Sent: Monday, March 14, 2005 12:19 AM
To: eWEEK readers
Subject: Microsoft ships laughs, delays products; CRM Whenever
"I guess it really aint easy being green," mused the Mouser, mimicking Kermit the Frog, as he prowled the San Diego Convention Center for the Microsoft Convergence conference. Reportedly due to delays with its Microsoft Business Framework, Redmond said its "Project Green" MBS (Microsoft Business Solutions) strategy and ERP suite releases will eventually occur in three waves over the next few years. "They should call in George Lucas," cackled the Kitty. "Hes good at weaving drawn-out trilogies." The Force wasnt with Spence as he tried to navigate the convention center. Microsoft brought in a team from Seattle called Event Force to staff the conference, but it was less familiar with the halls layout than the attendees. Spence thought the Redmondians might have done as well hiring event staff from the throng of homeless people haunting San Diegos Gaslamp Quarter as he tried to find somebody to guide him to the press area.
The scariest moment for the Furball and fellow attendees was when the shows MC, the "Fabulous Matt G.," aka Great Plains developer Matt Gustafson, appeared on stage in a wet suit—a tight wet suit that showed his geek physique too prominently for El Gatos taste. It was evident, even by Wednesday evening, that some attendees still hadnt shaken the image when Mr. Fabulous, sans rubber attire, introduced Microsofts Bill Gates for his keynote. "Lets pray Bill isnt wearing the wet suit this time," groaned a guy next to El Gato. After his keynote, Gates engaged in an informal one-on-one on stage with MBS chief Doug Burgum. Queried about his Harvard days, Gates joked that he could always go back, adding, "Im not a dropout until I die." Burgum asked Gates, "Do you ever call in sick, and to whom?" "Not once in 29 years," Gates replied.
Later, as 80s music roared at the Gaslamp Underground nightclub, Spence could barely hear a crony telling him the long-delayed Microsoft CRM 2.0 may never be released. It was expected to be released to manufacturers in the fourth quarter, and Microsoft has apparently stopped calling it Version 2.0. No one seems sure what it will be called—if it ever ships. "Lets call it Microsoft CRM Whenever," shouted Spence, as he bid his pal adieu and grabbed a taxi. In the cab Spence got a call from a pal who was laughing about the name "Safe Passage," SAPs program to entice PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards users to migrate to its NetWeaver platform. "Safe Passage sounds like one of those Lifetime original "women in jeopardy" movies, laughed the Lynx. Spence told the cabbie to head for the airport. "You heading to Germany for CeBIT?" asked the Furballs phone pal. "Yup, and you can read all about my Rhineland adventures at blog.ziffdavis.com/katt," replied the Kitty. Spencers pal left him with this quote, which he attributed to XML guru Chris Maden: "XML is like violence: If it doesnt solve your problem, you arent using enough of it."