WinInfo Short Takes: Week of November 1

CLUCK! CLUCK! MICROSOFT announces that it will RTM Windows 2000 by the end of 1999 as promised and how does every major computer news outlet on the planet report this (well, except for WinInfo, of course)? Yep, you guessed it: "Windows 2000 delayed until February". I'm getting tired of saying "I told you so" but I predicted this back in August. It never ceases to amaze.

AN INTERESTING WEB site claims that Microsoft is cooking its books to make it look like a champ when, in fact, it's actually losing billions of dollars every quarter! Is it true? I have no idea, but it is fascinating reading. Check out the MICROSOFT FINANCIAL FRAUD for details. (UPDATE: I've received word recently that this site has it all wrong. If I can ever figure out how to explain why, I'll give it a shot).

I RECEIVED SEVERAL irate emails about my characterization of Microsoft MVPs as "sycophants" but allow me to explain: Most MVPs are, of course, professional and courteous. But as with any big group of people, you're going to have a few bozos that just ruin the whole thing. This is the case with the MVP program and I expect Microsoft to clean it up because it is this vocal minority that got the MVP program cancelled in the first place. In any event, I didn't mean to make a blanket statement about MVPs (heck, I've been awarded the title twice myself): Most of you guys are tireless champions for Microsoft products and you deserve recognition.

NOTE TO SELF: In a fit of lunacy, I decided that launching a three part editorial on the "Linux vs. NT" issue would be a good idea. It wasn't. Rarely have I received so much unwelcome mail about any topic I've written about. If you're not sure what I'm referring to, join Windows NT Magazine's UPDATE newsletter. But wait a week: By that time I'll be done with this thing and I can move on to other, less reactionary, topics.

OVER THE SUMMER, Microsoft promised customers in its Corporate Preview Program (CPP) for Windows 2000 that it would decide "within two weeks" whether they would be receiving a free copy of Windows 2000 when it ships. Three months later, they still haven't heard a thing. While I don't personally believe these guys should get the final product for free, there is an obvious solution: Simply give them a rebate on Windows 2000 equal to the cost of the CPP membership. It's simple, obvious, and will cost Microsoft millions. But at least they'll avoid another media relations bomb.

DELL COMPUTER ANNOUNCED this week that it has secured the number one spot among PC makers selling systems in the U.S. educational market, wresting control from Apple Computer. The news comes only days after the company announced that it had overtaken Compaq Computer to become the number one PC maker in the United States. Dell has a 21% share of the educational market, compared to 16% for Apple.

ANOTHER FRIDAY HAS come and gone without any findings of fact from Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson. You'll recall that the court announced two weeks ago that it would release its findings on "a Friday," though it didn't say which Friday. Whenever the findings are released, you'll be able to read all about it here: http://usvms.gpo.gov/

ACCORDING TO A source close to Microsoft, the software giant will release Windows 2000 DataCenter Server Release Candidate 1 (RC1) on the same day that the other editions of Windows 2000--Professional, Server, and Advanced Server--reach RC3

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