Microsoft has apologised for a performance at its Norwegian developers conference that it now says “involved inappropriate and offensive elements and vulgar language”.
The performance (mildly NSFW video here, controversial bits at about 1:10) includes a line that despite Microsoft’s titter-worthy corporate name, attendees’ genitals are not in fact small or flaccid.
Indeed, the musical and dance performance instead insists that the programmers in attendance are so hard that:
We’re here 2 talk software We’re here 2 talk bugs 2nite we’re gonna party Coding is our drug
Since being posted to YouTube and becoming the subject of disapproving Tweets from attendees, the performance has generated a textbook viral “outrage”, after first being spotted by Geekwire. Microsoft has since tried to hose it all down with an apology that says:
This week’s Norwegian Developer’s Conference included a skit that involved inappropriate and offensive elements and vulgar language. We apologize to our customers and our partners and are actively looking into the matter.
There’s no word if an apology is on the way to the rest of us. One certainly seems due: substituting numerals for words was a crime against good taste (we’re looking at you, 2LiveCrew) in the mid-80’s, while suggesting XML is coders’ “XTC” is a monstrous assertion that normalises both metadata and drug use and cannot, therefore, be good for children. Developers worldwide are also right to take offence at the lack of career aspirations and/or serfdom implied in the performance's line that “I’m a software developer … 4 the rest of my life.”
Readers can take comfort in the fact that there is, just maybe, a winner from this sordid affair. We suggest that victor could be VMware, as the company has moved its European VMworld from Copenhagen to Barcelona, thereby reducing the chances of further Scandinavian conference gaffes such as the one that recently befell Dell when a presenter made sexist remarks at a partner shindig. ®