Tag Archives: Microsoft

Intel and Microsoft in the deepest of doo doo

OR SO it seems according to Jock McFrock, the bekilted engineer, here.

My name is Mark Spencer and I work at a call centre

AN INDIAN GUY we met today used to work at a Call Centre here in Ole Bengaluru, in a vast hall containing 500 employees all committed to the night shift in India calling America to sell bank accounts to punters.

His name is not Mark Spencer but that is the name he was given. He had to make 400 calls in an eight hour day to America and according to him the worst place to call from Bangalore is Texas.

He has a vast command of the range of swearwords he heard in his incarnation as Mark Spencer and gave a harrowing account of life in the call centre trenches.

The employees were forbidden to answer calls of nature while they were on the phone to potential customers, but sometimes the need was so great they ducked under the desk to fulfil it. Old people they called were the easiest to sign up because old people say yes to every question. Later however, they would receive an irate call from son or daughter saying rude things.

The offer letter from HR to a candidate was couched in the nicest of language but omitted to mention that no Indian holidays were available. Instead, they had to learn about important American holidays such as Halloween.

Mark Spencer only lasted 15 days selling bank accounts to America. He said that where he worked, no employee was allowed to answer back to abuse. The Microsoft call centre, however, is quite different. There,  a line in the sand is drawn so that if someone badly abuses an employee, she or he is allowed to answer back in kind.  One of his colleagues, for example, asked him to spell the word m***********. Was m**** his first name and f***** his last name, he wondered. He was instantly terminated and escorted from the premises in the Call Centre never to lighten its doors again. μ

Microsoft gets writ over video conferencing

SOFTWARE FIRM Microsoft got a writ from Fullview on the 29th of April, alleging its Round Table video conferencing software breached a number of patents.

Fullview alleges that patent number 6,700,711 called Panoramic Viewing System with a Composite Field of View is breached by Round Table.  The patent was issued to Vishjit Singh Nalwa and Fullview said that he holds 14 US patents on his omni directional camera viewing system.

Part of the patent describes the ability to panoramically scan 360 degrees. Fullview is seeking injunctions on Round Table and damages from the Vole. ♣

Microsoft sued over “innovation transfer”

THE VOLE AND THE GANNETT along with the Monster are being sued by Pitchware in a California district court.

Pitchware said in its “e-filing” on the 7th of April that Monster Worldwide, Career Builder, Gannett, the McClatchy Company, Microsoft and Career Marketplace have used its patent in their products.

The patent number 7,043,454 is interestingly entitled “method and apparatus for a cryptographically assisted commercial network system designed to facilitate idea submission, purchase and licensing and innovation transfer.”

Have a dekko at the patent. It is apparently a “method and apparatus for effectuating bilateral commerce in ideas”.

What the heck can this mean?

Microsoft takes axe to Vista prices

SOFTWARE FIRM Microsoft is obviously keen to get Indian users going on Vista.

According to DQ Channels,  it cut the cost of Vista Home Basic to Rs 4,000 ($99), Vista Home Premium to Rs 5,300 ($131) and Vista Ultimate to Rs 11,500 ($284).

This, said a man from the Vole, is to do with a transformation in the way people buy software. So it is nothing to do with the fact that Microsoft needs to push Vista at any price, practically. These Indian price cuts range between 13 per cent and 39 per cent. ♦

Lucent wants $1.99 billion out of Microsoft

PATENTS breached by Microsoft are worth a cool $2 billion in damages, a witness claimed yesterday in fresh Alcatel-Lucent litigation.

According to Bloomberg, the Vole needs to divvy up $1.99 billion for breaching patents used by the Windows Media Player, Vista and the Xbox 360.

Dell, meanwhile, should reach into its purse and pay Alcatel-Lucent a mere $465.6 million.
An expert witness reckoned that the amounts are justified because the patents allegedly breached are based on millions of systems shipped.

The case continueth. ♣

Microsoft, Novell antitrust case grinds on

THE SUPREME COURT told Microsoft that it wouldn’t squish an antitrust case that Novell brought against it in 2004.

Novell claims that the Vole destroyed its Wordperfect and Quattro Pro programs because they didn’t have to run on Windows.Microsoft claimed that because Novell wasn’t in the OS business, it can’t have come to harm.

The irony being that Novell was in the OS business for quite a while, but certainly not in 2004.

The case continues. ♣

Intel, Microsoft to push multi-core programming

DON CLARK at the Wall Street Journal (sub required) seems to have got a press release about parallel computing earlier than anyone else today.

He writes that His Voleness and La Intella will announce a major investment to promote programming for multicore chips.

This will be led by boffins at Berkeley and there’s probably going to be a lot more money put in than the cash prizes of $250 AMD said it was offering a week or two back.

Intel – like AMD – is really hoist by its own petard. After running out of places to go in the megahurts wars, attention was turned to multicore chips, and no doubt we’ll probably see Intel “Atom” MIDs soon with multiple cores. But the big big problem is how to write software that will take advantage of these hardware capabilities.

And it’s not a new big big problem. Software boffins have struggled with the concept for years and years. The Journal quotes William Dally, a Stanford professor, as saying that while the chip makers are hurtling pell mell towards multicores, no one has a clue on how to program for them.

That no doubt includes Microsoft, which couldn’t even be bothered to program for Intel’s marketing scheme called HT – that’s hyperthreading, not hypertension – in the glory [surely gory, Ed.]  days of Chipzilla’s Pentium 4.♣

Microsoft’s sales team “devastated” at lass quitting

THE VOLE’S sales team is in disarray after a senior executive threw in the towel yesterday, according to a report.

The Wall Street Journal (sub needed) said Joanne Bradford is the latest to leave its online advertising business, with the paper reporting the rest of the team is “devastated”.

If you were to disembowel a Vole and inspect the auguries, you would probably conclude that the prospect of coping with a Yahoo takeover is also not making the sales bunnies that happy.

Yesterday, the Vole nemesis, Google Two Shoes, announced a cunning plan to snaffle up even more business, called Ad Manager. This provides ad serving free. The Journal speculates that Google will eventually make the high price tag Double Click service free. ♦

George W. Bush saves Ballmer’s bacon

IT SEEMS that the Bush administration has allowed Microsoft off its US antitrust hook, according to a report on Bloomberg

That emerged as a court transcript was released last week, revealing that any further antitrust action will be up to the 17 US states which were part of the original complaint. 

Microsoft may be in the clear as far as the Justice Department goes, but in Europe it faces further woe as the EC steps up its investigation into the Great Vole of Volesoft. 

The Bloomberg report is here. ♣