NOTES FROM THE FIELD: HP learns new tricks, Microsoft patents clicks

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: HP learns new tricks, Microsoft patents clicks

Several readers have written to ask what’s been happening in La Vida Cringely lately. Since Pammy cleared out, it’s just been me and Apache, lone wolves roaming the silicon tundra with our noses to the ground and our tails in the air, sniffing out scoops.

And you know what? Life as a dog isn’t half bad. Kibble can be mighty tasty if you saute it with a little red wine.

Passage to Chilliwack: Here’s some advice to CIOs eyeing the Indian option: When you’re planning to move customer support offshore, make sure the call centre isn’t owned by one of your biggest competitors.

HP learned this lesson the hard way when it ditched an EDS-owned centre in Canada for a cheaper alternative in India.

According to my sources, HP had signed the contract and was about to make the switch when IBM swooped in and acquired the centre. A scrambling HP found an alternative outsourcer to handle customer calls — back in Chilliwack, British Columbia.

Patently Absurd: Despite being thwarted in its attempt to wrest ownership of the word “windows” from Merriam-Webster, Microsoft has succeeded in patenting the double-click — at least as it applies to handheld PCs.

The US Patent and Trademark Office granted the patent in April, providing more evidence that it is run by the guys from Dumb & Dumberer.

Puss Reboots: According to my spies, the website for an unnamed high-tech publication went dark briefly last week or so ago.

Turns out somebody forgot to renew the domain name registration in time.

The domain was reregistered, and the site came back up a few hours later. I guess some Katts do have nine lives.

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