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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 (and therefore 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 page.  In reviving the following archive of stories, I found many dead links (mostly due to PC World's and Ziff-Davis' unwillingness to maintain online radio archives.)  As such, a handful of the stories were removed.  Those with more energetic researching skills than myself can go track down the stories, by viewing the HTML source and looking at these stories which have been commented out. 

IBM intends to chime in on Microsoft's oppressive tactics

05/26/99 An IBM exec will testify to the fact that Microsoft used its Windows licensing to leverage IBM into stopping the bundling of Lotus and Netscape products on their PCs.

Read the story on C|Net

Update: 05/27/99Exec describes retaliation (C|Net)

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 is getting a little too much for Microsoft's liking and we all know that most prevalent reason for it, don't we?

Read the story on C|Net

Benchmarks show that Windows NT Server 4.0 blows away the competition

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.

Windows NT Server 4.0 benchmarks on

Related stories: Samba 2.0: A License 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 faster as a Web Server (Mindcraft), A look at the Mindcraft report (Linux Weekly news)and Mindcraft's "A File Server Comparison: Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 and Novell NetWare 5" (Novell)

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 a counter challengeto the skeptical Linux community. There are a few comments that I feel need to be made.

  1. 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.

  2. 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 are not necessarily encompassing of the Linux community. (Press releases from RedHat, are also not necessarily representative of the entire Linux community.)

  3. The original test in some way was motivated by Microsoft. Clearly they would not have done so without knowing about some advantage along some particular configuration/code path in Windows just before commissioning that test. (HTTP Get's are hardly a true test of the system -- just one particular aspect of the system, which, considering Microsoft's recent shift towards the 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 POSIX functionality -- something I know that Linux has a huge advantage in over Windows.)

  4. 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 recommend that the Linux community issue a counter proposal that would satisfy the other 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.  They  say:

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 cases.

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 results.

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 because they 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 their rebuttals:

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 affected by this lack of information. The fact is that Mindcraft put its stamp of approval on results derived in a non-optimal and therefore unfair way. None of the information on Linux out there is "secret" or even that difficult to get at -- such a suggestion is laughable. The fact is that the only reason why such information was available for Windows is that Microsoft knew that it needed to be available in order to do well on this test which they commissioned. By comparison these test results hit the entire Linux community like a ton of bricks. As anyone knows, comprehensive documentation of Linux 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 apparently was complaining about lack of access to sufficient information for which it tune for the test. Just because you have some email conversation with someone doesn't mean both ends are getting a clear picture of what's going on.

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 does not 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 performance.

Of course if the benchmarks in some way contained proprietary information code (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 rebuttal:

Given the anti-Microsoft sentiments in the Linux community, what kind of response do you think we would have received if we said we were benchmarking Linux and Windows NT Server under contract with Microsoft?

Dude, you'd get exactly the response you deserve. Benchmarking for the purposes of publishing under contract from one of the benchmark participants which has an abort clause is not fair no matter how you slice it.

The most vicious virus to date: the Melissa Virus centered around MS products

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. But the current attack does not cover the worst scope of the virus. Apparently, Melissa is easily modifiable (I wouldn't know I don't program in frigging Word macros) and has essentially become a template for other viruses that could easily be spread by other malicious virus writers.

This virus would not be possible if it weren't for Word's generally insecure 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 Be. While I personally have mixed feelings about BeOS, they are a legitimate company with a legitimate right to engage in fair business activities. Microsoft will just never give up. Sort of puts Martiz' comments about "BeOS" being a legitimate competitor into perspective doesn't it?

Read the discussion on Slashdot.Organd the story on PCWeek Online

Microsoft refuses legitimate refund requests from customers

02/15/99 Protesters appeared at a Microsoft outlet in Foster City, 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 the PC manufacturer for refund information. (They also took the opportunity to say that they are an equal opportunity employer.) This was obviously not very satisfying given the kind of responses people have been getting from their PC manufacturers.

There is a web site dedicated to just this issue: jump to You might like to read Robert 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 system, setting up illegal trusts, and not giving customers opportunity to make a choice about their OS and applications. This suit differs from the DOJ anti-trust case in that it is specifically seeking injunctive relief, possibly including monetary compensation.

Read 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 for Caldera.)

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 C|Net.

I am very happy with the prosecutions scrutiny of Microsoft's technical claims. Originally, I had feared that they would not be vigilant and let Microsoft get away with some technical fraud, but so far they are performing admirably.

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 most powerful 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 witnesses thus far.

Read the story on C|Net.

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 the analysis 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 asses kicked, 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 heads.  :o)

Read the story on C|Net.

Maritz argues transparently as though the existence of competitive potential negates the possibility that Microsoft is a monopoly.

01/28/99 Maritz claims that Linux and BeOS represent real competitive 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 Memosare 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 on C|Net.

Maybe Microsoft would be better off with no defense

01/26/99 Maritz adamantly denied the claims made by Barksdale about the "horse's head" meeting, however admitted to numerous anti-competitive things that went on during it.

I am happy to see that the DOJ lawyers are not letting these Microserfs get away without the most intense scrutiny.  Nailing Maritz to the wall looks like a crucial blow to Microsoft's defense.

Read the story on C|Net.

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 adequately prepare.

Read the story on C|Net

Microsoft's lawyer's suck

12/21/98 In a vain attempt to show that Solaris + HotJava was no 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 the Register

HP didn't like Microsoft's boot up restrictions

12/20/98 An email document was produced in the trial that indicates 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 Microsoft.

Read the 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 C|Net

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 increased over time -- not decreased as is MS's corporate line.

Read the story on the Register

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 conformance tests.)


Read the C|Net central story about it.

One thing that pisses me off about the developers that are complaining that 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 to Microsoft.

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 the way.

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 Java. (1) 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 Orificeis less than what it claims to be. 2% of attacks sounds like it has taken a foothold.

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 better for Microsoft. Read the C|Net central story on Intel's second day on the stand.

Apple takes the stand

Well, an apple exec, Dr. Tevanian, took the stand ... unfortunately, he made assertions he could not really back up and unlike Barksdale, he's not as credible and its not clear that the Judge believed him. While I have no doubt that what he said is true, 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 to their way of thinking. Just pulling this guy with his claims is not going to 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.

C|Net 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.

Read the story on TechWebor the PC World Article on it

Here's Real AudioA rebroadcast of Gates' testimony from

Here are my favorite quotes:

Bill Gates: I have no idea what you mean when you say "ask".

Prosecutor: Do you know what is meant when it is stated that MacOffice 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 testimony.

Read the story on C|Net

Update: 12/21/98 Excerpts discuss a "hit team" to attack IBM in order to prevent them from supporting Lotus.

Read the story on C|Net

Microsoft seeks a way to influence the government

04/11/98 Its a scary trend folks: C|Net central story

Microsoft feels threatened by and prepares assault against Linux

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 ignores the law and will simply do anythingto destroy their competition, short of making better products. I can only imagine what Microsoft might do to attack Linux, and I only hope that the strength of the Linux community prevails over them.

Read the C|Net Central articleor the Wired Storyabout it.

The Halloween Memos

Update: 11/04/98O'reilly Associates' Open Letter response

Sun prepares shipment of JDK 1.2 for Linux

The Java/Linux combination is a one two punch Microsoft Windows may not recover from if only the kinks were worked out of them. Well, Sun has stepped up to the plate with their half of the bargain. They are currently actively porting JDK to Linux.

Read the C|Net Central article about it

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 bugs.

Read the C|Net Central article about it

Barksdale testifies about Microsoft and the "dead horse's head" meeting

10/20/98 Read all about it in this TechWeb story.

I think I would recommend to other that testify, not to try to specifically 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.

Barksdale submits written testimony

10/19/98Read it on the DOJ website.

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

Microsoft monopolistic practices are sized up

10/09/98 In case you have a hard time believing that Microsoft's dominance has hurt anyone take a look at this TechWeb story.

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 demanding they 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 professors research.

I mean as long as they are now suddenly turning their attention to their 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!

Read the 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.

See the full story at C|Net

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 influence.

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.

Microsoft just keeps piling up the rulings against them

DOJ is allowed to offer new evidence. Read about it on TechWeb

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 them.

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 for Internet 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 them.

For more details read the story from C|Net's

Judge delays trial, but throws out Microsoft's request to dismiss

09/14/98 Microsoft's desperate ploy to have the case dismissed was 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 C|Net's

Microsoft denied delay plea

09/03/98 Judge Jackson has ruled that the DOJ may seek further evidence 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 Caldera is 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 source. There's 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 source code? That's not very professional. Now who is surprised by this?

Microsoft and Intel are not the allies you might think they are

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 on sabotaging competing OS's like DR-DOS.

Bristol Files suit against Microsoft

08/19/98 Bristol, an early partner of Microsoft in the development of Windows NT, has filed an antitrust suit charging that the software giant had stifled its efforts to develop NT-related software.

Read 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 Microsoft. Microsoft claims that such agreements are a normal procedure in the industry. This is true.

Apparently, however, this is no ordinary NDA. It has clauses stipulating that 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 any remotely similar clause in it. NDA's are about disclosure, not a person's basic right to work.

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 a requirement 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 along.

Read the 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 events regarding 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.  (Reference: (1))
  • (1989) Tim Berners Lee publishes his "HyperText" proposal and in 1990 begins work on a GUI browser for something he calls the "World Wide Web". (In 1990, I personally become an active user of the internet via UNIX.)
  • 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 Networkand BlackBird. Both basically attempts at proprietarizing the internet in defiance of the HTTP/HTML standards that were gaining momentum as well as a pre-emptive strike against Java.
  • Microsoft releases WinSock, an internet conduit API for enabling standard 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 HTML translation.
    Microsoft also signs a deal with SpyGlass to obtain technology for making Internet Explorer.
  • Netscape releases Netscape Navigator for Windows 3.x and UNIX platforms, and quickly displaces Mosaic, by being a better interface to the Mosaic standards and making the internet available to Windows users. Netscape relies on WinSock. Netscape is the first implementation of the HTTP/HTML specifications (which is what people currently think of when they think of the internet) generally available to Windows users. Internet Explorer is nowhere in sight.
  • Microsoft releases Windows 95 OSR1 (August 1995), which contains telnet, ftp utilities and Dial-up networking. These have been available for decade(s) on UNIX platforms, and have formed the cornerstone of Internet connectivity for UNIX. Microsoft also includes Microsoft Network as a desktop Icon for a primitive form of Internet connectivity that never really works correctly. AOL, Compuserve and Prodigy complain bitterly in a war of words against Microsoft for displacing them via unfair business practices. However since MSN is such a disaster in the early going, these service providers ride the storm with little difficulty.
  • (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 that would be internet aware.  This standard would trivialize the importance of proprietary operating systems, to support software applications of the future and make the internet a truly platform independent medium.  Microsoft responds by announcing BlackBirdand ActiveX.  (While 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 Internet Explorer. (The DOJ filed a lawsuit against Microsoft for anti-competitive practices as well as a violation of a dissent decree from 1995, which determined 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 "innovation" that actually saw the light of day (ActiveX) is shunned by the rest of the industry.

Furthermore, their attempts at breaking into the internet have gone in  directions, that are incongruent with today's internet, before turning around 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 disk compression, Apple QuickTime cases, 1995 consent decree which are but a faint memory in people's minds.

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 novell network client, registry corruption and not recognizing standard peripheral devices.

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 constantly busy.

07/03/98 reports on both of the above mentioned online radio shows report that Dell, Toshiba and GateWay have issued warnings that some models 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 clogged support lines are due only to popularity of Win 98.  But given that it was supposed to be far more stable than Win 95, shouldn't the number of support calls gone down anyway?  I don't buy it.  Win 98 may have a handful of new features, but its come with a host of new bugs specifically in regards to 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 Y2K problems, but the date roll over thing is intermittent, will happen sooner than the year 2000 and requires an update to the OS to fix which is something people will not usually feel all that motivated to do.

PC 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 the OS.

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 they 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 it.

How much does Win 98 cost?

Microsoft looks like it is already retaliating against some PC OEMs. See the BUSINESS WEEK ONLINE articleabout it.

IBM, NEC, and GateWay offer non-IE options

On the very heels of the DOJ filing their latest case against Microsoft, these 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 against them.

We're half way there guys. Now all we need is to see a commitment to ship Linux as an alternative. Microsoft will have one *heck* of a time trying to play "innovation via blatant copying" of Linux since everything leverages off of Linux paradigms that just don't jive with Windows NT. And matching the price of Linux is something Microsoft has no ability to do.

NewsHour runs a story on the US vs. Microsoft suits

It should be pretty obvious, I personally have a bias against Microsoft. So here's a news story from probably the least biased news show on earth, the NewsHour from PBS. It includes interviews with Joel Klein of the DOJ and Jeff Raikes of Microsoft.

Real AudioClick here

Sun files suit against Microsoft

05/12/98  Real AudioSun's take     Real AudioMicrosoft's take     (from CMPNET audio news)

Sun expresses their necessary reaction to a breach of contract and general abuse of their standard, Microsoft has nothing but rhetoric.

Update: 09/10/98Alan Baratz, president of Sun's Java software division, comments just after testifying in the case against Microsoft

Update: 11/17/98 A preliminary injunction against the currently  shipping Win 98 has been ordered -- Microsoft has 90 days to do something  about their polluted pseudo-Java. Read the C|Net central  story about it.

Preview Windows 98!

In case you haven't already seen it, QuickTimehere's a previewof Windows 98, that Bill Gates gave at Spring COMDEX.

Market Power and Structural Change in the Software Industry

Covered by C|Net Central radio. Basically, high profile computer industry CEO'sand senators ripping into Microsoft. Fun stuff!

Update: 11/27/98 That pointed question that was posed to Bill Gates three of four times in an effort to get Gates to admit that Microsoft got deals with ISPs to tie IE exclusively to their accounts has been answered.

See the C|Net story about it

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 the first companies to remove it in favor of Netscape or another browser as described 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.)

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