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Microsoft won’t try to be funny on April Fools’ Day, bans employee pranks

In just a few days, companies will begin sending out silly press releases for products and services that don't exist, in an attempt to be funny on April Fools' Day. The problem, though, is that tech companies are notoriously not funny on April 1, the annual day of pranks. Microsoft recognizes this, and has thankfully (and mercifully) sent out a memo to employees telling them not to participate.

Or maybe that's the April Fools' Day prank. We hope not. In a memo sent by Microsoft's marketing chief Chris Capossela, which was obtained by The Verge, Capossela pours cold water on these "stunts" and says even when the pranks are humorous, they don't have much of a positive impact.

"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," Capossella wrote.

"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," Caposella added.

What this means is, we won't see any announcements pitching MS-DOS for mobile devices, though Netflix may try to acquire Jonah Hill, having purchased Seth Rogen last year.