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08.03.07

Some Things Never Change — Technical Sabotage at Microsoft

Posted in Interoperability, Linspire, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Xandros at 8:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When an animal gets cornered, it becomes afraid. That’s when it becomes irrationally aggressive. Microsoft has truly become an animal recently and it shows.

Even journalists have begun doubting and criticising Microsoft’s dirty tactics. And rightly so. Here are the latest developments:

Bob talks about stories of corruption.

Every once is a while I get an anonymous comment or a tip about something that happened in “closed” standards meetings. This is especially true lately where the various national bodies are deliberating whether they should support Microsoft’s OOXML product specification for Microsoft Office.

[...]

Slanted, inappropriate, and biased behavior (in any way in any direction and for anyone) is not allowable, in my mind, when deciding this and other important standards issues. I repeat: All this information must be made public and those running the processes must be accountable to each other, their fellow citizens, and the various standards organizations and committees in which they participate.

You have hopefully followed many stories on this subject before. We covered several of them. Sam has another shocking piece of information to share. Microsoft resorts to breaking the ODF plugins.

Sun is having trouble because Microsoft is breaking interoperability deliberately through hi-jinks with the Dynamic-Link Libraries (“dll”) in Windows.

I guess that without OpenOffice.org (or another ODF-friendly suite), our colleagues will no longer be able to read OpenDocument-formatted files. Thank you, Microsoft. You never fail to surprise and I truly hope that the ODF Alliance/TC will take you to court. Knowing how it works, a settlement is more likely than time in prison. This is a recurring pattern and in days to come I might also attempt to show this by digging some old antitrust exhibits. In the following, mind the part about technical sabotage.

Conlin used a variety of computer-generated illustrations, including one that showed 15 icons, each representing what she said was an illegal action taken by Microsoft in pursuit of its bid to become and remain a monopoly. The icons had titles like “exclusionary contract,” “technical sabotage,” “buying out the competition,” “espionage,” and “deception and misinformation.”

I have seen many examples (exhibits) where companies, including Novell, had their products broken by Microsoft. It is deliberate. Microsoft did the same in order to gain control over the Web.

Another part worth discussing is “buying out the competition”. Although Microsoft did not buy Novell, Xandros and Linspire per se, it took control of them and forced them to make some certain decisions, including the support of OOXML.

On the brighter side of things, New York seems to be reassessing its choices. It will study document formats more closely.

The OpenDocument Format Alliance (ODF Alliance) has hailed New York for becoming the second state, along with Minnesota, to enact legislation requiring study of electronic document formats.

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27 Comments

  1. pornfo said,

    August 4, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    Gravatar

    all the great free streaming porn video you can handle at pornfo

  2. Steve said,

    August 4, 2007 at 4:06 pm

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    What do you expect? Them to welcome Google with open arms? Accept that Linux is better simply because it’s free? Of course not. . .they have to protect their market.

    ______________
    http://www.FreeOpenMoko.com

  3. Swashbuckler said,

    August 4, 2007 at 4:30 pm

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    “I have seen many examples (exhibits) where companies, including Novell, had their products broken by Microsoft. It is deliberate.”

    Really? Got any proof of that?

    This sounds like Cheney’s “it’s been pretty well confirmed…” claim.

  4. U. N. Beliver said,

    August 4, 2007 at 5:08 pm

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    When you are throwing claims like this one, please, support them with solid evidence. Do you have any? Drag it out in the light for us to see then.

  5. L Shwansker said,

    August 4, 2007 at 6:08 pm

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    Strange. Normally the FUD stories have MS on the other side of the claims.

  6. James said,

    August 4, 2007 at 6:24 pm

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    Microsoft was convicted in the US of having an illegal monopoly through a violation of anti-trust laws. This is fact. Microsoft was also found guilty of monopolist practices in the EU, for which they are currently paying a penalty.

    So it should come as no surprise that this behavior continues since the EU conviction followed the US conviction. After being convicted in the US they just kept it up and the EU busted them for similar practices years later.

    “What do you expect? Them to welcome Google with open arms? Accept that Linux is better simply because it’s free? Of course not. . .they have to protect their market.” – Steve

    I expect ethical behavior and honest business practices, because this kind of unethical behavior damages the very competition that the free market thrives on. So in the case of Microsoft, instead of building better products and services, they simply resort to illegal and unethical behavior, which hurts consumers and stifles innovation. This is why Microsoft products suck.

  7. dna test said,

    August 4, 2007 at 7:02 pm

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    solid evidence.would be nice, however I see your point

  8. dna test said,

    August 4, 2007 at 7:03 pm

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    is this working?

  9. dna test said,

    August 4, 2007 at 7:04 pm

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    is this working now?

  10. Alex F said,

    August 4, 2007 at 7:40 pm

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    >> “This is why Microsoft products suck.”

    No, it’s why capitalism sucks. Any capitalist organization will always act in its own best interests – this is not limited to the technology industry.

    Capitalism only works when there is competition. When there isn’t, everyone else gets screwed.

  11. Oldschooler said,

    August 4, 2007 at 7:55 pm

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    Reasons microsoft is is trouble:

    Vista is broken by design and has no drivers. Current unreleased SP1 is 10gb.

    Exchange 2007 is unfinished and has non-working key features.

    Office 2007 is broken and bloated/slow even on new machines. Chances are you will have to create multiple profiles in the first week to fix the outbox, address book or other features.

    They have waged a war on PC gaming that has nearly killed the industry. Aside from other tactic, by buying successful titles, porting them exclusively to the Xbox and then retiring them when the Xbox users don’t like them.

    I’ve run MS OS’s since Dos 2.0, but after fighting their products over the last couple of months, I’m done with them. I just hope there is enough Vax/VMS still left in my brain to get me through the change to Linux.

  12. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 4, 2007 at 8:09 pm

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    @ Swashbuckler, U. N. Beliver, dna test : follow the hyperlinks. I cross reference rather than repeat stuff that we covered before.

    Example of technical sabotage against Novell:

    http://boycottnovell.com/2007/03/19/novell-iowa-antitrust/

    More information here:

    http://boycottnovell.com/2007/08/03/do-dos-odf-microsoft-sabotage/

  13. rlmerrick said,

    August 4, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    Gravatar

    Don’t worry oldschooler, or anyone else. linux is a breeze to pick up.
    I have also had it with MS, from DOS on as well, and made the switch.
    The bonus is I can still use my old equipment at higher speed; and, not have to deal with a rapacious company out to hold everyone to their
    standard, yet managing to shoot itself in the foot at every opportunity.
    Viva la revolution!

  14. Tony Briggs said,

    August 4, 2007 at 9:03 pm

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    Don’t worry, these are M$ dying thrashing. It’s inevitable that their bloated, buggy, non-free software will gather cobwebs, while free open standard software flourish.

    Bill is right to choose retirement, it doesn’t feel good to be on board the company he built, while it slowly fades away.

  15. Swashbuckler said,

    August 4, 2007 at 9:05 pm

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    “Example of technical sabotage against Novell:”

    Nope. Examples of apps getting broken. Where’s the evidence that it was deliberate?

    Considering that Microsoft breaks their own apps, the fact that other vendors apps get broken is hardly evidence of malicious intent.

    Wanna try again?

  16. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 4, 2007 at 9:20 pm

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    @ Swashbuckler:

    Last year, Jeremy Allison uttered the following fairly strong words.

    http://www.twit.tv/floww14

    Summary:

    in the section of the interview from around 33m30s to 39m00 Jeremy Allison reports how he was told that the Microsoft team implementing SMB2 were ordered to “f**k with Samba”

    And guess what? Later on it turned out that Samba got broken indeed.

    I have more examples. Just ask for some and I’ll happily provide them. I have seen too many cases such as this and perhaps I should compile a list at some stage.

  17. grimm said,

    August 4, 2007 at 11:09 pm

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    It amazes me that people still doubt that M$ will stop at nothing to try and stop the open source movement. Anybody who wants proof need only utilize google. Come on people wake-up!!!!

  18. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 4, 2007 at 11:56 pm

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    The Halloween Documents should be made part of every high school’s curriculum. (yes, I’m being cynical)

  19. Swashbuckler said,

    August 5, 2007 at 9:35 am

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    “Anybody who wants proof need only utilize google.”

    Proof?!

    ROFLMAO!!!

    What we find using Google is lots of accusations and innuendo. MS may have done as is claimed, however evidence of such, much less proof, has not been presented.

  20. Swashbuckler said,

    August 5, 2007 at 9:40 am

    Gravatar

    “‘in the section of the interview from around 33m30s to 39m00 Jeremy Allison reports how he was told that the Microsoft team implementing SMB2 were ordered to “f**k with Samba”

    By whom? Anonymous accusations are inherently unreliable. Was the person who said that in a position to know? Was that person just repeating something s/he had heard? That claim, while interesting, doesn’t constitute evidence.

    It reminds me of the Bush administration’s use of the source codenamed “Curveball,” who claimed that Iraq had mobile weapons laboratories. The guy was damned taxi driver in Baghdad who was not in any position to know anything about weapons labs. Serious intelligence professionals discounted his claims, but the Bush administration relied on his because his claims boosted their position — just as you’re doing now.

  21. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 5, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    Gravatar

    Swashbuckler,

    See this: http://boycottnovell.com/2007/08/03/do-dos-odf-microsoft-sabotage/

    It is hard to obtain correspondence, but this one is the exception. I have more examples (e.g. from the Netscape era).

  22. Ned said,

    August 5, 2007 at 4:52 pm

    Gravatar

    Want more evidence…

    Try installing Windows for Workgroups 3.11 on DR-DOS… good luck!

    Now do a hexedit search and replace for DR-DOS to MS-DOS in key DR-DOS files and all of a sudden it miraculously works. Suspicious?

    That’s about the oldest example I’ve come across of MS deliberately breaking another company’s product, forcing us to ditch DR-DOS and purchase some 5,000 copies of MS-DOS in the process.

  23. Robert MacEwan said,

    August 5, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    Gravatar

    We’re debating whether or not Microsoft can be trusted? Don’t waste your time with silly discussions.

    Of course they sabotage – this is what is natural to them.

  24. Troy Phillips said,

    August 5, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    Gravatar

    Irrespective of whether MS has stooped low enough to sabotage in the past, in this case it is plainly a case of ‘DLL Hell’.

    Have a look at the Sun slides where they described the problem with Office 2007. The slide titled “DLL Bugs” states that msvcp71.dll and msvcr71.dll have to be relocated to resolve the issue. These DLLs are the MS Visual C++ 2003 runtime libraries. It looks more like the ODF plugin had dependencies on libraries that were deployed with Office 2003 but not Office 2007?

    Certainly if the issue is resolved by moving standard runtime libraries, then it is not sabotage.

    PS: I am no MS apologist – I am typing this on my MacBook :)

  25. Yevgeniy said,

    August 10, 2007 at 10:38 am

    Gravatar

    1. Deliberately breaking software.:

    First off Microsoft does deliberately break software. Although as any person/company with half a brain they naturally try to cover the evidence and act as if it wasn’t done deliberately. Some of the breakage does in fact come from “DLL Hell” but not all.

    2. Linux isn’t perfect

    Don’t get me wrong I am not defending Microsoft, but Linux is not perfect. Linux is not the product of choice for the average user/loser. For example, just yesterday I was trying to setup one of my boxes to be a media center clone. Do you have any idea how long it took to setup my remote? 3 hours!!! (This was done on Ubuntu with lirc.) I should also mention that I am experienced with this. I have done a media center setup on multiple distributions and multiple times. I hate to say this but at the moment linux is truly PLUG AND PRAY! Do you know how long it takes to setup the same remote under windows? 10 seconds (under XP), just plug it in – although I must admit vista sucks with this… you have to plug it in and it will say error installing hardware then you have to unplug it and plug it in again and then its will find it in 20 seconds.

    3. Vista may cause Microsoft’s downfall.

    A statement I must agree with. Vista being released in February had a bug that made it take 30 seconds to copy a F****ING 2kb file from folder to folder!!!! How long was this bug present? Through the summer?!?
    Networking has been crap until recently. I mean I have never seen my gigabit network go above 50mbits (5% of potential). However yesterday I saw it reach 500mbits – this I have not seen even on XP. (This was a Vista to Ubuntu copy operation through samba.) You may have noticed that these bugs have been resolved, at least in part. I currently have one that is still present: Plug in a device and it says failed to install hardware. So unplug and plug in again… Until it installs successfully. (Please note I do not use Vista on an everyday bases so I don’t have that many bugs to report but I do PC setups with vista occasionally.
    Oh yeah… one other bug Vista is slow as hell.

  26. AbNo said,

    October 11, 2007 at 11:13 am

    Gravatar

    Well, Swashbuckler was asking for an example of Microsoft, I get a nice example every year.

    Ask anyone that uses Opera as their browser and has Hotmail. Every August or so, Hotmail gets broken in some way, and you can usually fix it by changing Opera’s browser ID to say Internet Explorer (or, more recently, Firefox).

    The fact you can fix these “problems” by changing your browser ID is pretty damning. Or, for more fun, see when MSN had a style sheet written spcifically for Opera that was larger (as far as file size), had less content, and was deliberately mis-aligned. (link is for an article on The Registry concerning just that)

    Cnet’s apparently got some articles going back as far as 2001, and both Digg and Slashdot have several cases of this, as well. It’s always around August to October, too. I wonder why…

  27. AbNo said,

    July 2, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Gravatar

    Looks like they are getting started EARLY this year.

    July First saw any and all links in your inbox unreasponsive to Opera users.

    Using Opera’s “Mask as Firefox” feature does not fix the problem.

    Using “Mask as Internet Explorer” allowed you to use your inbox normally, up until today.

    I wonder why that is?

    As of today, Mask as IE is no longer a fix.

    For consideration: When using IE, the Inbox page I get is 59,630 bytes, while the version I get using Opera is 59,594 bytes. If I’d hazard a guess, I’d say broken or missing java script, considering all links in your inbox lead to “javascript:;”

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