MS owns the Web, you, me and everyone else

And it knows, we tell you, it knows

We ran a story on Friday pointing to an amusing Microsoft spoof on www.hwnd.net. The site ran an M$-style product support service on HowTo: Read the Fucking Manual. We thought it was funny, and evidently, so did you.

But not so long after our story went up, we had readers complaining that the link was broken. Also missing was the OS poll on the front that we pointed out ("Vote here for your favourite OS" with one button for Windows and a "sponsored by Microsoft" tag).

Most complained that we'd linked wrongly - often a fair charge, but this time we'd got it right. Microsoft (hi guys!) clearly took exception and before you could say Bill's-your-buddy, down she was. Of course, Hwnd's mistake was to make it look exactly the same as a normal MS product service page without at least making clear it was satirical.

Anyway, one reader has obviously sussed it and wrote: "I wanted to show the link (RTFM) to friend to day, but strangely the page is now 404, and the OS vote is gone to. So maybe M$ simply just owns the Net now. Or am I just being paranoid!!!!"

Naturally, we replied: "No. Microsoft owns it, you and me. Be grateful. You may never receive this message :-)"

Imagine then our sense of foreboding when, five minutes later, we received "Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender". Maybe it wasn't that email. Maybe one of the others. Carefully, slowly, click on the email. Yep. That email never made it.

Now is that spooky or is that spooky? Microsoft is fucking with our heads. ®

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