Bluescreen: Alex Kidman satirises the PC industry crashing some kernels along the way.
Microsoft’s plan to extend Windows XP Home licencing for another two years— but only on ULCPC models that meet the company’s exacting specifications — might seem like a back-flip on its licensing plans or some kind of desperate attempt to stop Asus selling quite so many Linux-based Eee PCs.
Bluescreen has learned that it actually forms part of a wider Microsoft strategy to embed Windows into everyday devices and moreover to generate sales revenue for parts of the Microsoft business long thought dead.
“XP on the Eee is just the start” our Redmond based source told us. “A couple of years back we looked at what Hollywood’s been doing for the last one hundred years — take four or five basic story ideas and then re-use them endlessly through remakes re-imaginings and grabbing concepts holus-bolus from the public domain before copyrighting the heck out of them. We’d already done the grabbing public ideas thing to death — the word processor the GUI Internet Explorer and so on — but the idea of re-using our old IP sparked an entirely new thought process and business plan.“
Under the plan Microsoft intends to broaden its outreach beyond the traditional IT sector and start offering older Windows operating systems to other non-IT manufacturers. “We actually did this years ago by embedding Windows CE into the Sega Dreamcast but Sega only sold three of the things so that rather flopped” our source told us.
Here’s the plan as revealed by our inside man (we’ll call her “Melinda”) for each iteration of Microsoft’s consumer operating systems:
Windows 98: “We’re licensing this one out to the medical nano-tech companies. Not because it’s cutting edge — but because it gives the medical nano-bots a finite life span as they always crash after 24 hours anyway.“
Windows 95: “Our studies revealed that 95’s lack of proper memory protection made laptops run unbearably hot — a whole 9.2 on the “Macbook Pro” scale — so we’re in talks with Kenwood to release a range of Windows 95 toasters and oven grills.”
Microsoft BOB: “Remember those cool transformers LCD watches from the eighties? No? Well you will after our BOB-centred “re-imagining” and multi-billion dollar marketing campaign that’s for sure…”
Windows 3.11 for Workgroups: “Read the box — it says “for workgroups”. We’re already selling this to the Chinese factories making the Eee.. in forced workgroups. You either make your allotment of Eee PCs — or you’re forced to try to install a network printer under 3.11. It seems to work pretty well…”
Windows 2: “This one’s exempt from the resell plan largely because the code base forms most of what’s going on behind the scenes in Vista. That bit’s off the record right?”
Windows 1: “We’re going by what it says on the box — mostly because except for Steve nobody’s left around here from 1985. Frankly nobody remembers Windows 1 but we found an old box and on the front it clearly says “Operating Environment”. So we’re going to licence it to hospitals. So far we haven’t found an Australian hospital running anything newer anyway.”
The corporate OS environments (NT 2000 Server) were exempt from the plan “because we’re still extracting rivers of gold from companies too stupid to stop using them” our source said.
Microsoft remained undecided as to where to licence the Windows ME operating system and early tests with trying to get it running on an abacus had to be abandoned after the abacus kept catching fire.
Apple naturally “would not comment on rumours and speculation” that the Apple II line would be revived as a series of stylish doorstops despite mock-ups of the doorstop plan hitting every Mac rumour site simultaneously and the presence of US patents filed by Apple for “A computerised door movement arresting device capable of running Visicalc and Karateka.“
The open source community has reacted with outrage. “Microsoft is just trying to leech off the hard work of the OSS community — who can forget such wonderful projects as Op3nToaster HospitalPenguin or StallmanWatch?” said user P1ngwinFanBoi on Slashdot.Org. “Truly this is the year of Linux on the desktop”.
We tried to get further information from our Redmond source but she’d just read P1ngwinFanBoi‘s desktop comment and simply couldn’t stop laughing.