Insider Dealings: All the Gossip That's Fit To Read

At a Mayfair press conference this week, an NC evangelist enthused about the new world order. A few drinks later, he revealed he was actually an ex-Microsoft employee who'd defected, and lo and behold, the words bloatware and unprofessional behaviour found themselves in the conversation.

At a Mayfair press conference this week, an NC evangelist enthused about the new world order. A few drinks later, he revealed he was actually an ex-Microsoft employee who'd defected, and lo and behold, the words bloatware and unprofessional behaviour found themselves in the conversation. Naturally, the Luncher pleaded ignorance.

Talking of Big Green, the firm's understood to have had almost every rising manager clambering after the nice MSN gig in its glitzy new hi-tech offices in Covent Garden. But former Office boss, jovial and portly Oliver Roll, was literally on a roll when he won the prize, on top of an internal award for being a top MS performer generally.

IBM is once again living down to its legendary name for calling sushi dead, wet fish this week. On Monday it announced ambitious plans to make its AS/400 box a 'sexy' server for electronic commerce. What to call this smouldering beast... ladies and gentleman, the AS/400e. Not since Big Blue called its flexi-keyboard 'Butterfly' notebook the ThinkPad 701e have so many sighs been heard.

Rumour has it Big Blue might also make the big bid for Novell.

Scandal! The Luncher learned that firewall firm Raptor's revenues were only $4m, with unknown losses, when it floated, valued at a humungous $350m. What madness lies in Net stocks.

More fun and games at Netscape after an underwhelming reaction to the standalone Navigator. Whispers suggest that a new Web site replete with Dynamic HTML and other smarts will debut in the next two months. Oh well, it can't be slower than microsoft.com, can it?

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