Just When I Thought They Might Be “Getting It”…

I thought Microsoft had an unalloyed good thing in the leak of their Office-esque training videos, but then they had to go all Microsoft and get snippy about the leaks (so too, apparently, did Ricky Gervais). It’s unfortunate, really – like the Microsoft’s redesign of the iPod packaging, I thought the “training” videos showed Microsoft to be a company with a self-deprecating sense of humor and a willingness to have a bit of fun.
Oh well, I guess it’s back to stodgy old monopolistic megalithic behavior for the boys in Redmond.

2 Replies to “Just When I Thought They Might Be “Getting It”…”

  1. The video was made for Microsoft UK where I work (so Reading, not Redmond). Gervais He said that he could spend the rest of his life making training videos as David Brent, and didn’t want to do any. Rumour has it Microsoft paid a lot for this one (though only Gervais himself and one or two Microsoft people really know) and he made it an absolute condition that it was kept inside Microsoft.
    Most of us would have loved to have seen it go external but we were told no. I understood that the video itself was only on tape, and kept under lock and key.
    If the leak is traced, it will cost someone their job.
    It’s hardly suprising that the charge of “stodgy old monopolistic megalithic behavior” gets levelled at us. But when people give us ANYTHING on the understanding we keep it private, it has to stay private. The whole company has to do compulsary privacy training that explains what you must not do with other people’s intellectual property, customers’ details and the like, and this just makes us look untrustworthy. Given a choice between that and being a trusty but “stodgy old monopolistic megalith” I’ll take the latter.
    James O’Neill, Microsoft UK.

  2. James:
    Thanks for the comment. I was unaware of the full contractual issues at stake here – I think Gervais probably has a decent beef with the leakers.
    However, I think it’s a real opportunity missed by both Gervais and Microsoft. MS could have rolled with the punches and had a laugh about it externally while punishing the leakers internally. Instead, they overreacted and drew more attention to the case.

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