Windows 7 Launch Party screener survey: how not to create that party experience

Did you know, your Windows 7 launch party can be totally informal? you’re allowed to do the mandated party “Activities” (note ominous capitalisation) in any order you choose! If it were a joke, it’d be funny. This bizarrely clumsy attempt to control and influence consumers reminds me of the issue of The Onion when it was ‘sold’ to a Chinese salvage fisheries company: “‘Fish Time has quickly become a staple in my home,’ said mother of five hungry children Jane Roberts, who lives in Iowa, a United State. ‘My babies love Fish Time as much as my older filial relations do. Fish Time is family fun time for all generations of the Roberts lineage.’ And, reports have confirmed, there is more! Many are making Fish Time a must-have meal option in their homes, their workplaces, and their favorite centers of recreation.”

Swap out Yu Wan Mei mandated “Fish Time” with Windows 7 and you’ve pretty much captured the spirit of Microsoft’s marketing strategy. Check out the screen grabs from their screener survey below. It’s nuts!

Gee, I wonder which of these boxes I’m meant to tick in order to get my free copy of Windows 7?

Question 6: would you like to receive junk mail? Er, what are my options?

This is by far the best bit – check out what they want to do to your children. To quote from the second paragraph: “I, on behalf of myself and my children […] hereby grant […] an unrestricted, absolute, universal, perpetual, irrevocable, non-royalty bearing, and transferable right and license […] to use, copy, transmit, distribute, display, modify, perform, present, publish, transform, create works and derivative works, and otherwise promote or utilize my name, image, likeness, voice, words and […] personal information, and those of my children […] captured, photographed or otherwise recorded or memorialized in any manner […] (including, without limitation, print, direct mail, online, mobile or wireless communications, radio or television broadcast, telecast or photograph), for any purpose whatsoever (including, without limitation […] advertising […]), and without any consideration or notice to or consent by me or any third party.”

So, how badly do you want a free copy of Windows 7? Badly enough to give Microsoft complete, unrestricted rights to photos and videos of your children so they can use them in their advertising without even notifying you? Seriously?

I cannot imagine why they thought it was a good idea to hide this critical information in the small print. Whatever happened to good, old fashioned up-front honesty?