Notes from the Field

Bobby wonders why Bill didn't consider him for the Microsoft CEO jobI WAS ALL READY to send my resume over to Microsoft for the position of CEO, until I heard that Bill was giving the job to his old friend Steve Ballmer.

Funny how you never see jobs like that advertised. Maybe it's Rose's departure to New York, or maybe it's the fact that I had such a good time during my visit to the U.K., but I want a new challenge.

Career change

Still, I haven't given up hope of getting a job at Microsoft -- I've heard through the grapevine that the company may set up an electronic-commerce division, which is separate from the new Internet technology initiatives that it announced last week.

Apparently, the plan is being considered because Microsoft has (once again) realized it is late to leap aboard a major industry bandwagon, and feels that it needs to add some focus and cohesion to its existing e-commerce strategies.

If my source is correct, however, the announcement of the plan may have to wait a few weeks, because everything has been put on hold until Windows 2000 gets out the door.

Knocking NetWare

While the world waits for Windows 2000, Novell is crowing that it has shipped NetWare 5.1 -- although that launch has upset at least one customer. The customer says he spent $20,000 in the first week of January to upgrade from NetWare 4.11 to NetWare 5.0, just one week before Novell shipped NetWare 5.1.

But according to the customer, Novell doesn't believe in providing upgrade grace periods -- he was told that if he wanted to move to 5.1, he would have to fork over another $20,000.

Apparently, the customer still very much wants to upgrade -- although his platform of choice just became Windows 2000.

Y2K -- the final chapter

My thanks go to all the readers who sent me details of more year-2000 rollover glitches. It seems that most of these are being fixed behind the scenes without any public acknowledgement that there was even a problem in the first place.

The ones that make me laugh the most, though, are those companies who admit that they had a problem at the same time as the rollover, but insist that this was pure coincidence and that "the problem was in no way Y2K-related."

I should add the disclaimer that I have not verified the following problems, but I've heard that has been cold since Jan. 1; that some Earthlink customers started getting all their January 1999 e-mails again; that Fleet BankBoston's entire accounts payable system was hit by a year-2000 bug and was still not working on Jan. 7; that the Web site is displaying the year as 3900; and that the Revolv Exchange Email via SmartPhone service being beta tested by the Microsoft-Qualcomm joint venture failed because of year-2000-related server problems.

Smooth rollover, huh?

IF YOU ASK ME, Microsoft is in desperate need of someone with my talents.

After all, I'm willing to sell my soul -- which seems to be a key requirement for working there.

I'll also sell my soul for a tip. You can call (650) 312-0555, fax (650) 286-2775, or e-mail

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