Microsoft's Ballmer blows a billion

The advertising industry is rubbing its paws on the news that the shy and not yet retiring CEO of Microsoft Steve “There’s a kind of hush” Ballmer is preparing to write a cheque for a billion dollars.

The cash is going to be spend just on marketing Microsoft’s two key products the Windows Phone 7 and Kinnect.

Although we expected Microsoft to burn a bit of money at pushing these two products, a billion is more than most people thought.

It goes to show how serious Steve is at making these products succeed and if they don’t then it will be very hard for him to explain to shareholders the huge hole in profits.

According to All Things Digital the cash injection into the advertising recovery will help it move along quite nicely.

More than $400 million will be allocated to the phone rollout marketing.

Kinect, the motion-sensor add-on for the Xbox, will be a half-billion-buck project.

The money will be spent in a Burger King, on a Pepsi, on a bowl of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and other serial promotion.

There will be a YouTube homepage takeover, Ad buys on Nickelodeon, Disney sites, ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and Fox’s “Glee. There will be some big Times Square event too. “

From a strategy point of view the division of cash is unusual. We would have thought that more was resting on the Windows Phone 7 than the Kinnect, but it seems Steve thinks that Kinnect will face more of an uphill battle than the Mobile OS. Either that or he thinks that it is a battle he is more likely to win and he wants to make it certain.

The latest word from Microsoft on the Kinect is that it will be in short supply. While this could just be an attempt to con a few people into buying it early, it seems strange that Redmond will be paying a fortune to market gear when it cannot get it into the shops yet.