2002: Year In Preview

Feature written by Bernhard Rosenkraenzer on Monday, December 31, 2001

from the magic-eight-ball-at-work dept.

Other news sites are busy posting summaries of 2001 along with "predictions" for 2002 that are nothing more than long wishlists of things they would like to see happen but that almost certainly won't. (Does anybody really believe that Microsoft will go bankrupt in 2002?)

At Humorix, we've decided to take the other route and instead post a summary of events in 2002 that are more likely to actually happen.


The Microsoft antitrust case comes to an end. To the surprise of many, the proposed settlement is rejected. Microsoft is ruled guilty of illegally exploiting its monopoly to expand into other markets.

In terms of remedies, Microsoft is therefore forced to make sure everyone has fair access to their monopolist software. They are required to allow every person buying a new computer to receive a pre-loaded copy of Windows XP, Microsoft Office XP and Microsoft Bob for Windows. (In negotiations, the DOJ later agreed that Microsoft may charge OEMs a small US$500 "distribution fee" per product to cover expenses.)

Furthermore, Microsoft's janitor is authorized by the court to tell Bill Gates that he's an asshole whenever he thinks management tries to take further illegal steps to dominate the market.


Iraq defeats the US team in the soccer world championship. In response to this act of terror (you should have seen the look of terror on the faces of all US supporters!), Dubya Bush decides to bomb Iraq along with the country hosting the game for harboring the terrorist players. Governments across the world applaud Bush for his continuing success in making the world a safer place.


Microsoft, Sun, AFMM (Association of Fast Money Makers) and illegal.teenpr0n.com jointly announce a revision of internet mail standards.

Since the debugging information provided in "Received: " headers is no longer needed now that the Internet has left beta phase, it is obsoleted. Furthermore, the new protocol is optimized for sending the same message to thousands of recipients at once, and allows for mail compression (for example, "$S" will automatically be expanded to "This is NOT spam. This message is sent in compliance with some bill that was never passed. You are receiving this message because you signed up for it at http://www.nonexistant.site/"). This scheme is expected to reduce mail traffic by 95.4%.

SMTP (Spam Mail Transmission Protocol) is born.


Dmitry Sklyarov gives a speech at Linux World Expo in the US. On the way back, he is arrested yet again, this time for wasting the valuable time of US courts with his former case.


Microsoft reveals the successor to Windows XP will be called Windows RC.

After the announcement, tech journalists discover that the Windows naming scheme is logical after all:

NT = Needs Testing, alpha version
2000 = interim release for marketing purposes only, doesn't count
XP = eXPerimental, beta version
RC = Release Candidate

Analysts expect to see Windows 1.0 in 2050, and recommend users to treat any .0 release with caution.


Linux 2.6.0 is released. New features include running a 386 at the speed of a 64-way SMP Pentium IV running Windows RC, scalability up to 1024 CPUs, and drivers for WinRAM (RAM in Winmodem style).


Intel's first ia64 (Itanic) machines hit the market. The Linux community is not very pleased with its Windows-XP-ROM-as-BIOS feature. AMD runs out of inventory of its competing Athlon LX processors.


Microsoft releases its first Linux product. Microsoft Backdoor XP for Linux is on the shelves for $900.


Yet another remote root exploit in Windows XP is discovered: telnetting to port 1234 of any Windows XP machine and typing "I am the CIA" gives anyone instant access to the machine. Furthermore, Microsoft firewalls don't block port 1234 even if told to.

The exploit was not discovered earlier because the leak was tied in to a timer. "We expected security experts to test Windows XP shortly after the release, so activating a backdoor a year later seemed like a safe and good idea", a former Microsoft manager and current head of the DOJ's antitrust department explains.

Intel is forced to recall all Itanic systems.


KDE 4.0 is released, and makes Linux easier to use than Windows or MacOS.

Microsoft issues a warning that you can still access "that cryptic command line" in KDE 4.0, and therefore, Linux is still for experts only. And even they should use Windows XP of course.


The DOJ launches an antitrust case against Open Source, for its monopoly on software that actually works.

The case is resolved quickly (Open Source is found guilty), and in response the DMCA (Digital Millennium Closedsource Act), forbidding any sort of Open Source software to be used or developed, is passed.

The loophole allowing Free Software to be used and developed is closed shortly after.


Fed up with the year's happenings, Richard Stallman decides to plant a bomb in Microsoft's headquarters as a last resort. Bush decides to call it an act of terror, and consequently bombs the US to the ground for harboring this terrorist ever since he was born.

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