Microsoft shows off in LA

City of Angels, here we come. Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in Los Angeles promises the usual overdose of Ballmer energy and Bill Gates' visionary speech making.

Now that Amber and I have returned to the Harley's saddle, it's time for a longer ride. This is a big week for travel to Microsoft events, and although airplanes are still good in my book, the road feels better.

Developers unite

City of Angels, here we come. Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in Los Angeles promises the usual overdose of Ballmer energy and Bill Gates' visionary speech making.

In fact, InfoWorld editorial told me it was tough getting any Microsoft executive to talk about developments in the .Net strategy last week because, not surprisingly, they value their jobs more than offering the scoop on Gate's keynote.

Speeches aside, the other thing conferences are good for is gossip. My spies have turned up a rumour you can spread around.

I understand well-known industry heavyweights are being approached by headhunters asking if they're interested in becoming the new chief executive of peer-to-peer poster child Groove Networks, led by Lotus Notes guru Ray Ozzie. Of course, Groove and Microsoft are even closer now after the software giant recently took a $US51 million stake in the company. So with Groove's P2P technology a strategic component of the .Net strategy, it now seems Ozzie is planning to take a leaf from the Bill Gates book of management and step down as big chief to be Groove's chief software architect. If you want a shot at the CEO gig, I'd be happy to pass on your résumé. I won't tell anyone else, I promise.

Intel v AMD

"In reading your column [last week], there's going to be a natural tendency to assume that Intel is right and AMD is wrong. This assumption would be crass at best," one informed observer notes.

At issue is a tip I received regarding noticeably different processing results from two identical CAD machines, but with each one running a different chip. To clear things up, I've sent the information to InfoWorld's Test Centre for analysis -- stay tuned.

Onebox.com snafu

Rumours about free email, voice and fax provider Onebox have started making the rounds too. One reader complains he's lost access to the email service despite still receiving notification he's got mail. Another reports the company faces financial woes.

Still another writes that he's been unable to dial in from the 213 area code (California) to the service for more than two weeks. He got smart and bought a fax/answering machine. All I can say is, you get what you pay for.

"That's too long to sit on your bike," Amber said of the impending trip from Silicon Valley to Los Angeles. "What's a used Harley cost these days?" Now we're talking.

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