An online ad for Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) that showed a woman projectile vomiting has left such a bad taste in viewers’ mouths that Microsoft has decided to remove it.
The ad, which features American actor Dean Cain and shows a woman vomiting after seeing her husband’s Web browsing history, is still available via YouTube.
That site is part of Microsoft’s campaign to promote IE8.
The ad was meant to promote Microsoft’s InPrivate browsing feature of its new Web browser, which allows people to erase their history so other people can’t see where they’ve been on the Web.
However, it instead provoked widespread revulsion from many viewers, some of whom doubted the video could have been made by Microsoft because it was so disgusting.
“This must be a fake,” read one comment by a user called “originalrecipes” on YouTube. “Probably made by some Apple crazy fans. This is not made by Microsoft. No way.”
“Bad taste,” wrote another YouTube user called “CUTV.” “Microsoft, I try to like you, but you make it so hard.”
Others, however, found the ad humorous, and some even used it to poke fun at Microsoft. “I’d puke too if I was using IE,” was the comment from the user called “lucarescigno.”
In the ad, a man passes his PC to his wife when she asks to borrow it. After she sees what he’s been viewing, she loses her breakfast at the table and then vomits on him after he’s slipped and fallen on what she has expelled.
Actor Cain provides a commentary about suffering from “Oh my God I’m going to puke” (OMGIGP) when sharing a computer with someone who may be viewing offensive Web sites.
In a statement sent via e-mail Thursday, Microsoft confirmed it removed the ad — one in a series to promote IE8 — based on viewer feedback, and meant no harm in it.
“We make a point of listening to our customers,” according to Microsoft.
“We created the OMGIGP video as a tongue-in-cheek look at the InPrivate Browsing feature of Internet Explorer 8, using the same irreverent humor that our customers told us they liked about other components of the Internet Explorer 8 marketing campaign. While much of the feedback to this particular piece of creative was positive, some of our customers found it offensive, so we have removed it.”
Canadians are among the world’s most avid consumers of online video content.
Online video content can be a very effective marketing tool when used wisely, according to Markham-based CRM development firm Interchange Solutions. Inc. The company’s sales force experienced a 25 per cent increase in orders since Interchange Solutions began using online videos to showcase its products.
IE8 for businesses
In other IE8 news, Microsoft has announced it will begin pushing the latest browser to businesses next month.
The decision to turn on IE8 updates will set companies scrambling to either test the new browser or block the update, which replaces older editions such as IE6 and IE7 that many companies now require.
Microsoft will flip the switch for IE8 delivery via Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) on Aug. 25, said Eric Hebenstreit, a lead program manager on the IE team. WSUS is Microsoft’s most popular tool for deploying patches within businesses.
The IE8 upgrade will be made available as an “Update rollup,” said Hebenstreit in a post to the IE blog on Monday.
That means systems running Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003 or Server 2008 will automatically grab IE8, assuming the organization configured WSUS to auto-approve “Update rollup” packages.
Hebenstreit said that companies that don’t want IE8 should turn off auto-approve for “Update rollup” packages in WSUS prior to Aug. 25, then on the next sync, decline the IE8 update. They can later re-enable auto-approve.
Earlier this year, Microsoft said that it would start serving IE8 to WSUS users in July; Hebenstreit did not give a reason for the month-long delay.
Microsoft released IE8 in March, but waited a month before pushing the new browser to end-users via Windows Update (WU), the primary update service for consumers and smaller businesses.
Before that, it had released a toolkit to block the new browser from reaching machines through WU; the toolkit, however, does not block IE8 upgrades pushed by WSUS or Systems Management Server (SMS), another Microsoft patch manager.
The toolkit, which is still available from Microsoft, will stymie IE8 deployment indefinitely. According to Web metrics firm Net Applications, IE8 accounted for 7.6 per cent of all browsers used in May, the most recent month for which data is available.
Although Net Applications typically issues new browser market share numbers the first of each month, it has delayed June’s data pending a review for what it said was “significant variations in browser and operating system statistics.”
In other upgrade news from Microsoft, the company said yesterday that it had released the remaining 31 language-specific versions of Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2) to Windows Update.
Microsoft posted Vista SP2 for download in May, and after a delay, began pushing the English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish editions to users via Windows Update on May 26.