Pembroke: Word on windows

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The Independent Online
IBM, the crumbling colossus, can claim a victory of sorts over Microsoft, Bill Gates's rival runaway money machine.

The Oxford English Dictionary entry for windows (with a small w), the system turned into the hugely successful software of the same name by Microsoft, credits IBM with one of the first references to the technology, in its IBM Systems Journal in 1968.

Still, those erudite people at the OED are not easily impressed. When Sir Edwin Nixon, currently deputy chairman of NatWest bank, and chairman of IBM from 1979-86, rang the OED to see whether Windows, the proprietory name, was to be granted an entry, he was told: 'We're waiting to see if it catches on.'

DUNCAN REVIE, son of the former England football team manager Don Revie, is making something of a splash in the corporate entertainment business. His company, Total Sport, has hired the Luton Hoo stately home for a mega-bash in September where, instead of each company having a separate event, up to 1,500 delegates from a mix of organisations can all get stupidly drunk together.

Revie is promising a ding- dong event: five pavilions, music from Petula Clarke, Julian Lloyd Webber and Stephane Grappelli, plus top nosh and plonk. Individual tickets are pounds 285 and private chalets pounds 10,600. No wonder he hasn't sold out yet.

COOPERS & LYBRAND seems to want it both ways on company cars. A few days ago we received the latest edition of its glossy car tax guide, which tells you more than everything you would ever want to know about the subject. At least, with its swanky black cover featuring shiny new Ford Mondeos, it looked good.

Now we receive a skimpy, sad-looking document entitled 'End of the road for company cars', featuring an off-centre drawing of a Porsche that looks as if it has been stuck on as an afterthought. 'Certain companies should now be seriously considering the option of terminating their car schemes and offering, in lieu, a lump sum of cash.' Is Coopers not just covering itself on this one? 'The two publications are complementary not contradictory,' sniffs a spokesman.

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