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This was the second April Fool's Day joke that I wrote and posted to USENET. A Netscape employee (among others) emailed me with the suggestion of Bloatzilla as the project code-name, so I use it here.

From: (Michael 'Mickey' Sattler)
Newsgroups: comp.sys.mac.system,comp.sys.mac.apps,,
Subject: Netscape announces MS Word 6 in Navigator 3.5 ("bloat")
Date: Mon, 01 Apr 1996 02:45:44 -0800
Organization: Digital Jungle, San Francisco
X-Pgp-Key-Fingerprint: E4A76B99 - BF569C4F26B3461BAF61AB545002F78E


Netscape to license Microsoft Word 6 for inclusion in Navigator 3.5

CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA -- In a joint press conference held here with Microsoft (MSFT) of Belmont, Washington, Netscape Communications (NETC) announced the successful conclusion of negotiations to acquire a non-exclusive license to the cross-platform Microsoft Word 6.0.1 software for inclusion into the next major release of their Navigator(tm) World Wide Web browser.

Coming on the heels of the release of the Netscape Navigator "Atlas" 3.0b2 to the Internet at large, and the subsequent increase in program size to almost three megabytes, the announcement is seen as cementinng Netscape's focus as the preeminent producer of "advanced size telecommunications technology software." Following the tradition of naming releases in ascending alphabetical order, Navigator 3.5 will be code-named "Bloat".

The management of Netscape Communications let it be known that their first release of Netscape Navigator, version 1.1N, was a dissapointment to the board of directors because it was only able to include a USENET newsgroup reader with their much-heralded browser. "We barely made a dent," was the collective feeling of the envious senior staff, expressed during a trip to Microsoft's headquarters. "Seeing how many megabytes of hard disk space Microsoft was able to devote to Word 6 made us re-evaluate how we measure success," said Susan Matrix, Technology Acquisition Chief for Netscape.

"Faster modems and the advances in affordable ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) have made the experience of being on the Internet have an almost real-time flavor. Building into Navigator a USENET newsreader and a POP-based emailer didn't slow things down nearly enough. Even adding Java didn't, multiple redundant plug-ins didn't, Adobe Acrobat didn't, and distracting the masses with Netscape Chat didn't. Only something as user-unfriendly as Microsoft Word 6 - something with a proven track record as a collasal waste of time, money, and hard disk space - has a chance of bringing Windows performance and reliability to the Macintosh world" remarked Dan Nelson, Netscape Quality Assurance Engineer. "People will once again have time to walk to the refridgerator during image downloads, watch a bit of television, and read Clifford Stoll's excellent book about how technology is turning us all into mush-heads."

According to an anonymous source in Netscape Communication's marketing department, "It's the rapid adoption of the Motorola PowerPC RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) chip that has us scrambling. That Apple's making a three-quarter gigabyte hard disk available on the PowerPC PowerBook 5300s just put a bit of pep into our step." The race for increasing the size of the software and including as many separate applications into one conglomeration was on. That web browsers were the first practical proof of the feasability of separating work into small, dedicated software programs called "helper apps" is just one more ironic twist to this almost too strange to be believed tale.

Readers may remember the Microsoft Word 6 fiasco of 1995: the new release of Microsoft's flagship product was marred by placing a Windows interface into the Macintosh product, reducing program performance to the levels of software a half-decade earlier, an almost invisible quality assurance effort, and with the release of version 6.0.1 after several months of public-opinion firestorms in the popular press and on the Internet, a list of bug fixes to the original program that ran almost a dozen pages.

Microsoft officials defended their quality assurance efforts against the comments of skeptics (who had suggested that Microsoft was saving money by having the public pay hundreds of dollars for the software and thousands of dollars in lost productivity to do their quality assurance for them). "Look," said Nabish Chutzpah, head of Microsoft Slogan Engineering Department, "Technical Support hears the phrase 'real-world conditions' time and time again. What could be better quality assurance than having the customer try to use our product in their workplace? We always hear about it. You know our motto," he said as he proudly puffed out his chest, displaying the colorful tee-shirt with the new Microsoft logo, "If It Compiles, Ship It!"

Netscape's inclusion of the Microsoft Word 6 core package into its web browser makes it possible for the company to "close in on the fifty megabyte footprint." "We're also looking at increasing the RAM (Random Access Memory) requirement into the double digits," said Box Blurb Technician Stephanie Bitblit.

Netscape management has rejected out of hand as "Luddite whiners" critics who have pleaded for a Netscape Navigator Lite, which would just browse the World Wide Web, leaving newsgroups and email to Eudora and the NewsWatcher family, and concentrates on putting additional functionality into the ever-growing number of helper applications and plug-ins.


-- Michael 'Mickey' Sattler, Digital Jungle San Francisco, California, USA


And some commentary from the net:

From: (Aleksandar Totic)

>technology software."  Following the tradition of naming releases in
>ascending alphabetical order, Navigator 3.5 will be code-named "Bloat".

Not 'Bloat', Bloatzilla!


From: (Roy Marquez)

Happy April Fool's Day! You made me laugh for a good 30 minutes!!! ROTFL!!! That was a good one, I had to print it and put it up on my wall!!





From: Georg Schwarz

> Netscape to license Microsoft Word 6 for inclusion in Navigator 3.5


[thanks for putting this out early enough for us Europeans to read it in time on April 1st]


From: Bob Rakov



From: (Marc Bizer)

Happy April Fool's Day, Michael!


From: Victor Eijkhout

Excellent joke. Thanks much!

Have you found errors nontrivial or marginal, factual, analytical and illogical, arithmetical, temporal, or even typographical? Please let me know; drop me email. Thanks!

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