From the /dev/null mailing list

Gates 'n Satan

"Wiiiiilliam Gaaaates..."

"Oh, hi, Satan. What's up downstairs?"

"It's tiiiiime..."

"Yeah, but we're still debugging Memphis, and Ballmer swears he'll wipe out
Adobe before lunch, and Melinda wants to change the tile in the third-floor
kitchen again, and..."

"Sorry, Bill. I've given you too many extensions already, not to mention
the Oracle launch event disaster, not to mention Steve Jobs' head on a

"Yeah, that was a good one. I think you enjoy this as much as I..."

"Regardless, a deal's a deal. Your soul is mine, Bill Gates. And today is
the day you pay your eternal debt to me."

"Now, let's be reasonable here, Satan..."

"Reasonable?!? You want reasonable?!? You're the richest man in the world!
You've got a beautiful wife and daughter! Microsoft is the most powerful
company on the planet! We're even using NT to run hell's WAN server! And
frankly, it sucks. That's one of the reasons I've come to collect. If you
can't get my network to run right, you'll spend the afterlife writing
Windows applications that run on doorbells..."

"What's your alternative, Satan? Netware? AppleTalk? OS/2? You're a funny
guy for someone who breathes fire."

"Well, God is porting all his heaven-critical applications to Java..."

"Java?!? Stop it, Satan. You're going to make me wet my pants again like
that time you told me to buy Novell for $50 a share."

"Yes, Java, running on Sun servers, IBM plumbing and Oracle databases with
thin clients accessing the apps via the web through Netscape Navigator."

"That's not a solution, that's one of those Grimm's fairy tales that scare
children to death. I have yet to see an NC actually being used to do
anything except crash during demonstrations. Look, Java is a nice little
language for animating web sites, but Shockwave after too many espressos
isn't going to displace Windows as an applications platform on hundreds of
millions of PCs."

"Nevertheless, Java is the future of computing, and I'll be damned if I'm
going to give God a strategic technology advantage!"

"Satan, what if I told you I could kill off Java with a single word?"

"Interesting. Tell me more."

"Wait a minute. What's in it for me?"

"I promise I won't turn you into Larry Ellison's bidet right this second."

"Okay, that works for me. Here's the word...disable."

"Disable what?"

"Disable Java support in Internet Explorer."

"You mean Microsoft's web browser won't run Java anymore?"

"That's right, brimstone breath. You want to run Java, give Netscape 50
bucks per seat and pray that IBM doesn't buy the company to merge
Communicator with Lotus Notes."

"The Department of Justice will..."

"Will what? Punish me because I won't support a product my enemie want to
use to destroy my company? Chevrolet dealers don't have to sell Fords.
Pepsi's restaurants don't have to offer Coke. Why does Microsoft have to
support Java?"

"It's an industry standard..."

"It's an industry hallucination."

"There will be a public outcry..."

"From who? Network managers? MIS? The CIO? They're up to their nosehairs in
Cobol getting ready for January 1, 2000. To them, Java is still a cute word
for coffee."

"What about all those spiffy applets on thousands of web sites?"

"Microsoft owns 100 percent of the Apple and Windows preload market for
browsers, and our overall share has gone from zero to half in two years.
It's a safe bet most people will soon use IE for web access. If they come
to a site that doesn't work because of Java, they'll simply jump to the
next one. Trust me, developers will switch to ActiveX faster than you can
say 'Playstation.'"

"What about other platforms..."

"Like Intel has competition?"

"Interactive TV..."

"We call it WebTV in Redmond."

"Venture capitalists have invested billions..."

"To get a date with Kim Polese."

"Sun will write a plug-in..."

"Not without the hidden APIs."

"Of all my minions, you are my very favorite, Bill. You may stay."

"Thanks, Satan. Now, about that Exchange license agreement..."