NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Microsoft reorganised, Bush drops from number one

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Microsoft reorganised, Bush drops from number one

So now Microsoft has decided to become Cerberus, the three-headed dog guarding the gates of Hades. Ballmer and friends have done what the Department of Justice couldn't do - splitting the company into divisions for platforms and services, business applications, and entertainment. (It was very scientific: I understand they converted Microsoft's old org chart into MP3 files and put them inside an iPod Shuffle.) The Redmond Ramblers desperately need to bring more innovation and less imitation to the table. The question is: Will the reorganisation make them smaller and more nimble, or merely three times as inept?

Temporary failures: As noted last month, Googling for 'failure' leads to a biographical page for President Bush, followed by filmmaker, Michael Moore's site. Google attributes this to 'Googlebombing', where bloggers deliberately link a word (like failure) to a particular site to influence search results.

But for a few hours last month, the Bush site was yanked entirely from Google's ranks. I've heard from four Cringesters who said Bush's bio page was missing from their search results, although it's now back at number one.

So far, Google has yet to explain the mysterious disappearance, but I understand Oliver Stone is already planning to make a movie about it.

Logo a go-go: Cringester Rich B notes that the logo for the Microsoft Alumni Network - three Keith Haring-style figures doing a group hug - is eerily similar to the logo for Ubuntu, a free Linux distribution. And that's not the only thing the two have in common. According to the site, Ubuntu is an African word meaning 'I am what I am because of who we all are' while MSA is geekspeak for 'I am so glad I got out of Redmond before everything went into the toilet'.

Roman numerology: Contrary to what I wrote in a recent column, ancient Romans wrote the number 64 as LXIIII; it was pesky 14th-century Europeans who changed it to LXIV. Thanks to several scholarly Cringesters for pointing out my piggish Latin. It still doesn't change the fact that VIIV - Intel's latest technology introduction - is a dumb-ass name, though.

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