Notes from the Field: Microsoft admits defeat, Amazon hits 'delete'

Notes from the Field: Microsoft admits defeat, Amazon hits 'delete'

In a move that shocked practically no one, Microsoft said it wouldn't be shipping its new Vista OS until well after Santa has come and gone - leaving a lump of coal in the stockings of PC makers hoping to move hardware over the holidays. This was immediately followed by a major shake-up of the Windows development team. Rumour has it Ballmer fired the entire Vista programming staff and hired several thousand monkeys to finish the coding. Now here's a perfect market opportunity for somebody to swoop in with a low-cost, lightweight, easy-to-use, reliable and secure desktop OS. And by 'somebody', of course, I mean Google. Maybe it could lure a few of the smarter chimps away from Redmond for the job.

Down and out Cringester: Jeff R recently ordered two goose-down pillows from Amazon's Macy's storefront for the insanely low price of $US10 a pop. When his order was abruptly cancelled, he and several hundred other pillow fans made their displeasure known at Macy's feedback page. A few days later, their negative feedback had disappeared. But don't blame Macy's. An Amazon spokesperson said the site nuked the negative feedback because the ordering snafu was due to its own tech glitches and wasn't Macy's fault. Amazon also issued $US10 gift certificates to those who failed to get goosed - err, I mean, down.

Logo a go-go: Quark was a wee bit embarrassed last fall when its pricey new logo turned out to be nearly identical to one used by the Scottish Arts Council, making it something less than the creative breakthrough Quark claimed. The company now has an even newer logo that looks like a billiard ball with a stylised 'Q' on it. So far, no complaints from the Scottish snooker council.

Fool's gold: On April 1, Apple turned 30 years old (and thus no longer can be trusted). I understand Steve Jobs will celebrate by forking out $US296 million in taxes to the Feds, unveiling the Apple iPhone and wearing something other than a black turtleneck. (Just kidding about the turtleneck.)

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