Word From Philly: Microsoft Is Big Brother

By Spencer F. Katt  |  Posted 2001-09-10

His hirsuteness was forwarded an e-mail that a tattler received from the Microsoft Events group thanking him for attending a recent Microsoft .Net Developer Training session in Philadelphia. But the Furball fan was miffed when he noticed an Excel file at the bottom of the message with detailed personal information for the more than 360 folks who attended the event.

The Kitty examined the Excel file, which contained a mammoth list of names, titles, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

Amusingly, the misfired missive was followed by an e-mail from Microsoft Events that cryptically stated, "We would like to apologize for a Microsoft e-mail that was inadvertently sent to your attention. We are very sorry for any inconvenience this message may have caused." "I guess thats kinda like an e-mail recall notice," laughed the Lynx. "Hopefully, such Oops, sorry! notices wont have to be sent to future Passport and HailStorm users."

Another friend of the Furry One told the Kitty that some cash-cautious IT departments have started a trend of licensing software on a quarterly basis, instead of signing up for an annual license, the thinking apparently being, "Lets see if this really works before we commit to a full year." The tipster was reluctant to say which vendors were seeing this new strategy being used by clients. However, the tipster intimated to the Puss that some service-level management providers such as Micromuse and InfoVista have been seeing demand slack off.

"I wonder if this new try it, fry it or buy it mentality could be the reason," mused the Mouser.

A Tabby tattler told El Gato that a rumor has been circulating that cash-strapped content provider Salon.com may be planning a reverse stock split. The beleaguered dot-com has seen its stock price fall from a $15 high in July 1999 to about 40 cents per share last week. Salon recently received $2.5 million in funding from a group of private investors that included John Warnock, retired CEO and co-founder of Adobe.

A switched-on smooth operator informed the Furball that Cisco may be "end of lifing" its Catalyst 4840G server load balancing switch. Cisco originally came into possession of the switch after acquiring ArrowPoint Communications about 15 months ago. Word is that Cisco may incorporate the technology into another family of switches.

A recurring item in the Katts rumor mill is that E-Trade might be planning to close its San Francisco office. A spokeswoman for the company laughed when queried by the Kitty on the matter and stated, "No, its not true. Weve heard that one several times, too." Despite the recent economic slump, the Menlo Park, Calif., online brokerage recently acquired the share-dealing company Dempsey & Co. for $173.5 million and has also launched a Web service aimed at assisting financial advisers.

The Kitty scoffed when he heard Sony mentioned as a potential suitor in the latest "someones-gonna-buy- Yahoo" rumor. The Furball could only assume that the entertainment company was most likely too strapped for cash to consider such a purchase. "If I remember my HIStorycorrectly," laughed the Lynx, "they probably havent yet recovered from buying Michael Jacksons contract."

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