back to article Tone deaf? Microsoft must have booked Sting for Davos because he's a good singer

As Microsoft employees went to sleep on Tuesday not knowing that the next day their jobs would be on the line, company execs hobnobbing in Davos hosted a private performance by a geriatric popster. According to The Wall Street Journal, Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, better known as Sting, was paid by Microsoft to entertain an " …

  1. Ball boy

    Sting's 'Brand New Day' album tracks

    It's almost as if he foretold things because both Big Lie Small World and Tomorrow We'll See are tracks that feature on the album.

    Of course, so does Prelude to the End of the Game. I wonder if he considered playing that little number to the Redmond elite?

  2. Lil Endian Silver badge


    Mr. Currie! A Vulture linking YouTube?

    Does Everyone Stare at that now? It's Alright for You perhaps, but for me I have No Time This Time, On Any Other Day it'd be a Deathwish for me! Or at least a hope to rapidly Bring On the Night.

    Apologies, I had to Contact you this way, as El Reg wouldn't let me leave a Message in a Bottle.


    (I have no comment on my bed, nothing personal!)

  3. Frumious Bandersnatch

    "the do do do, the 'da, da, da'"

    Sorry, Comrade. (no, we won't be reimbursing you for burial expenses)

  4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    26th Bond movie

    An evil supervillian plans to blow up Davos, killing all the worlds plutocrats and finance ministers

    Bond's mission is to make sure it all goes to plan

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 26th Bond movie

      Now, where can we find a 4'6" crazed swedish bolshie for the lead role?

  5. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    I will turn your face to alabaster

    Execs file a sell date for their stock, announce moderate layoffs to bump up the stock price, sell, and retire. It's very fashionable these days.

    I sold my options on the bumped up stock price following my own layoff. It's far from retirement levels of money but I can only hope I contributed towards a nice downward dent in that bump.

  6. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Sting paid by Microsoft to entertain an "intimate gathering of the company's top executives"

    An evening of plutocrat lute crap

  7. iain666

    Microsoft, like all the other big tech companies laying off a load of employees, knew as well as the rest of us that the pandemic induced spike in demand wouldn't be permanent. They assumed, probably rightly, that it would last long enough to make taking on a load of permies and laying them of would be cheaper than contractors.

    1. Dinanziame Silver badge

      Yeah, yeah, everybody knew... Except that one year ago, the narrative was that the pandemic had fast-forwarded history and nothing would be again the same. I don't know if everybody believed it, but the stock market certainly did.

      1. 43300 Bronze badge

        And, so we were told, everyone would work from home forever!

        This narrative ignored those who pointed out that a) many jobs cannot be done from home and b) of those which theoretically can, it really doesn't work well in a large number of cases, other than in the short term, as you lose that collaboration which just happens by working in the same space - and umpteen fucking Teams meetings every week is a not an adequate substitute!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks, you’ve been a great audience

    Try the caviar.

  9. Mayday Silver badge


    On that, how much are this lot investing into ChatGPT?

    *I already know the answer btw.

    1. Graham Lee

      Re: ChatGPT

      They worked with Sting to find out whether ChatGPT is the Ghost in the Machine.

  10. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Good Times

    By Edie Brickell

    Win95 OSR1/2 CD

    "Good times, bad times, gimme some of that

    Good times, bad times, gimme some of that

    Good times, bad times, gimme some of that"

  11. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge


    Surely they should have had "Mr Davos" Bono of U2 perform for them...

  12. Plest Silver badge

    Jeez, this is just cringeworthy!

    Ah, let's drag up some multi-billion dollar aged rockstar to make us seem "with it". Like when MS hired The Rolling Stones 'cos "Start Me Up" has "Start" in the title and fitted in nicely, it was just embarassing. I had images of 40 somethings in a board room in the early 1990s thinking, "It's hard rock and the kids and parents will love it!". Oh dear....

    Sting hit is fame with The Police just as I started getting into music as a young kid, he's technically part of my generation's cultural heritage and yet I'm sorry say that as I get into my 50s he's was seen as a tired, sad old dinosaur 15 years ago! I got into rock and metal in the 1980s and as a sad old fart myself now even I don't cling to the past, I respect it but I'm always looking for young talented musicians to listen to, fresh new ideas in outsider genres of music.

    1. sgp

      Re: Jeez, this is just cringeworthy!

      You expected a creative choice? From the c-level?

    2. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: Jeez, this is just cringeworthy!

      I like "Start me up" as a theme song for Windows: "you make a grown man cry" is the line that cracks me up every time :)

    3. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Jeez, this is just cringeworthy!

      YUP! The world has gone off the rails sideways. I thought Sting had more class? Would he have done this in his younger days? I mean, I saw them at an Amnesty International gig back in '86. Oh, what a world... indeed.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Jeez, this is just cringeworthy!

        It would have been funnier if it had been BAe or Lockheed-Martin execs - maybe next year

    4. Youngone Silver badge

      Re: Jeez, this is just cringeworthy!

      They're not booking Sting to appear "with it" and they don't care what we think of them because why would they?

      They booked Sting because they like his music and have enough money to make him forget about any principles he may have had.

  13. revenant

    One more for the list

    Especially for Mr gates, given what has happened to Windows:

    "Every breath you take, ... I'll be watching you"

  14. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Well worth a watch because ....

    .... the Davos crowd are gonna hate The Bank of Dave [Netflix] and Def Leppard ‽ .

  15. _olli

    Changing one's job should not be considered as tragedy

    Everyone, literally everyone in IT industry should climb up from their pits of comfort and change job at least once in a decade, or else they'll stagnate their personal development and eventually may end up becoming unemployable due to obsoleted set of essential skills. These news of big techs letting tens of thousands go may sound terrible, but there's currently high demand for skilled professionals and in the end a change will do good for all the involved parties.

    1. nobody who matters Bronze badge

      Re: Changing one's job should not be considered as tragedy

      I take you have never been kicked in the teeth by sudden unexpected redundancy ?

  16. Korev Silver badge

    Some might say the decision to go ahead with the gig was tone deaf, but The Register understands Sting is widely considered to be a talented musician and singer.

    A virtual pint for Mr Currie

  17. Nifty Silver badge

    Linky diarrhoea?

    (Re-read the article...)

  18. chivo243 Silver badge

    Set list?

    I wonder if he played "Message in a Bottle" The message is "you're redundant!"

    Grabbing my coat to beat the rush...

  19. Potemkine! Silver badge

    I guess those MS execs didn't fly to Switzerland by Ryan Air, did they? I would also bet they didn't book the cheapest hotel.

    Cost reduction isn't for the C-suite, when wage salves are expendables.

  20. tiggity Silver badge

    Over staffed?

    Given the amount of bugs (& breakages when a new Windows patch comes out) instead of layoffs maybe some staff could instead have been redeployed to improve the quality of the software?

  21. NeilPost Silver badge

    As much holiday …

    It was as tone-deaf as the self-publicity a day or so earlier saying employees could have as much time off as they wanted.

    They just neglected to mention this would be without remuneration or company benefits … or the need to ever come back !!

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