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IT Confidential: It's Time To Play The IT Industry Game

With all the name changes, strategy changes, and executive changes in the IT industry these days, it's a good time to crank up the old IT Industry Game. Let's play!
With all the name changes, strategy changes, and executive changes in the IT industry these days, it's a good time to crank up the old IT Industry Game. Let's play:

Question 1: Computer Associates recently changed its name to:

  1. CA
  2. Not Computer Associates
  3. Friend Of The SEC
  4. The Company Formerly Known As BFD.

The answer is, of course, A. See how easy it is. Let's do another.

Question 2: Sony recently suffered a black eye for incorporating anti-copying technology into its CDs that:

  1. Makes PCs vulnerable to hackers
  2. Infects PCs with files that are almost impossible to remove
  3. Makes it hard to copy its CDs to the Apple iPod
  4. All of the above

That's an obvious one--D. Sony put its foot in its mouth with its recent digital-rights-management technology and created a consumer backlash that forced it to pull the offending CDs.

Enough of the easy ones, here come the hard ones.

Question 3: Oracle has begun to make available a free version of its database because:

  1. It fears market-share encroachment by open-source databases
  2. It needs to seed a low-end market it has historically had problems reaching
  3. It finally realized that software wants to be free
  4. Larry Ellison is about to run for California governor

So, while answer D may or may not be true, and C isn't true, B and A both are true, but A is probably truer than B--at least in today's environment.

Question 4: The Justice Department intervened in a court case on behalf of Research In Motion because:

  1. The patents were too broad and indefensible
  2. It wanted to speed up a case that has left RIM and its customers in limbo too long
  3. It wanted to send a message about innovation being stifled by frivolous litigation
  4. The department's lawyers feared losing E-mail access over their BlackBerrys

The answer must be D--the BlackBerry has become too valuable a product to the legal community to let it languish in the legal system.

Question 5: Microsoft reorganized into three new divisions in order to:

  1. Better orient itself around the software industry's evolution to online services
  2. Prepare to split the company into three companies, which it planned to do all along, it just wasn't going to let Justice tell it to do so
  3. Create jobs for Steve Ballmer's three kids
  4. Two words: Xbox 360

The answer is A--Microsoft is running scared of Google and others that have gotten a big jump on it.

Question 6: The United States insists on retaining control of the Internet, despite pressure from the United Nations, because:

  1. Google prefers English
  2. It anticipates a gradual transition of control as other countries get more online savvy
  3. It fears a slowdown in Elvis Presley Web sites
  4. It can do the best job

Though the correct answer is probably D, the politically correct answer is B, so we'll go with B.

That's it for this edition of The IT Industry Game.

I don't test well. On true-or-false quizzes, I'm always looking for "other." It's true I could use an industry tip, so don't be false about sending one--to [email protected], or phone 516-562-5326.

Watch The News Show at noon EST every weekday, at www.TheNewsShow.tv or on informationweek.com.
And send your industry tips--to [email protected] or phone 516-562-5326.


To discuss this column with other readers, please visit John Soat's forum on the Listening Post.

To find out more about John Soat, please visit his page on the Listening Post.