In a surprisingly unstartling revelation, sources at Microsoft confirmed today that the company uses zombies to help pick the names for its technologies.
Most recently used to pick the name “Windows XP Home Edition N” as part of a naming agreement with the European Commission, sources say zombies are excellent at picking dull and uninteresting names that are difficult to pin down.
“The zombies’ first suggestion – ‘Windows XP Reduced Media Edition’ – is precisely the kind of name we look for,” said focus group coordinator Erik Haubrich. “It’s long and uninteresting – practically sucking the life force right out of you. The zombies loved it – it’s a shame the European Commission is not as dull-minded as our zombies.
“Although, ‘Windows XP Home Edition N’ certainly sucks in its own right.”
While focus groups consisting entirely of zombies are cheap and only require a steady diet of human brains to keep going, they are not without their challenges, according to Haubrich.
“Some times they’ll just sit there for days on end, not doing anything,” Haubrich said. “And, yes, sometimes they’ll pick names that are too dull and confusing even for us. ‘Windows XP Prosumer Home Office Corporate Server Millenia Edition II – The SQL’ was a little much. Although we still may use that for some of our government contracts. You know… since we fed them all the brains and everything.”
Haubrich said that Microsoft used to use wild monkeys to pick the names of its products, but even wild monkeys would pick a succinct, memorable name by accident from time to time.
“We knew we had to change our focus group strategy when the monkeys suggested just calling it ‘Windows’ and having different boxes branded ‘Home’, ‘Pro’, ‘Server’, etc. What the hell is that? Stupid monkeys.
“We sold them all for experiments and got some zombies.”
Working with zombies has personally been very rewarding, Haubrich said.
“You have to stay on your toes. Because if they corner you, they’ll be munching on your brain in no time. And being around the undead just makes you feel better about yourself.
“No matter how bad things get… at least you’re not a zombie.”