Can Bill Gates save Microsoft by adding an umlaut? Pc tyrant gets the exclusive interview with the software giant himself as he discusses the future of the worlds most powerful company.

This interview was conducted on August 1st, 2000 in an undisclosed location in Seattle by Pc tyrant's head investigative reporter Steven Schultz.

PCT- So now that Judge Jackson is preparing to divide Microsoft into several smaller companies, what's your response?

BG- The Judge can divide Microsoft into as many companies as he wants. As of July 29th, Microsoft's assets consist of several old milk cartons and a stapler. Jackson can make the stapler its own company, if he thinks that's appropriate. We've undergone severe restructuring as a result of this unfair and costly lawsuit. We found some tweeker working the graveyard shift at Circle-K and made him president. I wish him the best of luck.

PCT- So what happened to all your assets? Your employees?

BG- Oh, we're all working for a new company now. Microsöft.

PCT -“Microsuuefft?”

BG- No, more of an 'l' sound. “MicrosÖÖÖFT.”

PCT- "Microseullllft?"

BG- No, no! More German-- the "l" is a "u": "Microsuuuullllhhhhft. Micreeuuhhhlllhhhhhhhhshlllsoft."

PCT- "Micreeeuuuuhhlllsoft?"

BG- Better. Anyway,--

PCT- Wait a minute-- you're saying that if you put an umlaut in your name, it's a different company?

BG- Of course. We have legitimately acquired the rights to the umlaut-- or, as we call it -- the Germanic Diacritical Technology (GDT) from the last surviving Ostrogoth, a semi-literate peasant named Üli Schüülënbrënchhhh. Üli agreed it would be mutually beneficial to swap his GDT rights for a pretzel and some candid polariods of Fred Durst... apparently that’s a sort of custom over there. The umlaut upgrade is integral to our new Operating System, (Windöws). It's a proprietary umlaut, so anyone else attempting to use such GDT's--- not only on vowels, but on consonants as well-- will be in violation of copyright laws.

PCT- What does this mean for stockholders?

BG- Naturally the old, ‘Microsoft’ stocks are utterly worthless, but we are preparing a plan to license the umlauts to investors, so they can physically write the little dots over the 'o' on their shares, and bring the value up to $67 again. Of course this licensing will cost $12 a share.

PCT -Isn't that a bit much?

BG- Certainly not; it's well in line with the current market rate for a GDT license! Granted, there are no other such licenses in the market, but there you go: by definition any price I pick will be average, and thus fair. Besides, you people should be grateful I'm even offering you this opportunity, after how fickle you've been last year.

PCT -This certainly is an ingenious solution, Mr. Gates, but I guess the exceptional is routine for such a successful man as yourself. Can you tell me how this came about?

BG -The Department of Justice wanted what they call a 'structural' remedy, and we wanted a 'conduct' remedy, but unfortunately these two solutions were incompatible and the talks stalled. The breakthrough came when I proposed a "semantic" remedy which would implement Advanced Diacritical Technology to change the name of the product. This way, I can continue to rule all, and Justice can hack away at the old ‘Microsoft’-- hapless tweeker CEO, milkcrates, et cetera-- until they get bored. This should be a mutually beneficial solution.

PCT- What's stopping Joel Klein and Janet Reno from reneging on the deal, and launching a similar suit against Microseuullhhft?

BG- "Microsöft," please. They're free to start a new suit at any time, I'm afraid. That's why I have our Research and Development department working nonstop on other ways to change our name..... We're working on circumflex 2.0 (Micrôsôft), on some blazing fast 32-bit cedillias (Miçrosoft), and I've just been told we've got PNP-compatible ligature drivers that are hotswappable with graves! So theoretically we can rapidly switch from “Micrœsoft” to “MicrosÒft” even in the middle of a trial! Meanwhile that luddite Judge Jackson has to completely restart his system to plug in his old-style graves. This will give us a tactical advantage, as you can see.

PCT -Aren't you taking a huge risk? What if the Department of Justice rules that no diacritical mark can, by itself, constitute a 'new name'? In other words, what if Jackson says Microsöft is the same as ‘Microsoft?’

BG -I have anticipated this.... Just last night I formed three start-up ventures of which I am the CEO and sole stockholder: Netscääpe, Sun Micrösÿstems, and Söny. If Jackson rules that there's no difference between ‘Microsoft’ and Microsöft, then there's no difference between ‘Netscape’ and MY Netscääpe! Therefore, I can immediately seize control of the un-umlauted versions of those companies. Ultimately, though, I don't think such measures will be necessary.... Jackson has said that Microsoft's monopoly harms consumers by "Quashing innovation" and stifling creativity.

PCT -But clearly, you've never been more creative than right now.

BG- Exactly. Now if you don't mind, I have some source code that needs inspection.

back to top stories Issue September 2000

We found some tweeker working the graveyard shift at Circle-K and made him president. I wish him the best of luck.

This way, I can continue to rule all...

I have anticipated this....

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