Microsoft (MSFT) knows how important Windows 8 is to the future of the company — especially as it reportedly prepares for a major transition — and the company is apparently ready to put its money where its mouth is. With the launch of Microsoft’s next-generation PC and tablet operating system just two weeks away, Forbes is now reporting that the Redmond, Washington-based company plans to spend between $1.5 billion and $1.8 billion to market the new platform, according to estimates. “The marketing effort is on a scale you don’t see outside presidential elections,” Enderle Group analyst Rob Enderle told the magazine. Microsoft’s Windows 8 OS launches on October 26th alongside the new Surface tablet.