Of all the gifts I'd like to find under the Christmas tree from Saks Fifth Avenue this year, Windows 7 is not one of them.
Yet it appears Microsoft wants Windows 7 on the minds of Saks' shoppers this holiday season, as the two companies have partnered to give the legendary display windows of its Manhattan store a Windows feel.
Simon Aldous, Microsoft's U.K. partner group manager, is in hot water for some ill-advised statements in an interview published yesterday by PCR. The gist? Microsoft's heralded Windows 7 operating system was more than a little inspired by the Mac OS.
Users call Apple's operating system "fantastic" and "easy to use," said Aldous. "What we've tried to do with Windows 7 -- whether it's traditional format or in a touch format -- is create a Mac look and feel in terms of graphics."
Microsoft's new operating system is off to a quick start, with first-week sales outpacing Vista's by 234 percent, according to research firm NPD Group. Unfortunately for PC makers, they haven't enjoyed similar success.
"Microsoft's program of early low-cost pre-sales, high-visibility marketing and aggressive deals helped make the Windows 7 software launch successful," said Stephen Baker, VP of industry analysis at NPD, in a statement. "In a slow environment for packaged software, Windows 7 brought a large number of customers into the software aisles."
Halloween is just over a week away, but for the folks hunkered down in Redmond, today is probably equal parts scary and exciting -- not unlike All Hallow's Eve.
For most of the rest of us, Windows 7 Launch Day arrives with slightly lower stakes. But that doesn't make the coverage of Microsoft's new operating system and its chances for success any less interesting. Even the advertising for Windows 7 is being heavily scrutinized, with the New York Times noting that while the new campaign "does not address the epic fail of Vista," the ads effectively show that Microsoft has listened to the complaints ... and learned.
Microsoft would like to remind you that Windows 7 is available to many businesses ahead of the operating system's Oct. 22 general availability date. And while you probably know that, chances are also good that you have no intention of acting on it.
"Deployments are happening right now and your company can begin deployment as well!" said Windows senior product manager Gavriella Schuster, who can hardly be accused of a lack of enthusiasm. Schuster posted that on the Windows blog yesterday -- along with a lot of really good news from early adopters!