NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Microsoft goes to the dogs

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Microsoft goes to the dogs

Despite my new consulting gig, money’s still tight around Chez Cringe, so I’ve been training Apache to be a seeing-eye dog. I thought I’d rent him out to programmers who’ve gone blind trying to patch all the security holes in Windows Server 2003.

This week I’m camped out at a Java developer, where Microsoft bashing is a full-contact sport. The big rumour here is that Accenture is about to buy Sun Microsystems’ training division. So if Microsoft’s long-rumoured acquisition of Accenture comes through, we could end up with Redmondites teaching geeks Java and Solaris. Scott McNealy, please page your therapist.

I monopolised the software industry, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt: Just for fun, one of my fellow technoids visited Microsoft’s “grassroots” political site (, then bought a Freedom to Innovate T-shirt ($US14.25 with shipping) from the online Microsoft store. He reports that it was manufactured in a Haitian sweatshop, reeks of formaldehyde, and is “the cheapest piece of crap ever.”

Veritas est tarditas

Another spy reports that he downloaded a trial version of Veritas Backup Exec for Windows, fired off a question to tech support, and got an answer the next morning. But once he bought the product, response times slowed to a crawl. His conclusion: The company offers snappier support to evaluators so they’ll pony up for the real deal. I asked Veritas to comment, but I’m still waiting for an answer. I guess I should have downloaded the eval version.

Now that you’ve got so much spare time

Six weeks after inking a deal with Microsoft to bundle Internet Explorer for the next seven years, AOL has begun laying off the last employees of its once mighty Netscape subsidiary. Thoughtfully included in one Netscapee’s severance “care package” was a free AOL 8.0 disc. Hey, at least it wasn’t a Microsoft T-shirt.

I’m not entirely convinced Apache has the stomach for this kind of work. He keeps looking at Microsoft’s latest critical security patch and throwing up.

Never should have taught that dog to code.

I need good tips like a bowser needs a bone — and I’m willing to cough up $US50 for the best ones.

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