Microsoft, Your Booth Babes Make Me Feel Awkward

I was reading the local paper today, and perused an article about Microsoft targeting smaller companies in their forthcoming acquisitions. The article featured a photo of a couple Microsoft ‘booth babes’ at a tradeshow, showing off some peripherals (copped from Yahoo! News):

Aren't They a Little Young?

Maybe I’m just getting old, but don’t these young women look about twelve years old? Particularly the one on the right, who has ‘Hardware’ emblazoned on her crop-top. Of course, there’s a big market for webcams among paedophiles, so maybe it’s just good marketing.

It has nothing to do with so-young-it’s-creepy girls, I’ve always really liked Microsoft’s keyboards. I pretty much buy them exclusively.


  1. They must grow up quickly in Canada Darren, because those two look way older than twelve. They do look like they’re freezing cold though.

  2. We’re just getting old, Darren 😦

    The wife and I went to a bar a couple of blocks from our house on Friday which we hadn’t visited in months. To us, none of the women with the group at the pool table looked to be 19.

  3. I like Microsoft’s mice and trackballs, but I’m not so fond of their keyboards (mostly because I don’t touch-type properly — my right hand does about 2/3 of the letters — so “ergonomic” keyboards don’t work for me).

    While I guess booth babes work to attract (largely straight male) customers, the concept continues to bother me. Check out these photos from a recent “tuner car” show in Vancouver. See any cars? Are women ever likely to get interested in tuner cars at this rate? I guess the companies exhibiting there don’t care to expand their market that way.

    Similar issues at the NAMM Show for musical instruments, by the way. Tech companies are far from alone.

  4. It might have something to do with camera perspective, amongst other things.

    The girls are holding out the keyboards/mice towards the camera, and the photo looks to have been taken with a reasonably long lens – which has the effect of foreshortening the apparent depth of the image.

    Determining the age of young women can be quite difficult, unless you actually ask. I know one young woman who is 26, and I swear she looks well under 18.
    By the same token I’ve seen girls around here who I thought were 18-20, but are actually 15.

  5. I agree. Whatever they do in the way of marketing it hasn’t convinced me to buy another Microsoft Keyboard.


    This was typed on a Microsoft Natural Mk1 keyboard (1995?) which has tapped out at least 19,863,945 characters and is still going strong!

  6. I find the whole booth babe concept offensive in that it trivializes women. It says “Screw you, you’re insignificant” to women customers. Second, it suggests that the products don’t stand up on their own merits, therefore the (male) customers’ attention should be diverted from them. And third, it doesn’t matter if that woman is 25, the fact that Microsoft is seeking out women who LOOK 12 to sell their products is creepy.

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