Chelsea Kate Isaacs once got mad at Steve Jobs in an e-mail. That e-mail then went public. Now Microsoft has invited the enemy of its enemy to a launch of its new mobile phone, Windows Phone 7. Coincidence? Microsoft says so. But there's good reason to doubt it.
Isaacs is a Long Island University journalism student who doesn't seem to understand journalism. When a professor instructed her to write a story on the college's proposal to buy new iPads for every incoming freshman, Isaacs made half-a-dozen phone calls to Apple public relations. Then she waited.
Frustrated that a billion-dollar company with better things to do wasn't returning her calls, Isaacs then tapped out a message to Jobs, perhaps the only big-shot CEO who occasionally writes back. And write back he did! With sass!
"Our goals do not include helping you get a good grade. Sorry"Isaacs thought this response to be unprofessional. (Editor's note: What was actually unprofessional was Isaacs not calling a source other than Apple PR. But I digress.) So she wrote Jobs a smarmy follow-up about how it was his duty to return every call or e-mail sent by a customer. Jobs, again, smacked her down.
Nope. We have over 300 million users and we can't respond to their requests unless they involve a problem of some kind. Sorry.Still not getting the point, Isaacs wrote back again. This time breaking the emergency glass and invoking the "I'm on deadline" rule, that says no one can ignore a person of such importance as me. Said Jobs:
Please leave us alone.OK. So unimaginably wealthy man gets into pissing match with college student. One comes out looking worse (Isaacs), but both generally look a little petty. So what's Microsoft's role in all of this?
Isaacs just happened to be among eight students who won a contest run by Microsoft to win a trip to cover the launch of Windows Phone 7. Microsoft picked up the travel expenses, but Isaacs said the group's adviser told them to be tough and hold Microsoft's feet to the fire while meeting with various company executives and learning about the company's products.The Microsoft representative then went on to say, "Hey, and if you believe that, I know about this bridge in Brooklyn..."
As for how she got her chance to cover the Microsoft event, Isaacs applied and submitted a 140-character statement about why she should be one of the students picked. A Microsoft representative said the company was aware of her exchange with Apple, but maintains it played no part in her selection.