There is a site called houseparty.com, easily one of the worst ideas I have ever stumbled across, where people can sign-up to hold parties to support commercial products.
And there, right above the Mexican Avocado party and one for the previously-respectable Dr. Andrew Weil's baby products line, sits "Windows 7 Launch Party…Global!"
"Be a part of Windows history," the site promises. "Host a Windows 7 Launch Party. Have Fun. Help Your Friends!"
Help your friends ditch Vista?
OK, I guess Microsoft is OK with that now, even finds it admirable.
And then there's the kicker, "Receive a Signature Edition of Windows 7 Ultimate." Or maybe even with a PC "worth $750!" Nice to know Microsoft is a big spender.
"Apply online to host a Launch Party. Choose a day from October 22-29 and if you're selected, you'll not only receive a special Signature Edition of Windows 7 Ultimate but your very own Windows 7 Party Pack."
To be selected you must--and I did, on behalf of my wife (she doesn't know so please keep the secret)--promise to invite at least 10 people to an event held between Oct. 22 and 29. I figured my chances of being selected were pretty slim so I applied in her name.
"Host spaces are very limited" I was warned. Oct. 22 is the official Win7 launch date, for those who might wonder.
If chosen, I will invite my ham radio club out for pizza, probably at someone else's house to benefit those allergic to cats. Once assembled and sated, we'll look at Win7, and some will decide whether to replace Vista with Windows 7 or Linux. Those who aren't already on Linux will probably select Win7, but many will do nothing.
If you've lived with Vista this long and installed the Service Packs, you now have an OS that actually works pretty well. Still, I feel a movement afoot, "Friends don't let friends keep Vista."
"Microsoft says please" even "pretty please" won't win many converts, but a real demo of Windows 7 just might. It is a very nice operating system. Microsoft must be counting on the word-of-mouth from these parties to spread the word that Win7 doesn’t suck.
I've decided to put Win7 on my Vista machine in the office but have decided not to enjoy the conveyor-belt-of-pain that will be an upgrade from Windows XP to Win7.
Meanwhile, I am actually a little excited about the party thing, stupid though it sounds.
I've done this before, even without houseparty.com's help and a Microsoft party pack, for other tech products. Folks oooh'd and ahhh'd over the first iPhone for a couple of hours and even the Vista launch improved attendance at our meeting.
Come to think of it, many of my friends really will be interested in Windows 7 and since I'll get a copy from Microsoft regardless, I can hold a little demo of my own even if the Coursey family is not among the chosen ones.
But, I'll really miss the party favors.