All I Want for Christmas Is My New XP

By Spencer F. Katt  |  Posted 2001-12-10

In a quiet moment last week, the puss found himself pondering energy trader Enrons Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing. "Certainly this action hits home for the poor Houston Astros," mused the Mouser. Enron is only two seasons into a 30-year, $100 million deal to keep its name plastered on the National League ballclubs stadium. "Maybe a financially sound corporation will pick up the payments and add its moniker to the field," cackled the Kitty. "Cant you just see Jeff Bagwell cracking one out of Krispy Kreme Stadium?"

El Gato heard grumbling from a Tabby tattler over optical networking equipment provider Tellabs proposed acquisition of Ocular Networks. Tellabs is planning to grab up its rival for about $300 million in cash and $55 million in stock options. But apparently, some Tellabs shareholders dont quite see the acquisition as a winning investment. The tattler also pointed the Kitty to some Internet message boards where various posters expressed wishes that Tellabs had used the cash for R&D, to pay dividends or to buy back shares instead.

His Hirsuteness loved a recent Gartner study that claims 25 million users are enrolled in Microsofts Passport system. But, according to the study, only about 7 million Passport users actually realize theyre using it and about 1 million have used it beyond Microsoft Web sites. The study predicts, however, that 40 million people will probably use a single ID service on at least three Web sites by 2003.

Hopefully all the costumed avengers who have joined the Sun-sponsored Liberty Alliance have heeded the clarion call of this Gartner tidbit and will release some standards and software soon. If not, warns Gartner researchers, Passport will become the single ID service provider by default.

The Katt has been hearing complaints that XP upgrades purchased while buying PCs earlier this year have yet to arrive. A tattler said his crew bought XP upgrade coupons in tandem with Gateway PCs last summer. The tipster said that the upgrades may not ship until spring. Not so, claimed two spokeswomen for Gateway, who told Spence that XP upgrade fulfillment was on track for the end of this month.

Another tipster claimed he purchased an upgrade while buying a Toshiba laptop last August. The tattler claimed Toshiba has blamed "production problems" on getting the upgrade out but hopes to ship it this month. Still awaiting his XP disk, the tattler claimed he tried a utility on the Toshiba site that scans for incompatible device drivers, and it flagged some of the drivers on his laptop, including one for a Linksys wireless adapter. The utility said the drivers were incompatible with XP and would have to be removed and replaced. Alas, the tattler said seeing the stacks of available XP upgrades at the local Costco totally bums him out.

Spencer Katt can be reached at

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