It's October 22,2009. It's Windows 7  Day! You can bet that many a PC user can barely contain their excitement about the opportunity to upgrade from XP and consign Vista to history's dustbin. Microsoft's got a suite of events and offers planned to get the lucky OS off to a swinging start around the globe (and let's briefly imagine what a monumental effort it takes behind the scenes to coordinate a World-wide launch like this). Here's what's going on.
The pricing of Windows 7 has been the subject of much debate, particularly after Apple's recent move to price its similarly new Snow Leopard upgrade at a miniscule $27. The Microsoft gang is sensitive to market forces, of course, so there are a bunch of ways to save money on Windows 7 right now. Daily special offers will be unveiled at the Windows.com Web site and at retail partners. The first ones include a $100 discount on a Dell Studio XPS13, an all-in-one Acer Gateway zx6800 for $899, and an HP laptop bundle at Best Buy that includes a monitor and netbook "for the price of one average Mac" (nice dig there, MS!) at $1,200.
MS is also highlighting the cost savings in its Family Pack, and the special Student Offer in a limited list of countries for just $29.99. And there's a discount upgrade deal for a second PC if you buy a PC with Win7 already aboard.
Win 7 Parties
Call it dubious PR thinking, call it plain ol' geeky embarrassment, but those Windows 7 Launch Parties  will be kicking off today. There's a big official one in New York, starting at 11 a.m. (Chris Dannen  will be on the scene) and MS is going to be streaming the event live via this link . Hit it up to see banners, objects, and people emblazoned with Microsoft and Windows 7's cheerily unsurprising logos. Steve Ballmer's giving a keynote speech to launch the whole thing, so that'll definitely be worth watching...especially once you remember some of the wacky ways  Windows has been promoted in the past, even by Ballmer himself:
Windows 7-Themed Promotions
Remember, Microsoft is reaching out across the consumer world to push the Windows 7 message, so you can expect to see some odd marketing combinations. Take, for example, the Windows 7 Burger King Japan promotion. Because for ¥777 ($8.50) you can buy a special Win7-themed seven-burger seven-inch Whopper. Does it include a voucher for a consultation with a heart doctor? The advert is curiously silent about this.
Microsoft Store Opening
Last, but not least, the opening  of Microsoft's bricks-and-mortar store in Scottsdale Arizona--actually the first one to be opened to the public, as part of Microsoft's attempt to steal some of the main street shop mojo that Apple's been working for years. Expect lots of laptops, netbooks and desktop PCs laden with the new OS, and some heavy Windows 7 marketing efforts in-store.