December 2, 2020

iLoo: Joke, Blunder, or Both?

Business Week reports on the saga of iLoo, the Internet-enabled portable toilet announced last week by a British subsidiary of Microsoft. Microsoft is now claiming that this was just an April Fools’ joke, despite a body of evidence to the contrary.

The ordinary custom is to announce April Fools’ jokes on April 1. This one was announced on May 2. I know missed deadlines are a way of life in the software industry, but this is ridiculous.

You really should read the whole article. But if you can’t, here’s the end:

[An MSN UK spokesman] said that MSN UK, however, has engaged in pranks before. He noted that the group once announced that it had wired up a park bench for Internet access. He then corrected himself, stating that the bench, in fact, was a real demonstration.