The stories below are old stories up until the middle of 1999.
At this time
my employer informed me that I violated an NDA that my employer
me) had with Microsoft. After quickly reviewing the situation
I realized that
taking down my entire anti-Microsoft section and obsoleting
all links was
necessary. I discontinued following any stories until 04/07/2000.
As my employment situation has now changed, and since the NDA
breaking material has been removed, I have decided to resurrect this web
reviving the following archive of stories, I found many dead links
due to PC World's and Ziff-Davis' unwillingness to maintain online
archives.) As such, a handful of the stories were removed. Those
energetic researching skills than myself can go track down the
viewing the HTML source and looking at these stories which have
IBM intends to chime in on Microsoft's oppressive tactics
05/26/99 An IBM exec will testify to the fact that Microsoft
Windows licensing to leverage IBM into stopping the bundling of
Netscape products on their PCs.
Read the story
Sort of gives the whole OS/2 fiasco (i.e., why IBM seemed
to stop marketing such a great for no explicable reason) a little more
meaning doesn't it.
Time for new tasteless tactics against a new enemy
05/21/99 In yet another move that defocuses them from
the fixing the
current problems with their applications Microsoft has formed
a group to
counter Linux. If it proves one thing its that Linux' popularity
a little too much for Microsoft's liking and we all know that
reason for it, don't we?
Read the story
Benchmarks show that Windows NT Server 4.0 blows away the
04/17/99 You might find this a surprising headline to
be reading on
this page, but you'll have to look closer at the results to
understand what is
going on here.
NT Server 4.0 benchmarks on segfault.org
Related stories: Samba 2.0:
To Kill NT? (ZDNet), The Best
Windows File Server:
Linux! (ZDNet), Microsoft Windows
NT Server 4.0
is 2.5 times faster than Linux as a File Server and 3.7 times
a Web Server (Mindcraft), A look at the Mindcraft
report (Linux Weekly news)and Mindcraft's
File Server Comparison: Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 and Novell NetWare
The point of the related stories is to illustrate the point
that with enough
work, benchmarks can be rigged to say whatever you want
them to say.
(Microsoft commissioned and paid for the Mindcraft test.)
Update: 05/12/99 Microsoft has issued
counter challengeto the skeptical Linux community. There are a few
comments that I feel need to be made.
- PC Week and PC Magazine are both owned by Ziff Davis (and
hence represent a single opinion) which has, from its very inception, been
a publication with
the greatest support for Microsoft. They also publish
their own benchmarks
which, like Microsoft products, are favorites for industry
ridicule. My own
experience with them is exactly in line with this.
- The conditions set forth by Microsoft do not necessarily
reflect all the
major complaints brought forth by the Linux community.
Bob Young (CEO of
RedHat) is a member of the Linux community, but his opinions
necessarily encompassing of the Linux community. (Press releases
are also not necessarily representative of the entire Linux
- The original test in some way was motivated by Microsoft.
would not have done so without knowing about some advantage
particular configuration/code path in Windows just before commissioning
test. (HTTP Get's are hardly a true test of the system -- just one
aspect of the system, which, considering Microsoft's recent shift
internet you would expect to perform fairly well.)
What I am getting at, is that a fair test would also test
system aspects at
the behest of the Linux community. (I recommend testing
-- something I know that Linux has a huge advantage
in over Windows.)
- These conditions do not address claims of double standards
such as the
omission of price/performance comparisons which Mindcraft has
done in previous
tests. (Therefore, despite Microsoft's claims not all
challenges were met.)
Rather than simply meeting Microsoft on its challenge, I would
the Linux community issue a counter proposal that would satisfy
problems that have been brought up with the test so far.
Here's something interesting I found in one
of MindCraft's rebuttals to the criticismfrom the Linux community.
A few of the emails we've received asked us why the company
that sponsored a
comparative benchmark always came out on top. The answer
is simple. When that
was not the case our client exercised a clause in
the contract that allowed
them to refuse us the right to publish the results.
We've had several such
Well, there's the crux then, isn't it? Who know how many
tests Microsoft has
commissioned Mindcraft to do? They may have commissioned
many tests on other
systemic comparisons between Windows NT and Linux and
found that they came
out behind, then exercised their write to squelch the
The reason why I point this out is that Microsoft has money
to burn, so they
can commission any number of tests they want from Mindcraft
until they get
the result that they desire. Whoever has the cash, can
win eventually (its
like buying 10 million and one lottery tickets, and
not telling anyone about
the 10 million tickets that you bought that lost.)
The Linux community
clearly does not have similar funds at its disposal
so cannot create its
own manipulated test scores as a counter. (Linux folks
are also a more
honorable bunch and would not likely throw out results just
didn't like how they came out.)
This alone invalidates the weight of these tests in my opinion.
Here's another one from another of
We did make mistakes in tuning Linux, Apache, and Samba.
We wouldn't have made
those mistakes if performance tuning information
had been readily available.
For instance, if PC Week or Jeremy Allison
had published the tuning
information they used, we would have used the
same ones as well.
The lack of access to this information does not excuse results
this lack of information. The fact is that Mindcraft put its
approval on results derived in a non-optimal and therefore unfair
of the information on Linux out there is "secret" or even that
get at -- such a suggestion is laughable. The fact is that
the only reason
why such information was available for Windows is that Microsoft
it needed to be available in order to do well on this test which
commissioned. By comparison these test results hit the entire Linux
like a ton of bricks. As anyone knows, comprehensive documentation
would itself probably be a project as mammoth as the creation
of Linux itself,
so using the lack of easily available information for
one particular aspect of
Linux is hardly fair. As everyone also knows,
getting at information about
Linux may require some digging, but its all
there for the asking.
The whole setup sounds very suspicious to me. Linus Torvalds
complaining about lack of access to sufficient information
for which it tune
for the test. Just because you have some email conversation
doesn't mean both ends are getting a clear picture of what's
I actually work with people who do similar things (benchmarking
I mean) and
the truth is that the way Mindcraft and PCWeek did the testing
reflect what real world Benchmark tuning entails.
What Mindcraft should have done was configure another system
with the benchmark
itself that was essentially a duplicate of the system
that was to be tested --
one to Microsoft, and one to the Linux community,
and allowed them a few days
to understand what tweaks they needed to perform.
Then both parties could
submit (e-)written instructions on how to tweak
the systems to get optimal
Of course if the benchmarks in some way contained proprietary
(that would be bad but) there are several avenues that
could be taken such as
providing "lite" versions of the benchmark, or requiring
that the two parties
do their work in an information input-only environment
set up by Mindcraft.
The people I work with usually have the benchmark in hand
and then adjusts the
system so that they can explain to other people how
to reproduce good scores.
Here's another fun quote from yet another
Given the anti-Microsoft sentiments in the Linux community,
what kind of
response do you think we would have received if we said we
Linux and Windows NT Server under contract with Microsoft?
Dude, you'd get exactly the response you deserve. Benchmarking
purposes of publishing under contract from one of the benchmark
which has an abort clause is not fair no matter how you slice
The most vicious virus to date: the Melissa Virus centered
03/28/99 The Melissa Virus, a vicious virus that combines
the user's Outlook's address book, Word 97's built macro security hole,
and the internet
to launch one of the most heinous global virus attacks
to date. It only affects people using outlook and word (unfortunately
due to a very short sighted company wide mandate, it affects me too.)
The Virus took down Microsoft and IBM's respective mail infrastructures.
the current attack does not cover the worst scope of the virus. Apparently,
is easily modifiable (I wouldn't know I don't program in frigging Word
and has essentially become a template for other viruses that could
be spread by other malicious virus writers.
This virus would not be possible if it weren't for Word's
macro execution capabilities combined with MS's outlook
address book being
accessed by said virus. Thank you Bill Gates -- can
we get a patch for your
program designer's stupidity?
Read the stories on C|Net
(My recommended work around: uninstall Word and/or Outlook.)
Microsoft caught tampering with their competitors
02/19/99 When I first heard this story, I feared it
was an "exaggeration of the truth" like the Real Player file association
fiasco. But this was actually presented in the trial.
Microsoft sabotaged a potential deal between Compaq and
While I personally have mixed feelings about BeOS, they are
company with a legitimate right to engage in fair business
Microsoft will just never give up. Sort of puts Martiz' comments
being a legitimate competitor into perspective doesn't it?
Read the discussion on Slashdot.Organd
the story on PCWeek
Microsoft refuses legitimate refund requests from customers
02/15/99 Protesters appeared at a Microsoft outlet in
California requesting a refund for their unused copies of
Windows that they
were forced to pay for with their new PC.
Microsoft's response was in the form of a letter that reiterated
a line in
their licensing agreement that states that customers should contact
manufacturer for refund information. (They also took the opportunity
that they are an equal opportunity employer.) This was obviously
satisfying given the kind of responses people have been getting
from their PC
There is a web site dedicated to just this issue: jump
You might like to read
Cringley's account of the event.
Update: 02/19/99 To say the least, Microsoft's response
was not well
received. In response another class action anti-trust suit
has been filed
against Microsoft for charging monopoly pricing on its operating
setting up illegal trusts, and not giving customers opportunity
to make a
choice about their OS and applications. This suit differs from
anti-trust case in that it is specifically seeking injunctive relief,
including monetary compensation.
the story on ZDNet
Microsoft doctors videotape evidence.
02/03/99 In what appears to be a growing pattern in
the Microsoft defense, the critical video tape evidence that Microsoft
showed to try to demonstrate the benefit of bundling IE 4.0, was apparently
inaccurately edited. This according to yet another admission the DOJ dragged
out of James Allchin. (Remember that Microsoft attempted to present conclusions
about an internal Microsoft study without allowing the prosecution fair
access to the study and they have claimed to be unable to find source code
I can only conclude Microsoft has decided not to present any
real defense whatsoever. They are simply trying to deceive the judge at
every opportunity by presenting things that defy reality. How can they
believe that they have a
hope of getting away with any of this?
Read the story
on C|Netand the
more detailed follow-up story
Update: 02/05/98 The story continues: Microsoft admits
that the original tape was just a bunch of baloney (which begs the obvious
question: why present it as part of their official defense?). So they
came up with a
new tape that doesn't claim everything that their original
tape did, and it was still an exercise in misdirection since it was comparing
Windows 98 with
Windows 3.1! (Microsoft so desperately wants to deny that
Windows 95 pre-OSR1
even exists.) Read the story on
I am very happy with the prosecutions scrutiny of Microsoft's
claims. Originally, I had feared that they would not be vigilant
Microsoft get away with some technical fraud, but so far they are
Microsoft Witness makes critical concession.
02/01/99 In cross examination Microsoft and senior executive
witness, James Allchin conceded (in an embarrassingly childish session
of repeated questioning that reminded one of pulling teeth) that there
was no real difference between Win 98 with IE 4.0 "integrated" and Win
95 with IE 4.0 added on. Further he admitted that the only apparent reason
was to take away the consumer choice.
This goes to the very heart of the case and is probably the
testimony thus far -- and it didn't come from the prosecution,
but rather as
a result of cross examination of the defense! If nothing
else, this will go
down in history as a way *not* to conduct defense in
a court of law.
Kudos to the prosecution, for this decimation of Microsoft's
Read the story
Microsoft loses yet another ruling
01/28/99 The judge, Thomas Penfield Jackson ordered
Microsoft to surrender their analysis on Felten's "OS/IE" splitter program.
I think its
incredulous that Microsoft thought they could enter whatever
subset of the conclusions of the study into the court record without showing
to the defense.
In any event, while it shows Microsoft's tenacity at attacking
the whole process, probably knowing full well they are going to get their
it also shows just how incompetent their whole defense has
been. Well, in
any event, I am glad Microsoft is being so obliging in handing
over their own
Read the story
Maritz argues transparently as though the existence of competitive
negates the possibility that Microsoft is a monopoly.
01/28/99 Maritz claims that Linux and BeOS represent
threats, and therefore Microsoft could not be a monopoly.
Nice try Martiz, but if that were true what can you say of
DR-DOS, OS/2 (Warp),
and DesqView? They also held the same promise in their
day as these current
OSes do today. The fact is that today Microsoft *is*
a monopoly, and the fact
that Linux and BeOS are credible threats, doesn't
change the fact that
Microsoft will use its monopoly power to do anything
in their power to crush
them. The Halloween
proof of that.
What Linux and BeOS really represent is an intense desire
for the existence of
competition in the industry. Neither has garnered
credible market share as of
yet to be considered real competition.
That said, of course, I personally am a strong believer in
Linux, as I think a
lot of people are. But that does not mean that the
DOJ or anyone should relax
their stance against Microsoft, in the hopes
that Linux will just muscle its
way in. That won't happen unless we are
both vigilant against Microsoft as
well as supportive of Linux. (Sorry,
but I really don't think BeOS stands a
chance -- I was given some insight
into some of its technical foundations,
which leads me to believe it will
be a technological dead end.)
Read the story
Maybe Microsoft would be better off with no defense
01/26/99 Maritz adamantly denied the claims made by
the "horse's head" meeting, however admitted to numerous
things that went on during it.
I am happy to see that the DOJ lawyers are not letting these
away without the most intense scrutiny. Nailing Maritz to
the wall looks like
a crucial blow to Microsoft's defense.
Read the story
MS's lawlessness knows no bounds
12/23/98 During the trial Microsoft has attempted to
play games with
availability of discovery and testimony in order to get
a favorable cross
examination without giving the prosecution a chance to
Read the story
Microsoft's lawyer's suck
12/21/98 In a vain attempt to show that Solaris + HotJava
different from Windows + IE, Microsoft's lawyer Theodore
Edelmanproceeded with a
shallow line of questioningtoward
Sun exec Brian Croll. Being a techie
myself, its impossible for me to
know how ordinary people view such testimony,
but to me the lawyer just
sounds like an idiot who fumbled the ball big time.
Where it looked like
Microsoft might make a valid point, the whole thing just
fizzled into nothing.
Read the story on
HP didn't like Microsoft's boot up restrictions
12/20/98 An email document was produced in the trial
that HP was very unhappy with Microsoft's mandated restrictions
about the boot
up sequence for their line of Pavilion computers.
"If we had a choice of another supplier, based on your actions
in this area, I
assure you you would not be our supplier of choice" the
exec said of
story on TechWeb
Windows and IE can be separated
12/11/98 Not that we need to go to these extremes to
know this but Professor Edward Felten has created a utility that removes
IE from Windows, thus proving that IE and Windows are separable. Of course
Microsoft countered (just as they attempted to do so in the last trial)
that there are zillions of other DLLs scattered about the system that are
part of IE that were not shut off by this utility.
Of course that's irrelevant since a product such as IE cannot
be realistically defined by any arbitrary labeling of system libraries
even if its motivated
by the developers who made it. If in activating this
utility, IE becomes
completely inactive, then regardless of whether or not
remnants of its binaries remain dormant on the customer's hard drive, IE
is gone. Microsoft
can't get away with redefining what customers want with
their vacuous claims
of what something is.
Read the story on
Average cost of MS operating systems has been going up
11/27/98 Recently disclosed court documents have come
to light that
reveal that MS's average take on the cost of system has steadily
over time -- not decreased as is MS's corporate line.
Read the story on
A preliminary injunction on Win 98 is issued
11/17/98 A preliminary injunction has been ordered in
the Sun vs Microsoft case. As you recall, the case is over Sun's claims
that Microsoft's implementation of Java breaches their contract, and infringes
upon their copyright.
Basically, Microsoft has 90 days to do something about Win
98 (remove their
own pseudo-Java altogether, ship Sun's, or fix their Java
to pass Sun's
Read the C|Net
central story about it.
One thing that pisses me off about the developers that are
this will hurt them (due to the potential unavailability
of Java if it is
removed from Windows or due to the fact that it might be
a little slower if
Sun's Java is shipped with it) is that they don't acknowledge
that the quality
of the Java implementation under Windows is totally up
Microsoft could ship Sun's Java in the short term, then fix
their own Java
(from what I understand, it would be a totally trivial fix
-- only Java code
which diverged from the Sun standard, of which there is
very little, would be
affected) and ship it as soon as possible. From a
developers and user's point
of view, there would barely be a hiccup along
If Microsoft had any credibility at all, they would just take
their lumps and
do this. If they fail to do so it is at the expense of
their customers. Any
bets on what Microsoft will do? (Gee I wonder --
I'm betting on removal of
Java -- probably some aggressive code that makes
Windows incompatible with
Sun's version of Java, and a positioning of ActiveX
as a more direct
competitor to Java all at the expense of customers.)
(Update: Microsoft has since reassured end users and developers
that they will
"take their lumps" and provide a smooth transition to a conforming
I hope its true -- remember what MS did when they were ordered
to decouple IE
from Windows, (2) I am somewhat happy if my little comment
above had even the
littlest role in provoking MS to doing the right thing
-- that's what this web
page is about.)
I am also pissed at people that say "... now that Microsoft
is known to be a
law breaking company ..." Excuse me??!?!!? Microsoft
has been periodically
dragged into court and lost ruling after ruling!
They have stolen source code
from Stacker and Apple, and they've strong
armed computer resellers into
selling their OSes and products. Each time,
they've been caught and been
given a slap on the wrist. No matter how
short people's memories are, they
have been known law breakers for basically
their entire existence.
IE susceptible to HTML viruses
11/11/98 An HTML virus has been discovered that only
works on IE. It
should not surprise anyone that Microsoft's implementation
allows for such
an attack, while Netscape is unaffected.
Read the TechWeb
story about it.
I do take issue with the claims that Back
less than what it claims to be. 2% of attacks sounds like
it has taken a
Intel threatened by Microsoft
11/09/98 Make no mistake, the label Wintel is
a serious insult to Intel. Intel has been desperateto get out
of Microsoft's shackles. From Intel's point of view, their CPUs have been
sullied on with Microsoft's crap. And Microsoft, knowing that they are
dependent on Intel, has been doing everything they normally do to their
competitors to try to beat Intel down, to try to reign in their power.
I haven't made a big deal about it until now because, I don't think anyone
would have believed me. But now as we see, Intel will not lift a finger
to help Microsoft and in fact is willing to lend a hand in hurting Microsoft
in any way they can.
Good show Intel. Read the C|Net central
story on Intel's disclosures at the trial.
11/10/98 The second day of cross examination was not
Microsoft. Read the
C|Net central story
on Intel's second day on the stand.
Apple takes the stand
Well, an apple exec, Dr.
took the stand ... unfortunately, he made assertions he could
back up and unlike Barksdale, he's not as credible and its not
the Judge believed him. While I have no doubt that what he said is
I'm not sure he helped the case. I think the DOJ needs to work more on
the evidence, and start making claims after they have softened up the judge
their way of thinking. Just pulling this guy with his claims is not
help matters, IMHO.
Its obvious Microsoft is losing big time so far, but the DOJ
need to keep
Microsoft pinned to the mat. Claims that can't be backed up,
no matter how
truthful, won't help, at least not in the initial going.
central's first week of november
on the Microsoft trial
Gates is a liar -- and the judge knows it!
In the replaying of excerpts from the video taped deposition
Gates gave to the DOJ prosecutors earlier, Gates is seen as being forgetful
(taking a lesson from President Reagan) and not forthcoming with information.
The judge was
seen shaking his head in disgust.
story on TechWebor the
World Article on it
rebroadcast of Gates' testimony from Brodcast.com
Here are my favorite quotes:
Bill Gates: I have no idea what you mean when you say
Prosecutor: Do you know what is meant when it is stated
would be the perfect club to hit Sun with?
Bill Gates: No
Prosecutor: Do you remember anyone telling you about
the use of
MacOffice as a threat against Apple?
Bill Gates: You mean those particular words?
Prosecutor: Do you remember receiving that email?
Bill Gates: I don't remember
Update: 11/27/98 Microsoft made a motion to try to
force a single playing of the video taped testimony rather than having
it played back in pieces. Obviously this is a transparent, if not futile,
attempt by the defense to minimize the damage of Gate's rather dubious
Read the story on
Update: 12/21/98 Excerpts discuss a "hit team" to attack
IBM in order
to prevent them from supporting Lotus.
Read the story on
Microsoft seeks a way to influence the government
04/11/98 Its a scary trend folks:
Microsoft feels threatened by and prepares assault against
It is fairly clear these days, that Linux represents probably
the best, real
alternative to Microsoft's OS, and their entire product line
in general. In
internal memos inside of Microsoft, it is seen that even
the arrogant minions
of Gates have come to this conclusion.
Then of course there's the scary part. We know that Microsoft
law and will simply do anythingto destroy their competition,
of making better products. I can only imagine what Microsoft might
attack Linux, and I only hope that the strength of the Linux community
Read the C|Net
Open Letter response
Sun prepares shipment of JDK 1.2 for Linux
The Java/Linux combination is a one two punch Microsoft Windows
recover from if only the kinks were worked out of them. Well, Sun
up to the plate with their half of the bargain. They are currently
porting JDK to Linux.
Read the C|Net Central article about
Lets face it, Microsoft is just technically inept
Microsoft admits to yet another browser security bug. Kind
of sucks if you
are using Win 98, since it means your "trusty desktop"
gets to inherit these
Read the C|Net
Central article about
Barksdale testifies about Microsoft and the "dead horse's
10/20/98 Read all about it in
I think I would recommend to other that testify, not to try
target either Bill Gates or Microsoft. Remember, that they
are, for all
intents and purposes, one in the same. By trying to target
one or the other
allows Microsoft and/or Bill Gates to pretend one or the
other was not
responsible. Don't waste your time, just address the enemy
as Microsoft and
be done with it.
No -- Microsoft does NOT take security very seriously
10/13/98 Every time I hear Microsoft say that piece
of crap line "We
take security issues very seriously" it just makes me
want to puke. Here's
security hole number 101:
Read about it on www.news.com
Microsoft monopolistic practices are sized up
10/09/98 In case you have a hard time believing that
dominance has hurt anyone take a look at
Microsoft ignores the first amendment
10/02/98 Microsoft has made a random subpoena that doesn't
make a lot
of sense to me. They are simply attacking two professors by
hand over their research into the browser wars. It seems
to me that they are
just trying to trying to slow the progress of these
I mean as long as they are now suddenly turning their attention
attorney's powers, they might as well abuse that too.
Read all about it on C|Net
Microsoft asks for too much
It should not surprise anyone, that even in ordinary legal
maneuvers, the Judge has had to reign Microsoft back in. They've been
granted subpoenas to some documents on Oracle agreements with other companies,
but were denied access to documents regarding failed attempts at agreements.
Boy! Talk about try to get unprecedented access to their
competitors internal secrets!
TechWeb story about it.
Microsoft takes lessons from Clinton
09/21/98 For some bizarre unknown reason, Tod Nielsen,
Microsoft's general manager of developer relations, today apologized to
members of the Software Publishers Association for the company's arrogance
in the past.
the full story
Of course, as is clearly evident from the other comments he
made, they have no
intention of stopping from trying to delude people into
thinking that they
actually play fair or have encouraged the software industry
to grow in ways
that would not have existed without their monopolistic
Hey Microsofties, this is how you do a real apology: "We were
dead wrong. We
are entering initiatives which will encourage markets that
have otherwise been
dominated by our threatening posture. We will be working
with Caldera to make
sure we can give their DOS compatible OS a Windows
98 compatibility logo; we
will be dropping all future development of ActiveX
and instead fix our Java
implementation to be fully compliant with Sun's
specification. OEMs will be
given Windows OS allotments as they see fit
without regard to initial
configuration including prepackaging of other
software such as Netscape, or
removing items such as the Microsoft channel
bar, or whether or not they sell
computers without Windows."
Well, we can all dream anyway.
The criminal aspects of Microsoft starts revealing itself
09/15/98 According to a techweb
story, the DOJ has begun an
investigation into evidence tampering on
the part of Microsoft with regards to
both the Sun and Caldera cases against
All, I can say is: Nail them to the wall.
Microsoft insider testifies to content of "Netscape Meeting"
09/15/98 It appears we are getting closer to a smoking
gun in the
Microsoft trial. Chris Jones, Microsoft's then group manager
Explorer, testified to the effect that Microsoft was indeed
trying to carve
up the browser market with Netscape in their now famous
secret meeting with
For more details read the story from
Judge delays trial, but throws out Microsoft's request to
09/14/98 Microsoft's desperate ploy to have the case
found groundless, however a slight delay in the trial (until
Oct 15) which
was mutually acceptable to both sides was awarded.
For more details read the story from
Microsoft denied delay plea
09/03/98 Judge Jackson has ruled that the DOJ may seek
from Microsoft, without a delay in the trial.
Microsoft Drags its feat delivering source
08/27/98 C|Net central news radio online reports that
complaining that Microsoft has not completely delivered the
source to Windows
95 and DOS as ordered by the court.
Microsoft has responded that they can't find all of their
just no way for Microsoft to win this one. If they are
just stalling (the
most likely reason, perhaps they are fabricating some
source meant to mislead
Caldera and the court just to drag this on for
even longer) then they are just
a bunch of crooks. If they really are
having difficulty tracking down the
source (not totally improbable), then
they are completely incompetent.
Now, tell me, what kind of a software company can't find its
That's not very professional. Now who is surprised by this?
Microsoft and Intel are not the allies you might think they
08/26/98 Indeed, Microsoft has even manipulated the
gigantor chip maker
Intel with regard to its technology initiatives.
Read the C|Net
article about it
08/25/98 Red Herring Online reports that Memos have
been disclosed in
the Caldera-Microsoft case about how Microsoft was planning
competing OS's like DR-DOS.
Bristol Files suit against Microsoft
08/19/98 Bristol, an early partner of Microsoft in the
Windows NT, has filed an antitrust suit charging that the
software giant had
stifled its efforts to develop NT-related software.
about it on TechWeb
Microsoft files a ridiculous source code protection motion
08/06/98 In a motion filed to the courts today Microsoft
has asked that
anyone seeing Microsoft source code as a result of recent
legal processes be
required to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) with
claims that such agreements are a normal procedure
in the industry. This is
Apparently, however, this is no ordinary NDA. It has clauses
anyone seeing Microsoft's source, may not subsequently
seek employment at
companies which are Microsoft competitors for 18 months.
This is totally
unprecedented, and clearly meant as an attack on the process.
No NDA I've
seen or signed (I've seen many, and have signed several) has
similar clause in it. NDA's are about disclosure, not a person's
Clearly anyone reviewing the source code has certain skills
that are most
valuable to the reviewers in that they can easily get a job
in the computer
industry at most software companies. By making this agreement
and disguising it as a run of the mill NDA (which it probably
is not) they
end up attacking the people who are part of process.
Update: This motion was denied. Yippee!
Microsoft claims to have invented the Internet
08/06/98 In an incomprehensible filing to the court
in their anti-trust
case, Microsoft is going to make a slippery argument
claiming that they were
the standards setters of the internet, with Netscape
playing catch up all
TechWeb story about it.
This makes no sense to me for several reasons: (1)
Its a gross exaggeration
of the truth and (2) I don't see the relevance to the
case (but I am not
a legal expert; maybe someone can explain it to me).
Anyhow, to set the facts straight, this is a rough chain of
the internet that should make things clearer:
- (1969) Long time ago a handful of universities invented
something called the ARPANET, which was the predecessor to the Internet
(this predates the existence of Microsoft, and even PCs in general -- heck
it even predates the existence of me!) Other networks cropped up and a
consolidation occurred through to the 1980's. In 1990, ARPANET is shut
down, in favor of the NSFNET
-- the standard that everyone else has adopted.
- (1989) Tim Berners Lee publishes his "HyperText" proposal
and in 1990
begins work on a GUI browser for something he calls the "World
(In 1990, I personally become an active user of the internet
- In February 1993 Marc Andresson, at NCSA at the time, releases
Mosaic the first serious web browser, and takes the entire Internet enabled
community (at the time this excluded PC users) by storm. Once Mosaic started
gaining momentum, articles started coming out in several PC magazines,
criticizing Microsoft for "falling behind" with respect to the Internet.
- In March 1994, Marc Andresson and some of his buddies leave
NCSA to form
"Mosaic Communications Corp" which is later renamed Netscape.
In August 1994
the W3C is formed. (Reference (2))
At roughly this time Microsoft starts work on Microsoft
BlackBird. Both basically attempts at
the internet in defiance of the HTTP/HTML standards that were
as well as a pre-emptive strike against Java.
- Microsoft releases WinSock, an internet conduit API for
internet protocols such as telnet. Microsoft, so desperate
to catch up to the
UNIX platform for internet connectivity, releases the
source for WinSock in the hopes that it will help enable internet applications.
(Sockets have been
available on Unix platforms for years.) This also allows
for HTTP support, but provides nothing in the way of a browser or GUI or
Microsoft also signs a deal with SpyGlass to obtain technology for making
- Netscape releases Netscape Navigator for Windows 3.x and
and quickly displaces Mosaic, by being a better interface
to the Mosaic
standards and making the internet available to Windows users.
on WinSock. Netscape is the first implementation of the
specifications (which is what people currently think of when they
think of the
internet) generally available to Windows users. Internet Explorer
- Microsoft releases Windows 95 OSR1 (August 1995), which
telnet, ftp utilities and Dial-up networking. These
available for decade(s) on UNIX platforms, and have formed the
Internet connectivity for UNIX. Microsoft also includes
Network as a desktop Icon for a primitive form
connectivity that never really works correctly. AOL, Compuserve
complain bitterly in a war of words against Microsoft for displacing
unfair business practices. However since MSN is such a disaster
in the early
going, these service providers ride the storm with little
- (1995) Netscape ports Navigator to Windows 95.
- (1996) Microsoft releases Internet Explorer version 1.0
as part of the
Plus! Pack. It was super lame in comparison to Netscape.
- Sun proposes Java, a platform independent programming environment
would be internet aware. This standard would trivialize the importance
proprietary operating systems, to support software applications of the
and make the internet a truly platform independent medium. Microsoft
by announcing BlackBirdand ActiveX.
BlackBird eventually died, ActiveX remains a controversial part of
Microsoft's Internet Explorer package, that serves no obvious value adding
purpose that isn't made available by Java, or other plug-in technologies.)
- (late 1996) Microsoft releases Windows 95 OSR2 which includes
Explorer. (The DOJ filed a lawsuit against Microsoft for anti-competitive
practices as well as a violation of a dissent decree from 1995, which
that this productization was illegal.)
And the rest is history. So as you can see, Microsoft was
never leading in
the Internet, but rather always following. Their one
actually saw the light of day (ActiveX) is shunned by
the rest of the
Furthermore, their attempts at breaking into the internet
have gone in directions, that are incongruent with today's internet, before
and playing catch up to the more sensible Internet Leaders
(Netscape and UNIX.)
(Let me know if I got anything wrong; if anyone has more exact
dates, I would
also appreciate it.)
Microsoft ordered to give Windows source code to Caldera
07/29/98 While Microsoft tells the same old story of
being totally innocent by virtue of their self proclaimed benevolence,
a judge in the Caldera, Microsoft suit has ordered Microsoft to give the
source to Caldera in at most 5 days.
See the techweb
storyfor more details.
The article writer contends that source can be
"interpreted" in many different
ways, but when you think about it, that's
totally ridiculous. The only
real use for source code, is for it to be
compiled into a program and as
anyone can tell you, the result is usually a
single rigid, well defined
binary executable (I'm pretty sure that's true of
Windows; there's nothing
too exotic about the Windows binary image.)
From that premise, I strongly believe that Caldera will find
their smoking gun
easily. The fact is that there are few differences between
DRDOS and MSDOS.
Furthermore, the failure of any version of Windows to
execute properly with
DRDOS will come down to some detection of these differences,
and Caldera will
probably easily be able to show a trivial patch to make
any version of Windows
function with DRDOS with 100% compatibility.
I believe that Microsoft is as guilty as sin in this case.
We can only hope
that Microsoft is sufficiently punished unlike the Stacker
Apple QuickTime cases, 1995 consent decree which are but
a faint memory in
Win 98 defective?
According to the 07/01/98 issue of PCWeek radio online,
several Win 98
upgrade customers have reported problems with many standard
devices such as
modems, network adapters, several 3rd party apps, dumping
client, registry corruption and not recognizing standard
PC World online (on the same day) reports that the USENET
(a large, open,
mostly unregulated online discussion forum covering a huge
number of topics)
is filled with Win 98 complaints and that Microsoft's
free support lines are
07/03/98 reports on both of the above mentioned online
report that Dell, Toshiba and GateWay have issued warnings that
of their computer lines cannot be properly upgraded to Win
98 without updated
BIOSes or drivers.
Microsoft has issued a statement saying that their perpetually
support lines are due only to popularity of Win 98. But given that
supposed to be far more stable than Win 95, shouldn't the number
calls gone down anyway? I don't buy it. Win 98 may have a handful
features, but its come with a host of new bugs specifically in regards
installation and device compatibility.
07/10/98 according to PC Week, Dell, HP and Toshiba
have removed their
warnings about the Win 98 upgrades from their web sites.
Each gave a different
unbelievable lame excuse, however it should be fairly
clear that Microsoft
pressured these companies into removing the warnings.
07/22/98 according to PC World, there is now a class
action suit against Microsoft for Win 98. Beverly Hills lawyer Howard
Goldstein of Goldstein and Goldtstein is representing Dag Henrix and anyone
who wants to join in who have grievances with Win 98. The suit contends
that Microsoft is guilty of breach of contract, negligence, intentional
misrepresentation, fraud, and unfair business practices.
08/15/98Microsoft has acknowledged
its first serious bug against Win 98. Its a
lame date roll over problem,
that makes the Y2K issues seem trivial by
comparison. Nearly all software
is either Y2K compliant or has worked around
but the date roll over thing is intermittent, will happen sooner
year 2000 and requires an update
to the OS to fix
which is something people will not usually feel all that
motivated to do.
World's take on Win 98 problems
Court makes a big mistake
06/23/98- The US court of appeals have made a huge
mistake by letting
Microsoft trick them into believing that IE was an integrated
product from the
beginning. The Court's contention was that the lower
court misinterpreted the
previous consent decree and that in fact IE is
in fact a legitimate part of
This is totally ridiculous. Anyone who understands how a
browser works realizes that the underlying networking protocols and the
browsing API are
separate pieces; the former a part of the OS, the latter
a part of a add-on
application. IE is in the latter category, WinSock is
in the former (exclusively.) Microsoft basically
tricked theminto believing that there was no difference.
Here's an easy way to see the difference: Compare Opera with
Lynx and IE. Just looking at them and using them, its clear
all have radical disjoint function and user interface differences. That
is because they are all exercising differentiation in user interface that
the application market allows and demands. Yet they all use the exact
same kind of networking protocol (all of them use your modem don't they?)
All browsers use WinSock or TCP/IP.
Get it? The court of appeals didn't.
Harvard law professor Einer Elhaige (sp??) is a the author
of a book which outlines some anti-trust and monopoly leveraging situations
and how product
integration should be defined. This work was cited several
times during the
above ruling but as you can hear for yourself, but the
court's interpretation was definitely not what he had in mind when he wrote
IBM, NEC, and GateWay offer non-IE options
On the very heels of the DOJ filing their latest case against
PC manufacturers have decided that now, the time is ripe
for them to offer
their customers the choices they have always wanted.
I believe that with the
incredible publicity Microsoft's monopolistic
practices are getting, OEMs are
probably getting a lot of requests for
systems shipping with alternatives.
OEMs probably also believe that with the sudden testicular
discovery on the
part of the DOJ, Microsoft may be leery of retaliating
We're half way there guys. Now all we need is to see a commitment
Linux as an alternative. Microsoft will have one *heck* of a time
play "innovation via blatant copying" of Linux since everything
of Linux paradigms that just don't jive with Windows NT.
And matching the
price of Linux is something Microsoft has no ability to
NewsHour runs a story on the US vs. Microsoft suits
It should be pretty obvious, I personally have a bias against Microsoft.
here's a news story from probably the least biased news show on earth,
NewsHour from PBS. It includes interviews with Joel Klein of the DOJ
Raikes of Microsoft.
Preview Windows 98!
In case you haven't already seen it,
a previewof Windows 98, that Bill Gates gave at Spring COMDEX.
DOJ vs. Microsoft
Microsoft loses! No Explorer required bundling with
Win 98 or Win 95. 'Nuff said. Look to Compaq, GateWay and Micron to be
companies to remove it in favor of Netscape or another browser
below. (Though, the court did throw out the $1 million a day
fine, which is
too bad. But it was not really relevant to the computer
industry in general anyway; Microsoft can afford it and we don't get a
cent of it.)
Update: Of course, as we all now know, Microsoft reneged
on the court order, shipping a defective Win 95 OSR2 claiming to be following
the court order, then when it became clear that they were just going to
be hammered worse by the DOJ suddenly relented (and in all that time, basically
selling their product in what was determined, and generally agreed to be
an illegal configuration.)