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Office 2000 a little too user-friendly?

By Tatarigami in Technology
Thu Apr 19, 2001 at 11:10:41 AM EST
Tags: Humour (all tags)
Humour

While I was walking to work today, I had the opportunity to read the posters for Microsoft's latest campaign promoting Office 2000. The posters show a couple stripping for sex and have the slogan "Experience the same thrill without the risk".


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That's just mind-blowing. (The ad campaign, not the sex.) Microsoft is trying to tell potential customers that using Office 2000 is like fucking, only there's less chance of catching a virus, har-de-har-har.

Have Microsoft's marketing team been spending too many late nights in unventilated offices? How do you equate typing up a business letter in Word 2k to sex? What do Powerpoint presentations have to do with a roll in the hay? How do Excel spreadsheets relate to T&A? I admit I used to make those old jokes about subtracting clothes and dividing legs during maths classes, but heck -- I was eleven years old. It was funny back then.

I get the impression MS really doesn't know how to reach the home user.

But... what if it's true? This could have serious and personal implications -- I use Outlook 2000. We're an outsourced helpdesk and my computer at work is the server for the email helpdesk, so the client decided we need Outlook's filtering ability. And I don't have a private office. After the incredulous looks die down, I think this is going to be cause of intra-office discord. I'm the only one with an Office 2000 application. Everyone else has 97, and I don't remember reading anything that product line giving users orgasms.

We may have to set up a rostering system for my computer, because I don't think management would be willing to pay for extra licences -- except maybe for themselves.

There are wider implications to be considered, too -- like how this is going to affect the reception staff's productivity. I believe they have a full range of Office 2000 apps. I hope they can handle the over-stimulation. They're a fairly shady bunch, too. I could easily imagine them charging floor staff $20 a pop to type up their own outgoing letters...

This is definitely going to affect the way people feel about office work.

And there's an even more alarming possibility that we haven't looked at yet. MS say sex with your Office 2000 suite of programs is safer than sex with another human being, but what if they're wrong? I mean, security isn't exactly their forte, is it? You can get hacker insurance in the States, but it costs you 25% more if you're running Windows NT. What if you can get a virus? What if it's one you, as an organic being, never would have had to worry about in the past?

Can I catch the Love Letter virus just by getting a little too friendly with my software through the course of a normal work day? Could I catch Anna.Kornikova? What about KaKWorm? I can just imagine sitting shame-faced in the doctor's office, admitting that I spontaneously reboot twice a day. And my doctor's a woman, that would just make it worse.

Maybe I should do the sensible thing and go back to using Pegasus Mail. It's not nearly as friendly, but I'd feel more comfortable keeping this relationship on a professional level.

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Office 2000 a little too user-friendly? | 18 comments (15 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
Anyone else see this? (4.50 / 4) (#1)
by skim123 on Wed Apr 18, 2001 at 07:10:24 PM EST

Haven't seen that ad myself... any chance you could take a picture of it, or is there on-line pictures somewhere? Not doubting you, of course, just curious to see this ad which roused such feelings in you. :-)

Sorta like being gay: you're walking around, you know something's up, you just don't know what it is yet.


nah.. (4.75 / 8) (#2)
by rebelcool on Wed Apr 18, 2001 at 07:17:34 PM EST

nobody did it for me like ole' clippy could. My god could that paperclip make me scream.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

"Adult" assistants? (3.33 / 3) (#16)
by SnowDogAPB on Fri Apr 20, 2001 at 08:24:02 AM EST

Maybe MS could distribute an adult entertainment package ... kind of like Microsoft Windows Plus (Adult) ... Windows XXX? Windows NC-17?

Anyway, the obvious tie-in would be "mature" office assistants. Come on, this would be great! Why talk to a paper clip when you can have "Buzzy" the talking vibrator? Can't you just see its cute little animations now?


[ Parent ]
Perhaps the ad worked? (4.54 / 11) (#3)
by momocrome on Wed Apr 18, 2001 at 07:52:32 PM EST

It is clear that this ad has excited you to the point of ranting about it. I notice that in your diatribe, you make explicit mention of the product 'Office 2000' exactly six times, and mention components of the suite and/or the name of the manufacturer another six times at least...

It strikes me that this ad campaign has been a whopping success, at least in your case. The fact that you have been driven to propogate the info to k5 speaks volumes in favor of the skillfulness and talent of the advertising executive responsible.

This is why I voted your submission +1 to section.

"Give a wide berth to all that foam and spray." - - Lucian, The Way to Write History
They caught me (none / 0) (#4)
by Tatarigami on Wed Apr 18, 2001 at 08:12:42 PM EST

Well dammit, I thought I'd beaten the system.

:o)

If this is what they were aiming for, I hope propogation was their only goal. After working with Outlook this long, I'm not at all impressed with her -- uh, I mean its -- performance.

I pass by that same wall every day and usually don't give any of the posters a second glance unless they're advertising a concert or a movie I'm interested in. This time I was struck by what seemed like unbelievable surreal stupidity on the part of whoever came up with the campaign. I couldn't get it out of my head for the next half hour.

But I won't be buying.


[ Parent ]
Damn, it worked on me, too. (3.00 / 1) (#15)
by roystgnr on Fri Apr 20, 2001 at 03:29:26 AM EST

I mean, Microsoft sells an office suite? With a bunch of officy-type software, that works in the office, and stuff? I never realized that before, but now thanks to their sex ad I'll never be able to forget it!

If Microsoft's major problem was a lack of brand recognition, then this could be an enormously successful ad. However, I suspect that Microsoft's current problems stem from too much and too accurate brand recognition... An advertisement that makes people think, "Yeah, that Microsoft software will protect me from viruses and... wait, that doesn't make sense!" isn't going to help much.

[ Parent ]

A Suggestion (2.33 / 3) (#5)
by michaela on Wed Apr 18, 2001 at 08:33:44 PM EST

Get the powers that be to spring for a machine running Linux/FreeBSD/OpenBSD, fetchmail, procmail, sendmail/qmail, and an IMAP daemon. Use procmail to filter the snot out of stuff and the help desk users can continue using Outlook 97, Outlook 2000.

Better yet, abolish outlook and make them all use Pine/Elm/Mutt. It's better for their health anyways.
--
That is all

OSS email clients (none / 0) (#11)
by Tatarigami on Thu Apr 19, 2001 at 05:30:56 PM EST

Nice idea, but I can't see it happening. Incoming email tends to ebb and flow quite a bit -- yesterday we had 1200 messages, the day before 350. Provided our call volume is low enough, I can pull people off the call centre floor to help out. Outlook Express is our internal mail client, so casual staff can pick up the job with minimal training.

The idea of switching everyone over to Linux boxen is aesthetically pleasing -- but impractical. Helpdesk call centres are the McDonalds jobs of the IT industry. Sometimes it seems like the only requirement our HR department have when hiring is that the applicant must have seen a browser at some point in his life. In a movie is acceptable.

Getting management to okay cross-training for a workforce whose average length of employment is nine months would be challenging, to say the least!


[ Parent ]
It was only a matter of time (5.00 / 2) (#6)
by spacejack on Wed Apr 18, 2001 at 09:38:12 PM EST

They do it for just about every other product. Heck, I bet it was the creative director at the ad agency responsible for Microsoft -- all his buddies are always on set doing shoots with half-naked models for beer, cars, cel phones, shampoo, travel.. why should they get all the fun?

Brilliant! (1.00 / 2) (#7)
by MoxFulder on Thu Apr 19, 2001 at 01:01:40 AM EST

Wow, props to Tatarigami! I haven't seen too many articles on K5 lately that combine great humor with great information ...

You should try and publish this in a Linux/*BSD/OpenSource magazine!

"If good things lasted forever, would we realize how special they are?"
--Calvin and Hobbes


Take 2 (4.66 / 3) (#12)
by Tatarigami on Thu Apr 19, 2001 at 06:32:36 PM EST

Oh, but the story doesn't end there. I was talking with a friend earlier, and mentioned yesterdays' boggling Office 2000 poster. He's seen it already, and was able to let me know about another ad, seemingly exclusive to a university magazine. This one features the slogan "Don't rush into it", and has a picture of a young couple doing exactly that.

Well, what a gratifying turnaround. I'm interpreting this to mean Microsoft have rethought their earlier position and come out to admit, in an oblique way, that a relationship with your Office programs isn't 100% risk free.

You shouldn't be afraid to bring up the topic of protection. Remember, if Office really cares about you, it'll understand your concerns. And if you need further advice, you can speak to your IT department confidentially.

One thing you need to keep in mind is that even if you have a monogamous relationship with Office, you have to consider the users it's been with before. Remember, sleeping with Office is like sleeping with the entire network -- including the server admin. And if that doesn't scare you celibate, I don't know what will.

You may feel uncomfortable broaching this subject. While discussion is by far the best approach to take, you also have the option of opening items from the previous documents list and looking for a department file ID and date. However, be prepared for unpleasant surprises if you take this route -- you may discover you're not the only user in Office' life. Don't do anything stupid.

And don't listen to anything Microsoft Works tells you. That little slut's been trying to get into your shared drive space for years.

:o)


[ Parent ]
Sure... go for the easy OSs (3.00 / 4) (#9)
by unstable on Thu Apr 19, 2001 at 08:59:08 AM EST

if thats what you want....

I prefer the *nixes...

yeah, you must gain their trust, caress them *just* right, know how to talk to them, and it takes a whole lot more time... but for me at least.. the payoff is oh so much better.





Reverend Unstable
all praise the almighty Bob
and be filled with slack

Like beer, Microsoft sells a label. (none / 0) (#14)
by delfstrom on Thu Apr 19, 2001 at 09:32:26 PM EST

Besides, 'Just Do It' was already taken.

Messy keyboards (4.00 / 1) (#17)
by JonesBoy on Fri Apr 20, 2001 at 01:49:02 PM EST

Do you know if this comes with a replacable ultra-thin keyboard skin? One that is thin enough to maintain that special feeling between by fingers and the keys???

As a help desk professional, I too aspire to experience the thrill of typing into Word2000 with my MS Natural keyboard, but I dread the added calls for keyboard cleanings I am sure to encounter from those exec's whose offices have doors.




Speeding never killed anyone. Stopping did.
Microsoft Advertising... (none / 0) (#18)
by WWWWolf on Fri Apr 20, 2001 at 04:30:47 PM EST

The folks at sfnet.atk.sodat newsgroup had a good comment about Microsoft TV commercial (for Win2K, I believe):

...An old tractor drives forward until it hits the wall of a rotten shed and gets stuck...

Yeah, that describes Win2K pretty accurately, but that wasn't Microsoft's point, now was it? I don't know, would you happen to know?

Okay, if Microsoft gets split by the Powers That Be, could they move advertising to a company of its own? I guess there's market for "commercials no one really gets" out there in the advertising world...

-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...


Office 2000 a little too user-friendly? | 18 comments (15 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
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