MY PREDICTION ABOUT Chicken Little stories in the computing press regarding the release (excuse me, the "delay") of Windows 2000 is a constant source of amusement, mostly because I'm rarely on target this often. The latest entry, a doozy from the UK-based Register, simultaneously uses the same RC3 and RTM dates I've published while paradoxically claiming that a Fall Comdex announcement is impossible. It makes no sense at all, but it is funny. And their final paragraph is taken straight from my Chicken Little playbook, God bless 'em: "\[Microsoft's PR company has\] started briefing customers and partners that Microsoft is on-track for 1999, but that Microsoft always meant by this (i.e., always ever since Microsoft started saying on-track for 1999) that it would RTM before the end of the year. Which of course means it doesn't actually ship until 2000, but that, they say, is what they've always been saying." As Dr. Evil would say, "rriiiiggghhttttttt..." Or as I would say, "read WinInfo!"
MICROSOFT RELEASED OUTLOOK Express 5.0 for the Macintosh this past week, but no news yet on why Internet Explorer 5.0 has been delayed, possibly past New Years. OE 5.0 Macintosh Edition includes new features such as Smart Enhancements and a junk mail filter. It's available for free on the Microsoft Web site.
I'M NOT SURE why I haven't mentioned this yet, but a few weeks ago, I began writing the editorial for Windows NT Magazine's UPDATE email newsletter, which gets sent to over 125,000 subscribers each week. In my capacity as News Editor, I also provide occasional news articles from WinInfo. Check it out on the Web and via Email from the Windows NT Magazine Web site. But don't worry, I'm not giving up on WinInfo!
JUDGE THOMAS PENFIELD Jackson will be issuing his findings of fact on "a Friday at 6:30 p.m. EST" and will let Microsoft and the DOJ know the exact date only two hours in advance. Why so secretive? Well, the court is trying to prevent the market from taking an unnecessary nosedive, so it's not releasing the exact date in advance so Microsoft investors (and others) won't leave the company like so many lemmings. As for my predictions about the trial itself, they've never changed: Microsoft will be found guilty of anti-competitive behavior, specifically that it performed illegal product bundling, exclusionary licensing and other strong-arm tactics to gain marketshare for products that otherwise wouldn't have stood a chance in the open market. I have no prediction on the judge's sentencing, which is expected by the end of the year. However, when Microsoft appeals this eventual ruling, it will be overturned or watered down enough that it no longer matters: Jackson has never had one of his rulings against Microsoft stand up to the appellate court. (UPDATE: the court has since announced that "a Friday" would not be "this Friday.")
BY THE WAY, this secretive announcement about fact finding also sheds new light on Microsoft's quarterly results, which were announced the same day. Could it be that Greg Maffei, for the first time ever, spoke of future rosy quarters specifically to offset any eventual stock damage caused by a ruling in the antitrust case? That's my take on it: This guy has *never* given anything but dire warnings about future quarters.
THIS ONE IS too funny: An enterprising Linux hacker has designed a version of DOOM where the enemies in a room are monsters from the game. Want to kill a process? No problem, just shoot the monster! Best quote: "Certain processes are vital to the computer's operation and should not be killed. For example, after I took the screenshot of myself being attacked by csh \[the command shell\], csh was shot by friendly fire from behind, possibly by tcsh or xv, and my session was abruptly terminated." LOL. Check it out now online