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Microsoft embraces Skype video singing praises of the MacBook

To celebrate the world's first digital orchestra staying in sync with Skype, Microsoft features a video showing an array of MacBooks. A new Redmond?

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Does it matter that Microsoft likes a video showing MacBooks in action? Microsoft/Facebook screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Reinventing yourself can involve a touch of contortion.

In order to appear different, you might have to stomp on one or two of your former (or even current) opinions.

And so it is that Microsoft, now under Satya Nadella's modernistic baton, is spreading its wings beyond its former splendid isolation.

An example of this is -- well, might be -- a video that Microsoft ran yesterday on its Facebook page. The video celebrates the world's first digital orchestra, which manages to achieve harmony thanks to the beauty of Skype.

The picture in the video shows a number of Surfaces on chairs, as if they were members of an orchestra. Wait, this just in: the picture shows a number of MacBooks on chairs, as if they were members of an orchestra.


You must decide whether this was deliberate or an oversight. You must decide whether the new, more open, cuddly Microsoft is embracing the world's computing realities as it computes how to make money out of them.

Some on Microsoft's Facebook page have already reached their decisions.

Tommy Back Pedersen commented, somewhat intemperately: "A Microsoft video, but you choose to only use Apple products. What are you, morons? Why WOULDN'T you use your own products? Details people, details. This video has better PR value for Apple than it does for Skype or Microsoft in general."

Others found different reasons to be critical. Fred Deng, for example, sniffed: "Um....... Why? And why are they MacBooks? Use ... iPhones and iPads! They are cheaper! And better then PCs and Surface. (which is a failure, unfortunately)."

In the interests of harmony, I reached out to Microsoft to ask how the company feels about the use of MacBooks in this video. Microsoft educated me to say that this was no ad, but a video created in the real world by real people that gave the software giant no small amount of inspiration.

In a blog post, Skype explained that this digital orchestra featured 11 of the New York City's more celebrated subway performers. The project was entitled "Signal Strength."

Of late, Microsoft has enjoyed comparing its products to Apple's in a series of ads. For example, one even suggested that Macs aren't helpful if you are planning a wedding.

Here, though, Redmond is confident enough to allow a vision of MacBooks in order to feature another of its brands. A signal of detente, perhaps?

Clarification, 2:46 p.m. PT: This story originally mischaracterized the nature of the video. Microsoft said it was promoting a video created by people outside the company.