by Leonard Richardson
Published on segfault.org 08/11/1998
Caldera CEO Bryan Sparks, long an outspoken opponent of Microsoft's business practices, alleged in a press conference today that employees of the software giant had stolen his pants.
"Am I wearing any pants? No. Microsoft stole my pants," said Sparks, who was dressed in boxers and the top half of a business suit. "Someone from Microsoft broke into my house and stole my pants."
When asked how he knew his pants had been stolen by Microsoft employees, Sparks alleged that "When I came home, my fridge and my medicine cabinet had been rummaged through. The desk in my office had been thoroughly searched. Yet only my pants were missing. Whoever it was had to look in several places before they realized that my pants were probably in my bedroom closet. That's what makes me point to Microsoft."
Microsoft officials claim that the press conference was a publicity stunt timed to coincide with the release of Microsoft Pants 98.
"It's total hogwash," said Microsoft spokesman Mike Murray. "Microsoft has a strict policy of not stealing other people's pants. If we needed someone else's pants, we would simply acquire their company. That's the American way."
"It is our opinion that Mr. Sparks will use any excuse to go out with no pants," continued Murray. "While our `competitors' are pulling stunts like this, Microsoft is innovating and pulling ahead with innovative products like the innovative Windows 98, featuring innovations like integrated Pants and Play technology. Is it any wonder that our innovations have earned us a 94% share of this highly competitive market? Innovative products like Microsoft Innovation 98 will..."
Murray's speech quickly disintegrated into unabashed shilling for upcoming Microsoft products and will not be reprinted here. He did, however, have some more pointed words for Sparks, who has brought in the local police force to determine the true location of his pants.
"We don't think law enforcement should be interfering with a company's freedom to innovate. Even if Microsoft had stolen Mr. Sparks' pants, which, I repeat, we did not, it would be inappropriate to bring the government into a situation in which decisions have been traditionally made by the free market. Innovate. Sorry, force of habit."
Sparks said he would be buying new pants to go with his existing suits. "I need pants to work," he explained. "I can't work in my boxers. No one would take me seriously."
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