|The Humor Library|
The Software Wars
Monday, 10 AM -- Chicago, Illinois -- Start-up software developer Cuisine International announced CUISINENET, the first working program to seamlessly integrate word and food processing. Called a breakthrough for small restaurants and snack bars, Cuisine Chairman Mark Meigs confidently predicted sales of thousands of copies with shipments soon to begin.
Monday, 4 PM -- New York -- Cuisine International shares closed sharply higher on announcement of new CUISINENET product.
Tuesday, 9 AM -- Redmond, Washington -- Microsoft Chairman William H. Gates, III announced that Microsoft Food for Windows would soon enter beta testing. Gates described the product as the first of a projected family of products to include Food for Windows, designed for small commercial dining establishments; Personal Food for Windows, designed for home kitchens; Portable Food for Windows, designed for lunchboxes; and, of course, at the high end, Food for Windows NC (Nouvelle Cuisine) designed for large institutional dining rooms.
Asked by a reporter about CUISINENET, Gates said that he had never heard of the product, but was not surprised by it, because the software business is highly competitive, and Microsoft has to compete on the basis of merit with many strong competitors, as the FTC had recently concluded.
Tuesday, 3 PM -- Chicago, Illinois -- An angry Mark Meigs showed reporters a copy of the nondisclosure agreement signed by Bill Gates, under which Cuisine International had informed Microsoft a year earlier about plans for CUISINENET. Meigs said that in hindsight, he should never have signed the agreement, as the only thing he learned from Microsoft was that Gates was considering making changes to Windows.
Wednesday, 9 AM -- Redmond, Washington -- Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates announced that Microsoft would soon publish specifications for the Windows Open Kitchen Architecture (WOKA), a series of design specifications to permit manufacturers of toasters, ranges, and other kitchen appliances to integrate their products into the forthcoming Microsoft Food for Windows line.
Asked about reports of a nondisclosure agreement with Cuisine International for a similar product, Gates said that the other product was really at most a niche product, and would probably have less functionality than the food-related features that Microsoft would be building into the new Unsaturated FAT File System which would be part of DOS 7.0. Gates said that he doubted there would be much interest in a dead-end solution that would not be able to keep up to date with advances in WOKA.
Gates added that over 11,000 manufacturers of kitchen appliances were already having serious discussions with Microsoft about WOKA, and that he expected almost all important eaters of food to standardize on the WOKA environment.
Wednesday, 10 AM -- Redmond, Washington -- Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates announced that he would be giving the keynote speech at the American Bakers annual convention on "Nutrition at Your Fingertips." Gates played down speculation that he would use the Bakers convention to introduce Microsoft Food for Windows, saying only that alpha testing was proceeding ahead of schedule, and the product would be shipped when it was ready.
Wednesday, 11 AM -- Redmond, Washington -- Microsoft Corporation announced that its Chairman, William H. Gates, III, had made a donation of over $250,000 of personal funds to the Cordon Bleu to begin an endowment fund for the Bill Gates Professorship of Advanced Cookery. The famous French cooking school confirmed that it had agreed to be a beta site for the much discussed Food for Windows application sweet.
Thursday, 9 AM -- New York -- PCWeek Magazine reported in a copyrighted story that it had obtained a copy of correspondence from Microsoft to Cuisine International, demanding that the small developer of kitchen software cease using the Cuisine name, as it infringes on the trademark for Microsoft Food for Windows NC. Microsoft added that Chairman Mark Meigs would also have to change his own name as Mark infringed a copyright on the Windows Edit menu, Meigs infringed the trademark on Meigs Field in Microsoft Flight Simulator, and Chairman infringed the trademark on Bill Gates's title which he had acquired with personal funds from Mao's estate. Also, Microsoft advised that while the company did not actually have to move out of Chicago, use of the name on press releases infringed a trademark on Windows 4.0.
Thursday, 4 PM -- New York -- Cuisine International stock closed at 0-bid, 1/16-asked.
Friday, 9 AM -- ? -- An anonymous spokesman for an unnamed Midwestern software developer announced the discontinuation of operations. Undescribed legal problems were cited as the reason. Others speculated that a failure to appreciate the competitive nature of the software business may have led to the company's sudden collapse.
Monday, 9 AM -- Microsoft Internal Mail
Re: Food Program
Please see if you can reassign one of the 3,000 engineers from the OS/2 virus development project to do a feasibility study on a food-related program. Not sure what it would do. Low priority.
This is a dead web site. I have moved my web presence to several different sites:
Please visit me there instead. Thanks!
-- Michael, October 2000