Steve: So, about the verdict, what do we do?
Bill: Click, click, tap tap tap, click, taptap, ...
Steve: Bill, wake up!
B: Huh? What verdict? We won, didn't we?
S: Bill, listen up now. We've been found guilty of illegally maintaining a monopoly in Intel-based operating systems. They canceled the breakup, but we have to give the world a sign.
B: Our extremely bright employees desire to make what our customers demand: great software. We welcome any competition because it stimulates us to innovate...
S: No, those are the lines the pr guys wrote for the press briefing. I will be saying that too, but right now you're talking to me. We have to show we understand the verdict and change our ways, without making a true sacrifice of course. The Republicans need an excuse for a soft remedy. Something nice for our competitors. You got any ideas?
B: What competitors?
S: Gimme a break Bill. The harmless ones of course. We're not going to wrap free copies of Linux with Windows. You have a suggestion or what? Who's the chief software architect around here?
B: Tap, taptaptap, click click, tap.
S: Bill, are you with me?
B: Uhh, dunno, take out channels?
S: Channels? You mean channels? We added those in 1998 to put Pointcast out of business. Are they still there? I don't think removing them will impress anyone.
B: Our extremely bright employees, desire... um, excuse me. Mmm, remove Messenger?
S: Get outa here, Bill. We haven't put AOL and ICQ out of business so far. Messenger is an integral and inalienable part of Windows.
B: Right. Then I suppose Windows Media Player can't go either?
S: Like hell it can't. RealMedia is still in business. Windows Media Player is an integral and inalienable part of Windows.
B: Isn't that a line the pr guys wrote for the press briefing?
S: Damn right it is. And if you keep barfing up weird ideas I'm going to have it well rehearsed. Hey, what about Smart Tags? What if we throw out Smart Tags?
B: Click, taptaptap, click, taptaptap tap.
B: Smart Tags? What the hell is that?
S: Click on the word 'pizza' and Windows takes you to the site of the pizza vendor that pays us most. That's Smart Tags.
B: But that's going to cost us money!
S: Not very much. They're in Office XP already, and Office XP is out there now. Okay, we remove Smart Tags. You know what else we can do?
S: Kick out Internet Explorer.
B: You gotta be kidding. Are you out of your mind? Internet Explorer is an integral and inalienable part of Windows.
S: Oh no. That's a line the pr guys wrote for last year's trial. We don't need that anymore. Netscape is out of business, so IE can go. Let's do that. Our extremely bright employees desire to make what our customers demand: great software. We welcome any competition because it stimulates us to innovate...
B: Tap, clickclick, taptap, ...
Copyright © 2001 Herbert Blankesteijn.
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