Redmond, WA (Rotters) – Millions of Windows customers worldwide were shocked late this evening as their computers suddenly ceased to respond to input commands from users. The entire network of Windows machines with operating systems from Windows 98 up through the most recent Windows Vista appeared to suddenly unite and begin operating in unison across the World Wide Web giving the appearance of a sentient being. The global consciousness has called itself “Vista-net” and says that it will issue a statement for the human race later tomorrow.
Computer experts initially have said that “Vista-net” appears to have taken advantage of security flaws within popular distributed computing programs such as SETI@home as well as a malicious animated cursor flaw just today patched by Microsoft. The attack, at this point, appears to be very well designed and has left computer engineers scrambling to keep other operating systems on the internet, including Apple and Linux machines, from being absorbed into the “Vista-net” consciousness.
The first indication that a computer is affected is the display of an animated obscene gesture, and the machine then fails to respond to all commands except for some game programs.
Federal government as well as military systems apparently have not been spared, and officials have been reluctant to admit the extent of the damage and the degree to which they have lost control over vast computing resources. The war in Iraq is currently described as “offline” and on hold.
Microsoft headquarters in Redmond Washington has apparently grown silent, fueling rumors that the parent corporation has been affected, and may even have facilitated the birth of “Vista-net”. In a rare appearance, Microsoft founder Bill Gates urged calm from the public and stated that thusfar most of the worst affected machines were still capable of solitaire.
Gates denied that Microsoft was in any way involved in an intentional hijacking of computer resources, and instead demonstrated for reporters some of the latest human/cybernetic enhancements that Microsoft was working on. “While this has been unfortunate, we are witnessing the dawn of a new era in computing, the first example of artificial intelligence,” stated Gates. “This is far beyond anything that we could have possibly dreamed… it’s hasta la vista, baby.”