You set the stage after months, if not years of hard work. It's time to inform your corporate friends and distinguished members of the media to come to Los Angeles at a moment's notice, and tell them only at the last minute exactly where to go.
Everything is shrouded in the utmost secrecy. Only a handful of people know internally what the company has up its sleeve.
Announced: the Surface tablet. Revealed on June 18, it would change the landscape of tablet computing for decades, and rival the market dominance of Apple's iPad.
Then this happens. (Warning: It's utterly cringeworthy.)
Granted, Windows president Steven Sinofsky handles it well, despite a vague sound of panic in his voice as he frantically and repeatedly pushes the Windows 'home' button.
But just over one minute of awkwardness in 2012 sends the company back fifteen years to the inaugural demonstration of Windows 98 and "that crash" that caused the crowd to erupt in hysterics. The Surface-crash video has been viewed more than two million times as of this morning.
To turn a phrase by Microsoft founder Bill Gates: maybe that's why the company hasn't announced a shipping date for Surface yet?
This item first appeared on ZDNet's Between the Lines blog under the headline "Going viral: Millions watch Microsoft Surface crash during debut."