Many people who have owned a PC for longer than a year will know two things.
Firstly, the machine they own now is half as quick as the machine that they bought. Secondly, they will have been receiving more and more Microsoft updates the older the PC gets. A leaked document from the Microsoft Information Systems Team (MIST) has revealed that the two are linked.
"I've always suspected that this was the case," said technology specialist for Cambridge University, Kerry Gold. "I'd put it down as one of those conspiracy theories though."
According to the leaked memo, in order to make people upgrade PCs even when they do not want to change the software that they are using to the latest versions, because they are either skinflints or happy with what they have, the Microsoft Updates actually include code that slows down a computer in proportion to its age.
"The memo was sent as a joke," said Ivan McBuck, software distribution manager at Microsoft's Sacramento office. "We don't want to force people into upgrading to the latest computers and buying the latest version of windows. That's a crazy idea."
The backtracking by Microsoft has nobody convinced.
"I'm not convinced by Microsoft's backtracking," said Gold. "The only thing that's gone on my PC in the past three years is service packs and Windows updates. The standard metrics that I've been using are indicating that my PC is now thirty percent slower than when I bought it. What else can be doing it?"
The Microsoft memo has had nerds and geeks scrabbling to uncover exactly what it is that is in the Windows updates, but so far they have failed to find what is in them that is slowing down PCs across the world.
"We think it might be virus checkers," said McBuck. "These keep themselves up to date also and they are generally written inefficiently. After five years, the virus checkers have updated themselves to a version that really needs a faster machine."
McNorton, the world's largest anti-virus software manufacturer, had one word for this suggestion: "Bollocks," said spokesperson, Natasha Kaspersky.