EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.11.07

Is Vanity Culture Infectious?

Posted in Antitrust, Bill Gates, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Novell, Ron Hovsepian, Steve Ballmer at 7:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Microsoft of Linux?

Novell seems to be getting back to its roots of arrogance. To quote Phil Morettini, “Novell had plenty of excuses to be arrogant, even without Microsoft’s attention. They were truly dominating the Network Operating System business. The brand was dominant, the product was good, and the worldwide distribution network of VARs and distributors was second to none. Sales people at Novell no longer had to sell–they took orders.“

What vanity is it we’re talking about? Ron Hovsepian and Justin Steinman, for example, feel like they are better than Red Hat even though they are well behind. Novell has recently joined hands and tightened its relationship with a company that is known for brutality and vanity, so this is hardly surprising. These two examples (among more), and particularly the new one from Ron Hovsepian can be nicely weaved in with some recent news. Newsweek has a new article where Google speaks about cultural issues at Microsoft.

“Google is so different that it was almost impossible to reprogram them into this culture,” says CEO Eric Schmidt.

How about this one?

Stuart Scott, Microsoft’s former CIO, is not the only Microsoft employee unceremoniously being shown the door. Some staffers who are putting in their notice are being escorted off campus immediately. Why? Because they’ve put in their notice to join Google.

Isn’t that distrubing? Microsoft likens the Mac and GNU/Linux user communities to “cults”, but some of its own behavior (at a corporate level) may suggest that it’s merely a case of reflection.

Let’s explore Microsoft’s own vanity. We’ve assembled some good examples below.

Bill Gates

This is something that I actually cover in my personal blog. The Gates Foundation is being used to control media outlets (through investments), which then give shape to a positive image and paint Bill Gates as a Saint. The reality is far from that. Judge Gates’ character for yourself, based on those who know him personally, as opposed to those watching what journalists say in the press. These are journlists whose fundnd source include the Gates Foundation (investor) Microsoft (advertiser/partner).

Microsoft Memories

At some point in your presentation billg will say “that’s the dumbest fucking idea I’ve heard since I’ve been at Microsoft.” He looks like he means it. However, since you knew he was going to say this, you can’t really let it faze you. Moreover, you can’t afford to look fazed; remember: he’s a bully.

Here is another example.

My father, in his travels, has met Bill Gates. I don’t think I’d be creating a problem for him now (as he recently retired) by saying that he was unimpressed. Apparently Gates was rude, he was distracted, and when he sat, he rocked back and forth in his chair, an action which reminded my Dad of people with dementia.

And another from Joel Spolsky (on software).

In my BillG review meeting, the whole reporting hierarchy was there, along with their cousins, sisters, and aunts, and a person who came along from my team whose whole job during the meeting was to keep an accurate count of how many times Bill said the F word. The lower the f***-count, the better.

[...]

Four,” announced the f*** counter, and everyone said, “wow, that’s the lowest I can remember. Bill is getting mellow in his old age.” He was, you know, 36.

Later I had it explained to me. “Bill doesn’t really want to review your spec, he just wants to make sure you’ve got it under control. His standard M.O. is to ask harder and harder questions until you admit that you don’t know, and then he can yell at you for being unprepared. Nobody was really sure what happens if you answer the hardest question he can come up with because it’s never happened before.”

How about this one [PDF]?

From: johnfi; Wed Mar 14 11:18:49 1990
To: RichAab; RussW; SherryR; c-JanetC
Subject: H-P New Wave
Date: Wed Mar 14 10:56:42 1990

A few issues … Got a call from Gary Perez (our OEM HP Acct Mgr) this morning. They are telling HP that they wil NOT be part of this launch and that BillG has said “fxxk HP (all divisions) if they won’t sign a Windows license.”

There are many more examples, including Gates’ request for anti-Linux patents and making ACPI not work with Linux. For now, the above examples ought to suffice.

Steve Ballmer

Recall this unforgettable reaction from Microsoft’s CEO.

At that point, Mr. Ballmer picked up a chair and threw it across the room hitting a table in his office. Mr. Ballmer then said: “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.”

More analysis here.

When Emory University primatologist Frans de Waal read a news story that said Microsoft’s chief executive, Steve Ballmer, had hurled a chair across the room on hearing an employee was going to work for rival Google, the scientist immediately made a connection with his own research: “When I see such behavior, I think of a chimpanzee.”

It seems to be just part of a behavioural pattern.

“The word ‘intense’ was invented for Ballmer, who met with us in a green room that had a paper sign with his name taped to the door. While he was at first warm and engaging, a question about security features shifted his mood. His eyes, soft when he smiles, grew dark. The usually boisterous Ballmer became unexpectedly quiet and soon exited the room without saying goodbye. Still, he had a lot to say to SmartMoney senior writer Dyan Machan before he did.

How can one forget "Developers" and "Monkey Dance"?

Jim Allchin

This one is a classic [PDF].

From: jimall Mon Sep 9 11:09:33 1991
To: billg steveb
Cc: bradsi; jonl; mikemur; paulma
Subject winball
Date: Mon Sep 09 11:08:44 PDT 1991

[...]

We need to slaughter Novell before they get stronger.

Jim Allchin on Novell

Joachim Kempin (OEM Chief)

Joachim Kempin seems to be quite a violent man, as the following incident illustrates.

Microsoft OEM chief Joachim Kempin was guilty of nine charges of illegal hunting…

There are many examples of anti-Linux abuses in the OEM channel and we covered some of them before. Joachim Kempin was behind threats and illegal manipulation in the marketplace.

Others

Redmond’s vanity can be seen in the following article which advises partners never to mention GNU/Linux or Google when visiting Microsoft.

Watch how ‘poor’ Microsoft employees complain about Google ‘daring’ to touch their overwheliming market share.

Microsoft has warned Google to steer clear of corporate search, declaring that the market is “our house”….

“Those people are not going to be allowed to take food off our plate, because that is what they are intending to do.”

Here’s some evidence of what some call ‘Mafia Culture’ [PDF]

From: bradsi Fri Oct 18 14:24:00 1991
To: dawntr; jonl; makemap; mikemur; philipg; vijayc
Cc: garygi; hankv; lewisl; peteh
Subject: Re: Excel brainstorm group
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 91 14:20:38 PDT

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 followung week.

Watch the following. This lady isn’t so pleased with Microsoft’s deliberate corruption of Web standards.

Besides the fact that all of the Microsoft employees I have ever encountered must have been brainwashed. I don’t know where they dig these people up.

[...]

And if they AREN’T brainwashing them, then they are just hiring incompetant, pompous dumbasses. And if either is the case, why should anyone support their company?

Back to Novell

If Novell was ever to succeed in the Linux business, that would add to its already-morbid vanity, which is infectious. Some people at Novell would not deny admiring and loving Microsoft. They would even Mimic Windows technologies. There is a huge danger here and the remainder of this story will be described in the next post.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

6 Comments

  1. Doug said,

    November 22, 2007 at 7:30 am

    Gravatar

    Hey Roy, after this you should borrow Ron Enderles’ gun, the one he keeps under the pillow, your going to need it .. :)

  2. eet said,

    November 22, 2007 at 8:05 am

    Gravatar

    Hey, now you are really down to the level of ‘ad hominem’ (bleagh) attacks on the executives of every company that you don’t like (though Ballmer really is a loony). Congratulations to that new all-time low.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an abusive Internet troll

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 22, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    Gravatar

    There’s no drama here. I’m just linking to publicly available material.

  4. Doug said,

    November 22, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    Gravatar

    “Hey, now you are really down to the level of ‘ad hominem’”, eet

    How is quoting them in their own words an ‘ad hominem’ …

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 22, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    Gravatar

    Sebastian Weiss (eet),

    Watch your behaviour. Your recent comments are pushing the limits and I’ll modify the moderation policy if you continue your anti-BN crusade. I notice that you’ve been pretty much rejected in other Web sites also for comments like “just so full of shit”.

  6. eet said,

    November 22, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    Gravatar

    To be precise, (oh, BTW, that’s not my actual name), these websites are yours and Berangers. You are brothers in trolling, so to speak. Though B. is much, much more elegant than you in venting his anger, but also much more indiscriminate; he just hates almost anything and anybody and changes his views quite often. Whereas you keep on flogging the dead horse till it really, really stinks.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an abusive Internet troll

What Else is New


  1. Make Nothing, Sue Everybody: The Reality of Patent Trolls Increasingly Understood by the 'Mainstream'

    New patent stories and even extensive coverage at PBS, which dedicated a whole program to these matters but failed to address the core issue, which is software patenting



  2. [ES] Advertencia: La Vigilancia de la EPO Surveillance Puede Haberse Convertido en Más Intrusiva

    BlueCoat, que la EPO usa para oprimir a sus empleados en sus premisas Europeas, acaba de ajustar más y hacerse más intrusiva y los empleados pueden estar en riesgo



  3. [ES] Tarjeta de Victima Termina en Otra Torpeza para Battistelli Seis de su Guardia Pretoriana

    Battistelli esta destruyéndo lo que queda de la reputación de la EPO (después de las décadas que le costó a ella construírla) mientras los medios continúan escrutinando su desastroso régimen



  4. [ES] La EPO esta Excelente, Dice Sitio de ‘Noticias’ Conectado a Ella

    Los caraduras de la ‘revista’ IAM, viejo aliado de la EPO, da la impresión a la gente de que en la EPO todo esta bien y dandy aunque claramente ese no es el caso



  5. New EPO Caricature: Nouveaux Garde-Vélo (New Bicycle Guards)

    A new cartoon poking fun at Battistelli's bicycles and the perceived threat these are under



  6. Battistelli's 'Special Relationship' With Portugal and the 'Inventor of the Year' Charade

    What makes Portugal rather unique when it comes to Mr. Battistelli, who is allegedly desperate for support from smaller countries whose vote is easier to 'win'



  7. Patent Lawyers' Marketing Dominates and Marginalises Meaningful Analyses of Software Patenting in the US

    In an effort to create demand for software patents again, patent lawyers produce a huge heap of so-called 'analyses' which piggyback just one single decision (the exception, not the norm)



  8. A Mix of Patent Aggression and Sanctions/Raids (Using Controversial Patents) Against East Asian Companies

    New stories that demonstrate patent protectionism and show how Western industry, which barely makes anything anymore, relies on patents (software and design patents included) and this self-serving patent regime perpetuates itself even in Asia, where almost everything is actually being manufactured (and often/increasingly designed/developed too)



  9. Rumour: Battistelli Wants to Extend the Term of Topić's EPO Appointment in Spite of Criminal Charges Against Him

    The EPO's 'ringleader', Mr. Battistelli, is trying to keep his confidants (like Mr. Minnoye and Željko Topić) together for several more years to come, even defying rules regarding retirement age



  10. Links 29/5/2016: NetBSD 7.0.1, Genode OS 16.05

    Links for the day



  11. [ES] La Gerencia de la EPO Bajo Creciénte Estres por las Autoridades Legales Croatas, Políticas Alemanas, y los Medios Italianos

    Las cosas no son color rosa como la calma relativa sugiere, y esperamos en las próximas semanas mayores eventos otros que la protesta en todas las sedes de la EPO a través de Europa



  12. [ES] Los Medios de Comunicación Comienzan a Informar al Público Europeo Acercas de las Desventájas de la UPC Mientras que la EPO Acelera su Cabildeo por Ratificación

    La vergonzósa promoción de la UPC por parte de la EPO da otro paso adelánte mientras que venues de la prensa Europea (incluso canales de televisión) comienzan a explorar el arreglo secreto que es negociado por los abogados de patentes (con clientes corpórativos) y las oficinas de patentes, no el público o cualquier grupo que represente los intereses del público en general



  13. [ES] Algunos Detalles Acerca de ¿Cómo el Presidente de la EPO Es Rumoreado Estar Comprando Votos, y el Porqué es Suficientemente Base Para un Despido Inmediato?

    Algo de información tras las cortinas y una detallada explicación de la dependencia finánciera sistemática, creada por Battistelli a un costode €13 millónes o más, la cuál evita una efectiva supervisión de Battistelli



  14. Mishi Choudhary and Mike Masnick Explain Why India Should Reject Software Patents

    Both an Indian activist-lawyer and a widely-recognised author from the US explain to Indians why over-reliance on patents -- and acceptance of patents on software in particular -- is a very bad idea



  15. Microsoft Boosters Pretend Microsoft Fights for Privacy While the Company Uses Malware Tactics to Put Keyloggers on Everyone's Computers

    In spite of malware-inspired tactics that should land Microsoft in courts of law all around the world (as a defendant), Microsoft-friendly circles pretend that the company fights for people's rights like privacy -- all this when Microsoft installs keyloggers on people's PCs without their consent and obviously against their will



  16. Battistelli's Assault on EPO Staff's Right to Strike in Relation to French Politics and That 'Bicycle' Pretext for Crackdowns

    The latest bicycle 'gossip' and how it's being used, based on expectations from EPO staff, to introduce further crackdowns on human/labour rights



  17. Vice-President of the EPO Under Investigation: Treason, Abuse, Violations, Giving and Receiving Bribes

    An English translation of documents involving the Organised Crime Section of the Criminal Police Department in Zagreb, where the Vice-President of the EPO faces criminal charges



  18. EPO Management Warns People About Scams When the EPO's Management is Itself Falling for Scams

    Jesper Kongstad, the Chairman of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation, helps demonstrate that not even the EPO is intelligent enough to spot an obvious scam



  19. Links 28/5/2016: Wine 1.9.11, New Gentoo

    Links for the day



  20. Links 27/5/2016: Android for Raspberry Pi, Google Beats Oracle in Court

    Links for the day



  21. Warning: EPO Surveillance May Have Just Gotten Even More Intrusive

    BlueCoat, which the EPO uses to enable oppression inside its European premises, has just gotten even nastier and staff may be at risk



  22. Victim Card Ends up in Another Blunder for Battistelli and His Six Bodyguards

    Battistelli is wrecking what's left of the EPO's reputation (after decades it took the Office to earn it) as the media continues to scrutinise his appalling regime



  23. Italian Report About EPO Now Available in English

    An English translation of a TV program which earlier this month documented some of the glaring problems at the EPO



  24. The EPO is Doing Great, Says EPO-Connected 'News' Site

    IAM 'magazine', a longtime ally of the EPO, gives people the impression that all is fine and dandy at the EPO even though that's clearly not the case



  25. Microsoft Has Killed Nokia (and Its Own Mobile Ambitions), But Watch What it Does With Patents

    Microsoft announces many more layoffs, having already caused tremendous damage to the Finnish economy, and patents are left astray for Microsoft's favourite patent trolls to pick



  26. EPO Management Under Growing Stress From Croatian Law Enforcement Authorities, German Politicians, Italian Media

    Things are not as rosy as the relative calm may suggest, and in the coming weeks we expect some major events other than the protest at all EPO sites across Europe



  27. Microsoft, a Dead Company Walking, Resorts to Malware Tactics, Now Truly Indistinguishable From Crackers

    Microsoft is essentially taking over people's PCs and installing on them a large piece of malware, complete with keyloggers, against the will of these PCs' owners



  28. Links 26/5/2016: CentOS Linux 6.8, Ansible 2.1

    Links for the day



  29. The Latest EPO Victim Card (Played by Željko Topić) Should be Treated as Seriously as Those Bogus Claims of Violence by a Judge (Updatedx3)

    In its desperate pursuit of a narrative wherein the staff of the EPO is violent and aggressive the management of the EPO, renowned for institutional aggression, finds (or claims to have found) a little tampering with a bicycle



  30. Links 25/5/2016: Nginx 1.11, F1 2015 Coming to GNU/Linux Tomorrow

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts