Hey Ballmer! Why yank the leaked videos ?

Okay, here’s the deal: In 2003, Ricky Gervais (The Office) and Stephen Merchant (his writing partner) made some hysterical training films for Microsoft for a tidy sum. The fee is rumored to be in the  six-figure range, and it was on the condition the films were never made public.

They popped up on You Tube this month. I saw them before they were yanked, and the were very very funny. Fans of The Office will find them  hysterical.

The latest rumor is that Microsoft has "started an investigation after two supposedly private training videos made for the software company by the comedian appeared on the internet."

This raises the question of just why these two hilarious Faux Training videos were yanked from You Tube in the first place. You cannot blame Microsoft for the content, which is mild compared with even Comedy Central, (forget HBO). And the gentle insults to Bill Gates?  They are so soft-handed, it couldn’t be that.

You would think Mister Softee would be more PR savvy by now . . .

As of this morning, you could still catch them on Google
Video (parts one and two). Better hurry, cause they will be gone by Monday . . .

Faux Trainging Video Part I

Faux Trainging Video Part II

YouTube reveals ‘what not to do’ at Microsoft
Aug 25, 2006

David Brent’s top tech tips
Matt Loney

Brent’s secret Microsoft Office
Fran Yeoman
The Times, August 24, 2006

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. AJ commented on Aug 26

    May be this goes toward explaining why Microsoft can’t get Vista out the door?

  2. NathanB commented on Aug 26

    The actors probably did the videos on the condition that they never be shown outside of MS training. Microsoft might have some liability there. Kind of like how major movie stars do commercials in Japan.

  3. Alex commented on Aug 26

    Ridiculous. I actually thought MSoft did this accidentally on purpose to get some buzz going. But no, they are still the confused, Gotta Control Everything, company that has nearly driven them to irrelevance.

    These moments are very instructive. Does this show us a company that is nimble, and knows how to handle information? Or does it show us a company that has no idea how an information economy really works?

  4. camille roy commented on Aug 27

    Whatever about the company, the videos are hilarious!

Posted Under