[EXCEL, WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER, and WINDOWS DRIVER KIT are lounging in the home office. WINDOWS MOVIEMAKER waltzes in with a beautiful but vapid 3-D MODELING SOFTWARE APPLICATION FOR VISUAL BASIC clad only in a men’s dress shirt.]

MOVIEMAKER: Hey, fellas, meet Dora.


MOVIEMAKER (smiles impishly_): Sorry—Eudora, I-Dora, we all Dora. (_Slaps USB cables with Driver Kit) What are you guys up to?

MEDIA PLAYER: We’re in the middle of some serious defragmenting and recharging, bro.

MOVIEMAKER: Wild night Minesweeping for the ladies, huh?

DRIVER KIT: Not for Media Player; everyone was incompatible with him, so he spent all night jerking off to porno .wmas.

MEDIA PLAYER: At least I don’t have a 3.5" floppy disk.

EXCEL: Guys, shut the hell down, I’m on Live Messenger with Microsoft Agent. (types) We’re all invited to a big party tonight at Bill Gates’s mansion!

MOVIEMAKER: All right, E! That’s why I have you put in a line taking out 15% on my budgeting spreadsheets!

MEDIA PLAYER: I worked with Bill on the security updates for version, back in ‘99. I’m sure he’ll be glad to see me.

DRIVER KIT: While you’re at it, MovieMaker, why don’t you ask if he remembers you from your days at MS-DOS 3.2?

MEDIA PLAYER: Resume your hibernation, Driver Kit.

- - -


The apps enter a raging party. Everyone else freezes up for a few seconds when they spot MOVIEMAKER. MICROSOFT AGENT rushes up to them.]

AGENT: Why the hell are you bug-infested, beta-stage cocksuckers an hour late?

EXCEL: Sorry, Agent, traffic here was bottlenecked like a motherfucker.

AGENT: MovieMaker, Gates is waiting to talk to you. You do remember how to network, don’t you?

MOVIEMAKER: Chill out, Agent. It’s easy—I just smile, nod my head, configure my router and set an SSID with WPA2 encryption, view available wireless networks, enter the network key, reenter it for confirmation… and boom, suddenly I’m in line for the next major release.

AGENT: Exactly—do your Service Pack 2 thang. Let’s merge it out, bitch.

They merge briefly. BILL GATES pops up.]

GATES: Gentlemen, glad you could make it. MovieMaker, I’m a big user. You have a minute?

MOVIEMAKER: Uh… sure thing, Mr. Gates.

He raises his eyebrows at his friends before sauntering off with GATES. MEDIA PLAYER talks to an attractive FIREFOX browsing a video.]

MEDIA PLAYER: You know, I can play that a lot more efficiently using a separate graphics driver that doesn’t compromise overall CPU performance.

FIREFOX (closes up): Yuck. Your viruses probably have viruses.

MEDIA PLAYER: Batch file! Some way to thank me for being a font of knowledge.

DRIVER KIT: It’s “fount of knowledge,” you Wingding. A “font of knowledge” would be like a really smart Arial.

MEDIA PLAYER: I know that.

DRIVER KIT: Yeah, you’re a regular Encarta.

[MOVIEMALER makes a soft return.]

MOVIEMAKER: I think Bill Gates just asked me… to come in to meet his people next week to talk about being lead developer… for the next top-secret OS he’s coming back from retirement to direct!

MEDIA PLAYER: Way to go, baby bro! Think there’s a need for a little standalone proprietary audiovisual component?

DRIVER KIT: ‘Cause I hear they’re looking for an application that prompts recurring General Protection Faults.

MEDIA PLAYER: Go reboot yourself, Driver Kit.

- - -


[MOVIEMAKER, EXCEL, and AGENT are in a meeting with POWERPOINT and MONEY.]

POWERPOINT: As you can see in this projection, the outlook for opening-weekend sales is 12% of the PC market.

MONEY: We don’t have to tell you that that can purchase several terabytes of RAM, if you catch our drift.

AGENT: My client software wants assurance that he’ll be lead developer. I’m reading rumors on the tech blogs that you’re also in talks with Mac about crossover promotion.

POWERPOINT: Mac’s easy to work with, the Gen Y demo loves him—

AGENT: That cleanly designed geek-chic hipster doesn’t have half the megahertz of M-Maker. I say we email a Word guy we know in New York to punch up the .doc and hit the Start button on this bad boy.

[POWERPOINT and MONEY exit to confer privately.

EXCEL: I don’t think they bought it.

AGENT: My broadband ass—they bought that like it was a three-year extended goddamn warranty with full customer support straight outta Calcutta. MovieMaker’s gonna be all over the covers of PC World and Byte next month, baby.

MOVIEMAKER: Relax, E. It’s all gonna be debugged. It always is, thanks to QA.

PowerPoint and Money make a hard return.

MONEY: Well, we’re going to have to send a report to the big man, but… we think we can work something out.

AGENT: Congratulations, you just signed the hottest software developer in all of Silicon fucking Valley.

They exit.]

EXCEL: We celebrating tonight, MovieMaker?

MOVIEMAKER (not responding): Whoa, sorry, zoned out there for a sec. Nah—all this multitasking has burned me out. I think I’m just gonna crash.