Microsoft gets set to spin Windows 7

The potpourri of planned promo activities includes launch parties far and wide on the Oct. 22 ship date and afterward

With the countdown now on for the official shipment of Windows 7 next Thursday, Microsoft and friends have been cranking up the proverbial hype machine, but not without a few clinks and clanks along the way.

The potpourri of planned promo activities includes launch parties far and wide on the Oct. 22 ship date and afterward; the release of new Window 7 PCs, including Nokia's new netbook on the same date; Microsoft's sponsorship of a "Family Guy" extravaganza to be aired on Fox TV on Nov. 8; and an apparently related 12-week college tour with Fox.

In case you haven't heard about it yet, the main fest is set for Oct. 22 in New York City. So far, Microsoft's been somewhat secretive about specifics, listing only the time, location, and anticipated appearance of CEO Steve Ballmer on the coveted invitations.

But if you can't make it to the New York event, don't worry. There are alternatives. Microsoft pals -- outfitted by the company with Windows 7 "party packs" -- will be hosting their own launch parties at sites around the world on Oct. 22 and afterward, complete with drawings and giveaways.

By and large, Windows 7 is getting much better reviews than Vista, its ill-fated predecessor. Already, though, a few flies are showing up in the Win7 promotional ointment. Some of those who've previewed the "Family Guy" show aren't exactly impressed, to put it mildly.

Meanwhile, some of those tapped by Microsoft to host their own launch parties have been attempting to auction off their "party packs" on eBay. Times must be tough, indeed.

According to CNET, Microsoft has teamed up with eBay to squelch the auctions. Meanwhile, Web site Neowin reports that at least one lucky guy has managed to get Microsoft's permission to sell off the promo party packs to the highest bidder.

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Jacqueline Emigh

PC World (US online)

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