Well, the interns at Microsoft sure had fun this summer.
While there may be a documentary coming to Netflix that dives deep into what makes Bill Gates tick, the release of “Microsoft the Musical” on YouTube on Friday clearly shows what makes heels click at the software giant he co-founded.
The 8-minute number, which took us about that much time to convince ourselves it was in fact a real thing, features singing and dancing software engineers and data scientists clad in primary-colored clothing. The whole thing is the work of 150 people, including interns and employees.
A description for the video on YouTube is written by Liam McGregor, a data science intern credited with directing, producing and helping to write the musical.
“‘Microsoft the Musical’ was dreamt up and led by interns spending the summer of 2019 at Microsoft,” McGregor wrote. “This Tony Awards-style musical theater opening number is just one of many passion projects that came to life because we were encouraged to bring our whole selves to work. And that’s what we did: 150 people came in on mornings, weekends, and nights to create this outside of (and in addition to) their day jobs.”
After opening with a nod to Gates, cast members dance across the company’s Redmond, Wash., headquarters campus and throughout buildings. A whole host of company accomplishments and product names are dropped throughout — Windows, Office, PowerPoint, Surface, Xbox, HoloLens, Minecraft, Azure … even Clippy gets a mention. And the lyrics, posted in full here, also manage to poke some fun (sorry, Windows Phone):
It’s all happening here…
The standard for your office and your home
All happening here
All around the world our products are well-known!
Except for when we tried to make a phone!
“It’s all happening here,” is the constant refrain from the chorus. And while it sure does appear that being an intern at Microsoft affords young people the chance to work on some cutting-edge stuff, a break in the music does lay things on a little thick, as two characters are shown chatting in a company cafeteria.
“How is it that everyone here does so much,” a woman asks her co-worker at the 5:25 mark of the video.
“I know. I don’t get it. Maybe there’s something in the water,” the man replies.
“May I please have a latte and … an extra shot of whatever ingredient it is that makes people here so successful?” the woman says as she orders a beverage.
Alas, there is no special ingredient, because everyone brings their own! Back to the singing and dancing!
“Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more,” McGregor wrote in his director’s note. “We hope that this speaks to every person who dreams of being part of something big — and especially to those who’ve been wrongly told they can’t be. At some point, we were all in your shoes. You CAN, you SHOULD, and you WILL.”
Here’s a list of credits for those involved in the production, as it shows up on YouTube — along with their titles for jobs they held at Microsoft in the summer of 2019:
- Produced and Directed by … Liam McGregor (data scientist intern)
- Written by … Liam McGregor (data scientist intern) and Trip Master (explorer intern)
- Executive Produced by … Diego Rejtman (GM, global university recruiting) and Sacha Nunn (culture program manager)
- Choreographed and Co-Directed by … Swetha Prabakaran (explorer intern)
- Protagonists (in order of appearance) … Ryan Hecht (program manager intern), Leslie Richardson (program manager), Alyssa Raqueno (explorer intern)
- Bill Gates, the idea … Eleanor Lewis (software engineer intern)
- Composed by … Joshua Yang (explorer intern), Trip Master (explorer intern), Liam McGregor (data scientist intern)
- Orchestrated and Conducted by … Peter Yang (software engineer intern)
- Director of Photography … Stephen Hitchcock (software engineer)
- Sr. Production Manager … Morgan Dukes (marketing intern)
- Associate Cinematographer and AD … Rishi Raj (software engineer)
- Assistant Choreographer and AD … Lizzy Lee