I predict that half a billion dollars will not get them close to iPhone and Android

Microsoft to spend over $500m to catch up to iPhone, Android
[Via AppleInsider]

Marketing costs for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 launch will add up to more than half a billion dollars as it re-enters the smartphone market, a new report claims.

[More]

Spending large amounts of money does not automatically make something popular, at least outside politics. An expensive but stupid ad for the Superbowl is still a stupid ad. MS has rarely had an ad series tat created the emotional response that Apple’s have.

It actually looks like a large fraction of the money they will spend will go to grease the palms of the handset makers. Those approaches may have worked with the OS wars because the only competition was Apple. But there is already a free OS choice for handset makers, so MS will really have to pay them off – err, subsidize the ‘non-hardware engineering’ costs.

$500 million is just about what Apple spends the entire year and is about a third of MS entire advertising budget.