Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Microsoft Upgrades Magazine

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Microsoft Upgrades Magazine

Article excerpt

Microsoft Magazine, launched last fall as a means of marketing to users of the popular Windows operating system, is starting to take on some of the trappings of a serious consumer title.

With a nonpaid circulation approaching one million, the publication plans to accept outside advertising beginning with its September issue (with the obvious exception of rival software makers). Microsoft is also considering newsstand distribution as well as an increase in frequency from quarterly to six times a year.

Publisher Sharon McKenna expects to announce specific details about ad rates and frequency sometime around mid-April, after the company selects a third-party publishing house to manage the magazine's editorial, subscription and advertising operations. Part of the strategy is to begin converting portions of the subscriber file from free to paid. The company also Plans to apply for a circulation audit.

The 32-page, four-color glossy title offers how-to tips and real-life case studies in an effort to put a friendly face on the software industry giant. Microsoft Magazine replaces "Focus on Microsoft Windows," a slick, 24-page newsletter that had begun to irritate many Microsoft customers because of its promotional tone. "It was a mess," McKenna admits. Under the direction of the marketing department, the newsletter effort was characterized by a general lack of consistency. It appeared sporadically and its editorial voice shifted from issue to issue, depending on which products the company was launching at the moment. …

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