The Times They are A-Changin

Ray Ozzie is in, Martin Taylor is out in Redmond

The Bill is gone," barked the B.B. King-like Baron of Babble in acknowledgment of Chairman Gates announcement that he will drop his day-to-day duties at Microsoft by 2008. "Is someone smashing a bag of cats against a wall?" queried a crony, who came running toward Spencers cubicle as the Kitty wailed on.

When the tone-deaf Tabby explained that he was singing an ode to Billy Gates departure plan, the pal pointed out that the Redmondites have seen another longtime employee exit. Martin Taylor, anointed corporate vice president of Windows Live and MSN just three months ago, has left the software maker without much ado, not even the standard explanation "to spend more time with his family." The rumor inside Microsoft is that Taylor was let go, given the terse statement from Microsoft that "we have made the difficult decision to part ways with Martin, but we dont comment on personnel matters. We appreciate Martins contributions at Microsoft over the past 13 years."


Taylor had been CEO Steve Ballmers protégé, and his shaping of the companys response to Linux and open-source software through its Get the Facts campaign made him a rising star. Spences pal said insiders wondered if Taylor disagreed with the vision that Ray Ozzie, Microsofts newly appointed successor to Gates as chief software architect and the creator of Microsofts Windows Live services, was bringing to the table. Others assumed that Ozzie wanted his own marketing folks to lead the Windows Live charge.

Suddenly, the KattPhone produced a caller from the Cisco Networkers conference in Las Vegas who reported that Cisco attempted to up its cool factor by noting that its Catalyst 6500 switch series quietly reached $20 billion in revenue in six years, while Apples iPod was acclaimed for raking in a measly $8.5 billion over four years. "Maybe well see CEO John Chambers buddy up with Bono to shill future service modules for the series," cackled the Kitty.

Bidding his phone pal adieu, El Gato decided to celebrate the summer solstice by abducting a visiting security vendor and skatting off for fried clams at Kellys Roast Beef. As the Tawny Titan swatted seagulls away from his tartar sauce, his vendor pal asked if Spence had heard the speculation that Palm was closer to producing a Linux-based version of its operating system. "No, but plenty of folks are wondering if Apple will make a big announcement about the Mac OS X kernel at its Worldwide Developers Conference in August," said the OS-savvy Ocelot. Many people are speculating that the company will drop the Mach microkernel. "With cool code names like Jaguar, Leopard and Tiger, maybe theyll announce the Spencer kernel," laughed the Lynx.

As the duo strolled the beach, the security maven told Spence that the recent upsurge in folks receiving non-malicious spam from their own e-mail address is probably the work of botnet herders checking for live addresses and most likely the preamble to an eventual worm attack. "I know I shouldnt open e-mail from myself, but Im just so damn interesting, I cant resist," chortled Le Chat.


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Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt, the Whiskered Wonder, has been the mascot and tipster extraordinaire for eWEEK and its predecessor print publication PC Week since 1984. The Gadabout Gatto makes the rounds of...