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Posted on March 13th, 2009 by Jon Honeyball

Microsoft buys Dell: the truth

The fool\'s inside the coverOkay, I will come clean – the piece about Microsoft buying Dell is an April Fool piece. Slightly in advance it’s true, but that’s because the column was automatically taken from the issue of PC Pro that’s out now (see left), and it’s that issue that will be out on sale on the 1st of April!

To be crystal clear – I have no knowledge of Microsoft intending to buy Dell, or Krispie Kreme doughnuts or NASA either.

PC Pro has a long and honourable tradition of doing April Fool pieces. Remember David Moss’s epic “The Ten Pillars of Microsoft” spoof? Or Windows For Trainsets?

The response has been truly amazing. I have had emails from senior people at Dell and Microsoft, asking who my source was. Clearly they believed Something Big was going on, and that they were not party to it. I have had emails from the IT teams at large corporations telling me that they are HP houses and now they will have to give serious consideration to shifting over to Dell.

I thought I’d given a big enough clue in the first paragraph, but it seems that many skipped over that and dived into the story. It appears that some readers have panicked at the contents, and if this caused them distress or upset, then I sincerely apologise.


The heart and soul of a good April Fool is that it is credible. That it could almost be true. In the current climate, there is much sense in the view that Microsoft plus Dell would be formidable. And would raise the quality bar still further. There is no question that one of the major strengths of the Apple platform is the tight integration of hardware and software – “it just works”.

Microsoft has been making hardware for years, albeit at the keyboard and mouse level. But the new Surface platform is apparantly entirely Microsoft-alone, and some Softies have expressed the view that this is a step in the right direction for the company.

Given that Microsoft has the money still in the bank that it didn’t spend on Yahoo, and due to the global recession is facing either a stagnation or even downturn in its turnover, it is entirely possible that the board of Microsoft might consider doing something radical to move the company forward, and to try to finally push the share price upwards.

This was the background for the thinking behind the piece. A great big “What if?” that leant itself immediately to a spoof.

And who knows – sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Maybe this will actually come to pass.

I hope you enjoyed it.  I am still somewhat stunned at the reaction it has created. And if you have any suggestions for next year, feel free to let me know.

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71 Responses to “ Microsoft buys Dell: the truth ”

  1. Philip Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Would any attempt my Microsoft to sell its own branded PCs land it in more hot water regarding anti-trust/monopoly cases? They have enough trouble selling just the OS with extra bits in; wouldn’t a PC purely designed to run Windows (with all the benefits this may give to the consumer regarding drivers etc.) be an extension of this to the EU lawmakers…?

  2. jon honeyball Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    Quite possibly, yes!


  3. Kip Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    you’re a very naughty boy

  4. Mr_Flynn Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    It nearly fooled us but on a second read we realised.. a good one though Mr H! :-D

  5. Patrick Temple Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:04 pm


    In a time where companies such as DELL are laying off workers, this article is completely shocking and insensitive.

  6. Plamph Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Completely insensitive.
    At a time when Dell are announcing staffing cuts across the Globe this type of article doesn’t help.
    Yes Dell are a big corporation and yes we can make fun and jibe the brand however when you instigate rumours like this at a time like this you should be ashamed.
    I work for Dell and this has been extremely unsettling. A merger like this could have meant massive job losses across the board!
    Thanks for the last few days of added worry and speculation!!

  7. Adrian Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Nice one Jon!

    Got my subscription copy few days back and turned to the back page first as always for the shock news!

    Had me for a few sentences as well, mouth agape, then it kinda was pretty well signalled as a wind up, I mean come on you guys, it was written in a classic April fool style! Some people need to get a sense of humour, or maybe just some sense!

  8. Andrew Lauder Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    yer maws a mattress

  9. Sheila Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    What does cock to boot mean???

  10. Kenny Graham Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    i fell asleep reading this, need some blue charge from Asda

  11. Sheila Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    I am fat and round

  12. Mr. Twilight Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Absolutely immature and stupid with this economy and market we are in. Your actions could be considered illegal on some levels if you did not come clean about this as soon as you did.

    It was not funny. It was not useful. And obviously needs not to be part of your magazine either since the cat is out of the bag.

    You should be ashamed and hopefully you are branded as the loser you are from now on.

  13. Morgan Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    “The heart and soul of a good April Fool is that it is credible. ”

    Actually, the heart and sould of a good April Fool is that it happens on April 1st. Thanks much for seriously spiking the blood pressure of Dell employees. As if there’s not enough to worry about.

  14. Michael Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Well said Morgan, this article failed in it’s humour precisely because it was published about 3 weeks before April 1st.

  15. Big Boy Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    ts a shame it isnt true. Personally I thought that Dell and Microsoft would have went together like Peanut butter and Jelly!

  16. Sridhar Krish Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    In a world awash in information of dubious provenance, whom can you trust to tell you the truth? Little did we realise that this was an April Fool spoof!!! We were clustered sitting in our meeting room & felt that here seemed to be a tacit agreement to sweep the issue under the carpet, for now, that remains to be seen is whether the candor you offered in your web-page would be greeted with a ‘new-style’ acceptance by employees of both organizations quoted!!! We talked about world economice, recession, corporate mergers etc, till someone who had read the two pages broke the news that, what we worried was far from the truth!!!! Kudos to your style for making a ‘mayhem out of a molehill.’ We had a good laugh after a long time–now we feel lighter!!!

  17. Jamie Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    What I find to be exceptionally intriguing–those who criticize the author’s impact seem to be only relative to one of the two parties. While I concede that Dell has had its share of layoffs over the last year, they’ve also had their acquisitions as well and have maintained a strong cash position throughout. It’s been noted (most recently in the consumer-lauded/followed Motley Fool) that Dell has become increasingly effective at eeking out profit from a gross margin that has been no less affected (and some may argue more deeply-hit) than others who have followed the market’s steep curve.

    Dell, in spite of its problems, has weathered the economic storm/reform we’re currently experiencing exceptionally well. It would reflect well on the company’s employee base to take into consideration that Microsoft just reduced their headcount by 5,000. Think about that. A company that has never shed more than a drop just let what amounts to a half-pint of blood into the waters and yet, do you see any MSFT employees here?

    While I wholly agree that this was an unfortunate event with unpleasant side-effects, Dell’s employees would do well to remember that confidence does have a factor in business. If you’re that easily rattled, perhaps you should take greater involvement in understanding Dell’s current positions and doing something to affect what you feel is lacking.

    In the event that anyone wishes to splash on the cliche cologne of “Easier Said Than Done” or eau de “Walk a Mile In My Shoes”, I’d like to add two disclaimers: I’ve worked for Dell for a little over a year (via acquisition) and I’ve been in the industry for 13 years.

  18. Wayne Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Further indication that magazine publishers have no idea about time and release dates.
    March = May ???????
    April fools articles in the May edition published in March – what can you expect.

    Pielkop !!!!!

  19. Mr. Twilight Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Well Jamie, is it not great that you are so much more superior than us in strength and intellect?

    I do not know your circumstances, so I won’t say anything more about you, but obviously you do not have any clue what others have at stake here. Those who have been at Dell much longer than you understand the volatility and risk involved. Do you think 9 Billion dollars in the bank actually mean everything is guaranteed? A company that has never paid dividends. What do you expect to have in the bank?

    You have been in the industry for more than 13 years, but I can tell you are one of those lambs that just follows blindly and follows the rhetoric.

    4 years ago when I went to my banks and said I was concerned and need to diversify my cash because FDIC does not cover everything, I got laughed at by my bank reps and the bank president as well. I got the same spiel you believed in and look where the banks are now.

    I am in a position to protect myself, my family, and my job now. I have a lot at stake at my company and not willing to blow it based on blind trust. This poor attempt at humor is useless, not funny, and can be hurtful on many levels to people and the economy. Bottom line. Even people who ‘think’ they are journalists should have some common decency or at least some proper planning when executing on something like this.

  20. TC Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    You are an ass. Have you seen any of the news out there — the economy is struggling, people are getting laid off at both Dell and Microsoft. How did you think this news would be taken by the folks that work at either of these companies?

  21. Philip Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Oh dear. Let’s come back tomorrow and see if this molehill has got any bigger…

    …I’ll be guessing it’ll be mountainous in size by then?

  22. Will Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Basically, I don’t come on here to read april fools. I come on here to increase my knowledge of the market, and because it interests me as to what is happening in the computing world. This was a complete waste of my time which I don’t appreciate.

  23. Oscar Agreda Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Dell El Salvador is laying off workers, this article is completely shocking and insensitive.

  24. Warren USA Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Very irresponsible of you. Your future credibility is damaged.

  25. danny Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    the fact it came out on the website and not left in the april magazine is unfortunate.
    but everything is game and there cant me many companies that havent followed the “cut 10% or more” idea (or have plans to).
    perhaps a better gag would have been dell was going to download a patch to everyones machine thats still under a service contract, which had a deposit accont application, then dell would turn themselves into a bank and ask for govt money…
    the bigger story is how ireland for example ended up dependent on just a few “footloose” companies in risky industries for so much of their economy, and that sadly isnt a joke, but is irelands problem to deal with

  26. Ted Nichols Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, here’s mine: You are, by far, one of the most colossal journalistic pricks of our time. My family read this article yesterday…after which time my spouse called me in tears to ask when she could expect me to be laid off (you guessed correctly — I work for Dell), and how (as a consequence) we’d be able to afford the medical bills for our sick child since she expected that we’d lose our health insurance. While some comments from others who have replied to this blog have stayed at the macro-economic level (i.e., “Dell and Microsoft are big companies, they should have a good sense of humor and just get over it”), let me help you understand the impact your article had at the micro-economic level (i.e., my family): you threw us into a complete fright. I didn’t really “get” the fact that this was an April Fool’s spoof, since by my calendar the first of April is still a couple of weeks off. So…thanks very much for causing that much stress and emotional discomfort amongst my family members. I wonder how you’d react if you were required to deal with the same horrible emotional impact amongst your family members if someone else decided to “play” the same kind of “joke” on you/them. Bottom line: you were unbelievably irresponsible your actions, not to mention just downright insensitive. I’d be more than happy to send you a link where you can download a calendar template to check on when April 1st will really arrive next year, so you can avoid this same type cranial-rectal defilade in the future.

  27. Krispy Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    I have not connection with Dell or Microsoft and merely stumbled upon this artice, but you should have stopped at the apology and not tried to justify your unfortunate actions.

  28. Ted Nichols Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Oh…PS: I’m cancelling my subscription for all of your print products immediately.

  29. Steve Cassidy Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Mr Nichols, I would suggest that you stop and consider this outpouring of… what? Stress, spite, bile? Your job security and your family’s health are not affected by – nor are they the responsibility – of every or any writer or commentator on the web. Nobody – me, Jon, anyone who writes a word, has you in mind as a specific target and likewise, has in mind to specifically miss you out of consideration. Your remarks are curious, too, if one views them with the same emotional spin you’re putting in: the “do as you would be done by” rules requires me to let you know how stressful I find it to discover that all you read PC Pro for is Jon telling your family that they will be OK – do the rest of us not matter? do you know how many hours I spent on the phone to my 87 year old dad this week? (etc, etc etc).

    We all have stresses. Working for a giant corporate can be stressful, and certainly illness in the family is stressful – I actually cannot think of a single named person in this conversation who I HAVEN’T had a conversation with, about that topic, this year. I would guess by your reference to health payments that you’re not in the UK; here we have an organisation specifically targeted at helping carers with the burdens of caring, who I happen to have done some work for in the last few years. They are called the Princess Royal Trust for Carers, and their website ( is very useful if you are facing the kind of problems in caring which you seem to be describing, between bursts of yelling and swearing at my colleague… or perhaps there’s an equivalent in your country.

    It would be good to talk about a lot of resulting topics from your opinion – job security is one, manners in forums & blogs are another, not to mention the burden of variable healthcare – actually, april fools comes pretty low on the list: but I have the feeling you’re not gonna hang around and find any benefit, and I wouldn’t want to be labelled as any more of a colossal prick than I already deserve!

  30. Plamph Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    For those who think Dell should get over it. Have a read at the above link.
    To Jamie – Did you know that Dell laid of 11,000 workers last year? Did you k now that we are probably about to go through another round of cuts which will make 11,000 layoffs look insignificant.
    The sentement from those who work at Dell about this article is simple:
    We are contimplating our future, I dont know if ill be working for Dell next month.

    Articles like this dont help!

  31. Hulk Hogan Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    am gonnae legdrop the guy that wrote this

    bring back andy lawdur

  32. Red Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Wow! What happened to people’s ability to take a joke?

    I work for Dell and found this to, just as the author described, a great “what if”. The magazine has a history of making these types of articles and this is just another in that held history. As I read the article and tried to make sense of it (prior to realizing it was a spoof), my first thought was not “Oh no. I will get laid off and won’t have benefits”, it was “how can I set myself up for success in this new endeavor”.

    This is another example of the lack of foresight of the American people. We no longer try to find the opportunity, but yet jump at the possibility to bitch about change. The layoffs that Dell went thru hurt. Many of my friends and coworkers were laid off and it has impacted my work load, my work/life balance, and my overall satisifaction with my job. However, the reason I’m still here is because I look for the opportunity and strive to better, not only myself, but also my company. I do not play the victim that so many of the commenters on here are now playing.

    My only fault with the article is that the author apologized for it. I don’t see an apology being necessary. Once he stated that it was a April fool’s piece that got released early, he should have dropped it. I don’t care about the “insensitivity” of the article, because I don’t feel it was so. I’m tired of everyone having to watch every single word they say or action they do because someone MIGHT be offended by it. America was not built on the backs and works of people who were afraid of offending someone, it was built by the people who saw opportunity and did what was necessary to succeed. So if you were offended, then yes, my answer to you is to get over it. Quit looking for a scapegoat and learn some personal responsibility to make your own life better. Quit being a victim looking for a person to play and start being proactive in your own success.

    This article was a great “what if” piece and it made me wonder. The more I thought about it, the more I was disappointed that it was an April fools piece.

  33. Stewart Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    Your critics are of course correct – it is PC Pro’s responsibility to reassure employees of Dell that their jobs are secure. PC Pro is in many senses really just a counselling service to Dell, an altruistic offshoot of the Dennis Publishing empire if you will.

    Bah yoo to them. The spirit of an April Fools piece is that it will shock and surprise. From The Times of London’s superb piece claiming Fountians Abbey was to be moved – brick by brick – to Arizona, to the Independent’s claim that BMW was building cars that could electrocute anyone urinating on their hub caps. Were employees of Fountains Abbey concerned? No, despite their constant worries thanks to the UK’s erratic heritage funding. Were owners of dogs and drunken teens concerned? Not at all.

    The economy is in melt down, it’s not just Dell. Let’s chillax a little and enjoy the ride.

  34. Mr. Twilight Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Steve, Stewart, and Red. You guys are truly missing the point here which is understood through your insensitivity to the issue.

    These are sensitive times and require people to act responsibly. If this were released on April Fools, like it should have been, it would have had probably a different effect.

    Please do not compare your lives to those who have reacted here since you know nothing about them as I am not comparing you. Look to the fact of someone that wrote something that is publicly accessible coming from what may have seemed to be a credible source before, way before April 1st. That is what is being reacted to. There is no need to change what has happened because you feel you are so better and happier than everyone else.

    Nobody is blaming this magazines for their problems or even their companies. They are merely reacting to the effect of throwing gasoline on what is an already raging fire.

  35. Mr. Furley Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    This is the trouble today. A blog without any sources is seen as credible. A google search turned up a number of entries that all pointed back to this blog, but no other original sources. The author didn’t indicate that he had an exclusive story, just spoke in terms that it was a done deal that everyone was talking about. If you read this and thought that this meant you were being laid off, then I have some ocean front property for you to buy in Kansas. I’m willing to extend a sub-prime loan to get you into this property today!

  36. John Light Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    I stand, no sit, astounded at the responses here. Has no-one in the US or Ireland ever read monthly magazines and looked at the cover date in the last 25 years? Even Byte magazine [hides the newly discovered silver hairs] was issued more than a month before the date on the cover – it has become a sad but inescapable fact that you cannot set your sundial by the printed word!

    On a more serious note, it is very sad that it seems that many people seem to have rated themselves in the lowest performing percentiles in their respective companies, that they seriously believe themselves to be most at risk in the event of redundancies. Some of us live in a world where our next contract is based on the quality of the work we produced last month, as well as the long history of quality performance that we can demonstrate – and I suspect that this will become more commonplace in the months and years to come. If this comes as a shock to people who work on the “first in, last out” principle, then I would suggest that Jon has performed an act of enlightenment for you, and you should be grateful.

    Let’s not beat about the bush, it is tough out there, and will get much tougher. There will be no ’safe’ jobs, only jobs for those that can perform better than others. As a lifelong socialist, this is not a comfortable reality for me – but reality is something better understood than ignored … and shouted at.

  37. John Light Says:
    March 13th, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Oh…PS: I’m ensuring that my subscription for PC Pro does not expire ;)

  38. Mack Says:
    March 14th, 2009 at 11:48 am

    @ Jon Honeyball: unfortunate timing for the web. It’s crazy that the May issue of a magazine is published in March containing an April 1st spoof article. If you write another spoof article next year you’ll have to write a second piece to go on the web in place of the ‘genuine’ spoof for April 1st. That it wasn’t spotted is a failure to plan ahead.
    @ Steve Cassidy…”wouldn’t want to be labelled as any more of a colossal prick than I already deserve!”. Words fail me.

  39. Ian Says:
    March 14th, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    @Mr. Furley

    Spot on with your comments.

    On any story that seems implausible I always look for at least a 2nd independent source that carries the same information: while this one perhaps should have only appeared online and not prior to April 1st to have avoided the comments above, the content is important enough to warrant a 2nd look: that the other stories I’ve found point back to PC Pro ass the source should suggest something wasn’t quite right.

    Still I don’t think it was the correct decision to run with this more than 2 weeks prior to April 1st.

  40. David King Says:
    March 14th, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    I do not see any reason why you would publish a “joke” article, even if there is a tradition of doing jokes in the UK for 1 April. Anything that goes into print or is published online is subject to laws and should be truthful and honest. I am surprised that PC Pro would deliberately publish false information. What is also particularly misleading is that the issue is dated May 2009, it is not even dated in April! And even if it is supposed to be on the newsstands on 1 April, it always arrives by post far in advance of its publication date and its newsstand date, so the whole April Fool’s joke idea is completely lost on your readers who should not be expected to understand if something is an April Fool’s joke in a May edition published in March. How much else in the May edition is fake news? How much of what Jon Honeyball writes can we trust? I have no confidence in anything he writes now. I am also seriously considering canceling my subscription as I prefer to read magazines that are truthful and trustworthy.

  41. Noghar Says:
    March 15th, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    What an unbelievable barrage of idiocy from across the world. I knew from two sentences into the piece that it was a spoof, especially with the huge clue referring to ‘the start of April’. To the correspondent who expects everything in print to be true, and by law free of irony: Check out the Onion website. You’ll die of apoplexy. To the Dell employee who wonders how he’ll make healthcare payments when Microsoft lays him off: where did Jon say you were going to be laid off? And why Is Jon or his article responsible for the extortion racket that is the US Healthcare ’system’? A lot of us are skint at the moment or fearful for our jobs; that isn’t Jon’s fault and it doesn’t mean we should suspend our common sense or our sense of humour, or be dumb enough to panic at every casual blog mentioning our industry that appears on the Net.

  42. Dell Employee Says:
    March 15th, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Hilarious. I work in sales for Dell and this article was flying all over the place last week. I am surprised we didnt create enough traffic that “Microsoft Dell Merger” didn’t fall in the Google Trends search rankings somewhere between “Kelly Clarkson pregnant” and “Octamom.”

    The tales of Dells’ demise have been unbelievably overstated – continuing profits and a cash heavy balance sheet during some very tough economic times are nothign to sneeze at. I will say the coincidental timing of this article and onging workforce reductions might have been in poor taste but I guess a good April Fools joke is supposed to get your blood pumping.

    The tribe has spoken and I have survived yet another round of Dell “realignment.” For now. Wish me luck.

  43. big guy Says:
    March 15th, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    You know what is way more insensitive to an employee than this article? Howabout Michael Dell sounding border line giddy on every investors’ conference call and interview when he talks about workforce reductions. I am not denying some cost cutting is in order but does he think he is talking about peoples’ jobs and livelihoods or a new high score in “Call of Duty?”

  44. David Wright Says:
    March 15th, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Living in Germany, the international subscription is just too high to subscribe, so I look forward to the appearance of the new columns and always jump to Jon’s as one of the first.

    I read the first line or so and went, “oh, is the April copy out already?”

    There were more than enough clues in the first couple of lines to show that this was a wind up.

    Have people’s brains become so comatose from reading unending idiots, sorry twits, ranting blogs etc. that they can’t decipher a great piece of satire when it comes there way? :-S

    Keep up the good work Jon, don’t let the dullards get you down!

  45. ex-PC Pro Reader Says:
    March 15th, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    A poorly judged article in lots of ways. Poor timing, poor humour, poor content. A poor idea by the journalist, and a poor decision by the editor not to spike.

    It’s undermined my faith in this publication, and I for one will look elsewhere for my IT information – needless to say I already look elsewhere for my humour.


  46. SOmeone with a sense of humour Says:
    March 15th, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    @”ex-PC PRO Reader”: you have humour? Really? Where did you find it? Ebay?

    @ John Honeyball: Good work, ignore the Americans, they are taught from a young age to believe everything they are told. Long live British Humour!

    I pity those who think that PC Pro’s reputation is damaged by the publication of a quite obvious joke.

  47. phakebrill Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 8:31 am

    “Jon Honeyball declares himself no fool when it comes to the biggest merger of the century”

    The title of the article pretty much gives this thing away. I got it in seconds, but maybe I’m just a clever type of fella. :)

    I also read The Hacker Quarterly and recall that a number of readers in the US and Australia just didn’t get an April Fool’s joke from a few years ago in that zine either. The editor was still re-assuring these people it was only an April Fool’s joke three issues later!

  48. NewSubscriber Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Bloody hell. What a lot of fuss about nothing! A selection of comments from outraged people [with a response suited to the maturity of the original comment]:

    David King: “I do not see any reason why you would publish a “joke” article” <- NO, I BET YOU WOULDN’T.

    Mr Twilight: “These are sensitive times and require people to act responsibly” <- SPEAK FOR YOURSELF MATE.
    Mr Twilight (2): “You should be ashamed and hopefully you are branded as the loser you are from now on. <- SHUT UP, LOSER! :)

    Ted Nichols: “I’m cancelling my subscription for all of your print products immediately.” <- WHOOP DE DO.
    Ted Nichols (2): “You are, by far, one of the most colossal journalistic pricks of our time.” <- AND YOU SMELL.


    I thought it was a brilliant article, and will be renewing my subscription instantly in a show of solidarity. Keep up the good work Jon!

  49. Matt Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Good article – had me fooled for a few mins, then had to re read as it seemed strange I hadn’t heard about this anywhere else, then…………penny dropped.

    I can’t believe anyone could get so upset about this. Shows just what a great sense of humour these ‘PC Professionals’ have around the world.

  50. John Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Frankly, Jon, I’m disappointed. I don’t buy PC Pro for crass, ill-timed attempts to fool its readership. I buy it because, in the past, you guys have been the most informed people in the industry, and because I value your opinion enough to pay for it (a rarity in the era of blogging).

    As someone else has pointed out, you have knowingly placed a wholly inaccurate piece of information in your column, on the basis of it being an ‘April Fool’. But the mag in question is due to be released to subscribers in early March and dated May. I mean, c’mon: you tried to run a joke that has a shelf-life of a few hours in a monthly magazine?! Grow up.

    I feel cheated and betrayed – and it’s not down to the fact that I didn’t ‘get it’. It’s down to the fact that it’s so poorly timed as to be merely dreadful rumour-mongering instead of a joke.

    In fact, I’m so annoyed about it that I think I may cancel my sub. After all, if I hadn’t been a subscriber, then I might have hit the ’sweet spot’ as far as this appalling gag was concerned and actually picked up a magazine in my local newsagent on April 1.


  51. Antony Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Got to say I hadn’t realised this would upset Dell employees etc. So I feel for them.

    It upset me because it was a complete waste of space at the end of the worst edition of PCPRO I’ve ever read, since day one.

    If Jon and co. don’t get back to writing relevant, entertaining, in-depth material I won’t be renewing my sub.

    Please no more tortuous tales of setting up LDAP also.


  52. Dell Emp Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    As a Dell employee, I was most disappointed to hear that this wasn’t true! Oh well.

    Certainly cuts deep into Mr. Honeyball’s credibility though, whoever he is.

  53. David Wright Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    John wrote:
    “As someone else has pointed out, you have knowingly placed a wholly inaccurate piece of information in your column, on the basis of it being an ‘April Fool’. But the mag in question is due to be released to subscribers in early March and dated May. I mean, c’mon: you tried to run a joke that has a shelf-life of a few hours in a monthly magazine?! Grow up.”

    this has been a tradition in computer and IT magazines as long as I can remember. PCW did some great ones in the mid to late 80s. Maybe the subject matter is a bit sensitive for those working at Dell, whose jobs are on the line, but, just because we are going through a recession doesn’t mean we should throw our sense of humour out the window… :-S

  54. David King Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    I think some of the comments here show that we need some kind of humour section in PC Pro. How about it? Then you can write as many funny stories, spoofs, jokes, etc., and that would be great. But a wrongly-timed April Fool’s joke in the MAY edition is perhaps someone’s attempts to get humour into PC Pro as it is otherwise lacking.

  55. John Light Says:
    March 17th, 2009 at 12:36 am

    Perhaps some people should read the TITLE of any page that they are reading – the one in question is “Opinion – Epilog”. This page, in this magazine, has for as long as I can recall been dedicated to a somewhat light-hearted, nay whimsical, and yet certainly both a tongue in cheek and cynical view of the IT world. Whatever; what it does not scream out is “This is the DEFINITIVE HOT BREAKING NEWS COLUMN”.

    Perhaps this sort of world shaking information is disseminated in other countries on the inside back page of all magazines, but that is not the normal practice in the UK. Never has been. It usually (Surprisingly Enough!) is announced on the front page when (allegedly) the biggest software company in the world chooses to merge with one of the biggest hardware ones. If not, then at least a mention in the key editorials would be appropriate and polite! Perhaps this is different in other countries?

    Please let us know – otherwise all of our wonderful PC Pro magazine titles (sic) will not understand how to inform IT people in Pinner, Brighton and even Hemel Hempstead what is going on in our world. I despair for myself, as I abide in a foreign country – Scotland.

  56. John Says:
    March 17th, 2009 at 12:26 pm


    I couldn’t give a damn about the recession, to be honest. And I don’t mind a joke – I even laughed at April Fools such as Acorn User’s ‘Zarch being ported from Archimedes to BBC Model B’ spoof back in the 1980s, so I’m aware there’s a history of it.

    What I don’t get is the appalling way in which it’s been handled – May issue, on doormats in early March (and then released on the website long before April, too!). If Jon and the guys at PC Pro couldn’t guarantee a timely release date of their ‘April Fool’, then they shouldn’t have bothered with it. Why not put a normal column in the mag, but release the spoof blog at 9am on April 1 on the website, for example?

    I agree with the comments above, incidentally; it was a desperately poor edition of the mag all round, and Jon’s credibility has taken a knock here. Being a journalist isn’t just about knowing what to say; it’s about knowing when to say it.


  57. JohnW Says:
    March 17th, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    The tone and ‘content’ of the article did not at all surprise me. For as long as I can recall Jon Honeyball’s Epilogue has contained nothing but bragging; usually about how many senior Microsoft or other IT freinds at executive level he has, which Bentley he owns, how he ate Canapés in the Concorde Lounge at T5, or how much he can afford to spend on IT kit this month. Just some of the recent ones

    Seldom does he educate the reader with run-throughs or useful facts that can be used to enhance our own IT environments. All too often it is just

    The bottom line seems to me that he has, for some time now, been given too much space to fill by his editor and this is the obvious outcome.

    The piece was thoughtless and as pointed not accurately timed but entirely in keeping with his usual self obsessed copy.

    I do subscribe and will continue to do so, however Mr Editor don’t give anymore space than he can competently fill.

  58. Red Says:
    March 17th, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    Mr. Twilight,

    At no point did I state, allude to, or other wise mention that I am better or happier than anyone else. In fact, if you read what I wrote, you will see that I too am a Dell employee who is living thru the layoffs and the downsizing. I too have seen friends and coworkers lose their jobs seemingly without reason. I too have decided to change my lifestyle based on a possibility that I might be the next person that is let go when Dell decides to go thru it’s next cost saving measure. So please sir, do not put words into my mouth, nor pretend that you are the guardian of that is good and fair.

    It is you that miss the point. The point being that people have lost their ability to process and ignore. That people now assume that everyone else in the world has a “responsibility” to ensure that no one is offended or inconvienanced. Apparently things like free speech have taken a back seat to the protection of a societies “feelings”. That a person must curb thier sense of humor and/or satire because there might be someone in the world might take offense.

    If you don’t like the article, then hit the back button and never come back. If Mr. Honeyball has somehow upset your delicate sensibilities, then never read his work again. Do not admonish those that found the intended humor in the article. Do not play the hero against those that actually enjoyed the satire and possbility of the article. Maybe your an Abbott and Costello kind of guy, maybe I’m an Eddy Murphy. Maybe our humors are different, but that doesn’t make either one of us wrong. Simply process and move on.

    Like another user stated, have you ever read the Onion? It is full of satire and humor. Maybe not yours, but does that mean it shouldn’t be published. No because some people enjoy it. Just because you disagree doesn’t mean it should be banned. I encounter things daily that I do not agree with, but I don’t throw a hissy fit everytime I do. If I don’t like it, I ignore it. It isn’t like we are talking genocide or the like, it was a satirical piece based on a “what-if”. That’s it, nothing more.

  59. Bill Gates Says:
    March 18th, 2009 at 10:25 am

    you’re an idiot.

  60. Irnbru Says:
    March 20th, 2009 at 6:19 am

    So it’s official now huh? No Xbox in this years Dell Christmas hampers.

  61. Cover Notes Says:
    March 23rd, 2009 at 10:47 am

    I also skipped the first paragraph of the article and was discussing the content with my colleague and we thought this was very positive news! I fail to see, anyway, how such a hypothetical merger would cause ‘lay-offs’.
    It is unfortunate that this article was accepted so readily because Mr Honeyball often has a nose for the inside story and his connections go deep, over the years.
    10/10 for fooling us, but some people just don’t have a sense of humor

  62. Nigel Slatford Says:
    March 27th, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    I think the joke is on you, April fool tricks are for April 1st not for a monthly magazine where the April edition comes out at the beginning of March.
    Bill Gates is correct you are an idiot.

  63. Reuben Says:
    March 27th, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    I thought it was hilarious. Nice one Jon!

    I liked the SCVMM sucking idea.

    I think the last sentence gave it away though “the visionary new name for the combination of Microsoft and Dell that pays homage to their inspiration: welcome to Pair.”

  64. Chris Says:
    March 29th, 2009 at 4:33 am

    idiot! idiot! idiot!

    Did you not know that cracking an April fool when it is not April fool’s day makes YOU the fool?

    What a pathetic article. I am a subscriber to PC PRO, and your stories always suck. My girlfriend is a journalist as well and thinks your writing style is as dull and unispired.

    No, I don’t work for Dell or MS, and this article did not affect me other than waste 10 mins of my time researching this online.

    What a crackign April fool in the MAY issue which I was reading in March. You really ARE a genius!

  65. Ramwob Says:
    March 30th, 2009 at 8:33 am

    It’s amazing how little common sense many IT people have !

    I have only two observations on te article – perhaps the merged company name should have been Pear (which would have made it more obvious); and for those who cannot see the wood for the trees, a little Joker symbol at the end of teh article might have made it clearer.

    I look forward to next year’s spoof.

  66. Kev Says:
    March 31st, 2009 at 11:23 am

    You Tart!!!

  67. John Light Says:
    April 8th, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    Oh …. Arse! There are so many retentive self opinionated people out there who can’t be bothered to think before they retaliate. Am not sure that they know what or who they think they are retaliating against, but I expect it makes them feel good.

    Let’s all get back to work now children, we all have 4 weeks or so notice periods, so let us all just enjoy life while you can!

    Big hugs,


  68. Mark Cullen Says:
    April 21st, 2009 at 8:13 am

    Perhaps next year you could publish another article about a major software house buying up a hardware vendor……

    How about Oracle buying Sun? I’m sure that would get a good few laughs…….

    Oh no, hang on a minute……

  69. Ed Wilcox Says:
    May 16th, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    I enjoyed it. I work only on the fringes of the industry, sorting out hardware problems more or less as a hobby, I didn’t have to read it twice to realise it was a joke. The reaction of some, particularly Mr Twilight, makes me wonder if the IT industry is employing the right people. If he’s been in the business for many years as he says has he should have immediately realised it was a hoax, or is he just another one of many who only work for the pay cheque at the end of the month without having the slightest interest in what they are doing?

    Look forward to next year Jon!!

  70. Riche Says:
    July 9th, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    I didnt appreciate this or find it funny at all. You dont publish on April Fools Day so any attempt to produce an April Fools joke is pointless. All you have done is make me even less inclined to believe the guff that spouts out of some of the magazines contributors. I buy PC Pro for the news and information not to have the piss ripped out of me.

  71. Mike Says:
    January 22nd, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Based on this article can I borrow your crystal ball please


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