Microsoft bans April Fool’s Day pranks on concerns of negative publicity
Microsoft has banned its employees from taking part in playing pranks and hoaxes on April Fools’ Day, The Verge reported. The software major’s marketing head Chris Capossela has warned all his employees to not participate in any kind of annoying hoaxes on April 1, the report said citing an internal memo to the employees.
“Considering the headwinds the tech industry is facing today, I’m asking all teams at Microsoft to not do any public-facing April Fools’ Day stunts,” the report stated the memo by Capossela.
In the memo, Capossela has explained that April Fool’s Day pranks have had a limited positive impact in the past and these can result in negative news publicity. “I appreciate that people may have devoted time and resources to these activities, but I believe we have more to lose than gain by attempting to be funny on this one day,” the memo.
In 2016, Google had added an April Fool’s Day feature on the Gmail which had led users to send ‘minions’ memes and muted important conversations. The company was forced to apologise later.
Microsoft too has participated in various April Fool’s Day pranks in the past, in 2015, the company had played a prank by claiming to launch MS-DOS mobile for Windows Phone.
Both Google and Microsoft have also made fun at each other’s shortcomings. In 2013, Google played a prank by introducing Gmail Blue, a dig at Microsoft’s blue Windows project, while Microsoft poked fun at the search engine giant’s search engine.
April Fool’s Day is celebrated annually across many of the western countries on April 1 by playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes.