Microsoft Unhappy With Release Of Lighthearted Training Video

Aug 25, 2006 (11:08 AM EDT)

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Microsoft on Friday was unhappy with the online release of a training video that was made to look like an episode of the popular British comedy "The Office," and featured the show's star and creator Ricky Gervais.

Microsoft in the United Kingdom made the 2004 video as a fun way to instruct people on how not to act at work. The 37-minute video was only for internal use, but somehow got released on the Web.

In the two-part video, Gervais plays David Brent, the bumbling boss in "The Office," in what could easily pass for a lost episode of the BBC series. On the film, he is being interviewed about Stephen Merchant, who also was as actor on the original show.

"The two videos that Ricky and Stephen recorded for us in 2004 were a light-hearted way of getting our staff to think about the values they attach to working at Microsoft and, through the character of David Brent, illustrate what not to do in the workplace," a Microsoft spokesperson said in an email. "These videos were produced for internal use and were never intended to be viewed by the public."

Microsoft was trying to determine how the video was released, the spokesperson said.