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

01.08.09

Microsoft Vice President Teaches PR People How to Spin Anti-Linux Programme

Posted in Antitrust, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OpenOffice, Windows at 2:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Storage technology
Core spin: we’re not dumping, we Offer® Value™

LESS THAN A WEEK ago we unleashed the full text on EDGI (further discussion here and here) which exposes Microsoft’s way of dealing with Free software and GNU/Linux adoption. This merited at least one article in the Indian press which explained what EDGI was.

We decided that it would be constructive to continue sharing information about EDGI; in particular, we are interested in what it looks like from inside Microsoft. This will be — in some way or another — the second part of a series.

In today’s post we have Comes vs Microsoft exhibit px09687 [PDF]. We append the full text at the bottom.

Kevin Johnson, a group vice president at the time (he recently quit), wrote:

Several press reports have characterized these programs as designed solely as an attack on Linux and potentially damaging to our settlement discussions with the European Commission.

To those who believe that Microsoft is paid a lot of money for its software, it’s important to remember that usage does not equate to revenue. As the message from Microsoft puts it:

Software piracy rates run as high as over 90 percent in many developing countries.

The rest can be read below. The emphasis in the recipients side is PR films (i.e. “spinners”), who we already know are rubbing shoulders with journalists whose coverage they police. So much for freedom of speech; there is threat to those who say certain truths, as Dan Geer found out [1, 2, 3]. Neelie Kroes too comes under fire from Microsoft spinners for attempting to restore justice. She did complain about a smear complain — much like those which Peter Quinn can attest to.


Appendix: Comes vs. Microsoft – exhibit px09687, as text


From: Rodrigo Costa
Sent: Monday, June 02, 2003 1:32 PM
To: Rodrigo Direct Reports Only
Subject: FW: Messaging on the Government and Education Incentive Funds
Attachments: Messaging on the Government and Education Incentive Funds.doc

This is important information
rodrigo


From: Kevin Johnson
Sent: Monday, .June 02, 2003 1:26 PM
To: GMs of Subsidiaries; Worldwide PR leads – Internal; Subsidiary PR Managers; SMSG Leadership Team
Cc: Mark Hill; Jim Desler; Beth Jordan; Erin Brewer; Carlene Chmaj; Stacy Drake McCredy; Dean Katz; Tom Pilla; Larry Cohen; Sandi Baldock

Many of you have likely seen the recent coverage in the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times questioning the validity of the Government and Education incentive program that we have created. I want to assure you that these programs, which were specifically designed with customer benefit in mind, deliver a compelling value proposition in a legal and pro competitive way. The intent of these programs is to provide access to technology for schools and governments in developing countries that otherwise could not afford it. There is nothing wrong with a program that addresses technology access issues while competing fairly with our competitors. We are proud of this program – as ultimately we’re talking about offering a better value proposition to these specific customers and doing it in a responsible and lawful way.

Several press reports have characterized these programs as designed solely as an attack on Linux and potentially damaging to our settlement discussions with the European Commission. I wanted to make sure you had the background on this issue and some talking points if you are asked about this by customers. Attached is a document with the messaging and additional background information. Please refer further press inquiries to Corporate PR. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Regards,
Kevin

Kevin Johnson
Group Vice President
Microsoft WW Sales, Marketing and Services

kevin@microsoft.com
425-705-8081

MS-CC-RN 000001145823

HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL


Messaging:

- The International Herald Tribune article from earlier this month — For Microsoft, Market Dominance Doesn’t Seen Enough, May 15 – is based largely upon two emails sent within Microsoft. The article does not accurately portray Microsoft’s efforts to address the needs of resource-strapped governments and educational institutions.

- Governments around the world, but particularly in developing countries, have called upon Microsoft to help make computer technology more affordable in settings where budgets for technology access are limited. As an industry leader, Microsoft accepts the responsibility to help enable broad access to technology in governments and schools. We have also seen that absent such assistance governments and schools that may prefer Microsoft software might settle upon free or very low-cost software solutions that are typically billed as “good enough.” In other cases such potential customers may simply use Microsoft software without paying for it. Software piracy rates run as high as over 90 percent in many developing countries.

- Microsoft has set aside a relatively modest fund to assist governments and schools that want to benefit from lawful licenses to Microsoft software. The funds may be used to help defray the cost of purchasing new Windows-based PCs, for training or other services provided by Microsoft or third parties, for curriculum content or in other ways. In every case, the funds provided by Microsoft are less than the royalties Microsoft will receive for use of its products.

- The article selectively and unfairly excerpted a Microsoft email as stating “under NO circumstances lose against Linux.” What the email actually said was “under NO circumstances
lose against Linux before ensuring we have used this program actively and in a smart way.” We of course recognize that customers will choose Linux and other free or low-cost products in many cases. We want to be sure, however, that qualified customers are presented with opportunities to acquire Microsoft software that are tailored to their needs and limited budgets.

- Our legal team has reviewed the program carefully. We are confident it complies fully with European and other competition law. In fact, this program addresses important issues of access to technology, and delivers a compelling value proposition to customers in a legal and pro competitive manner.

Additional Background:
- The program highlighted in the piece was developed last year for the education and government sectors and principally designed for developing countries. Understanding our role as an industry leader and the importance of complying fully with all laws and regulations, our lawyers carefully reviewed this program to account for the competitive sensitivities and global scope. This program is pro-competitive and beneficial to consumers.

- We recognize that the European Union competition principles may limit a company with a successful market position from dropping its price to meet competition if the objective of this practice were to “exclude competition.” from the market. With only one deal in the European Union – with benefits granted to educational purchasers in the context of a

MS-CC-RN 000001145824
HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL


government-sponsored IT program — we have conducted this program in a way that could not be construed at all as exclusionary. [Note: any questions that go to the detail of the legality of the program under applicable competition law should be referred to LCA.]

- The IHT article further characterizes the use of discretionary funding for special customer situations as somehow anticompetitive. BIF simply enables the use of consulting services from Microsoft Consulting Services and from our business partners for pre and post-sale activities for our enterprise customers. This is a common industry practice because enterprise customers often benefit from highly skilled consultants in evaluating and deploying software systems for large organizations. This program complies fully with applicable regulations.

- The article includes reports of Microsoft employees allegedly misrepresenting their affiliations while attending industry trade shows. Simply put, such behaviour violates our company policy; we are looking into the reports and will take appropriate action. We recognize and accept that, as an industry leader, we are held to high standards of ethical business conduct.

- We understand that our activities and programs will be heavily scrutinized and are open to reviewing issues with government officials and representatives. In fact we have already sent information to the European Commission to respond to any questions they may have based on this article.

MS-CC-RN 000001145825
HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL


Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Slashdot

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,

    January 8, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Gravatar

    “- The article selectively and unfairly excerpted a Microsoft email as stating ”

    “under NO circumstances lose against Linux” is underlined and in bold .. :)

    http://iowa.gotthefacts.org/011607/9000/PX09685.pdf

  2. Andre said,

    January 8, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Gravatar

    What is wrong about this. It only demonstrates the professionality of their communications and the coordination in public affairs. Memos like these are also great means of training.

    What surprises me is the attention to such a stupid IHT articles as we find hundreds of these in our feed readers. Probably this is because of the EU context.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 8, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Gravatar

    Doug,

    The lines below and the bold faces indicate that it’s just a minor detail.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 8, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Gravatar

    For the record, here is the IHT article:

    BRUSSELS: More than 90 percent of the world’s personal computers run on Microsoft software. For Orlando Ayala, that was not enough.

    Last summer, Ayala, then the top sales executive at Microsoft Corp., sent an e-mail message titled “Microsoft Confidential” to senior managers laying out a strategy to dissuade governments around the world from choosing cheaper alternatives to the ubiquitous Windows operating system.

    Ayala’s e-mail told executives that if a deal involving governments or large institutions looked doomed, they were authorized to draw from a special internal fund to offer the software at a steep discount or even free if necessary. Steve Ballmer, the Microsoft chief executive, was sent a copy of the e-mail message.

    The memorandum, which focused on system software for desktop computers, specifically targeted Linux, a small but emerging competitor. “Under NO circumstances lose against Linux,” Ayala said.

    [...]

    “Linux is obviously a key competitor,” Courtois said. Rivals use similar tactics.

    Sun Microsystems Inc., for example, “is giving away StarOffice to basically governments and schools,” he said. The suite of programs runs on Windows and Linux systems.

  5. Jose_X said,

    January 8, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Gravatar

    >> BIF simply enables the use of consulting services from Microsoft Consulting Services and from our business partners for pre and post-sale activities for our enterprise customers. This is a common industry practice….

    Not for legal monopolists!

    Microsoft still doesn’t get that monopolists must play by different rules. [Well, they get it.. they just don't accept it.]

    That’s the law, and it exists for a reason.

    They continue to point to what Charlie and Mr. Smith are doing.

    Charlie and Mr. Smith do not have the levers Microsoft has.

  6. Microsoft Consultant said,

    January 16, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Gravatar

    This is a rather interesting blog and some of the criticisms being leveled are quite contentious. If they are true, action should be taken – but at this point everything is pure conjecture. We need facts before acting rashly.

What Else is New


  1. Links 22/10/2020: LibreOffice 6.4.7, Septor 2020.5, Ubuntu 20.10 Released, FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 21, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 21, 2020



  3. Living Humbly (With Older Technology or None) is More Compatible With Privacy- and Freedom-Respecting Technological Lifestyle

    Simplicity sometimes trumps so-called 'novelty', especially when it comes to human rights and users' freedom



  4. Reasons Why You (and Everybody Else) Should Join the Fight for Software Freedom

    Society is being closely watched and controlled (more so during/after the latest pandemic) and people must carefully consider the true importance of resisting proprietary technology (controlled remotely by state actors)



  5. Ways and Means to Reduce One's Dependency on Google's Various Monopolies and Near-Monopolies

    Getting rid of Google means a lot more than embracing DumbDumbGo (DDG) or some other sites that spy just like Google; we're taking stock of some options



  6. The European Commission is Still M.I.A. Regarding EPO Corruption (and the EPO's Management Plays Dirty, as Always)

    There's no change in the EU; the EUIPO and EPO enjoy complete and total immunity/impunity, with the Commission being manned by those who are deeply complicit



  7. 10 Reasons Why All This 'Edge for Linux' Coverage is a Total Farce

    The fake hype surrounding "Edge" is an inauthentic hype/buzz campaign made to coincide with anti-Google sentiments spread by Microsoft front/pressure groups



  8. Microsoft's IIS Has Collapsed Again This Past Month (and IIS Will Not and Cannot Survive This Way)

    Netcraft shows that Microsoft's decline further accelerates in the Web servers space; IIS is becoming financially unviable



  9. Links 21/10/2020: Alpine 3.12.1, Tor Browser 10.0.2

    Links for the day



  10. [Meme] US Department of Justice Should Have Taken on Microsoft Again, Not Google

    When lobbying, connections and political sway determine the actions of the American government it's hardly surprising that Bill Gates gets the Trump administration to fight for him (to make him even richer)



  11. [Meme] Banning Words, Gaslighting Volunteers

    What happens when institutions are themselves in violation of a CoC (institutional violation) and massive corporations that fund such institutional violations are defending demonisation of the individual (squashing ‘uncomfortable’ voices, even volunteers’)



  12. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 20, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 20, 2020



  13. Links 21/10/2020: $8000 GNU/Linux Desktop, Tails 4.12, Open Infrastructure Foundation and Firefox Release

    Links for the day



  14. Never Feed the Internet Trolls, No Matter How Tempting It Becomes

    The tactics for removing critics of abuse (by framing them as "abusive") have evolved a lot in recent years; the best course of action is to never entertain provocateurs in any way whatsoever (just ignore them, give them no attention which they crave and feed on)



  15. Bill Gates: “I'm Not a Lawyer” (He Dropped Out of College, Where He Studied Law Before and After Breaking the Law Chronically)

    How Microsoft blackmailed other companies into supporting nothing but Microsoft and Windows; Bill Gates repeatedly lied to the interrogators about it, then said "I'm not a lawyer" (IANAL) even though he went to college to become one, just like his father who died last month



  16. Microsoft Has Not Changed Since Being Investigated (and Prosecuted) for Crimes at a Federal Level

    The media keeps telling us a bunch of worthless junk about Gates "saving the world" and Microsoft becoming a "nice" and "gentle" (or "soft") company, but nothing could be further from the truth



  17. Stick a Fork in the Open Source Initiative (OSI). OSI is Dead. Microsoft Bought OSI.

    OSI leadership proudly showing early signs of 'prognosis negative'; the OSI can never and will never recover from this; Microsoft killed it



  18. Links 20/10/2020: OpenZFS 2.0 RC4 and Trisquel GNU/Linux 9.0

    Links for the day



  19. People With God Complex Must Never be Allowed in Positions of Power

    The attack on Linus Torvalds — an attack which at his own expense/peril he fails to recognise/acknowledge — seeks to put both projects that he founded right in Microsoft’s palm



  20. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 19, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, October 19, 2020



  21. Corporate Media: GNU/Linux Can Only Succeed If/When Microsoft Dominates Everything Inside It

    The corporate takeover (or handover) of GNU/Linux would not have been possible without complicity of corruptible (bribed) media



  22. Bill Gates Explains How Microsoft and Apple Leverage Software Patents in Their Cross-Licensing Deals (to Perpetuate Duopoly/Shared Monopoly)

    A look back at Apple's and Microsoft's use or misuse of bogus software patents in bargaining (in effect excluding those who have not amassed tens of thousands of patents)



  23. Standards and Choices

    GNU/Linux is a very standards-based platform; having lots of choices (e.g. distros to choose from) isn’t the principal problem — or nowhere near the extent sabotage and illegal tactics by Microsoft have been



  24. IBM's “Emb(RACE)” Campaign is an Insult to History and Historians

    IBM wishes to be seen as some heroic saviour and warrior for black girls; this requires serious if not torturous revisionism to be believed



  25. There Are Too Many Types of Cars...

    "Choice is malicious," say the antagonists



  26. Reversal of Narratives by Internet Trolls (Spinning Reaction to Their Trolling as 'Abuse')

    Organisations that engage in demonisation of people (typically those who expose the abuses of such organisations) somehow evade the standards of Codes of Conduct, as if Codes of Conduct are covertly designed not to protect individuals but to empower those who already have all the powers (or front for powerful people/corporations)



  27. Ongoing (Albeit Secret) Campaign of Patent Extortion Against GNU/Linux Distributions Using Software Patents, Even Expired Ones in Europe

    GNU/Linux distros attacked by software patents, even in Europe where no such patents are supposed to exist (or have any legal bearing)



  28. Links 19/10/2020: Linux 5.9-ck1/MuQSS, Linux Kodachi 7.3

    Links for the day



  29. Java's James Gosling is Wrong. Free Software Advocates Never Suggested or Insinuated That Money-Making Was Ethically Wrong.

    The honorable James Gosling mischaracterises the stance of Free software advocacy, portraying it like it is an issue of money rather than respect for users



  30. Maybe This is What Codes of Conduct Were Made for? Or to Prevent? (Updated)

    When people bemoan the abuse they receive from a so-called 'anti-harassment' team (covering up corporate corruption in a project by ousting people) this is the kind of thing they receive from colleagues or former colleagues


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