By Solid Gold Dancer as told
to Sandy Cremorne
The industry party of, well 2000, took off like a clunky piece of software and never really fired up.
This was the reaction to last week's Windows 2000 launch at Sydney's Fox Studios. And with all the build up about the "complete user experience", it seems someone forgot to add the excitement.
"Lame, so lame" was the reaction of one of the IT industry's most respected scribes. "We've been waiting for more than two years for the launch and the party was a fizzer," another observer added.
At one point, Microsoft Australia's Windows product marketing manager, Tony Wilkinson, made a desperate attempt to engage an increasingly bemused gathering of media and other guests in a roundof applause only to find spontaneousinaction from all but Microsoft staffers.
In an effort to re-create the feel of a swanky US-style launch, Microsoft Australia managing director Paul Houghton delivered an imitation of a Gates-style, all-over-the-stage-polo-neck presentation with carefully scripted off-the-cuff comments, which left even some of the most loyal supporters cringing in their own eye-sockets.
The party showed signs of coming to life when a Latino salsa-style band took off. However, after what appeared to be some mixed messages relating to the volume level, they really TOOK OFF - after only one short set.
"Microsoft has gone to extreme lengths to publicise the launch," said one industry analyst. "And the hype is often inversely proportionate to the product," he added.
'President Clinton' says more porn on the Netby Sandy CremorneUS President Bill Clinton may have second thoughts the next time he is invited onto an online interview after a chat participant, Christopher Petro, managed to hijack his nickname - President Clinton - and make comments that appeared to be from Bill.
What has been described as a "prank" has left media giant CNN red-faced and caught the attention of other media houses all around the world. During the "Ask the President" online chat, the "President" appeared to say "Personally, I would like to see more porn on the Internet."
Computer security consultant Petro has, as they say, become an instant celebrity, already doing the rounds of the American talk shows. He has established a Web site offering background to the stunt, and links to the growing list of media appearances (soon to add ARN Tabloid).
It appears the Valentine's Day Internet appearance was too much of a temptation for Petro, aka "Wankel", his preferred Internet handle, to highlight the hazards of such online journalism. Petro said that the nickname is not any sort of sexual term, but a reference to the ingenious motor design known as a Wankel Rotary Combustion Engine.
After a crash of the system, Wankel logged back into the chat, changing his nickname to President Clinton and getting the comment onto the site before minders realised what had happened.
Media appearances already include Good Morning America, and the web site carries an advertisement for a T-shirt maker in anticipation for the "Free Wankel campaign".
"This should also serve as a reminder to all other online outlets that security is not something to be overlooked, even on a system as seemingly trivial as an IRC chat server," Petro said.
Seen on a peak-hour afternoon Sydney train February 14: Software consultant-type suit number one holding a single red rose, reading a book about data warehousing.
He is joined by similarly attired software consultant-type suit number two, carrying a box from a well- known web-based flower vendor.
The two engage in conversation - about Valentine's Day, roses . . . no, the contents of the book and the state of the software developers. And at the end of the journey, they exchange business cards.
Martin 'bears' all - for the Olympics
One of IBM's better-known spin doctors (whose name shall remain Pilar Martin) is understood to be in training for a very special one kilometre jog this coming September.
It seems that "Monners" Martin won the Olympic torch-bearing honour for her redoubtable on- and off-field efforts around Big Blue's public relations department. Tabloid spies report that she has been seen bounding around the office in the appropriate pose carrying anything vaguely similar to that torch and moving quicker than. . . a PR chick on a publicity opportunity.
Movers & Shakers
Never to miss an opportunity for publicity, one of ARN's favourite gibberers, James Robbins, has taken up his new digs as Southern Region man-ager for Nortel's Netgear product range. The shy marketer was last seen brushing up on hubs, switches, network interface cards, routers, print servers and network disk drives.more boys and toysMaxtor Australian boss Phil Adams again found an excuse for some of his channel partners to lay some more rubber at Eastern Creek. Tabloid found the disk drive vendor's third annual race day to be worthy of inclusion. Results of what is understood to have beena hotly contested series were not available.