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Microsoft Asks Fed For Bailout 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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Microsoft Asks Fed For Bailout

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  • They are, ghowever (Score:5, Informative)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @08:42PM (#27425701) Homepage Journal

    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: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by SunSpot505 ( 1356127 )
      Indeed they are, I read about that one too. Ridiculous!! And here [cnn.com] is the link for your M$ hating pleasure.
    • Yeah right. With our tax dollars, MS would build a maglev monorail around their campus, furnished with Italian leather chairs, open bars, 42" plasma TV's hooked up to XBox 360's and wifi.

    • by jonnythan ( 79727 ) on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @10:32PM (#27426325)

      It's a bridge that connects two public roads and will reportedly do a great job lessening congestion on the other nearby bridge.

      Despite people billing it as a "Microsoft bridge" it's not. It's a public bridge on a public road. I think Microsoft is being kinda generous by offering to pay for a huge chunk of it.

      • by jonnythan ( 79727 ) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @12:09AM (#27426843)

        http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/03/31/bridge.microsoft/index.html [cnn.com]

        "We're not a one-company town," [Mayor] Marchione says. "Our traffic studies show that Microsoft traffic would be about 42 percent of the bridge, yet Microsoft is paying for about 50 percent of the bridge, so we think we are getting fair value."

        Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith wrote: "As the largest employer in Redmond, Microsoft takes its responsibility to the surrounding community seriously. We have spent over $50 million to assist the City of Redmond and other local governments with street construction, transit facilities, water and sewer facilities and fire equipment."

        "Any time you can include the private sector in funding transportation projects, it's a win-win situation," Ennis explains. "The state has a monopoly on our roads system. Even if Microsoft wanted to pay for this project on their own, legally they are required to work with the public sector."

  • 100% Real! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @08:44PM (#27425715)
  • Weird. (Score:5, Funny)

    by gbarules2999 ( 1440265 ) on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @08:47PM (#27425741)
    Thanks to the bailout, 2009 is clearly the year of Windows on the desktop.
    • Re:Weird. (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @09:41PM (#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?

      • I once put windows on my desktop while installing Windows...not a pretty sight.
        • I once put windows on my desktop while installing Windows...not a pretty sight

          Strange, I had the opposite effect when I installed Windows in the walls of our house. All that blue was a rather lovely change from the opaque glass of my neighbor's bathroom. Hiding the USB dock in the sill was a bit of a challenge with that counterweight coming down and smashing the plastic and all, but overall I thought it was a good use of real estate.

    • 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.

  • 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!

  • So it might just be ZULU 092, or April 2nd, in ZULU land - here in the Central United states it's still 091:19:50:44.

    • by TypoNAM ( 695420 )
      Ummm what? is that suppose to be an April fools joke or you can't tell time [wikipedia.org]?
      Last time I checked there are only twenty-four hours in a day [wikipedia.org]...
      • Well, I know how to tell time.

        It's the 91st day
        The 19th hour
        the 50th minute of that hour
        the 44th second of that minute.

        Here's a picture [snapmylife.com] of the very same time code reader I looked at the time on. This picture was taken the last day of last year - guess how you can tell last year was a leap year?

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

  • by line-bundle ( 235965 ) on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @08:58PM (#27425807) Homepage Journal

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

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @09:00PM (#27425823)

    Today it's just useless.


  • haha (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ADRA ( 37398 ) on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @09:02PM (#27425833)

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

  • by je ne sais quoi ( 987177 ) on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @09:04PM (#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: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Maybe the FOSS should ask for a bailout also?
      • by je ne sais quoi ( 987177 ) on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @09:34PM (#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?)
      • We should all ask for a bailout!
    • 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 Appl

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by maxume ( 22995 )

        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

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tahpot ( 237053 )

      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.

    • 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.

  • by koterica ( 981373 ) on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @09:05PM (#27425855) Journal
    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."
    • 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 w
    • by Repton ( 60818 ) on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @09:54PM (#27426153) Homepage

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

  • But it is true (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fermion ( 181285 )
    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 woul
    • Re:But it is true (Score:5, Informative)

      by westlake ( 615356 ) on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @09:27PM (#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.

  • 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.


  • 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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Pfhorrest ( 545131 )

      I know this is supposed to be a joke, and I'm sick today so maybe my brain isn't working quite right... but something actually seems rather insightful about this suggestion.

      Software is something of genuine market value (in any country that has effective copyright laws to create artificial scarcity, at least) that can be reproduced virtually for free. Seems like the perfect thing to get someone out of debt. Invest in it once and then rake in the dough.

      Perhaps the US Gov't could arrange licences with certain

  • by refactored ( 260886 ) <cyent.xnet@co@nz> on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @09:23PM (#27425957) Homepage Journal
    ...is you have to put up with two full days of April Fools crap.
  • Even for /. on 04/01. Try to do better next year...
    • by 3vi1 ( 544505 )

      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.

  • 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)

  • by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @09:34PM (#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.

  • 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've never seen you, and this comment gave me an image of a fellow in a black suit with a briefcase laughing maniacally.

      Frightening, it is.

      I'm surprised no one tried "In a surprising twist of irony, renowned lawyer Ray Beckerman has taken on a role with the Recording Industry Association of America as chief litigator".

  • ohmigosh (Score:2, Interesting)

    Haha that's great. My initial reaction was anger, as the whole financial thing has got me all steamed anyway... but then I remembered what company we're talking about here. subtle, but effective. I must admit I was fooled.
  • by Ilgaz ( 86384 ) on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @10:42PM (#27426393) Homepage

    This is a April 1 joke but spare some time to think what if it really happens in the future, especially if you are a Developer who has put all eggs on Microsoft/Windows basket. Can't happen? Trust me, it happens. If someone came and told Amiga will be dead while we use that Amiga 500 miracle, we would laugh at his face.

    Look to what happened to General Motors giant, especially them since they never thought about future may change, people may really pay more money to smaller cars made by companies they joked about just 5 years before.

  • Slashdot just totally jumped the shark with this one.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

      You must be new here. (That's three AF comments I've found so far which are best-answered with this old saw. This is the first one by someone with a UID < half mine, though.)

Recent investments will yield a slight profit.