Promises to be Major Boon to Disorganized Knowledge Workers Who Can Never Find Anything In Their Pig-Sty Offices

SANTA REDMONDA, CA /DenounceNewswire/ -- December 10, 1996 -- Microsoft and Intel today announced a mutual joint technology development alliance contract agreement treaty deal to produce a hardware/software system that will enable disorganized knowledge workers to discern what's in their IN chair and what's on their OUT floor, referring to the common practice of dumping new junk (that a knowledge worker is supposed to read) on the spare chair and the old junk (that a knowledge worker is supposed to throw out) all over the floor.

"Millions of workers worldwide share a common problem: they can't find anything in their offices because they're such a mess," said Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft Corporation at today's press conference. "It's funny we call these poor slobs 'knowledge workers' --- you'd think that meant they had all 'knowledge' in their head, when in fact we all know it's actually piled up on the spare chair and all over the floor," Gates said, continuing, adding, and more.

"And nobody has the time to clean up the mess, so things stay hidden or worse, lost," added Andrew Grove, CEO of Intel.

"Now, together, Intel and Microsoft have come up with a new way to solve the IN chair and OUT floor problem," said Gates and Grove together, as if singing.

"With our new technology, we extend the Recycle Bin in Windows to include the mess you've made in your office," said Gates.

How It Works
Intel Corporation has developed a new, miniature digital camera that uses a combination of infrared, gamma ray, and X-ray beams to "see" through the deepest pile of papers and other junk that the typical office worker accumulates each day when the mail and internal company memos arrive. "The infrared is used to detect the odd bit of bearclaw, doughnut, or Danish roll that inevitably winds up between the pages of that obscure report that's under ten feet of other obscure documents." said Grove. In addition, Intel has developed a PCI-based hardware interface board that will connect up to sixteen of the cameras per board. "That way, no office, no matter how messy, is too tough for our system," he added.

Microsoft Corporation developed the software that interacts with the board and camera(s), and then provides a graphical interface so the knowledge worker can see what's where in his or her pig-sty of an office. Based on advanced neural-net pattern recognition technology, Microsoft's software "learns" about your mess even as you add more junk to it.

"We're already at work on a new release that will enable the digital cameras to do optical character recognition on all of that junk lying around your office," said Gates. "This means not only will users be able to find their lost documents, but they won't have to get up to get them since they can simply read the text on the screen. And that means that stupid memo your team was supposed to read last week can stay on the IN chair while you read it at your desk."

Microsoft and Intel also explained how the system is smart enough to detect items on the IN chair that have fallen onto the OUT floor before they're supposed to. "This is a common occurence and leads to a tremendous productivity loss," said Gates. "Our system can find those documents if you leave the system on all the time so it can take real-time snapshots of the mess in your office."

Powerful Intranet Applications
By using the power of network technology, Microsoft and Intel make it possible to link multiple offices together, so everyone can know where everyone else's stuff is. "For example, your boss can call you and say, 'Have you read the memo I sent?' and whereas before you could always say, 'Uh, no, I never got it' and get away with it, now your boss can say, 'Oh yes you did, it's right over there on the chair, look under the PC WEEK.'"

Microsoft and Intel added that it is even possible for the Intel cameras to see through the outer walls of file cabinets and find documents within. "However, we don't document it in our manuals because in order to get it to work we found that we had to up the X-rays to the point where they were, well, toxic."

Office Worker Health Concerns Downplayed
Asked at the press conference if the fact that the Intel cameras use gamma and X-ray radiation might pose any danger to office workers, Mr. Grove replied, "Oh that's silly. Our cameras emit only a tiny bit of radiation. Why, you'd have to sit in front of a computer monitor eight hours a day, every day, for about 73 web-years before there'd be any danger."

Asked if that didn't describe seventy-five percent of the knowledge worker population, Mr. Grove grumbled and "Oh, I don't think so."

Asked if 73 web-years was the equivalent of 2 calendar years, Mr. Grove said, "Yes, why of course."

Asked if he was not then saying that after two years, the average computer user might be harmed by this new Intel/Microsoft system, Mr. Grove said, "Yes, but two years is forever in this industry, and nobody will remember this press conference by next week."

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