The hype for Win30 was huge, I'll give you that.
Win30, and Win31 in its early days, were competing with several good task-switching programs that enabled the user to switch rapidly between a spreadsheet and a word processor (the typical business setup) or some boring business app and a cool game (when the boss wasn't looking). The one that the computer dealer I worked for used most of the time was DESQview. Win30 offered no particular advantages over the task switchers on the hardware of those times, and it crashed more often. And while Win30 did run WordPerfect and Lotus 1.2.3, there was no cooperative multitasking with these: it was simply task switching. MS Word was in many ways a better word processor than WordPerfect, but all the professional offices and many of the retail and manufacturing businesses we sold to were too heavily invested in WordPerfect templates to change. IIRC, there was no alternative to Lotus 1.2.3: Excel did not arrive until later.
But Gates was positioning Win30 as a stepping stone to IBM's true preemptive multitasking OS: OS/2. OS/2 development was bogged down with internal politics, and a failure to listen to its own engineers about the limitations of the 80286 CPU. It was not until IBM gave up on trying to use the 80286 and built its OS strictly for the 80386 that OS/2 was made marketable. Gates was right about calling 80286 "brain dead", but he did not say that until after Windows had gained a big lead in the hype wars. At the time of Win30 and early Win31, what Microsoft emphasized was that Windows would be the front end of OS/2, which was going to hit the market "real soon now".
Microsoft made it very easy for computer shops like the one where I worked to sell its products. Their cute little buxom girls in the tight fitting tee shirts and shorts would bounce in and flirt with the boss while helping him decide where to set up the freebie displays. Also, if you could convince a customer that Windows was the future (and a couple of minutes of showing him how to play Solitaire with the mouse was often enough), then you could sell him a more expensive machine with an 80386SX processor, extended memory, and a larger hard drive, and maybe even a tape backup. Much more profitable than selling him an 8088 machine with less memory and DESQview, which would also have worked for him.