The people at Microsoft decided to have some fun at the recent Norwegian Developers Conference. We all are aware of jokes about “computer geeks”, and this was the target of a dance routine Microsoft produced for those in attendance. The lyrics included the word “penis”, and that sent a lot of people into the blogosphere atmosphere demanding an apology. This was a private meeting for invitees and was not for public consumption. Yet Microsoft falls victim here to technology they helped create, the infamous “cell phone cameras are everywhere”. This is an example of no matter what you say or where you say it, it can become viral in a matter of seconds. If you’re OK with using such language and having you or your company connected with it, that is your choice. And to a lot of people, even some of those in attendance, the joke was funny. But not everyone will get or want to get your humor and will be offended even if they had nothing to do with the appearance or event. My adivce is simply to be prepared for any backlash and, if you so desire, be ready to address it immediately.
Video: Raunchy dance routine a PR nightmare for Microsoft
Microsoft announced a significant set of updates to its Windows Azure cloud computing platform this week … and this is how somebody in Norway decided to celebrate, apparently.
A techno-dance routine that preceded Microsoft’s Windows Azure presentation at the Norwegian Developers Conference this week featured a group of women jumping around on stage to a song that included several drug references and this line: “The words MICRO and SOFT don’t apply to my penis.”
In a strange effort to be inclusive, a monitor displaying the lyrics added, “or vagina.”
The “dancing Azure girls” routine is already drawing widespread criticism on Twitter, and multiple videos are making the rounds on YouTube. The Windows Azure logo can be seen projected above the dancers in one of them.
The official Windows Azure channel posted this comment on two YouTube videos of the event:
“This week’s Norwegian Developer’s Conference included a skit that involved inappropriate and offensive elements and vulgar language. We apologize to our customers and our partners and are actively looking into the matter.”
It’s not unprecedented for regional subsidiaries to embarrass their parent companies, but this is pretty extreme. It would be a huge surprise if anyone at Microsoft HQ in Redmond signed off on this. We’ve asked a Microsoft representative for more information, and we’ll let you know what we find out.