The Onion’s 9 best bits about Microsoft

Poking fun at the software giant and founder Bill Gates since 1996

The Onion
Going on two decades of ridicule

The Onion, self-branded "America's Finest News Source," has been making fun of Microsoft - and, in particular, Bill Gates - since at least 1996, according to its online archive. Here are nine of what we've judged to be the best efforts.

Bill Gates To Get Half
Bill Gates To Get Half

Publication date: July 23, 1996

Sample: "Don't touch anything until you're sure it's not part of my half," Gates instructed the world's citizenry yesterday via the several million 40-foot-high projection screens he has scattered throughout the globe. "I don't want anyone messing up stuff in my half."

Bill Gates Spends $56 Million On Amazon In One Night
Bill Gates Spends $56 Million On Amazon In One Night

Published: Sept. 22, 2011

Sample: "The kids were in bed, and I was thinking about how it had been a long time since I'd heard any Yes, so I bought the MP3 for 'Leave It,'" Gates said as he opened one of the 13,846 boxes that had arrived at his house.

Microsoft patents ones and zeros
Microsoft patents ones and zeros

Published: March 25, 1998

Sample: "Microsoft has been using the binary system of ones and zeroes ever since its inception in 1975," Gates told reporters. "For years, in the interest of the overall health of the computer industry, we permitted the free and unfettered use of our proprietary numeric systems. However, changing marketplace conditions and the increasingly predatory practices of certain competitors now leave us with no choice but to seek compensation for the use of our numerals."

Thousands Wait Overnight At Microsoft Stores For Second Generation Zune
Thousands Wait Overnight At Microsoft Stores For Second Generation Zune

Published: Dec. 17, 2007

Sample: The sleek new Zune, whose record-breaking sales have made the Zune name synonymous with "mp3 player," was so sought-after that thousands formed long lines outside hip, minimalist Microsoft Stores across the country days before the device went on sale. In Midtown Manhattan, the hysteria reached such a fever pitch that some were willing to pay as much as $200 for a spot in line.

Microsoft Signs Justice Dept. Attorney To $350 Million Endorsement Deal
Microsoft Signs Justice Dept. Attorney To $350 Million Endorsement Deal

Published: Jan. 21, 1998

Sample: Klein, who will appear in Microsoft TV and print ads, joins a growing list of high-profile government personalities who have signed endorsement deals with the software giant, including solicitor general Seth Waxman, FTC chair Robert Pitofsky and federal judge Thomas Penfield Jackson.

Microsoft Ad Campaign Crashing Nation's Televisions
Microsoft Ad Campaign Crashing Nation's Televisions

Published: Oct. 27, 2008

Sample: The Microsoft ads, which began airing earlier this week, are being blamed for generating critical system errors in more than 70 million televisions. In addition, thousands of frustrated Americans said that the ads have caused their TVs to become unresponsive, their screens to turn blue, and a small box with the message "terminal application error" to suddenly appear.

Bill Gates Finally Getting Into Radiohead's Kid A
Bill Gates Finally Getting Into Radiohead's Kid A

Published: Sept. 12, 2001

Sample: "I listened to it a few times when I first got it, but it just wasn't grabbing me," Gates told The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Xbox capable of controlling users
Credit: YouTube.com
Xbox capable of controlling users

Sample from video: "TechBuzz is raving. ‘This is the future of gaming. With the Xbox One we are closer than ever to being completely piloted by a console. It's the immersive obedience experience we’ve been waiting for."

Modern-Day John Henry Dies Trying To Out-Spreadsheet Excel 11.0
Modern-Day John Henry Dies Trying To Out-Spreadsheet Excel 11.0

Published: Feb. 27, 2006

Sample: Peters challenged the computer after an interoffice memo announced that Excel's powerful upgraded accounting software would render jobs in the accounts receivable division obsolete and result in sweeping layoffs. Although warned repeatedly by his colleagues in billing, Peters insisted that he could beat the software "to the bottom of a large balance sheet of bedrock-hard figures."