Microsoft Just Made the Definitive 1990s Nostalgia Video

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Jan. 25 2013 9:50 AM

Microsoft Just Made the Definitive 1990s Nostalgia Video

Oregon Trail Microsoft ad
"Jessica has died of dysentery."

Screenshot / YouTube

Slap bracelets. 56k modems. Tamagotchis. LA Gear Lights. And… Microsoft Internet Explorer?

In a new ad, Microsoft aims for the hearts of “Generation Y” with a slice of 1990s nostalgia so thick you could cut it with a diskette. From the track-suit color palette to the Oregon Trail in-jokes, the ad is a pitch-perfect tribute to the most recent decade anyone could possibly get nostalgic about.

Advertisement

“You grew up,” it concludes. “So did we.” The pitch is that it’s high time to “reconnect with the new Internet Explorer.”

The ad will surely tug at the sentiments of anyone between the ages of about 21 and 35. And give Microsoft credit for recognizing and acknowledging its once-dominant Web browser’s antiquated image. (The ad is part of a broader campaign whose homepage is browseryoulovedtohate.com.) But as clever as the spot is, it’s hard to imagine it convincing anyone to drop Firefox or Chrome and return to the browser dark ages, any more than it will convince them to go out and get a bowl cut. In fact, I wouldn’t have been surprised to learn at the end that the ad was in fact a parody clip put together by Google or Mozilla partisans. 

Still: pogs. For keeps.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.

Why all cracker names sound alike.

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Afghan Town With a Legitimately Good Tourism Pitch

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Photography
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
  Arts
Television
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 21 2014 11:38 PM “Welcome to the War of Tomorrow” How Futurama’s writers depicted asymmetrical warfare.
  Health & Science
The Good Word
Sept. 21 2014 11:44 PM Does This Name Make Me Sound High-Fat? Why it just seems so right to call a cracker “Cheez-It.”
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.