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 22/4/2014: More GNU/Linux Gains, Syria Updates

    Links for the day



  2. Links 21/4/2014: New Games for GNU/Linux, Some NatSec Politics

    Links for the day



  3. Site Focus for The Remainder of the Year

    What we plan for the rest of 2014 and why



  4. Links 20/4/2014: EFF FOSS, Easter Drone Strikes, Copyright Industry Fear of Google

    Links for the day



  5. Links 19/4/2014: Slow Easter News Day

    Links for the day



  6. Links 18/4/2014: New KDE, Kubuntu, and More

    Links for the day



  7. Some Perspective on Heartbleed®

    Our views on the whole Heartbleed® bonanza, which seems like partly a PR stunt (for multiple stakeholders)



  8. Microsoft is Leaving Windows -- Including Vista 8.1 -- Vulnerable to Non-Government Crackers, Not Only to NSA

    Microsoft makes it ever more evident that securing users of Windows is not at all a priority, and perhaps not even a desire



  9. Links 17/4/2014: Android RDP, New Ubuntu, RHEL 7 Milestone

    Links for the day



  10. Racing to 1984: Mass Surveillance, Cracking, 'Targeted' Assassinations, and Illegal Torture

    Links for the day



  11. More Microsoft Subsidies to Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures

    Microsoft hands money to Bill Gates' close friend who is the world's largest patent troll



  12. Aiding Microsoft Under the Disguise of 'Pro-FOSS'

    Not everything which is FOSS necessary becomes, by virtue of existence, a positive contribution, as we are constantly reminded by projects that help proprietary software and/or restrictions get a strong grip on FOSS



  13. Links 16/4/2014: Red Hat PR, Ubuntu LTS Imminent

    Links for the day



  14. Links 15/4/2014: Lots of PCLinuxOS Releases, Ukraine Updates

    Links for the day



  15. Apple and Microsoft Actively Lobbying Against Patent Reform in the US

    Apple and Microsoft are reportedly intervening/interfering with US law in order to ensure that the law is Free/libre software-hostile



  16. Lawsuit by Microsoft Shareholder Targets Fine for Crimes Rather Than the Crimes Themselves

    A new lawsuit by a Microsoft shareholder shows everything that's wrong with today's model of accountability, where those who are responsible for crimes are accused of not avoiding fines rather than committing the crimes



  17. Public Institutions Must Dump PRISM-Associated Software

    Another reminder that taxpayers-subsidised services should refuse, as a matter of principle, to pay anything for -- let alone deploy -- proprietary software with back doors



  18. GNU/Linux News: The Opportunities Amid XP EOL

    Links for the day



  19. Microsoft Gets Its Money's Worth From Xamarin: PlayStation 4 Now Polluted by Microsoft

    The Trojan horse of Microsoft, Xamarin, is pushing .NET into Microsoft's console competitor



  20. After Brendan Eich Comes Chris Beard

    Having removed Brendan Eich using bullying and blackmail tactics, his foes inside Mozilla achieved too little as we have yet another man (coming from inside Mozilla) acting as CEO



  21. Healthcare News: Free Software in Health, Humanitarian Causes

    Links for the day



  22. Links 14/4/2014: MakuluLinux, Many Games, More Privacy News and Pulitzer Prize for NSA Revelations

    Links for the day



  23. TechBytes Episode 87: Catching up With Surveillance (NSA, GCHQ et al.)

    The first audio episode in a very long time covers some of the latest happenings when it comes to privacy and, contrariwise, mass surveillance



  24. Server News: KVM, ElasticHosts, Other GNU/Linux Items, and Open Network Linux

    Links for the day



  25. Hardware News: Freedom, Modding, Hackability on the Rise

    Links for the day



  26. Distributions News: GNU/Linux Distros

    Links for the day



  27. GNOME News: Financial Issues, Mutter-Wayland, West Coast Summit, Community Participation

    Links for the day



  28. KDE News: Kubuntu at the Centre Again KDE Applications Updated

    Links for the day



  29. Techrights Rising

    Effective immediately, Techrights will do what it takes to bring back old volume and pace of publishing



  30. Links: Surveillance, Intervention, Torture and Drones

    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