Windows 7 launch party

It has been a week now since the Windows 7 release. I confess that I had not picked up my own copy in the store yet. Seeing that I don’t live near a brick and mortar Microsoft store, I have two choices to get Microsoft’s freshest operating system: 1. Best Buy 2. any office supply big box store. One office supply store mailed me a postcard offering a “free Windows 7 installation” and I assume that means the labor to install the operating system is free. Since there is no fine print on the card, I would have to go to the store to find out.

If it were not for this one postcard and the Today show, I would not have been reminded about the Windows 7 release. I am an IT professional and a huge geek. I thought I would be swimming in Microsoft gloat right about now.

For those who did not see it, Steve Ballmer appeared on the Today show which is a morning magazine show on NBC American TV. Matt Lauer was the interviewing host for the 5 minute Windows 7 launch segment.

Youtube has it on video but I will do my best to summarize.

Mr Lauer opened with a joke where he explained that most people don’t understand the difference between an operating system and an operating room.
Mr. Lauer asked Mr. Ballmer to compare to 7 to Vista. Mr Ballmer answered it boots faster – immediately up and running, better battery life on the laptops, the user interface being simplier and “snappier”
When asked to demonstrate “snappier” Charlotte Jones was introduced, a group project manager for Microsoft. Ms. Jones then raved about the variety of hardware available with Windows 7. Netbooks, a gamer PC, a thin and ultra light laptop – the Dell Domino XPS, and a touch PC: Sony Vaio L.
The discussion turned to home entertainment. “The computer can be the center of your media life ” and “Consumers will by 65% of the PCs in the world this year so we’ve got to make them fun” said Ballmer.
Mr. Lauer brought up the popularity of Apple products, especially the iPhone. Portability is the wave of the future, but Ballmer isn’t worried because people still like big screen.
When asking about desktop consumer market share, Mr. Lauer inquired how Mr. Ballmer expects to keep “it above 90%?” Instead of discussing software invovation, Mr. Ballmer said
“You are not going to find this cool diversity of hardware from anybody else with our family of Windows partners.”

When the interview was finshed, Mr. Lauer disclosed that Microsoft is part owner of MSNBC.com

I don’t know why, I was expecting more hype around this particular product. You can’t turn on an American TV without seeing an ad for Bing. Even radio is getting in on the Bing plugs. A top40 radio station near me has a dj who has been paid to plug Bing hourly but never does not mention Windows 7.

Microsoft took some risks in their marketing of Windows 7. They attempted to sponsor house parties for the Windows 7 launch. The host got a copy of Windows 7 and a deck of playing cards. Did anybody go? My friend Carol Rutz hosted a party where only one guest came.

Does anybody celebrate the launch of an operating system? Well, it just so happens that there is a UbuntuĀ  9.10 release party this Friday night which is 15 miles from where I live. I’ll let you all know if anyone shows up. The great thing about a Ubuntu release party is that everyone may install for free at the release party – not just the host.

Microsoft will lose majority market share by June 30, 2011.

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