Office 2000 is MS top-seller before it even ships

Now, where did we hear that one before?

Microsoft's curious ability to sell huge stacks of software seems to have been tuned up a notch or two. Now it can apparently make something a best-seller and have it rated the most popular product before it even ships. With over a week to go before Office 2000's UK launch we were more than a little surprised to see the advertisement run for the "product" in the weekend papers. "Some children get more of a head-start than others," it says here. "Not only is [Microsoft Office 2000] the world's best-selling office suite. It's the leading choice for schools and a proven aid in boosting a child's learning ability." Not bad for a non-existent product, eh? The defence may be simply that we're talking Microspeak here, and that Microsoft's excitable ad agency is referring to Office in general. But we'd still have said two of the claims being made were dubious, and the ad does purport to be talking about Office 2000. But check out the personnel in the picture. We've got seven happy kids plus a dog (Bob? Surely not...) on a beach. They look like American children to us, but never mind that, they've all got job tags next to them. We've got a lawyer (ahem...), accountant (double ahem...), journalist (these guys get everywhere) and a teacher. And then there are the ones who presumably use SmartSuite, the dispatch rider, the bus driver and the window cleaner. The dog doesn't have a job, but it's possibly that "unsuccessful and somewhat risible user interface" would have taken up too much space. ®

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