|Microsoft Launches Hardwear Clothing Range|
|Written by Kay Ewbank|
|Sunday, 17 July 2022|
Microsoft has launched a new product range - Hardwear Clothing, that the company says puts the focus on creativity and self-expression. This isn't a late April Fools Day joke, honest.
Launched with the headline "Hardwear: Create with Intention", the clothing is described as a capsule clothing collection designed by Gavin Mathieu. The range includes t-shirts, "tech pants" , baseball hats and jackets, and it's not cheap - a baseball hat would set you back $45.
The launch blurb says that "every piece is intentional" (as opposed to appearing in there by accident, presumably), and "there is meaning behind each item in Hardwear." The writeup says that some of the items in the range have been inspired by Microsoft Paint and Windows. Only the cynical would think this means the $60 Blue Sky Green Hill tee will have a tendency to update just when you're trying to get on with a time-critical task.
Reading through the quotes about "building a community that empowers innovation through authenticity", I couldn't help thinking back to that iconic photograph from 1978, showing the first eleven Microsoft employees. Famously, the group shot was only taken because one of the eleven won a free studio portrait in a competition. You can say many things about those young original Microsofties, but I don't think they look like they need a baseball cap to be creative.
And in some ways, it sounds like there are still people at Microsoft who think that too - another of the inspirational quotes about the clothing says "Style and creativity are in you, not on you"; which if you follow the thinking, means it doesn't matter what you wear, it's about what you do. So spending $150 on a pair of Hardware Cargo Tech Pants won't make you any more creative, right? I suspect that's what those original Microsoft developers would have thought.
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