WinInfo Short Takes: Week of October 26, 2009

An often irreverent look at some of the week's other news, including the Windows 7 launch event, my own little co-hosted Windows 7 launch party, a long weekend in New York, Apple's sad response to Windows 7, Kylie, and so much more...

I'm in New York through Monday, first for this week's amazing Windows 7 launch, and next for an unrelated Microsoft event. It's been incredibly busy, with back-to-back commitments and many cross-town taxi rides, but I've been having a blast.

Speaking of having a blast, the Windows 7 launch party I co-hosted with Neowin's Tom Warren and ZDNet's Ed Bott and Mary Jo Foley happened last night and it was a great time. We had a great turnout and gave away 12 copies of Windows 7 Ultimate, several other Windows 7-related trinkets, and copies of my book, Ed's book, and Mary Jo's book. Thanks to everyone that showed up; it was just an excellent (if loud) time.

Leo and I somehow managed to record a new episode of the Windows Weekly podcast this week on Thursday, the day of the Windows 7 launch. It should be available by the weekend as usual.

But wait, there's more. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter, Friendfeed, and the SuperSite Blog.

Short Takes

Windows 7 Launches
And I feel fine. The Windows 7 launch went off wonderfully, Microsoft showed off some amazing capabilities that Mac users would give their left arms to have, and if the reviews and enthusiasm are any indication, that bad taste in your mouth because of Vista should be rapidly dissipating.

Kylie Makes the Launch
Kylie, the cute little girl from those excellent "I'm a PC" commercials, was on hand at the launch, adding a nice human moment to the proceeds. She introduced Steve Ballmer and then chided him for not arriving on time for their initial meeting at the airport earlier. "You were late!" she said to the startled CEO. Good stuff, while I can't tell if the whole thing was simply scripted, I just couldn't care less. It was cute, so sue me.

Apple Tries to Rain on the Windows 7 Parade, Comes Up Flat
Apple is in a tough spot right now because its own OS, Snow Leopard, is turning into an unprecedented train wreck of incompatibilities, massive data loss, and customer disappointment. Meanwhile, the release of Windows 7 is giving millions of people around the world a reason to smile about the PC again. It's like the two companies' roles have suddenly reversed. So how does Apple respond to the release of Windows 7? Does the company try and actually sell its own products now instead of just mocking the competition, as it's done for over three years in the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" ads? LOL. Apparently, you don't know Apple. They're at it again with new ads blasting Microsoft and Windows 7. But you know what? This time around, I think people are going to see these ads for the desperate FUD that they are. Heads up, Apple. Your shtick is getting old. And it doesn't reflect what's really happening, sorry.

People Queue Up for Windows, Again
Speaking of what's really happening, customers from around the globe stood in line in front of retail stores on Thursday morning in order to be among the first to get Windows 7. That's right, folks, it's 1995 all over again. And in Scottsdale, Arizona, where Microsoft opened the first in a new line of retail stores, the lines were particularly long, with over 500 people waiting to get a first peek at a Microsoft Store. Crazy.

7 Days of Crazy Windows 7 Offers
If you're on the fence about buying a new PC or picking up multiple copies of Windows 7, you might want to decide quickly. Microsoft, various retailers, and PC maker partners are offering a host of "Crazy Eddie"-style deals, many of which expire after the first 7 days of Windows 7 availability. My favorite is a Best Buy super-deal in which you get three PCs—a desktop, a notebook, and a netbook—as well as a wireless router, all for just $1199. (You know, the same price of one low-end iMac.) But there are many other deals to be had. Staples is selling a second copy of Windows 7 for 60 percent off if you buy two. Amazon is pricing Windows 7 Professional Upgrade at 42 percent off the normal price. And then there's the Windows 7 Family Pack—three copies of Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade for just $150. Shop around, you might be shocked by some of the deals.

Microsoft Announces Quarterly Results
Early this morning, Microsoft announced the financial results of the quarter ending September 30, and it wasn't as bad as many had feared. Sure, revenue was done 14 percent, but Microsoft also deferred $1.47 billion revenues tied to Windows 7 upgrade pre-sales and PC maker deliveries. In that light, profits of $3.57 billion on revenues of $12.92 billion don't look too shabby, and Microsoft handily beat analysts' expectations. And this is from the quarter right before the launch of Windows 7, the company's biggest product in over 8 years. The financial community reacted with enthusiasm to the better-than-expected news, and Microsoft's stock was soaring in the early morning hours Friday. You can almost smell an industry turnaround

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