|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
The announcement also included a notice that
beginning Dec 9, 1998,
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
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 next release of Windows
and Office 98."
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 98 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
Organization. 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 99. It will
be bigger and better than last year."
She further elaborated that "Windows
users who sign up with MS Network will get
sneak previews of Christmas as early
as November first."
Christmas 98 is scheduled for release in
December of 1998, though one
unnamed source said that it is dangerously
close to the end of the year
and may slip into the first half of 1999.
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, 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
A spokesperson for the most famous Reindeer
could not be reached for comment.