Microsoft Pitches Tough Open-Source Crowd

A Microsoft executive is heckled at the Open Source conference.

As he sat in the back of the limo, stuck in D.C. traffic caused by a grumpy tobacco farmer, Spencer pounded his furry head for leaving his dart gun in the hotel. The Katt was in the nations capital to attend the Open Source in Governments conference and couldnt believe, along with the rest of the commuters, that law enforcement didnt apprehend this man more swiftly.

Delayed but undaunted, the Katt made it to the conference and was more than amused to witness a program manager for Microsofts Shared Source Initiative present before an openly hostile crowd.

It seemed to El Gato that the manager, Jason Matusow, might have caused less of a ruckus pleading his case from the farmers tractor than trying to give a Redmond slide show to the open-source horde.

Matusow was in trouble from the beginning when his slides appeared to be askew. As he worked frantically to reorganize them, the audience howled with laughter and heckled him, saying such things as "You shoulda done it on Linux" and "I can get it to work in StarOffice for you!"

While he worked on fixing the problem, Matusow good-naturedly joked that the slides represented "a slightly skewed perspective from Microsoft," but the audience continued to hoot.

Finally, after righting the problem, Matusow said of his appearance at the event, "I kind of feel like the cow in Douglas Adams The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, who was brought out and introduced to the crowd as their dinner." The comment prompted laughter and a smattering of deep-throated "moos" from the crowd, which, although still anti-Microsoft, must have seen by then that Matusow was a kindred spirit—in geeky literature, at least.

The Katt heard from Linux lovers who confirmed last weeks column, which claimed The SCO Group was facing the collective wrath of the Linux crowd since filing a $1 billion suit against IBM for allegedly misappropriating SCOs Unix trade secrets. One Tabby tattler said many in the Linux community see the lawsuit as a last-ditch attempt by SCO investors to try to save the company.

The tattler has also heard theories that predicted Microsoft or IBM may eventually acquire the ailing SCO. They claim IBM would benefit because it would quickly settle the suit and secure SCOs Unix rights.

Another Linux lover joked that the movement against SCO and its partners is advancing faster than a security bug through a Microsoft product. "Me-ouch!"

Check out the Katts latest Kattoon: "Three Questions to Ask Before Going Wireless."

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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...