Live demos are tricky. When they tank, it’s supremely embarrassing. Just ask Satya Nadella. The Microsoft CEO tried to show off the tech giant’s answer to Siri before a live audience at a recent Salesforce conference and he failed miserably. Or should we say Cortana failed him?

Here’s a quick play-by-play of the embarrassing clash between Nadella and the Microsoft’s svelte-voiced virtual assistant, who apparently doesn’t behave well -- or at all -- when it really counts, not even for the boss.

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Nadella: “Show me my most at-risk opportunities.”
Cortana: “Show me to buy milk at this opportunity.” Ah, maybe she’s thirsty.
Nadella: “Uh, no. That’s not what I want.”
The crowd erupts in laughter. Even a conference emcee cracks up loudly into her microphone. Not good.
Nadella: “Let’s try it again. Show me my most at-risk opportunities.”
Nothing. Cortana is totally unresponsive.
Nadella: “Oh, come on!”
More giggles from the crowd. Awkward city.

Nadella, clearly agitated by this point, makes another go of it. He barks his original command again, this time with a “please” on the end. Again, another fail. Blushing, Nadella sheepishly apologizes to the audience. He then realizes “someone” is trying to “save” him from backstage, moving the cursor for him, ironically a real, live personal assistant. Humans to the rescue again.

Unfortunately for Nadella and his employer, thanks to the unforgetting (and unforgiving) Internet, his mortifying public meltdown will live on in infamy forever. Check out the dashed show-and-tell below, starting at the 10:31 mark.

Perhaps it’s a touch of karma for Microsoft posting a live, on-stage Siri fail on MSN. You know what they say. What goes around comes around.

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