NOTES FROM THE FIELD: MS lags and diversifies?

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: MS lags and diversifies?

Okay, jump up and down if you're having woman (or man) troubles right now. No really, go on. Just tell your colleagues you're killing a cockroach if they think you've flipped.

It's probably a healthy, non-violent release. You see, I'm told amazing physical reactions can take place during times of extreme emotional stress. Being the cool, hard-nosed journalist that I am, I've had to control the need to adjust my flickering monitor once and for all since Randi confirmed last week our relationship was over.

Actually, my shrink says I'm coping really well. Just kidding.

Speaking of jokes

One of my spies reporting from the giant consumer electronics trade show, E3, said the floor was buzzing with new products.

None were hotter than Microsoft's Xbox. Apparently the Xbox displays are awesome, but the scandal is the machines on show are not kosher.

Despite Microsoft's promise to deliver the Xbox en masse for the Christmas rush, it couldn't get a real one to demo at the biggest consumer electronics show on the planet. All the Xbox games apparently ran on developer machines. And the machines themselves were empty cases surrounded by bulletproof plexiglass enclosures anchored to the floor, complete with security guards!

So is the Xbox more anti-competitive vapourware? Are we witnessing another ship date slide? The retail shelves will reveal all.


Meanwhile, the Microsoft watchers have tipped me onto some more interesting gossip.

While searching Google, my spy came across, which offered for sale your best fake and/or counterfeit watches (Rolex, Omega, etc). In recent days it appeared to me the site no longer worked, but the error message pointed to an affiliation with Microsoft's online subscriptions and marketing site.

But it gets better. A domain name search by my spy, and also by yours truly, has revealed the owner of to be none other than Microsoft itself.

You've got to wonder what Redmond's next hosting play will be. My spy thinks the company is enjoying a little diversification on the side. Look out for the more sophisticated Rolex.Net sometime next summer (assuming it arrives on time - sorry, couldn't resist that one).

"You gotta bite the bullet, dude. It's a church girl for you. Cute, wholesome gals raised to be honest, hardworking, supportive," wrote one sympathetic reader.

Thanks for the tip. At this stage, I'm still trying to remember my old pick up lines.

In the meantime, to thank you all for so many well wishes, send me the skinny on your troubles - IT or relationship - and I'll play "Dear Cringely" for one week. It's not like I'm short on experience.

Put your hands on the monitor and feel the love, baby.

Got some antipodean gossip? Send it on to

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