On the 14th of September I got an e-mail from Microsoft with the subject line “You’re invited to be part of Windows 7 Launch!” (sic: where is the missing “the”?). Woo hoo I thought. Microsoft are inviting me to a Windows 7 Launch event in Perth somewhere. Fantastic. I haven’t been to one of those since the Windows 95 launch, and I still have my Windows 95 baseball cap from that event. But when I opened the e-mail I found that it was not what I thought. It was an invitation for me to set up and host a Windows 7 Launch party and invite friends or work associates to it.
My first reaction was to ignore the invite. Sounded like a lot of work. And anyway, who would I invite that might be the slightest bit interested in Windows 7? I am an IT Infrastructure and Applications Consultant in the Microsoft solutions space and all of my clients are still very happy with Windows XP. They don’t even want to know about Windows Vista. It is hard enough convincing them to consider upgrading from Office 2003 to Office 2007.
But the next day, when I noticed that the e-mail was still sitting in my Outlook Inbox folder and I was about to delete it, I had a change in thinking. My 18 year old son plays computers games with his friends who all have computers. My niece goes to University and has friends there using computers. My best friend assembles and sells computers for a living. So, as it happened, somewhat indirectly, I actually knew a lot of people who might be interested in coming around for a coffee and snacks, and to have a futz with Windows 7.
So I have now registered to host a Windows 7 Launch party sometime between the 22nd and the 29th of October. These are the dates specified in the invitation from Microsoft—in order to synchronise with the actual launch of Windows 7. If my application is successful a Windows 7 Launch party kit will be delivered. I can only guess at what might be in this party kit, but I would expect maybe some Windows 7 posters to hang around, tee shirts maybe, possibly a coffee cup or two, balloons, party hats, and I would think a number of time-limited trial versions of Windows 7 to give away.
Not everyone who registers to throw a party will get picked to do a party. It is a lottery to see if I get picked as one of the parties in Australia. The problem now is that I am looking forward to doing it. I plan to set up three or four PCs out in my party area and run a network cable out there to a 4 port switch. All the PCs will be on the net. If the party pack does not contain Windows 7 installs then I will use the Windows 7 RC1 install I have on two of them (I only have two installs left on that code), and try to get two more installs from somewhere. One of the PCs will be set up with my 22” 1680x1050 LG wide-screen and good sound. This will be the multi-media futzing PC. Another will have a 20” 1680x1050 wide-screen and mid-sound (Logitech stereo with woofer) for games. The other two will have 17” 4:3 LCD screens and be for Web surfing or trying Office 2007 which I should be able to install from my TechNet disks. I might set up my Epson R210 Photo Printer outside as well for printing the odd photograph.
Now I Just have to wait and see if I get drawn out of the barrel . . .