Bobby's still under Rose's thumb

Bobby's still under Rose's thumb

Rose persuaded me to go back to the gym last week. As part of my new membership, I get three training sessions with one of the gym's fitness advisers, and my adviser turned out to be none other than Roger, the bodybuilding ex of Rose's old friend, Todd.

At least I assume it's the same guy - how many bodybuilders named Roger can there be in one city? (Hold on - don't answer that.)Bill's powers of persuasionRose's achievement in getting me into the gym is nothing compared to the persuasive powers that Bill Gates will need on his current mission.

Apparently, Gates is trying to convince Lotus CEO and president Jeff Papows that resistance is futile on the client and that the time has come for Lotus to make the Notes client a plug-in for Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

Of course, Lotus wants some concessions about the continuing longevity of Notes on Windows 2000 server platforms. That would require Microsoft to concede that Notes is a collaborative application that extends well beyond the capabilities of its own Exchange platform.

Although this may seem like common sense to the average customer, there are a lot of folks at IBM who view these discussions as nothing short of treason given IBM's commitment to Java, Extensible Markup Language, and emerging platforms such as Linux.

The odds are that practical business issues will win out over sentiment, but a few sacrificial lambs may need to be burned before we ever see a deal.

Storing up deals

Speaking of deals, look for Imation, which is a spin-off of 3M, to announce some data centre storage consulting alliances with the likes of IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and StorageTek. It would seem that the explosion of storage requirements driven by the Internet is forcing everybody to look outside of the box for more partners to help customers cope.

And finally, Merant, which was formed by the union of Micro Focus and Intersolv, is in the market to acquire a provider of application server technology to complement its existing line-up. Given the fact that there are currently more than 40 providers of application servers, finding a company to buy should not be too big a problem.

Compilation problems

Maybe Sun Microsystems should be looking for outside help on one of its projects. The company is apparently keeping systems architects up at night because Version 5 of its C++ compiler for Solaris has had big problems with the standard template libraries. Apparently, these problems are so bad that a large bank switched to Fujitsu's Solaris compiler for C++. Sun seems to be rising to the occasion, but it's getting late.

While I was struggling to move metal weights about in a seemingly meaningless fashion, Rose came to the gym to see how I was doing. I was instantly aware she had arrived, due to the commotion at the front desk.

Apparently, it's not tactful to go to the gym while eating a large tub of Haagen-Dazs ice cream.

Robert X. Cringely is a regular contributor to ARN's sister publication Infoworld.

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