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MSDN Home > MSJ > January 1998
January 1998

Microsoft Systems Journal Homepage

Editor's Note

There are four places where we accomplish most of our information intake using the printed media. The boudoir offers a comfortable setting if you're so reclined (and have nothing better to do there). Reading during the daily commute on the bus, train, or carpool may give you motion sickness, but at least distracts you from the olfactory attributes of the guy sitting next to you. The third popular location involves a porcelain chair. Come to think of it, where are you right now? Reading on the john is an efficient use of time; the printed matter itself could also perform double duty in a pinch, but we must advise you that the paper stock of MSJ is not conducive to this alternative role.
The fourth place for reading finds us hunched over a bowl of grain flakes, while performing the ritual daily
rereading of the cereal box. In between the slurps and crunches of our favorite sugar-coated kind of Chex, we were surprised to discover that AOL has ingeniously managed to find yet another vehicle to deliver their CDs. That's right—inside the box! But why should we be surprised? After all, we used to receive these CDs every other day with the junk mail. Cereal boxes were simply the next logical step.
This harks back to when we were kids cutting apart cereal boxes to play those flimsy records that were somehow laminated right onto the cardboard. Remember using a quarter in an attempt to flatten the cutout to accommodate the delicate mechanics of a Close-n-Play phonograph? But we digress. Who knows what impact this new software distribution channel will have on market share? It's our bet that these CDs will do a fine job keeping beverage rings off the furniture this holiday season.
After slurping down that last gulp of sugary slurry left in our bowls and turning to our morning email, we saw the press release announcing that Microsoft was getting into the act too, teaming up with the Kellogg's Company. We won't actually be including CDs in the cereal box itself and risk wreaking havoc on your 16x CD ROM drive through the introduction of Froot Loop dust. But for $4.99 and three Kellogg's proofs of purchase you can get all kinds of swell consumer software titles from Microsoft.
As developers we wonder how many proofs of purchase will be needed if and when Visual Studio, Windows NT, or Windows 98 are included in the offer. Don't hold your breath, though. What could be next? Hopefully our Battle Creek friends will partner with the hardware manufacturers. Imagine being able to find the latest Pentium, cable modem, or video accelerator rolling around in your Frosted Mini Wheats.
We all know that the typical computer professional considers cereal to be the foundation upon which all other foods are based. The real secret is that it's the energy source that powers development at Microsoft. Oh sure, you may have thought because of Microsoft's proximity to Seattle that we were powered by the dark master—the coffee bean. Think again, it's Kellogg's cereals.
Of course we couldn't resist. Microsoft and Kellogg's, they're Grrreat!

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