Tuesday, March 12, 2002  [!]

Talk about a reality distortion field In this Reuters story about Steve Ballmer addressing the crowds at CeBit in Germany, it states:

Only recently had it become clear to Microsoft that it had become an industry leader which needed to behave differently, Ballmer told 2,500 guests in the Hanover congress center ahead of the first day of the trade fair on Wednesday.

"I say to our people we want to be a trustworthy Microsoft in a world of trustworthy computing," Ballmer said in a speech at the official opening of the CeBIT technology trade show in the German city of Hanover.

Hello? only recently? how recently? What triggered it? Which lawsuit? the 1995 consent decree? the whole DOJ thang? After he became CEO? After they got on their kick about security (well, it's about damn time!)? Was this before or after they were all saying that they n't done anything wrong? Was it after they made some secret sweetheart deal with the Government post 9-11? Was this after Sun began to sue Microsoft for $1 billion?

Graeme Wearden reports before CeBit opens.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Ballmer said that Microsoft wants to be a responsible leader of the technology sector. "The industry wants us to be more responsible. We can't have business policies that are capricious or variable. We have to be reliable and consistent. We must redouble the emphasis on partnership," he said.

The Register quotes further from the Financial Times interview.

"It's fair to say that we thought that we had behaved in an appropriate way in the past. But the company has grown up since then. In the past we saw ourselves as the underdog that had to battle harder. We are now an industry leader and that implies a sense of responsibility," he said.

how far in the past? When did they grow up? How will we recognize the grown-up MIcrosoft?

The outspoken Ballmer recently used his deposition in the antitrust case to deny that Microsoft had entered into favorable licensing agreements with OEMs or taken retaliatory action against partners when they had supported rivals' products. However, Jim Allchin, Platforms vice president, appeared to contradict Ballmer's testimony, when he conceded that Microsoft had engaged in "unlawful" practices to maintain a monopoly in the PC operating system space.

The Financial Times article in English.

Artikel in Financial Times, Deutschland. In Deutsch, alas.

The killer app The web designers and clients thread that Robert Scoble pointed to has been a great read. I particularly like this one where the designer put a requisition for a software app called PsychicAbility Pro.

Duck and Cover A friend sent a link to Nuclear Blast Mapper, where you can enter a location and gauge the degree of destruction to the surrounding area. And seeing Operation Cue's test of a house being blown to smithereens led to Military.com remembers the Cold War and this civil defense image gallery. Includes how to build a fallout shelter, atomic artillery shells, and hardhatted men drinking coffee and donuts in the hours before a nuclear test blast.