The Windows 11 rollout: Microsoft’s most-botched announcement ever

When Microsoft releases a new version of Windows, it often powers up the hype machine and lets it rip. Just think back to Windows 95, when Microsoft paid the Rolling Stones $3 million to use “Start Me Up!” as the operating system’s theme song, draped a 300-foot Windows banner over Toronto’s CN Tower, and lit up the Empire State Building in red, yellow and green, the company’s colors.

Total marketing launch price tag: $300 million, according to the Washington Post. (That’s more than $500 million in today’s dollars, taking inflation into account.)

Recent launches have been more sedate. But even when Microsoft speaks in a quieter voice, it still generally gets the basic facts about its new operating system right, and clearly outlines what it believes are the benefits of moving to it.

At least, until Windows 11 arrived, that is. Microsoft’s Big Reveal for the new operating system on June 24 wasn’t so big and revealed very little. And what it did reveal was often flat-out wrong or misleading. It may well have been the most botched product announcement in Microsoft’s long history.

Let’s start with the most basic of basics — what kind of hardware you need to run the operating system. If the company could get anything right, you would expect, it would start with that.

But no. That’s not what happened.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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