Would you like GNOME or KDE with that?

The following is a work of satire by Tim Dion
([email protected]).
1999 Copyright GNU Open Content License.

Fall 2000, Office of Bob Benderle:

Bob Benderle of Gigga Bucks Strategic Consulting is sitting in
his office waiting on hold with Dwell Computers (a huge computer
seller) . He watches the snow fall over the Cambridge evening city
scape and reviews his calendar of upcoming standards meetings.

Finally, after a few minutes of listening to a bland
instrumental version of the Door’s “Light My Fire” the female voice
of a young perky sales person jumps over the line, “Dwell Computer
phone purchasing. How can I help you today?”

“Her ah,” Benderle starts in a little startled. “Hi this is Bob
Benderle of Gigga Bucks Strategic Consulting.” He pauses to let the
importance of this name sink in. “And, I’ve found its time to
update my laptop system to something a little more powerful. You
see Windows 2000 just is too slow for my PentiunIII 500 megahertz
system and I think I need more memory as well.”

“I see,” says the sales girl. “I’ve heard of that Windows2000

“Er ah, whatever,” Benderle replies, a little confused. “Look
just send me a new 600 megahertz system with an Intel IA64

“Yes sir.” The girl replies, a little concerned that maybe she
went over some line or something. “Would you like your system to
use KDE or GNOME?”

“What!” Benderle shouts, getting irate. “Look, just give me
Windows 2000.”

There is a long uncomfortable pause. “You mean you want to buy
an operating system? like with money?” the girls asks obviously

“Of course I do! What the hell kind of operation this? Is there
someone else there I can speak to?” he states slowly, trying to
remain calm.

“I’m sorry sir, its my first week here. As far as I know, we
don’t sell operating systems, we only install Linux. If you want
Windows 2000, you will have to buy it yourself. Sir, please hold
wild I get my supervisor, he’s an old timer, so he knows about
stuff from the nineties.” The line goes back to more musac, this
time its an instrumental version of a Smashing Pumpkins song.
Benderle steams.

“Hello?” an older male voice comes on the line. Probably one of
those bearded techie types Benderle thinks to himself.

“Yes,” Benderle starts, “The sales girl was just telling me that
you don’t sell Windows 2000 for an IA64 system. Just what the hell
is going on there?”

“Well sir,” The techie explains in fatherly tones, “it turns out
that once Linux got big, none of our customers would pay for an
operating system anymore. We had no reason to stock Microsoft
products. And, with the hit we took on EULA refunds, doing business
with Microsoft just didn’t seem like such a good idea?”

“Look, I sit on every important standards board in North America
and we never talk about Linux! Linux is a fad, a trend, it doesn’t
even have a GUI! They’re just a bunch of hackers for Christ sake.
Don’t you read RipRavus?” Benderle stammers.

“Er ah whatever? But people sure seem to like those fancy
desktop themes.” the techie replies, resigned to the obvious. “You
know, the sad thing is, even if we did sell Windows 2000, its not
available for the Intel IA64 because Microsoft has not finished
porting it yet?” The phone goes dead.

Benderle looks out over the rush hour traffic from his twentieth
story office window. “What’s the world coming to?” He implores to
no one in particular.