No pranks for April Fools’ Day, Microsoft tells staff

  • TECH
  • Thursday, 28 Mar 2019

You can use Microsoft's Whiteboard to create drawings or presentations containing images, share them with others or edit them together. — dpa

Microsoft employees are being told not to prank users for fear of netting bad press, an internal memo reveals.

In the memo obtained and verified by The Verge,  Microsoft chief marketing officer Chris Capossela asks all teams at Microsoft to not do any public-facing April Fools’ Day stunts. 

"It’s that time of year when tech companies try to show their creativity with April Fools’ Day stunts. Sometimes the outcomes are amusing and sometimes they’re not. Either way, data tells us these stunts have limited positive impact and can actually result in unwanted news cycles," he says.

Capossela adds that he appreciate that people might have spent time and resources to these pranks, but the company has more to lose than gain by attempting to be funny for a day.

"Please forward to your teams and internal partners to ensure people are aware of the ask to stand down on external April Fools’ Day activities," he says. 

Some Microsoft pranks of years past included rumours of an MS-DOS OS for smartphones, a delivery service where they would physically send Outlook emails and a suite of productivity apps for cats like PowerPounce, OneNap and Meow.

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