Bizarre Microsoft Recruiting Videos From 2008

August 28, 2014 | Sophie Weiner

Imagine you’re back in the distant past. The year was 2008, a strange and terrifying time. The recession was in full swing, we hadn’t yet gained the ability to “like” things on Facebook, and Microsoft was getting really desperate to recruit cool young kids before they were all snatched up by Google. These recruiting videos from Microsoft are both the least effective Human Resources tool we’ve ever seen and also shockingly ahead of their time, predicting the Tumblr and net art cultures that would develop over the next few years. (Did Microsoft invented #seapunk?)

The first video (above) takes you to the “distant future,” which looks a lot like a demoscene video from the mid ’90s, and includes soon-to-be-hip New Age imagery like crystals and geodesic domes which, at that time, was still languishing in the realm of too-recent-to-be-ironic.

The second video (below) is much stranger, featuring two coders who create artificial intelligence and then are immediately imprisoned in another dimension by a creature that resembles something out of a Jon Rafman video. Whatever the Microsoft marketing team were thinking when they made these, they probably should have stuck with it instead of releasing Windows 8.