Microsoft ramped up its marketing budget last year to the tune of $241 million to advertise for Windows 8 and Surface but this year, they are planning to spend even more on retail Windows efforts. According to Winsupersite, Redmond is said to be shelling out over $400 million this year in an effort to persuade consumers to pick up a Windows machine or software this holiday season.

We’re told that $131 million will used for customer offers and incentives while the remaining $274 million will be spent on traditional marketing and related operating expenses. Either way you slice it, that’s a hefty marketing budget but it might be necessary if Microsoft is serious about meeting some lofty sales goals.

The publication claims Microsoft is aiming to sell around 16 million Windows tablets by the end of the year. That could very well happen when you consider the company recently inked a deal to install Windows Stores inside 600 Best Buy retail locations. Redmond is reportedly doing the same with other retail chains around the world, too.

Sales of Surface tablets didn’t go as well as Microsoft had hoped last year but with revised hardware and Windows 8.1, 2013 could be a different story. The small tablet market is certainly heating up as Bay Trail-powered Windows 8.1 devices from the likes of Acer, Dell and Lenovo are all expected to compete in the same price range.

Are you planning on purchasing a new tablet this holiday season? If so, what do you have in mind? A Windows 8.1 device like a Surface Pro 2, an Android tablet like the Nexus 10 or one of the new iPads?