Posted by Chris Martin 07 March 2014
The 5 worst, funniest and most cringe worthy press conference moments ever
Press conferences can be boring, yawn-tastic affairs but occasionally they bring the most funny, whacky and cringe-worthy moments in the technology industry.
Here we've rounded up some of the best moments from over the years including gadget fails, stage walk-offs, tears, screams, and general cock-ups. So enjoy!
Michael Bay with Samsung at CES 2014
Rarely do we see things go so badly that someone has to walk off stage, but that's exactly what Hollywood director, Michael Bay, did at this year's CES show. He was Samsung's special guest, there to talk about the firm's new curved UHD TV. However, a problem with the teleprompter threw him off. Bay tried to wing it, even saying to the audience he was doing so, but things got the better of him resulting in gloriously cringe worthy mess.
Bay said on his blog after the event: "Wow! I just embarrassed myself at CES – I was about to speak for Samsung for this awesome Curved 105-inch UHD TV. I rarely lend my name to any products, but this one is just stellar. I got so excited to talk, that I skipped over the Exec VP's intro line and then the teleprompter got lost. Then the prompter went up and down – then I walked off. I guess live shows aren't my thing."
Microsoft Surface fail
Gremlins often get in the way of technology demonstrations but one of the most famous is Microsoft's launch of its new Surface tablet. Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft’s Windows division at the time, had the task of showing off its 'iPad killer' – in his 'I'm not that old' pair of Nike trainers.
The demo was going fairly well until he had to show off Internet Explorer on the Surface. Unfortunately the tablet went glitch-tastic and wouldn't respond to touch input or the physical button. Ironically, Sinofsky had to say "I can browse smoothly". His device didn't get any better either and was ditched for a new one on stage.
Alicia Keys at BlackBerry 10 launch
Following a trend of linking Celebrities to your brand to make it seem cool (Intel has Will.i.am for example) BlackBerry announced Alicia Keys as its new 'global creative director' at the launch for its BlackBerry 10 OS. In the clip below from the event, Alicia explains why she 'broke up' with BlackBerry for a sexier model (an iPhone). Then at the end, following a number of minutes on stage with no chemistry between her and CEO Thorsten Heins but plenty of sheer awkwardness she signs off with the most fake 'see you at the office' we've ever heard. Check it out.
Bill Gates looms over Steve Jobs at Apple keynote
Back in 1997, Steve Jobs re-joined a near-bankrupt Apple and agreed to Bill Gates' deal to save the company. Apple received a big cash injection from Microsoft buying shares, and Gates agreed to continue developing Office for Mac with a condition on making Internet Explorer default browser on the Mac products.
Steve gets his special guests to address everyone at the conference to explain the deal but has to through the humiliation of having Gates looming over him like a gurning Big Brother. This must be one of the worst set-up video calls in tech history.
Steve Ballmer - need we say more?
No list of weird and whacky press conferences would be complete without Microsoft's now former CEO. There are far too many Steve Ballmer moments to choose from so you're in for a treat with this 'best of' video we found on YouTube. Not all the clips are from press conferences but it's bound to make you laugh.
We love that compilation of Ballmer clips but we also want to include his recent farewell speech to Microsoft employees. We don't want to give too much away but it includes sobbing, a bright yellow polo shirt and music from Dirty Dancing – only Ballmer.