Notes from the field: Microsoft bears its Heart of Glass

Notes from the field: Microsoft bears its Heart of Glass

Rose was in rare form when we got to Dallas for the TechEd conference only to find that Microsoft had hired Blondie to play at a private party for its gathered IT managers and developers. According to Rose, people have often mistaken her for Blondie singer Deborah Harry. The only way I could account for this mistaken identity is Rose's penchant for hanging out in bars until last call.

Blondie's Harry provided the first of many ironic moments at the show. Wearing a TechEd baseball hat, Harry said the group had just rehearsed a new song and would play it live for the first time.

"You don't mind if we experiment on you, do you?" Harry asked, prompting a man nearby to say to his friends, "If we did, we wouldn't be at a Microsoft conference."

A few days later, the conference featured a shindig that, among other things, had a hypnotist put developers under and made them dance, pretend to strip, and think the floor was too hot to stand on. Of course, those are the things we heard the hypnotist tell the developers, but if any IT managers notice that their Unix addicts are saying Windows 2000 will meet all of your needs, you may want to ask if they've just been to Dallas.

Netscape also sent some strange signals to its developers this week when its DevEdge subscribers all received a mailing with a very enthusiastic sales pitch to get Microsoft Office 2000 at a discount. While the fact that Netscape is selling Microsoft products is strange, the developers even had the option to order the Premium Edition of Office 2000 through Netscape, featuring Internet Explorer 5.

Apparently Marc Andreessen didn't get the memo about the new open browser policy at Netscape when he joked, during his keynote at the Macromedia User Conference last week, that a man who recently fired four bullets into his computer and one into the monitor because he was upset was "probably trying to uninstall IE 5".

Well, Rose was upset with me mainly because I put in long hours at the show and neglected her. She even got more of a complex when she spent over three hours at the Round-Up Saloon near our hotel and no one would dance with her. Not even a week on my corporate card and a free Blondie concert can keep her in Rapture.

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