The Lite Side

Microsoft Innovation Leads to New Sentencing Guidelines

Broderick Sagacious - 2001.12.06

WASHINGTON - Microsoft's innovative solution to its antitrust charges - offering to flood the nation's poorest schools with free software and hardware - has inspired the nation's criminal attorneys to seek punishments more in line with what is now being referred to as the "industry standard."

Robert Q. Birdinhand, attorney for 27 of the suspected Al-Qaeda terrorist cell members currently held on various immigration charges, says that he plans to have his clients plead guilty in exchange for an "ungodly" amount of high explosives. Getting the case over quickly, he said, "is obviously a major incentive for overworked Justice Department lawyers."

"It's high time someone faced the overburdened legal system's problems head-on," said Johnnie Cochran, noted defense attorney for the O.J. Simpson trial. "Why, if I had thought of that, O.J. would have been found guilty, served his time, and been released for parole to work in a battered woman's shelter three years ago."

"Bill Clinton's credibility, never really high, just dropped through the basement because of this deal," said Starkely Conservative, a radio talk show host. "If he had simply admitted to his guilt in all of these sleazy dealings, he could now be heir-apparent to Hugh Hefner." When asked to explain, Conservative stated, "Now that Microsoft has shown that the guilty can get rewarded with what they seek, Clinton will look like an idiot for claiming to be innocent. What a moron!"

Judges around the country are drooling over the case loads they will be able to clear using the new Microsoft Teflon Guilt Technique™. One of the beneficial side effects of the new focus on rewarding guilt is that the nation's streets will be "crime free in 90 days," according to Assistant Attorney General Reece Meeses. "Once you give the criminals lots of money, they won't need to steal. Makes perfect sense. And besides," added Meeses, "they can all register through Passport so we can track them wherever they go, whatever they do."

Even though the potential millions will go to schools that need it most, some folks think that maybe, just maybe, Microsoft has gone too far.

"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it," said Dillon Carnegie, a car wash attendant at a local gas station. "Monopolies stifle innovation. Breaking up is hard to do, but it'll be good for you in the long run. Look at what happened to Standard Oil."

Nevertheless, some folks aren't happy. "Bill Gates thinks he's so smart," said Anita Martindale, shopping at CompUSA for a new computer to replace the one she has that won't shut down. "Well, he is. He is smart." She frowned, while being carefully steered toward the Wall of PCs by an employee earning perfectly legal non-monopolistic commissions for learning to aim customers at one side of the store. "With all the uncertainty in the world, I don't need this new worry about Microsoft right now."

She paused, intrigued by the innovated side-opening panel in the Dell Confabulation™ being demonstrated by the fast-talking, albeit low-pressure sales representative. "I just wonder if his heart is in the right place."

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