HMS Microsoft

(Scene: The deck of the HMS Microsoft. As the curtain rises, the crew is busy working on computers.)

BOATSWAIN: C’mon men, spit and polish, look sharp!

CHORUS: (Sung to the tune of “We Sail the Ocean Blue”)
We write code for Big Blue
And also Macintoshes;
We can pull down a menu,
But we also know what DOS is.
When the data she flies and the tempers rise,
We pound on the keys all day;
But when joy sticks we pull and the boss invisible,
There’s plenty of games to play.

(Enter MULTIPLAN, an aging program.)

MULTIPLAN: (Sung to the tune of “Little Buttercup”)
I’m called Little MultiPlan, dear little MultiPlan
Though I could never tell why
But still I’m called MultiPlan, poor little MultiPlan
No Lotus 1-2-3 am I.

I’ve ranges and macros, I’ve amber on black rows
And columns for numbers and such.
So type in a cell do, and then I can tell you
Too little or maybe too much.

So please buy your MultiPlan–dear little MultiPlan,
Place yourself under my spell.
If you don’t buy MultiPlan, they’ll say that MultiPlan’s
Scraped; she just didn’t Excel.

BOATSWAIN: Ah, MultiPlan, it must be hard when your own ship brings out another spreadsheet.

MULTIPLAN: Yes, it is. But at least I’m not alone. How do you think DOS feels?

BOATSWAIN: To tell the truth, he scarcely seems to notice his predicament. But wait, here he comes now.

(Enter DOS)

DOS: (Sung to the tune of “I’m the Monarch of the Sea””)
I’m the monarch of PC’s.
When I get confused I freeze.
But when programs work it’s through my grace.

CHORUS: That’s true with your Clipper and your Lotus and your Mace!
Your Clipper and your Lotus and your Mace!

DOS: I can read 640k.
This makes some people say
That with high tech I’ve not kept pace.

CHORUS: But you work with your Clipper and your Lotus and your Mace!
Your Clipper and your Lotus and your Mace!

DOS: These malcontents then claim
That I don’t deserve my fame.
That I’m not user-friendly in my interface.

CHORUS: But neither’s your Clipper and your Lotus and your Mace!
Your Clipper and your Lotus
Or a program that remote is,
And your Mace!

(Exit DOS to bridge)

BOATSWAIN: Poor program. He doesn’t know what’ll hit him.

MULTIPLAN: But wait; here comes someone who’s the future of computers, for he told me so himself.

(Enter OS/2)

OS/2: (Sung to the tune of “I am the Captain of the Pinafore”)
I am the program that will replace DOS;
More powerful, that is true.
I’m very, very good
And be it understood
I’ll be better when I’m through.

CHORUS: He’s very very good
And be it understood
He’ll be better when he’s through.

OS/2: If all you do is ask
Then I will multitask
I’ll do it and not get perplexed.
And though graphics I may
With frequency display,
I’ll never, never show you text.

CHORUS: What, never?

OS/2: No, never!

CHORUS: What, never?

OS/2: Well, hardly ever.

CHORUS: He’ll hardly ever show you text.

Then give three cheers and another cheer too
For the program we are calling OS/2.
Then give three cheers and another cheer too
For the program we call OS/2.

OS/2: At first they were calling me Advanced DOS
And then I was DOS Five.
And no matter what they said
With reports that I was dead,
I am very much alive.

CHORUS: No matter what they said
With reports that he was dead,
He is very much alive.

OS/2: Infested I may be
With bugs, far more than three;
Four hundred, I would guess, at least.
Though programmers, you see
For three grand can look at me,
I’ll never never be released.

CHORUS: What, never?

OS/2: No, never.

CHORUS: What, never?

OS/2: Well, prob’ly never.

CHORUS: He’ll never ever be released.

So give three cheers and another cheer too
For the riddle we are calling OS/2.
So give three cheers and another cheer too
For the riddle known as OS/2.

(Exit OS/2 to bridge.)

MULTIPLAN: Did you see that? He’s entered the bridge. That’s where DOS is. What will happen when they meet?

BOATSWAIN: I don’t know, lass. But wait! Here comes our Admiralty’s First Lord, Sir William Gates.

MULTIPLAN: Perhaps we will be saved after all.

(Enter SIR WILLIAM GATES)

SIR WILLIAM (Sung to the tune of “When I was a Lad”)
When I was a lad, this may seen absurd,
I was shunned at school as a computer nerd.
I spent all day in front of a screen
And the body of a woman I never had seen.

CHORUS: And the body of a woman he never had seen.

SIR WILLIAM But such was my micro abilitee
That now I am the owner of this companee.

CHORUS: But such was his micro abilitee
That now he is the owner of this companee.

SIR WILLIAM I only got up now to use the ‘fridge,
I said I was working on a new language.
They laughed at me, I put up a fight
For I figured that this language was my BASIC right.

CHORUS: Yes, he figured that this language was his BASIC right.

SIR WILLIAM This BASIC language made so much monee
That now I am the owner of this companee.

CHORUS: This BASIC language made so much monee
That now he is the owner of this companee.

SIR WILLIAM Then IBM–they are first rate–
Wanted a system they could operate.
They offered cash but they asked me when,
So I stole the look and feel from old CP/M.

CHORUS: He stole the look and feel from old CP/M.

SIR WILLIAM I stole the look and feel so carefullee
That now I am the owner of this companee.

CHORUS: He stole the look and feel so carefullee
That now he is the owner of this companee.

SIR WILLIAM Now I live my life without a care;
For a few hours once I was a billionaire.
My spreadsheets are handled by accountants three
And my words are processed by a sec’taree.

CHORUS: And his words are processed by a sec’taree.

SIR WILLIAM Don’t play with a mouse, don’t ever touch a key
For I now am the owner of this companee.

CHORUS: Won’t touch a mouse or certainly a key
For he now is the owner of this companee.

(Enter OS/2, from bridge, crying)

SIR WILLIAM My child, why are you so upset?

OS/2: I just talked to DOS. He said that there are programs that will run on him and not on me. He said with these programs he works better than I ever will.

SIR WILLIAM There, there. Compatibility isn’t everything. You’re going to be the next standard; everyone will have to be compatible with you.

OS/2: But what if they don’t like me?

SIR WILLIAM (Sung to the tune of “Never Mind the Why and Wherefore”)
Never mind the why and wherefore,
Brand names are what count and therefore,
Though you multitask exclusively
With programs not yet writ.
Though your interface’ not nearly
Done; it matters not one bit.

CHORUS: Beep the speaker on your PC,
Proudly bear OS aloft.
So that the whole world can now see
That he’s made by MicroSoft.

SIR WILLIAM He has IBM’s good blessing.

BOATSWAIN: Meaning quality’s not pressing.

MULTIPLAN: But it’s something we’re confessing

OS/2: That I’m gonna keep you guessing.

CHORUS: Sing it loud from here to Dover,
Shout your lungs out if you would.
For the system taking over
Even if he is no good!

(Everyone dances. Curtain.)

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