Imagine you're a proud Microsoft partner and you've been saving hard to attend WPC. You're proud of your company and its prowess as a leading light in your region's Microsoft channel. One such chap was handpicked by Microsoft to appear on one of the many live interviews broadcast to the audience before a keynote and demonstrate how he is using one of the many OEM devices being built for Windows 8.
The interviewer introduced him, built up his company and the camera cut to the waiting reseller to demonstrate a Lenovo ultrabook. The audience watched with bated breath... but the reseller couldn't open the device. He fumbled, and swore, and fumbled some more. "I've never had this problem with the darn thing before", he said.
A line I've sadly had to use many times myself. I felt his pain, dear reader.
Some of the execs giving keynotes may have felt a little narked when people burst into spontaneous laughter during their serious announcements - mainly in the press gallery, I have to say. But the subtitles blown up on screen to accompany the keynotes were a little off the wall; obviously a fully qualified stenographer was a little beyond the budget. But, who hasn't wanted to make a trip to "New Zehand"? And we all know what "birth capants" are, right? And "cust cuffs"? And "parent parts"?
Actually, if you don't know about the ins and outs of cust cuffs, I wouldn't recommended Googling it. Not if you don't want your HR department to come down on you like a ton of bricks.
Taking the mic
Poor Steve Ballmer. If he isn't sweating profusely, shouting "developers, developers, developers" and dancing about a stage in his unique way, something else is bound to happen to him. He was settling down at the Air Canada stadium in Toronto on day one of WPC for a nice tête-à-tête with 16,000 of Microsoft's closest partners when he suffered a microphone failure. Not once, but three times. The technician did a pretty good yo-yo impression to try to get things working. And even without a mic, he could be heard pretty well by the entire stadium. Not that I'm saying he has a loud voice or anything. Maybe it's just that all 16,000 of us had really, really good hearing.
Buttering us up
In case there weren't enough Americanisms in the world, Microsoft managed to come up with two new buzzwords that had delegates a-whoopin' and a-hollerin' during the various keynotes. With the exception of yours truly, you understand. (Although I may have joined in with the national anthem singing on the final day. It IS the diamond jubilee, after all). Every Microsoft exec was seemingly "super jazzed" about the new-look product line-up, and Windows 8 apparently has a "buttery smooth" interface.
I can envisage the consumer ads now. Some girly chocolate bar or other may have asked us "Why have cotton, when you can have silk?", so maybe Microsoft should ask: "Why have silk, when you can have... butter?"
I'm feeling super jazzed already.
On the final day of WPC, all the different countries had their own keynotes with region-specific news. UK channel chief Janet Gibbons appeared on stage to give a serious talk about the humongous amount of marketing collateral Microsoft is pouring into the UK channel.
She started talking about meeting with partners to get their feedback and a picture of her with said partners popped up on the screen. Unfortunately, she was wearing exactly the same outfit in the picture as she was on stage. Which is a terrible faux pas for the laydeez, if I understand correctly (which I rarely do when it comes to the fairer sex).
"I do have other clothes," she insisted as the room fell about. If it weren't for Her Indoors, I'd happily take her out on a shopping trip. And you'd be surprised at the elegant attire you can find in Mr Byrite in Dagenham.
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