Responses To Proposed Microsoft Breakup

Feature written by James Baughn on Wednesday, May 3, 2000

from the as-nelson-says-"ha-ha!" dept.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The DOJ stunned the world last week when it announced intentions to break Microsoft into two Baby Bills. When the news broke, Linux users were jumping up and down, but Wall Street tycoons were jumping out of windows. Now that the dust has settled, Humorix interviewed several people to find out their reaction to the proposed breakup...

Michael Cowpland (CEO of Corel): I can't believe I'm going to say this: In this rare case, what's bad for Microsoft is bad for the country. All the pundits predict that if Microsoft is broken up, the Apps division will immediately port Office to Linux. Hello, is that a good thing? No! They'll find a way to monopolize the Linux productivity software market, which is the only thing saving Corel from bankruptcy right now. I suspect that a breakup is exactly what Bill Gates has been secrely hoping for, since it will provide him the opportunity to vanquish his last remaining competitors!

Bill Gates (Chief Bloatware Architect): How the hell did you get into my mansion? I spent three million dollars on barbed wire fences, guard dogs, crocodile-filled moats, automatic machine guns, and highly-trained body guards to keep you Linux freaks off my property!

[Editor's Note: We pretended to be DOJ agents led by Janet Reno raiding the mansion to liberate the Windows source code to its rightful parents, Apple and Xerox. The butler didn't believe our story, so we ended up crawling through an open window.]

Aw, crap, my ActivePoisonGas program has bluescreened again. You should be choking with deadly gasses right now while I eject to safety in Nevada. Stupid piece-of-crap Windows 2000... er, um, you didn't hear me say that. I don't have time for this. I have a meeting in ten minutes with the President of Heipistan about our plan to relocate all Microsoft offices to his country -- which, incidentally, doesn't have any anti-trust laws but does serve the death penalty for copyright violations.

Linus Torvalds: If Microsoft uses the breakup as an opportunity to port Office, and its infernal Dancing Paper Clip, to my Linux operating system, heads will fly! I'll track down that idiot who created Clippit and sic a killer penguin on him!

Anonymous Coward: What I'd like to see is a prohibition on Microsoft incorporating multi-megabyte Easter Eggs and other stupid bloatware into Windows and Office. A typical computer with pre-installed Microsoft shoveware probably only has about 3 megabytes of hard drive space free because of flight simulators, pinball games, and multimedia credits Easter Eggs that nobody wants. I predict that if Microsoft is ever forced to remove these things, the typical user will actually be able to purchase competing software now that they have some free space to put it on. Of course, stock in hard drive companies might plummet...

BSD Daemon: Breaking up Microsoft isn't enough. What the court needs to do is start breaking kneecaps.

Joe Schmoe on the Street: We need a three-way breakup: Operating Systems, Applications, and Marketing/Legal/Leeches. The Microsoft Marketing division is the single most important part of Microsoft; without it, the other two Baby-Bills will collapse under their own bloat. The court, of course, would have to prohibit Microsoft Marketing from merging with Ziff-Davis, as such a marriage would produce an evil far greater than the old Microsoft (If you think John Taschek or Jesse Berst are on the Microsoft payroll now, just wait until they really are!).

Local Technology Pundit: If you feel that Windows or your applications hang too often or cause page faults that require you to reboot, be very scared. Microsoft divisions all have access to each other and try to build a stable product. How bad will it get when they are different companies that will not have access to each other's code? My biggest fear is that it will get very ugly indeed, with the stability of our programs at stake.

[Editor's Note: As Dave Barry says, we are not making this up. These words actually appeared recently in the dead-tree edition of the local newspaper. Who needs to write fake news when you have your own Jesse Berst wannabe right in your own town?]

Typical Dothead: If Microsoft's monopoly is destroyed, what will we have left to bash and poke fun at? My whole life revolves around Linux, and Slashdot, and flaming Bill Gates. Does this mean I'm going to have to get a life in the offline world? That'll never happen. I suppose I'll have to pick on AOL, but that's just not as much fun.

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