With the Windows 7 launch looming, Microsoft is sponsoring Fox's upcoming "Family Guy" comedy special in an apparent bid to market Windows 7 to viewers in a way that's unconventional and creative.

The astonishingly irreverent Family Guy show often pokes fun at Microsoft, and Bill Gates and the Zune have been targets in the past. But while Family Guy's raucous content might seem a bit outside of Microsoft's typical marketing purview, Microsoft seems to think that the right kind of edgily-crafted Windows 7-related marketing content will resonate with the show's audience.

The Family Guy special, which airs Nov. 8, will be shown commercial-free without any breaks or network promotions, and will instead "feature unique Windows 7-branded programming that blends seamlessly with show content," according to Microsoft. The show will celebrate the work of Seth MacFarlane, creator of "Family Guy," "American Dad" and "The Cleveland Show," and also stars MacFarlane's "Family Guy" co-star, Alex Borstein.

Full story: CRN