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Microsoft team's Phoenix fails to rise

The Project Phoenix glider built by eight members of the Windows team crashed just after launch. Insert your Windows jokes here.

A Windows machine crashing just after launch wouldn't ordinarily be a news story, but in this case the machine was actually Redmond's entry in a glider contest.

Project Phoenix, created by eight members of Microsoft's Windows team, was one of about 35 human-powered flying devices entered in this past weekend's Red Bull Flugtag event in Long Beach, Calif.

Unfortunately for Project Phoenix, the glider only made it a few feet past the pier from which it was being launched.

Ben Rudolph, a blogger on the Windows team and a pusher of the glider said that the wings appeared sound, but perhaps the balance was off. "We need to review the footage."

Luckily (or unluckily as the case may be), a spectator managed to catch the short flight (and much longer intro dance set to Windows sound-infused techno.)

The dance number used some sounds from Windows 7 as well as the boot up and shutdown sounds from Windows XP. That, Rudolph said, helped get the crowd.

"It really associated what we were doing with Microsoft," Rudolph said.

Rudolph was back at work Monday, if still a little sore from the short flight. "I feel like I just played a rugby game," he said.

Rudolph said that the team is looking forward to its next adventure, whether in the next Flugtag or some other event.

Well, the old joke goes that it takes Microsoft three versions to get it right, so perhaps the team still has a future in gliders.