Microsoft Kicks in Java Damage Control

It seems Microsoft felt the need to call select reporters late last Tuesday night and brief them on a story that was due to break in The Wall Street Journal Wednesday morning.

It seems Microsoft felt the need to call select reporters late last Tuesday night and brief them on a story that was due to break in The Wall Street Journal Wednesday morning. The article, which reported Microsofts withdrawal of support for Java in Windows XP, evidently had Microsoft so concerned that its top PR people were available for damage control throughout the night to reporters. Microsoft claimed that for those few users who may actually find some strange need to use Java, it will be downloadable from the Microsoft site in an "effortless and painless" process. "Riiiiiiiiight," laughed the Lynx.

Speaking of Redmond, a friend of the Furry One claimed that Microsoft may have actively recruited Informix engineers soon after the IBM deal went through. The tattler claims that Bill Gates made an appearance at Informix and wowed the developers. It looks like Bills visit may have paid off, according to the Katt crony, since some of the top Informix engineers jumped ship. Those who left supposedly had been working on Informix XPS—the parallel edition of the Informix database. "Could this be a predictor of where Microsofts going with SQL Server?" pondered the Puss.

Siebel Systems Chairman and CEO Tom Siebel was in rare form during his companys second-quarter earnings call last week. The Kitty was very amused when Siebel described how SAP will soon buy the Clarify division from money-hemorrhaging Nortel. Clarify has been on the market for several months, and SAP has long been rumored to be the top suitor. Siebel hardly seemed concerned about two of his companys top rivals joining forces. "Every six months for the last five years, SAPs had a new CRM strategy," stated the CEO.

Siebel also accused rival Oracle of being so desperate to close a big CRM deal with an unnamed "large telecommunications company" that Larry Ellison actually offered to give the telecom Oracles Online Services for nothing. When asked if his company was in the market to acquire financially distressed competitors, Siebel said it was amazing how many acquisition proposals come across his desk. "But Larry Ellison hasnt offered us Oracle Online yet," he deadpanned.

What are the odds that the owner of might eventually see an APB out on herself? "Apparently, pretty good," quipped the Kitty.

It seems Yovette Mumford, the head honcho of, the company that acquired the crime news Web site APBnews last September, has been indicted by Massachusetts on tax and procurement fraud charges. According to a press release dated May 18 on the Bay State attorney generals Web site, Mumford failed to file over $64,709 in employee tax withholdings and filed fraudulent expense documents amounting to $81,228 during a subcontracting gig a company she owned had with Bostons notorious Big Dig tunnel project.

But Massachusetts may not be the only one wanting to settle up with Ms. Mumford. As El Gato investigated the story, he turned up a trail of unpaid, unhappy people ranging from APB employees, who finally walked out last January, to the Bomstein Agency. The Washington-based PR outfit has yet to receive payment for handling the acquisition of APB for Safetytips.

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...