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[humorix] Redmond Roundup
firstname.lastname@example.org and James Baughn
February 21, 2000
Back in the early 1990s, Bill Gates promised that Microsoft
would finally produce an enterprise-level operating system
that worked perfectly. Ten years and 63,000 bugs later,
that dream is still five Service Packs away. Nevertheless,
Redmond's latest creation, Windows 2000, is now officially
available. Public reaction has been mixed. Below is a
roundup of events and responses surrounding the Win2K
launch that our Vast Spy Network(tm) has collected.
* I want my bugs!
An entymologist in Georgia is threatening to sue Microsoft
over false advertising in Windows 2000. "According to
Microsoft, Win2K contains 63,000 bugs," he explained.
"However, the shrink-wrapped box I purchased at CompUSSR
only had one cockroach along with some worthless papers and
a shiny drink coaster. I got ripped off."
The entymologist hoped that the 63,000 promised bugs would
greatly add to his insect collection. "I had my doubts
that Microsoft could deliver 63,000 insects in one small
box for only US$299," he said. "However, with a company as
innovative as Microsoft, the sky is the limit. Or at least
that's what I thought." He then asked angrily, "Where do I
want to go today? Back to the store for a refund!"
* Publicity gimmicks generate publicity
Microsoft teamed up with electronics superstore Conductor
City to provide promotional specials to buyers who
pre-ordered Windows 2000. All copies of Win2K were bundled
with a specially designed Microsoft keyboard attachment
containing only three keys: CTRL, ALT, and DEL. One happy
customer said, "This is great... On my old keyboards, those
three keys were the first to fail. Now with this
attachment, I won't have to replace my main keyboard every
Conductor City also offered a special program to offset the
high price tag of the full Windows 2000 product. CC
partnered with the Third Bank of Timbuktu to offer a
Rent-To-Own program to people who couldn't afford to pay
cash upfront for the operating system. The store
advertised, "Now you too can own the most innovative
Microsoft product ever for only one dollar down and 10
cents a day!"
Another publicity stunt called ActiveXXX generated much
publicity -- and tremendous sales. People who pre-ordered
Windows 2000 and signed up with the Microsoft Network for
one year received a special password allowing them access
to MSN's new ActiveXXX site, featuring live video feeds
from cameras placed on the chests of scantily-clad
waitresses at Hooters restaurants.
* Failure is not an option. It comes standard with every
Even though Win2K has only been on the market for less than
a week, one high-profile failure of a mission-critical
system has already occured. A Win2K machine at the US
Postal Service went on a "cyber" killing spree over the
weekend taking out several sub-servers (rumored to be
running Linux) on its own network. Officials had no
explanation for the violent outburst, saying that the
computer had always been friendly and out-going to its
fellow routers and hubs.
Windows 2000 isn't the only failure-prone Redmond system.
Microsoft CuteJo(R), the software giant's answer to Sony's
$2,500 robotic dog AIBO, has been recalled due to a recent
incident in which the Windows Powered(tm) pup mauled its
owner. The company released a statement saying this issue
does not reflect any critical defects in its product, and
that it was the owner's fault when, in reading its users
guide, the person said out loud in disbelief: "You can
fetch? My ass!"
"It did exactly what the customer demanded," the release
* Pigs are flying
Satan was forced to dawn a parka this week when a large
number of people, including some Linux longhairs, admitted
that "Windows 2000 doesn't suck [that much]". One Linux
hacker said, "Let's be honest, certain Microsoft products
do provide a quality unmatched by any competitor. Those
Windows 2000 manuals make excellent doorstops. Linux books
just don't work well in this regard; they aren't thick and
heavy enough. Also, when it comes to drink coasters and
skeet shoot targets, nothing even comes close to a
Microsoft produced CD-ROM."
The new found respect for Windows 2000 is even evident on
Slashdot, that bastion of anti-Microsoft zealotry. For
instance, last week somebody posted a favorable comment
about Win2K that actually got moderated up! This has never
happened before in the history of Slashdot.
Even Usenet is turning slightly pro-Microsoft. One
anonymous coward posted on alt.linux.finnish.conspiracy,
"Windows 2000 rules... even the webmaster of
LinuxBeacon.com, a new Linux portal site, prefers Win2K."
Several people agreed, although one Linux advocate
reponded, "So what? Linux rules... even the webmaster of
WindowsBeacon.com, a new Windows site, prefers Linux and
Humorix: Linux and Open Source(nontm) on a lighter note
Web site: http://www.i-want-a-website.com/about-linux/