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, 2002, 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 release of Windows 2002 and Office
In a multimedia extravaganza, the attendees were shown a
seamingly 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 2001 trademark, leading to 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 2002.
It will be bigger and better than last year." She further
elaborated that "Windows 2000 users who sign up with
MS Network will get sneak previews of Christmas  as
early as November first."
Christmas 2002 is scheduled for release in December of 2002,
though one unnamed source said that it is dangerously close
to the end of the year and may slip into the first half
of 2003. 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 or 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 "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.
by Robert Reiser