DriveHead Launches Windows 95

Those hotel room giveaways in full

Every party has its party favors, and the Windows 95 launch was no exception. As the ragtag bunch of grizzled writers, editors, developers, and beta testers staggered severally into Seattle, we were greeted in our hotel rooms by something other than two bars of soap, four minute bottles containing shampoo, conditioner, hand lotion, and shower gel, and $5 minibar chocolate and nuts.

Thinking back, I'd considered it a little weird that we had to book our hotel rooms through Microsoft's travel agency. I thought at the time that Bill Gates might have bought up all the hotel rooms to prevent marauding OS/2 Warp users from rioting. But it as it turned out, they wanted to give us a little something to welcome us to the city (little being the operative hotel room discount, you understand). What were these offerings? Here's the list in full:

  • From the Microsoft Network team, an extra large Hanes Beefy-T shirt bearing the legend MSN Launch Event, August 24, 1995 on the front and MSN The Microsoft Network on the back.

  • From Microsoft Brad himself, a Chinese takeout box stuffed with fortune cookies. It's a slow news day, so I'll repeat all the fortunes. Trust me...they're as inane as you'd expect. Press PageDown a couple of times to skip them:

    The wise worker equips himself with tools he can use.

    Soon you will do more than you've yet thought to dream.

    Wondrous indeed is the ability to perform two tasks as one.

    Enjoyment is fuel for purposeful work.

    Be about forming goals because soon you will have the tools.

    Newness that compliments sic what is known will last.

    Consider file names one can read instead of decipher.

    Good things come to those who wait.

    Those who expect reasonably are fulfilled completely.

    Waiting is not wise when work needs to be done.

  • A small bag filled with nine chocolate coins from Waggener Edstrom, Microsoft's public relations company.

  • A series of instructions as to how to pick up the all-important badge and numbered ticket that would get us onto the Microsoft shuttle bus the following day.

  • A copy of that day's newspaper with a color picture of Bill Gates with handlers walking on a piece of grass between some indeterminate marquee structures.

  • And from Visio, a small vacuum pack of ground coffee ("good to the last drag-and-drop") and a blue baseball hat with a "5 for 95" badge pinned to it.

    So after scarfing the free food, what found its way back into my flight bag? Well, there was the shampoo, conditioner, the larger bar of soap, the hand lotion, the shower gel...and the coffee and clothes. Hey, I'm an extra-large with a new baby at home. I need stimulants and something absorbent. That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it.

    Copyright (c) 1995 Matt Lake. All rights reserved. Even "The Man with the Disk Drive Head" is a trademark of Matt Lake. If you have a problem with that, or a comment, then send a message to


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