On August 24th 1995 Microsoft hosted a Windows 95 launch event at their campus in Redmond, Washington. At this event journalists and other attendees were gifted a copy of Windows 95 in a special commemorative box: Windows 95 Special Edition.
Only 3,000 copies where handed out making this a fairly rare item to have (especially now, 22 years later).
The inside cover opens up and inside the following text can be found:
In the box you get a CD copy of Windows 95 – upgrade! Apparently Microsoft couldn’t bring themselves to give away free copies with a full license. You also get the owners manual, a leaflet introducing you to The Microsoft Network and a little Launch95: Introducing the world of Windows 95 insert.
Windows 95 Special Edition; front
Windows 95 Special Edition; back
Windows 95 Special Edition; top
Windows 95 Special Edition; side 1
Windows 95 Special Edition; side 2
And that’s it! The copy of Windows 95 is no different to the version you could buy in the shops, so the only thing about that this is special is the box.
On October 22nd 2009 Microsoft launched Windows 7 and one of their ideas to promote it was to ask some of their, uh, more loyal fans to host a launch party. People signed up and those who where selected received a party pack in the mail. I happen to have one of those party packs, so let’s have a look at what you got for your rad Windows party:
The box it all came in (sadly mine is a bit battered)
Opening the box
- A deck of playing cards
- A puzzle
- A poster
- Ten gift bags
- A table top piece
- A pack of napkins
- A copy of Windows 7 Ultimate (dubbed Signature Edition as it has a print of Steve Ballmer’s signature on it)
It seems all of the items were designed to show off some of the wacky strange creatures art that was included as wallpapers in Windows 7.
The gift bags
The deck of cards
The tabletop piece
Personally I think the poster and gift bags are really quite nice! People in the US who received this pack also got some balloons, some streamers and some coupons and offers for other products like Kaspersky AV and Zune.
Of course the most exciting reason to receive this party pack was the free copy of Windows 7 Ultimate you got which comes in a nice sleeve with Steve Ballmer’s signature printed on it.
Windows 7 Signature Edition front
Windows 7 Signature Edition back
Windows 7 Signature Edition inside
Windows 7 Signature Edition disks
Inside was a full retail edition of Windows 7 Ultimate and both 32bit and 64bit installer disks. There’s nothing special about the version of Windows, it’s just plain old Windows 7 Ultimate. The only special thing is the sleeve it comes in.