Stripped for MS

Sally Khudairi (
Mon, 10 May 1999 23:30:48 -0400


+ Microsoft Seeks Naked Truth of Weblife

Microsoft Network in the UK has taken four people, stripped
them naked, handed them a credit card limit of 500 pounds
($805), turned the webcams on them, and locked them in a hotel
room for a week.

The idea is, MSN says, to demonstrate how it is possible to
survive for 100 hours using only the web and a credit card to
buy food, drink, clothing and entertainment. The study is being
conducted in a hotel in central London, with human-computer
interaction expert Dr Helen Petrie, who has designed a program
to assess the four participants. MSN says it will conduct the
same experiment in one year, to evaluate how fast internet
services progress.

The four participants are volunteers who replied to a newspaper
advertisement. They include a retired firefighter, an
unemployed 30-year old, a freelance Encarta editor and a "46
year old American". Visitors to the MSN web site can
participate by emailing advice, chatting or watching on the
four webcams that have been trained on the volunteers (who are
given bath robes to spare their shame). Unsurprisingly, full
interaction is only possible using Microsoft's Internet
Explorer or Microsoft Chat.