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Christmas Gift Guide
Culture

Microsoft begs for unity in a divided world

Commentary: For its holiday ad, Redmond shows people who are making a difference in the world.

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


Is harmony possible?

Microsoft/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

There was a time when Microsoft merely begged Apple to be nice during the holidays.

Now, it's begging the whole world.

This year's holiday ad from Redmond is a collage of pain and hope. It features seven people who are at least trying to bring communities together, rather than divide them.

Yes, of course there's a product element. Each of these people is contributing to a drawing being created on Microsoft's Surface Studio.

But the issues being addressed here are both large and emotive. There's Florida police officer Bobby White, dubbed the "basketball cop," who says: "There's a damaged relationship between America's youth and the American police officer."

There's Jazz Jennings talking about the issue of transgender youth.

There's Zea Bowling, the 7-year-old who faced down an anti-gay preacher during a parade. There's Zianna Oliphant, the 9-year-old who spoke clearly about black rights in the wake of the shooting of Keith Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Some will see naked politics in this ad. They will see an agenda from a certain side and think it's not right.

But can a life driven by fear, friction and loathing ever be happy?

That, perhaps, is the question this ad asks most. It's a sentiment worth thinking about as the holidays come upon us and spread messages of happiness, while many people don't consider themselves happy at all.