Distributor Claims Microsoft Terminated Partnership After Reps Refused To Take Part In Sex/Drug Party

from the sex,-drugs-and-software-distribution dept

Well, here's a story you don't see every day. Roy alerts us to a report that Israeli software distributor EIM is suing Microsoft over a terminated contract. Microsoft claims the contract was terminated due to filing fraudulent sales reports, but EIM says the real reason was that EIM representatives refused to take part in a sex and drug party aboard a cruise put together by Microsoft for Turkish and Israeli distributors. EIM claims that there were women who would perform sexual services in attendance, as well as some "illegal substances," and EIM representatives were encouraged to partake of both, though they refused. Microsoft has sued back, claiming breach of contract by EIM -- though apparently refuses to comment about the cruise allegations. Of course, you would think that with other distributors on the cruise, some might be able to confirm or deny the allegations -- and if there were any others who chose not to partake, it would be worth knowing if they, too, lost their contracts. The whole thing seems pretty bizarre, frankly. Even if Microsoft apparently did throw such a party, it still seems like EIM would have a tough time proving that its contract was terminated for its representatives' failure to participate.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Jan 29th, 2010 @ 6:56am

    Wow. I never knew that not getting laid would cost you a contract.

    Maybe it's against MS policy to NOT have sex on a cruise ship.

    Just...wow.

     

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  2.  
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    Tom Landry (profile), Jan 29th, 2010 @ 7:44am

    I definitely got into the wrong business.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 7:46am

    hurray for punditry and speculation!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 29th, 2010 @ 7:46am

    Question:

    When the hell did the Minnesota Vikings execs start working at Microsoft?

    Seriously, somewhere Calligula is rolling over in his grave...

     

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  5.  
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    SureW (profile), Jan 29th, 2010 @ 7:49am

    An interesting tactic to combat open source

     

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  6.  
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    Simon, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 8:01am

    Microsoft : One way or the other, you're going to get screwed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Free Capitalist (profile), Jan 29th, 2010 @ 8:15am

    Re: Question:

    To paraphrase Lewis Black.. "How can you put a bunch 300 pound men on a boat, call them 'Vikings', and NOT expect them to rape and pillage".

     

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  8.  
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    Ian Lewis, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 8:16am

    Seems highly unlikely to me

    I guess I'm biased, since my wife and I met on a Microsoft-sponsored cruise, but I just don't buy this. I worked for Microsoft for six years. During that time I never saw even one instance of someone being pressured to do anything immoral or illegal. But I did experience many instances where a coworker was disciplined for crossing that line, and many more where my coworkers were offered sex or drugs by other companies, and refused based on MS policy (and, presumably, their own virtue).

    So I think it's highly unlikely that any MS employee actively discriminated against a vendor based on willingness to participate in a wild party. At most, there might be a dynamic similar to the "urinal meetings" that are blamed for sexual discrimination: if deals were cut at the party, and a vendor that would have been part of the deal otherwise was excluded because they didn't attend, then that would explain it. Explain, but not excuse--it's still grounds for termination under MS policy.

    My guess is that if there's any truth at all to these allegations, heads will roll. If the people responsible are low-level employees, they will be fired; if they're high level, they'll be relieved of their responsibility and put onto a "special project" until they quit of their own accord.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    pegr, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 8:23am

    "If the people responsible are low-level employees, they will be fired; if they're high level, they'll be relieved of their responsibility and put onto a "special project" until they quit of their own accord."

    Of course, because high-level people don't deserve to get fired, ever!

    You, sir, are a perfect example of the immoral Microsoft employee. Congratulations, you elitist swine!

     

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  10.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Jan 29th, 2010 @ 8:26am

    Re: Seems highly unlikely to me

    so you said all that to basically say this may have actually happened.

    That or you are blowing smoke out your ass (pretty sure that was going on too :) )

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 8:30am

    Re:

    huh!? How is someone immoral when he's speculating on what he thinks will happen inside the company if the allegations are true?

     

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  12.  
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    Yakko Warner, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 8:36am

    Re:

    Comment Win.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Jon Renaut (profile), Jan 29th, 2010 @ 8:38am

    New Mac ad

    A prostitute is offering you sex and cocaine. Cancel or allow?

     

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  14.  
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    Trails, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 8:40am

    Seems pretty transparent to me

    This strikes me as a pretty strenuous attempt to punish Microsoft's reputation for suing them. I certainly accept that a cruise with drugs and hookers might have happened, but I doubt that's why a contract got canceled.

    The motivation behind the reason attributed to MS escapes me. MS would not give up a contract for failure to take dope and sex. They aren't that dumb.

    Let's be clear, most execs in sales and distribution have their compensation heavily incentivized based on volume. From an organizational standpoint, as well as an individual standpoint, I don't get reducing volume cause someone wasn't "cool".

    No org would give up the revenue, and no exec would give up the bonus money the contract would entail.

     

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  15.  
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    Lion XL, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 8:42am

    Re:

    I think he may be alluding to the fact that low-level employees are generally 'at-will' employees, who can be fired at any time.

    Higher level employees are usually contracted, and breaching those contracts are usually pretty difficult, almost always ending up with the ex-employee getting a large share of the contractual obligation.

    Putting them in room with no windows and a Steve Balmer video would probably be more effective. NO lawyer/court costs, and the employee will probably only suffer through that for a couple of days before he demands an amicable separation for wayyyyyy cheaper than a court ruling.

     

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  16.  
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    DCX2, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 8:46am

    Heh

    Reminds me of the Department of Interior sex and drugs scandal. And the Kabul embassy sex and drugs scandal.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    interval, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 9:08am

    Re: Seems pretty transparent to me

    Well, from a completely objective view point, it may have been regional execs who were offended that the Israelis didn't get with the program that night. Just a thought.

     

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  18.  
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    Jason, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 9:11am

    Re:

    Wow totally abusive! The poster gave their honest opinion and best guess based on their history, and you interpret that as Elitist and attack him for giving his opinion. It's obvious you hate Microsoft and your blinders prevent honest discussion. Sad. Next time you quote someone, you might want to be honest and quote the entire thing, begining with "My best guess..." Looking at this HONESTLY and without BIAS his best guess is what most any corporation would do, protect high profile people to limit bad press while dumping low level folks who do not matter. Microsoft did not invent this.

    Oh and btw I think Microsoft is the evil empire but that does not cause me to froth at the mouth.

     

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  19.  
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    mdwstmusik (profile), Jan 29th, 2010 @ 9:18am

    Re: open source?

    "EIM claims that there were women who would perform sexual services in attendance"

    Sounds like an breeding ground for open sores...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 9:19am

    Re: High Level People getting fired

    Bing for Stuart Scott, if you really think high-level people don't get fired for immoral acts.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 9:27am

    they didnt read the small print

    font size =-8 AND when on any cruise you must partake in sexual and or illicit drug use or this EULA and contract shall expire font too bad we cant use proper tags in this post id have done a real small fine print lol

     

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  22.  
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    Trails, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 9:31am

    Re: Re: Seems pretty transparent to me

    But to the point where they would give up revenue and adversely effect their own performance-based compensation?

    It especially seems weird to me that they would then claim that the distributor filed fraudulent sales reports, as that would require fairly substantive evidence.

    In such a situation I would think they'd pick something much more ephemeral, something much easier to "fake", as it were.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Trails, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 9:38am

    Re:

    You, sir, missed his point. His point is that in corporate upper echelons, people don't get fired, they get marginalized and are encouraged to resign.

    He's stating objective predictions, he makes no statement about his support or disapproval of these actions. In fact, given his statements, one might glean a sense of disillusionment from his conveyance.

    Regardless, you trot out childish name calling, committing to the undying memory of the intertubes the fact that you are a person frothing with such self righteous indignation that you can't be bothered to read or discuss rationally.

    Hence, you, sir, are the perfect example of an angsty 17 year old (mental age, your actual age notwithstanding). Congratulations, your Che Guevara t shirt must be proud of you.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Stuart, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 9:40am

    Re: New Mac ad

    First scan for viruses.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Boost, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 9:50am

    Re:

    I know it's against my policy.

     

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  26.  
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    Matt (profile), Jan 29th, 2010 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re: Seems highly unlikely to me

    How did you get that out of "I think it's highly unlikely"?

    This is not the kind of marketplace immorality for which Microsoft is known. I do not have Ian's experience with the company, but given my limited interaction with its US headquarters I would be shocked if the allegation were seriously leveled at Redmond. But who knows what goes on in their overseas sales channels? It is just barely possible that some idiot or idiots at the long end of some branch of the Microsoft tree engaged in unethical behavior. It is a big tree, and hard to account for every leaf. I think Ian's point was that if there was such an idiot (and it is impossible to rule the eventuality out,) the idiot once caught will be dealt with harshly - Microsoft will not countenance this sort of behavior. But the fact that that can't be ruled out is no more a statement that it "may have actually happened" then would be the statement that it cannot be ruled out that senshikaze is a fool. Unlikely, but it cannot be ruled out if prior posts were the result of chimps at keyboards or random chance.

     

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  27.  
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    Matt (profile), Jan 29th, 2010 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re:

    Steve Ballmer videos may lead to a constructive discharge claim. Safer to bust them down to the mailroom and then catch them with pot.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Rasmus, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Seems pretty transparent to me

    Unless the regional execs had been filing fraudulent sales reports on behalf of the distributor and somehow been pocketing the difference themselves. Not partaking in a party meant to collect incriminating evidence useful for blackmailing the distributor into silence, if they found out about the fraud done in their name, created a huge risk for the real criminals. So they jettisoned the distributor, and tried to stick their own fraud on them as a precaution.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 11:20am

    Other conspiracy theroies

    On Monday, someone was on the Daily Show to talk about his twitter account and educational reform. At the tail end of the interview, the guest said something to the likes of "It's easier to develop new vaccines, and it's more straight forward than to develop a personnel system everyone is going to feel great about". The lack of new talking points was weird. Maybe they're shopping for replacements to fill some soon-to-be-announced openings. Who knows.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 11:27am

    Re: Re:

    Putting high-level Microsoft employees in a room with no Windows? Sounds risky.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 29th, 2010 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Putting high-level Microsoft employees in a room with no Windows? Sounds risky."

    Even riskier for Microsoft employees to try to pick up women on their own instead of using hookers.

    After all, it's well known that when it comes to women, Microsoft employees don't have any Mac....

     

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  32.  
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    Anony1, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 12:19pm

    Bravo Trails. Bravo. Class act. Myself? I still prefer calling out the occasional dumba$$, but I'm trying....

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Disappointed, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 12:34pm

    I feel cheated; the most I ever got out of an MS event was a year old software product that was not selling well...

    I need to pay closer attention to the next invitation form next time, make sure that I fill in the Hooker quantity preference boxes...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 29th, 2010 @ 1:13pm

    Re:

    "Bravo Trails. Bravo. Class act. Myself? I still prefer calling out the occasional dumba$$, but I'm trying...."

    Yeah, you know, I've been REALLY off my game lately too.

    Quick, somebody say something stupid!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
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    Emo the Libertarian (profile), Jan 29th, 2010 @ 1:47pm

    Re: Re: Question:

    Nice, i had forgotten that quote...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 2:33pm

    Re: Re:

    How about something ironic instead of stupid?

    Completely true: I was talking to a complete stranger from Edwards, WA yesterday during happy hour and they, out of nowhere, mentioned that the guy who owned Mercer Island in the early 1900s became wealthy by running the northwest's largest cathouse for the loggers.

    Thanks, Techdirt for the crazy irony.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Rooker, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 3:54pm

    Uh Huh

    I'd buy a bridge from a guy in a dark alley before I believe this story.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 5:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Seems pretty transparent to me

    "But to the point where they would give up revenue and adversely effect their own performance-based compensation?"

    Well, if they were high on cocaine who knows what they might do, you can't expect people on drugs to act reasonably can you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 5:24pm

    If M$ is doing this they deserve all the crap that they are going to get for this story. It sure is stupid to drop a contract with someone not willing to participate in illicit activities because a) they know you are funding illicit activities, b) they have a good reason to want revenge, c) other participants will wonder what M$ is doing with the pictures.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Re: New Mac ad

    ***Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found,Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found,Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found, Ding: Virus found***

    ***buffer overrun***


    BSOD

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    Richard Corsale (profile), Jan 29th, 2010 @ 8:32pm

    Re: Re: open source?

    If you just did that off the top of your head, you get a whole jar of cookies!

    ++;

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2010 @ 1:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You know, they should just put Cagney and Lacey on the case.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\|\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

    So rry, I had to find the USB keyboard. You see, my Macbook Pro has a keyboard problem and the company I bought it from has a guy who used to work at an Apple Store and he said it would be covered under the warranty.

    This problem should be fixed on Monday.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2010 @ 1:21am

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  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2010 @ 1:22am

    D\\am\n\\it!!\!!!!!!!!!\\\\!\\\\\\\\\\\
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    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2010 @ 3:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I wonder if there's an app for that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    icon
    senshikaze (profile), Feb 1st, 2010 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Seems highly unlikely to me

    oh i am a fool. i firmly believe that if you think differently of yourself then you are a much bigger fool than i am.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    senshikaze (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I call it "Hammer"(tm)(c)(r)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 8:31pm

    Re:

    It's all about how you fill out the profile. Select the largest amount of revenue and employees, and check off every option they have for product usage. Then you get the drugs and hookers. If you go with "10-100 employees", you get Visio and a box lunch...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2010 @ 2:41am

    Even better if you turn it all down and get your Macbook Pro fixed for free.

    I kinda like Steve Jobs, even if he's completely detached from reality. Maybe he'll have that guy who found the 4G iPhone on stage with him to introduce it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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