Steve Ballmer To Castigate Bad Mac-To-Windows Switch Creators

Steve Ballmer, Microsoftis CEO, has been playing Scrabble. The once and future Planet of the Apes star is stepping up to the plate concerning an embarrassing Mac-to-Windows switch story it published, and then pulled in the face of overwhelming criticism (see TMOis coverage of that story for more information). Mr. Ballmer is quoted in article from TheAge.comis Australian site as saying that Microsoft is considering sanctions against the writer of the ad, that the company might have to "weed out" some employees, and that he personally would "castigate the offender." Big words. Literally. From the piece:

Microsoft may consider sanctions against a public relations consultant who tried to pass herself off as someone who had switched from the Apple Mac to Windows XP in a high-profile US advertising campaign, chief executive Steve Ballmer said today.

The software company was forced to pull the advertising, which mimics rival Appleis Switch campaign from Windows XP to the Mac, after keen-eyed regulars to the Slashdot tech news and discussion Web site noticed irregularities in the case study of an anonymous woman that was presented on the Microsoft Web site.

Microsoft pulled the case study from its Web site after Valerie G. Mallinson, a public relations consultant for US firm Wes Rataushk and Assoc Inc, was forced to admit she was the person depicted. The indiscretion strikes to the heart of Microsoftis attempts to turn around its unscrupulous image, while it tries to build support for its technical initiative chief software architect and founder Bill Gates dubbed last year, "Trustworthy Computing".

"I got a piece of mail that was vague that the assertion is some marketing person did something that was not entirely straightforward," Ballmer said. "If thatis right, I will certainly castigate the offender."

Although not referring specifically to the Mallinson case, he added it may be necessary to "weed out" employees who did not live up to Microsoftis code of behaviour.

The report also discusses how the shenanigans with Microsoftis reverse "Switch" campaign hurt the companyis image as being a "Trustworthy" one. You can find those comments, and more information, in the full article.