back to article How to host your very own Windows 7 launch party

So you've got your trusty laptop warmed up with a fresh copy of Windows 7, decked the halls with balloons and streamers, and sent invitations to an exhaustively multicultural clutch of friends for a single night of red-hot OS release revelry. You're nearly ready for your own Microsoft-sponsored Windows 7 launch party this …


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  1. Goat Jam

    YouTube channel?

    Don't MS have their own Web 2.0 the-video-is-the-new-social-thingy site?

    Oh, that's right

    Is there nothing that MS can't fail at?

  2. Pretz1

    It must be a joke.

    "This is too vulgar to be believed." - Constance, Countess of Trentham, Gosford Park.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    I love these latest MS viral ads! What a bunch of losers!

    "Computer. Open Word!"

    ( Word opens... )

    "I have no life and all my so-called friends are a bit simple and easily impressed by technology that was available back in 1992! Hell, they so sad they came along to a party to watch me install a new operating system on my laptop! They must have less of a life than me! After they've gone home, I will put my hand under my matress and pull out a blank disc with....Ubuntu on it! Then I will have my own proper install party! Then tomorrow I will go down to the Apple store and get a proper computer with a grown operating system on it!"

  4. Mostor Astrakan

    I resisted!

    Since the advent of adware for the epileptic*, I run flashblock so that flash animations have to ask permission to run. I stared at the little "f" in a ball. Should I click it? What would I see? Happy bouncy Windows 7 users-to-be? Remember folks, the first is always free! Even though I am not an epileptic, I am sure it would give me fits. So... No.

    * Yes, I do know someone who gets fits from flashing icons. So I'm the 100.000th visitor to your website? Just let me lie in a darkened room trying to get my nerve stimuli back under control while I contemplate how I can bring down the wrath of the Gods on you, you morons.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    We have a clown..

    at our win7 party he will be performing tricks like 'how to install ubuntu'

    Afterall people know how windows works, what they want to see is non windows OS's so they can decide without it being a blind leap.

    Note: Windows 7 should be installed several days prior to your party! - this is because like any microsoft product it takes several days to instal and fix!

  6. Martin 49

    Surreal Dept.

    What if they threw a Windows Launch Party

    ....... and nobody came?

    Penguophilia Rules OK !!

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Consider Brain Stunned.

    The only thing I know for sure is that I wish never to meet anyone who watches this and is motivated to throw a launch party. If you do throw one, my advice would be to keep the numbers very small and tell no-one outside of your trusted circle. Then delete the software.

  8. Christopher Martin

    It's like they're... building a theme park on the Titanic

    I remember when Microsoft added dictation "functionality" to Office - And I believe we did actually have a good time watching it generate nonsense in response to voice commands.

    Seriously, though, folks, the Windows marketing people need to understand the role of the product they're pitching.

    An OS doesn't have exciting "wow" features unless you're a tech person (improved SMP support is great, but it's not sexy). It needs to be reliable, have drivers to support a lot of hardware... basically "non-functional requirements," not marketable features. By emphasizing exciting first impressions, Microsoft just seems to be showing their lack of consideration for creating a solid, maintainable platform that doesn't earn hatred with extended usage.

    I guess Windows is more than an operating system - It's an entire "distribution," in Linux terms, so they want it to be evaluated based on the software packaged with it. That's great, and I guess a handful of novel applications can generate interest in a platform (people always want to play with compiz on a new ubuntu installation), but I don't see how they can sell it. Just like the operating system depends on what it *doesn't* do (crash, not support a specific printer, etc), the distribution is judged on the applications it doesn't have, because it needs to support everything you do.

    They need to work on losing the hatred first. Affection is a luxury that requires first having a good product and then adding marketing on top of that. Maybe they should be trying to convince us that IT professionals trust it, rather than telling us that some random demographic representatives are interested in the launch.

  9. Jonathan 10
    Thumb Down


    Oh dear...

  10. Steve Button

    oh my gosh, I'm so hungry. Let's eat.

    Jeez. That is so.... I don't know. Does anyone actually watch these all the way through. (OK, fair enough, I did... but I'm supposed to be working so that's different, no?).

    I mean. Come ON! Oh, please.

    I'm thinking back to watching American "infomercials" and they aren't much better either. I guess we're just used to better TV in blighty.

    TODO: Microsoft - try harder, without looking like a dork.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Which way to the Partaaaaay?!

    It's no good, I can't actually find a Windows 7 Launch party near me.

    Only want to go to one out of a sense of morbid curiosity really.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    You have to hand it to Microsoft

    when they have a dumb idea, they really run with it

  13. Rob Clive

    Favourite Features

    Could be quite a short party if you don't actually have any favourite features to show off. Plus you'd better hope the text to speech feature can deal with drunken slurring....

  14. Anonymous Coward

    I can't hold one...

    ...I'm white and so is my wife..Check !

    We have Indian friends, Check !

    We have mixed race friends, Check!

    We have oriental Friends, Check!

    We even have fat friends, check !

    Bugger, we don't know anyone in a wheelchair...can we borrow someone please, otherwise we are not diverse enough to meet the Microsoft ad criteria. Mmm maybe we'll just photoshop one in.

  15. RISC OS

    Very funny

    Only in America! Note the mix of people, especially the gender-split.... com on... we all know that outside of Microsoft advertising most parties will end up being like this:

    Note well the huge weight increase in attendants, and the lack of women.

  16. Philip 5


    And not 'wow' in a good way. I'm embarrassed for them.

  17. Christopher Rogers
    Thumb Down


    I'm going to microwave my eyes.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Thank You...

    I wasn't feeling on the top of the world this morning with my depression kicking in, and those videos did absolutely nothing to help.

    I just don't understand how Microsoft can get it so seriously wrong.

    As for the music, well obviously you didn't get the subliminal message that Windows 7 makes a Mozart/Sugar Babes/Robbie Williams out of you. It gives you super magic music powers and you're giving all your friends a copy of your new chart busting album which you completed just that very afternoon.

  19. Skizz

    Who are they kidding...

    that last video, speech recognition that good, hah! I wonder how the voice recognition would cope with "he said 'I want you to stop listening to me now.'" I'd like to see it tackle a geordie accent. Also, that guy was reading from a badly written script. Was it me, or did all those sceen captures look a bit sluggish?

    Just who comes up with this stuff.

    I wonder if trading standards / ASA would be interested in that speech recognition demonstration as it is total bullshit.

    You know, every release of Windows / Office has always been touted as being better, faster, more productive. Why then, do I feel like it's getting slower to use my PC. I recently got a laptop with Vista - my God, how bad can it get!

  20. abigsmurf

    Clever campaign

    Pretty much every major tech site and some regular news outlets are talking about this. Even with a good solid ad campaign it wouldn't have gotten this much coverage reminding people that Windows 7 launches soon.

    MS likely made this as horribly cheesy as possible. They'll know much people remember tuppaware parties as being cringeworthy. They don't expect people to host these parties, they expect people to talk about the ads and think about the Win7 launch.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    OMG, awesome, like, totally cool!

    Here's my party suggestion - about 3 minutes in, shoot yourself through the foot with a nail gun and call an ambulance. The pain will be immense, but at least you won't have to sit through any more of this vacuous shite.

    I suspect the MS copywriters are in that small demographic who think "The Office" was a real documentary.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear

    I don't think any words can convey the sheer awfulness of this. I literally feel queasy from the cheesy wafts eminating from this tosh.

  23. N2 Silver badge

    About as much fun as a tupperware party

    Yuk, I cant think of anything Id like to do less, how those long winter nights must fly by in Redmond

  24. Eponymous Cowherd

    Some Mothers do 'ave 'em effect.

    You feel cringingly embarrassed just watching it.

  25. Balefire


    You (el Reg) have been suckered into exactly what the Microsoft marketing droids wanted. Well done.

    Can I have a party now?

  26. slack

    Read the host notes!

    Just for fun I downloaded them, they contain gems like this on page 5:

    "What do I do at the party?

    Introduce • We’ll be making the computer uniquely our own by changing the desktop background.


    • Use Windows Search from the Start menu for any of the following: background, desktop, wallpaper, appearance or slideshow. Click on change desktop background.

    • Choose photo(s) for desktop slideshow (pictures library > scroll to the folder > clear all > select photos).

    • Change the picture position to fit. • Have picture change every 10 seconds. • Save changes.

    TIP: Other customization features can be found here, too.

    Guests’ hands-on exercise • Guests create a new desktop using the photos in “Party” folder in Windows Live Photo Gallery. • Who goes first?"

    Are they joking? That certainly isn't my idea of a 'party' activity.

    They cannot be serious with all this rubbish, I think abigsmurf got it right above.

  27. no_content

    Clever Campaign

    I'm in agreement with abigsmurf on this. Surely a company as big and rich as Microsoft isn't going to poor time and money into a campaign thats this bad without realizing it. In much the same way as viral marketing, these adds must be self perpetuating their own circulation at an incredible rate whilst at the same time genuinely showing off the features of windows 7, just under a guise. Reminds me of cillit bang and other anti-marketing campaigns, and appears to be working.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't have many friends...

    ...and I'd have even less if I ran a Win7 launch party.

    But I am considering signing up just to try and get a free copy of Win7 as Linux can't cut the mustard at the moment. It's printer and multi-screen support is just too poor. Yes, I could buy a new printer, but that would be more expensive than Win7 and still leave the pathetic multi-screen issue.

  29. Lionel Baden

    @ Anonymous Coward 06:58 GMT

    "and pull out a blank disc with....Ubuntu on it! "


  30. Anonymous Coward

    @ abigsmurf

    I'd disagree that this is clever: they're trying to target precisely the sort of people who don't care or even necessarily understand what operating system they're running. They'll use what came with their computer until either it borks itself badly enough that their tech-savvy friend upgrades them or they buy a new computer. As long as they can get the Internet and email, they're happy.

    The enthusiasts and professionals who read "every major tech site" either don't need to be evangelised to or will have to wait until such time as the beancounters let them upgrade (or they fancy doing some hard work).

    Do, enjoy your party.

  31. Daniel 20

    I wanna see the ...

    ... porno version.

    In fact, I might just *make* it ... with windows movie maker on Windows 7, of course ...

  32. abigsmurf

    @anonymous coward

    As I said, their aim is to get people talking about Windows 7, they're likely targetting tech people first because they will spread this virally. You really think Joe public buying a computer doesn't know what Windows is? With campaigns like these, the name Windows 7 sticks in their mind, either because they overheard a techie talking about it or because they got sent an email with a link to the advert.

    When a sales person say "and this PC comes with Windows 7" it'll spark up and "oooh, I've heard people talking about this" response and they'll be at least a bit curious. Better yet (for the marketing people) it could even prompt users to ask sales people "what this windows 7 thing is? How is it different to my windows?".

  33. Mark Lawson

    The trouble with launch parties is...

    ....deciding what to use as a payload

  34. Phil 54

    You're all invited

    I filled out the form, and got picked to host a Windows 7 party here in France.

    You're all invited.

    I have to admit, I was picturing more of a 'this is ridiculous, let's get pissed" bash, but maybe I'll take Microsoft's advice and HAVE A CRAP PARTY!!!

    Seriously, I did actually get picked, I'll update here (if they don't close the comments) to detail all the fun party favours Bill's sending me.

  35. Jamie Kitson


  36. Skizz


    "When a sales person say "and this PC comes with Windows 7" it'll spark up and "oooh, I've heard people talking about this" response and they'll be at least a bit curious."

    That would only work if there was a choice available. Walk into any high street shop that sells PCs and try to find anything that hasn't got Windows on it.

    One does wonder who these adverts are aimed at. People buying new PCs will just accept what's pre-installed so that's no gain for Microsoft. The only area where Microsoft gains is people upgrading their OS on existing PCs (so Microsoft gets two licenses for one PC). It's a very hard sell:

    MS: Upgrade your OS.

    Customer: Why?

    MS: Because you can do all these cool things, more productively and safer!

    Customer: But that's what you promised last time.

    MS: .... How about a party?

  37. Danny 14 Silver badge


    look at the T&C of the "free" windows copy, here is an extract:

    I am eighteen (18) years of age or older. I agree that as consideration for being permitted to host and/or participate in any of the Activities, I, on behalf of myself and my children and minors for whom I am a legal guardian, hereby grant HPI and its designees (including, without limitation, Company and its designees) and their respective affiliates, licensees, permitees, successors and assigns, and each of them, an unrestricted, absolute, universal, perpetual, irrevocable, non-royalty bearing, and transferable right and license (but not any obligation) to use, copy, transmit, distribute, display, modify, perform, present, publish, transform, create works and derivative works, and otherwise promote or utilize my name, image, likeness, voice, words and/or other personal attribute(s) or other personal information, and those of my children and minors for whom I am a legal guardian (collectively, “Personal Attributes”), captured, photographed or otherwise recorded or memorialized in any manner by myself or any other person in connection with any of the Activities, in any medium or format whether now or hereafter existing (including, without limitation, print, direct mail, online, mobile or wireless communications, radio or television broadcast, telecast or photograph), for any purpose whatsoever (including, without limitation, in connection with the creation, advertising, sale and/or promotion of any products and/or services), and without any consideration or notice to or consent by me or any third party. I, on behalf of myself and my children and minors for whom I am a legal guardian, hereby forever and irrevocably waive any rights any of us may have in or to any of the foregoing, and I understand and agree that HPI and its designees (including, without limitation, Company and its designees) are the exclusive owners (to the extent the materials are created by or at the direction of each such party) of any and all right, title and interest, including copyright, in and to any materials of any kind or nature containing or developed from use of our respective Personal Attributes. Without limiting the foregoing, I understand and agree that such materials may be used in whole or in part, individually or in conjunction with other photographs or images, and neither I, my children nor minors for whom I am a legal guardian shall have any right of approval or notice, any claim to any compensation, or any claim arising out of the use, alteration, distortion or illusionary effect or use in any composite form of any of our respective Personal Attributes.

    The only thing they didnt ask for is your soul. But it gets better!

    I, on behalf of myself, my children and minors for whom I am a legal guardian, and anyone who obtains any rights from or through any of us, hereby forever and irrevocably release and discharge HPI and Company

    They can sell your rights to whoever they want. So microsoft will own you (pretty much).

  38. Asgard

    OMG I need mind bleach now!

    I think I'm in shock. That is so sick. The whole video is filled with an overwhelming sense of insincerity. Its like something out of the original 1975 film "The Stepford Wives" (the one that was a horror film, not the rubbish 2004 film version).

    Its so twisted that anyone could even conceive of creating that video, let alone anyone actually wanting to follow it. So are people really going to create launch parties? Its such a revolting PR tactic to boost exposure of the windows 7 brand at launch time.

    How many people are really that gullible. It will be very interesting to see how many launch parties really happen. Because it'll be a good way to gauge how many moronic sheeple are in this world that the rest of us have to contend with.

    Wow, anyway, I'm off to scrub my brain clean!

  39. James Pickett


    Now if the party model was Ann Summers, rather than Tupperware...

    Vibrating mice, anyone?

    (J.Edwards as he has a cane somewhere)

  40. UBfusion

    @Register: Please offer job to Charlie Brooker

    Congrats to CB above for his modest treasure hint, which should be featured in a prominent position at ElReg's front page at least until the launch of Win7

    The following two quotes from Charlie Brooker have within minutes become the signature of thousands of Win and Mac and Tux nerds in Digg, Reddit and Slashdot:

    "Windows is like the faint smell of piss in a subway: it's there, and there's nothing you can do about it."

    "Using Windows is like living in a communist bloc nation circa 1981. And I wouldn't change it for the world, because I'm an abject bloody idiot and I hate myself, and this is what I deserve: to be sentenced to Windows for life."

    Just Google it now and remember to Google it in 10 years - success is guaranteed: windows subway piss

    We urgently need a Playmobil party simulation! Because communism is not dead yet!

  41. Jeremy 2
    Paris Hilton


    Additional Dialogue Recording.

    Notice that they had to insert (badly) "call customer service if you have any questions" after the guy says to install the OS in advance?

    Presumably somebody realised that they still haven't managed to create an OS upgrade/install process that a technophobe can manage...

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Couldn't face it

    I watched defraggler for 10 minutes instead.

    Microsoft's entire corporate image is embarrassment; from the CEO down.

    But... somehow, they continue to make money out of it. For now, at least.

  43. Anonymous Coward

    I'm hosting a party!

    No, really. I am.

    I felt it was worth a few forms for a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate (Win7 RC seemed fine for me), although I've no idea what the 'Signature Edition' is all about.

    I've got a decent group of friends coming round and, like we coincidentally would do on the same date each month, we'll get the poker table out, have some beers, and enjoy a great evening. We'll also spend five minutes being photographed pointing at a screen, making 'ohh' and 'ahh' noises and bouncing uncontrollably in excitement, as MS seem to require.

    Then it'll be another buy-in and we'll go back to gambling for small amounts of money and enjoying the company of friends with the PC turned off.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    hosting a party

    Who says you have to do a goddamn thing? I'm "hosting a party," and on or before October 10th, I am to receive a free copy of windows 7 ultimate. After I have that in my hands, I could give a fuck about this release party. All you had to do to be on the list to receive the software was invite nine people. Funny how all those email addresses I used belong to me, isn't it? On the evening of the party, my home will look much the way it always does -- no geeky windows fanboys, but rather my roommie and I sitting around killing some brain cells with the night's drug of choice. Fuck you Microsoft, and thanks for the free copy of Windows!

  45. Anonymous Coward

    @ AC19:41 and 23:22

    I didn't even put nine email addresses on the list, just one name, without even an email! Mine's on the 22nd, for no other reason than I couldn't be bothered to change the date that came up automatically.

  46. Nameless Faceless Computer User

    Not really piracy

    Here's what they're not telling you. Audio CD's are more expensive than data CD's, the reason being that there's a tax added to audio CD's which kicks back to the recording industry. Many recorders will only record music onto an audio CD. Hence, every time you burn an audio CD you are paying for the copy of the music.

    This of course does not take into account those who create their own music - in which case, you are being taxed on your own music.

  47. Richard Freeman


    I always used to wonder what sort of loser would line up all night to be the first to purchase a new Microstuft Software release - especially as any sane person would 6 to 9 months for the worst bugs to be fixed.

    But what sort of complete and utter Loser would hold a windows 7 Party?????

  48. Phil 54

    we're taking the piss

    Richard, you don't seem to understand that nobody here intends to host a real Windows 7 party. It's called "taking the piss".

    By the way, I just got an email from DHL and my free copy of Windows 7 just left Cincinnati.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ubuntu Party!

    Ubuntu Release Parties

    When did these start, before?

    Imagine this, EVERYONE gets a free copy, not just the host!

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