Windows 7 Free Themes and Wallpapers Are Branding Opportunities

Not just free content for the users

Even ahead of the October 22nd General Availability deadline of Windows 7, Microsoft started offering a collection of content designed to enable end users to personalize their operating system. The materials, set up to help customers in their Windows 7 customization endeavors, were only kicked up a notch as the platform hit the shelves. At the Monaco Media Forum in Monte Carlo, the Redmond company revealed that the free themes and wallpapers available for download via the Windows Personalization Gallery were part of an experiment in brand advertising with Windows 7 at the core.

According to the software giant, advertisers can not only leverage the Windows 7 desktop in order to bring their brands to the user, but can also take advantage of an additional brand opportunity channel, namely Internet browsing via the Windows Theme Experience. At this point in time, Microsoft is running tests for both the Windows Theme Experience and the Windows Personalization Gallery for Windows 7 in pilot program that is scheduled to run until October 2010.

"The new Windows Theme Experience and Windows Personalization Gallery in Windows 7 allow consumers to customize their technology to reflect the things in life they are most passionate about," noted Darren Huston, corporate vice president of the Consumer & Online organization at Microsoft. "These are great examples of Microsoft innovation and technology coming together to enable top global brands to reach audiences in new and interesting ways."

Users that have visited or will have a look at the content on the Windows Personalization Gallery will be able to see the brands that already use Windows 7 as an avenue for advertising. Microsoft is offering free themes for download from Ducati, Infiniti, Porsche, and Twentieth Century Fox, but also from Xbox "Gears of War"; Zune: Characters, Elements and Zodiac; and Bing’s Best and Lugares Coloridos. Advertisers interested in getting their brands on Windows 7 desktops worldwide via the pilot program from the Redmond company need only contact their local Microsoft Advertising sales representative.

"We pride ourselves on listening to our clients and developing the most innovative, accessible and relevant products based on their feedback," added John Nicol, general manager, Last Mile Innovation, Microsoft Consumer & Online. "Windows 7 is your PC simplified, and the personalization options are a unique and valuable experience for consumers. We know that traditionally 50 percent of PC installations are personalized.* For brands that are looking to engage on a deeper level with their consumers, personalization is one of the most effective and well-received methods of increasing brand awareness."

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