The IT Gate[s]way

I have a grand plan that will make Australia the IT superpower we all want it to be. Firstly, the Government should sell Telstra. Plus Australia Post.The state governments should also be forced to flog off any utilities that are still lying around. Also, if there's any land left publicly owned, sell that too.

Then I'd like to see the first born of every Australian family hawked to the highest bidder at the world's greatest slave auction.

I'd then pool all of that money so that Australia could buy at least the controlling share of Microsoft.

The biggest hitch I can see is that the Asian currency crisis could possibly mean that revenue from the slave auction is down. But if that's the case, we just move onto the next born.

After all, there's no reason why there shouldn't be plenty more where those came from.

I don't think buying Microsoft would cost quite as much as most people suspect, either.

Remember, Microsoft is based in Seattle. I'm not surprised the company began there. All that snow and cold weather might have even driven me to programming. I doubt it though, because I like grungy rock bands and that's the only other thing there is to do there.

So you'd offer to relocate the Microsoft campus to Sydney Harbour -- I'm sure there's at least one old naval base that's yet to be redeveloped. Otherwise, the Gold Coast might be tempting.

With that plan in place, the takeover bid would have the support of all those shareholding Microsoft employees, I reckon. After all, surely there's only so much money you can have before you decide it's time to convert that wealth into a better quality of life.

Sunshine and a cold VB. What about it Bill?

I'm thinking Bill would be especially keen because with the latest Department of Justice enquiry, he must now realise his plan for world domination is doomed to fail. But a country the size of Australia would make a pretty neat consolation prize, I reckon.

Just to make sure Bill was really happy with the deal we could word the press release so it said that Australia and Microsoft had "merged". I don't even care if it says Microsoft acquired Australia. We'd all know the truth.

As a side benefit, we could even put an end to the republic debate by making Gates head of state. Hey, he's flying all around the world, meeting heads of state anyway. In fact, with all due respect to the Governor General and Prime Minister, I think Gates would get a better hearing anyway.

My thinking with all this is that if you can't beat them, buy them.

It works for the networking companies.

I can't think of any other way to make Australia an IT superpower. You can forget hair brain plans like establishing massive manu-facturing sites here, such as the recent report of Intel buidling a $6b plant. We're not a hope unless the Government gives massive taxation concessions and if that's the case, what do we get out of it?

No, we've got to use our brains.

If we buy Microsoft, we can continue the company's magnificent tradition of "leveraging". Only release secret APIs to Australian developers. We can also build into the next generation of Windows any functionality provided by developers who refuse to invest in Australia.

I've even worked out a sweetener that will help the Government convince the Australian public that it's alright if they lose their first and possibly second born children to wealthy sheiks because it's in the best interest of the country.

Free copies of Windows 98 for all.

And even if my bold plan failed, which it probably would because the US Government doesn't mind a rampaging monopoly, as long as it's American -- Australia would at least be able be able to say one thing no one else can.

We took Microsoft down.

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