Microsoft Spawns "Hacker-Friendly" Company

Fake News written by Thomas Tempé on Sunday, October 10, 1999

from the can-we-kill-this-child-process? dept.

REDMOND, WA -- Yesterday Microsoft officially announced the creation of "Hajkerdomsoft Copyright Co.", an independent start-up firm based in Redmond. The new company will sell ActiveHajks(tm), a Windows-based suite of tools for hackers and nerds, preventing them from migrating to evil, non-commercial offerings like Linux and FreeBSD.

A Hajkerdomsoft spokesman said at a press conference held yesterday, "Hacker tools with indecipherable config files -- Sendmail, Bind, or even Linux, for example -- are quickly becoming de facto standards. Obviously this indicates a strong potential market for a commercial hacker environment, one that should be quite viable and, of course, profitable."

The company has already inked deals with several PC vendors to pre-install free copies of ActiveHajks on their computers. In exchange, the vendors must add a clause to their hardware warranties stating, "The installation of any non-commercial software on your computer immediately voids this warranty."

As can be expected, the news has already ignited a flame war on Slashdot. "Now that MS is spawning a seemingly independent child process, it will be possible for them to achieve world domination fast without the burden of anti-trust legal paperwork!", BOredAtSchool posted.

According to a press release, some of the features of ActiveHajks 1.0 include:

  • A vi front-end to MS Word (code-named VILE, Visual Interface command-Line Environment). VILE will include a Dancing Paper Clip depicted by animated ASCII art. Files will be stored by default in a proprietary binary format, but users can choose plain ASCII by entering a sequence of 21 key-combinations.

  • A Unix-like hierarchal file layout including C:dev, C:dev

    ull, C:homeusernameMy_Documents, C:WindowsSystemetcRegistry, C:WindowsetcStart_Menu, and C:varlogcrash.log

  • A bash-like command shell built upon the BASIC programming language. Shell scripts will be written in a dialect of GW-BASIC, complete with line numbers and GOTOs.

  • Stripped down versions of Visual C++ and Visual BASIC marketed as "Consule C++" and "Console BASIC" compilers that are executed from the command line.

  • A text-based web browser similar to Lynx but using the Internet Explorer engine, which supports ActiveX, VBScript, and Microsoft HTML extensions.

An early Hajkerdomsoft developer told Humorix, "We tried to port GNU Bash directly, but source stolen from the FSF was not paradigm-compliant with Microsoft Windows, so we had to re-implement a whole Unix sub-layer for hacker-friendly features like pipe-and-drop."

He continued, "The problem is that several implementations already exist, including LEF, Jomm, and a few minor ones. LEF was there first, but it uses some free code, so a team of purists set up the Jomm project with 100%-commercial code. Version 1.1 of both systems are available but not hajker-level compatible. We expect compatibility for version 2.0, plus the resolution of legal issues with a new, closed-source version of the RU lib, which LEF was based on. LEF 2.0 will also include the new commercial-standard DORBA Domination Object Request Broken shell-pipe Arjitecture, which Jomm 1.0 already supports."

The company is spending incredible amounts of money on marketing. A new website is under construction at www.slajgrok.dom/default.asp called SlajGrok, "News for Hajkers". Corporate image building includes Saturday-morning-cartoon-show advertisements for "hajk da planet" and cheap merchandise like "/j.dom" caps, T-shirts, mugs and mousetraps. "We also bought some subliminal advertisement using the 'joodom' keyword, a bit like 'foo' used by the Linux kernel guys," one trainee reported.

As of today, a full-fledged staff of lawyers is working on a commercial version of the GPL public license. "Its name has got such a strong influence on the hacker community," one employee said. "Maybe we can re-use it. Some software packages under 'GPL version 2.0 or later' could be easily stolen by officially writing a 'GPL 2.666 end user license' forbidding their distribution."

Steve Jobs, permanent interrim CEO for Apple, boasted that Bill Gates is copying him yet again. "I already did this! Does anybody remember NeXT, a company devoted to hacker-friendly computers? Now Bill wants to spawn a company devoted to hacker-friendly software. It always works like this. Bill needs someone to show him the way. In that regard, I feel a bit like a big brother, showing Bill the right NeXTStep."

To that, Bill Gates is said to have replied, "Steve is so cute, but I could buy his wife if I wanted to. And I call him every day to remind him how cheap he is compared to me."

The fact that Steve's NeXT company was a commercial failure doesn't seem to worry Bill Gates. He commented, "Commercial Software is really better, because people trust they can have technical support if they need it, even though this may not be true, and above all because it is the only way to make big bucks selling nothing. I think Richard Stallman tried with free software, but the only solution he found was to become some sort of a guru, and yet, I earn more money in an hour than he will during his entire life."

We at Humorix believe that the word of a man who could buy himself a whole government (or two) cannot be ignored.

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