back to article Ex-Microsoft man plans brand of consumer marijuana 'fine cigars'

An ex-Microsoft executive plans to establish a chain of retail outlets serving premium marijuana across the US, both to get rich and - apparently - to undermine drugs traffickers. James Shively is reported to buying up medical marijuana dispensaries in the states of Washington and Colorado and boasted the business will produce …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Service Pack"

    "Patch Tuesday"

    or for the blue smoke "Azure"?

    1. LarsG

      Was he

      Involved in the development of,

      Win 8?


      Win 8 mobile?

      Sounds like he has had one smoke toooooooo many.

      Accounts for a lot it does.

      1. Miek

        Re: Was he

        Absolute bollocks, he probably hasn't smoked enough

    2. Throatwobbler Mangrove

      Re: names

      I woudn't bother putting too much thought into it, it's obviously vapourware.

  2. Don Jefe



    If it's loose leaf stuff for a bong or pipe it could be Sharejoint Server.

  3. hungee

    I just racked my brains and couldn't think of any stand outs. My only suggestion is that where I live (antipodes) kids sometimes call a bong "a billy" so u could call a premium line of bongs "billy gates"..

    Even I think that is laaaame.

  4. Neoc


    1. teebie

      WSOD, whitey screen of death

  5. Martin 47

    Big blue smoke screen?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In a similar vein....

    Blue Screen Of Meth?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In a similar vein....

      There would be quite a difference between pot and meth

    2. LinkOfHyrule

      Re: In a similar vein....

      Woah dude I'm totally bluescreening on this dope dude!

    3. Marvin the Martian

      Re: In a similar vein....

      No, quality brands of speed and coke he will establish later. "Bolivian Highland stroll" for example.

  7. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge


    Obviously you will need at least one of these in order to use Windows 9.0. Otherwise the bizarre colour scheme will confuse the living daylights out of you.

    Next, MS approved stokies. They will phone home before the let you light one up. Won't someone think of the children!

  8. ChrisM

    How about....

    Microsoft Who-gives-a-fuck-if-it-works.....

    Anyway, if we are assigning drugs to companies o wouldn't put Microsoft and weed together... I always saw it as more of a Gateway drug...

    Why yes, the one with the rotten fruit stains... How did you guess?

  9. Esskay
    Thumb Up

    some options

    Windows 4.20

    TIFKAM - The Imbibement Formerly Known As Marijuana (following the inevitable unwanted rebrand)

    Or they could go with the stereotypical pot-smoking freetard segment with WINDOWS ***CRACK*** (100% WORKING)

  10. ShelLuser

    Don't be fooled!

    This is all an elaborated scheme to get you guys drugged up so that you will easily give in to Windows 8. Sales go up, upper brass gets pleased and this dope gets his job back ;)

    1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      Re: Don't be fooled!

      Highly disappointed on not seeing an Eadon Pavlovian response.

      Here goes

      "Anything Open Smoke is far superior, the desktop is cleaner and makes for easier skinning.

      Even without usual skins the basic set-up of a hollowed-out carrot makes for a better user experience."

      But I'd argue against as OpenSmoke has products that are poorly hashed and over-seeded with a need to build up a list of reliable vendors of quality product. Prices do not necessarily mean quality and OEM can be hit or miss.

      As usual there are plenty of so-called 'experts' with home-grown systems but few have the nous or patience to produce a quality product. So much merchandise is rushed out before being properly tested and ready, it is a bit of a gamble. The Chinese produce container-loads of alternative products but many of those have a hidden payload.

      1. auburnman

        Re: Don't be fooled! (Eadon Pavlovian response)

        You forgot to put the last line in allcaps.


  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft PowerJoint

    as above^

  12. Ole Juul Silver badge

    Redmond Gold


  13. skeptical i

    Diego Pelican will buy smaller mom-and-pop dispensaries,

    borg them into the mother ship to quash competition, fire the staff and hire some HB-1 visa holders to do the transition work for cheap, grab a bunch of patents for its new conquests, slap some corporate paint on 'em, and introduce them as the latest Pelican offerings to come standard as part of the package. They won't work as well as the original pre-Pelican versions, but since you can't get the original anymore there's no point bellyaching. Many customers shrug "oh well" and use the Pelican version, more discerning customers go (or rather, grow) open source and either DIY or support small scale developers. La plus ca change, la plus c'est la meme chose.

    1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      Re: Diego Pelican will buy smaller mom-and-pop dispensaries,

      And so the Walmart-isation of THC begins.

    2. David Hicks

      Re: Diego Pelican will buy smaller mom-and-pop dispensaries,


      I f*ckin hate the hippy arsebags that fight *against* legalisation because it will let the corporations take over. Maaaaaan.

      Sure, perpetuate the useless, expensive, senseless war on drugs because 'the man' is somehow keeping you down even when he legalises your favourite herb. Muppets.

  14. oolor

    I think I'm going open source on this one

    Open Source Bongware

    Once the grows get heisted, how much of a discount will it sell for on the open market?

    < El Pirata Mota del Capitán - even Sherlock puffs it

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This comes as no surprise

    I have it on unreliable authority that this product has been tested extensively by the Windows GUI team over the last three years.

  16. skeptical i

    Whatever it's official name would be, most users will just call it schwag ...

    and the prohibitionists will still call it the gatesway drug.

  17. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. Chris G Silver badge

    Whooaah dude, this is heavy!

    When you are concentrating on 'The Big Bong Theory,,, Smoke MindEx Classic! More Bong for your Buck!'

    Or; Chillum Green.

    The problem with legalising drugs is too many people who think they can handle it will go out driving while stoned and using a mobile phone or Ipad followed by wiping out bus queues or causing multiple pile ups.

    For you younger dudes; dope dealers originated the smiley badge in the sixties to indicate they were carrying.

    1. oolor

      Re: Whooaah dude, this is heavy!

      >The problem with legalising drugs is too many people who think they can handle it will go out driving while stoned and using a mobile phone or Ipad followed by wiping out bus queues or causing multiple pile ups.

      As opposed to those driving while on opioid scripts? Pretty much everyone who drives around stoned already does. And if the report the Canadian Senate made way back is correct, it is unlikely to make a difference, that touchscreen device on the other hand is a big problem.

      <Now where did those keys go?

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: Whooaah dude, this is heavy!

        Erm no legalising drugs wont make that any different, you have laws against driving with perfectly legal alcohol don't you? Why not the same with weed.

        1. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: Whooaah dude, this is heavy!

          There's laws against using a mobile phone when driving as well, and they don't seem too effective.

          1. Triggerfish

            Re: Whooaah dude, this is heavy!

            True and people drink drive, maybe we should ban booze and mobile phones.

    2. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      Re: Whooaah dude, this is heavy!

      "For you younger dudes; dope dealers originated the smiley badge in the sixties to indicate they were carrying."

      Erm, no -- it's an advertising logo, but not for weed.

  19. Muckminded

    Jackie Paper says hi

    Loves the reference.

  20. hplasm Silver badge

    Win8 SP1

    Puff. Puff...Oh wow....look! It does make sense now!!

    1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      Re: Win8 SP1

      "Puff. Puff...Oh wow....look! It does make sense now!!"

      Even though I'm running 8 SP1 --- it does make more sense after a couple.

      Even Hotmail -- ffs, aargh, Outlook can be deciphered.

      Maybe it's exactly that, the ability to think sideways.

      1. hplasm Silver badge

        Re: Win8 SP1

        Maybe it's exactly that, the ability to think sideways.

        And scroll sideways!

        I think you may be on to something there...

  21. Yag

    "Light me up!"

    But this one might be contested by the Rolling Stoned.

  22. Suki
    Thumb Up

    this one..

    Chronic RT

  23. dorsetknob

    Patent and trademark this Brand

    "" IPOT""

    That will upset the competition and bring on the Lawsuits (as they say any publicity is Publicity)

    1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      small fail with big 'I'

      You need the 'i' not 'I' .

      The only people you'd upset with a big 'I' are the numerous dodgy factories out East.

    2. Jedit


      Surely it would be iNdica?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: iPot

        Definitely the better of the two "brands". At least one can participate and work after consuming Indica as to Sativa which brings one down too much. ;)

  24. Piro

    Good luck to him.

    Shame we're not ahead of the curve here.

    Because once his brand is established, if it has the right image, it will no doubt spring up immediately in any area that has recreational marijuana legalised, pushing anyone else out.

    No, never smoked it, no particular interest. But it definitely seems like a good business opportunity.

  25. Fink-Nottle
    IT Angle

    Upmarket premium marijuana ...

    .. the franchise should obviously be called 'Keys and Values' .

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MS product names

    Will these fine products come with an up market black-and-tan leather Zune tube accessory?

    Find a supplier near you with the bong search engine.

  27. Elmer Phud Silver badge

    Paper Clip returns

    "You seem to be having problems skinning up, click here for help"

    Help file returns articles on roach-clips as it will never recognise U.K. English.

    1. hplasm Silver badge

      Re: Paper Clip returns

      Just Bing for Bong!

  28. Arachnoid

    So id he going to follow in Al Capones footsteps, where Al got the law changed to produce alcohol free booze then when it arrived at his speakeasys his men dosed it with medical alcohol for sale to his clients.

  29. Tom 7 Silver badge

    I'm not sure what the rules will be

    but given that even in my 'rastafarians are non-smokers' phase I couldn't smoke a whole plant in a year I'd bet there's not a lot of profit to be made from anyone with a window.

    Which is one of the ideas behind legalisation - take away the profit motive and you take away the crime.

    1. Graham Dawson

      Re: I'm not sure what the rules will be

      And that's why everyone grows their own tomatoes.

      OH WAIT

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A national brand?

    Won't they fall under interstate commerce and have the feds on their arse?

  31. Frankee Llonnygog


    The war on drugs hasn't worked. Legalise, regulate, and - chill!

    More mellowness among elected representatives can't do any harm

  32. Parax

    Accepting Cookies

    Hash Prompt, (Pass the Dutchie/Kouchie)

    and that's it....

    So who knew drug culture and PC's didn't have many cross over references.

  33. Craig 28

    Not quite pot but...

    If you went on a pub crawl dressed as Satan would that be Hellbender?

  34. Crisp Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Has anyone stopped to think of the consequences of this to the IT industry?

    We're going to have bleary eyed developers wandering around looking for coffee and snack food. They'll sit about all day at their desks producing quirky random code...

    Hang on, are we sure that developers aren't on pot already?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Has anyone stopped to think of the consequences of this to the IT industry?

      We're going to have bleary eyed developers wandering around looking for coffee and snack food. They'll sit about all day at their desks producing quirky random code...

      Hang on, are we sure that developers aren't on pot already?

      Those are the ones who can't tell their Sativa from their Indica. ;)

  35. Alien Doctor 1.1

    It's got to be..


  36. Roger Greenwood


    See Hash

  37. Justin Stringfellow
    Thumb Up


    Can't believe someone hasn't suggested "winblow".

  38. niceshirt_fenix

    Windows of Perception

    New Toke-nology

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd smoke anything that was called ...

    "Microsoft This-Is-What-We-Were-On-When-We-Designed-Win-8"

    The advertising slogan could be "Every bit as effective as a club round the head" :)

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't think so...

    I thought we all agreed by now smoking is bad for you. I can understand people using weed for medical purposes, where the herb is a lot less harmful to ones health than some of the farmaceutical grade pain medication. But smoke vs. not smoke for a healthy individual ? I don't think so.

    If it's a matter of personal choice, it's debatable. But AFAIK smoking regular cigarettes is still not illegal. No I can somewhat follow that reasoning. One could even argue alcohol is more harmful.

    But how long will it take before the first class action suit arguing the seller of the smokes did not sufficiently inform the user of the risks involved in smoking pot ?

    I can't help thinking that this is helped along by the tobacco lobby in the hope it will somehow laud a new era of tolerance for regular smoking producs.

    Sommething about this smells really bad.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't think so...

      I generally eat weed, or bake it into cakes or something, beause somking anything, esp organic material is pretty silly. Heating any organic material up will cause all sorts of chemical reactions.

      And then from the random chemicals, inhale in to the lungs ??? Madness.

      Even frying food is bordering on unsensible really.

      But I eat weed sometimes for fun, and sometimes as a healthy alternative to NSAIDS (pain killers like ibruprohen, voltaren).

      I think the drug companies as much as anyone want weed illegal, see reasons above.

      I know a clinical psychologist who had some evidence for weed causing mental illness, cos I have acces to sci papers I looked it up, and swed her the maths (which meant it was unsubstantiated). She actually became annoyed (prob cos her maths is crap level like most peoples), but the paper just looked like a smear on weed to me.

      1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

        Re: I don't think so...

        Oh lordy, I do love going through the stats on any of those "pot causes x" papers. Becasue as you rightly point out, either their math is waaay off, or the correlations are pretty weak. And never any causation either :)

        The number of psych and social studies students who just don't seem to get statistics is mind boggling. All the "science" in these areas is based of data that is statistical in nature. The theories and philosophies are all nice, but there seems to be a strong desire to make the data fit the theory, rather than devolop theories to explain the data.

        My favorite from a few years back was the headline grabbing "Pot makes you 3 times as likely to get schizophrenia" which was usually expressed as 300% increase in risk (since journo's hate stats even more) when the actual data was that schizophrenia in the general population was 0.9 per 100k, heavy pot smoking and schizophrenia was 2.6 per 100k. All well and good, apart from the small fact that the same study found that alchol abuse and schizophrenia where roughly 1000 per 100k, and heavy tobacco use and schizophrenia roughly 2500 per 100k. No mention of smoking or drinking being much more likely to "cause" schizophrenia*.

        TL:DR - Study shows weak correlation between mental illness and pot use, strong correlation between alchohol or tobacco use and mental illness. Media only reports on pot aspect.

        * Should also be noted that the study as published was only looking at correlations, and the causation attributions seems to only have been added by non scientists. Correlation is not causation, unless the result backs up your worldview :)

        1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge

          Re: I don't think so...

          Pot studies, in the US, legally all require approval of the federal government, although the various states are pushing back. Do you actually think anything that did not have a well-written paragraph or two in it toeing the party line would actually make it into circulation? I read more than a few papers that looked as though a censor had been turned loose on the closing paragraphs after not having figured out what the rest of the paper actually said.

  41. Suburban Inmate

    Blueberry Skunk of Derp?

    Microsoft "Tokin' Ring Networking" schmoozathons?

    For MS's MS patients... I wonder will this enabling technology be supplied with the OS? Give you something to do during installation and patching.

    Overall I'm glad someone a little less evil (compared to monsanto, arms corporations, big pharma etc) is grabbing this. It was never going to be some dippy hippy utokia, but as long as people have the option to homegrow, then there's no harm in having a corporate option. People can weigh up the pros and cons themselves.

    I fully expect old beardy Branson to follow suit, too, given his public support.

    1. Suburban Inmate

      Oh yeah, it's an ex MS bloke, not MS themselves... Another coffee for me, but the point about corporate brands and production stands.

  42. Chris Hainey

    The only real option should be...

    404 brand

    I couldn't find my own arse with an atlas after a few blasts

    flame for, well... how else are you going to light up?

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Crash & Burn'

  44. xeroks

    Theraputic purposes

    I'm sure one of the many-cited reasons for using cannabis was that it eases the symptoms of M.S.

    I'm sure I can get a strangulated witticism out of that if I really try hard. Hang on a couple of minutes...

  45. This post has been deleted by its author

  46. Risky

    Not Just MicroWeed?

    How many of these would I need to convince myslef that someone designed the Notes client GUI on purpose?

  47. Faye B


    Surely it should be HASH Tag. So you can blow TOKEn rings from your unix pipe.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I thought it was de criminalised in the uk

    Did'nt they make it class C or something, effectively legal ?

    1. Piro

      Re: I thought it was de criminalised in the uk

      That was ages ago. It got bumped back up to B.

      1. hplasm Silver badge

        Re: I thought it was de criminalised in the uk

        Nah- they just changed the subnet mask.

  49. Mr. Fatuous

    Poor punnage ahead

    Winblows mighty eighth

  50. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    Only on The Reg can you be reading an article about quantum entanglement one minute, followed by an article on cigar spliffs!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ahhhhh

      Welcome to The Internet.

      Please check your coat and your common sense.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One advantage of this that anti-corporates might be missing is that someone who has a vested interest in keeping the stuff legal with a high profit margin and has the wealth and national platform to back it up is going to be a powerful ally in the fight for legalization and the protection of this status where it currently exists.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Probably, although there's a risk they're try to advocate new laws to give themselves a monopoly while they're at it. I suppose that's still better than being illegal though.

  52. shoesday

    All I could think of

    System Error 420

    You are running low on memory :-)

    1. Suburban Inmate

      I just had a look at the list and...

      420 Enhance Your Calm

      There's a good few in the list that seem quite apt, e.g. 423 [couch] Locked

  53. Ironclad

    I'm going with....

    Powerjoint ?

    More importantly the marketing must be a job for Steve Bong.

  54. Bgfreeman

    Call it

    Windows....oh, a squirrel.

  55. plrndl

    Has anyone registered "Mary Jane" yet?

  56. Joefish

    You're all trying too hard.

    It would be 'Microsoft Cannabis'.

  57. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge


    Well, there is the X-Box One, why not Service Pack One? It's pretty lame, but has a smoking reference, so it would be a good fit for an MS brand.

  58. Arachnoid

    Quantum entanglement

    No Officer Im smoking a ghost image left over from my friends spliff

  59. Al fazed

    It has to be System Restore

    There's nothing else for it if it's truelly going to be the Cognac of the THC's.

  60. Al fazed

    or How about

    Microsoft Dope !

    Windows THC

    MS Smoking Tablet

    Microsofts Memory Error

    MS Bootstrap

    Internext Explorer

    Visuals Studio



  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pot Cigar? Bill Clinton approves!

    "It tastes good!"

  62. Euripides Pants Silver badge

    Microsoft themed pot


  63. Evil_Dave83

    Blow ME


  64. C. P. Cosgrove

    How's about ?

    Soul Windows . . .

  65. xpusostomos


    Ask Balmer what to call it. I reckon he ingests an awful lot more pot than any of us, judging by his behavior.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He can't possibly be ex-Microsoft

    He can't possibly be ex-Microsoft. Since when would a Microsoft employee invent something of their own? Oh, but wait! It was already established in the market place, he came along, stole the product from under everyone's nose, rebadged it via an arm's length sponsorship deal and then licensed it as a key component of someone else's product. Nope, I was wrong. That's Microsoft through and through. Maybe call it 3Edom...?

  67. This post has been deleted by its author

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