OK... it's already the weekend, but I thought that this was worth sharing with y'all. Mark Zielinski is a Co-Op/Intern/Assistant that keeps things running in my group down in the Mississauga head office of Microsoft Canada. He wrote up this post and I think that it is hilarious and worth sharing. There is something to be said for creative internal and external marketing...
Mark Zielinski is currently an Intern for Microsoft Canada’s User Experience Evangelism Team. He’s studying at the University of Waterloo’s Honours Math / Computer Science program, and is passionate about UX and reaching out to the community.
This morning, I checked into work as usual, and calmly walked over to my desk on the third floor. It was a day not unlike any other; perhaps a little cold and gray, but nothing out of the ordinary. That is, until I got closer to my desk. Right there, sitting beside my framed photograph of Steve Ballmer (company policy, of course) was some sort of paper bag.
As I got closer, I noticed what this thing was. It appeared to be some kind of motion sickness module, or “puke bag”, like the kind you get on airplanes. Why this was on my desk, I had no idea. There were various detailed instructions on how to use it, and also how not to use it…
This all seemed very well and good, but I still had no idea what it had to do with me. However, there was a curious caption at the top of the bag, which read: “WARNING: ADVANCED SIMULATOR MAY CAUSE MOTION SICKNESS.” I decided to turn the bag over to investigate.
Aha! This bag was for some kind of a Microsoft product, simulating flight, apparently. Why someone would want to simulate motion sickness is beyond me, so I decided to turn around and refer to my friend Dev, from marketing. I wasn’t prepared for the grim scene that awaited me.
Dev, always an early starter, had made the mistake of following the instructions printed on his bag. For once, his adventurous attitude had been his undoing. I left him to clean up the mess. As much as I didn’t want to share his fate, I had to find out more.
But of course, the only logo that I’d failed to notice was also the most prominent one: why, this was an advertisement for a Microsoft Flight Simulator X! I asked Dev what a Microsoft or a Flight Simulator X was. He kindly informed me that Microsoft was the company I worked for, and Flight Simulator X was a recent game release.
Things were starting to come together.
It was time to hop on the website. Now it came to me that I had played some of the older Flight Simulator titles years ago. Apparently things were “three-dimensional” these days. Not only could I pilot using my number-pad, I could use yokes and joysticks! I took a look at some more of the details of this software.
It comes in two editions. Depending on how hardcore of a pilot you are, you can go with the Deluxe Edition, which features several more planes, airports, cities and missions, as well as a “Tower controller” feature, which allows you the chance to take the most stressful job in the world: an Air Traffic Controller. I would imagine that’s not exactly for the faint of heart.
It seems that long gone are the days of the overhead 2-D flight simulator. Now, even the stuff on the ground is completely virtualized. Wild animals will graze in farmlands, and airport vehicles will load baggage onto your plane. So if our amateur pilot would choose to leave Heathrow a little earlier than planned, Aunt Mable may be disappointed to learn her check-in luggage won’t be following her to Clearwater Beach. Little details like these make me glad I took up piloting.
In either case, there may be something there to interest you as well. As for me, I get enough satisfaction from flying past farm animals in a Boeing 747.
If you are interested in the product - here's the link to get it.