FC Barcelona avoids the very appearance of endorsing Microsoft products

The soccer team toured Microsoft's Redmond campus, but wouldn't be caught on film using its products. Can you blame it?

FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona, arguably the world's best football (soccer) team (after Arsenal, anyway), toured Microsoft's Redmond campus on Tuesday during its trip to play an exhibition game against the Seattle Sounders.

It's perhaps not surprising that the football giant, known for its style and verve, would refuse to be caught on film using Microsoft's products, as reported by TechFlash.

Actually, that's not quite the way it played out. As Microsoft spokesman Lou Gellos told TechFlash, FC Barcelona was simply worried about "creating the impression that they endorsed [Project Natal]," Microsoft's super-cool motion-activated game controller that targets Nintendo's Wii. That said, TechFlash did sneak a shot of the team playing with Microsoft's Surface product.

However, it's also the case that FC Barcelona runs a fair amount of open source. Last time I checked two years ago, during a trip to the Camp Nou (when Openbravo CEO Manel Sarasa got me into the president's box), FC Barcelona was running OpenCMS for its Web site and a range of other open-source software for content management and other needs.

Perhaps FC Barcelona would have happily done a photo op with the Linux penguin, but just couldn't bear to affiliate with Clippy?

I'm just kidding, obviously, but I still think Microsoft is a better fit for Chelsea: overwhelming monetary muscle with little style to show for it. Barcelona is more like Apple, with open-source applications (Adium, Handbrake, etc.) running on OS X to marry substance with style.

Follow me on Twitter @mjasay.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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