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It's funny.  Laugh. Microsoft

Through The Steve Ballmer Looking Glass 470

Class Act Dynamo writes "I was browsing for a video clip I saw the other day, and I came across this clip from 15 years ago of Steve Ballmer pitching windows 1.0 in a television commercial. All I can say is WOW. Apparently, there was a big demand for integrating "LOTUS 1-2-3 with Miami Vice." You'll understand when you see the clip." Let it not be said that Microsoft has no sense of humor.
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Through The Steve Ballmer Looking Glass

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  • It all fits... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ScytheBlade1 ( 772156 ) * <`scytheblade1' `at' `averageurl.com'> on Sunday January 23, 2005 @10:37PM (#11452053) Homepage Journal
    I believe I speak for everyone when I say..

    "That explains SO much."

    "All I can say is WOW." very...apt statment.

    "Apparently, there was a big demand for integrating 'LOTUS 1-2-3 with Miami Vice.'" no crap? I mean....whoa!

    "$500 dollars? $1000 dollars?" . . .

    You're right. I can no longer say that MS has no sense of humor.

    Oh how I wish that was a false statment...I mean, it even goes along with the new goatse [monkeymethods.org].
  • Actually, not really.
    • Weird that I saw this here on Slashdot today. I was just looking at it earlier today, when I was cleaning up some of my files, and chuckling to myself about it.

      The best part is when he mentions that it has a clock.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 23, 2005 @10:38PM (#11452062)
    Billy G will personally steal your idea AND take over your company!
  • Funny? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Saxton ( 34078 ) on Sunday January 23, 2005 @10:39PM (#11452066) Homepage
    Let it not be said that Microsoft has no sense of humor.

    But that's not funny! :-)

  • Old (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 23, 2005 @10:41PM (#11452081)
    I saw this, like, 15 years ago.
  • Okay, I guess a small firm might use a low budget format like this, but hadn't M$ already make good money from MS-DOS sales.

    /. will teach the eBaums webmaster not to post microsoft stuff.
    • Re:Is this real?? (Score:3, Informative)

      by ocelotbob ( 173602 )
      I've got my doubts as to the legitimacy of the video, however, this could have been made for the tradeshow circuit, instead of the television circuit. Trade shows have been known to have slightly off-kilter advertisements in there, such as parodies of TV commercials, and this would fit in fairly nicely.
  • 1.0? (Score:4, Funny)

    by StevenHenderson ( 806391 ) <stevehenderson@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Sunday January 23, 2005 @10:41PM (#11452091)
    Steve Ballmer pitching windows 1.0 in a television commercial

    Judging from the way my XP machine behaves, they still have yet to reach that 1.0 milestone... :)

    • Re:1.0? (Score:4, Funny)

      by ScytheBlade1 ( 772156 ) * <`scytheblade1' `at' `averageurl.com'> on Sunday January 23, 2005 @10:47PM (#11452149) Homepage Journal
      Funny thing about your comment. Please, review with me.

      A) This is slashdot, aka linuxfest.
      B) You just suggested that they have yet to hit their 1.0 milestone
      C) You say, and I quote, "from the way my XP machine"


      So. Is there any reason that you're using the pre-1.0 milestone? ;)
      • Plan on making the migration to Linux this week, actually! Recommendations for a n00b? I was thinking Suse...
        • Re:1.0? (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Seumas ( 6865 )
          I know this is completely off topic, but here is my suggestion: Debian.

          I know, it has a reputation of being one of the most difficult to install and administer, because of the "guru" factor. I don't think that's accurate. If you're inexperienced when it comes to computers, I would suggest something with a stronger grounding in point and click. If you're well-experienced, then you might be more comfortable with Debian.

          I grew up on DOS (except for my first experience, which was with a VIC-20 in 1984). I bar
    • Re:1.0? (Score:3, Funny)

      by Kenshin ( 43036 )
      Judging from the way my XP machine works, maybe you need to remember that CDs go in the drive SHINY side down.
    • Re:1.0? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by MaGGuN ( 630724 )
      What is that supposed to mean anyway?

      Seems like it got modded funny because it is negative towards microsoft and windows xp.

    • User error.
  • by Bs15 ( 762456 ) on Sunday January 23, 2005 @10:42PM (#11452095)
    According to this commercial, it was priced at $99, now if you want a vintage copy of M$ Windows 1.0, its $200+. Take a look on ebay.
  • by joel8x ( 324102 ) on Sunday January 23, 2005 @10:42PM (#11452098) Homepage
    I clicked on that wile browsing from my throne (laptops with wireless connections = the new newspaper folded under the arm) and essentially saved myself from pissing all over myself.

  • Am I the only one who can't hear the audio on this file? I've tried totem, xine and vlc, and nothing wants to play the audio...
  • by TheKingAdrock ( 834418 ) on Sunday January 23, 2005 @10:43PM (#11452108)
    There are at least a dozen of these videos floating around, some starring Bill & Steve together. They were made for the amusement of the employees and played at the yearly company meetings.
    • Careful what you record, it may come back to haunt you.

      I had a job where they just had to do a "Weakest Link" takeoff at all company meetings, just because they happened to have a female marketeer with a British accent. Made me dread the meetings. She was a lot more attractive than Anne Robinson, but her impersonation sucked.

    • by jd ( 1658 ) <imipak.yahoo@com> on Sunday January 23, 2005 @11:51PM (#11452557) Homepage Journal
      No, they were made in case the DoD or FBI needed to torture geeks.
  • ... look at their product linueup. :)
  • This is old news ... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 23, 2005 @10:44PM (#11452120)
    I saw this vid about ten years ago. Ballmer didn't make it for use on TV -- it was shown at an internal Microsoft sales-team meeting. You know -- pump 'em up. Monkeyboy could do well selling used cars, methinks. Just the sort of person who can take a mediocre systems-software company and turn them into a globe-trotting monopoly.
  • by racerxroot ( 786164 ) on Sunday January 23, 2005 @10:44PM (#11452121) Homepage
    The crazy talking head on the television asked me several times how much i thought it was worth. I kept saying "nothing" but he just kept talking. Crazy man. im scared.
  • by Faust7 ( 314817 ) on Sunday January 23, 2005 @10:44PM (#11452124) Homepage
    $99... same price as XP Home Edition I believe.

    Which also still has Reversi.
    • Actually WindowsXP only comes with "internet reversi" which only allows you to play multi-player. So no single player and no play at all without an internet connection.
  • Only old Koreans use Windows 1.0
  • Per usual, I've mirrored the video here [nuxx.net].

    Although, this really looks like a fake... I'm not sure why, but something doesn't sit right about the info at the end and the product ordering. Or maybe it's just me.

  • It's like the Oxy-clean, Billy Mays of Software.

    • billy mays is at least sorta convincing. ballmer makes you want to run away and hide. the video isn't even the slightest bit funny, it's just sad and pathetic.
  • My Eyes! (Score:2, Funny)

    by StarWreck ( 695075 )
    You fiends! After watching Balmer in this horrible commercial I was forced to push a 30 watt soldering iron through each of my corneas. I will never see again thanks to this slashdot article!!!
    • Re:My Eyes! (Score:3, Funny)

      by Corbie ( 685225 )
      And somehow, even without the use of your eyes, you made less spelling and grammar mistakes than the average slashdotter.
  • by digitalgimpus ( 468277 ) on Sunday January 23, 2005 @10:49PM (#11452169) Homepage
    It's good to see Microsoft did at least one appearance on TV without Windows Crashing.
  • by Wayne247 ( 183933 ) <slashdot@laurent.ca> on Sunday January 23, 2005 @10:50PM (#11452183) Homepage
    I don't get it.

    Slashdot posts a story with a link that goes (almost) directly to the file. And then it's 5 minutes later and the server happily crunches over a hundred kilobytes per second.

    Now either eBausmworld knows how to put up a content server, or slashdot just lost its edge.
  • Check the P.O. box for one thing: 286-DOS? Yeah, right. For another, Lotus 1-2-3 was a competing product, and wouldn't have been "included" with Windows at all. (In fact, the only programs included were MS-DOS Executive, Calendar, Cardfile, Notepad, Terminal, Calculator, Clock, Reversi, Control Panel, PIF (Program Information File) Editor, Print Spooler, Clipboard, RAMDrive, Windows Write, Windows Paint - some of which were featured.) The price is right, however, at $100 or so, but when Mr. Ballmer was
    • Since you live in nebraska you got the crappy version of windows. If you had lived anywhere else you would know that 1-2-3 was bundled. Guess you really missed out on the deal.

  • Why Nebraska?
  • Many years (Score:2, Informative)

    by northcat ( 827059 )
    The video had been on that site for many years. So now that some random guy came across the video, he puts it on slashdot and it makes it to the front page. What's the need? Slashdot is a *news* site.
  • Clip shown on TOTN (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chiph ( 523845 ) on Sunday January 23, 2005 @11:02PM (#11452259)
    The clip was included in Robert X. Cringely's Triumph of the Nerds series on PBS in 1996. It was as funny then as it is today.

    Chip H.
    • Triumph of the Nerds (Score:4, Informative)

      by Castaa ( 458419 ) * on Monday January 24, 2005 @12:06AM (#11452650) Homepage Journal
      If anyone hasn't seen Triumph of the Nerds by Cringely, I highly recommend seeing it. It's the best documentary about computing ever made. It offers a historic and insightful view of the people that created the personal computing industry. Cringely interviews everyone from Gates and Jobs to relative unknowns like the creator of the MITS Altair computer.

      What really makes it a great documentary is that it's as entertaining as it is interesting. Not an easy thing at all to do given the subject matter but Cringely pulls it off in spades.
      • Torrentspy.......... (Score:3, Informative)

        by afxgrin ( 208686 )
        Yep - It's currently up on Torrentspy.com.

        I don't know who posted it, but it's there - not too many seeds though.
      • What really makes it a great documentary is that it's as entertaining as it is interesting. Not an easy thing at all to do given the subject matter but Cringely pulls it off in spades.

        The only bad thing about is that there, IMHO, should be a chapter about "home computing", maybe alongside part 2 or as an additional notice. Now it only touches Apple I and II - but it really does not take note of the mad rush when *everyone* and his dog had their own home computer. Survivors were Commodore Vic-20 and C64, A
  • Newsworthy? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Fortress ( 763470 ) on Sunday January 23, 2005 @11:06PM (#11452287) Homepage

    I really fail to see how this is News for Nerds or Stuff that Matters. It's just as bad as Bill Gates in 1983 Teen Beat Magazine [slashdot.org].

    Editors, can we have a Childish Microsoft Bashing section so I can filter this crap from my frontpage?

    • Re:Newsworthy? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Simply remove the "Funny" category from the frontpage in your options. It seems you already removed it from your sense of humour.
  • From the website: To save the file above, right click and "save target as"

    If you happen to be using a browser that doesn't suck, you may need to right click and "save link as".

    Why does it always have to be about Microsoft?

  • ...I'll point you to where you can download an episode of "Geeks in Space."
  • Right now, just above these here posts, an animated flash Microsoft ad is playing, banging on about Windows' supposed lower Total Cost of Ownership, according to 7-11. What the hell is OSDN doing selling advertising to these jerks?! Inviting them right here into the enemy camp to peddle their propaganda?!

    Still, I suppose it *could* be worse. Imagine if every time you logged into slashdot you risked having a bug-eyed Steve Ballmer shouting at you (shudder). I think I'll keep the silent flash ads.
  • I wonder if MS [microsoft.com] would had more buyers if he did something like this [ntk.net]. ;)
  • If I recall correctly, Windows 1.0 was ASCII windows - not graphical. They didn't do the graphics until 2.0 and even this was a sort of "tag along" with other programs. You bought, say PageMaker for Windows and Windows was only launched as a wrapper around PageMaker.
  • by betelgeuse68 ( 230611 ) on Monday January 24, 2005 @12:27AM (#11452769)
    I was around in the 80's. It was my teens and it was in 1984 that I found computing as a hobby. Not too long after that, still in the 80's, I woundup doing work for a trader in one of Chicago's commodity markets and pretty much everyone and their mother used Lotus 1-2-3. Microsoft had "Multiplan" - their answer to Lotus 1-2-3 (the reigning spreadsheet of the day) but no one really cared.

    In fact, Microsoft's software lineup was incredibly diverse since it was a young company trying to put its hand into every market to shore the perception that they had a hand in anything and everything. Sort of like today except back then companies constituted real competition vs. today where you're practically assured of being roadkill if Microsoft sets its sites on you. There was "Microsoft LISP" (no, I'm not kidding; it was actually another company's product repackaged) and Microsoft even had software that worked on the Commodore 64 home computer. I mentioned Multiplan earlier, Microsoft's spreadsheet, well not only could you buy it for the IBM PC, check out this screenshot of their Commodore 64 version:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:C64_Multiplan .p ng

    Am I rueful? A little bit. Do I miss those days? Not a chance. What you can do today with a home computer vs. back then is night and day. In retrospect it is slightly surprising that things held my attention as they did. The Net, tons of free software (open source and otherwise), powerful desktop computers all were quite some time off. If you thought dialup today is bad, try operating on the common standard of the day, 1200 baud modems, as in 120 characters per second, as in, yes it took several seconds to fill an 80x25 text screen which most people had in the form of MS-DOS (forget GUI desktops, they weren't common place for quite some time to come).

    What I so miss however is the the sense that there were lots of great things happening. They're happening today, but the attitude back then was different. For example, you could realistically expect a company to try something "way out there." For example, I was aware of one Chicago trading company (again, commodities markets) had purchased LISP machines to see if it could come up with AI strategies to improve their trading systems:

    http://www.sts.tu-harburg.de/~r.f.moeller/symbol ic s-info/symbolics.html

    While open source is prevalent today in some circles, companies have moved to a situation where vendor support is an end all, be all when it comes to decision making. They can be risk averse to the point of self-detriment resulting in very staid environments at times. One example of this is the IT department for the state of Texas. A friend who works there told me once that unless some set of software came on the HP-UX CD, forget about using it. For him, this meant forgetting about PERL since it was not shipped on the HP-UX CDs (this was a few years ago). Even my situation today reflects this to a degree. I work at a very large financial institution and Apache is non-existent in our production systems. While internal Apache sites can readily be deployed to share infromation with coworkers Apache on customer facing servers is a no go.

    There just seemed to be more variety in what companies might try because the IT market hadn't settled down. While open source is great (something that I personally have great faith in), back then we did not have today's situation where IT like the automotive industry had just a handful of companies owning respective markets, a.k.a., consolidation. As a frame of reference around the turn of the 20th century there were 30+ automotive companies in the USA. By the 30's things had settled down to the "Big Three" that we've known internalized for quite some time. Today Lotus' 1-2-3 is just a memory as are Symbolics machine, the Commodore 64 and many, MANY other things.


    PS: Having said that, I have a pretty sweet desktop these days - a 64 bith Athlon system. The things I do today are pretty amazing in and of themselves... thanks to Moore's Law.
    • by seanadams.com ( 463190 ) * on Monday January 24, 2005 @03:30AM (#11453508) Homepage
      Do I miss those days? Not a chance. [...] If you thought dialup today is bad, try operating on the common standard of the day, 1200 baud modems, as in 120 characters per second, as in, yes it took several seconds to fill an 80x25 text screen which most people had in the form of MS-DOS (forget GUI desktops, they weren't common place for quite some time to come).

      Wow, technology must have been really boring for you back then.

      I remember thinking "HOLY CRAP a whole page a text sent across the country in less time than it takes to read it??? This is going to change everything!!!" and "wow it can draw stuff on the screen" and "wow it can make sounds" and "wow I can hook up a relay here and control the lights!".

      I'm glad you're finally content with the state of things.

      The rest of us are just as thrilled as ever and we're going to keep pushing ahead.
  • by fireman sam ( 662213 ) on Monday January 24, 2005 @12:35AM (#11452814) Homepage Journal
    ... That was the fscking funniest thing I have ever seen.

    The scary thing is that there are ads of the same quality on late night television that are flogging off refurbished PC's with "Pentium 2 power" for only $599. And they even include Windows 95 and a modem. (So you too can be part of a bot net).

    I recently picked up 5 Pentium 2 computers headed for the dump. I am thinking on upgrading my Pentium 166 gateway and servers. If anyone wants one I'll sell it for only $598.

  • by Skim123 ( 3322 ) <mitchell AT 4guysfromrolla DOT com> on Monday January 24, 2005 @01:21AM (#11453054) Homepage
    I believe that commerical has also been shown in the Microsoft Museum on Microsoft's campus. They have an old computer setup with Windows 1.0 that you can play with at their little museum. There are some nastolgic Windows 1.0 screenshots available, too [aci.com.pl].

    Anywho, I'm not surprised how the first feature they pimped was Lotus 1-2-3 support, as Lotus 1-2-3 was the "killer app" of the day. In fact, there are bugs in Excel that were put their purposely [asp.net] to allow for true Lotus 1-2-3 integration.

Were there fewer fools, knaves would starve. - Anonymous