Microsoft bans April Fools’ Day pranks

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WSYR-TV – Tech giant Microsoft is reportedly not allowing April Fools’ pranks in the corporation.

While office pranks can be fun,  Microsoft’s marketing chief Chris Capossela warned all employees not to participate, adding that “data tells us these stunts have limited positive impact and can actually result in unwanted news cycles.” 

Microsoft has participated in public April Fools’ pranks in the past, like reviving Clippy, the 90s paperclip Microsoft Office assistant, and changing the Bing search engine to look like Google. 

Below is the memo Capossela sent to employees, as obtained by The Verge. 

Hey everyone,

It’s that time of year when tech companies try to show their creativity with April Fools’ Day stunts. Sometimes the outcomes are amusing and sometimes they’re not. Either way, data tells us these stunts have limited positive impact and can actually result in unwanted news cycles.

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. 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.

Please forward to your teams and internal partners to ensure people are aware of the ask to stand down on external April Fools’ Day activities.

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