I MENTIONED SOME time ago that Microsoft had intended to use Fall Comdex as the official launch for Windows 2000 and recently told the story about why this date wasn't met, but one little remaining tidbit in this ongoing saga remains. It turns out that February's launch date is purely arbitrary: IDG had already scheduled its Windows 2000 Conference & Expo in February, having assumed that the product would launch at Comdex. Well, as fate would have it, Comdex couldn't happen and IDG was lucky enough to have a tradeshow sitting there waiting. I'm guessing ZD Events isn't too excited about this turn of events.

THANKS TO ANTHONY Bowersox for tipping me off to the release of MSN Messenger 2.0 beta, which does away with AOL IM compatibility. Are you trying to tell me that the programmers of AOL actually kept Microsoft from hacking into its instant messaging program?

NO, WE DIDN'T. Yes, you did. No, we didn't. OK, maybe we did. Microsoft CEO Bill Gates said Wednesday on Good Morning America that he would be willing to discuss "any sort of resolution" with the DOJ. That's how you please the shareholders, Bill: A mediator was assigned to the case two days later