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Culture

Microsoft tries to make peace with Apple

Technically Incorrect: In a new holiday ad, Microsoft takes the idea of peace and goodwill to all men a long way.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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Let there be peace between Microsoft and Apple? How noble.

Microsoft/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Christmas sentiments can sometimes be so empty.

We wish each other a merry this and a happy that while caring not at all if the this and that are miserable as sin.

Then there's this utter delight offered by Microsoft.

It's a holiday ad published Tuesday in which representatives of the Redmond, Washington, tech giant sing about peace and goodwill. They even appear to mean it.

To prove just how much they mean it, they're singing outside Apple's iconic Fifth Avenue store in New York.

In the ad, Microsoft explains that its employees wanted to "deliver a special message to some old friends."

So they marched down the road, together with a local children's choir, and sang about letting there be peace on Earth and "let it begin with me."

In some ways, this is what has happened.

Ever since Satya Nadella became Microsoft's CEO, he's opened the company to an understanding that people are using many devices (the Apple variety, for example), so Microsoft needs to make it easy for its software to be used on all of them.

Things haven't been entirely reciprocal. Last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook described Microsoft's Surface as "diluted." (Initial reports had suggested he'd said "deluded, but Apple insisted this wasn't the case.)

Surely, though, even Apple will be moved by this proactive, festive, beautiful and human gesture on the part of Microsoft's employees. Its new store is but a snowball throw down Fifth Avenue.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Perhaps it's still writing its own song in response. However, during the ad Apple employees are outside and enjoying the festive spirit.

The ad ends with the idea that we should "spread harmony." For myself, I think Microsoft has spread more than that in this instance, with an ad that's a little more clever and sincere than Apple's slightly saccharine effort.

Microsoft has cheekily turned the other cheek and offered a poignantly appropriate message for the world.