I was watching a late night financial program on television in early July, 2001 when I learned that Microsoft is allowing PC manufacturers to control which icons are included on new Desktops. Historically, Microsoft has argued that Windows desktop was their "sacrosanct intellectual property" and that only their icons -- not those of their competitors -- could reside on desktop of a new computer.
This was highly interesting to me since it confirms what I have been repeatedly saying over past year -- that Windows desktop is extremely valuable marketing real estate. As a matter of fact, Microsoft and its competitors found it to be so valuable that a federal court case was fought over access to desktop (among other issues regarding Windows operating system).
It is interesting that there are still naysayers who question marketing power of Windows desktop. One person comes to mind who wrote me to say that he thought desktop marketing was a "neat gimmick." I was incredulous at this kind of uninformed attitude! You don't have to be a marketing genius to see that desktop is perhaps one of most *logical* places to advertise. Think about it. What other screen on entire computer system is first screen you see when you boot up? What other screen is always visible? The Windows desktop!
It is clear that Microsoft and their competitors don't view Windows desktop as a "neat gimmick." Federal court cases that cost millions of dollars are not fought over gimmicks no matter how "neat" they may be.
One thing I would like to point out is that Microsoft assigned an almost religious value to Windows desktop by referring to it as their "sacrosanct intellectual property." Let's take a look at definition of "sacrosanct" as defined by Websters:
Sacrosanct comes from Latin sacrosanctus, consecrated with religious ceremonies, hence holy, sacred, from sacrum, religious rite (from sacer, holy) + sanctus consecrated (from sancire, to make sacred by a religious act).
When Microsoft called Windows desktop their "sacrosanct intellectual property" they assigned a holy or sacred value to it. Again, no "neat gimmick" here.
What makes Windows desktop so valuable? It is fact that very few people buy on a first time visit to a site. The key to making sales is *repetition*. It is a basic marketing principle that overwhelming majority of customers need to be exposed to an offer three or more times before actually making purchase. And Windows desktop provides multiple exposures necessary to make sale. Here are facts: