My thanks to @girlygeekdom on Twitter for highlighting what must be the most surreal Internet marketing plan ever - British girl band the Sugababes are being used to promote Windows 7. There is a website called 'sugababeslovewindows7' to announce it.
I'm as flummoxed as anyone by this. Let's take to one side the fact that I'm a 44 year old man and not at all in the Sugababes' market - what exactly is this trying to say about the brand? That it's easy to use? OK, check - but surely it's no longer acceptable to dismiss young females as incapable of mastering difficult stuff. I know, I have a nine year old daughter and she already speaks more Spanish than I do.
So maybe it's supposed to be trendy? OK, maybe...but it's an operating system, guys, not an item of clothing or new dessert. Mac OS is arguably more fashionable but that's how you get about 5 per cent of the market. This stuff needs to be fashion-proof. Perhaps they think it's going to appeal to a particular demographic? Again I see no reason it should do so; a good OS should ideally be suited to everyone (and compared to Windows Vista, Windows 7 is doing a good job on that score).
I'm the last to blame the Sugababes, in case anyone's wondering. I have no doubt Microsoft is paying plenty for their promotional services and it's not in me to wish less income on anyone. It's Microsoft's view I find completely bewildering. I suppose coming from the same company that chose the Rolling Stones' 'Start Me Up' for the launch of Windows 95 only to have to edit it so the line 'You make a grown man cry' wasn't heard, this isn't a surprise. But even so...a girl band?