NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Microsoft shows off in LA

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Microsoft shows off in LA

Now that Amber and I have returned to the Harley's saddle, it's time for a longer ride. This is a big week for travel to Microsoft events, and although aeroplanes are still good in my book, the road feels better.

Developers unite

City of Angels, here we come. Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in Los Angeles promises the usual overdose of Ballmer energy and Bill Gates' visionary speech making.

In fact, IDG editorial told me it was tough getting any Microsoft executive to talk about developments in the .Net strategy because, not surprisingly, they value their jobs more than offering the scoop on Gates' keynote.

Speeches aside, the other thing conferences are good for is gossip. My spies tell me that well-known industry heavyweights are being approached by headhunters asking if they're interested in becoming the new CEO of peer-to-peer (P2P) poster child Groove Networks, led by Lotus Notes guru Ray Ozzie. Of course, Groove and Microsoft are even closer now after the software giant recently took a $US51 million stake in the company. So with Groove's P2P technology a strategic component of the .Net strategy, it now seems Ozzie is planning to take a leaf from the Bill Gates book of management and step down as CEO to be Groove's chief software architect. If you want a shot at the CEO gig, I'd be happy to pass on your résumé. I won't tell anyone else, I promise.

Intel vs AMD

"In reading your column [last week], there's going to be a natural tendency to assume that Intel is right and AMD is wrong. This assumption would be crass at best," one informed observer notes.

At issue is a tip I received regarding noticeably different processing results from two identical CAD machines, but with each one running a different chip. To clear things up, I've sent the information to the test centre for analysis - stay tuned. snafu

Rumours about free e-mail, voice and fax provider Onebox have started making the rounds too. One reader complains he's lost access to the e-mail service despite still receiving notification he's got mail. Another reports the company faces financial woes. Still another writes that he's been unable to dial in to the service for more than two weeks. You get what you pay for.

"That's too long to sit on your bike," Amber said of the trip to LA. "What's a used Harley cost these days?" Now we're talking.

Got any antipodean gossip? Send it on to

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