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Steve Ballmer Sells Windows 1.0

by Sean P. Aune | April 18, 2010April 18, 2010 4:59 am PST

You know, there aren’t many times I am at a loss for words, but this commercial from Microsoft for Windows 1.0 just about gets me there.

It is hard to believe this commercial not only comes from what is now one of the richest companies in the world, but also features it’s future CEO, Steve Ballmer.  He must look back on this with such pride.

Steve BallmerThe over-the-top, used car salesman aspects of this visual and audio assault aside, there are a couple of really intriguing things about this commercial.  Off the top it was the fact that you would contact Microsoft directly.  Contacting the company these days is an exercise in pain, and one that usually results in you paying for some form of support, but yet there is all their contact info at the end of it.

At the time of this commercial, $99 was still a fairly high sum, but just looking at simple economics today, and the number of copies of Windows that Microsoft moves, it makes you wonder why we aren’t still paying that price.  The economics of volume alone say we should be paying that much, but we all “need” Windows in our life (you know what I mean, no need to attack me Mac and Linux fans), so we’ll pay what they tell us to pay.

The one thing that made me laugh the hardest in this whole thing wasn’t the fact that Reversi was featured so front-and-center, but the fact that the clock was touted as a feature.  When was the last time anyone acted like a clock on a computer was a selling feature?  Well, apparently back in those days it was worthy of valuable time being taken up in a 30-second commercial!

Oh, how times have changed.

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...