Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), the world's largest software maker, has earmarked 200 million baht to promote its new Windows 8 operating system, its highest marketing budget in Thailand.
The company expects Windows 8 will raise its local market share for mobile operating systems to third from fifth.
"Thailand is one of five countries in Asia-Pacific where the company will spend the most," said Birathon Kasemsri Na Ayudhaya, the managing director of Microsoft Thailand.
Microsoft designed the new operating system to cover desktops, notebooks, tablets and smartphones, with the goal of offering a choice other than Apple's iOS and Google's Android.
Some 42 models from 10 leading computer brands use Windows 8 and will enter the market this year.
A Thai-language version for Nokia and HTC smartphones will be introduced next month, while Samsung will offer a Windows 8-compatible phone soon.
"Windows 8 can double our local sales revenue in 2013," said Mr Birathon, who did not disclose figures.
The company expects local developers to create applications in short order.
"This is a great opportunity for local software developers to enter a global market where 1.4 billion devices will use Windows 8," said Mr Birathon.
In Thailand, up to 6 million computers and tablets are shipped annually.
Microsoft has a 90% share of the operating systems for these devices.
Nitipat Praweenwongwuthi, the senior marketing manager at Acer Thailand, the leading PC maker in Thailand, said the launch of Windows 8 will boost computer spending this year by 5-10% .
Consumers delayed their purchases in the first half this year, waiting for Windows 8 and the growth of the smartphone and tablet market, leading to a 2% contraction in the computing market.
Consumers are less interested in notebooks this year, and their sales projection has been cut to 2 million units from 2.4 million.
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