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Microsoft's debacle of an ad plays out like a bad game of "spot the differences", poorly photoshopping out a black man's head and photoshopping out the logo of the Apple product sitting on the table.  (Source: Microsoft)
Slip-up causes PR nightmare for the leading OS maker

Many unfortunate incidents in the business world fall under the realm of "What could the involved parties possibly have been thinking?" 

Microsoft, whose Windows operating system owns close to 90 percent of the market, experienced one such embarrassing incident on Tuesday, when it was noticed that one of the company's ads on its Polish site was changed from a U.S. version to Photoshop out the face of a black man at a company meeting.

In addition, the photoshopping (or perhaps using MS Paint, by the looks of it) was likely hastily performed, taking no effort to change the color of the man's hand and including a large smirking head that seemed strangely out of place on the body.  Additionally, it was also noticed that the man was using a MacBook in both ads, with the logo photoshopped out in both, but the characteristic case was unchanged.

Microsoft's spokesperson, Lou Gellos, has delivered a sheepish response, stating, "We are looking into the details of this situation.  We apologize and are in the process of pulling down the image."

It seems uncharacteristic of Microsoft to use stock photos with competitors' products in them while at the same time trying to cover it up with poorly done Photoshop work. 

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By Jackattak on 8/26/2009 1:43:55 PM , Rating: 5
At first while reading this article, I thought "this has got to be joke or a hoax."

Wow. Just, wow.

RE: Whoa...
By Souka on 8/26/2009 1:48:05 PM , Rating: 5
No doubt.

They should really be complaining abotu all the white people that get photoshoped out of images....

*sigh*... if the guy had been white this wouldn't be an issue...but oh no... because he's black....SUE SUE...make a race issue outta it.

However....clearly...if a MS exec. said "crop that n*gger out of that picture and put one of our own in"... then yes...lay waste to MS. otherwise...STFU people...

RE: Whoa...
By acase on 8/26/2009 1:58:53 PM , Rating: 2
Totally agree, but thanks for making me get my keyboard wet from the spit take I did when reading your MS exec. quote.

RE: Whoa...
By dubldwn on 8/26/09, Rating: -1
RE: Whoa...
By porkpie on 8/26/2009 2:19:06 PM , Rating: 5
Totally agree. A much more rational way to look at this is that MS photoshopped IN a person who better fit their target audience in Poland.

Unfortunately, we seem to have lost all ability to think rationally about this subject any more.

RE: Whoa...
By artemicion on 8/26/2009 2:42:32 PM , Rating: 5
Well, true, MS photoshopped IN a person to fit their target audience in Poland, but they had the option to photoshop OUT either the black dude or the asian dude. The fact they chose the black dude makes it potentially racial. (Though they can retort that it wasn't racial because they chose at random, or they chose the guy closer to the front, which is ok.)

I think what MS did was completely fine. Though there are racial issues, namely that apparently Polish people are more likely to buy tech products sold by an Asian dude and a White dude and are less likely to buy tech products sold by a Asian dude and a Black dude, or a White dude and a Black dude. But at this point we're talking about unconscious stereotypes that pretty much everybody knows happens all the time, and MS certainly has no duty to fight against that type of stuff.

RE: Whoa...
By Oregonian2 on 8/26/2009 3:16:47 PM , Rating: 5
Other reports on the web point out how having multiple manipulated versions of the same ad is very common in advertising and "old hat", it's just that it's usually done with greater skill.

RE: Whoa...
By artemicion on 8/26/2009 5:15:27 PM , Rating: 3
I never said it shouldn't happen or that it's uncommon, in fact I said I was completely fine with the practice. I just said that race IS the issue because companies recognize that advertisements are either more or less effective depending on the RACE of the people in the ad and the RACE of the target audience. I think it's fine (IMO) for a private company to design their ads based around that fact.

I don't know why I got rated down, DT readers boggle me sometimes . . .

RE: Whoa...
By erikejw on 8/27/2009 6:39:25 AM , Rating: 3
They can start another collaboration with AMD as they did with Windows XP, Athlon XP and name it the "black edition" ;)

RE: Whoa...
By Mojo the Monkey on 8/27/2009 12:59:37 PM , Rating: 2
I just cant believe that they dont have the foresight or the budget to bring in 6-7 "people" (models are not people and have no souls) and take multiple shots for different demographics, which will then be sent out to their worldwide marketing departments.

RE: Whoa...
By SilthDraeth on 9/1/2009 10:03:55 AM , Rating: 2
They should of photo shopped out the Japanese guy, so then all the Japanese Americans could sue Microsoft for racism... oh wait that doesn't happen.

RE: Whoa...
By wilkinb on 8/26/2009 7:55:45 PM , Rating: 5
I wont be amazed to find out if was actaully age based and not race.... Its funny what we focus on :)

not saying that would make it any better.

RE: Whoa...
By Zingam on 8/27/2009 4:54:26 AM , Rating: 5
I wonder if they put white guys only on a commercial to sell products in Central Africa (assuming that Central African people want to buy hi-tech products) - if they are going to have any success?

RE: Whoa...
By Boze on 8/26/2009 10:50:19 PM , Rating: 5
I don't want to be the jackass here, but a cursory glance at the black (as in, of African origin) population of Poland yields figures from around 4,000 to 5,000.

Out of 38,000,000 inhabitants. That's 0.0001315% of the population. That's about 1 in 10,000 or something like that. You have a better chance of dying from drowning, being shot, being stabbed, and your plane crashing - in your entire lifetime - than seeing a black man in Poland.

Diversity, civil rights, blah blah; its all great stuff, to a degree... and that degree needs to be realism. I'm not saying there are no black businessmen in Poland, I'm sure there are, however, statistically speaking, your odds of seeing a black person are already extremely slim, so factor in the odds of seeing a black businessman using a MacBook and smiling off into space during a meeting?

Not good... but probably better than seeing a retarded looking white guy with black hands who seems to be looking for the complimentary bagels.

RE: Whoa...
By room200 on 8/27/2009 8:35:43 AM , Rating: 1
Well here in Chicago, that means we probably should not be showing many ads with white people. Hispanics and blacks are now the majority in Chicago.

RE: Whoa...
By thereaderrabbit on 8/27/2009 2:26:23 PM , Rating: 1
While I agree with your point of view, please work on your math skills.

RE: Whoa...
By room200 on 8/26/09, Rating: -1
RE: Whoa...
By room200 on 8/26/09, Rating: -1
RE: Whoa...
By weskurtz0081 on 8/26/2009 3:23:53 PM , Rating: 4
Here are some photos of black people being photo shopped in and others out.

RE: Whoa...
By room200 on 8/26/09, Rating: -1
RE: Whoa...
By VaultDweller on 8/26/2009 4:33:53 PM , Rating: 5
I think you need to work on your Google skills. Even when it's Googled for you, you can't pick out the #2 result?

Here, I'll make it a bit simpler for you:

RE: Whoa...
By room200 on 8/27/09, Rating: -1
RE: Whoa...
By weskurtz0081 on 8/27/2009 9:35:16 AM , Rating: 3
Really? There were ALSO some in that article that had black faces replacing others.

The bottom line is, it's marketing, stop playing your damn race card and grow up. I don't care if a white person gets photo shopped out of an add, nor any other person for that matter.

RE: Whoa...
By aj28 on 8/26/2009 5:03:16 PM , Rating: 5
Anyone else find it hugely ironic that he somehow only saw the articles which agree with his viewpoint? Unless I'm mistaken, you're the very definition of biased. Nice try playing the victim card though...

RE: Whoa...
By room200 on 8/27/09, Rating: -1
RE: Whoa...
By weskurtz0081 on 8/27/2009 9:36:58 AM , Rating: 2
I didn't only see the articles that agreed with my viewpoint, and frankly, I don't really have one on this matter. I really just don't care.

The guy I was responding to made a comment about white people that were photo shopped out, as if it has never happened, so I just wanted to show him that it has. Pretty simple concept if you think about it.

RE: Whoa...
By Souka on 8/26/2009 4:13:06 PM , Rating: 2
OMG... I never knew of that site

I'm gonna use it for whenever someone asks me a computer related question....hehehe

RE: Whoa...
By Aigoo on 8/26/2009 2:34:10 PM , Rating: 2
crop a nagger?

was he nagging that badly to be photoshopped out? =(

RE: Whoa...
By DotNetGuru on 8/26/2009 2:58:52 PM , Rating: 2
Great South Park reference!

RE: Whoa...
By Yawgm0th on 8/26/2009 2:41:54 PM , Rating: 2
They should really be complaining abotu all the white people that get photoshoped out of images....
I know. I'm so sick of perfectly good looking whites getting Photoshopped out of advertisements thanks to affirmative action.


Do you know how ridiculous what you said here is? Still, I laughed pretty hard at your MS executive quote.

Anyway, if the colors had been reversed, the controversy would instead be that Microsoft is being tacky by going so far out of its way (or evidently not that far, from the quality of the job here) to look diverse.

It's silly either way. It was an understandable marketing move to want a white guy in an advertisement aimed in Poland. It was a marketing blunder to use such a stupid picture in the first place. It has a Macbook in it, FFS.

I also have to question if there isn't some copyright infringement going on here. The picture had to come from somewhere, and I can't believe MS would have paid for it with a Macbook in it.

RE: Whoa...
By VaultDweller on 8/26/2009 4:36:02 PM , Rating: 3
The picture had to come from somewhere, and I can't believe MS would have paid for it with a Macbook in it.

Sure they'd pay for, especially if it came from a collection of stock photography (which it probably did).

RE: Whoa...
By FITCamaro on 8/26/2009 2:48:27 PM , Rating: 5
Well to me does it really matter? They were changing the picture to be more indicative of the population of Poland. It's an advertisement. Should they have just taken another picture with a white dude instead? Sure. Does this make them racist? No.

If anything they should be getting knocked for the horrible job of the photoshop.

RE: Whoa...
By kaoken on 8/27/2009 12:14:05 AM , Rating: 3
People are people. It doesn't matter if it's indicative, when you base your decisions on race--it’s called racism.

RE: Whoa...
By coolkev99 on 8/27/2009 7:27:13 AM , Rating: 4
Yeah, I'm glad someone agrees that affirmative action is racism.

RE: Whoa...
By gunzac21 on 8/28/09, Rating: 0
RE: Whoa...
By gunzac21 on 8/28/2009 5:30:41 AM , Rating: 1
The above isn't really a reply to coolkev99, but more of a response to what seems to be an overall feeling of "white man's burden" or reverse racism, in many of the comments in this thread.

RE: Whoa...
By Kyanzes on 8/29/2009 3:42:09 AM , Rating: 2
If you go to a football match, and sit among the fans of the opposite team, wearing the color of your own team, you're going to have a hard time. Even if everyone is of the same racial background, your team colors will make you different, making you a natural target.

Being openly gay among hetero people will yield similar results. Being fat among average looking people has the same effect. Wearing glasses among people who don't need them will almost certainly make you different. Walking in a funny way due to some handicap will make you different. (All these together probably means that you suck at life, but there's always hope I guess.)

Being black (or half-black) among white people quite simply makes you different. I'm quite sure I would look strange in a crowd of black people.

Times are changing, the US has a black president now. It would have been impossible a few decades back. I'm not sure what else could indicate change better.

That guy on the Microsoft picture was removed quite simply because Poland basically has no black population to speak of. The asian looking guy on the picture does not immediately look like a typical asian. He could be a white guy with a shaved head. Just pointing this out.

About the usage of the word n*gger. In East and Central-Europe, at least in my opinion, it has a less offensive meaning in general. Or should I say, the intended meaning is less offensive than in the US or West-Europe (France, UK). I keep hearing people using this word without them realising it's offensiveness in other parts of the world. They carelessly use it to describe black people. Blacks using this among themselves in movies probably has something to do with this though. "Wazzap nigga... No'much bro..." would be a typical example of it being used in movies mustering a "homie environment" and of course it's picked up by people. Even I recall using it to address a co-worker, without even thinking of black people. Because it sounded funny. (The colleague is not black.)

I find affirmative action ridiculous as well. Diversity should come naturally. Artificial diversity is just that, artificial.

Hey, one of my favorite linguists is black (John McWhorter). :) The guy speaks and writes better than a massive majority of whites :)

RE: Whoa...
By Aloonatic on 8/29/2009 3:15:52 PM , Rating: 3
It doesn't matter if it's indicative, when you base your decisions on race--it’s called racism.

Not it's not, it's called human nature.

Whether you want it admit it or not, white people will prefer white people, Black people, Black people, ditto any creed, colour or religion.

Sadly, when you take human nature and mix in a little liberal/middle class guilt you invariably get an ism of some sort.

Where does this end? Would it have been OK for MS to have taken the exact same shot with completely different actors? Does every commercial photo have to have one actor form every race/creed/religion etc?

Was it just that they used photoshop that made this such a "crime"?

This is so pathetic. MS really should just point out the demographics of the target audience.

Is it "racist" to re dub an advert in a different language when showing it in different country?

God, this crap annoys me.

RE: Whoa...
By bplewis24 on 8/26/09, Rating: -1
RE: Whoa...
By kfonda on 8/26/2009 3:54:56 PM , Rating: 5
Your rationale is completely ignorant of what actually happened (and why), and I'm not surprised it got voted up to a 5 on this website.

So, what actually did happen and why did it happen? I assume you work for MS and have some inside info that the rest of us don't have.

RE: Whoa...
By SpaceRanger on 8/26/2009 3:31:37 PM , Rating: 5
I was thinking more along the lines of, "Tsk... It's a damn shame when folks be throwing away a perfectly good white-boy like that!"

RE: Whoa...
By wetwareinterface on 8/26/2009 6:14:45 PM , Rating: 3
wow someone else saw "Better Off Dead" other than me and John Cusack? amazing

RE: Whoa...
By johnsonx on 8/26/2009 8:09:44 PM , Rating: 5
what do you mean? Better Off Dead is a classic. Just about everyone I know has seen it multiple times.

So many good quotes from that movie, there's no point in starting... ok, maybe a few:

"This mountain is pure SNOW! Do you have any idea what the street value of this mountain is?!?!?"

"Go that way, real fast... when you see a tree, turn"... (after hitting tree) "good, now turn!"

(thick french accent) "He's always trying to put his testicles on me!"
"Yes, how you say, like octocpus?"
"Oh, TENTicles.. tenticles... big difference"

And of course, we mustn't forget:

"Two dollars! I want my two dollars!"

RE: Whoa...
By fic2 on 8/26/2009 5:25:58 PM , Rating: 2
I think he got photoshopped out because he was using an MacBook.

RE: Whoa...
By goz314 on 8/26/09, Rating: -1
RE: Whoa...
By Maximilian on 8/26/09, Rating: 0
RE: Whoa...
By PandaBear on 8/26/09, Rating: 0
Does it have to be racist?
By acase on 8/26/2009 1:49:42 PM , Rating: 5
I mean, okay, they replaced a black guy with a white guy, which I guess is more common to what Polish people may be used to seeing. Even if that was the only reason they did it I don't really consider it racist. Otherwise they would have got rid of the Asian too.

Also, there could be many other reasons they tried to change it. Maybe it was just an office prank by someone who sucks at photoshop and put their boss or coworker's face on it. Maybe they just thought an old, wrinkly guy that was barely smiling just didn't fit with "Empowering". Get this Al Sharpton crap outta here.

RE: Does it have to be racist?
By GotDiesel on 8/26/2009 1:51:15 PM , Rating: 2
yeh.. i don't see what all the fuss is about..

RE: Does it have to be racist?
By monomer on 8/26/2009 2:33:31 PM , Rating: 1
Part of the fuss is about how poor the execution was. For a company like MS to change stock photos with sloppy photoshops is just pathetic. It looks like they got the intern to make the change over a lunch break.

Would it really have been so hard and expensive to either hire a photographer to get the picture they need, or spend a couple bucks to buy a new stock photo?

RE: Does it have to be racist?
By theapparition on 8/26/2009 4:22:23 PM , Rating: 3
Does anyone here actually think that a Microsoft employee did this? That someone in a cube in Redmond actually thougt this up?

I'll go out on a limb and guarantee that this was done by a Polish ad agency that MS had contracted with, or with contracted services. MS approved the advertisement, which makes them guilty of sloppy reviews, that's all.

100% believe there was no malice intended in the ad.

RE: Does it have to be racist?
By VaultDweller on 8/26/2009 4:38:26 PM , Rating: 2
Probably, yeah.

RE: Does it have to be racist?
By Fanon on 8/26/2009 2:11:55 PM , Rating: 5
Maybe it was a legal issue; perhaps the contract between Microsoft and the replaced person was to use his likeness only in ads in the USA.

There's hundreds (thousands?) of reasons why it was done. To immediately cry foul and racism is childish.

RE: Does it have to be racist?
By room200 on 8/26/09, Rating: -1
RE: Does it have to be racist?
By omnicronx on 8/26/2009 2:39:12 PM , Rating: 4
which I guess is more common to what Polish people may be used to seeing.
I think this maybe a factor, you have to relate to your home audience, and the fact remains that while many people in Poland have tanned skin, they are mostly Caucasian.

Just imagine if Microsoft had a business add in China, trying to get businesses to use their service, but had all white people in the picture. You would think it would be common sense to either take a new picture, or replace it with people that perspective business owners can relate too.

Race is only skin deep people, merely pigmentation in the skin, but that does not mean you can merely discount demographics, nor does basing your decisions on them make you racist.

Don't get me wrong, racism still exists, but lets face it, the media sensationalizes every story they can get their hands on.

By foolsgambit11 on 8/27/2009 2:30:46 AM , Rating: 2
I think this maybe a factor, you have to relate to your home audience, and the fact remains that while many people in Poland have tanned skin, they are mostly Caucasian.

If it was just about what Polish people are used to seeing, they'd have photoshopped out the tall buildings in the background, too. Boom!

RE: Does it have to be racist?
By hashish2020 on 8/28/2009 1:25:20 PM , Rating: 2
"Just imagine if Microsoft had a business add in China, trying to get businesses to use their service, but had all white people in the picture."

Total fail. They do. Try leaving the Western world once in your life.

non story
By The Will on 8/26/2009 2:12:33 PM , Rating: 4
Are a lot of Polish black people going to be offended?

News flash DT, people of all different colors get photo shopped everyday.

RE: non story
By JDHack42 on 8/26/2009 2:27:47 PM , Rating: 3
Well how many black pols are there?

I new a black serbian once. He said NJ imigration told him he was the only black serbian to come through in 30 years...

RE: non story
By DotNetGuru on 8/26/2009 3:03:38 PM , Rating: 3
Well how many black pols are there?

I don't know... how many? (waiting for punch-line...)

RE: non story
By acase on 8/26/2009 3:33:38 PM , Rating: 5
Ask your mom Trebek, I heard she's had a few black poles.

RE: non story
By rdeegvainl on 8/26/2009 3:57:02 PM , Rating: 4
LMAO... I can't vote this up enough, so decided to post instead.

RE: non story
By Murst on 8/26/2009 3:44:47 PM , Rating: 2
Are a lot of Polish black people going to be offended?

Unfortunately, black people have much more to worry about in Poland ( and other Eastern-European countries ).

Why change it at all
By khern on 8/26/2009 2:28:59 PM , Rating: 1
Why not Photoshop the Asian guy out instead of the black man? I'm sure there is a huge Asian population in Warsaw. Seriously, they should have just left it alone. I think the fine folks in Poland understand that Microsoft is a global company and that somewhere in the world people of different races are using the same product they are.

Photoshopping the black man out of the ad is not overtly racist, just subtly racist out of stupidity.

RE: Why change it at all
By Netscorer on 8/26/2009 2:38:14 PM , Rating: 2
It's a lose-lose situation for MS. If they would photoshop out Asian guy, we would be crying over Asia racism. If they would photoshop out both men, there would be twice as much stink. And if they would leave both men in, people in Poland would think that MS does not give a sh..t about local markets. Using different stock photo would definitely be better but my guess is that Polish branch did not have the power to alter site design.

RE: Why change it at all
By molgenit on 8/27/2009 9:10:39 AM , Rating: 2
How hard is it to find a stock photo of 2 white guys sitting at a conference table? Probably would have been faster too. Maybe this is an inside joke, I wonder if the new head belongs to one of the managers of MS Poland? This may have not been particularly racial, the profile shot would have looked even worse on the other guy since his head was not turned at all.

RE: Why change it at all
By rudy on 8/26/2009 3:30:13 PM , Rating: 2
So then Jason Mick would be on about how M$ chopped an asian out. Plain and simple this is most likely going to be a typical M$ outsourced ad and they had a ad agency that uses macs do it. SO they threw in a guy whith a mac and then photochopped one person out. Hopefully after this M$ will terminate all their contracts with this inept agency or person and move on.

Bill Gates doesn't care about Black People
By hmurchison on 8/26/2009 2:09:44 PM , Rating: 3
Kanye is gonna flip over this.

By Sazar on 8/26/2009 2:15:29 PM , Rating: 3
Kanye like's fish-sticks.

And for what it's worth, while somewhat disturbing, this article has had me laughing and tearing up for the past 15 minutes :D

By rpsgc on 8/26/2009 2:07:09 PM , Rating: 5
Oh no! Someone better call the whaaaaaaambulance...


By Pirks on 8/26/09, Rating: 0
By jyqureshi on 8/26/2009 2:20:50 PM , Rating: 5

You need to have QT plugin for it to work..

Not racism, ageism
By Nobleman00 on 8/26/2009 4:21:04 PM , Rating: 2
It is not racist or they would have chopped out the other gentleman in the ad. It is ageism as they chopped out the old dude because he was not trendy, techie, or IT web 2.0 cool enough.

He doesn't fit the profile, an old guy with a mac. Get a thirtysomething white guy with a few extra pounds and a fake grin in there. That screams IT management. He's even looking in the wrong direction of everyone else, this guy is perfect. Can we get him to shake hands and make pointy gun fingers with the other hand?

RE: Not racism, ageism
By InvertMe on 8/26/2009 6:34:20 PM , Rating: 2
That is exactly what I thought when I saw the picture. They wanted a younger person.

Anyone who thinks this is race related is totally barking up the wrong tree.

By bobo555 on 8/26/2009 5:03:32 PM , Rating: 2
What if it had been 2 white people in the ad to begin with? Then all the non-whites would be screaming for DIVERSITY! But when it's swapping out one of two persons of color for a white, suddenly it becomes neo-Nazi racism? So what? If diversity does not include white people - as the current takeover of Silicon Valley by non-whites clearly shows, then I want no part of it.

RE: Diveristy?
By hashish2020 on 8/28/2009 1:28:19 PM , Rating: 2

Silicon Valley has no white people? News to me

Photoshop Friday
By Aeonic on 8/26/2009 1:57:07 PM , Rating: 3
Does SomethingAwful still do Photoshop Friday? Because this would be an excellent starting image.

Why is this even an issue?
By 91TTZ on 8/26/2009 2:09:10 PM , Rating: 2
How come when a black guy gets cut from the picture and a white guy gets put in, it's a "racially charged" move, but when a white guy gets cut from the picture and a black guy gets put in, it's "empowering"?

RE: Why is this even an issue?
By room200 on 8/26/09, Rating: -1
By theapparition on 8/26/2009 4:26:51 PM , Rating: 2
Someone should tell the most powerful decision maker in the entire world that he's really just a pawn for whitey.

Ya think it's time to start living in the 21st century with the rest of us?

Why is this even a story?
By CosmoJoe on 8/26/2009 4:20:38 PM , Rating: 3
So a photo was altered for a target audience. Honestly, WTF is the problem here and why is this even a story? Seriously, our culture, media and politics in the US has gotten to the point where we can't even be rational about race anymore. Caucasian and you disagree with a black person? OMG your a racist! Until we can accept the fact that things like this can happen and it isn't automatically of malicious intent due to skin color, I just don't see much hope for our society making progress on this issue.

By SublimeSimplicity on 8/26/2009 2:03:29 PM , Rating: 2
Did you hear the one about the Polish graphic artist asked to use white out on a stock photo?

Affirmative action in action
By Hieyeck on 8/26/2009 2:35:46 PM , Rating: 2
It's only a big deal 'cause he's black.

However, it doesn't remove the humor from the fact that MS Poland screwed up, painfully hard.

By Icelight on 8/26/2009 2:41:40 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not an Apple fan but um, why would there be a secondary kerfuffle over that? Microsoft doesn't make hardware, and if that gentleman decided to install Windows on it then they're just as well off as if someone bought a PC.

It's really a non-issue
By Beenthere on 8/26/09, Rating: 0
RE: It's really a non-issue
By Zingam on 8/27/2009 5:00:27 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah! They've had to use Michael Jackson! He is black and white! He would suit all needs!

So THAT'S what that was.
By Flail on 8/26/2009 2:47:20 PM , Rating: 2
A little bit ago someone linked this on a forum I frequent, except I didn't get it. They had already fixed it before I got to it :(. But now I get it :D.

Possible solution
By japlha on 8/26/2009 2:52:53 PM , Rating: 2
Create all ads with white males between the ages of 18 to 35.
Then photoshop them out if necessary.

By IcePickFreak on 8/26/2009 2:59:49 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with some here that the guy isn't a big issue (other than the horrible photochop) as there likely isn't too many black polish people. What get's me is the article says this is originally a US photo, so the US version had the edited Mac in it? I bet Jobs is getting a laugh out of that one.

By bplewis24 on 8/26/2009 3:28:30 PM , Rating: 2
Well I hope they also apologize for the pending weeks of me having to listen to Al Sharpton rant about this issue. As a black man, I get tired of him being perceived as "my" spokesman.


just put gary busey in it!
By nerdye on 8/26/2009 4:00:19 PM , Rating: 2
By chrnochime on 8/26/2009 4:38:09 PM , Rating: 2
Can't wait to find out when MS will get sued by the AAA(no not the car AAA, the other one).

If it's indeed MS paint. Fat lot of good that program did.

By valkator on 8/26/2009 4:39:44 PM , Rating: 2
I like how the monitor isn't even plugged in. Like it looks like it might have a power cord but nothing else.

By Jeffk464 on 8/26/2009 5:02:26 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, thats going to cost them. What were they thinking.

Photoshop Phriday
By nunya on 8/26/2009 5:31:43 PM , Rating: 2
This would make a kickass Photoshop Phriday.

Also, it sure does take a lot of letters to say something in Polish...

MS can do what it wants.
By Reader11722 on 8/26/2009 6:50:45 PM , Rating: 2
Who's to say who can do what?This is all about the First Amendment. Let's not follow the gov't down the path of censorship. After all, censorship is becoming America's favorite past-time. The US gov't (and their corporate friends), already place protesters in fenced-in cages, ban books like "America Deceived" from Wikipedia, Amazon and Facebook, and shut down Ron Paul. Free Speech forever, even for racist MS.
Last link (before Google Books caves to pressure and drops the title):

By Icehearted on 8/27/2009 12:54:30 AM , Rating: 2
As a black and white man, this is one of those moments where I just shake my head. Not so much because of what has been done in the ad, but because of the reactions such a thing elicits from it's observers.

I would not venture to assume that this move was an act of racism, but race was clearly the issue. It's like listening to a white person tell a black joke. It's not the joke that one really should find offensive (unless you're a prude or the joke was lame), but whether or not said joke was meant as a slam against an ethnicity, or just intended to be a way to get a good humored laugh.

This whole thing is silly, and a few people on either side of the fence will most certainly always overreact for one reasons or another.

I think the real story here is the comically bad "shoop" job MS tried to pass off as an advert.

By Zingam on 8/27/2009 4:51:34 AM , Rating: 2
US idioticy knows no bounds sometimes.

In Poland do not live black people. Customers there won't be impressed by putting them a black man into their faces.

Why not native American in traditional costume, eh?
Or Arab shaikh?

These attempts to be political correct are worse than racism. The average US movie has always to feature a woman that beats the crap out of men and a black guy.
What happens if the director omits to put them? He'll be sued for racism and sexism?

The only reason why this was made such problem is because US people are racist (black and white) but they pretend not to be in all their hypocrisy. Terrifying!!!

By mikeblas on 8/27/2009 10:16:07 AM , Rating: 2
Why does DailyTech insist on saying that AAPL is a competitor to MSFT? Isn't MSFT the biggest developer of software for the Macintosh, besides Apple itself (and maybe Adobe)?

By rburnham on 8/27/2009 11:00:27 AM , Rating: 2
As a graphic designer, the poor quality of the work offends me, not the race part. Shame!

Publicity Stunt
By SpaceJumper on 8/27/2009 1:46:38 PM , Rating: 2
I think it is a quick and easy way to make people pay attention to the MS ads without paying a lot of money for advertisement.

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IS DT sexist?
By tmouse on 8/28/2009 8:30:02 AM , Rating: 2
Just noticed that the actual Ad actually has a white woman next to "The thing with two heads" (look up the movie reference). In the DT pictures she has been entirely cropped out!

I know why it was done; but it is kind of funny considering the debate on race and Photoshop on this story.

Profits > Sensitivity
By kondor999 on 8/31/2009 4:34:25 PM , Rating: 2
MS has an obligation to its stockholders to maximize profits - not to try and make everyone happy.

If you were a black guy who owns MS stock - what would you want them to do?

By overlandpark4me on 9/2/2009 6:58:13 PM , Rating: 2
let's face it. Blacks are more racist towards other races and feel entitled to do it because ,"they've been through so much". Please, stfu and get over it. You're not entitled to a chip on your shoulder because of something that happened to someone you didn't know 150 years ago. Do you see people calling themselves African Canadians. No they're friggen Canadians. Until you decide to stop acting like a bunch of separatists who are entitled to "stuff" because of your skin color, you wont get treated as equals. Oops, you don't want to be equal, that's not where the money is at. BTW, we've already layed off 16 people. Choosing the Obama stickers on their cars made it sooooo much easier.

By sapiens74 on 8/26/2009 2:36:51 PM , Rating: 1

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By jay401 on 8/26/09, Rating: -1
By jay401 on 8/26/2009 1:44:12 PM , Rating: 2
Racially-charged nightmare photoshop attacks Polish people! Thanks, Microsoft!

By jay401 on 8/26/2009 1:45:24 PM , Rating: 2
Also, sheepish black men. On the next Jason Mick. Watch it live, here at DailyTech!

By mckinney on 8/26/2009 5:19:33 PM , Rating: 5
DT should do an experiment and put the authors name in the title so it would be obvious who wrote it. That might indicate if Jason had a following or blog readers were emotionally charged by the title. Something like:

Microsoft Apologizes for Photoshopping Black Man out of Advertisment - J. Mick

By JasonMick on 8/26/2009 1:49:59 PM , Rating: 4
How does that headline sensationalize what happened or fail to encompass the situation? That's exactly what Microsoft Poland did -- and Microsoft (U.S.) even apologized for it.

By Lord 666 on 8/26/09, Rating: 0
By Fanon on 8/26/2009 2:03:20 PM , Rating: 5
Why? Because the man's skin color? It's racist, right? It has to be... it involves a black person!

By paperfist on 8/26/2009 2:16:46 PM , Rating: 4
I don't think racism would ever be an issue anymore if news outlets, websites and so called 'anti-racism' groups didn't constantly make a big stink out of nothing. That's all they do is keep it at the forefront, right in the public's face.

By DotNetGuru on 8/26/2009 3:15:35 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly, but we all clicked this headline, so it just illustrates the effectiveness of these types of 'controversial' stories. Maybe the solution starts with readers ignoring this sort of content.

By ClownPuncher on 8/26/2009 2:54:11 PM , Rating: 4
I didn't see anything about racism in the article. I really don't see any comments about it being racist either, only people freaking out about how other, non existant people, might think it's racist.

It is called marketing demographics. The only thing Microsoft is guilty of here is a) sucking at photo editing, and b) having a crappy ad in the first place (hi Mac).

By kaoken on 8/27/09, Rating: 0
By Brain onna Bun on 8/27/2009 4:45:19 AM , Rating: 2
Well if you are in Poland, where less than 1% of 1% of the population is black, yes.

By Fanon on 8/27/2009 10:26:38 AM , Rating: 2
This story really isn't news worthy. Did someone at Microsoft do a piss-poor job of Photoshopping? Yes. Is this the only time someone, or a prominent company, did a piss-poor job of Photoshopping? No. Would this be reported if it didn't involve a black person? No. So what's the big deal? Why report it? Because it implies racism.

The post I responded to contained the following:

[quote]Not only should this be front page of DT/AT, it should also be on CNN using the same title.[/quote]

My question to Lord 666 was "Why?". It's not newsworthy unless it's made out to be racist.

By Lord 666 on 8/27/2009 3:25:00 PM , Rating: 2
Responding to your question; Yes, it is news worthy due to the demographics of Poland. does not break down into demographics, but just lists as Polish people being the majority

That being said, who determined the Asian fellow wasn't the minority versus the black guy? Why not just put two Polish looking people or leave the stock photo alone? Why even use a stock picture versus something abstract? Seriously, looking at a picture of paid models trying to look like IT decision makers has no bearing. The marketing campaign for Solarwinds has a cartoon drawing of the actual guy that does the tradeshow marketing and met him at Networkers.

What is the purpose of an ad campaign in the first place using models? So a decision maker can identify a need for the product or associate themselves with it. Personally, IT marketing in general is stupid. Look how little MS advertises in general for Windows 7 in the major media or Vista before it. The whole Seinfield/Gates campaign was a waste of money. What sells me on products are trials and demos; perfect example is MS with the Win 7 RC (not hesitating deploying within one month of official release) and Server 2008 R2 demo (need to verify Cisco Unity Active Directory comp first.) I'm also beta testing Office 2010 (not a fan of Outlook as it crashed too many times) and Exchange 2010. If the proof is not in the pudding, then its just IT marketing fluff.

By Fanon on 8/28/2009 3:55:02 PM , Rating: 2
The only thing I got out of your post that's even close to being on topic is you base your outrage on what the CIA has gathered for demographic data of Poland.


By Lord 666 on 8/26/2009 7:26:44 PM , Rating: 2 headline describes it as a "gaffe."

If MS truly wanted to reach the Polish market, they should have photoshop'd Jim Carey and the other guy from dumb and dumber.

By Ratinator on 8/26/2009 1:59:53 PM , Rating: 2
There are those people who legitimately criticize you and there are those who do it because everyone else does it. I think this guy falls in the latter of the two. Your headline is spot on this time and nowhere close to sensationalist.

By mfed3 on 8/26/2009 2:16:19 PM , Rating: 2
Yea for once one of your readers supported you good job.

By porkpie on 8/26/2009 2:21:26 PM , Rating: 4
How does that headline sensationalize what happened
Easy one. Because you chose to turn a simple business decision into a racial issue. Why say "black man" in the headline? What does the man's race have to do with it? You're immediately assuming -- with no justification -- some sort of bias on Microsoft's part.

By Motoman on 8/26/2009 2:26:32 PM , Rating: 2
No, it's a blunt statement of fact. There couldn't be a less-biased title to put on this article...the title says exactly what happened, and nothing more.

By rippleyaliens on 8/26/2009 2:28:14 PM , Rating: 2
Initially i was expecting something else, but this pisses me off the highest level...

MS Poland. No wonder Microsoft has to make a special version of windows for the Europe folks. Cant even get a simple brochure right.. Photoshop is all jacked up, size is off, hand is still dark, and to top it off, a mac in a Microsoft photo..

Instead of like, just taking a different picture, Or BETTER using a different picture that i am sure is available... Laziness breeds inefficiencies..

By Rookierookie on 8/26/2009 2:29:06 PM , Rating: 2
Because that is exactly what Microsoft is getting called out for? I think every news outlet will do the same thing.

By totallycool on 8/26/2009 2:31:57 PM , Rating: 4
But how is it TECH news? i mean sure it is RELATED to a tech company, or is it because some one PHOTOSHOPED a photo, or there is some new apple comp being displayed on there?

Really this makes no sense on a Technology website.

By sebmel on 8/26/2009 2:40:36 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing sensationalist about your headline this time at all, Jason.

But you so often pander to the adolescent with your click baiting at other times I don't understand your surprise at the quality of the response.

How does the phrase go: You made your bed... now lie in it.

By jay401 on 8/26/2009 3:36:29 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't say you sensationalized the headline. It's just simply AMAZING how I can tell every single time when a story on DailyTech is written by you, by the headline alone. Every single time. And most of the time, the headline causes me to roll my eyes.

By room200 on 8/27/2009 8:43:11 AM , Rating: 1
Then why do you read them? Seems to me you only read them because you want to play the "victim card". LOL

By Nobleman00 on 8/26/09, Rating: 0
By johnsonx on 8/26/2009 8:14:57 PM , Rating: 2
While I think this issue is a bit overblown, Jason Mick isn't the one doing the over-blowing. To the suprise of many, I have no Jason Mick criticism at all today.

Microsoft is Racist!
By SerafinaEva on 8/26/09, Rating: -1
"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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