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Gates Comdex Keynote Shows Plans, Matrix Spoof 803

An anonymous reader writes "According to Eweek, Bill Gates' keynote speech at this year's Comdex showed Microsoft's 'focus on security, spam and [the] tablet PC', including a new version of its Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server, an extension of the SmartScreen Technology for spam prevention, and the next version of the Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition operating system. But the showstopper was a filmed spoof of The Matrix (screencaps available here), with Gates and Steve Ballmer as Morpheus and Neo respectively, and including a jab at Linux."
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Gates Comdex Keynote Shows Plans, Matrix Spoof

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 17, 2003 @07:10PM (#7497359)
    Nope, it should be as simple as gaining root on an unpatched Lunix box, like it happened to open source icons SourceForge and VIA a coupla years ago. Remember? The guy even hacked into the Akamai boxes serving ads. It was hilarious!!!

    But, um, you were saying? Don't let reality intrude upon your wishful zealotry.

  • Matrix spoof (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cyber_rigger ( 527103 ) on Monday November 17, 2003 @07:12PM (#7497388) Homepage Journal
    Borland did this years ago []

    Borland Matrix spoof

    So much for Microsoft inovation.
  • Re:The pills... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Monday November 17, 2003 @07:13PM (#7497395) Journal
    The irony is that Linux still has a very small market share, but Billy's response to Linux in this spoof, by linking it to IBM, tends to make Linux even bigger than it is, and makes it look like it is more competition than it is yet.

    As someone who has been in marketing for 20 years now, I know the best way to make your competition look small is ignore them in public, and sweat them in private. This is just petty crapola by Billy and Company, but it serves to make MS look bad, and Linux to look better by being the butt of a joke made by "the evil empire". I mean, the method they used to parody Linux is fine, even remotely humorous, but doesn't serve their marketing dept. very well.

    Seriously, this may sound odd to some of you, but this is a fundamental marketing mistake, this is Marketing 201 stuff, not that advanced. This is typical of a company that thinks it is invincible, or thinks the competition can never catch up. Problem is, no one else believes this except Billy and Co.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 17, 2003 @07:16PM (#7497426)
    pictures only []
  • Keynote == ads? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 17, 2003 @07:37PM (#7497628)
    I don't go to such conferences, so excuse the naivete. Have keynote addresses always been simply self-promotion and selling of the speaker's (upcoming) products? What an insipid waste of time! Shouldn't it be some visionary discussion of the industry as a whole?
  • by mskfisher ( 22425 ) * on Monday November 17, 2003 @07:38PM (#7497644) Homepage Journal
    Mine got buried in the page-break - here's another, with HTML preserved:
  • by nodwick ( 716348 ) on Monday November 17, 2003 @07:52PM (#7497750)
    Microsoft has turned into everything they used to be against (and sometimes worse).
    Has Microsoft ever really been for competition? As far as I can remember, they've always been trying to beat down their competitors by whatever means they could devise. (I remember when our school went with MS-DOS instead of PC-DOS because programs had fewer compatibility issues with the dominant OS rather than a cheaper clone. Similarly, the popularity of DR-DOS petered out after MS-DOS started copying some of their best features.) It's just that they're so much bigger and so much better at it now that they're seen as a hulking Goliath instead of a gutsy underdog. The difference is size.

    And yes, dominance is what all companies strive for. Peter Lynch once weighed in on the issue by saying that "In business, competition is never as healthy as total domination." The difference between whether you're admired for your tenacity or reviled for your bullying depends primarily on how successful you are and how close you are to your goal.

  • This is bullshit. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 17, 2003 @07:53PM (#7497758)
    For Gates and Balmer to be doing this is almost as bad as Bush previously saying that there "oughta be limits to freedom" (in reference to the parody sites making fun of him) - and now saying things to the effect of "isn't free speech great?" to the demonstrating masses in England that are protesting his visit. Not quite grokking his own patronising attitude and only showing that he really is slimy enough to lie in order to get buy without actually fixing the problem or thinking over the protestor's viewpoints.

    (You think Saddam's a menace to his own people? How many Iraqis have your orders killed, Bush?)

    In the case of Bush, as with the Microsoft heads, sharply beating them about the head with their own intestines wouldn't be good enough for them.

    Anyway, my point is that Gates and Balmer are attempting to reverse the status quo by lying about it. It's almost as though they don't understand that people remember what they have previously done. Outside Redmond they have a particularly evil and self-centered reputation - my dealings with them validate this 100%.

    Gates, Balmer, Microsoft: YOU are the evil empire, The Borg Collective, the pigopolists, The Matrix, the control and manipulation of your customers solely for your bottom line.

    Embrace and extend, invasive product activation, Digital Restrictions Management, deliberate incompatiblities with other manufacturer's software. Don't forget that Microsoft has been tried and convicted of being a monopoly with anti-competitive tactics - AND THIS BEHAVIOUR HAS NOT CHANGED.

    With security holes in the default install that are SCARY - a naked default install Windows box on the 'net has an 8 to 16 minute life expectancy before it's scanned, trojaned and root-kitted; an email client that is so broken that it practically emails your credit card number to spammers all by itself (there are *still* preview pane auto-execute-the-friendly-virus problems).

    Then you try to sell software well below cost to 2nd/3rd world countries to get them hooked (the 1st one's always free), then whine about "freedom of choice" when Linux is chosen. I find such behavour funny, but I doubt you even see the possiblity of a joke from the top of your glass tower in Redmond.

    My definition of "freedom of choice" doesn't include funding your near-terrorism level of neglegence, greed and empathy only for the price of stock in your own tried-and-convicted-criminal slimebag company. Being disrespectful to those who are already wary of you isn't going to win you any more friends.
  • Weakness (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LittleLebowskiUrbanA ( 619114 ) on Monday November 17, 2003 @08:21PM (#7497980) Homepage Journal
    This is a sign of weakness that they do this. I wonder how much money and time they wasted on this but apparently after seeing that fictional Linux kernel error, probably not much.
  • Linux: A clone of Minix, itself a clone of UNIX.

    UNIX: A rough implementation of Multics, written expressly so that Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie could port a game called Space Travel to old, cheap hardware.

    Who's got new ideas now?

    Please mod parent back down to normal. He has a highly misleading view of history that has been modded up to +3.

    Misleading item #1: "Linux is a clone of Minux, itself a clone of Unix". Completely incorrect, although seemingly-plausible to newbies due to the historical association of these things.

    I evaluated Minix back when it was hot stuff, and I rejected it precisely because it was not a clone of Unix. It was a toy version of Unix. If it had been a good clone, I would have used it, no problem.

    A few years later, I evaluated Linux. It was not a toy version of either Minix nor Unix, it was a true clone of Unix. So I started using it.

    Now, ok, Linux was a true clone of Unix back then, this much is true (although not quite what the poster said), and hence yes, Linux back then was not a new idea.

    But so what? The point is that it was a FREELY AVAILABLE, OPEN SOURCE clone of Unix -- which is exactly what millions of us were waiting for. Minix wasn't real Unix...BSD was, but wasn't freely available back then...Linux was a god send.

    Misleading item #2: "UNIX: A rough implementation of Multics, written expressly so that Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie could port a game called Space Travel to old, cheap hardware."

    No, Unix is not any kind of version of Multics, that is just plain wrong. Sure, it borrowed a few ideas; the Unix authors were involved in authoring Multics, so surely that is no surprise. But "a version of"? No. Wrong. Completely wrong.

    As for "Written so that...Space Travel..." could run on some platform? Sure, that's part of the what? The question is, what did they come up with as a result?

    The parent post is a cynical, distorted view of history that is grinding an axe to achieve an agenda. Please mod it back down to a normal +1 opinion. It is NOT insightful nor informative.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 17, 2003 @08:58PM (#7498315)
    Microsoft was seen as the little guy, fighting against the big, powerful, market-dominating, innovation-stifling IBM.

    You mean when IBM handed over the operating system monopoly to Microsoft when the PC was first introduced? I wish I could get into that kind of a fight.
  • by vsprintf ( 579676 ) on Monday November 17, 2003 @09:17PM (#7498446)

    This whole thing started when Bill G got laughed out of the homebrew computer club for throwing a hissy fit over how people were copying his version of basic.

    This is true (and Bill did some dumpster diving to get BASIC), but the OP also has a valid point. When I built my first PC clone, I went to a *software boutique* and tried to buy a copy of MS DOS. (Anyone else remember PC software being so trendy that you had to go to a boutique to buy it?) It wasn't for sale, and they just laughed at me. You didn't *buy* DOS, you just *got it*, nudge, wink, get it? And MicroSoft didn't seem to mind it at all. Try doing that now.

  • the difference is... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by penguin7of9 ( 697383 ) on Monday November 17, 2003 @10:54PM (#7498977)
    The difference is that UNIX and Linux developers generally don't claim to be innovating. Instead, they implement tried-and-true, open standards.

    Microsoft claims they are innovating. That's how they are marketing their stuff. That's how they see themselves. And, worse yet, they are reinventing the bad ideas.

    It's hard to come up with anything new in operating systems. Just about anything has been tried and suggested before. The only thing that distinguishes different people and projects is how well they know the past and how honest they are about it.
  • by nathanh ( 1214 ) on Monday November 17, 2003 @11:25PM (#7499178) Homepage
    I think I speak for more people when I say,"Who gives a shit?"

    You don't speak for me. I think this is great. Why? Because it means Linux has finally entered the collective consciousness.

    What the fuck am I talking about? Parody only works when the audience knows exactly what you're talking about with just the subtlest hints. The spoof didn't need to spell out what Linux is. It was assumed knowledge. Microsoft assumed that the audience knew that Larry Ewing's Tux logo is the Linux mascot, that the audience knew what Linux is and what Linux does, that the audience knew that Linux is competing with Microsoft, and so on.

    It is great news that Microsoft acknowledges Linux in this way. It shows that Linux has become big enough to not just attract attention from Microsoft (the Halloween documents demonstrated that) but that everybody in the computing industry is expected to know about Linux by now.

    Woohoo. I still remember when this site was called Chips and Dips. I remember the cheering and stomping of feet when the first paper magazine ran an article on Linux. Now Linux inspires spoofs from one of the world's biggest software companies! This is a great day for Linux.

  • Re:The pills... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by naelurec ( 552384 ) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @12:26AM (#7499551) Homepage
    I haven't seen the full flick (just some still shots) but I think this does end up being some simple marketing strategy.

    Microsoft can't simply ignore Linux. If they don't satisfy current customers curiousity with their own statements regarding the competition, the customers will go out and do their own research. Doing a head-to-head comparison doesn't work very well.. so what are they going to do? Tout that Windows is more secure? more reliable? more portable? more accessible? less bloated? cheaper?

    MS has tried spewing FUD. They tried to prove that MS solutions are superior to others via paid studies. They forced OEMs and distribution channels to NOT pre-install Linux or even OS-free computer systems. There is loose evidence that Microsoft helps fund companies and other organizations that try to fight or otherwise dimish the impact FOSS has.

    Those tactics didn't work. So now they are effectively trying to dismiss Linux .. poke fun at it, associate it with evil & lock in with IBM, etc..

    I dont think it will work. Every day the FOSS movement grows stronger. More developers, more users, more contributors, more projects, more rollouts, larger announcements, new uses, etc.. Microsoft knows that the single biggest problem with software is it is easily duplicated (one of the reasons why they got into software in the first place).. However, that same trait that made Microsoft the huge corporation it now is will be, I believe, the same trait that will either completely change Microsoft as we know it or slowly destroy Microsoft as a company.

    In anycase, its fun to sit back and watch. ;)
  • by _Sprocket_ ( 42527 ) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @01:56AM (#7500055)
    Yep. The origional Fluffy Bunny rant. You can still find mirrors [] of the origional defaced page (complete with cute graphics and the above rant). The rant itself shows up in Slashdot archives and Google Groups often enough.
  • by phiwum ( 319633 ) <> on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @05:27AM (#7500690) Homepage
    I don't get it.

    Microsoft represents the ragtag rebel alliance trying to save the majority sheeples from the all-powerful IBM-Linux Matrix?

    Never mind remedial security courses for Microsoft programmers. Their ad-men need remedial courses in film interpretation and allegory.

    Or someone needs to take their copies of 1984 away. I'm pretty sure that an ad campaign on freeing people from the Linux monopoly is a bit too unsubtle for, well, for anyone.

    Aside: I'm still ambivalent about the Matrix. You would be too, if you had taught introductory philosophy courses at Carnegie Mellon. Three-quarters of the geeks in my course had signed up for philosophy because they thought it was just like the Matrix.

    I don't mind if I never hear another Descartes/Wachowski comparison again. Especially if I never hear that Descartes would be better with more explosions and slo-mo bullets.

Whenever people agree with me, I always think I must be wrong. - Oscar Wilde