Microsoft claims that the iLoo, an outhouse with a built-in terminal for Web browsing, was an April Fools' Day gag--even though it was announced May 2.
The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant said on Monday that news that MSN UK was creating the iLoo, a portable lavatory that was supposedly going to be tested at music festivals in Great Britain this summer, was an elaborate ruse. "I can confirm it was an April Fools' joke," said Nouri Bernard Hasan, a Microsoft spokesman in the United States, told CNET News.com on Monday.
The iLoo captured the imagination of readers and headline writers all over the world when it first emerged nearly two weeks ago. MSN UK said at the time that the device, which was to come fitted with a Wi-Fi connection and a flat-panel display for seat-level reading, was an attempt to show off the U.K. Web portal's services in a different manner.
"It's a bit of fun, and it allows younger age groups access to our key services, like Hotmail and MSN Messenger, in a fun and interactive way," Matthew Whittingham, a MSN UK spokesman, said on May 2.
Other than the invention itself, the apparent launch of the iLoo didn't bear any indications of being a joke. For example, public relations representatives for Microsoft commented on the product. A press release, which included comments from MSN executives, was posted May 2 to the Microsoft UK Web site, where it remained available for a week.
News source: news.com