Microsoft Unveils New Measurement System

Fake News written by James Baughn on Sunday, October 3, 1999

from the hey-gates-can-you-spare-a-billdozen? dept.

REDMOND, WA -- In response to the brouhah surrounding the Mars probe that crashed due to a Metric conversion error, Microsoft announced today that it plans to unify the world's measurement systems into one: RedmondX. "We've been very successful in monopolizing the operating system market worldwide," a Microserf spokesman proclaimed. "We can leverage that ability to monopolize the measurement system market worldwide, thus putting an end to the Metric Menace."

At this stage, only an alpha specification has been drafted and circulated to a closed team of alpha-testers. However, thanks to the diligence of our Vast Spy Network(tm), Humorix has been able to obtain a copy of the specification, which we have reproduced below in condensed form.

Microsoft RedmondX(tm) Measurement System
Alpha 0.1, October 1999 A.D.


The RedmondX Measurement System ("RedX") employs state-of-the-art measurement technology, creating a measuring system far superior to Metric or Imperial... [rest of promo garbage snipped]

The Billpoint

The RedX system establishes the center of the Universe at the northwest corner of Bill Gates' office, an exact location hereafter known as the "Billpoint". In RedX, all motion is assumed to be relative to the Billpoint, so that the Sun, solar system, Galaxy, and Universe all revolve around Bill Gates' office.


RedX incorporates a simplified calendar in which one year is equal to exactly 360 days. The year is divided up into 12 months, each of 30 days.

(Note: As of this writing, Bill Gates is in communication with the Saucer People about the possibility of using their advanced technology to alter the Sun's orbit around the Earth, thus shortening one year to exactly 360 days. This should be completed by 46 A.B. [see below]. For obvious reasons, this paragraph will be omitted from the final public release of this document. Do not, I repeat DO NOT, allow this document to fall into the hands of anyone outside of the alpha-testing group, particularly any rabid Linux longhairs.)

Instead of 52 weeks, the RedX calendar has 51 weeks, each of 7 days. This leaves three days at the end of the year not attached to any week; these days are hereby a part of the Feast of Microsoft. Day 1 is "Microsoft Appreciation Day". Day 2 is "Innovation Day", a holiday similar to Christmas in which people are expected to give Microsoft products as gifts. Day 3 is New Year's Eve. New Year's Day (corresponding to October 28 in the legacy Gregorian Calendar) is Bill Gates' birthday.

(Note: Since Sun Microsystems is a competitor to Microsoft, the weekday "Sunday" is known as "Solday" in the RedX calendar.)

Dates are divided into three eras: Before Bill (B.B.), During Bill (D.B.) and After Bill (A.B.). The date January 1st, 1 D.B. is fixed as Bill Gates' birthday (October 28, 1955 in Gregorian). January 1st, 1 A.B. will be defined as the first New Year's Day following Bill Gates' untimely demise (unless a body transplant or cryogenic suspension is possible, in which case A.B. dates will be unnecessary).


In the interests of backwards compatibility with legacy measurement systems, the unit of time in the RedX system -- "billoids" -- is exactly equal to one second. Officially, one billoid is equal to the amount of time it takes a certain computer to fully boot Windows 98, divided by 256. This computer will be kept in a climate controlled environment at the Microsoft Campus as the benchmark for the unit of time.

One day is composed of 24 "billhours", which are composed of 60 "billutes" and 3,600 billoids... Time zones are defined relative to the Billpoint (Redmond Mean Time). Daylight Saving Time is hereby abolished (Bill Gates doesn't like spending 6 billhours per day trying to change all of the clocks in his mansion).


One "biller" is equal to the exact height of Bill Gates as measured at a certain date. A statue of Bill will be kept in a climate controlled environment as the official benchmark for the length of one biller.

One "kegabill" is equal to 1024 billers (therefore, one kegabill is approximately 1.164 legacy statute miles). One biller is divided up into 64 "smallbills" and 1024 "tinybills".


The "ballmer", a unit of weight, is equal to the gravitational attraction between the Earth and a stack of 95 Windows 95 CD-ROMs, as measured at the Billpoint. The CDs will be kept in a climate controlled glass box as the official benchmark.

Storage Capacity

Computer memory is still based on bytes and bits; however, larger units are now defined as:

  • Kilobyte: 212 (4,096) bytes
  • Megabyte: 224 (16,777,216) bytes
  • Gigabyte: 236 (6.87E10) bytes
  • Terabyte: 248 (2.81E14) bytes

Altering these "standards" will trick consumers into thinking that the size of Windows and other Microsoft products has decreased. For instance, a RedX megabyte is 16 times larger than a legacy megabyte. Therefore, we can advertise that Windows only takes up 32 MB of space even though it's 512 MB in size under the old system!


In addition to dollars and cents, a new unit, the "billdozen", is hereby defined as equal to $12,000,000,000 (12 billion). This new unit makes it possible to express the value of Bill Gates' MSFT stock in one byte, rounded up (as of this writing, Bill is worth about 6 billdozens).

[Editor's Note: Other less important unit definitions snipped for brevity]


The strategic plan to establish RedX as the dominant measuring system involves these steps (among others):

  1. Release RedX-compliance patches for every Microsoft product ever produced. These will be hyped as "Y2K compliance" patches, since, of course, RedX doesn't suffer from the Y2K problem. All new Microsoft software products will come bundled with Measurement Explorer(tm), an application that will convert legacy measurements into RedX (but not vice versa). Legacy measurements will be phased out of upgraded versions, until about 2004 (49 D.B.) in which users will be forced to use RedX measurements in Microsoft software.

  2. Publish a line of school and college textbooks that will be given away at no charge. As can be expected, these books will make absolutely no mention of Metric or Imperial units, but will focus on RedX measurements.

    For instance, a math textbook might ask, "Train A leaves Boston at an average speed of 59 kegabills per billhour (K.P.B.) while Train B leaves a station 1,532 kegabills away at a speed of 62 K.P.B. How many billers away from Boston will they meet and at what time (in billoids)? If the value of Bill Gates' stock increases by .00016 billdozens per billhour, how much money will he make during the time it takes the two trains to meet?"

  3. Launch an Astroturf Campaign showing "grass-roots" support for the RedX system. Microserfs will go door-to-door handing out pamphlets saying, "Metric is an evil French conspiracy. Imperial is an evil British conspiracy. It's time Americans used an American system developed by Americans for Americans -- It's time for RedX!"

  4. Rig upcoming elections so that pro-RedX candidates are elected. By 2008 (53 D.B.) or so, Congress should come close to a RedX majority. Laws to phase in RedX will be quietly enacted as riders to other bills, so that the American public won't be the wiser.

  5. Two words: Subliminal messages

  6. Acquire a major TV network and run advertisements for RedX during every commercial break. Air special shows describing how to use RedX and why it's superior to legacy systems (i.e. "When Archaic Measurement Systems Go Bad" and "World's Stupidest Conversion Errors").

Legal Notices

This document is Copyright 1999 (43-44 D.B.), Microsoft Corp. All rights reserved. Patents pending. RedX and RedmondX are trademarks of Microsoft.

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