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How History Gets Warped — Not Forgotten — to Conceal Microsoft Violations

Posted in Antitrust, Deception, Law, Microsoft, Novell at 7:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Coffee book session

Summary: More book-burning phenomena and how it affects perception of Microsoft

SEVERAL DAYS ago we wrote about attempts by the Microsoft-faithful to rewrite history as a by-the-way in new articles. We gave as an example Enderle performing an act of Netscape revisionism and there are many similar examples that we presented this year [1, 2, 3]. Here is an exercise in blaming Netscape for its ‘failure’. The following news article totally neglects to mention anti-competitive conduct from Microsoft, for which there was a prominent conviction in court. Novell is also mentioned.

Novell made the same mistake. Both companies bought second-rate competitors to Microsoft in a number of market segments, just to get in the game. It spread precious resources too thin.

Instead, they should have focused their resources where they had a lead, and a chance to win — Netscape in Browsers, Novell in Network software. History tells us that the upstart must focus and win decisively in that first battlefield, before moving on. Or they almost certainly will be crushed, like these two once high-flying companies.

The mistakes were not strategic. Microsoft violated the law, so legal harbours were all the victims had left and the only reasonable ‘strategy’.

In a similar vein, there is a reversal of roles in the press, which pretends that Yahoo! is now begging for Microsoft’s help. The press says nothing about the fact that Microsoft’s deliberate agitation and destruction was responsible for internal shakeups and shakedowns that led Yahoo! where it is today. See for background:

Now that Microsoft has managed to overthrow the leadership of Yahoo! and install a Microsoft partner (Bartz), things change a lot.

Unless there is some major glitch, there might finally be a search and online advertising deal struck between Yahoo and Microsoft at long last.

Will the story about Microsoft’s corporate harassment of Yahoo — as publicly told by Jerry Yang — be remembered at all?

“[Microsoft's business strategy is] copy the product that others innovate, put them into Windows so they can’t be unplugged, and then give it away for free.”

Oracle Corp Chairman Larry Ellison

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  1. David Gerard said,

    July 18, 2009 at 9:07 am


    It’s an important part of the history of Netscape that their problems were strategic *as well*. The Netscape 4.5 line was a horribly unstable piece of crap – the codebase had reached the stage of the Big Ball Of Mud where any bugfix produces two more bugs. I wanted to use it but IE4/5 was actually a *much better web browser* at the time.

    Microsoft’s appalling behaviour does need to remain on the historical record. But it was arguably not necessary – Netscape 4.5 *sucked*.

    I started testing Mozilla as soon as it was even slightly usable, around mid-2000 because it was important – not because it was good – it was terrible. Fat, slow and ridiculously unstable. It wasn’t really recommendable to normal humans until about 0.9.2 (early 2001), after the big stability push after 0.9. Then it was much nicer and, being in testable condition, improved much more rapidly, and 1.0 (mid-2002) was actually really nice for its day.

  2. Yuhong Bao said,

    July 18, 2009 at 9:24 am


    Not to mention the CSS/JSSS disaster that made IE look much more standard-compliant at the time, which was basically that Netscape backed JSSS, but was forced to implement CSS at the last minute for Netscape 4 causing CSS support in it to be buggy.

    David Gerard Reply:

    *facepalm* Oh yes. CSS would only work at all with JS enabled, either would leave it susceptible to crashing.

  3. The Mad Hatter said,

    July 18, 2009 at 1:38 pm


    Someone should ask Jerry Yang what really happened from when Microsoft made the first offer to when he resigned. It would probably make a good book.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Have a look at the links above, particularly the ones about Icahn. It’s called “proxy fighting” (the technical term).

  4. NymShift said,

    July 18, 2009 at 2:53 pm


    Gee Roy I say netscape sucked on your IRC and you kicked me, then you go and post this saying the same thing yourself. or at least you got one of your minions to do your dirty work.

    Once again ROY you’ve proven beyond doubt you have zero integrity anywhere.

    I know you wanted to push how MS was bad and killed netscape, and as your “boy” (roy’s boys) points out netscape was a peice of crap, I said it on your IRC and you kicked me.

    You are constantly caught out with your untruths and blant lies. zealot is too light a word for you chum(P)

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