Who are these models and what have they done with Steve Ballmer?

Microsoft threw a party in New York to commemorate the launch of its new Office Live Workspace software. But this reporter would surmise that half the guest list might never have heard of Microsoft.

Hotties? Definitely. But I wonder what they would've said if I'd asked them if they know who Steve Ballmer is. Caroline McCarthy/CNET News.com

This post was updated at 4:50 AM PT on March 4 with comment from a Microsoft representative.

NEW YORK--So, on Monday night, Microsoft threw a party for its brand new Office Live Workspace, also known as Redmond's answer to Google Apps. Held at the Twelve21 nightclub in Manhattan's Flatiron District, the guests of honor at the event were Doug Ellin, creator and executive producer of the HBO series Entourage, as well as executive producer Rob Weiss and star Jeremy Piven (you know, "Ari").

I'm always down for a good time with software geeks, so I rolled in hoping to find some people willing to talk about whether Office Live Workspace really is a formidable answer to the Google Docs that I've found myself using pretty frequently. Instead, I walked in to find that the open-bar party was full of models. You know, the sort you'd see at Fashion Week, not a Microsoft party. And aside from my esteemed colleague Natali Del Conte of CNET TV, the only two people I recognized there were Pop17 video host Sarah Meyers and CrunchGear blogger (and local tech party staple) Nicholas Deleon.

Yes, there's an Office Live Workspace logo, but let's face it, everyone was interested in the free drinks instead. Caroline McCarthy/CNET News.com

Logos for the new Web-based software were everywhere, but the hotties in attendance didn't seem to care, making a couple of us bloggers wonder if maybe they'd been hired to show up and look good. A half dozen computers set up with demos of the Office Live Workspace beta were ignored, for the most part. Jeremy Piven, meanwhile, remained squarely in the VIP section. It was certainly a party, but it definitely wasn't much of a launch party.

A Microsoft representative provided me with an explanation via e-mail. "This was a party that included users of Office Live Workspace from the limited beta program, some press and analysts as well as guests of Jeremy, Doug and Rob," the e-mail read. "Not a typical Microsoft event, but major milestone for the product and we did want to celebrate it."

Oh, well--thanks for the invite and the free Stella Artois, Microsoft. I had a decent time, and I know you guys in Redmond like to put on a big spectacle, but seriously it's O.K. to invite nerds to parties. We're very social, honestly.

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