Microsoft has become renowned for extravagant product launch events and advertisements, and has been breaking records in the software industry for years. This commitment to spectacle began with the launch of Windows 95, and has almost become expected of the software giant. It is certainly more expected that Microsoft will make a spectacle of a major software release than it is expected that Microsoft will release a bug-free product.

Despite its many product flaws and security exploits, Microsoft products have gained so much traction in the personal computing industry that nearly 62% of the world's computers are running some form of the Windows OS.

Much of this success has surely been due to the company's marketing efforts. As the infographic below shows, Microsoft Windows 3 had a marketing campaign worth $8 million, and the product had $1.1 trillion of revenues. Windows 95 had a marketing campaign that cost Microsoft in the neighborhood of $200 million, and the software company earned $8.7 billion in revenues.

When Microsoft began marketing Windows 8, the executives seemed determined to break even more records, and succeeded in doing so. The marketing events leading up to the release of Windows 8 saw a new first four software marketing campaigns: a marketing campaign that broke the billion dollar barrier, and nearly broke the two billion dollar mark.

The infographic below, courtesy of WhoIsHostingThis, elaborates on how Microsoft has spent these marketing budgets, and the effect these campaigns have had on the revenues from Microsoft products in the world of personal (and mobile) computers. The spectacle, however, might not be enough to continue propelling Microsoft to the head of the operating system pack: the increasing importance of smartphones is quickly outshadowing the importance of personal computers. Given the lackluster support Windows 8 has seen, it may take more than a big-name rock band to keep Microsoft’s operating systems leading the computer competition.

Microsoft's Most Expensive Software Launches (Infographic)

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