A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 08, 2015
“How many Microsoft engineers does it take to change a light bulb?” (joke)

Microsoft Corporation‘s Windows operating system is so dominant in the computer industry that there is a popular joke:

Q: How many Microsoft engineers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: None, they just define darkness as an industry standard.


The joke has been cited in print since at least 1993.

“How many hardware engineers does it take to change a light bulb?” and “How many programmers does it take to change a light bulb?” are related “light bulb” jokes.


Google Groups: alt.toys.hi-tech
M.I.T. 3D TV?
Panther’s Midnight
5/19/93
(...)
Q:  How many Microshaft Engineers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A:  None.  They just define darkness as an industry standard. 

Google Groups: de.comp.sys.amiga.tech
Externe Festplatte am A3000?
Torsten Klein
8/11/93
(...)
Q:  How many Microshaft Engineers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A:  None They just define darkness as an industry standard

Google Groups: comp.os.os2.advocacy
Microsoft Standards
William Unruh
11/25/93
nteresting quote in tonights paper (Apparently by Eric Berg)
“How many Microsoft engineers does it take to design a light bulb?
Answer- None- They just ship 10,000 burned out bulbs and declare darkness the new standard.”

Google Groups: bit.listserv.skeptic
More Dark Suckers a.k.a. Lightbulbs
Daniel Chinen
12/14/94
(...)
Q: - How many Microsoft engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: - None, Bill Gates will just redefine Darkness(tm) as the new industry standard.

Google Books
Walking the World Wide Web:
Your Personal Guide to Great Internet Resources

By Shannon R. Turlington
Chapel Hill, NC: Ventana Press
1995
Pg. 150:
How many Microsoft engineers does it take to screw in a light bulb? None, they just define darkness as an industry standard.

You’ll find this joke and others in this constantly growing online humor collection.

Google Books
The Last Best Thing:
A Classic Tale of Greed, Deception, and Mayhem in Silicon Valley

By Patrick Dillon
New York, NY: Simon & Schuster
1996
Pg. 64:
On another wall there was a poster that said:

Q: HOW MANY MICROSOFT ENGINEERS DOES IT TAKE TO CHANGE A LIGHT BULB?
A: NONE. BlLL GATES WILL JUST REDEFINE DARKNESSTM AS THE NEW INDUSTRY STANDARD.

Google Books
U.S. News & World Report
Volume 121, Issues 18-26
1996
Pg. 82:
Here’s a sampling: How many Microsoft engineers does it take to change a light bulb? None. Bill Gates will just redefine Darkness8 as an industry standard.

Google Groups: dk.edb.mac
how many Microsoft executives does it take to change a lightbulb???
“kristoffer_jensen"
1/20/00
how many Microsoft executives does it take to change a lightbulb? 
None - they make Darkness� the new industry standard…

Snopes.com
Topic: How many Microsoft employees does it take to change a lightbulb?
OTL
posted 21 October, 2005 09:07 PM
How many Microsoft employees does it take to change a light bulb? None, they just declare darkness to be the new standard.

Manchester Evening News (UK)
Windows 10: PC users out of the darkness with new Microsoft OS
16:58, 9 AUGUST 2015
BY ROB WILLIAMS
There’s an old joke that goes: “How many Microsoft engineers does it take to change a light bulb?”

“A. None. They’ll just redefine Darkness (TM) as the new industry standard.”

Okay, maybe it’s not that funny; but what the joke lacks in hilarity it makes up for with a bit of a truth.

For the majority of the lifetime of popular personal computing, Microsoft has had such a vice-like grip on the market that the word monopoly scarcely does it justice.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMedia/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • Saturday, August 08, 2015 • Permalink