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-=[ Joke Number 376 ]=-

 [ << ] Microsoft Acquires Monopoly(R) [ >>
REDMOND, WA (May 11, 1998) -- Microsoft announced yesterday that it has acquired Parker Brothers, Inc. for an undisclosed sum. Parker Brothers holds rights to the Monopoly(R) board game and associated merchandise.

A Microsoft spokesperson said, "Microsoft plans to produce a computer-based version of Monopoly(R) called MS-Monopoly(TM). It will be bundled with the next version of Windows 98, to be released in 2001. With Microsoft's OS monopoly, MS-Monopoly will have a monopoly on computer-based board game ntertainment. We plan to have MS-Monopoly replace Solitaire(R) as the default time-wasting program for millions of users."

Milton-Bradley, a rival board game manufacturer, is not happy about yesterday's annoucement. Their press agent said, "Our rival Parker Brothers has teamed up with the world's largest software producer. With MS-Monopoly bundled with Windows 98 (or Win2001), no one will want to play traditional non-electronic board games anymore. We could produce computerized versions of our popular board games, but who would buy our products when there's a dancing MS-Monopoly icon on the Windows desktop and no more free space left on the hard drive?"

MS-Monopoly will contain several new innovative features, according to a Microsoft press release. Instead of Atlantic City real estate, the game will focus on computer companies. For example, Netscape will replace Mediterranean Ave., and Sun Microsystems will take over for North Carolina Ave. The railroads will become Internet Service Providers. Instead of Jail, players must contend with "DOJ unjust vigilante investigations." The goal of the game will be to acquire everything on the board, including the DOJ. A Microsoft programmer commented, "This isn't very realistic, we realize." In MS-Monopoly the rival companies have much more power than in the Real World. Realistically, all the rivals should be confined to the purple squares while Microsoft occupies the rest of the board. We had to change things a little to make the game more playable. On a technical note, MS-Monopoly is designed to consume all available Win98 system resources, preventing other programs from being open. We felt it fitting that MS-Monopoly monopolizes the computer. This is similar to the way Solitaire works, so users upgrading from Win95 should be right at home."

It is unclear whether this acquisition will affect the annual Monopoly promotion at McDonalds. Some analysts point out that this is a moot point; Microsoft will probably acquire McDonalds in the near future anyways.

Microsoft's stock, MSFT, climbed 3 1/2 points after the annoucement. For more information, visit Microsoft's new website,

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