Microsoft (MSFT) will throw a launch party for its new Windows 7 operating system on Oct. 22 in New York, CNET’s Ina Fried reports.
Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer threw a heck of a party here for Vista in 2007, but that didn’t help much. Still, it was fun!
Here’s my report from that night, back when I was working for Forbes:
Chilean sea bass, cocktails in Times Square and a rock concert.
It wasn’t the best date I’ve been on, but it was probably the most expensive. That’s OK: Bill Gates was picking up the check.
As you may have heard, Microsoft is now selling Windows Vista, the latest version of its PC operating system. And just in case you hadn’t heard, Gates and company put on a very expensive show yesterday for hundreds of journalists, industry types and beta-testers in Times Square, just to remind us. It was the formal kickoff of a marketing blitz that will reportedly cost Microsoft $500 million.
It may also be the last of its kind. It took the company more than five years to make Vista, and a lot has changed in the software industry since then. Web-based e-mail software like Google’s Gmail is the norm, and businesses are jumping on an on-demand software bandwagon thanks to companies like Salesforce.com. As broadband Internet becomes an even more central component in the PC’s architecture, no one knows what the operating system will look like in five years. Meaning no one knows if Microsoft will have a major, big-deal Windows reboot ever again.
Did I mention Microsoft is throwing a lot of money at this launch? On Tuesday morning, the software giant hired spandex-clad acrobats to drape Vista and Office logos on the side of a building. Then they took their guests to the swanky Cipriani banquet hall, across from Grand Central Station. Sitting in rows inside the old Bowery Savings Bank building, about 150 reporters and photographers dined on fare ranging from smoked salmon to spinach- and ricotta-stuffed cannelloni. (The sea bass was wonderful; the lamb chops were a bit dry.) The sound system boomed Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” (2006) and Seal’s “Crazy” (1991).
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