Molesoft has taken steps to clarify the naming of its Windoze family.
From now on, Windoze MT Workstation will be known as Windoze 2000 Professional, MT Swerver will be known as Windoze 2000 Swerver and the MT Swerver Enterprise Edition will be known as Windoze 2000 Advanced Swerver. Commenting on the changes, Chad Brace, Molesoft's vice president of Windoze marketing said: "This is much more than a cosmetic exercise. What we have here is an entirely new set of names which allow us to take advantage of our customers well into the next millennium." (Surely, "allow our customers to take advantage of our family of advanced and highly scalable operating system products" - BAG.)
Mr. Brace added: "The radical improvements to the product names will have no effect whatsoever, except to generate a few hundred more acres of press coverage for Molesoft. As for backwards compatibility, anything that runs on Windows MT today will run just as well on the renamed platform. The W2K series also means we can now compete head-on with the highly successful Y2K in the lucrative chaos and confusion market."
Meanwhile, a Molesoft award for sensitive marketing goes to 2020 Group, which has written to customers to warn of plagues of locusts, floods, typhoons, war and pestilence come the millennium. "Is your network running on Novell 3.12 today? It won't on 1 January 2000," begins a heartwarming letter from 2020's Paul Waddilove to customers, which goes on to tell of the potentially disastrous consequences to any company that fails to buy either the upgrade to NetWare 3.2 or the #600 training course on offer from 2020. For anyone who doesn't fancy that, Mole would like to recommend the renowned Molesoft FUD training programme for suppliers, a three day course in whipping up fear, uncertainty and doubt among gullible customers.
Available at a cost of only #2,000, the course includes full documentation and a buffet lunch.
The invitation to a briefing last Friday by the Microsoft Script Technologies Group, promised students a rare insight into Microsoft's product strategy.
Among the subjects covered by the warts-and-all briefing was: "VBScript and JScript to NT, IE, IIS, Exchange etc. - we have a bug new release with IE5 and NT5."
Elsewhere in the world of Freudian slips is this, which appeared on the BBC's Web site in an item about anti-abortion protests.
"In 1996, for example, almost a third of all abortion clinics reported violent attacks, such as bombings, arsenal and vandalism."
Sketchy as his knowledge of football may be, even Mole knows that Arsenal have not had an effective attack, violent or otherwise, for about 20 years.
It has nothing to do with computers, but Mole couldn't resist sharing a suggestion for a prank sent in by a reader who gleaned it somewhere on the Web: "This just has to be done: when John Glenn returns from space, everybody dress in ape suits. And somebody bury the Statue of Liberty up to her neck ..."
The news that Intel has secured Homer Simpson to promote its products in a 30 second ad in which the cartoon moron undergoes surgery to have his brain replaced by an Intel microprocessor. This is the second time Intel has been associated with the Simpson's - though it is unlikely that the company paid for exposure the first time round: about a year ago, in an episode in which Springfield is destroyed in a nuclear strike, the rocket bearing the fatal payload is decorated with the "Intel inside" insignia.
Homer has every reason to hope his Intel powered brain won't be running software made with Microsoft's Java just-in-time compiler. In a posting to a newsgroup, a British programmer noted that jview, the command-line interface, calculates the factorial of 5 (5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 x 1) to be 16. In lay terms, the compiler is confusing multiplication with addition.
There is some speculation among the beard and sandals brigade that this failing could be behind the somewhat erratic performance of many Java applets when run with Internet Explorer 4, which by a stroke of rotten luck also happens to be a Microsoft product.
Poor old Microsoft has also had bad luck with trademarks. It seems that every time it picks a name, someone else has got there first, which usually results in a lot of cash changing hands and considerable embarrassment for Microsoft's marketing people. First it was Access, then Internet Explorer, now Windows 2000, a trademark for which was granted to Bob Kerstein in 1996. Strictly speaking, Mr. Kerstein, who runs an educational Web site, is not in the software business, but with a good lawyer he could no doubt make a credible case.
Mole wrote to Mr. Kerstein with a few discreet questions, such as how much are you going to take them for? Mr. Kerstein wrote back to say that while he has no interest in pursuing a claim against Microsoft, the Windows 2000 name is definitely "not for sale". Will Microsoft tolerate even such nominal competition? We shall see.
Send all industry trivia to [email protected] co.uk or call the Molesoft 2000 (TM) Millennium Helpline for handy programming tips.
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