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Mishaps mar Microsoft Office 2000 meet

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A catalogue of mini disasters haunted Microsoft's Office 2000 Deployment conference in Nice this week with missed flights, lost luggage, crashing demos and alcohol bans. UK journalists gathering to fly to Nice on Sunday were sent to the wrong Heathrow terminal eventually causing two journalists to miss the flight. Air France also lost the luggage for a member of the Text 100 PR staff while rookie marketing women Ann-Marie Duffy's attendance was delayed due to food poisoning at home. The conference itself kicked off with two keynote speeches during which a simple demonstration of Office 2000's new cut and paste feature into Explorer 5.0 crashed. According to a number of delegates, demonstrations were crashing left right and centre during the break out sessions. "A lot of demos have been crashing," said one disgruntled conference delegate. "There have also been problems with speakers not answering my technical questions properly. I will deploy Office 2000 because I know the software, but if I had come to this conference and was still a little undecided, I'd probably be a bit nervous." The final straw at the conference was the lack of in-conference alcohol. Microsoft put a ban on booze in the conference building forcing ICL to keep the beer in its Office 2000 fridge freezer (see ICL says Fridges are Office 2000 compliant). And with non-existent midday wine, this all made lunchtime a less than French experience. The journalists, however, did get their own back a little, teaching Outlook general manager Kurt Del Bene an array of English swear words but holding back on the meaning. We should look forward to his next keynote speech with interest... ®

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