This Will All End Badly (6/11/03)

And in the "Irony Is For Suckers" department, faithful viewer Nateman informed us of an Associated Press article which reports that Microsoft is going to work on its own antivirus software.

Think about that for a minute.

Actually, to be entirely accurate, the company's going to work on someone else's antivirus software; Microsoft just bought an antivirus software company and plans to rework that firm's technology into its own product. Hey, guess which company they bought! Network Associates, the company behind McAfee VirusScan? Nope-- think bigger. Symantec, makers of Norton AntiVirus? Nuh-uh-- think bigger. Give up? It's GeCAD Software Srl. of Bucharest, providing the finest security software produced in all of Romania! So you know Microsoft is serious about this. Besides, once Microsoft releases its own branded virus protection software, regardless of how crappy it is, both of those other companies will tank, and then Microsoft can buy them, too... probably for a few dozen shares of stock and a case of Slim Jims.

So just how are we supposed to interpret this bizarre turn of events? Well, we suppose there's always the obvious conspiracy theory: Microsoft has been releasing virus-prone software on purpose for all these years in order to sell a gazillion copies of its upcoming antivirus product. (Microsoft reportedly assured Network Associates that it "would not bundle antivirus capability into the Windows operating system," which means customers are going to have to buy it separately. Ka-ching!) Then again, that requires you to assume that Microsoft is a lot more evil than it is incompetent, and personally, we like to keep the mix about 50/50.

So instead, we're thinking that it might play out like this: Microsoft Inoculate XP (or Microsoft BigSharpNeedle XP, or Microsoft PainfulSeriesOfShotsInTheHinder XP, or whatever the heck they wind up calling it) hits the shelves, most people who were lame enough to buy Windows in the first place shell out their $99 to install it, and before long, Windoids the world over wind up infected with the first virus ever to propagate via an actual antivirus product. Because let's face it: trusting Microsoft to come up with something that actually stops viruses instead of inviting them in for free beer and a Shiatsu massage is tantamount to hiring a certified pyromaniac to fireproof your valuable collection of antique matches and oily rags.

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The above scene was taken from the 6/11/03 episode:

June 11, 2003: AppleInsider posts a charming little story that conceals all manner of dirt about what new products are coming at WWDC-- provided you're clever enough to crack the code. Meanwhile, a congenitally brick-stupid superintendent in Tukwila, Washington turns down thirty free computers because they happen to be Macs, and Microsoft is coming out with its own antivirus software (no, we're serious-- stop giggling)...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 4006: Allegorical Fiction Rocks (6/11/03)   You know what's happened, right? Rumors abhor a vacuum. (Don't take it personally, Oreck.) Since Apple pulled out of what used to be the summer Macworld Expo, from a rumorological perspective, the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference has taken over for the traditional Boston/New York gig...

  • 4007: Quite Alarmingly Stupid (6/11/03)   Congratulations to Superintendent Michael Silver of the Tukwila School District in Tukwila, Washington for officially being named our Bonehead of the Week! Faithful viewer vdubya tipped us off to an article in the King County Journal which reveals that Tukwila's Foster High School won a grant from an unnamed nonprofit organization-- a grant consisting of 30 new Macs and six laser printers, worth a total of $43,000...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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