Apple dealers scream louder, Win2K takes a powder

Anyone have a spare $1.6 billion?

If Sun and Microsoft can kiss and make up, there may yet be hope for Pammy and me. All I need is a spare $1.6 billion. Who thought it could be that easy?

Fixin’ for a Fight: Unlike Sun and MS, Apple and its authorized repair shops aren’t quite so chummy. Five of them have sued Mac’s Daddy for, among other things, breach of contract, negligence, and fraud during the past two years. The shops claim they routinely send broken parts to Apple in exchange for new ones to make in-warranty repairs, only to have Apple claim it never received the old parts and charge them for the replacements. One ticked-off store owner says this has been going on for, oh, about 17 years now. They’ve launched a Web site,, seeking other vendors who’ve been bitten by Apple. As usual, Apple ignored my requests for comment, but at least it didn’t charge me for asking.

Win2K, We Hardly Knew Ye: Last month Microsoft officially handed Windows 2000 its walking papers. Dell says it will still sell you a Win2K PC, provided you’re willing to sign a license for XP Pro and do without backup media. The Round Rock rebels say they’ll support the OS until the Redmond rascals release a successor to XP (the long-delayed Longhorn, most likely) or until Scott McNealy and Steve Ballmer reveal their forbidden love, whichever comes first.

Nextel Undone: One Cringe operative, curious why Nextel keeps losing his cell phone’s Web bookmarks, called the wireless giant’s support line and was told Nextel was updating its servers. The techie added that the company had begun the process two weeks earlier and there was no end in sight. I know why it’s taking so long: Every time Nextel’s Web admins run into snags, they have to wait nine days for tech support to reply, just like everyone else.

Outlook Uncertain: A Cringester tells me Outlook 2003’s spam filter is blocking e-mail missives from William H. Gates. Looks like some poor Microsoft programmer will be spending his weekends mucking out the stables at Sir Bill’s estate.

Got hot tips or predictions on how long the Sun-MS honeymoon will last? Send them to; the best may collect 50 greenbacks.

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.