02.09.09

Microsoft: The Cronies, the Pressure, and Staff Reductions

Posted in Antitrust, Google, Microsoft at 4:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft Cronies

Microsoft has several cronies inside the US DOJ, one of whom is Thomas Barnett. We wrote about his relationship with Microsoft only a couple of weeks ago. Here he is commenting on Yahoo-Google and Reuters says nothing about the conflict of interests (nor does the government that appointed Barnett).

Thomas Barnett, who led the investigation of Google’s scrapped deal with Yahoo when he headed the Justice Department’s antitrust division, said tying the lucrative search divisions of Yahoo with Microsoft could be a tough call for regulators.

“Any ‘three to two merger’ to my mind would require a significant investigation,” said Barnett, who stepped down in November after three years as head of the division.

Why is a person with Microsoft money in his pocket getting to decide on this? The story above makes a classic example of political corruption in action. Meanwhile, things are rather tough for Yahoo! if this report from the Wall Street Journal is anything to judge by.

Carol Bartz has been CEO of Yahoo for only few weeks. But she’s already working through a to-do list of changes to push. (Nothing yet about Microsoft deals or asset sales or cost-cutting, we’re afraid.)

In the most recent of what’s shaping up to be a weekly email to Yahoo employees, the blunt Ms. Bartz laid down some mandates in a memo last Friday.

First, cease the tardiness. “Let’s all work hard to start meetings on time,” she wrote, according to people familiar with the email.

She also implored the company to stop talking about “silos.” If she hears the word “one more time I am going to think I am back on the farm in Wisconsin,” she wrote.

Lastly, plug the leaks. Referring to the fact that someone forwarded her first company-wide email to some blogs, she wrote: “I hope whoever did it, feels bad enough to come forward and resign.”

Yahoo has its share of pains, which were largely inflicted by Microsoft. Here is a chronological list of some previous posts on this subject:

It seems abundantly clear what Microsoft is doing as a matter of strategic pattern.

“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.”

Brad Silverberg, Microsoft

Microsoft Hardballs

Some days ago we stumbled upon an old article which concerns Microsoft antitrust exhibits that were not allowed to be admitted as evidence. This is interesting because we possess a high number of Comes (Iowa) exhibits which, despite being very real, might be too confidential, sensitive and serious to be presented publicly (well, at least without getting sealed).

A memo by Microsoft’s Jim Durkin recalled a meeting by Gates and other executives in which Gates said of RealNetworks: “This is a strategic area, and we need to win it.”

The same memo dated June 5, 1997, quotes another senior Microsoft executive, Robert Muglia, as saying that RealNetworks is “like Netscape, the only difference is we have a chance to start this battle earlier in the game”.

All those memos sure bring back a flavour of Netscape, to which Microsoft applied similar forces and dirty tactics. It’s truly a shame that the European Union is slow to respond, but “better later than never” they say. Here is another belated report about pretty old news:

The European Commission has accused Microsoft of harming competition by bundling its Explorer web browser with its Windows operating system.

The commission said it had reached the preliminary view that the US software giant had undermined consumer choice and infringed EU rules.

Microsoft and the European Union have engaged in legal battles over competition issues for years.

Last year, the EU fined Microsoft 899m euros ($1.4bn; £680.9m).

There are other behavioural disturbances showing up in the news this week.

When Microsoft does not send its 'partners' to prison, the company sure puffs a lot of hot air. it’s posing as a victim.

Microsoft today announced settlements with 15 traders caught selling illegal software in regions throughout the UK. One reseller agreed a £75,000 settlement after customer complaints revealed he was illegally reselling Microsoft Windows recovery discs, many of which didn’t work. A further 14 traders faced court action in respect of hard disk loading1 and selling improperly licensed software to unsuspecting customers over the last six months.

These people are, according to Microsoft, actually helping the monopolist. Or at least they used to until Microsoft got miserable and hit a barrier.

The news about Bill Gates' weird mosquitoes incident continues to receive critical coverage from mainstream publications. Here is IT Pro (UK):

Bill ‘Super Villain’ Gates does a Steve ‘Monkey Dancing’ Ballmer

[...]

The media has grabbed this as evidence that Gates has gone insane. However, I have another theory: he is just fed up with Steve Ballmer getting all the headlines and so decided to take a leaf out of the Monkey Dancer Marketing Manual. Either that of his money really has made him mental and Gates will next be seen wearing a spandex bodysuit, cape, mask and insisting on being known from now on as Mosquito Man the least scary super villain in history.

This queer scene is likely to be well remembered and no apology was issued on the face of it, let alone regrets that ought to be expressed.

Microsoft Workforce

An issue that we covered before is Microsoft’s faceoff with an American senator [1, 2, 3]. Rightly enough he was dissatisfied with the company’s betrayal of American workers, so a sort of bar has just been put in place to impose on Microsoft a form of permanent restriction.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), introduced an amendment to the $900 billion stimulus package that would bar companies that received bailout funds from hiring foreign skilled workers with H1-B work visas, AFP is reporting. The amendment was co-sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont).

This move comes after Grassley last week asked Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) to lay off H1-B workers before Americans after the company announced it was going to cut 5,000 employees.

The outcome of Microsoft’s staff collapse begins to bear news, such as the firing of an employee who got a Microsoft tattoo. Is this the type of love he gets back?

It’s generally a good rule of thumb to avoid tattoos of your company’s logo.

For Microsoft solutions adviser Dan Woodman, that advice, unfortunately, came a little too late.

Analysts suppose that more layoffs will come to Microsoft pretty soon. The cuts were not sufficiently deep and they cannot stabilise the balance sheet, so the company is approaching debt [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] whilst trying to feed off of Linux' success.

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

What Else is New


  1. Site Changes Ahead of Anniversary

    We’re making some changes to the presentation and function of the site — changes that will become more prominent over the coming days



  2. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, October 26, 2020



  3. Links 26/10/2020: rpminspect 1.2, Open Source Hardware Certification and LibreOffice Conference

    Links for the day



  4. Links 26/10/2020: Debian "Bullseye" Artwork, Fwupd 1.5 Released

    Links for the day



  5. [Meme] Satya Na-DL

    Microsoft has shown its real priorities (just before the weekend when many people might not notice)



  6. Jonathan Wiltshire and Debian, Falsified Harassment Claims, Tiger Computing and GCHQ

    Reprinted with permission from Debian Community News



  7. Links 26/10/2020: Linux 5.10 RC1 and Loongsoon Laptops

    Links for the day



  8. The Downfall of Free Software Leaders (and Their Projects or Missions)

    "Cancel George Orwell, and happy hacking."



  9. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 25, 2020



  10. Links 25/10/2020: Kodi 18.9, ScummVM Android Love, Cutelyst 2.13

    Links for the day



  11. [Meme] Captain Zemlin and Neil McGovern's Ugly Legacy in GNOME (His Predecessors Work for Microsoft Directly Now)

    The Linux Foundation is already ‘sold’ and Microsoft Tim‘s interview with Neil McGovern, published a few days ago, was rather revealing (comments on the article/interview were also harsh)



  12. How Microsoft is Still Worse Than Google

    "I have decided that we should not publish these extensions. We should wait until we have a way to do a high level of integration that will be harder for the likes of Notes, Wordperfect to achieve, and which will give Office a real advantage."



  13. 'President Bill Gates' Wants to Punish Not Only Google After Using “Extensions” to the Web to Reinforce Microsoft's Monopoly (Antitrust Violations Are a Microsoft Thing)

    In gross distortion of facts and of history and in a rather incredible fashion (very shameless and insulting) the corporate media tries to paint Bill Gates as an antitrust hero that will save the world from monopolies



  14. Donald Trump Helped Bill Gates Increase His Wealth by More Than 50%, Especially During the Pandemic

    Contrary to ridiculous narratives disseminated by nutty accounts all around the Web, Gates and Trump are no foes but 'partners in crime'



  15. Our 14th Birthday is Coming

    We're turning 14 shortly and we need ideas from readers (things that can be done to mark the event and celebrate 'on-line')



  16. In Spite of IBM's Difficult Past and Particularly Dark History, Under Arvind Krishna’s Leadership It Has Only Shown Signs of Improving

    This winter, 6 months after Arvind Krishna’s tenure as CEO began, we can generally say that things seem to have improved and we look forward to further improvements



  17. Links 25/10/2020: GNU Taler's IETF Milestone, RISC OS 5.28 and New Ubuntu Community Council

    Links for the day



  18. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 24, 2020



  19. Links 24/10/2020: GDB 10.1, Kodachi 7.4, Wine 5.20

    Links for the day



  20. Celebrating Code of Conduct Violations

    Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock



  21. The Militarised Elephant in the Room Still Commands a Lot of Free Software Development

    We take a difficult (albeit in-depth and perfectly factual) look at IBM's past and present; considering this is the company that controls Red Hat (which in turn controls many key projects in GNU/Linux) we need a better understanding of the real context, not PR fluff and marketing



  22. Juve Patent's Love of Patent Trolls and Their Misinformation

    The press 'gutter' known as Juve (basically propaganda disguised as 'news' since years ago) has gotten to the point where the publisher is just an extension of lawyers and liars



  23. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 23, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, October 23, 2020



  24. Look How Many Tux I Give!

    "Long live rms, long live (Hyperbola) GNU/BSD, and happy hacking."



  25. Embrace, Extend, and Extensions: Two New Reasons to Delete GitHub, Which Microsoft Ruined for Everyone (Except the Copyright Cartel and Other Censors)

    GitHub is being turned into a garbage dump with malicious masters (or monsters, or mobsters); many people are denied access for using the 'wrong' browser and developers/projects are being censored (not for doing anything wrong or illegal, either)



  26. [Meme] When EPO Staff Claims to be 'Ill' or 'Sick'... During a Pandemic's European Peak

    Gotta check and verify that those 'lazy' EPO examiners aren't just faking being ill (in order to not meet "production" targets)



  27. The EPO Has Relegated or Lowered Itself to Extremely Poor Standards

    Today's EPO continues to reaffirm the image of global weakness; having failed to improve the working conditions and quality of the work (its actions did the exact opposite), it's nowadays begging China to send over lots of workload irrespective of quality or merit and it is outsourcing the functions of the Office to the United States



  28. Links 23/10/2020: Turing Pi 2, GNU Parallel 20201022

    Links for the day



  29. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 22, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 22, 2020



  30. Links 23/10/2020: 'Groovy Gorilla' Everywhere in the News

    Links for the day


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