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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

European Union to Microsoft: Sit, Roll Over, Beg

A cabal of European Union bureaucrats today announced ambitious plans to make Microsoft comply with EU antitrust concerns over the eventual arrival of Windows Vista, now scheduled to ship sometime in the first decade of the 21st Century.

“We will engage Microsoft in a variety of mandatory anti-competitive exercises,” said EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes. “By participating in these exercises, Microsoft will be able to fine-tune its corporate psyche and become responsive to EU dictates.”

Speaking with perfect English diction that would put the average American to shame, the Dutch Ms. Kroes said the first exercise would be “similar to teaching a dog to sit.” An EU bureaucrat will call Redmond on a random day and order all shipments of Microsoft goods inside the European Union to halt for a random period of time. “This will continue until Microsoft is compliant on command.”

Once Microsoft learns to sit, the EU competition commission will move to “Roll Over,” in which Microsoft will be taught to voluntarily admit to previously undisclosed violations of EU policy, including EU policies not yet written. The third step is “Beg,” in which Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will be trained to kneel before the European Union Parliament and request the right to continue to do business in the EU.

“We believe these measures are for Microsoft’s own good,” said Ms. Kroes, who got the idea for Sit, Roll Over, and Beg from observing Bill Gates accept an honorary doctorate when she was chairperson of Nijenrode University. “He grabbed at that diploma in a most uncivilized manner. I pulled it back, and gave him curt verbal commands to help him accept the award more graciously. If I can paper-train the founder, I think I can handle the rest of the company.”

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