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. Links 22/10/2019: Pacman 5.2, Shame of Disney+ DRM, Microsoft's DRM Scheme, Microsoft Reprimanded for Privacy Abuses

    Links for the day



  2. Patents Need to Exist Only to Pass Information Around and Keep Good Ideas Alive, Not to Feed Litigation Firms and Litigation 'Enthusiasts'

    The current situation or the status quo where legal professionals are advised not to even look at patents means that patents aren’t for “information” and “innovation” anymore; moreover, calling them “intellectual property rights” (or IPRs) is spreading a malicious lie



  3. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 21, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, October 21, 2019



  4. SUEPO Protest Tomorrow. All EPO Staff in Munich Ought to Attend and Prepare to Strike Too.

    Tomorrow’s planned protest should be a bridge towards a full strike, which takes more time to plan for and get authorisation for (because of increasingly strict restrictions)



  5. Looking for Explanations About Samsung's DeX and Other FOSS Initiatives Being Canned

    DeX was primarily a threat to the desktop/laptop monopoly of Microsoft, so its sudden abandonment — without even an explanation — continues to attract speculations



  6. EPO Will Need a Lot More Than Photo Ops and Hoax 'Studies' to Restore the Perception of Lawfulness

    Battistelli‘s illegal attacks on European Patent Office (EPO) judges have tarnished any impression that the EPO serves justice and the current regime torpedoes an assessment of these attacks; EPO workers understand that to follow guidelines from the management may be a breach of the EPC



  7. Links 21/10/2019: More on DeX, Disney DRM and Linux 5.4 RC4

    Links for the day



  8. GNU/Linux is Bigger Than Ever (Used More Than Ever Before), But Communication Means and Brands Have Changed

    The GNU/Linux market is alive and healthy; it's how we measure its health that ought to adapt because things are constantly changing, more rapidly in the realm of technology than anywhere else



  9. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 20, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 20, 2019



  10. Samsung Does Not Say Why It's Dropping DeX, But the ASUS EEE Story Might Offer Clues

    It's not at all outlandish or unreasonable to suggest that Microsoft used patents or bribes or kickbacks as incentives for Samsung to abandon GNU/Linux as a desktop platform



  11. EPO: It's Only Getting Worse

    Inhaling Seagull meme for EPO presidents



  12. It Has Begun: EPO Staff Protests Against António Campinos (Starting Wednesday)

    Wednesday marks the resumption of EPO protests; it’s happening for the first time under Campinos and only a year after he took Office. Even Battistelli, the notorious thug, lasted longer before such escalations/actions or — put another way — he did better than that (if one checks the timeline of his presidency)



  13. Links 20/10/2019: GNU/Linux at Penn Manor School District, Wine-Staging 4.18, Xfce 4.16 Development, FreeBSD 12.1 RC2

    Links for the day



  14. Guest Post: Understanding Autism for More Complete Inclusion

    "...assuming that autistic people are all the same isn't only technically wrong, it is misleading and leads to harmful and needless misunderstandings."



  15. Guest Post: Free Software Freedom is Not a Freedom of Choice

    The concept of "Freedom of Choice" and how the ruling class uses it to give a false impression of "Freedom"



  16. Guest Post: Free Software Developers and Pursuing 'Market Share'

    "The only people interested in software freedom are (almost always) free software developers. And users are interested in freedom to a very limited extent: the "free beer" side. Even many free software developers are only interested in the "free beer" part of free software."



  17. The Assertion That Microsoft Uses Communist Tactics Against GNU/Linux and Free/Libre Software

    A study of Taistoism might help understand how Free/libre software is being undermined



  18. European Patent Office and US Patent and Trademark Office Cranks Discovered Buzzwords, Stopped Worrying, Started Granting Patents They Know to be Fake

    The world's patent repositories are being saturated with loads of junk patents or patents that have no legal bearing but can still be leveraged for extortion purposes; the EPO is resorting to lies and artificially-elevated buzzwords to justify granting such fake (yet ruinous) patents



  19. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 19, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 19, 2019



  20. “The True Hypocrite is the One Who Ceases to Perceive His Deception, the One Who Lies With Sincerity,” Said André Paul Guillaume Gide (Nobel Prize in Literature)

    Lies flow like water in the realm of EPO and its publishers, whose sole role is dissemination of deliberate falsehoods, misnomers and misinformation



  21. The EPO Cannot Guard Fake European Patents From Scrutiny (in the Long Run)

    Legal certainty associated with newly-granted European Patents is already pretty low and as long as the EPO refuses to acknowledge that its courts (or boards) lack autonomy the EPO merely brushes a growing problem under the rug



  22. Links 19/10/2019: DeX Discontinued, DXVK 1.4.3 and Wine 4.18 Released

    Links for the day



  23. 'Corporate Linux' Will Not Protect Software Freedom

    The corporate model is inherently not compatible with software that users themselves fully control (or Software Freedom in general), so we must rely on another model of sovereignty over code and compiled code (binaries)



  24. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 18, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, October 18, 2019



  25. 26,000 Posts

    We want to thank those who help spread the word; it gives us moral support and morale.



  26. The Myth of 'Analysts'

    People with exaggerated roles (exaggerated by corporate media and corporations that control them) distort public perceptions about their clients; they're in effect just elevated marketing or Public Relations (PR) operatives



  27. The FSF Has Two Acting Presidents Now

    Alexandre Oliva, who acted as a sort of deputy of Richard Stallman in recent weeks, sheds some much-needed light on the current situation



  28. Should Anybody Dictate the Free Software Movement?

    "There's a great myth, as Jagadees reminds us, that advocacy doesn't produce software. That myth is corporate, and proper advocacy has at times produced the greatest software in the history of computing. If we want great Free software to continue, we need advocacy more than ever."



  29. Links 18/10/2019: More KDE Events and OpenBSD 6.6

    Links for the day



  30. We Don't Know Who Will Run the Free Software Foundation, But We Know Who Will Run the GNU Project

    Software Freedom is under a heavy and perhaps unprecedented attack; some people out there are paid by the attackers to celebrate this attack and defame people (cheering for corporate takeover under the blanket of “Open Source”), but the founder of the Free software movement remains alive, well, and very much active


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

Recent Posts