Friday, October 9, 1998
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Microsoft Unveils First Original Product EVER!!!

After only 15 years of dicking around with absolutely everything and coming up with absolutely nothing, Microsoft Corp, of Redmond, WA, finally announced, today, its first ever entirely original product.

"We are proud to announce, today," said a Microsoft spokesman whose social security number was withheld for, you know, reasons, "the first ever exciting new product we've actually ever been able to come up with since we started trying to actually come up with some exciting new product, well over 15 years ago -- but who's counting?"

The spokesman began by explaining to reporters how the only real impediment to coming up with exciting, original new products like this one was not the limits of technology and not even the limits of the laws of Nature itself or the limits of human imagination itself, but rather it was the limits of "those slimy consumers out there -- who are only too happy to let you ram it down their throats when it's brand new, but then show how grateful they are by puking it all back up in your face, only moments later, after first, of course, sucking out all re-sale value, if any."

On that upbeat note, Microsoft director of advanced research, Gunnar Midol, stepped forward and, with a theatric flourish, ripped the silk shroud off the exciting new product in question, sitting at center stage on a small table.

Scattered reporters and industry mavens fainted noisily.

"The Intelligent Toaster!" Midol announced, to the further sounds of intermittent gunfire from small suicides scattered throughout the crowd.

Then a huge slide of the inner workings of the Intelligent Toaster was cast on the screen behind him and, using his laser pointer, Midol explained how it worked.

"Now these lazy, slimy, dishonest, immoral, so-called consumers that we're stuck with," he began, "as you know, can only do about 3 things -- they can turn a knob clockwise or counter-clockwise, they can press a button, and they can stick something in a slot. Period!

"That's why we decided that the only possible product anybody should even bother thinking about developing, has got to be some kind of TOASTER.

"And so, though we've rammed every possible off-the-shelf cutting edge technology into our exciting new INTELLIGENT Toaster, it is still an utterly brainless delight to use: Put a piece of bread in the slot. Turn a knob. And press a lever. Could anything be easier?"

As he spoke, former Netscape CEOs came onstage and silently demonstrated the process, using simple pieces of Wonder Bread.

"However," Midol continued, "thanks to embedded GPS units and wireless digital modems connected to your bank and your store and the National Weather Service and the IRS and your credit card accounts and your phone bill and medical records, and records of the email you've sent and received, and all the files you've ever created on your home or work machine, and thanks to tiny cameras which sense your presence in the room near the toaster, and your appearance, and thanks to chemical detectors that sense your mood and the precise neuro-chemical balance in your brain at a distance, and utilizing a vast database of all your past behavior and psychological and emotional states that it's built up from your TV viewing habits, your product purchases, your tax returns, your possessions, your genome, your phone calls and email, your marital status, the status of your offspring, your family tree, your family history, your medical history, your family's medical history, your reading preferences, your music preferences, your sexual preferences, variations in your weight over time, food purchases, and your criminal record, if any, the INTELLIGENT TOASTER can, at any time of day or night, at any geographical location, under any circumstances of weather or world cataclysm, provide you with the most absolutely perfectly toasted piece of toast you could ever imagine -- one that perfectly suits your exact needs and wants and desires and hopes and dreams and personality and history and mental state at that precise moment in time and at that precise geographical location and at that precise moment in the history of civilization -- and without your ever even saying word one.

"Gentlemen and ladies, I think we have a weiner."

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Copyright (c) 1998 by HC