by Robert Reiser
NORTH POLE (API) - 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, 1995, 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 recognized that the Santa Sleigh has some immediate benefits.
We'll use it first for the release of Windows95 and Office 95."
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 95 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 Borganization. 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 95. It will be bigger and
better than last year." She further elaborated that "Windows95 users who
sign up with MS Network will get sneak previews of Christmas as early as
Christmas 95 is scheduled for release in December of 1995, though one unnamed
source said that it is dangerously close to the end of the year and may slip
into the first half of 1996. 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 remaining 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 "sizable, 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.
A spokesperson for the most famous Reindeer could not be reached for comment.
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