07.16.09

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Microsoft’s Brad Silverberg: “Please Make Sure This Request Doesn’t Get Filled.”

Posted in Antitrust, Microsoft at 8:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Antitrust exhibit from DRI is dissected

WE HAVE BEGUN working on some older Comes vs Microsoft exhibits and today we properly document Exhibit PX00891 (1991) [PDF]. It starts with Brad Silverberg, one of Microsoft’s crudest people. At Microsoft, they were speaking about Digital Research, which they committed abuses against (see our DRI reference page). Here is part of the correspondence (the full text is at the bottom of this post):

Customer: Digital Research, Inc.
UK Address: 70 Garden Court
Monteray, CA

Contact: John Constant
Telephone: 44(0) 488 684587
FAX: 44 (0) 488 683135

Digital Research would like to become a beta site. They would like to enable their operating system to support Windows 3.10. Specifically they need to modify the LoadHi VxD (now part of VMM) allowing their memory manager to function correctly.

NOTE: John Constant would like to be contacted by telephone as soon as possible.

What was Microsoft’s response?

> From johnen Fri Aug 2 15:14:52 1991
To: bradsi stevetho winbeta
Subject: RE: BETA REQ: Digital Research, Inc.
Date: Fri Aug 02 15:11:40 PDT 1991

Um, I don’t think so.

Watch the response from Brad Silverberg:

From bradsi Fri Aug 02 15:20:58 1991
To: johnen kalak stevetho winbeta
Subject: RE: BETA REQ: Digital Research, Inc.
Date: Fri, 02 Aug 91 15:20:25 PDT

ha ha ha ha ha…

kala, please make sure this request doesn’t get filled.

What a cooperative company. So little has changes since then, but Microsoft now has superior policies for shredding E-mail. Now, that’s a change, that’s the “New Microsoft” — malicious and secretive rather than malicious, blunt, and sloppy.


Appendix: Comes vs. Microsoft – exhibit PX00891, as text


PLAINTIFF’S EXHIBIT
891
Comes v. Microsoft

X 207533
CONFIDENTIAL

###############################
98
From bradsi Fri Aug 02 15:08:47 1991
To: davidcol davidw dennisad karlst philba richab richt
Subject: Re: Press tour
Date: Fri, 02 Aug 91 15:08:41 PDT

it sure makes sense to do both the technical and “marketing” parts together. the “marketing” parts are product oriented, not hype. people will want to know the api’s in 3.1, issues like doc and printer portability, postscript printer interaction, etc. I like the idea of doing it after beta 2.

###############################
99
From bradsi Fri Aug 02 15:12:16 1991
To: davidcol
Subject: print assoc
Date: Fri, 02 Aug 91 15:12:15 PDT

which, if any, print associations will be in beta 2???

###############################
100
From bradsi Fri Aug 02 15:20:58 1991
To: johnen kalak stevetho winbeta
Subject: RE: BETA REQ: Digital Research, Inc.
Date: Fri, 02 Aug 91 15:20:25 PDT

ha ha ha ha ha…

kala, please make sure this request doesn’t get filled.

> From johnen Fri Aug 2 15:14:52 1991
To: bradsi stevetho winbeta
Subject: RE: BETA REQ: Digital Research, Inc.
Date: Fri Aug 02 15:11:40 PDT 1991

Um, I don’t think so.

> From stevetho Fri Aug 2 14:49:56 1991
To: winbeta
Subject: BETA REQ: Digital Research, Inc.


Date: Fri Aug 02 14:48:26 PDT

Customer: Digital Research, Inc.
UK Address: 70 Garden Court
Monteray, CA

Contact: John Constant
Telephone: 44(0) 488 684587
FAX: 44 (0) 488 683135

Digital Research would like to become a beta site. They would like to enable their operating system to support Windows 3.10. Specifically they need to modify the LoadHi VxD (now part of VMM) allowing their memory manager to function correctly.

NOTE: John Constant would like to be contacted by telephone as soon as possible.

###############################
101
From: bradsi Fri Aug 02 15:53:17 1991
To: karkst philba
Subject: win32 code review
Date: Fri, 02 Aug 91 15:53:14 PDT

thomasf has been going through the win386 code and has noticed some places where he doesn’t think they’ve set up critical sections right or worked through some of the cases; and suggests that someone like zibbo do a good code review. sounds like a good idea to me.

###############################
102
From: bradsi Fri Aug 02 16:14:12 1991
To: tomle
Subject: next week
Date: Fri, 02 Aug 91 16:14:07 PDT

I want to close on a dos dev lead. My first choice is paulc. Honestly, I’m a bit uneasy about nigelt.

X 207534
CONFIDENTIAL

Credit: wallclimber

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2 Comments

  1. twitter said,

    July 16, 2009 at 9:23 am

    Gravatar

    Quick context. DR had a superior version of DOS, which worried M$ because M$ saw DOS as their “power base”. M$ made sure that Windows 3.1 would detect DRDOS and error out. They planned this as well as a campaign of lies on the bulletin boards of the day, such as Compuserve. M$ lost in court over this, but it was far to late for DR at that point and M$ continues to use these tactics today. M$’s success with these tactics is not as great now because everyone knows what they do and few are dumb enough to risk their time and money on anything to do with them.

  2. Yggdrasil said,

    July 16, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    Gravatar

    There is no legal requirement, moral obligation (Roy is big on this), or public expectation for one company to help another company, especially if they are a competitor. Roy’s suggestion that Microsoft’s rejection was somehow evil, selfish, or malicious is completely without merit. The very idea that companies must be forced to work with a competitor goes against the basic principles of a free market economy. The request made of Microsoft for the sake of another companies operating system was ludicrous. The response given was a lot more tame than I would have delivered.

    In my opinion, this irrational thinking is an unwanted byproduct of the FOSS community itself. Because they give away their work for free, so should you. So should all of us. You are allowed to make a profit, but ONLY if you are willing to share your business methods, tactics, and designs with anyone who asks for them. You can complete, but you MUST cooperate. You can create, but you MUST share!

    After I came to this understanding is when I realized why FOSS is not the future of software. Many who devote themselves to FOSS soon believe that all others must share in their beliefs and act according to the principles they believe in. These principles go against a system, that while not perfect, simply works where others have failed. Rather than work against Capitalism, those in the FOSS community should learn to do their own thing. They should focus on being self sufficient and not interfere with those who prefer to use commercial software for whatever reason they choose.

    I work. I get paid. I spend my money. I like paying for software that I find useful and I enjoy using free software that I also find useful. Sometimes the free alternative is best, and sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you don’t. I can enjoy the best of both worlds, but not Roy. It’s not enough that Roy only uses free software, but he wants you to use it too. Not only that, but he has to attack the companies that provide “me” with software that “I” enjoy. Now you can start to understand why Roy’s enemies aren’t really defending Microsoft, in so much as they are trying to protect their own freedom of choice.

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