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Microsoft Goes 'Open'? Check Your Calendar

A research outfit says Microsoft is allowing its customers to leave the fold. Yeah, right.
When a research firm wants to use April 1 as an opportunity to poke some fun at a vendor, what better target than Microsoft?

Ferris Research did just that with an E-mail bulletin it sent out Tuesday lauding Microsoft for allegedly embracing open standards by releasing a feature for Microsoft Exchange that would let customers easily transfer mail from Exchange into a third-party app. The dead giveaway is when Ferris declared that "Microsoft has shown it's prepared to allow customers an easy method of migrating away."

The message concluded with a link to a page where readers could download a beta copy of the so-called "Rekey" feature. Anyone who clicked on the link to find out whether Microsoft actually was embracing open standards was routed to a Ferris page that featured a photo of Steve Ballmer with the message "April Fool!"

No word from Microsoft as to whether Ballmer is amused.