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NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Dell schemes as Excite lags

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Dell schemes as Excite lags

Easy does it -- that's my plan. Amber and I are getting on just fine, but she's thrown me a curveball. "Is the IT industry worth it anymore?" she asked. "I don't think there are any jobs."

It's got me wondering if The Valley has lost its edge forever.

Dell's bells

Maybe, just maybe, all the action really is in Austin, Texas! Following my comments last week, I was flooded with reminders that AMD has camped there since the days of the mighty 286 chip.

So let's get this straight: The word is AMD is looking for more space in Austin. Its ties to Intel-heavy Dell may be deepening.

Meanwhile, my mole at Dell says word is Dell might offer space inside its Round Rock, Texas, campus to AMD staffers. The building in question has "plenty of room now the lay-offs have happened and much of Dell's once-great tech support is outsourced," my spy wrote.

Other great rumours from my sources in Austin say the locals reckon Dell could set up manufacturing in Mexico or Nashville.

You've got Excite

Angry e-mail users are common. But for once this rumour points to technical issues and not the usual customer service maladies.

My spy says Excite.com's servers must be struggling right now as its Web-based e-mail service "now takes longer than molasses in January". Opening the mailbox, opening messages and plain, old delivery time are lagging.

Microsoft speaks on XP

Meanwhile, Microsoft has come forth to "correct" rumours. My spy had alleged his copy of Office XP contained a virus or two. "Our development team investigated and there are no viruses on the CDs," Microsoft's representative said.

On the subject of antipiracy, the representative reminded me customers may move their Office installation to another PC by calling Microsoft's Activation Centre to get a key. (We're all happy about that one.)Regarding costly support calls: You get two free as an Office XP customer! And in case you think I'm a Microsoft basher, I must agree that its Web site is littered with self-help guides.

By the way, I get the feeling religious technology wars exist in Bike Land, too. A few of you reminded me about after-market Harley seats, one of which I've now installed. No, Amber doesn't have a huge butt. It's just sensitive. What's got me worried is the number of Honda Gold Wing fans! I might be showing my age, but old legends have more character.

Got any antipodean gossip? Send it on to cringe@infoworld.com


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