by Scarlet Pruitt

Microsoft’s Defunct iLoo Initiative Would’ve Provide Internet Access in Portable Public Toilets

Jul 01, 20031 min

It would have made an interesting patent application.

High-speed Internet access. Webpages viewed through a plasma flat-panel display. All for public use at festivals and other events where crowds gather and have certain, well, needs.

Microsoft even had the press release ready to go on what its British division dubbed the iLoo, a proposal designed to install Internet access in portable public toilets?a sort of portal potty.

But soon after word of the iLoo leaked to the press, Microsoft ended up flushing the idea. The project was “basically a tongue-in-cheek” campaign meant to follow up similar initiatives such as the Internet-enabled “MSN park bench” where the public was offered free Net access, a spokeswoman said.

The media was confused about whether the iLoo concept was real because the idea was leaked before the program was finalized. “We regret that the press release was distributed before the program was finalized and apologize for any confusion that has resulted,” a Microsoft statement said.