Microsoft To Serve Up Print Campaign

Microsoft Corp. is set to break next week the first ad campaign for its .NET Server software.

Citing customers like Lycos, GMAC and the Home Shopping Network, an eight-page insert is scheduled for Computer World, InfoWorld and Interactive Week.

McCann-Erickson, San Francisco, targeted the creative to information technology professionals. The theme: .NET software provides solace to IT people besieged by irrational demands. One photo shows an executive clutching a baseball while reading a memo. “They want to add 200 offices. In the next six months,” the copy reads. “This does not give you shivers. Weird.”

The effort includes a tag introduced in January in business-to-business ads for Windows 2000 professional products: “Software for an Agile Business.” The tag became the centerpiece of an estimated $250 million campaign.

The .Net Server campaign also spotlights products and services, including BizTalk Server 2000, Host Integration Server 2000 and SQL Server 2000.

The .Net initiative, announced last year, combines software and services and is designed to propel Microsoft into a leadership role in Internet software.

Microsoft is targeting late May for its Office XP campaign, a print effort highlighting the latest revamp of its venerable Office title. The “XP” refers to “experience.” A Windows XP launch is planned for the fall.