Microsoft Xbox | Windows Phone | Surface

Selected Xbox & other devices advertising

The Xbox gaming console is the most notable hardware product developed to-date by Seattle software Microsoft, launched in  2001 as a direct rival to Nintendo and Sony. It has proved a worthy challenger to its Japanese rivals, boosted by a number of popular exclusive titles, not least the Halo franchise. Microsoft has also dabbled in a number of other hardware sectors, but with somewhat less success. Among its failed products was the Zune music player, intended as a rival to Apple's iPod, but which sank almost without trace soon after launch. More recently, the group introduced the Surface tablet to compete with iPad and other tablets, and attempted to carve out a presence in the mobile phone market through the creation of a global alliance with handset developer Nokia. It subsequently acquired full control of Nokia's handset operations in 2013 for a total of around $7.2bn, but there was little improvement in sales of those devices under their new name Lumia, and Microsoft quietly exited the mobile market altogether in 2017.

Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 18th Sep 2014: In its first big acquisition under new CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft is to acquire Mojang, the Swedish developer of the wildly popular game Minecraft, for $2.5bn. Despite its simplistic graphics, Minecraft is one of the world's most popular computer games. It is the single most popular online game on Microsoft's Xbox platform, and the top paid app on both iOS and Android phones in the US.

Adbrands Weekly Update 1st May 2014: Microsoft completed its acquisition of Nokia's handsets division, but divisional head Stephen Elop denied earlier press reports that the business would market itself officially as Microsoft Mobile. In an online chat forum with Nokia users he said "Microsoft Mobile is a legal construct that was created to facilitate the merger. It is not a brand that will be seen by consumers. The Nokia brand is available to Microsoft to use for its mobile phones products for a period of time, but Nokia as a brand will not be used for long going forward for smartphones. Work is under way to select the go forward smartphone brand. While we are not ready to share precise details, I can assure you that [the new phones] will not be the 'Nokia Lumia 1020 with Windows Phone on the AT&T LTE Network' ...too many words! That somehow doesn't roll off the tongue."

Adbrands Weekly Update 24th Apr 2014: Sony's PlayStation 4 continued to hold its lead over Microsoft's Xbox One console in the first quarter with sales to-date of 7m  units to the US rival's 5m. However, Microsoft is betting on ending up as the tortoise to Sony's hare. Its Xbox One is being rolled out globally in stages; so far it's only available in 13 countries, while Sony already has near-blanket coverage of 72 markets. On that basis, Xbox's slow-but-steady progress looks quite impressive. Another 39 countries will be added to the Xbox estate in September. Whoever wins in the end, there's no denying the two consoles' combined strength. Together they have racked up more than double the equivalent sales managed by predecessors PS3 and Xbox 360 in their first five months on-sale back in 2005/06. 

Adbrands Weekly Update 31st Oct 2013: Ads Of The Week: "Invitation". CP&B's first proper commercial for the soon-to-launch Xbox One console. Sony's head-start had made PS4 look like the favourite to triumph this holiday season - it's already scored two Ads of the Week positions from us. But if this ferociously full-on Xbox spot is anything to go by, all bets are now off. Microsoft's machine looks like it could be a real contender after all.

Which agencies handle advertising for Microsoft? Find out more from the Account Assignments database

Who are the competitors of Microsoft? See IT Sector and Consumer Electronics index for other companies

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Adbrands Company Profiles provide a detailed analysis of the history and current operations of leading advertisers, agencies and brands worldwide, and include a critical summary which identifies key strengths and weaknesses. Adbrands Account Assignments tracks account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets. Subscribers may access the following website links:

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Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Sep 2013: Microsoft announced plans to acquire the handset operations of ailing mobile company Nokia for a total of €5.44 (around $7.2bn, more than $1bn less than Microsoft paid for Skype a few years ago). The deal comprises €3.79bn for the actual handset business and another €1.65bn for a longterm license on Nokia's handset patents and the Nokia brandname. The deal consolidates Microsoft's small but growing presence in the smartphone market, and mirrors Google's purchase last year of Motorola. However, investors were sceptical about Microsoft's chances of significantly boosting its market share much beyond what it already has, and marked down its shares by 6% following the announcement. A greatly slimmed-down Nokia will continue to develop network infrastructure and mobile software, but the sale was seen in Finland as a huge blow to national pride. The deal could also solve another corporate puzzle for Microsoft. Former Office software chief Stephen Elop, who has been running Nokia for the past three years, returns to the fold, becoming a clear favourite to succeed Steve Ballmer as CEO of Microsoft. Ballmer has already announced plans to retire in summer 2014.

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