Posted by:on May 3rd, 2007
Microsoft has some brand new interactive technology called Silverlight. The good news is that they are developing a Mac plugin, and since it’s Microsoft, all those TV station and other promotional web sites that have various semi-functioning Windows Media or AVI video clips up might finally have a cross platform solution. Heck, I can’t watch half the embedded WMV files on my Windows machine. Of course a popular technology solution to these problems already exists, and it’s called Flash. So how do you generate buzz for a competitor? With trendy skateboarding visuals. Ahh, but what sinister motivation lies behind the innocent act of skateboarding? Find out the answer to that question as well as where you might be able to win a Microsoft Silverlight skateboard after the jump.
Microsoft using skateboards for Silverlight marketing
Sean Alexander works for Microsoft on the Silverlight team and has a blog that makes it hard to tell if he’s really that excited about his job or maybe his blog is part of his job description. He got his hand on some Silverlight promotional skateboards and has hinted that he might be giving one away to the person who comes up with the best Silverlight demo. These are his pictures of the board below. I imagine they just picked a skateboard printer over the web. In the enlargement the wheels look price point, but the trucks might actually be legit Indy.
You can go to Silverlight web site and watch the promo video, but it requires a plugin installation and browser restart. I’ve got screencaps of the timeline if you just want the highlights. In case you are interested, I installed the plugin on a 3 year old Mac and everything worked fine. The UI for the video is a bit annoying, the sliding controls fade in and out when you roll over them, so it’s more eye candy at the expense of ease of use. I saw a different implementation of controls that was also annoying. You had to roll over wasted screen space to bring up controls that then overlaid the program behind it. Very pretty to look at, but not helpful for quick playback or volume control. Hopefully these are custom interface designs and not the default.
Hey! STFU about this technology noise and get to the skateboarding. OK then. The story starts with a young woman making some flowery designs.
Cut to an enginerd who makes a bunch of calculations and or programming, Minority Effect-style.
Somewhere in a different dimension, a CAD program starts making a model of a skateboard.
A hipster decides which color he wants his anodized aluminum skateboard.
Invisible robots sublimate and assemble skateboards with multiple accessory options.
Somewhere in cyberspace, a retailer or distributor decides which color board he wants, without grip tape, of course.
Thousands of options here, all still without grip tape.
Finally, someone’s got a board! But who is this skateboarder? What does he want from life?
The character in the this play is a team rider in a promotional skate video for a nameless skateboard company. Seriously, who is this? Enlarge the pic and identify the stunt rider for us.
Kids watching the promo vids on the InterWeb!™
Hold on. Higher up the food chain are some hotties of a questionable age – too young to be these kids’ mothers and too old to be fawning over skateboarders on social networking web sites.
Still higher up, the retailer or distributor is reaping the benefits, but who wins ultimately?
That’s right! the suits win. But this suit runs a skateboard company, so he’s cool with a button down shirt and no tie. Dress code: Business Casual. Look, graphs and charts with skateboards. the money comes flowing in. Actually, if this was a more accurate portrayal, there would be tiny piles of skateboards and massive piles of shoes instead.
The end. Brought to you by Microsoft.
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