Wow. Just, wow. Microsoft showed off a set of updates to its Windows Azure cloud computing platform in Norway this week, and to do so it employed a troupe of dancing girls for a high NRG song and dance routine, GeekWire reports. The video after the break has to be one of the most cringeworthy attempts at corporate entertainment ever seen.
Suffice to say, Microsoft issued a grovelling apology for what can only be termed a PR disaster.
As if dancing girls and cheesy techno music weren't bad enough, the song contained a number of drugs references and lewd lyrics, among them: "CSS is my LSD", and: "The words Micro and Soft don't apply to my penis." Seriously, who gave this the green light?
Last night Frank Shaw, lead corporate communications for Microsoft, tweeted: "This routine had vulgar language, was inappropriate and was just not ok. We apologize to our customers and partners."
Perhaps a little patronised, several of the attendees took to Twitter. One tweeted: "As a former #NDCOslo organizer I must say I don't stand behind that azure dance act. What were they thinking? It's not ironic, it's just bad."
"The dancing girls, hokey song, and marketing speak to MS's Azure announcement at #ndcoslo shows how much they misunderstand their audience", tweeted another. And another: "Wow #microsoft this music thing is probably the most embarrassing [thing] i've ever seen and heard."
It's not the first time Microsoft has brought out dancing girls at an event. Back at Mobile World Congress in February it sent out invites for ato show off its Windows Phone operating system. So this kind of thing is a seedy underside to the male-dominated world of tech.
But this one's on another level. By demeaning those taking part, and patronising the audience by assuming they'll find it entertaining, Microsoft has shown just how spectacularly out of touch it can be. Here's hoping it'll put the incident behind it and focus on making good products instead.
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