Microsoft Stings the Blues

Redmond and Armonk: still hostile after all these years

So many enemies, so little time," laughed the Lynx as he patrolled the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center to check out the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference. Even though Microsoft seems to be at odds with everyone from to the EU, El Gato noted that the Redmondites conference message was loud and clear: Big Blue is still Microsoft enemy No. 1, particularly with its IBM Rational software. Le Chat chatted with a chap from a large systems integrator who said that after listening to Microsoft execs pummel Big Blue all day, he still questions Microsoft licensing policies, which are a perennial source of irritation for big ol pardners like his company. The reason: Microsoft offers little flexibility and insists on having the end user—not the partner—be the customer of record with Redmond. "Sounds like a rational complaint," mused the Mouser.


The Kitty was also amused to find that all the computers in the press room were loaded with both Firefox and Internet Explorer. The Furry One assumed that was either to illustrate that Microsoft is really trying to play nice with the open-source crowd or it realizes how buggy IE is.

After Microsoft head honcho Steve Ballmer proclaimed that "We will never have this kind of gap again," in regards to the duration of time between versions of Windows, Spence decided it had also been too long since hed wet his whistle. Hunkering down at Ned Devines Irish Pub, Spence swapped stories with a swabby who said it appears the U.S. Navy is looking to patent a firewall. The sailor was referring to a blog entry by security maven Bruce Schneier that noted that U.S. patent 20050022023, which describes a method for increased computer security, was filed by the Naval Research Laboratory. The nabobs nautical acquaintance also mentioned that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is expected to file "whistle-blower" lawsuits against two major voting machine manufacturers over security problems with each companys products.

Suddenly, the KattPhone brought forth a caller who said that the SECs investigation of Mercury Interactive for allegedly back-dating stock option awards has indirectly affected Marc Andreessens Opsware. Sharlene Abrams, Opswares chief financial officer since 2002, has resigned due to an SEC investigation of her pre-Opsware activities as CFO at Mercury Interactive. Bidding his phone pal adieu, the Katt ordered another round for his seafaring snitch, who said that the buzz in Linux land is that Oracle may be moving in on Red Hats support biz. Oracle boss Larry Ellison has reportedly dissed Red Hats support services and hinted that Oracle may just have to step in and handle Red Hat support for Oracle customers. Speculation is that Red Hats acquisition of JBoss may not have sat favorably with Ellison, who was rumored to be looking to acquire the middleware company himself. "To paraphrase the late Jim Croce: You dont spit into the wind, you dont tug on Supermans cape and ya dont mess around with Larry," cackled the Kitty.

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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...