I got mail again today inviting me to the JavaOne conference. It’s kind of sad. I can’t imagine getting a good reception out of the people there if I were to show up with a name tag emblazoned with ‘Microsoft.’ Though, maybe with the New Deal between the companies it might not bee so dangerous. I did attend the JavaTwo conference, the second official JavaOne, years ago. That was back when we all thought the agreement at the time was a good one, and loads of people here were working on Java based products. Even then, it was a risky enterprise even showing up. There was no antitrust lawsuit then, or anyone pointing fingers; but McNealy was busily bashing Microsoft anyway, stirring up the crowd to the point where I felt safer hiding my I.D. card and dealing with the security team if they ever cared to notice. When I did meet people there, I found there were only two types. 1) Those that thought my company was the root of all evil, that questioned why I even came here, that assumed I was a spy and was out to steal their products or 2) those that recognized I was a fish out of water at the conference and sympathized, claiming they loved my company and its products.
This really happened many times in the merchant area, where aisles of booths and smiling entrepreneurs showed their wares. I’d walk up to a crowded booth where a demonstration was underway and I’d listen to the pitch, etcetera. But if I ever got close enough to see the product, the huckster would recognize the name on my badge and just shutdown shop right then an there. Turn off the PC, clam up, no explanation, nothing. I pretended to take notes anyway.