MS: It's not a software company

Nathaniel Borenstein, a research fellow at the School of Information at the University of Michigan (and the author of the MIME e-mail standard), writes:

The residents of Silicon Valley are more confused than usual after a billboard campaign by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society of America used this line in an ad slogan:

MS: It's not a software company

exploiting the fame of a certain company to draw attention to an altogether worthier cause.

Requests to comment on the campaign have been met by a surly silence by Microsoft, which doesn't relish the association of ideas but is painfully aware that it can't afford to appear insensitive over such an issue.

Seasoned information technology professionals will have no trouble telling the two MS's apart: One is a debilitating and surprisingly widespread affliction that renders the sufferer barely able to perform the simplest task. The other is a disease.

"The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That's where we come in; we're computer professionals. We cause accidents." --Nathaniel Borenstein

Posted May 11, 2004

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