April Fool The Register has this morning signed a landmark exclusive sponsorship deal with software giant Microsoft. The agreement - believed to be worth in excess of $20 million - will no doubt send shock waves through the world's IT community.
Deftly sidestepping questions regarding the comprehensive Microsoft rebranding of the Register, directors chose instead to highlight the consumer benefits: "We have decided not to bite the hand that feeds IT, but rather to shake it warmly," said publisher Linus Birtles. "There is no doubt that this 'golden handcuffs' deal will enable us to vastly improve product delivery to our users," he enthused.
Editor Drew Cullen endorsed Birtles' statement, adding: "I can guarantee absolutely that this important development will have a minor - and virtually indiscernable - effect on the way we report on Microsoft."
Despite these assurances, there was anger at Vulture Central offices on Friday evening when the plans were announced. Several staff objected violently to the replacement of the vulture logo, threatening to resign immediately were the Microsoft masthead not removed. The incipient rebellion was quickly quashed, however, when journalists received email notification of the enormous salary rises which will accompany the deal.
Microsoft is expected to make its own formal press announcement in the next few hours. ®