NORTH POLE -
Microsoft announced an agreement with Santa Claus Industries to acquire Christmas
at a press conference held via satellite from Santa's summer estate somewhere
in the southern hemisphere. In the deal, Microsoft would gain exclusive rights
to Christmas, Reindeer, and other unspecified inventions. In addition, Microsoft
will gain access to millions of households through the Santa Sleigh.
The announcement also included a notice that beginning Jan 1, 2000, Christmas
and the Reindeer names would be copyrighted by Microsoft. This unprecedented
move was facilitated by the recently acquired MS Court.
Microsoft stated its commitment to "all who have made Christmas great," and
vowed to "make licensing of the Christmas and Reindeer names available to all."
It is believed that the guidelines for licensing these names, due before Halloween,
will be very strict.
When asked "Why buy Christmas?" Bill Gates replied "Microsoft has been working
on a more efficient delivery mechanism for all of our products for some time,
but recognised that the Santa Sleigh has some immediate benefits. We'll use
it first for the release of our new Office suite and Windows NT V.5.0."
In a multimedia extravaganza, the attendees were shown a seemingly endless video
stream of products that make up the deal. It ended with a green and red version
of the Microsoft logo, and a new Christmas trademark, leading into the announcement
of the first product from the deal.
Vixen, the new Director of Holidays and Celebrations said, "The first step is
to assimilate Christmas within the Microsoft organisation. This will take some
time, so don't expect any changes this year." She continued, "our big plans
are for next year, when we release Christmas 2000. It will be bigger and better
than last year." She further elaborated that "Windows users who sign up with
MSN will get sneak previews of Christmas as early as November first."
Christmas 2000 is scheduled for release in December of 2000, though one unnamed
source said that it is dangerously close to the end of the year and may slip
into the first half of 2001. An economist at Goldman Sachs explained that a
slip would be catastrophic to next year's economy and the nation's tax revenue,
possibly requiring the IRS to move the deadline for filing income tax returns
to three months after Christmas, whenever that was. "But it could be good in
the long term," he explained. "With Microsoft controlling Christmas, we may
see it move to May or June, which are much slower months for retailers. This
may serve to even out the economy over the year."
When asked if other holidays are being considered, Mr. Gates explained that
"Christmas is the flagship of holidays, so we wanted to start there. Not all
holidays are available for sale, and the regaining will have to show a good
long term business," suggesting that holidays with a short history may not be
in the plans.
Though specific terms of the agreement were withheld pending final FTC approval,
a Santa official confirmed that the deal was "sizeable, even for a man of Santa's
stature." Some analysts think that Santa has saturated the Holiday market, and
is looking for a means to expand his business to year 'round products and services.
Others contend that the Jolly Red Man is looking to retire in Redmond.