Since it's Monday morning, I thought I'd start the week gently, with a little humour, courtesy of a Microsoft job ad. After all, who could read the following without laughing?
As the world's leading Software Company, Microsoft has pioneered many of the technology innovations that paved the way for the digital information revolution. With products ranging from the Windows operating systems to the Office productivity suite, the Visual Studio suite of developers tools, and the Xbox 360 video game platform, and a broad range of new offerings in high-growth areas including Web-based services, unified communications, search, advertising and much more, Microsoft continues to be the worldwide leader in helping people and businesses realize their full potential.
Let's just take a little look at those technology innovations, shall we?
Windows operating systems
aka Blue Screen of Death
Office productivity suite
that's productivity as in producing Word macro viruses that can be emailed to your colleagues around the office, presumably.
aka Red Right of Death (goes nicely with the Blue Screen of Death, I suppose).
because Microsoft has done so well in this sector against Google.
Having set up the exciting background to this job, Microsoft then gets down to business:
The Senior Director of PR for IP and Interoperability is a leading role on the company's Public Affairs PR team. The person in this role is responsible for leading the company's over-arching and inter-related IP and Interoperability communications program to drive positive media engagement and outcomes that are aligned with the company's legal, business, technology, and communications objectives and strategies.
Well, these are certainly hot issues, which just happen to coincide with two of the main approaches Microsoft employs for attacking open source: through spreading FUD about spurious patents, and through dilution of level playing-field interoperability (European Interoperability Framework version 2, anyone?).
Clearly, though, it's not all a bed of roses, what with those nasty free software and digital freedom people attacking Microsoft's whiter-than-white actions:
The key initiative and challenge in this role is to determine how to "up-level" the over-arching IP and Interop narrative in order to break through critical perception blockers about Microsoft's position and actions in these areas and to do so while navigating a number of potentially negative issues.
Sounds painful this “up-levelling” the “over-arching” narrative – maybe applicants need to be contortionists, too. But it's interesting to note that Microsoft has identified “critical perception blockers” - that would be the truth – as a problem for the company. It's also pretty frank that the successful applicant will be “navigating a number of potentially negative issues” - that is, desperately trying to spin away inconvenient facts.
At least the job comes with some handy ammunition: “this role has responsibility for managing a multi-million dollar budget and relationship with an outside PR agency.” Assuming they can find a soul brave enough for this particular corporate hair-shirt, it sounds like we're going to need to rebut some serious FUD about intellectual monopolies and interoperability sometime in the future. I'll starting sharpening my pencil...