To be precise, Frank was told his job was going away back in January. By the time of COMMON in Nashville his travel budget had been eliminated (it miraculously reappeared almost instantly after I mentioned this during the Town Hall meeting). Frank was told his last day is December 10th. IBM pulled the same trick they did on Malcolm Haines last year, he was informed his job was going away and offered a choice of some boring bureaucrat alternatives. This is so IBM can claim they "chose" to retire, in the same way a chicken "chooses" to die when you cut its head off.

It's just more proof that IBM doesn't care about "i", or certainly doesn't care what the customers of "i" want or care about the people who loyally worked for "i". I asked a question during Ross Mauri's fireside chat yesterday about his unfortunate use of the word "strategic" in his recent letter to customers in describing the "i" operating environment. As we all know declaring a product "strategic" is IBM code to signal its impending demise, and I asked if he could assure us that the "i" product and all its important advocates can look forward to many more years of useful service. For some reason that question never appeared during the chat.

It's plain to see that there's a purge going on of the Rochester faithful by the Armonk politburo. It's all about services revenue and "i" just doesn't play that game for IBM because of its ease of use. Don Rima pulled his head out of the sand years ago, it's time we all did the same.

PS - Dr. Frank is speaking at the Toronto User Group meeting on Wednesday November 19th. If you're in the Toronto area you may want to catch one of his last appearances as an IBM'er.

Neil Palmer, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

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