This picture links to google video and will play a film allegedly created by Microsoft as a parody of the branding used by Microsoft. I picked up the story via Adrants The folks at Adrants were slightly critical of Microsoft in the piece. I wonder whether this was justified?
Yes, of course Microsoft's branding is not as aesthetically pleasing (if at all) but it is Microsoft's. The clarity of format, style and even the "mandatories" allow the Microsoft products to be clearly identified on the shelf. Buying decisions are made easier by brands and the heritage and associations of the Microsoft name are well known. In many product choices I am sure Microsoft is the salient brand and parody as this might be, beauty is not a requirement for effectiveness.