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Comdex a year ago: Bill tells it to the marines

The DoJ of war are barking at the moon

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The US government is on Bill Gates' tail in the shape of the DoJ, so the lad's new-found intimacy with the Marine Corps may be ominous - military coups, anyone? Following-up a goodly slab of mom, apple pie, my wonderful daughter and why the PC is great, Gates' Comdex keynote last Sunday (see Footnotes some more) drafted Major Jim Cummiskey to demonstrate the digital nervous system in action. We recall that the US military ran on Intel 80186-based portables in the last Gulf war, but Major Jim has no intention of being caught with his pants down this time around. So the Marine Corps is working on battlefield intranets that use ruggedised notebooks and CE devices, and he says he's real excited about CE 2.0. Ominously, Major Jim's demo called in an airstrike on a threatening tank battalion, so watch out for what Bill puts into CE 3.0, kiddies. For the moment though he confined himself to an airstrike on a NetPC instead. Delete the program files on an NT 5.0 workstation and it miraculously heals itself. Swap in a new workstation and Intellimirror lets you just carry on where you left off. But he didn't show this happening on Windows 98 (we hear it might not), and he didn't mention the latest shippage slippage for NT 5.0. This is actually pretty key, because the major components of the NetPC advantage aren't actually deliverable until 5.0 ships, and the longer it is until that happens, the more vulnerable the edifice will look. ®

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