December 3, 2003

More Mush from Microsoft

"Great teams are forged over the
hot coals of adversity.
You have the new Microsoft Office System:
It's a Cinderella story."

Yes it is. In the morning you'll
wake up in the pumpkin and
still have to clean up after your

JEREMY WAGSTAFF'S Loose Wire in the Wall Street Journal tells you all you need to know about the 'new, improved and horribly bloated Microsoft Office 2003,

"Well, let me first walk you through the features for the average end-user. Microsoft has souped up the look and feel of most of the components, such as Word and Excel, and added significant features to some, such as the e-mail and personal information manager Outlook. PowerPoint (slides), Access (database) and Publisher (fancy greeting-card designer, low-grade Web-site designer) all get a facelift. That's it. That's your review. Basic cost: $400 or $500, depending on what components you want. "
Dumb software at a dumb price. So what else is new?

I could probably just let it all slide if it weren't for the desperate ad campaign that accompanies this latest effort from Microsoft to peddle software to IT departments of little skill and less insight.

If you watch television you can't avoid these insulting and degrading little video essays entitled, cynically enough, "Great Moments at Work." It would be more accurate and merciful to entitled them "Little Victories for Cube Slaves." Each one is cast and shot in such a way as to make your skin crawl if you spend your days in a white collar cube farm.

"In the face of insurmountable odds,
unlikely heroes are born.
Victory is yours
with the new Microsoft Office System."

Ah, how sweet it is! There's really nothing
like the triumph of pressing F9
on an Excel spreadsheet, is there?

Each smarmy little video features some hapless clone taking "data" and making "diamonds." Following this we are tortured with slo-mo moments of water being doused over the sad sack by other office sad sacks. In another, charts are being ripped from the wall and a befuddled but smiling member of the steno pool is being put through a Queen for a Nanosecond motif before being consigned back to obscurity.

If there was ever any series of ads tailormade to make people call in sick, this series does it in spades.

File under: Fire your ad agency, Microsoft, and get a life.

Posted by Vanderleun at December 3, 2003 4:59 PM
Bookmark and Share



"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

The future is at

Posted by: Clark Irwin at December 3, 2003 6:12 PM

I thought it was just me, but I couldn't see any relationship to reality in these ads. Why are they cutting the projector screen? Perhaps the software has driven them insane?

Posted by: Stephen Borchert at December 5, 2003 11:49 PM

I did a search on Google, combining "Great Moments at Work" (in quotes) with nauseating, irritating, and annoying. Nothing came up. So here goes: The "Great Moments at Work" TV spots are nauseating, irritating, and annoying! Let me say it again: The "Great Moments at Work" TV spots are nauseating, irritating, and annoying!

If Microsoft REALLY wants me to have "great moments at work," they'll build a time machine so I can go back and undo some really idiotic career moves I made. But then again, it'd probably perform an illegal operation and have to be shut down, leaving me stuck between dimensions somewhere.

Posted by: Dr. Dan at December 17, 2003 1:36 PM

Check out at the very end of the one with the guy sliding across the floor and see if you think he is copping a feel on the office babe. I hope they paid her a bundle to make those goofy faces at the beginning of the ad.

Posted by: The Big Dog at January 9, 2004 1:11 PM

I haven't seen Microsoft this excited since they chose the color for the blue screen of death.

Posted by: Rock at January 12, 2004 9:39 AM