08.05.07

Microsoft Honours Competition…… Not.

Posted in America, Antitrust, Dell, Google, Microsoft, Novell, Quote, Steve Ballmer at 6:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It can be frustrating to find that some people rely too heavily on what they read the press. They live under rock so-to-speak and as far as technology goes, they are actually unaware of Microsoft’s true spirit.

The recent events in Massachusetts ought o have taught us (again) that Microsoft is a sociopath , as Sam Hiser repeatedly puts it. Nothing has changed. To warn people about Microsoft’s approach towards Linux and OSI, one ought to remember the words of Cringely, who was interviewed just a fortnight ago.

Davidson: Which software company would you hate to compete against? What makes you single them out?

Cringely: Microsoft of course. They have the deepest of pockets, unlimited ambition, and they are willing to lose money for years and years just to make sure that you don’t make any money, either. And they are mean, REALLY mean.

Davidson: Why do you think Microsoft is mean? Are you implying some kind of malicious intent rather than just ruthlessness?

Cringely: Maybe “mean” is the wrong word to use for Microsoft. “Ruthless” is good. The company is built in the image of Bill Gates and Bill is a guy who gets caught-up in the game of business and doesn’t typically see its personal cost. To use what might seem to be an obscure example, just look at all the various partnerships and industry consortia that Microsoft has announced through the years that never produced a product or even a usable specification. There have been literally dozens of these operations that are intended solely to freeze the competition until Microsoft can figure what the heck it actually wants to do. To Microsoft its a PR exercise that helps them compete but to customers it is just a damned lie. That’s ruthless. There are plenty of other examples I can give but you get the point. I represent the concerns of users, not vendors, and Microsoft doesn’t really care about users.

To intensity these words and knock sense into an innocent observer’s mind, perhaps the following quotes will do.

I’m thinking of hitting the OEMs harder than in the past with anti-Linux. … they should do a delicate dance

             –Joachim Kempin, Microsoft OEM Chief

Fucking Eric Schmidt is a fucking pussy. I’m going to fucking bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I’m going to fucking kill Google.

             –Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.

             –Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

We should whack them [Dell over Linux dealings], we should make sure they understand our value.

             –Paul Flessner, Senior Vice President, Server Applications Unit

I’d be glad to help tilt lotus into into the death spiral. I could do it Friday afternoon but not Saturday. I could do it pretty much any time the following week.

             –bradsi, Microsoft

We need to slaughter Novell before they get stronger….If you’re going to kill someone, there isn’t much reason to get all worked up about it and angry. You just pull the trigger. Any discussions beforehand are a waste of time. We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger.

             –Jim Allchin, Platform Group Vice President

Good luck, Novell. You’re going to need it.

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5 Comments

  1. Sam Hiser said,

    August 5, 2007 at 9:58 am

    Gravatar

    Accordingly, Roy, Microsoft has abdicated the privilege of being in the business.

    Trouble is, the other vendors are pained at the idea of putting Microsoft out of business. Sun, IBM & Novell — who together have the capability of closing the curtains over a period of time — see their futures as Class-B citizens within a world owned by Microsoft. This is the money-culture at the wheel and where public interests are kept away from the table.

    This is one of the failures of corporate values (over-dominance of the shareholder class in the IT industry) running amok in the US and, within that frame, a failure of Quarter-to-Quarter strategic outlook dominating the free flow of information in the public interest.

    It’s a damn shame!

  2. MattD said,

    August 5, 2007 at 10:05 am

    Gravatar

    The BeOS case represents one of many, many examples – in which MS essentially threatens Hitachi, one of it’s vendors, because of plans to introduce the operating systems into it’s product line. The Windows License thus becomes yet another weapon used to destroy competition.

    The link below also mentions Gateway and Compaq as two others who refused to consider BeOS – even when the OS was offered to them for free.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/02/20/be_inc_sues_microsoft/

    These actions via the anti-competitive nature of the Windows License goes back to the MS DOS days and yet… despite this, the majority of end-users are completely unaware of the type of company MS is. The message is beginning to trickle out, however.

    The best hope for competition in the OS area remains with Apple, Linux, BSD and the current effort by Sun with Solaris – distros with enough history and firepower to put up the good fight.

    It should be noted that it’s no accident that the latter three OSes are essentially free. As a result… MS has not been able to destroy them like they have so many others – but they keep trying in ways that make those in the know cringe…

  3. MattD said,

    August 5, 2007 at 10:32 am

    Gravatar

    I just remembered another case. This one involves actions of Microsoft, working with the US Government, to kill what was once (arguably) the most popular Operating System in the world.

    MS vs Historical Fact:
    http://tronweb.super-nova.co.jp/msvshistfact.html

    http://slashdot.org/articles/03/07/16/1521208.shtml
    “Over on CNN there is a very interesting article about Tron, an open-source real-time operating system from Japan first developed and distributed in the early 1980s. The claim is that it is more widely distributed than Windows (in some 3 billion devices world-wide), that the developer (Ken Sakamura, a University professor) would be worth mucho if he had just charged for it, and that Microsoft/U.S. goverment used trade rules (Super 301) to block it adoption by schools in Japan. Check it out for an interesting read and a ‘what might have been …’” (via slashdot)

  4. Anonymous said,

    August 5, 2007 at 10:45 am

    Gravatar

    How good that you *really never* rely heavily on some speculation you somewhere read in the web or self-appointed journalist. ;-)

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 5, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    Gravatar

    @ MattD: I know just what you mean. The Comes vs Microsoft exhibits contain plenty of evidence to show such things.

    I reached out for some texts that I have thanks to ‘Doug Mentohl’. The following 5 show Microsoft’s anticompetitive behaviour as used against Apple.

    Takeaway: Microsoft tells Apple to stop OEM-ing ClarisWorks

    http://edge-op.org/iowa/www.iowaconsumercase.org/011607/2000/PX02832.pdf


    From: Ben Waldman
    Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 1998 5:48 PM
    To: Grog Maffei
    Cc: Jon DeVaan; Bob Muglia (Exchange)
    Subject: RE: Claris

    A couple of things:

    1 ) This was publicly announced yesterday. We’ve known about it informally for a few days, and recruiting is already working on the best way to get candidates.

    2) Though we’d had a couple of informal hints about this (rick holzli, the ms evangelist at Apple had talked about it to Don and to Jodi Granston, who talked to me), we didn’t get any formal notification of this, or discussion on what this meant for ClarisWorks until Rick called me last night. I told him that I was really unhappy to be learning about stuff like this from press releases, and that this was not in the “spirit of partnership” that Steve Jobs is always talking about, and that he could go back and tell Steve and Phil Schiller (new VP of worldwide marketing) this. Turns out that Rick didn’t know either, and feels out of the loop. I also told Jodi to “let it slip” to Rick that I’d told her that if Apple is continuing development on ClarisWorks, that I was going to recommend to MS exec mgmt that we cut our Mac investment at least 50%.

    3) Though we still don’t have a clear idea on what they want to do with ClarisWorks, I have a hard time believing that they’d want to invest in it much. Steve views apps as outside of Apple’s core competency, i.e. not worth the opportunity cost. Also, Apple is spending a ton of money promoting Office 98, so it’s odd that they’d be spending effort on this (though, I could see that from their point of view, these things are orthogonal, because they are intended to achieve different goals). Last time we met (earlier this month), Steve told me that he thought that Claris was only important so they had something which would run on 16 meg machines, but in the last week or two, I know they’ve realized that 16 meg machines are not important (this is why they’ve pushed back their Allego release to the summer or later, not May as Brad suggests (I sent mail to DonBrad on Allegro yesterday)).

    4) I have been slowly pressing Apple to stop OEM-ing ClarisWorks. In Japan, it’s OEM-ed with all their laptops. I am meeting with the head of Apple Japan next month, and was going to bring this up, as well as talking to Steve about this.

    My plan is to mail Phil, not Steve, expressing displeasure, and asking about their plans for ClarisWorks. I think one safe way to indicate displeasure (not now, but down the road) is to just say tell Apple that I will not work on Office if they are putting effort into ClarisWorks. Jobs and others at Apple have been making a bunch of noise lately about how they wish there were just 1 mac group at MS, and that they wish I were running it; it’s obviously a lot better for us to talk about specific individuals not doing anything that to talk about changing MS’s commitments.

    2 questions for you:

    1 ) Do you talk to Steve at all (i’m curious if he has different paths of communication with MS)

    2) What do you feel our stake in Apple entitles us to? Should we have been notified of the Claris decision (or any major Apple decision) beforehand? Do we get to give an opinion on the ClarisWorks stuff?

    Ben

    - Original Message–

    From: Grog Maffei
    Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 1998 4:27 PM
    To: Ben Waldman
    Subject: FW: Claris

    gregma@microsoft.com

    …. Original Message …..

    From: Brad Silverberg
    Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 1998 11:57 AM
    To: Mike Murray; Executive Strategy Committee
    Cc: Jon DeVaan
    Subject: RE: Clads

    I learned from Don Bradford (ex Claris) that Apple is bringing ClarisWorks back into Apple proper as a mac focused product (macworks). The MacOffice guys know about this — don’t expect it to sit well. Jobs and Ellison are still trying to get their MacNC stuff going but have hit another setback: Apple has redefined their Allegro release without a 16M requirement and a May target release.

    —Orginal Message—-

    From: Mike Murray
    Sent: Wednesday. January 28. 1998 10:10 AM
    To: Executive Strategy Committee
    Subject: FW: C~ans

    fyi — big change in Claris’ business strategy:

    —-Original Message–

    From: Letitia D’Aria
    Sent: Tuesday, January 27. 1998 1:54 PM
    To: Kathy Weisfield; Valerie Berberoglu; David Pichard; Beth Kester
    (RhoTech); Michele Benson; Industry Recruiters; Phaedna Kopp; Bret
    Graham; Carolann O’Brien
    Subject: RE: Please read-Claris Opportunity

    Just got word from one of my Claris referrals that today Claris announced they will cease development on all their products except for FileMaker which will be spun off into its own company. There will be a skeleton staff finishing up the other Clads products and this staff will become Apple employees.

    Of the roughly 1000 employees there are about 300 that are being laid off including engineers, product support and technical writers. Even the people that are not laid off are pretty unhappy. This news hasn’t been officially announced yet but I’m hoping well make inroads networking through our referrals. I anticipate we’ll start seeing alot more activity soon and maybe even an outplacement person from Claris

    If you haven’t already put the word out to agencies, please do so and forward your referrals to Carolann who is keeping a spreadsheet of our referrals so we are coordinated and not calling the same people twice.

    Takeaway: Microsoft asked what can it can steal from ClarisWorks and the Apple UI

    http://edge-op.org/iowa/www.iowaconsumercase.org/011607/2000/PX02842.pdf


    From: Ebbe Altberg
    Sent: Thursday, February 12, 1998 11:42 AM
    To: Macintosh BU Program Managers; Macintosh BU Managers
    Subject: MacOffice 2K

    I started to think about stuff that I feel are important for us to focus on for our next release. This is a high level list of areas to get some thoughts and discussions going. Things are not listed in any particular order here. VVhat key things are missing? What is wrong? What do you think? Never mind the 2K. I just don’t have a good name for this thing.

    ebbe

    Things to start thinking about for next version

    ..

    ClarisWorks

    Our biggest competitor. We should remove all reasons anybody might have for sticking with this product rather than upgrade to Office. What features do we need to steal? What scenarios do we need to improve to make us a superset. Conversion needs to be simple obviously. Do we want to be able to switch to ClarisWorks UI or have special ClarisWorks Help that tell users how to deal, kind of like WordPerfect Help we had in Word6 for Windows?

    ..

    UI

    We need to follow Apple to a large degree, but also push Apple to make improvements we need. I think we should alo leverage the Assistant, Wizards, and more to make people feel that we’re friendlier and easier. Less complex where possible. Simplify.

    System

    Need to pick up key features added by Apple. We get lots of bonus points for supporting their technologies. Need to be selective and careful as it is not all worthwhile.

    Education

    Key market for Apple. This is where they make the majority of their sales. What can we do to get a big chunk of this marked? What can we do to make them willing to spend money on Office when they have ClarisWorks already for free? What scenarios are important to teachers and students. Ease of Use and TCO are key, but we should also do specific work to target key scenarios that speak to these users.

    Small Business, Publishing, Home

    Other pockets of Apple users. We need to focus more on these users rather than the LORG customers Office9 is targeting in general. This is why we will focus more on Ease of Use, but we need to do this with these users in mind. Do we need to provide some tools to deal with digital imaging, scanners, cameras? Party invitations. Family albums. Inventory. Customer contact management. Things Publisher, Home titles, and Small Business pack on Windows can do. These types of scenarios need to be targeted.

    Short term issues

    ..

    ClarisWorks

    What Can we do shortly after we ship to make it more obvious and easier for people to migrate to Office98? Provide converters would be key.

    FileMaker

    What can we do short term as value add to promote interoperability with FileMaker. We should provide value shortly after we’ve shipped so that we can reduce the “ClarisWorks has a database” and “why don’t you provide Access” problems.

    ..

    HTML Help

    Both Win and Apple are implementing this stuff and Office9 will take advantage of it. How can we influence Apple to make the same implementation, or maybe better, so that we don’t have to deal with random differences and reduce the need for us to provide stuff here.

    ..

    Some things that are not important

    .. Would be nice to fix VB memory problems, but I don’t see the need for any major investment here ..

    Takeaway: Microsoft asked Apple to adopt ASF

    http://edge-op.org/iowa/www.iowaconsumercase.org/011607/2000/PX02762_B.pdf


    Subject: FW: Growing the Multimedia market
    Sent: 08/26/97 9:03:51 AM

    Received: 08/26/97 11:45:10 AM
    From Avadis Tevanian, avie@apple.com
    To Tim Schaaff, tims@apple.com
    Peter Hoodie, hoodie@apple.com

    CC

    Message These guys sure have balls to ask…

    How do you want to reply to this..~. Just ask them to adopt QuickTime?

    Avie

    Begin forwarded message:

    From: Ben Novak
    To: “’Avadis Tevanian’” , “’Peter Hoddie’”

    Subject: FW: Growing the Multimedia market
    Date: Mon, 25 Aug 1997 18:19:11 -0700

    Avie, Peter,

    I’d like to discuss the prospects for Apple supporting ASF as a delivery format. I believe if we really look at the effect our mutual support would have on the multimedia industry we’ll see that this is positive for both our companies. What Microsoft wants to do is grow this industry so the market increases in size. Clearly Apple is now and will remain an important platorm for content authors. I believe direct support from Apple for authoring ASF is the real win for Apple. This keels you in firm control of the larger and more important elements of multimedia on Apple systems and allows your supporters to target content for multiple platforms. I’d like to see ASF independent of Microsoft, DirectShow, Apple, and QuickTime. A common multimedia delivery format should not be a platform or multimedia subsystem issue.

    We have an opportunity here to really unify the marketplace. You have an opportunity to adopt a new format that is quickly becoming a standard and to position Apple as a co-developer and founder of this format. You have an opportunity in ASF to keep Apple the center of content development for multimedia. Microsoft’s win in ASF is to grow the market place, reunify the tools industry, and create what we believe will be seen in the marketplace as a safe viable choice for content delivery. Is there any reason the,same same goals don’t apply to Apple? We can make ASF something that’s good for both our companies.

    Takeaway: Bill Gates makes Apple an offer they can’t refuse

    http://edge-op.org/iowa/www.iowaconsumercase.org/122106/PLEX0_5780.pdf


    From: Joachim Kempin
    Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 1996; 6:43 PM
    To: Bill Gates
    Subject: RE: Apple meeting

    thank you. this would be a huge win for both of us and it would spill over to their OS licensees. Over time that would be able to sell NT to corporate. I would not be surprised If they would want a MAC UI on their version- if feasible. We will go ahead and ask them again for their stand on an NT license.

    From: Bill Gates
    Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 1996 4:33 PM
    To: Joachim Kempin
    Subject: FW: Apple meeting

    Last Tuesday night I went down to address the top Apple executives. I explained our strategy, discussed our applications work with Apple. discussed how they should work with us on Browser and Windows NT and took questions.

    ..

    Apple is trying to decide whether they should work with us or not on platform software. Their instincts tell them it might be a mistake. However they are tempted to get involved with Windows NT server and how it integrates with Macintosh. They would be tempted to be able to focus their R&D efforts.

    My proposition to them was that once they decide the areas they want to be different and better than Windows then we will know all of the other areas and those are places where we can cooperate.

    ..

    I explained to Ike that his R&D costs to keep up with us in areas that aren’t points of differentiation will exceed his budget by a lot and that he will always be perceived as incompatible. I tried to make the point on the browser but we kept getting hung upon opendoc so I made the point by using our security software work- That example got him agreeing that he would love to have that work and be able to incorporate it into the Mac Os.

    I proposed that we swap technology including source code with no restrictions. The deal would look like this:

    Apple gets:

    Internet explorer source code including updates

    Security software and other definable places we can turn over to them [I need more ideas for this category – things that are seperable enough we can turn them over to Apple to save them R&D and get our approach endorsed)

    Blessing by us of Quicktime as a cool cross platform thing where apple looks good and we align our strategies

    [this wouldn't have to mean much in practice We are already planning to read Quicktime formats]

    ..

    ATTORNEYS EYES
    ONLY

    Takeaway: cancelling Mac Office 97 will immediately harm Apple, says Microsoft

    http://edge-op.org/iowa/www.iowaconsumercase.org/122106/PLEX0_6060.pdf


    From: Bill Gates
    Sent: Friday, June 21, 1997 9:37 AM
    To: Ben Waldman
    Cc: Jon DeVaain; Greg Maffei
    Subject: RE: Moving forward with Mac Office 97

    I appreciate your mail, It shows the kind of passion about great products that has made Microsoft successful, I admit we have neglected the Mac business. Although the Mac is declining if we move ahead on this product we should ask for the subs with localized product to make a real effort.

    I have 2 things I need to understand better.

    1) Realistically when do we think we would ship this product?

    2) Can we avoid Apple knowing how far along we are for the next 30 days?

    —Original Message—
    From: Ben Waidman
    Sent; Friday,June 27, 1997 1:58 AM
    To: Bill Gates
    Cc: Jon Devain; Greg Maltel
    Subject: Moving forward with MacOfficeS?
    Importance: High

    I am writing to argue for making a final decision to FINISH Mac Office 97, and detach this issue from the current Apple discussions.

    The pace of our discussions with Apple as well as their recent unsatisfactory response have certainly frustrated a lot of people at Microsoft. The threat to Cancel Mac Office 97 is certainly the strongest bargaining point we have, as doing so will do a great deal of harm to Apple immediately. I also believe that Apple is taking this threat pretty seriously, and at least someone there seems to want to move forward (when I discussed the issue with Jim Gable, an Apple marketing VP who visited MS today, he seemed very concerned about getting more details on our specific objections to their latest proposal; also, we received mail today from Apple’s evangelism group asking for details on the Office Early Adopter Program, saying that exec mgmt had instructed them to get these details (participating in this program was one of the minor issues in the discussions}).

    Regardless of the outcome of these discussions, though, I believe we should ship Mac Office 97 Furthermore, I believe we need to decide this immediately – our indecision so far has caused quite a bit of harm, and this will become far worse very shortly, aswe are not only close to shipping code externally, but need to finally start press and customer communications, especially with MacWorld a month away.

    ..

    5) We can experiment with Mac Office

    Because Mac Office is so much less critical to our business than windows, we have the flexibility to test out new things in the product and in its marketing before we try them on Windows.

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