Newswire: June 8, 2000
In a surprise move, Microsoft Corporation announced that it has applied for a change in status from commercial entity to a religious organization. Financial analyst at Pain-Webber Associates applauded the move, “When their quarterly SEC 10-Qs said that a possible restructuring of business functions was possible, nobody guessed this.” He added “Leave it to Microsoft to innovate corporate structures.” NASDAQ officials were in full support of the filing: “We are, and frankly have been for sometime, ready to address to needs of the emerging publicly traded religion sector.”
Still other analysts were not so positive. An anonymous source at Merrill Lynch complained it would be too hard to find accurate metrics to judge the success of the new church. “How do we know how many souls are really saved?” Microsoft’s reputation for counting every product shipped instead of products actually used has been criticized by many industry analysts.
Microsoft’s filing came soon after District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson’s finding that monopoly business practices at the nations leading software vendor could only be remedied through a breakup of Microsoft business units. While Microsoft public relations personnel played down the connection between the two events, Microsoft’s spiritual leader made his opposition to Judge Jackson’s remedy clear. “You can no more divide the Microsoft religion, than you could divide out the Holy Spirit from the Christian Trinity” the Reverend Gates preached to a flock of believers out side of the Redmond, Washington Mecca. Constitutional historians indicate that religious freedom guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution could very well hinder Justice Department’s case against Microsoft.
Religious experts are taking a wait and see approach to the Church of Microsoft. Early look at “beta” Dogma indicates that Bill will not actually be God in the Microsoft religion, but instead be deified as an example of how rich God can make you. While this pleased many in the religious community, not all were satisfied; “the last thing we need is another Messiah,” Rabbi Nachman of International Task Force for Interdenominational Cooperation (ITFIC) is quoted as saying.
Steve Ballmer, which will head the daily operation of the religious movement, stressed religious compatibility. “We want to incorporate the best of all existing religions into a single package that is more accessible and responsive to today’s challenges. Our religious concepts are developed to work hand in hand with those of other churches.” Microsoft’s reputation for using slight modifications industry standards to lock out competition makes member of the religious community uncomfortable. “Were already hearing that Church of Microsoft will only have partial support for the Ten Commandment, a basic premise of the Judeo-Christian theology”, complained Bishop Tom Early of Boston.
Despite hesitation in the religious community, Microsoft is confident in its ability to apply superior technology to enable better religion. “There is no platform anywhere that can match the web-based transaction-processing capabilities of our Windows 2000 Advance Server environment. In the Church of Microsoft, every prayer will receive an immediate confirmation of receipt. We hoped to have most prayers answered with in a 24-hour period. Of course like all religions, sometimes the answer will be “No”.” A Microsoft representative read from a prepared statement.
The Church of Microsoft plans to build on it existing advertising campaign to bring a whole new meaning to the phrase “Microsoft – Where do you want to go?”