The spending estimate, not confirmed by Microsoft, comes from Deutsche Bank analyst Jonathan Goldberg. "This is make or break for them; they need to do whatever it takes to stay in the game," Goldberg said, according to Techcrunch.
"It's still wide open. They don't have to take share from Android or Apple, so long as they can attract enough consumers switching from feature phones," said Goldberg.
Despite the marketing blitz, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer last month told financial analysts they should temper their expectations when it comes to sales prospects for Windows Phone 7.
"A number of you had a chance to kind of ask me a question … which is how are we going to do," Ballmer told the analysts, during a meeting at Microsoft's Redmond, Wash. headquarters. "And I think it's fair to say we've got a lot of work to do," said Ballmer.
When it comes to cell phones, Microsoft is still stinging from the KIN debacle.
Microsoft billed KIN as "the next generation of the social phone" in promotional materials that accompanied KIN's April 12 launch. Less than two months later, Microsoft pulled KIN from the market amid sales that were so dismal the devices—previously priced at $50 for KIN One and $100 for KIN Two—were selling for one cent on Amazon.
Microsoft plans to release Windows Phone 7 in time for the 2010 holiday season. Hardware partners include Samsung, HTC, and LG.