Microsoft taps the 'Family Guy' to sell Windows 7

Software maker to announce partnership with Fox that will see the new operating system take center stage during a comedy show led by the animated series' voices.

Microsoft on Tuesday plans to announce a deal with News Corp.'s Fox that will see Microsoft sponsoring a TV show that will merge a pitch for Windows 7 with the comedic stylings of "Family Guy" voices Seth MacFarlane and Alex Borstein.

The show, dubbed "Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show," will air Sunday, November 8, at 8:30 p.m. (ET and PT). There won't be any commercial breaks; just Windows 7 built into the story line.


In a statement, Microsoft and Fox said they hope to "bring the old 'Texaco Star Theater'-style sponsorships into the 21st century." MacFarlane, creator and primary voice of "Family Guy," and Borstein, voice of the series' Lois character, teamed with the folks from Microsoft, as well as Redmond's ad agencies--Universal McCann, and Crispin, Porter & Bogusky, to create the show.

"While the way people watch TV has evolved, their desire to be entertained, and marketers' need to deliver compelling content, hasn't changed," the companies said. "Microsoft and Fox are joining forces to showcase how the power and simplicity of Windows 7 can enhance the content Fox viewers enjoy most, whether it's comedy, drama, sports, or reality programming on TV or on the Web."

Microsoft and Fox also plan to put on a 12-week college tour allowing students to try Windows 7 and tying in outdoor-movie nights hosted by the Stewie and Brian characters of "Family Guy."

Financial details of Microsoft-Fox partnership were not disclosed. Interestingly, Google had a deal with MacFarlane a while ago.

Windows 7 is set for its big launch next week in New York, and CNET News will be on the ground with plenty of coverage of all the festivities.

About the author

    During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.


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