Microsoft Steve Ballmer eliminates the competition
Microsoft CEO Ballmer mulls options for dealing with competitors in the video spoof. YouTube/James Etue

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.”

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.