With the number of missteps by Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) in recent years, including the blunder of Windows 8, the half-baked Surface RT/Pro tablets and the early PR disaster with the Xbox One, people are wondering where Microsoft is getting its ideas. A video from 2009 may have the answer.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer appears with Bill Gates, Microsoft’s founder and chairman, in a spoof video made in the style of the first “Austin Powers” film. Though it's four years old, the video has resurfaced and drawn a spate of comments reflecting its continuing relevance.
Ballmer appears in an outfit similar to Austin Powers' nemesis in the popular film series, Dr. Evil, spouting off about Microsoft’s “evil” plans:
“Ladies and gentlemen, I have a plan. Now if this global reinvention is to work, there might be a few competitors that are unfortunately eliminated.”
As Ballmer is talking, the camera cuts to a panel with four buttons labeled, “Messy but effective,” “Downright nasty,” “Lethal yet effective” and “Too ugly to mention.”
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After Ballmer concludes his mini monologue, he yells “Oopsie,” and presses a button, “collapsing” a high-rise complex in the process.
Gates then spins around in a swivel chair, dressed in an Austin Powers-like outfit, and utters the signature “Oh, behave,” line from the “Austin Powers” film before the scene cuts to a '70’s-style dance sequence.
While the video was clearly just a fun project between Ballmer and Gates when it was first produced and published, the recent comments below the spoof video serve as a stark reminder of public perception about Microsoft in recent years.
Some of the top comments include these gems:
“This explains Windows 8,” MadMaxGamer said.
“That’s Nokia HQ he just destroyed,” Travis R. said.
Take a look at the spoof video featuring Microsoft's Ballmer and Gates above.