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Microsoft Asks Fed For Bailout

samzenpus posted about 5 years ago | from the too-big-to-fail dept.

Microsoft 346

snydeq writes "Microsoft requested on Tuesday some $20 billion in bailout funds from the federal government, claiming that as the company controls an overwhelming share of the OS market, it is too big to fail. Low adoption rates for Vista, the ensuing ad campaign trying to convince people that they really do like Vista, and the increased need for development resources to rush Windows 7 to market to make people forget about Vista have necessitated the bailout, the company said. 'We want to make it absolutely clear that this is not a crisis of mismanagement,' said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in a prepared statement. 'This is simply a crisis of dollars — a crisis of not having enough dollars coming our way.'"

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346 comments

It's April 2 now (-1)

ais523 (1172701) | about 5 years ago | (#27425697)

Why is a story being posted on April 2 when the URL of TFA says it's an April 1 story?

Re:It's April 2 now (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27425707)

Funny things, time zones.

Re:It's April 2 now (1, Redundant)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 5 years ago | (#27426041)

Yeah, still 9 1/2 more hours for some people to get in on the act.  (it's 20:35 United States Central time as I write this)

Re:It's April 2 now (4, Informative)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | about 5 years ago | (#27426097)

Uhh, you realize that all April Fool's Jokes are meant to be done by 12PM on April 1?

Re:It's April 2 now (4, Funny)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 5 years ago | (#27426129)

Perhaps you have a city ordinance which specifies such a thing.  I live in Backwoods, Nowhere, and such ordinances don't apply here.  I may seek my amusement whenever and wherever I wish.  Hell, I can wait til next week to do my own April joke, and not worry about some silly rule about silly conduct.

Re:It's April 2 now (1)

joocemann (1273720) | about 5 years ago | (#27425717)

Still April 1st here in California...

Re:It's April 2 now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27425867)

still 4.1.09 in Indiana too... they must be in Greenwich. Sorry chumps, go back to Liverpool.

Re:It's April 2 now (1)

samriel (1456543) | about 5 years ago | (#27426101)

still 4.1.09 in Indiana too... they must be in Greenwich. Sorry chumps, go back to Liverpool.

Funny thing about Indiana, the state's "toe" will be April 1 for an hour longer than the rest of the state. Thanks, Central Time Zone/Eastern Time Zone border retardation!

That said, I get an extra hour of tomfoolery than the majority of the state. :P

Re:It's April 2 now (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27425925)

Don't April fools shenanigans generally end at noon though?...

Re:It's April 2 now (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27425747)

-1 British

Re:It's April 2 now (1)

Neanderthal Ninny (1153369) | about 5 years ago | (#27425759)

No kidding. However it is still April 1 in the US at this moment.
I need a bailout also, say 10 million would cheap compared to most of the bailouts.

The Timecode Reader say 092:00:54:44 (1)

pecosdave (536896) | about 5 years ago | (#27425781)

So it might just be ZULU 092, or April 2nd, in ZULU land - here in the Central United states it's still 091:19:54:44

At the very least.. (1)

RulerOf (975607) | about 5 years ago | (#27425877)

At the very least, the headline was kind of funny!

...And at the same time, it's really, really sad that that headline can be funny at all...

Re:It's April 2 now (4, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | about 5 years ago | (#27425985)

Funny, that. Just yesterday you were claiming it's April 1st when it was really March 31st. Stop living in the future, man!

Re:It's April 2 now (1)

ais523 (1172701) | about 5 years ago | (#27426073)

Nah, I make my timezone claims in UTC. It must have been someone else who claimed that.

They are, ghowever (5, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 years ago | (#27425701)

trying to use bailout money to build a bridge between their campuses.

Yeah, that sounds like an AF joke, but I read it a day or two ago.

Re:They are, ghowever (2, Interesting)

SunSpot505 (1356127) | about 5 years ago | (#27425811)

Indeed they are, I read about that one too. Ridiculous!! And here [cnn.com] is the link for your M$ hating pleasure.

Re:They are, ghowever (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27425857)

yes the government is helping pay for the overpass (hey look public spending to get work out there!), no its not bailout money. RTFA get your facts right then you can bitch about how much microsoft sucks (though providing work during a period of layoffs doesn't sound too evil now does it?)

Re:They are, ghowever (1, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 5 years ago | (#27426099)

Errrr, yes, it does.  If our tax dollars are going to pay for something, they should pay for something that benefits us all.  Like, maybe replacing bridges over the Mississippi, before another one falls into the water?  Maybe a lot of things, that don't benefit one corporation in particular, excluding the PEOPLE of America.

Re:They are, ghowever (5, Informative)

GaratNW (978516) | about 5 years ago | (#27426219)

The bridge in question connects one publicly accessible area to another publicly accessible area where there are limited ways to get across the freeway in question. While Microsoft accounts for about 40% of the expected traffic on the new bridge, they [i.e. Microsoft] are actually footing the bill for approximately half the cost of the bridge. Those bastards! Fleecing the public by paying half of something that is a publicly owned structure that will provide a few hundred jobs for 2 years, that they won't own but will be able to benefit from, and will encourage people to WALK rather than drive everywhere. How dare they. And it's a shovel ready project. Yah.. horrible idea.

Oh sorry. Slashdot. My bad. Go on with your uninformed hating.

New and Improved 'Net Plumbing? Not So Fast (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27426105)

Kamakura, Japan (AP) While the technology press has produced a spate of recent stories about the disappointing adoption rates of the next generation of protocols to run the Internet, the administrators of that standard (dubbed IPv6), the little-known Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, are privately wrestling with an even more embarrassing problem:

IPv6 may already be running out of address space.

That may seem hard to believe, given that businesses and consumers in the West have seen little need to give up the tried-and-true current generation of 'Net protocols (IPv4 in geek-speak). "Ask me [about IPv6] again in two years", scoffed Web entrepreneur Tim Bray, a typical refrain heard over the 12-plus years of IPv6's existence.

However, the Net's new "plumbing" has been received with open arms in the Far East. Manufacturers, web entrepreneurs, and service providers have snapped up huge blocks of IPv6 addresses, much to the amazement of IANA officials, who were once confident that the new, expanded address space would be sufficient for hundreds of years. The frenzied demand has reached the point where nervous IANA administrators have begun demanding business justification for new requests.

"Japan and South Korea are the worst", explains the IANA's Howard Hunter. "They want a separate address for each individual item that rolls off their assembly line. In fact, Nihatsu [a conglomerate that also makes prepackaged noodles and electronic plush toys] wanted to dole out 20,000 IP addresses for each unit of their new urban assault vehicle. I didn't even know there were 20,000 parts in that truck."

An IANA official who requested anonymity said that the IPv6 address space could be exhausted within 60 years at the current rate. That might not seem alarming, but what worries official is that widespread adoption of the standard by the West has scarcely begun; when that happens, demand for addresses will surely accelerate.

Some pundits weren't sympathetic to the IANA's plight. "Boy, what a screwup", said technology analyst John Dvorak. "That's the first thing I thought of when I read the standard ten years ago. They didn't plan ahead."

Meanwhile, members of the IANA's sister engineering organization, the Internet Engineering Task Force, have begun circulating competing proposals for mitigating the address space problem, among them GNAT (Ginormous Network Address Translation).

Weird. (5, Funny)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | about 5 years ago | (#27425741)

Thanks to the bailout, 2009 is clearly the year of Windows on the desktop.

Re:Weird. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27426069)

Dont put windows on your desktop. Trust me, its just a distaster. It may seem like a cool idea, but all the crashes and breaking and the cleanup, its just not worth it.

Oh, where you talking about the OS?

Re:Weird. (1)

transporter_ii (986545) | about 5 years ago | (#27426085)

Thanks to fake bailout article, MS stock drops slightly, but enough to make the people who knew about the upcoming article a nice chunk of change by shorting it.

What do you mean April 1st story? (1)

forgoil (104808) | about 5 years ago | (#27425745)

This just sounds like a translation from "CEO" to "normal human being English" to me... Now everyone can know how bailout money and CEOs function!

Depends (1)

amori (1424659) | about 5 years ago | (#27425749)

Depends: Can we file bankruptcy. Can we separate the good Microsoft and the bad Microsoft ? Will good Microsoft be sold off to Swedish "The Pirate Bay" firm.

lame (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27425773)

ban the poster of this crap.

Slashdot was useless today (2, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | about 5 years ago | (#27425775)

At least it was funny with the pink ponies thing. Today it's just useless.

Re:Slashdot was useless today (3, Insightful)

digitalderbs (718388) | about 5 years ago | (#27425931)

I'm sorry. I need my April fools achievement.

Re:Slashdot was useless today (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 5 years ago | (#27425941)

Yeah, me too.

Re:Slashdot was useless today (1)

mathx314 (1365325) | about 5 years ago | (#27425993)

What's wrong with you people?

...Oh yeah, I guess this is sort of hypocritical, isn't it?

The best April Fool's (5, Funny)

line-bundle (235965) | about 5 years ago | (#27425807)

This is by far the best april fools story posted today. I almost fell for it!

Re:The best April Fool's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27425845)

This is by far the best april fools story posted today.

That ain't sayin' much.

Re:The best April Fool's (1)

Samschnooks (1415697) | about 5 years ago | (#27425883)

This is by far the best april fools story posted today. I almost fell for it!

Same here.

I've been vacillating between anger that it's so common to see big corporations begging for money and getting it that this seemed real and amusement at the thought of MS begging the Government for cash.

ok (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27425813)

Hello I am Slashdot, just wanted to let my bitches know that Microsoft still sucks, even on April 1st. Smoke weed every day, peace bitches~

April saves me money (2, Insightful)

Swampash (1131503) | about 5 years ago | (#27425815)

Because every year I get a regular reminder of why subscribing to Slashdot would be a waste of money.

Re:April saves me money (0, Offtopic)

syousef (465911) | about 5 years ago | (#27425903)

Because every year I get a regular reminder of why subscribing to Slashdot would be a waste of money.

I get that every time I post something that is worthwhile and it gets modded into oblivion by some fanboy with a 'tude.

Slashdot was useless today (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27425823)

Today it's just useless.

Today?

haha (4, Insightful)

ADRA (37398) | about 5 years ago | (#27425833)

Too silly to be real; Too real to be fake; Too fake to be silly. So really, where does that leave the story?

Too cool for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27425837)

I'm totally to cool for this whole April Fools thing, because as everyone knows its only funny if no one does it

wait a minute here... (5, Interesting)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | about 5 years ago | (#27425853)

Wait a minute here.... I read this story and I thought, well hey, a company tried to force on everyone a product that wasn't desirable for the consumer, waited a long time to deliver that product, and has a history of making some products that don't do so well, so is in deep trouble financially and might go under. Seemed pretty reasonable to me, isn't that how capitalism is supposed to work? If you don't make products that people want to buy, aren't you supposed to do poorly?

But then I remembered this is an April Fools joke. Since it's not true, and Microsoft is doing just fine, I thought about why it isn't true: either A) Microsoft really is making products that people want or B) Capitalism isn't working here. Regarding A, I suppose MS does make more decent products than bad ones, but I can't help but think of Microsoft as the GM of the auto-world 20 years ago in that they have a much larger market share than the quality of their products warrants (suggesting B). So I wonder when the Toyota of the operating system world is going to come along and eat MS' lunch? It must be nice to be a monopoly.

P.S. Please MS fanboys, try to remember that the troll or flamebait mods are not a substitute for an "I disagree that Vista was a failure" mod.

Re:wait a minute here... (2, Insightful)

teknosapien (1012209) | about 5 years ago | (#27425917)

Maybe the FOSS should ask for a bailout also?

Re:wait a minute here... (4, Interesting)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | about 5 years ago | (#27426021)

Well, continuing with my auto analogy, if Microsoft is the GM of the operating systems, that makes FOSS the VW microbus. Yeah sure it kinda works, but you spend half your time repairing it and the other half the time using it with parts broken. (Oh, and it's most commonly used by bearded hippies.)

I joke, I joke! :) I actually think that a great way to stimulate the economy would be to make micro-grants (by gov. standards) to pay programmers to write FOS software. That way, the tax-payer gets a return on their investment by having better quality software that is freely available. Oh wait, that would be communism... (Incidentally, isn't that what the Google Summer of Code is?)

Re:wait a minute here... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 5 years ago | (#27426039)

Well, continuing with my auto analogy, if Microsoft is the GM of the operating systems, that makes FOSS the VW microbus.

And what is Android?

Re:wait a minute here... (3, Funny)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | about 5 years ago | (#27426253)

Well, continuing with my auto analogy, if Microsoft is the GM of the operating systems, that makes FOSS the VW microbus.

but I thought FOSS was sort of like M1 tanks, made of space-age materials, and packed full of sophisticated technology, modified to never break down.

are you mixing up your analogies?

Re:wait a minute here... (1)

Ice Wewe (936718) | about 5 years ago | (#27426065)

Wait a minute here.... I read this story and I thought, well hey, a company tried to force on everyone a product that wasn't desirable for the consumer, waited a long time to deliver that product, and has a history of making some products that don't do so well, so is in deep trouble financially and might go under. Seemed pretty reasonable to me, isn't that how capitalism is supposed to work? If you don't make products that people want to buy, aren't you supposed to do poorly?

Gee, I was just thinking the same thing about GM and Chrysler, but of course they're a different story... somehow they're still in business. Capitalism at work, I suppose...

But then I remembered this is an April Fools joke.

Continually throwing money at companies that don't make products that consumers want or have the funds to purchase right now is no joke in my opinion. My children are going to be paying for our choices for many years to come, and they may not even have General Motors around to show for it.

Hypothetically, if we used Microsoft and Apple as an example for the car industry. What if Apple had a sudden upsurge in market share? Is that because they make a product that consumers want? Just because Apple's market share is increasing doesn't mean that they have a better product, it just means that consumers are choosing them more over the competition. Even though the Mac generally cost more than the average PC does, Apple still manages to make inroads in their market share.

Consider the automotive world. GM and Toyota, while the market shares are vastly more proportional, the same sort of logic applies. Why is GM doing so badly compared to other car manufacturers? I'd have to say that the reasons for Apple and Toyota's increased market share are the same, despite their completely different industries, and that reason is innovation. GM has this marvelous idea for a hybrid, the Volt. Oh, did I say marvelous? I meant horrible. The Volt will go a stunning 60 miles before the gas motor kicks in, and when it does, kiss your good gas mileage goodbye. Compare that to the Toyota Prius, already on the market, affordable, and it gets over 45MPG on average. Doesn't even seem like a comparison to me.

Re:wait a minute here... (2, Informative)

maxume (22995) | about 5 years ago | (#27426147)

GM's single biggest problem is that they have huge health care and pension obligations to fund (lots of jackasses on TV 'simplify' this down to an hourly labor cost of ~$70, which is pretty disingenuous). Their vehicles are generally of market equivalent quality (they do make too many different vehicles), they just can't sell anywhere near the number of cars required to meet their obligations.

25 years ago, the union would have done well to demand that GM pay them enough so that they could meet their desired future compensation goals, rather than agreeing that GM was likely to keep growing forever and accepting promises to fund pensions and healthcare.

Re:wait a minute here... (2, Insightful)

tahpot (237053) | about 5 years ago | (#27426075)

The alternative is that capitalism works, but can take some time.

Microsoft has a lot of cash which is why it is still so strong. It's current products are coming under increasing pressure from open source, the web etc. So this may not last forever - unless of course they get a bailout.

Re:wait a minute here... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 years ago | (#27426197)

B) Capitalism isn't working here

The system was manipulated, Microsoft was found to be guilty of abusing a monopoly position, then let off scot-free. Some are trying to resurrect the idea of penalties in the US gov't these days.

NEWS: Slashdot gets Federal Content Bailout (5, Funny)

koterica (981373) | about 5 years ago | (#27425855)

In a press release on Wednesday, Mr. Taco, the head of the online news site Slashdot, announced that the website had run out of stories.

In a twitter based inquiry to take place tomorrow. congressmen are expected to ask Mr. Taco if he drove his own Internets to Washington DC.

An anonymous source within the White House quoted President Obama as saying that "Things are tough. They may have to make do with LOLcats for a while."

Re:NEWS: Slashdot gets Federal Content Bailout (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | about 5 years ago | (#27426151)

And after a plethora of high risk duplicate stories, the Firehose collapsed. The complex transactions of default editor swaps attempting to present themselves as trustworthy news aggregates failed. The resulting chaos has led to hyperinflation of Funny and Insightful moderation points; and deflation of Informative moderation points.

CmdrTaco has been seen giving Congressional testimony asking for an infusion of Moderator points. Other cowardly anonymous sources have hinted at Chinese infiltration attempts which have deleted posts which do not conform to groupthink -- thus further diluting the value of non-negative Moderation. kdawson has caught negative press for receiving a 15 million Moderation points bonus despite questionable results.

Re:NEWS: Slashdot gets Federal Content Bailout (1)

koterica (981373) | about 5 years ago | (#27426213)

When asked to justify his Moderation Bonus, kdawdson stated to congress "You see, the internet isn't just a series of tubes that you can climb over. Its more like a car: Its going really fast, no one wants to fill the tank, and no one pays attention to the hood until there is a flame war."
Congressman Don Young of Alaska was heard to reply "The wheels on the internet go round and round, round and round, round and round, the wheels on the internet go round and round all night long."

Re:NEWS: Slashdot gets Federal Content Bailout (3, Funny)

Repton (60818) | about 5 years ago | (#27426153)

How could slashdot possibly run out of stories? They've got over ten years' worth of them to keep posting!

In Microsoft's defence... (1, Funny)

GBC (981160) | about 5 years ago | (#27425871)

...think how much they have had to spend on chairs over the years.

But it is true (1, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | about 5 years ago | (#27425879)

There is probably not a major player that is not receiving a bailout. We know that MS is getting a new federally funded bridge, and who knows what else. Who know what MS executives lobbied for and got that would directly or indirectly benefit them personally or professionally. We have seen them corrupt the H1B visa system, and then give the finger to country that provided Bill Gates with resources and education by saying the would move to Canada. In Canada they would certainly have health care, but would they get 50% discount on a luxury bridge?

Re:But it is true (5, Informative)

westlake (615356) | about 5 years ago | (#27425979)

We know that MS is getting a new federally funded bridge

Redmond is getting a new bridge and Microsoft is paying half.

Redmond has a population of around 46,000.

Microsoft employs about 30,000 full time workers and owns or leases around 8,000,000 square feet of - presumably taxable - office space in or near the city.

OK, now MS can go FUCK OFF (-1, Troll)

mseidl (828824) | about 5 years ago | (#27425905)

As a linux user for a long time now, I've pretty much been impartial to their actions, although I've disagreed with a lot of them.

But, don't they have 60 billion $ in the bank? You know what MS? I hope you fall off a fuckin cliff.

Dammit! (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 5 years ago | (#27425921)

I REALLY need to stop reading the news on April 1st.

I can't decide what is a fucking joke and what isn't. This story and the CNN story about drug testing all unemployment/foodstamp recipients sounded equally foolish to me.

 

Re:Dammit! (2, Funny)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | about 5 years ago | (#27426141)

So here is the link to the original story at the news source. See if it provides any hints. I'll provide a pointer in the general direction: www.infoworld.com/article/09/04/01/13NF-microsoft- April-Fools_1 .html.

Did you catch it?

The US Government asks Microsoft for a Bailout (5, Funny)

tjstork (137384) | about 5 years ago | (#27425949)

Face with an ever increasing mountain of debt, the US Government today has asked Microsoft for a bailout. Under the terms of the bailout, Microsoft Windows licenses will be exchanged with holders of Treasury Bonds to help the USA reduce its debt.

The Chinese Government expressed great interest in the deal. "We were thinking about using Linux, but knowing that we now have the rights to sell 5 billion copies of Microsoft products allows us to settle the debt the Americans have with us, and helps us become a software super power." Under the terms of the new arrangement, every house in China will receive their choice of Visual Studio Team System, Windows Server, or a lot of games.

In related news... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27425953)

US Representatives today roundly criticized Microsoft for paying a $20 million bonus to Jerry Seinfeld for his work on the Vista ad campaign. "He doesn't even deserve Microsoft's money," one Congressman reportedly said, "let alone the taxpayer's."

The really sad thing about New Zealand... (3, Insightful)

refactored (260886) | about 5 years ago | (#27425957)

...is you have to put up with two full days of April Fools crap.

Re:The really sad thing about New Zealand... (1)

f1vlad (1253784) | about 5 years ago | (#27426083)

:) and we have to put up with being blamed being 24 hr late with Apr 1 jokes.

Re:The really sad thing about New Zealand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27426131)

Funny, I thought the remaining 363 days of the beehive was an ongoing joke as well. Not to mention the 2 lane motorways with stop signs, the recent train cars purchased that don't fit in the tunnel (Wairapa line), the entire ACC program and the still unresolved treaty issues.

Re:The really sad thing about New Zealand... (1)

Repton (60818) | about 5 years ago | (#27426193)

Mod parent -1 catastrophically ignorant.

There's no way our politicians would work for 363 days in a year.

This is a reach... (1)

actionbastard (1206160) | about 5 years ago | (#27425971)

Even for /. on 04/01. Try to do better next year...

Re:This is a reach... (1)

3vi1 (544505) | about 5 years ago | (#27426061)

The story would have been better if it had included the information that Microsoft plans to use the money to split themselves into two companies or integrate the Linux kernel into Windows to become more profitable.

Says the CEO (1)

kwabbles (259554) | about 5 years ago | (#27425991)

On financial Microsoft problems:
"We want to make it absolutely clear that this is not a crisis of mismanagement,"

- Steve Ballmer
(aka the guy who manages Microsoft)

Windows Live Bailout (2, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | about 5 years ago | (#27426019)

Nobody is going to get all excited and upset about this bailout. All you need to know is that it's Microsoft's idea, and suddenly you're unable to care.

Gullibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27426027)

GAH I fall for all these stupid articles. I believed google's toilet thing a year or two back too!

This is not crisis, this is just start of it (1)

HollyMolly-1122 (1480249) | about 5 years ago | (#27426079)

Does it main problem is dollar ? Ok. What about gold or other rare metals ? The Vista than should be evaluated in milligrams or milli-pounds of gold ? Anyway - it is evaluated against clear mind. And it's surprising for someone that XP still wins windows.

I'm not really known.... (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | about 5 years ago | (#27426103)

for having a good sense of humor. And further evidence of how bad my sense of humor is, is the fact that I found this article hysterical.

I Hate April Fool's Day Stories (0, Flamebait)

gadlaw (562280) | about 5 years ago | (#27426157)

I really hate April Fools Day crap online. It's not funny. If I wanted funny I'd go read the Onion.

oh gosh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27426279)

Microsoft has been doing do much bad stuff and still winnind, cant tell if this is a joke or is real...what has the world come to

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