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Microsoft shies away from April Fools’ Day pranks in fear of bad press

We’re less than a week away from the April 1st, otherwise known as the day that jokes and pranks are played under the justification that it’s April Fools’ Day. Although there are many cases of inspired creativity on the day, many more are simply annoying and Microsoft wants no part in it.

Although Microsoft seems all-for personal jokes during the 500-year-old tradition, the company is concerned that there is more to lose from a public display than there is to gain. “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,” explains marketing chief Chris Capossela within an internal memo acquired by The Verge.

“Considering the headwinds the tech industry is facing today, I’m asking all teams at Microsoft to not do any public-facing April Fools’ Day stunts. I appreciate that people may have devoted time and resources to these activities, but I believe we have more to lose than gain by attempting to be funny on this one day.”

April Fools’ Day has spawned some of the best and most absurd meme-able tech ideas to date, in large part thanks to Razer’s efforts showcasing a branded toaster, wearable drone system to “play life in the third person” and Project Venom v2 for a shot of performance-enhancing nanobots. Many other companies have also gotten in on the action, with Where’s Wally/Waldo appearing in Google Maps, Discord implementing a randomised @someone command and Logitech’s aptly named BS Detector. That’s Business Speak Detector, we’ll have you know.

It’s a shame to see how Microsoft is shying away from the practice, no doubt in response to the overwhelming amounts of fake news and publications that can’t seem to tell what’s real and what isn’t. At the very least, we know that any news from Microsoft during the time should be legitimate, unless this is really a clever ruse…

KitGuru Says: What are some of your favourite April Fools’ Day pranks in the tech and gaming world? Are you disappointed that Microsoft has backed away from the event or is this an unsurprising turn of events?

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