From my files, dated 1998 — an exploration of what would happen if Microsoft expanded way beyond computer products. (Though if you were a "software giant" would you really need contraceptives...?)
MICROSOFT ANNOUNCES CONTRACEPTIVE98
For tomorrow's edition -- DO NOT RELEASE PREMATURELY
Microsoft Corporation has taken another step toward dominating every aspect of American life with the introduction of Contraceptive98, a suite of applications designed for users who engage in sex. "As we leave the geek market behind, we are finding more and more of our user base does, in fact, engage in actual personal contact with other human beings, and that this is increasing the incidence of sex in people who would otherwise be gaming online or at home alone. We want to make sure that if people feel the need to leave the computer for even a moment, Microsoft goes with them," said Sosha Lee M. Peard, spokeswoman for the software giant.
Microsoft considers itself to be a pioneer in peer-to-peer connectivity and plug and play. It believes these technologies will give it substantial leverage in penetrating the copulation enhancement market. The product addresses two important user concerns: the need for virus protection and the need for a firewall to ensure the non-propagation of human beings.
The Contraceptive98 suite consists of three products: Condom98, DeFetus 1.0 (from Sementec), and AIDScan 2.1 (from Norton Utilities). A free copy of Intercourse Explorer 4.0 is bundled in the package. The suite also comes in two expanded versions. Contraceptive98 Professional is the Client/Server edition, for professionals in the sexual services sector. Contraceptive98 Small Business Edition is a package for start-ups, aimed at the lonely housewife and "playuh" niches. While Contraceptive98 does not address non-traditional copulatory channels, future plug-ins are planned for next year.
OPERATION: Only one node in a peer-to-peer connection needs to install the package. At installation, the Condom98 software checks for minimum hardware. If the user meets the requirements, the product installs and is sufficiently scalable to meet most requirements. After installation, operation commences. One caution is that the user must have sufficient RAM to complete the session. When the session is complete, a disconnect is initiated, and the user gets the message, "It is now safe to turn off your partner."
DRAWBACKS: Usability testers report that frequent failures were a major concern during beta testing. General Protection Fault was the most serious error encountered. This product is particularly sensitive to power surges. Early versions had numerous bugs, but most of these have been eliminated. The product needs to be installed each time its used.
CONCLUSION: Contraceptive98 is a robust product. Despite its drawbacks, it is a reasonably good value for its $49.95 price tag, and is far superior to its shareware version. For future releases, Microsoft plans to add missing functionality, such as Backout and Restore, Uninterruptible Power Supply, and Onboard Camera. Microsoft CEO Bill Gates is optimistic about Contraceptive98's potential. "Our contraceptive products will help users do to each other what We've been doing to our customers for years," he said in a statement accompanying the release.
Posted December 4, 2012
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