It took more than 20 days and a crew of over 200 to set up and strike The Launch. It’s difficult to collapse months and months of work into one ten-hour time frame, but in the end that’s what Launch Day boiled down to. The days leading up to the event were non-stop for the entire production team, scurrying to and from the various pavilions amidst the crackle of walkie-talkies, working out technical details in the main tent, and holed up for long hours in office trailers and broadcast trucks behind the launch site. Like magic, Bill Gates and Jay Leno played off each other perfectly. The broadcast came off without a hitch. Everything received thunderous applause, even from an audience jaded by nearly three years of waiting and hype. The Windows 95 Launch Event was a cross between a High-Tech Expo and a Carnival, with the inclusion of a playful “Midway Area” designed to let people simply have fun. It was here and, in the pavilions, where launch attendees experienced Windows95 and related products hands-on.
Judging by press coverage of the event and the kudos that flooded in about the “biggest consumer product launch in history,” success is an understatement.
Steve Balmer, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Sales and Support called the event:
“Fan – f—ing – tastic!… Everything was perfect, spot-on!”
Bill Gates himself was darn enthused:
“What a Show”
“What a set-up. It’s great. This whole thing is mind-blowing.”