By Constantine von Hoffman
Wednesday the company gave out details about Office 2007. No estimates yet on what the CPP or cost-per-patch will be. Even though the base price for Office won’t change, MS officials declined to give an estimate on the number of post-release “fixes” expected.
The day before this MS continued its attempt to rebrand as a security conscious company. (Does this remind anyone else of McDonald’s trying to pass itself off as a purveyor of “healthy” food?) Bill Gates told an audience at the RSA Security Conference that the biggest expense for the company’s upcoming operating system is in security measures. Bill, Bill, Bill. Let me share with you a piece of wisdom learned from many bumperstickers: You can’t solve a problem just by throwing money at it. Wait, maybe you can.
Speaking of questionable pieces of rhetoric … Microsoft, Yahoo, Cisco Systems and Google all continue to blame the free market for their decisions to do business with Beijing. Reps from The Gang of Four were in Washington this week defending their right to extract profits from China and other nations no matter how loathsome their governments are. They said, and I paraphrase, that the buck on this issue stops in DC not in the private sector, unless of course we can add that buck to our balance sheets.
Yahoo representative Michael Callahan told the House International Relations subcommittee “these issues are larger than any one company, or any one industry. We appeal to the U.S. government to do all it can to help us provide beneficial services to Chinese citizens lawfully and in a way consistent with our shared values.” Cuz Lord knows we sure as hell aren’t going to do anything about it. Oh wait. I added that last part.
BTW, BoingBoing.net has some really great protest art done in the form of the Yahoo and Google logos. Cheap shots? Yes. Effective? Yes.
What the future holds: Enunciation lessons.Ace tech editor Chris Lindquist sent the following along. (He thinks it’s satire. I hope he is right.)
Voices raised in anger over wiretapping by the National Security Agency will — like all political outrages — fade into silence eventually. And mistakes will be made again … and again … and again. A look into Crashing the System’s Crystal ball reveals more fun to come.
July 4, 2008: The NSA unveils its “Speak Up! Don’t Mumble!” campaign. Critics express concern over the NSA’s actual motives, but Rob Siggins, NSA spokesman, declares the campaign is all about helping children learn to better communicate with each other. “The NSA is in the communications business, after all, so we thought it would be nice to do something for the kids.”
July 4, 2009: Following on the success of “Speak Up! Don’t Mumble!”, the NSA announces its new “Upgrade That Crappy Phone!” campaign, where citizens can trade in any phone that cost less than $19 for a new “NSA Approved” model. “People don’t seem to realize that those cheaply made, freebie phones you get for subscribing to sports magazines or opening a bank account or signing up for a year of cell service make it very difficult for the person or persons on the other end of the line to hear what’s being said,” said NSA spokesman Rob Siggins. “We’re just doing out bit to help communication in this country. We’re in the communications business, after all.”
November 15, 2014: A coalition of cell-service providers and the NSA announce the “Show Some Backbone America!” initiative, where cell phone customers can receive a free Motorola Razr V23 if they agree to have a GPS transmitter surgically fused to their spines. The handful of remaining critics immediately call the program “Orwellian,” though few know what they’re talking about as Orwell’s oeuvre has been banned in the US since 2010.
December 8, 2015: No news today, citizen. Go on about your business.
A quick word about me and Crashing the System. This will be my final post here and not because of anything I wrote. I’m moving to a new job. If you’ve enjoyed what I’ve written, I am going to continue blogging about the foibles of business – technological and otherwise — at CollateralDamage.biz. Thanks to CIO and IDG for the great opportunity and the huge amount of fun in writing/connecting with you all.