live: Silverlight is almost not ActiveX

    Not really relevant but I still haven't figured out Silverlight yet and I just pray it's not activeX so I thought I throw it in to be stupid... MS should not be too upset about that!

    Windows Live: No more desktop, just a Silverlight Pane - yay!

    Windows Live: Silverlight, the death of the desktop, yay!

    those last 2, because someone at MS will eventually say it!

  64. skeptical i

    lipstick, meet pig

    * Everywhere you want to be ... and some places you don't.

    * Be seeing you.

    * Total Information Awareness? No, ahh, it's Total Information Availability. For you. The customer. Information, totally available. Really.

    * Do the monkey dance!

    * Welcome to the new birth of Microsoft mach two.

    Thumbs up for Andrew's "The service you deserve!"

  65. peter Silver badge

    Yet More...

    Windows Live: Search for dummies^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Search-ing for dummies.

    Windows Live: Seek and ye shall....▓◊♫≠ž䇷㓪øʰsX⅓¶ 404 NOT FOUND

    Windows Live: An import paradigm shift in the redefinition of paradigms.

    Windows Live: Bult by Copper Nanotubes.

    And finally, with apologies to C.F. Gellert and Frances E. Cox:


    Windows Live! Thy terrors now__

    can no more, O Page, appal us;

    Windows Live! by this we know

    thou, O Brin, canst not enthral us.



    Windows Live! henceforth h-refs__

    are the gate to Redmond's portal;

    this shall calm our trembling breaths,

    when we see ol' Google's stock fall.



    Windows Live! for us Bill Gates__

    indexed all the seedy content;

    VISA in hand may we dictate

    payment to his chosen extent.



    Windows Live! our hearts know it;

    Microsoft's our search provider.

    Life nor death nor Torvald's shit,

    tear us from their page-rank spider.



    Window Live! to them the pit__

    of the deepest hell is given;

    may we go where they are gone

    if we dare their algorithm.


    (The messianc imagery was too hard to resist.)

  66. Anonymous Coward


    "When locked in, we will cash in"

    (posted anonymously so they won't cancel my windows using WGA)

  67. Bryan Haddock

    The Best Idea for Microsoft's Marketing Strategy

    First of all, Microsoft needs way more than a friggin' slogan... they need to recreate their entire public image... and they're not going to do that by instituting a new slogan, they're going to do that by changing the way people perceive them from the ground up.

    OK... think about it... what is "it" in regards to the Internet? Creativity, humor, opinions, insights... things provided by the little man. YouTube is more popular than ever and it's because of the input of average webizens... same concept with MySpace, and any other kind of blog website. People need a place and a way to express themselves and that is why MAC is so damn successful... the Mac marketing campaign is simple... it shows an "average guy" who just wants to be himself and do his own thing (a la the television campaign)... that's the Internet market.

    So, Microsoft, until you start to begin to understand your market, you'll never get back on top... and my guess is that you won't, because you see it ONLY as a market and not as the individuals that make it up.

    Here's an idea at a solution, if they're interested in one that challenges their paradigm... throw out all your high-dollar marketing bull crap and take the money and invest it in something that will show the little guy (that all of us miniscule components of this great, wide Internet market). Find some ways that you can encourage our creative spirit that aren't only fueled by your profit motive and see that when you encourage us to create and speak out and laugh and express ourselves, we grow to love you. That's why Mac users are so hardcore... we feel like Mac gets us.

    So take 10,000 bucks and split it up in bundles of $500 and have some contests... get us to create or express ourselves or whatever... get us to make videos or put together funny Photoshop pictures or cool ass 3D renderings... award those who embrace the technology to express themselves... then we might not see you guys as a bunch of corporate suits, but, instead, someone who gets us.


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