April 1, 2004

Exclusive: Ballmer, McBride 'drop in' for a visit

Author: Joe Barr

I heard Steve Ballmer was visiting a ranch near Crawford, Texas, recently, so I invited him to drop by for a chat at my own miniature donkey ranch in the heart of the Texas Triangle. Much to my surprise, he accepted. Later that same day, a black helicopter appeared overhead and set down right next to the compost bin. The roar of the chopper's engine scared the donkeys back into the barn. Ballmer and an accomplice hopped out of the belly of the beast and strode purposely over to the deck, where I sat reading an article on raising free range tofu.

There isn't any polite way to say it. They walked funny. It was as if they were joined at the hip and shared one leg. I was getting a mite uncomfortable watching two suits, two heads, and three legs coming my way. But when they got closer I could see they were human. There was Ballmer's idiot grin and his sweaty bald head. I could see Darl's Neanderthal-like features and "extra stiff, extra brushy, no latte" eyebrows. It was them, all right.

Luckily, I had a swing set on the deck with a swing long enough to hold both of them. I got each of them a Lone Star longneck, then clicked on the tape recorder and began the interview.

Barr: Welcome to the Triple 3 Ranch, Steve. Who did you bring with you?

Ballmer: Thanks, Joe. Good to be here. This is my constant companion, Darl McBride.

Barr: Welcome, Darl. Your name is familiar, but I can't quite place it. I'm sure I've heard it somewhere, though.

McBride: Perhaps I've sued you?

Barr: No, I don't think so. Shoot, I'm not even a customer of yours.

Ballmer: I hate to be blunt, Joe, but I am scheduled to do a Monkey Dance at a formal ball the Dallas Republicans are holding this evening. Let's get on with this.

Barr: Fine, Steve. Here's your first question. Is anyone out there stupid enough to believe your phony TCO ads based on out-of-date software and pre-license 6 pricing?

Ballmer: You might be surprised how many stupid people we have as customers, Joe. Not that IT management is exactly a Mecca for Mensa members, in any case. We just seem to naturally thrive among those with two-digit IQs.

Barr: So, have you managed to stop the bleeding? Are you now gaining market share against Linux on servers?

Ballmer: Well, not exactly. But what we do have is good old mo. Mo is own our side, big time!

Barr: Momentum is going your way?

Ballmer: Not momentum, doofus. Mo-nopoly! It gives us a big advantage in any space we want to move into.

Barr: I see what you mean. Tell me, Steve. Bill Gates is said to be able to jump over a chair. You're kind of famous for your Monkey Dance. Can Darl do anything?

Ballmer Yes, he sings a little. And if you notice carefully, he sings a different tune each time. He's very innovative.

Barr: Yeah, I remember now. At one point he was claiming a million lines of code had been copied from Unix into Linux. Now's that's an innovation! OK. Back to you, Steve. What do you make of the EU ruling?

Ballmer: The DOJ settlement was 'tough but fair.' We had hoped the EU would be that way, too. But no. Those damned uppity Euro-trash-talking bozos want us to remove code from Windows.

We proved in the DOJ case that Windows would become unstable if we had to remove anything. It's incredibly complex. Take a few lines of code here, and the far side might just cave in entirely.

It's just wrong for someone to tell us what to do. We give the orders. That is the natural order of things.

Barr: Does it bother you when people point out that Windows is a piece of crap, and that you and Gates have told more lies between the two of you than are told in entire sessions of Congress?

Ballmer: I think what you're saying is that we are good at what we do, and we do it a lot.

Barr: When will you release MS Office for Linux?

Ballmer: At the same time RMS licenses Emacs under our shared source license.

Barr: Does Gates really wet his pants when he hears about the GPL?

At the sound of the term GPL, Darl suddenly came to life. He stood up and did a little softshoe, then broke into song:

I got them shrinkwrap blues,
Can't do nuttin' without a license blues,
Got them blues so bad oh Lord
Till my accountant can't count no more

Its all because of the GPL
That GPL got me locked up in hell
I spell it gee pee ell, oh well
I got them shrinkwrap blues

Ballmer: We really have to cut this short and get out of here. Lots of money to be had in Dallas.

Barr: OK. One last question. Nothing you've done yet seems to have slowed down Linux at all. The SCO gambit, the FUD, the lies, the pressure on middle-managers in local government, or your absurd ads on TV. What do you have left up your sleeve? How will you stop Linux?

Ballmer: Oh, we're not worried. We're having it declared illegal and unconstitutional in a dozen states as we speak. Along with that damn license it uses, the GPL.

Hearing the word GPL, Darl stood up again to burst back into song. But Steve quickly shushed him and hurried him off the deck and back out to the chopper.

Before I knew it they were once more in the belly of the beast and whirring their way to Big D.

Note the publication date. This story is a joke. Do not take it seriously. - NewsForge Editors


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