Microsoft Not Wasting Retirees Skills

While walking into Comdex in Chicago last week, El Gato got the strange feeling he might bump into waste management king Tony Soprano.

While walking into Comdex in Chicago last week, El Gato got the strange feeling he might bump into waste management king Tony Soprano. Thats because the Waste Expo was going on in the conference center across the hallway. Maybe its a sign of the times, but the Katt cant remember the last time a major technology show shared an exhibit hall with a show for waste removal professionals. Oddly, the Kitty found the shredders, industrial compactors and cutting-edge waste disposal devices that were exhibited at Waste Expo more intriguing than the tech offerings on the Comdex side.

"Maybe Im in the wrong profession," pondered the Puss. "Every one of those Waste Expo guys was dressed better than Larry Ellison."

Speaking of career changes, Spencer was amused to see that Cliff Reeves joined Microsoft. Reeves worked at IBM and then Lotus for 30 years and was the head of the latters knowledge management program when he "retired" last fall. The Redmondians have made the Cliffster VP of marketing for their .Net server product management group. Reeves main gig is supposedly working on big-picture stuff involving strategies, but the rumor is that hes actually there to help them with SharePoint—Microsofts knowledge management portal, launched a few weeks ago. "Mmm, Lotus knowing Reeves is sitting in Redmond is kinda like the U.S. Navy knowing its high-tech plane is sitting on a Chinese runway," mused the Mouser.

Microsofts marketing machine may be gaining Reeves, but its admittedly losing some of its PR magic. While touting the Tablet PC as the laptop of the future at WinHEC recently, Alex Loeb, the general manager for the Tablet PC, repeatedly told attendees at a presentation that it was a fully functional PC. Redmond is pushing that message home because, for some reason, potential users just arent getting it.

Microsoft has even been putting these potential users through a 2-hour session demonstrating that the Tablet, in fact, can do even more than a desktop PC or laptop.

"But this message just doesnt resonate with them," Loeb told the Furry One, adding that "after the session, we still get comments like, This is so cool, but wouldnt it be great if it ran Excel! I guess the facts just need more reinforcing."

"Heck, even Moses wouldnt have understood his Tablets after 2 full hours of Microsoft propaganda," the Katt quipped.

Pranksters at OReilly & Associates Publishing fooled more than a few people last weekend with an April Fools Day article trumpeting a new language. The article said the best of the Perl and Python languages were being combined into a new language—Parrot. The article, posted on OReillys home page as well as and Slashdot, generated serious inquiries and comments, although savvy surfers noticed the date of the posting. OReilly spokeswoman Lisa Mann said the company tried to come up with something that sounded realistic or promising enough that developers would wish for it to be true. "I think it fooled a lot of people," Mann said.

"Polly want a new programming language?" chirped the Catbird as he pictured the geek elite drooling over the faux language.

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...