Letters she wishes you'd sent.
Letters she wishes you'd sent.
- By Em C. Pea
- August 01, 1999
Ah, summer! Nothing for Auntie and my Fabio to do but
lie back and catch the rays beside the Olympic-sized swimming
pool at our villa on our own Caribbean isle. Oh, Gilligan!
Another pitcher of tuña coladas, please…
As long as your Em is indulging in some harmless fantasy,
she thought she’d take the time to answer those letters
you never sent, but wanted to. So slather on the sunblock,
throw another CPU on the barbie, and follow along on this
I’m a humble entrepreneur, one of those selfless, dedicated
businessmen who’ve grown a huge operating system and software
empire from my own sweat, toil, and a whole bunch of carefully-worded,
contracts. Now that we’re at the top of the heap, I don’t
understand why our business practices are under suspicion
simply because we’ll do anything short of deploying the
company’s tactical nuclear arsenal to beat down all competition
to an under five percent share of any market we might
want to be involved in over the next millenium. Can’t
the Feds see I’m just trying to make a living?
Listen, hon: There are livings
and then there are livings. The living you want to make
seems to involve personally being a factor in the Gross
The concept that the Feds seem to be concerned about
is that of a level playing field. Your cleverly anonymized
company—by providing both OSes and applications—has
such an impact on the level of the field that even Mark
McGwire couldn’t do better than a slow roller to short.
Now you’ll say, “That’s not our fault—it’s the marketplace
functioning as it should,” but the whole point of those
fun court dates is that your company’s actions, practices,
and policies, which put you at the top of the heap,
just might have crossed a few of the lines that divide
honest competition from, uh, predation on the level
of a T.Rex with a bad case of the munchies.
On a personal level, your depositions leave a tad to
be desired vis a vis sincerity and believability. Just
because our politicians have made plausible deniability
an art form is no reason to think you can get away with
it, especially with your reputation for attention to
detail. Want equitable treatment from the government?
Then don’t tap dance for half an hour on tape. It gets
under people’s skin. Oh, and find yourself better demo
I am so sick of reading your love notes to Mister Bill
every month. Microsoft, Microsoft, Microsoft! Is that
all your magazine ever writes about? Don’t you know there
are other operating systems out there? NT still doesn’t
hold a candle to any flavor of Unix, the MacOS is a lot
easier to use, and heck, I have customers who are getting
plenty of mileage out of their VAXs and 30-year-old mainframes.
Redmond is not the center of the universe, you know!
—A very angry person who knows where you live
Angry, you’re right, it’s
not the center of the universe and this gal doesn’t
live or die by the pronunciations of Bill Gates. I happen
to make my living with Microsoft products. I don’t see
how you can call my rants “love letters,” as I don’t
believe I’ve been particularly easy on the gentleman
As for what this magazine writes about, look at the
cover. Does it say “Unix Certified Professional” or
“NetWare Certified Professional”? We write for MCPs,
and when we write about other OSes, it’s often in the
context of interoperability with Microsoft products.
And if you know where I live, then you also know about
the minefield and the Dobermans, right?
Dear so-called Em C. Pea:
I am so sick of the way you make it a point to kick the
stuffing out of Microsoft in your monthly column. How
can this magazine continue to publish someone who so blatantly
bites the hand that feeds it?
—Another angry person who knows where you live
Yep, Auntie gets letters from both
sides; maybe that means I’m doing something right.
Sometimes I think of myself as part of a yin-yang balancing
in MCP Magazine. You know, the sour to their
sweet, the cream to their coffee, the raw shellfish
to their green bean casserole.
Actually, I don’t write to be vindictive or kick anyone’s
stuffing from an editorial point of speaking. I’m an
MCP who tries to write honestly (and humorously, though
I can understand if you want to debate that point) about
some of the issues and concerns of being an MCP. I’m
no more or less sympathetic to Redmond than I would
be to any large corporation in a position of market
dominance. I do have a low tolerance for spin, double-talk,
and the artful deconstruction of reality for the sake
of quarterly earnings, but I’d feel the same way no
matter what industry I was writing about.
By the way, I receive zero feedback, threats, comments,
or anything of the like from Microsoft. Darn. Yoo hoo,
boys! Over here!
And there you have it, boys and girls, letters I know
you’ve wanted to write but couldn’t find the time, the
inspiration, or the right crayon. Hasta la vista from
La Isla de Tia Em; we’ll get back to the usual rants next
Em C. Pea, MCP, is a technology consultant, writer and now budding nanotechnologist who you can expect to turn up somewhere writing about technology once again.