Microsoft in the news (apologies in advance)

From: Geoff Smith-Moritz (
Date: Tue Jul 29 1997 - 19:19:21 EEST

MICROSOFT Bids to Acquire Catholic Church
> By Hank Vorjes
> VATICAN CITY (AP) -- In a joint press conference in St. Peter's Square
> this morning, MICROSOFT Corp. and the Vatican announced that the
> Redmond software giant will acquire the Roman Catholic Church in
> exchange for an unspecified number of shares of MICROSOFT common
> stock. If the deal goes through, it will be the first time a computer
> software company has acquired a major world religion.
> With the acquisition, Pope John Paul II will become the senior
> vice-president of the combined company's new Religious Software
> Division, while MICROSOFT senior vice-presidents Michael Maples and
> Steven Ballmer will be invested in the College of Cardinals, said
> MICROSOFT Chairman Bill Gates.
> "We expect a lot of growth in the religious market in the next five to
> ten years," said Gates. "The combined resources of MICROSOFT and the
> Catholic Church will allow us to make religion easier and more fun for
> a broader range of people."
> Through the MICROSOFT Network, the company's new on-line service, "we
> will make the sacraments available on-line for the first time" and
> revive the popular pre-Counter-Reformation practice of selling
> indulgences, said Gates. "You can get Communion, confess your sins,
> receive absolution-even reduce your time in Purgatory-all
>without leaving your home."
> A new software application, MICROSOFT Church, will include a macro
> language which you can program to download heavenly graces
> automatically while you are away from your computer.
> An estimated 17,000 people attended the announcement in St Peter's
> Square, watching on a 60-foot screen as comedian Don Novello-in
> character as Father Guido Sarducci-hosted the event, which was
> broadcast by satellite to 700 sites worldwide.
> Pope John Paul II said little during the announcement. When Novello
> chided Gates, "Now I guess you get to wear one of these pointy hats,"
> the crowd roared, but the pontiff's smile seemed strained.
> The deal grants MICROSOFT exclusive electronic rights to the Bible and
> the Vatican's prized art collection, which includes works by such
> masters as Michelangelo and Da Vinci. But critics say MICROSOFT will
> face stiff challenges if it attempts to limit competitors' access to
> these key intellectual properties.
> "The Jewish people invented the look and feel of the holy scriptures,"
> said Rabbi David Gottschalk of Philadelphia. "You take the parting of
> the Red Sea-we had that thousands of years before the Catholics
> came on the scene."
> But others argue that the Catholic and Jewish faiths both draw on a
> common Abrahamic heritage. "The Catholic Church has just been more
> successful in marketing it to a larger audience," notes Notre Dame
> theologian Father Kenneth Madigan. Over the last 2,000 years, the
> Catholic Church's market share has increased dramatically, while
> Judaism, which was the first to offer many of the concepts now touted
> by Christianity, lags behind.
> Historically, the Church has a reputation as an aggressive competitor,
> leading crusades to pressure people to upgrade to Catholicism, and
> entering into exclusive licensing arrangements in various kingdoms
> whereby all subjects were instilled with Catholicism, whether or not
> they planned to use it. Today Christianity is available from several
> denominations, but the Catholic version is still the most widely used.
> The Church's mission is to reach "the four corners of the earth,"
> echoing MICROSOFT's vision of "a computer on every desktop and in
>every home".
> Gates described MICROSOFT's long-term strategy to develop a scalable
> religious architecture that will support all religions through
> emulation. A single core religion will be offered with a choice of
> interfaces according to the religion desired-"One religion, a
> couple of different implementations," said Gates.
> The MICROSOFT move could spark a wave of mergers and acquisitions,
> according to Herb Peters, a spokesman for the U.S. Southern Baptist
> Conference, as other churches scramble to strengthen their position in
> the increasingly competitive religious market.
Sorry this is off the subject. Thought the list might use a chuckle.

Geoff Smith-Moritz
Rapid Prototyping Report
CAD/CAM Publishing, Inc,
1010 Turquoise Street, Suite 320
San Diego, CA 92109 U.S.A.
Telephone: (619) 488 0533 FAX: (619) 488-6052
Web site:

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