Steve Ballmer returns triumphantly to Microsoft ads for Windows Phone 8, now with less Crazy Eddie (video)

Steve Ballmer makes his triumphant return to Microsoft ads for Windows Phone 8, this time with less Crazy Eddie video

The last time we saw Steve Ballmer star in a commercial for Microsoft, he was extolling the virtues of a 286-based PC running the glory that was Windows 1.0 -- in 1986. You can imagine the surprise we got 26 years later when Microsoft premiered an ad featuring the now-CEO during its Windows Phone 8 event. If you were expecting that same kind of unbridled enthusiasm Crazy Eddie once used to hawk underpriced TVs, you may be either pleased or disappointed. It's a very level-headed and well-spoken Ballmer this time around, with the executive calmly highlighting the advice he gets through his HTC Windows Phone 8X from people like his wife and a certain Billy G. Besides evoking nostalgia, the pitch is an illustration of what Windows Phone's live tiles can do as well as a reflection of Microsoft coming full circle -- as it was two decades ago, Redmond is fighting for market attention at a time when new interface concepts are challenging its main business. We're just glad there's fewer plaid business suits in 2012.