Doctor Spinola's PC Clinic

This week: The Microsoft breakup

Dear Dr Spinola, I am a small computer user and I'm very concerned at the breakup of Microsoft. What do you advise?

Dr Spinola replies: You shouldn't be overly concerned. Many users are shorter than average and my usual advice is to sit on a cushion so you can reach the desk in comfort.

Dear Dr Spinola, I too am a small computer user, although considerable taller than your previous interlocutor. All the software I use comes from Microsoft and I would like to know what effect the breakup will have on support and future software development.

Dr Spinola replies: Interlocutor, eh? You are obviously a cut above the usual run-of-the-mill deadbeats I have to put up with. As an educated person you should be able to figure out the answer to your question without any help from me. Kindly go away.

Dear Dr Spinola, I am a single mother with few educational qualifications and I would appreciate your advice. [That's more like it, Doc.] To make a little extra cash I type up people's letters and CVs and I am wondering what effect the Microsoft breakup will have on the development of an improved version of Word 3 for DOS.

Dr Spinola replies: I asked Bill Gates this very question only a few days ago and you can rest assured that the breakup will have absolutely no effect on the development of enhanced MSDOS applications.

Dear Dr Spinola, I have always wondered why a software company such as Microsoft makes an awful lot of hardware in the form of mice, keyboards, sound systems, joysticks and so on. Any ideas?

Dr Spinola replies: Many people and organisations diversify from their original core competencies - Elvis Presley moved into acting; Intel designed the i820 chipset; the US Government thought it could run the software industry better than the people who actually work in it; and, most tragically, Britney Spears took up singing.

Dear Dr Spinola, I have a friend who owns a large software company, could you advise him on what the best plan of action would be should a major government order its breakup to improve consumer choice? He is too shy to ask in person.

Dr Spinola replies: I assume your friend and his fellow directors are quite well off. My advice would be to sack all the staff and close down the whole company immediately. Users would then be faced with a bewildering choice of software from any of the many thousands of other companies building sophisticated operating systems and office applications.
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