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Microsoft paints politically beautiful world for the holidays

Commentary: Redmond's ad for Christmas is warm, cuddly and celebrates, of all things, Microsoft Paint. It also has a serious political message.

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


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Out in space, they're going to love us.

Microsoft/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Let's reach for the symbolism in Microsoft's new ad for the holidays.

Earlier this year, there were worries that Microsoft Paint, a program beloved by so many, would disappear and die.

But then Microsoft said it would be replaced by Paint 3D and also be available in the Windows Store for free.

It's just like the world, isn't it? 

Every day we wake up, open Twitter and think it's going to be the end. Somehow, though, we survive. Somehow, life even takes on an extra dimension.

Here, then, Microsoft offers us a young girl and some lovely Paint 3D monsters, including Gabe the Yeti.

Because when you're a young girl, you really need to be transported into a magical outer space, away from the traumas of daily life.

Out there, everyone is a friend. 

It doesn't matter if your face is purple and you have quite a few eyes that point in different directions. It doesn't matter if you're a downtrodden snowperson, or if you're temporarily legless. 

There are actually people out there -- sometimes far out there -- who are prepared to help. 

As Microsoft itself says on YouTube: "When we are inclusive and celebrate our differences we can make the world a better place."

Yes, this might be a delightful, festive, joyous, warm and moving little piece.

It's also a message to all those who would isolate America, divide Americans and curb immigration, all issues against which Microsoft has fought

Still, the ad also offers an optimistic view of the future. 

If, as Stephen Hawking contends, we'll have to leave Earth within 100 years, it's good to know that there are beings out in space who will receive us with open arms.