back to article Microsoft pimps bogus Windows 7 'launch parties'

Microsoft is offering to bribe you into throwing a launch party for Windows 7. Just as Redmond regains credibility after the debacle that was Windows Vista by garnering positive reviews for its upcoming Windows 7, its marketing geniuses have decided to embarrass the company by promoting bogus bashes in honor of that operating …


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  1. Martin Owens

    Please Contact

    Hey Microsoft, the Ubuntu LoCo Council called, they want their release party idea back.

    Seriously, does Microsoft really think it can pull off the kind of grass-roots party we have for Ubuntu every 6 months in most cities and countries? We'll be happy to send Ubuntu Karmic CDs to any of these frat parties, full version software for all!

    Although I am surprised at El Reg for not picking up on the Ubuntu LoCo teams comparison.

  2. Russ Tarbox

    Well I've applied...

    Free copy of Windows 7 and eBayable goods, plus an excuse for a piss-up? I can't see the downside.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Oh, how they laughed...

    By the look of their expressions (and the finger pointing) it seems they're looking at a pornographic image of Steve Ballmer and his favourite chair. It won't respect you in the morning, Steve.

  4. NoCo37

    @Russ Tarbox

    My thoughts exactly... but first, a quick read over the T&C.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    10 friends?

    Hate to talk of stereotypes, but who is interested in computers and has 10 friends?

  6. That Awful Puppy

    Oh FFS

    I just knew there would be one of those smug freetards going on and on and on about Ubuntu launch parties.

    You know what, I googled them. And this is what came out (links perfectly SFW, but may cause terminal boredom):

    Quite frankly, I'd rather be trapped in a burning bus with Microsoft's stock models than attend one of these.

    So please, do kindly shut up about your computer club meetings or at least have the decency to stop calling them "parties".

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    What fun!

    Microsoft are that hard up they want people to pay for the privilege of pimping 7 for them.

    Now, if they provided copious amounts of beer and nibbles, well... temptation might win out...

    Paris would never stoop so low, well...

  8. Allan Rutland
    Dead Vulture

    Whats bogus about it?

    If someone throws a party, they get stuff to jazz it missing the whole bogus part in this? or is this the Reg just looking for an excuse to whine that MS is giving stuff away and offering goodies for prizes?

  9. Anonymous Coward


    I just got the email inviting me to apply for a Windows 7 launch party an hour ago. My first thought was: WTF?

    You beat me to the find it the next week on eBay quip.

    I would like to apply and get the free stuff and possibly win a neat netbook but I am an IT nerd and have no friends and do not party so it would be wrong to win and simply pretend to hold the event.

    I agree with the AC comment: "Oh, how they laughed... #" - the only time a group of people huddle around a computer and have those expressions and gestures in unison is when watching something fairly rude. The women are laughing as hard as the men so it must be gay porn.

  10. Ryan 7


    WOO HOO!

  11. DT

    Free press coverage

    Sure, it sounds like it could be a bit lame...

    ...but still you decided to give them a free page of PR.


  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its a sad sad sad sad sad sad sad sad world.

    I don't believe this has ever happened to me before; reading this article made me cringe so much I actually felt nauseous. This is the most uncool stunt I've ever heard of, and I've made a career out of deriding uncool stunts! Please, don't apply! If you meet a guy who has, kick him so hard that the next time his bollocks meet they're on the far side of the moon. Do it for me, if not for yourselves. But do it for yourselves anyway.

  13. Marina

    Not very hopeful...

    "One Deck of Playing Cards with Windows 7 Desktop Design" - Just in case the Windoze 7 version of solitaire doesn't run properly on your machine!

  14. Jesse Dorland
    Thumb Up

    Let's be fair guys

    Microsoft insulted its customer more than once -- and will likely to do it again in near future. Nonetheless, they have every right to "celebrate" the stupidity of their customers. After all before Vista, they had MS Office Ads insulting their users, calling them dinosaurs for sticking with Office 2003, or older. Now, they got away with Vista.

    Other side of pound we have our beloved Steve Jobs, we know how friendly Apple PC would be if they own 90% of the world market.

    Linux, well let be honest here guys. There are very few user like me who are willing to learn things like -- why my lappy's wifi is not working, or what type of linux friendly notebook is on the market.

    Personally, I am looking forward to the day when human being are born like "seedless fruits", and they would need to pass a license to a have one baby.

    And for the usual suspect, no baby for you!

  15. John Doe 1

    Ding dong...

    ...the wicked witch of Vista is dead!

    Well, that's the theme I'd choose should I be selected to throw a party in 7's honour. Then again, there's rarely a bad excuse for some impromptu cerveza consumption. I hope they don't mind if I have secondary themes of celebrating MacOS X and Linux, while we're at it?

    I'm a little more discerning than most potential 7 party-hosters, though. I'd also like to see a cheque cut for some reasonable amount for my time in organising a local marketing programme on Microsoft's behalf -- especially since they stand to profit handsomely from my (presently hypothetical) efforts. A free copy of 7 Ultimate is a good start, but not enough.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Poles punished.

    No polish option under want to host a house party.

    Just punishment for the Poles after they airbrushed out the head of a dark skinned fellow and replaced him with a more acceptable white head in a M$ promo photo.

  17. Adam Williamson 1

    @Martin Owens

    Bit ironic, really - you complain Microsoft 'nicked' the idea from Ubuntu, but Ubuntu 'nicked' it from everyone else. There've been release parties for Linux distros since years before anyone thought of Ubuntu.

    Of course, with Linux distros - what with them being free software, and all - there's an actual point to the event: everyone who shows up gets a copy. It's pretty sad to see Microsoft trying to steal the release party idea without the actual _point_...

  18. Flybert

    not redundant

    " can win a "mini-notebook laptop personal computer" [Note to author: please clear this quote with the Department of Redundancy Department. - Ed.] "

    Dear Editor, a mini-notebook is not the same as a laptop computer, please don't blur the

    marketing line quite so much.

    Next you'll be calling the iPhone a mini-mini-pocket -'puter ... oh .. wait

    She's ... got ... a

    mini mini pocket puter

    apple stuff could not be cuter

    that she wore for the first time today !

    a mini mini pocket puter

    nothing else would ever suit her

    and the geeks will have so much to say !

  19. Jeff F.

    Order up some

    sluts with that part pak, video the dancing or whatever to demonstrate the media center,now you have a paryy Ballmer!

  20. Dana W

    one small problem.

    First I'd have to find anyone who hasn't ditched Windows for OSX or Linux.

  21. Anonymous Coward


    It has been suggested that the scene on the computer must be fairly rude. Going one step further...

    Front row, from left:

    #1: Sister of #4. She secretly filmed an encounter between #2 and #4.

    #2: Boyfriend of #3, secretly toying with #4.

    #3: Girlfriend of #2, never suspected a thing and now is confronted with vivid evidence.

    #4: Brother of #1, regular boyfriend of #5, had some fun with #2.

    #5: Boyfriend of #4, half-brother of #3. Happy to see that #4's horizons are being expanded.

    Back row: Straight guy wondering how much more of this he has to see before they hand out the "mini-notebook laptop personal computer". His Asian girlfriend is about to emerge from the kitchen carrying a tray, saying, "Cocktairs fo evelyone!!"

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The desired effect has been achieved. You are reading about Windows 7. The marketing pitch has worked.

    A non-Windows user.

  23. blackworx

    Party pack

    They forgot the skin bleach

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No Taste

    This has all the appeal of a Windows campaign fronted by Ronald MacDonald.

    The trouble with MS is they just have no taste. They are common, as my mum would have said in 1958.

    Sheesh... I almost begin to see why people go for Apple!

  25. Charles King
    Thumb Up

    Penguin Rock

    @By That Awful Puppy



  26. pctechxp

    Apple not off the hook

    How about the stage managed hysteria surrounding the iCon sorry iPhone

    But this is also rather lame

  27. Russell Favell

    Well, I'm in!

    Freebies get me every time. I figure, I'll be buying 7 anyway (Home Premium), so Ultimate would be nice. I like drinking. I drink while upgrading PCs. So, I can have a drink, install a free copy of 7, have music on, dance a bit. Setting up with Ease Party! The only problem I have, as has been pointed out, is the 9 friends bit. So far I've got:

    1) Wife

    2) kid 1

    3) kid 2

    4) Mother-in-law

    5) Brother-in-law maybe

    6) Other brother-in-law

    7) His wife

    8) Their kid 1

    9) Their kid 2

    Hey, I've got enough! Failing that, I'll just email friends and relatives who all live miles away, and wouldn't cross the street for a Windows 7 party, let alone travel hundreds of miles.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    A title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    "Just as Redmond regains credibility..."

    Who says??????

    Oh right - another Redmond sycophant Regtard - what a surprise....

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    I can imagine the fun party games now;

    Hunt The Missing Drivers

    Reboot Reboot Reboot

    Backup & Restore (if it is working by then)

    Can you drink a yard of ale in the time Windows 7 boots up?

    Every time a guest requests a drink, the host must popup and shout


  30. Ian Ferguson


    Whoa, whoa! Where's the token Asian student in that picture?


  31. dyfet
    Thumb Down

    mini-notebook laptop?

    Is that a netbook class computer that comes with a laptop price because the cost of a retail windows license has to be added to it? ;)

  32. Robert Pogson
    Thumb Down

    Lots of Paper Products but no Ass-wipes?

    I would sign up for those.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Oh look, Windows did something...

    Universal truths for the fanbois just choking to say something...

    Linux - Might be open-source but it's closed-world world shite not used outside the geek industry. Save all the "but my granny uses Linux" replies, please. Your granny only uses Linux because you, the geek, set it up for her.

    OSX - <10% market share for good reason. Can you imagine how much fun a Snow Leopard party would be? I wonder if one of the freebies would be a representative from Apple.

    "Hey, thanks for letting me come to your Snow Leopard party. I have one on the first Tuesday of every month. IT'S CALLED WINDOWS FUCKING UPDATE!"

    90% market share, bitches! You not liking it won't change it.

    Anyone want to come to a launch party? ;)

  34. Chris 208

    Chair throwing contest in my garden

    ...if I get the go ahead. There must be more Microsoft-themed party games we can come up with. Blue Screen of Death could be like that hole in the wall programme with Dale Winton, only without the holes and with a real wall.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    @That Awful Puppy

    You're right. Microsofts stock models could possibly be interesting. Those Ubuntu Parties look just... just terrible. Really terrible. Why not host a launch party in a pub? Or somewhere that wouldn't remind people of high school? The middle set at least had something other than people sat at desks...

    Actually, as so many people like Linux, why not rent out a nightclub and provide free WiFi for anyone running Linux that evening! Make it a proper launch party- try to get some tech-related celeb/TV types to appear (like... err.. no idea. Gadget Show presenters? No, the bald guy's a Mactard...), relabel a load of generic booze so it's "Ubuntu" branded, hire a compere to keep the evening moving, and call the next release Ubuntu- Anonnymous Alcoholic. Hire/buy/build touchscreen terminals to show it off. Get someone from Canonical to make a speech about how this is the year of Linux.

    Pretty much, push to get Linux in the national press as a free alternative to Windows- loved, developed and supported by millions.

  36. RW

    Re: Oh, how they laughed...

    That photo reminds me very strongly of one used by Vincent Flanders on with the caption "these ladies are laughing at your website".

    Maybe the fine folks in the photo here are laughing at W7 "oh, wow, can you believe that?!"

    Where on earth does MS get such stupid ideas about marketing? You may laugh at a bad website, you may laugh at an online joke, you may laugh at a comedy you're watching, but the OS? Give me a break: if the OS attracts your attention in any way, it's a failure.

    The insincerity and cynicism evinced by this "marketing" tactic is beyond measure.

  37. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Tip for Microsoft

    Concentrate on the product, a good product will sell with very little promotion.

    It saves having to devise even more stupid ways of promoting your lame product.

  38. northern monkey

    Seven hundred fifty dollars!

    What sort of mini-notebook laptop personal computer costs 35 grand??

  39. Anonymous Coward

    @AC 23:23 GMT

    "Hate to talk of stereotypes, but who is interested in computers and has 10 friends?"

    Drug dealers.

    Dey loves their gadgets.

  40. Hombre sin nombre

    A Pint to Rik

    For a wonderful report on such a ridiculous topic.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah it worked alright

    Yeah it worked alright, It has me read more about 7 and that much more convinced that MS is pushing a crappy product and my decision to run to the penguin was a good one....

  42. Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear...

    Bring a brown-bag party or at least get the washing up bowl so you have something to be sick into!

    I class myself as a bit of an Apple fanboi, but jeez I waited 3 days before I could work up enough energy to bother going down the local Apple store to get my new SL disc. Come on the Apple keyboard doesn't even have a sodding # key on it and it runs Unix for flips sake, it ain't that great! I did not throw "Bring a leopard party!" or celebrate "I just contributed to another Ferrari for Steve day"! I bought Snow Leopard, installed it and saw bugger all difference to my machine, my general computer usage and certainly no change to my life in any meaningful way! No bus full of dusky maidens ready to perform any sordid whim, as Ritchie and Eddie often dreamed of!

    Come on, these are just tools ( no not us Apple freaks! ) the O/Ss, Windows, Ubuntu and OSX. Just tools, to get stuff done, kill time until the great leveller calls you home. OK? These are not lifestyle choices, these will not get you girls ( well not normal ones anyway! ), you will not suddenly become Mr Sexy 2009, just 'cos you were the first in the queue to buy your copy of your chosen O/S.

    Talking of which, a great party would be to gather all the sad tossers who're always first to buy latest-super gadget #9 of the moment, cheering and waving to camera. Get all those sad loser in a room, lock the doors and pump in the Sarin! Do us all a favour and perhaps improve the human-race somewhat!

    PERSPECTIVE is the keyword.

  43. Herby

    After the install...

    Do we have a contest on how long it takes to install some version of Linux. Everyone take a new W7 and a Linux distribution (of their choice). The winner is the person who goes from W7 to Linux in the shortest amount of time. That would be a contest!

    As others have said: "Free bling!!"

  44. Nomen Publicus


    What happens to the party spirit when some poor sucker brings their PC to the party and the upgrade screws up the system? I can imaging that in a sue-happy country such as the US the day after the party the news will be full of "You wrecked my PC! You WILL pay!" reports.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    all of a sudden

    i have the urge to go and buy a mac...

  46. Anonymous Coward

    What will be clear to those who bother to read the body of this post:

    Please consult the Miniature Computer Field Guide for the proper usage of the term 'notebook'

    As for Redmonds marketing strategy, oh well I don't know where to begin and I wouldn't know where to stop if I did. I can write volumes about why This Is Wrong(tm). But as we don't have these parties in the Netherlands, I'll suffice with the title of this work: 'Nauseating pur sang'

    I just feel I lost a little faith in humanity that's all...

  47. This post has been deleted by its author

  48. Anonymous Coward

    regarding that picture

    Whose head are they going to replace when it gets displayed in Poland?

  49. jben
    Paris Hilton

    Surprise guests

    Will Mr. Blobby be a surprise guest at the House Party? Or Steve Ballmer in a Gunk Tank?

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Class party

    My daughter's class has 10 students and they could use a new computer. They could raffle off the Windows 7 and buy a computer for their classroom. If they win the mini laptop they could raffle it too and buy a few more. A local shop has IBM M50's for $129 CDN

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Oh, I don't know..

    ..a "bring a Leopard" party sounds rather fun.

  52. Big-nosed Pengie


    I've been trying to imagine the kind of person who'd get excited about the launch of a Mickeyshaft service pack. Success rate 0.

    The only people at these "parties" will be paid to be there, headed up by the shills who post the pro-MS drivel here. Then we'll see the photos of them all having a great time. I can't wait.

  53. Jón Frímann Jónsson

    Intresting TOS of

    The TOS of the houseparty website are a intresting legal nonsense. They say this thing here.

    "Your Agreement to Be Bound By These Terms of Service

    Please read these Terms of Service carefully before browsing or using this Website. By browsing or using this Website, you are agreeing to be bound by these Terms of Service. If you do not AGREE to be bound by these Terms of Service, you MAY NOT use This Website.


    License to Use Your User Generated Content. By posting User Generated Content on or through this Website, you are granting House Party a perpetual license to use, exploit, copy, perform and display publicly (including, in the case of sound recordings, to perform publicly in digital audio transmission), distribute, and prepare derivative works based on your User Generated Content, in whole or in part, in connection with (a) the promotion and operation of this Website; House Party events; the House Party business and brand; the products, services and brands of the company that sponsored the event to which your User Generated Content relates (the “Sponsor”); and the products, services and brands of the Sponsor’s affiliates, and (b) in any other way expressly permitted under these Terms of Service or our Privacy Policy. We will not, of course, use your User Generated Content or other personal information in a manner that violates our Privacy Policy.

    The license you grant to us is non-exclusive (meaning you are free to license your User Generated Content to anyone else in addition to us), fully-paid and royalty-free (meaning that neither we nor any downstream users are required to pay you for the use of your User Generated Content), fully sublicensable (so that, for example, we are able to sublicense your User Generated Content to our Sponsors and to visitors to this Website, who may to access, use, transmit, stream, download, print and further sublicense your User Generated Content); worldwide (because the Internet and this Website are global in reach), and fully assignable (so that, for example, if we sell our business, reorganize, or merge with another business, the new owner may continue to operate this Website under the House Party brand or another name). This license may be exercised by House Party and its sublicensees in any format, media or technology, now known or hereafter developed. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in these Terms of Service, to the fullest extent permitted by law, you waive any and all claims you may now or later have in any jurisdiction to so-called “moral rights” with respect to the User Generated Content, and all rights of rights of privacy or publicity in, or approval rights with respect to, your User Generated Content.



    They may claim that. But I don't agree. I recommend that people avoid this legal crap, it is not good for your health.

  54. Graham Lockley

    @AC Oh dear... #

    Jeez, you sound almost normal, what are you doing commenting on an El Reg story ?

    100% agree with you and if I can be classed as any sort of boi then its MS's shilling I have taken (after many experiments with Apple, Linux etc.).

  55. Adrian Esdaile

    Much scarier...

    Maybe it's just me, but I find the idea that Apple & Ubuntu 'install parties' AREN'T Astroturf much scarier than the MS concept.

    It indicates that Appletards & Ubuntards are prepared to whore themselves for... NO payment what so ever.


  56. Roger Heathcote 1

    @Will 22

    >90% market share, bitches! You not liking it won't change it.

    Err, any you are catching the shine off that how? Were you involved in the design somehow? This is just a guess, but you support Manchester United too don't you? Anyway, you're not at an American frat party here 'bitch', curb your vitriol, grow up and get over your inferiority complex, it's unbecoming.

  57. Russ Tarbox

    Re: VISTA, Server2k8, & Windows 7 HOSTS & NDIS6/WFP issues

    Thanks, I got some much needed exercise frantically scrolling my mouse wheel through that drivel.

  58. Matthew 4

    dear god

    What a laugh. the "10 friends" might be a bit of a stretch I think!

  59. Blain Hamon


    @ Oh Dear...

    On the US keyboards, shift-3 is #. But over here, we call it the pound key since it derived from a shorthand for 'lb' in terms of unit of weight. Shift 4 is $ and option-4 is ¢. I don't recall if the US Keyboards offer a lb-as-in-currency easily, but shift-option-2 will give you €.

    @Frothing Rabid AC at 21:47

    You, er, do realize that hosts file is probably only read on boot and file change, and the IP strings are probably stored as 32-bit ints either way. That means any lost efficiency your computer suffers from this great injustice is less than the time it takes for you to press a single key on your keyboard. You might have said other stuff past that, but really, you lost your credibility so I didn't bother reading onwards.

    (At first I thought his post was AManFromMars, but AManFromMars makes much better sense and conversation.)

    @Adrian Esdaile

    Yes, speaking as an Appletard, such things did happen, during the dark ages of System 7.5 and MacOS 8, when CompUSA didn't know how to sell Macs. (To be fair, Apple didn't know how to advertise Macs back then. See ). All 10 of us Mac users would hang out at computer stores to act as sales people for Macs, sometimes not even getting a tee-shirt for it.

    But we did it to keep Apple alive (And this was when Apple going bankrupt was a very real danger), for the very simple reason to piss Will22 off.

    But the truly scary thing? Not that MSFT is astroturfing. Not that Mac users would do this for Apple for free. It's that MSFT is trying to copy plays from the old Apple's 'panicked last-ditch thrashing effort' playbook.

    Based on this, MSFT's next advertising scheme will be to have infomercials with fictional families.

  60. Anonymous Coward

    @That Awful Puppy - re: Linux parties

    Before I start, please note that I don't (yet) use Linux.

    Now, all those people seem to be enjoying what they're doing. Do you have a problem with that?

    Of course you do. You're one of those miserable bores who think that anybody who uses Linux is a geek who lives in his mom's basement, whereas the smug Mactards and Windoze fanbois aren't, are they? Oh wait...

    You're envious because they have friends. You feeled ripped off because you paid for your operating system. I mean, users of a free operating system couldn't possibly be interesting and entertaining people could they?

    I don't use Linux, but as all those people seem to be genuinely enjoying themselves, I may join them sooner rather than later.

  61. Anonymous Coward

    AC of the Hosts file

    Sorry... too much comment bloat. is the address for blocking because it is you local PC and will never be routed anywhere else.

    That's it.

  62. Pollo
    Gates Horns

    @all of a sudden #

    Yup - that happened to be about 2 years ago. Just bought my second one... never looked back

  63. kingsjokers
    Thumb Up

    The hosts file

    I do not know where you are or who you think you are but i use the hosts file all the time and i would not be caught with out this hosts file in place. before i used the hosts files i was getting attacked with viruses and spyware. at lest 200 a week.

    after i got the hosts file i get maybe one or two if i am lucky.

    so before you call any of this drivel you might want to come out of your beer driven comma and really take a look at the real pitcher, the fact that hosts file works.

    if you wish to keep getting infected with viruses and maleware and other things go right ahead i will not stop you but i will laugh at you for beaning stupid.

    you should really try a product before you complement on something you may not know about.

  64. Anonymous Coward

    Who said they were free?

    Who said they were "giving" you the Windows 7 playing cards? Better read the EULA again.

    SCOPE OF LICENSE. The Windows 7 playing cards are licensed, not sold. This agreement only gives you some rights to use the Windows 7 playing cards. The manufacturer and Microsoft reserve all other rights. Unless applicable law gives you more rights despite this limitation, you may use the Windows 7 playing cards only as expressly permitted in this agreement. In doing so, you must comply with any physical limitations in the Windows 7 playing cards that only allow you to use it in certain ways. For more information, see the Windows 7 playing cards documentation. You may not

    · work around any physical limitations in the playing cards;

    · reverse engineer, decompost or disassemble the playing cards, except and only to the extent that applicable law expressly permits, despite this limitation;

    · use components of the playing cards to play any card games not specifically listed on the playing card's instructions;

    · make more copies of the playing cards than specified in this agreement or allowed by applicable law, despite this limitation;

    · publish the playing cards for others to copy;

    · rent, lease or lend the playing cards; or

    · use the playing cards for commercial or gambling services.


    Reaching for the lube in my coat pocket, before bending over for Microsoft again in Novmeber. At least Bill Gates promised to be gentler this time. He wouldn't lie - would he? ...would he???

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC Oh dear... #

    To get # on a UK Mac keyboard, just type <option>3. It's the price we pay for having the £ sign printed on it.

  66. mrweekender


    I'd rather lick the sweat of my dogs balls than attend any kind of party related to a fucking OS. You SAD, SAD, Microsoft FUCKS.

  67. Andrew Punch

    If I knew it was going to be that kind of party...

    I would've stuck my dick in the mashed potatoes.

  68. arglborps

    Wow they've made it!

    Microsoft have now come to a level which makes them look just as sad as David "PC" Hodgman in the Apple ads.

  69. jake Silver badge

    @Will 22

    "Your granny only uses Linux because you, the geek, set it up for her."

    (In my case, both me grans are gone, alas .... but I do have a 95 year old Great Aunt, am I allowed to substitute her? Ta in advance.)

    Correct. She used to use Windows, after I set it up for her. Think about that for a minute.

    I got calls from her for support two or three times a month. I got calls a couple times per WEEK before I went in and updated all the device drivers that Dell provided with the box, and generally cleaned out all the cruft that Windows seems to accumulate over time.

    I tried to interest her in a Mac several years ago, but she hated it, for reasons which she still can't fully articulate (she KNOWS, but doesn't have the TechieEnglish to describe it). When Linux became a viable desktop environment, I dropped off a box with a cut-down Slackware+KDE system, geared exactly to her individual needs. She didn't like it, and I continued to get calls from her to "Fix my Windows, please". Time passed. I continued to help her with windows.

    Then something changed. After about 6 weeks of no calls for help, I dropped by to see what was up. It turned out that her sister in Finland had emailed her some pictures & the Windows machine chose that moment to die. Out of desperation, she fired up the Slack box. That was a couple years ago, and she's still using it (she doesn't know it, but it's now Slack 12.2, and will probably stay that way).

    Now, instead of seeing her a couple-three times per month to fix her computer, the wife and I make the three hour round-trip drive to visit her a couple-three times per month for tea.

    Which would you prefer?

    She has also convinced several of her octogenarian+ friends to allow me to "put a better version of Windows" (as they put it) on their machines ...

    Now, I'm no fanboi. I have Apple, Microsoft, Sun, HP, IBM, DEC, Tandom and etc. operating systems running within arms reach as I type. Each have their job to do, and they do it as well as can be expected. But I know for a fact that a properly setup Linux system is the best option when it comes to my old Gran^H^Heat Aunt.

  70. J 3


    Kinda like the "grassroots" teaparties that happened here in the US early this year. Anything but grassroots. Sad, I too wonder the type of people who'll be doing this Windows 7 parties. It will either be very sad weirdos who actually are MS fanbois (always remember that saying: people use Macs because they want, and Windows because they have to), or people like some commentards above, who might be even worse, since they aren't even "honest" in their sadness. Which is ever sadder in a way.

    Mind, the ridiculous lines in front of Apple stores or Ubuntu parties (hadn't heard of them) are quite sad too, but at least they are driven by the people themselves, not by some (bad) marketing drone.

    "It indicates that Appletards & Ubuntards are prepared to whore themselves for... NO payment what so ever.


    Well, don't know about the Appletards, but the Ubuntards are getting nearly all (or all, like me) their software for free, so throwing a (sad) "party" (I wouldn't consider a n "installfest" a party though, but I've never been to one so can's tell for sure) and distributing the software might be a small way of paying for it. And some might think that the real idiots are the ones who pay for their bad software AND are fanbois too, when you could get bad software for free, legally and all.

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    So there really are people sadder than those who canvas for political parties, particularly Labour - or at least MS think there are. Perhaps Labour's central office could lose a bit of data in MS's direction, just to get them started.

    The only thing more embarrassing than using Windows is having a party to celebrate it.

    Paris, she just wouldn't.

  72. Chris Bradshaw


    Someone somewhere needs a reality check, and a little maturity, and a big dose of humility. If customers aren't sponaneously having parties for your product launch (and, let's face it, they aren't), bribing them to host one is not going to increase their goodwill.

    This looks like a kid's themed birthday party - substitute "Snow White" or 'Batman" or "Peter Pan" for "Windows 7 Desktop" and you have yourself a great party. For 7 year olds. The software should be substituted for the appropriate DVD. And, frankly, even with the extra noise, I'll take a 7 year old Peter Pan party over a product launch party any day. And I'll remember it longer...

    For a 'worldwide' experience, they are missing too many continents and far too many countries. Doesn't M$ have pocket change for postage???

    I wouldn't be seen dead eBaying any of the party stuff, sorry, I don't need the $$ that badly. But I would be interested in a psychological study of the people who would BUY this kind of stuff on eBay.

  73. Anonymous Coward

    I'm no shill but...

    I'm NO Windoze fanboy, Iet's get that straight. And I've never paid for Windoze, as when I have had a Windoze machine it came with it, as I'd rather not pay for the privilege of the blue screen of death (and I own two macs). BUT: I've been using the Windows 7 Beta/Release Candidate for quite a while now, and it's the first Windoze that doesn't blow in a major way... and the only Windoze OS where I haven't yet had the urge to throw it (and the laptop it's on) out the window!

    So hosting one of these shill parties is great because 1) you'd get a free copy of Windows Ultimate (as I can't afford that Ultimate version), and 2) you can invite pro-windoze and pro-mac people and have fun getting them to debate on the pros and cons, camera in hand.

    (But the "House Party" company's legal terms are shit/scary (they basically say "you give us all rights to use your images forever in any medium, current as well as future"!) The House Party people are scary fuckers...)

  74. Mahou Saru

    They need regional party packs

    For the UK replace everything with booze, and you are onto a winner :p

  75. RichyS


    Yup, I thought your post was drivel too. Lengthy, tedious, boring drivel.

    Now, take the tin-foil hat off you sad little angry man.

  76. mike lee

    Hate to talk of stereotypes, but who is interested in computers and has 10 friends?


  77. Bo Pedersen
    Thumb Up

    I see , I see

    so el reg want to reduce the number of applicants so they can host one themselves, although they only have 8 friends :(

    Personally I think its a great idea, the fact that a free copy of windows 7 is up for grabs, is great for a start I would happily spend 20 quid on the latest special offer beer at the local supermarket, or even post the party as BYOB

    and yes I am a geek and proud, I also have more than 9 friends,

    I am duly signed up and waiting for Mr Ballmer to show up and throw my chairs around , wow what a party trick :)

  78. Dan 10


    @APK - I suspect Russ said your post was drivel because.... well, because it's drivel. Not drivel as in incorrect, since no-one can be bothered to read far enough to check your statements. Your post is drivel as in STOP WAFFLING you angry buffoon. It's off-topic anyway. It's Monday morning, the article is about crazy MS marketing, and you're obsessing over a 2-byte performance overhead. That's 16 zeroes or ones, on a typical CPU running at 3 billion instructions per second!

  79. Dale Richards

    Win7 Signature Edition

    "One limited Signature Edition Windows 7 Ultimate ["Signed by whom?" you ask - but the oracle is silent.]"

    Looking at the box shot on the houseparty website, the signature looks identical to the "Steven A Ballmer" signature on my MCP certificate. I'd be somewhat surprised if he signs them by hand, however.

  80. northern monkey


    On behalf of everyone having to scroll through your absurdly long posts:

    Shut. The. F**k. Up.

    Whether or not your posts are technically sound fall far to the side of the fact that they are too long for us to care about reading.

  81. Richard Porter

    Windows 7 Nappies

    Yes, that's about all it's good for.

  82. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Had my Party already

    Installed Windows 7 RC and was truly impressed at how easy and quick that was, and that nearly everything worked ( except NIC ), dual-booting XP and W7.

    Like all parties though, sourness crept in as it seemed to be notably slow compared to XP which had installed just as quickly and zinged along in operation ( but had to be tweaked to get the right drivers ) .

    Then sourness turned to bitchiness as an uninstall and reverting to XP-only went horribly wrong and some cat-fight broke out amongst disk sectors. The balloons were looking fairly saggy by then and the fizz had gone out of the pop.

    If it hadn't been a solo party, I guess all my friends would have been sitting on a sofa, pointing and laughing, while I was in the shed getting a large hammer.

  83. Brutus


    Mate, it's drivel because we're not talking about IP subsystems here. On the right forum, you may well be talking 100% sense (I have no idea, I gave up knowing about IP messaging decades ago), but this particular comment section is for ridiculing MS's PR team.

  84. CADmonkey

    Check out Mr.Efficiency! (APK)

    Can spend hours responding to posts on a Monday morning.

    Probably killing time waiting for his bloated hosts file to catch up.

    I'm not inviting him to MY Windows launch party.

  85. Paul 172

    @APK Russ Tarbox? Step inside (on HOSTS, WFP/NDIS6, & the truth)...

    Pack it in, you sound like a stupid kid, with all of the hot air... Troll.

    I want to make a comment about the following you said;

    "After all - I read your background: You're simply a TECH SUPPORT GUY. You're right up there with network engineers, a user with a better password @ best, in comparison to the guys who hold the title I do in this field: Software Engineers.

    (I say that, because WE invent the tools guys like YOU, merely USE... & that's that!)"

    ...I mean, seriously ? Get a life. Do you think there's really much difference between a software engineer and tech support ? I'm an information security consultant... Do I win ? Grow up !

    Also, stop repeating your handle.

  86. Peter Kay

    Well, I'm going to apply..

    I've already ordered two copies of Windows 7, so it's not as if I'm not interested, plus I have way more than ten friends.

    Of course, I'm thinking of a couple of amendments :

    1) I'm not thinking 'PhotoPalooza' or 'Family friendly fun' - I'm thinking 'Bacchanalian Debauchery'

    2) Fancy dress : wear your own (non Microsoft) OS T shirt or 'come as an OS' (penguin and daemon suits, ahoy.).

    2a) The exceptions to the 'no Microsoft t shirts' are either a) Xenix or b) Microsoft OS/2.

    I wonder if I chucked out my horribly faded OS/2 t shirt, or whether I'd have to break the habit of a lifetime and actually buy an OS t shirt (OpenBSD's Puffy, perhaps?).

  87. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

    *Ring Ring*


    "Hey, wanna come to a Windows 7 party?"

    "What's that?"

    "It's a party where we all sit around a drink and install Windows 7 for free!"

    "Cool, I'll bring my computer!"

    "Ah, no, actually we get one copy to install, and it goes on my PC."



  88. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @After the install... #

    Wanna lay some odds of which is faster to install?

    I bet the proverbial farm on my choice of Linux over fenestrra7

  89. Jolyon

    @APK - drivel

    The first thing Google returns for 'define:drivel' is "a worthless message".

    That'll do for me.

    (Although to be fair the first result it gives for what initially sprang to mind when I read your posts is "a male chicken" so I am not claiming it is perfect.)

  90. Pri


    You're missing the point. Nobody cares.

    You must be absolutely thrilling at parties.

  91. northern monkey
    Thumb Up


    Aah, it's Aaron Kempf of 'gets sacked from jobs for his rage' fame and his SQL fanboiism.

    And, FYI, I think you'll find physics *is* physics, being a singular (yet wide) branch of science and not a collection of branches of science. Smack that, bitch.

  92. Kevin Gordon 1

    Whoo hoo!

    PARTAY! Can't wait!

  93. Bilgepipe
    Gates Horns


    The list of goodies doesn't include Ballmer-style chairs to throw around?

  94. Anonymous Coward


    Has my vote!

    (Shhhh Not really, I just want him to SHUT UP!)

  95. Peter Kay
    Thumb Down

    After registering - who on earth would use this?

    I have to admit, the T&Cs are sewn up as tight as a drum.. There's virtually no room for misbehaving. Virtually, though - doesn't mean it's utterly impossible..

    In particular, the fact your image and words can be used anywhere, for any purpose, forever, should make any sensible person run away screaming.

    Of course, dear Microsoft, good luck using my image in your marketing material if it's not going to show my face *wink*. I sense some creative photography.

  96. James Pickett

    Desperate PR

    Microsoft+party = oxymoron. In much the same way as Vista and Fun.


    "Physics are physics" . It's singular, I'm afraid. And don't you dare accuse me of pedantry...

  97. northern monkey


    ...just reminiscing about some of APKs more lucid and readable (but equally trolllike) posts:

    by Aaron Kempf June 17, 2009 12:49 PM PDT

    who cares about ACID?

    I want firefox and chrome to be able to do everything that IE does before I begin to care!!!

    Aaaw bless his cotton socks - he's a proper little MS fanboi he is! Though I suppose they need everyone they can get. Do you want someone to get your mummy because all these nasty people have upset you? If you can't read this Aaron I suggest you run it through a script which arbitrarily capitalises and/or puts words into inverted commas --- it seems to be your preferred mode of WRITING.

  98. Paul 172


    Only half read your nonsense above. You having a bad day son ? Wanna talk about it ?

    For e'body else's sake, go an churn out some code, code monkey.

  99. CADmonkey


    If that's really you, Aaron, then it's no surprise that you have a lot of spare time for writing yore branes like you do.

    LOL Are you still 'between appointments'?

  100. Bo Pedersen

    since apk can drivel

    I can probably get away with adding to my post from earlier,

    Yesterday was a lan party (see "friends") :)

    my win7 pc was the bestest ever at hosting games.

    dont knock me, 'puters would be boring without games.

    anyway since running 7 rc1, fellow players have commented on the faster loading times of hosted games, as well as more stable running.

    so its cool

    I am sat using it now.

    and yes I will probably end up eating M$ ass but hey, Its a free country (well almost)

  101. Will 3

    Attn El Reg: Another Bizarre Microsoft Photoshop??

    Check out the differences between the image on the UK splash page and the US splash page:

    It appears that for the UK they decided to fix the colour balance of the image... and photoshop out all the balloons! Not entirely as scandalous as the polish black guy photoshop debacle but pretty strange nonetheless...

  102. Will 3


    Pasting the links got messed up:

  103. Snot Nice
    Big Brother

    OT: Re APK

    Bless, APK aka Alexander Peter Kowalski wants to create a commercial application to block sites based on the hosts file.

    Boo hoo for you Alex as you have optimised your app using an illegal address of 0. Not exactly a dotted quad now is it ace.

    No wonder he is pissed, but Alex, instead of continuing your drivel on here I suggest you use your (quite considerable) free time to do something constructive. Seeking help would be a good start.


  104. Anonymous Coward

    RE: OT: Re APK #

    "Seeking help would be a good start"

    Plus having sex (with a human) may ease his tension.

  105. northern monkey

    @Will 3

    I can't speak for what the situation is on the other side of the pond but in Blighty balloons are the sign of a party that is not going to be much fun - at least adult parties. A table covered in bottles of booze and a set of decks is more impressive, but obviously their photoshop skills weren't up to that one.

    Mind you, the fact everyone is huddled round a single computer watching a progress bar ticking along (does it follow the WFCTEP [windows file copy time estimation protocol]?) doesn't exactly scream fun fun fun to me. Though judging by the black girl in the middle's face they're watching 1 guy 1 jar or some equally horrible video.

  106. Anonymous Coward


    Some people need to stay offline.

    Also note the HP site isn't secure when you whack all your details in.

  107. laycockmark

    The joys of being an ignored country

    Looks like Redmond don't consider New Zealand to be an important marketing area for them when it comes to Windows 7 - no house parties here (or are they still embarassed about their X-Box online debacle here?) - House Party say that this is because of logistics problems with respect to language (and the launch) - looks to me like the launch parties will be based around English speaking countries - wonder what language they think we speak in New Zealand?

  108. HughNoble


    I've put my application in!

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