Sent: Monday, July 18, 2005 12:29 AM
To: eWEEK readers
Subject: Swing your partner; Tunnel funnels; incredible demo
"I love you, partners!" Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer roared repeatedly as he took the stage to give his keynote at Microsofts recent Worldwide Partner Conference in sweltering Minneapolis. With a straight face, Ballmer told the crowd that of all the people he deals with in his job, partners are the ones he enjoys talking to the most.
While Ballmer romanced the throng, Spence fumbled with a mysterious package he received at his hotel just before he left for the conference. El Gato was surprised to find a small walkie-talkie inside. He clicked the device on, just as Ballmer was saying that Microsofts annual financial results "were not bad" and that 97 percent of the vendors revenue was earned thanks to partners. "That means this has also been a good year for you as well. Thank you, thank you, thank you—and maybe one more time, thank you," said the CEO to thunderous applause.
Suddenly, from the mystery gift, the Furry One heard a muffled voice: "Word on the street is that Microsoft has dropped any plans it may have had to acquire adware maker Claria. Over." While the Puss pondered the voices identity, he heard the applause fall away as Ballmer revealed that Redmond was bent on conquering some markets that have been sacred partner ground and would delve deeper into business intelligence, document workflow and managed services. A squawk from the device heralded a new message: "As Dell begins a new ad campaign in the U.S. featuring singer Sheryl Crow, a complaint against one of the computer makers ads running in the U.K. has been upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority. Someone in Old Blighty found that a voice-over at the end of an ad, stating Dell PCs use Intel Pentium 4 processors, could be interpreted to mean that every Dell PC uses the chips. The ADA agreed. Over."
Unable to unravel the mystery of the voices identity, Spence focused on Ballmer again, who had attendees guffawing as he spoke about Microsofts global sales force. "I dont know how to use our Siebel implementation. I didnt go and learn the user interface," Ballmer chuckled. Once again the walkie-talkie tipster broke in: "A former regional vice president for Computer Associates, Daniel Tunnel, has been charged with failing to report to the IRS more than $70,000 in taxable commissions. Tunnel allegedly told his underlings at a CA office in Massachusetts to share their commissions with him and failed to report his take of $51,063 in 2001 and $20,109 in 2002. Over."
Later, Spence checked out Microsofts hands-on Linux lab, featuring a version of Debian-based Knoppix Linux, a KDE desktop using KOffice and a Konqueror browser. "Not exactly the most common Linux distribution," groused the Grimalkin. Any illusion that the lab was truly an impartial third-party Linux demo seemed to fade when the demomeister introduced a Microsoftie who had been quietly monitoring the lab and then suggested attendees go to his workshop. "Demo credibility?" laughed the Lynx. "Over."