Out in Los Angeles for Microsofts Professional Developers Conference, El Gato was tickled by the fact that the only "Longhorn" "soft ware" product available before 2006 is a cotton thong with a Longhorn logo on it available from CafePress. But after noticing how few women were at the event, the Katt wondered if the hard-core geeks who might buy one had a girlfriend to give it to.
The talk of the show was Microsofts Web services strategy, code-named Indigo. Given Microsofts many security hole issues and history of accessibility for every worm crawling the Web, the pun-prone Puss pondered that labeling any project with a name that could be comically pronounced "in dey go" wasnt a wise move. A language named Pizza, which will be added to .Net, was a name the gourmet Grimalkin could get into, especially if extensions like anchovies are added later.
The developers in attendance were wowed by the code demonstrated and the possibilities of Indigos unified model for interapplication messaging. During a keynote demo of handheld devices that are the targets of some of Redmonds new programming tools, Microsofts Greg Lisota satirized the utility-belt look of some device-bearing mobile IT users by appearing onstage as Batman. Using a faux car accident involving a toy Batmobile, mobile device Boy Wonder Ori Amiga showed how a cell phone camera, GPS information and weather service information could be combined to file an insurance claim. Spence did wonder if OnStar was aware that its caped spokescrusader was moonlighting for Microsoft and had just been in a car accident. "Holy Linux!" Spence thought, as he glanced about in vain for an appearance by Batmans nemesis, The Penguin. The Hairball heard one nearby attendee quip, "So let me get this straight—Microsofts future plans are being described by a masked man who lives in an unknown cave?"
It seems Microsofts lead architect, Don Box, is now literally serenading Ximian CTO Miguel de Icaza to join Redmonds Web services team. In his Aug. 18 column, the Kitty reported that Boxs hiring technique back then consisted of yelling, "Miguel, your ass is mine" from a keynote podium in Boston. This time around, Box and his rock group, called "Band on the Runtime," sang a retooled version of The Beatles "Michelle"—retitled "Miguel My Belle"—to de Icaza at a Microsoft bash high atop L.A.s posh Standard hotel. Box then handed the CTO a rose, took his hand and performed a little two-step as the band finished the song. "If de Icaza ever does take the job, it might be the first time in history that an HR department finds a harassment complaint stapled to the job application," laughed the Lynx.
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