Beyond the humor and multi-part marketing campaign:
Microsoft also says it's working closely with hardware partners in the PC business to improve the performance of Windows PCs and their compatibility with other devices. The company said it's working on speeding up the amount of time it takes to start up and shut down PCs running its software, an area where Windows Vista has received a lot of criticism.
Microsoft has also partnered with major retailers, including Best Buy Co. and Circuit City Stores Inc., to create stores-within-a-store that will showcase Windows-powered PCs, Internet services and mobile devices. The company has piloted the concept with retail partners in the past and set up a mock up of Windows stores inside a warehouse on its corporate campus to experiment with different designs. Mr. Veghte said the company is also evaluating whether to do its own stores in addition to partnerships with other retailers.