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MS Acquires Christmas

Microsoft Acquires Christmas

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, 1997, 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. Of course "the Microsoft products will come out first, then after a
2-3 month lag time licensing to other vendors will start".

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 Windows97 and Office 97."

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 96 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 96. 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[96] as early as November

Christmas 96 (beta version) is scheduled for release in December of 1996,
though one unnamed source said that it is dangerously close to the end of the
year and may slip into the first half of 1997. 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

"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."
Although the Christmas 96 beta version will be released soon, it should be
noted Christmas 96, official release will not come until the Christmas of 98.
Sources close to Microsoft said a closer date might be the summer of 1998.

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 Santals 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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