Billwatch Snippets Database – Part II
|Snippet:||Apparently, the DOJ is not on holiday
just yet. They wish to re-interview Microsoft executive Jim Allchin
over his sworn testimony given in September 1998. In it, he claims that
he can make no representation as to whether Edward Felten’s program
really does remove Internet Explorer 4 from Windows 98 because the
testing was incomplete. However, his testimony is dated after the date
given with Microsoft’s test results. Story is here: http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,30272,00.html?st.ne.fd.mdh
|Snippet:||The South-Carolina Republican party
received $20,000 – one of their largest contributions – from Microsoft,
a company located at the other side of the country.
You can track individual campaign contributions at: http://www.crp.org/indivs/name.htm
|Snippet:||A Red Herring magazine article entitled “Standing Up to Microsoft”
has an interesting interview with Harvard Business School professor .
This is one of the authors of the book “Competing on Internet Time:
Lessons from Netscape and Its Battle with Microsoft” who went to court
to protect their confidential sources at Netscape from being used for
Microsoft’s anti-trust defence.
|Snippet:||as “Vaporware of the Year”.|
|Snippet:||I can’t make much of this news item at http://www.theregister.co.uk/ but consider it weird enough to be of interest.
Here’s how Gates is alleged to use actors to polish his public image: http://www.theregister.co.uk/981230-000004.html
Update: The above article was written on the basis of an article in The Guardian. You can find a transcript here: http://lists.essential.org/am-info/msg07493.html
|Snippet:||Ridiculing their own criteria for
factuality, Microsoft claims in their response to William Harris’
testimony that the only “fact” in 50 pages is that “Intuit wishes to
use its testimony as an attempt to circumvent competition in the
marketplace by using the government and the courts against Microsoft”.
No doubt this “wish” is not made explicit, so by their own admission,
Microsoft must have concluded the factuality of the wish from 50 pages
that contain no facts.
Remember that these are the criteria by
Those who have been around for
As is customary in Microsoft’s responses you will also
As with “factuality”, Microsoft’s criteria of
“It’s clear from this
You can find the response at: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/trial/dec98/12-29harris.htm
Update: William Harris’ testimony is now available at: http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f2000/2055.pdf
|Snippet:||Isn’t (Norwegian) Opera the victim of
dumping of both Microsoft and Netscape? And what has trans-Atlantic
politics got to do with it?
|Snippet:||Once in a while, less often than I wish, I take up a book with culture criticism. This month I read Neil Postman’s “Technopoly”.
I won’t treat you to a review, but restrict myself to a few citations. Mr. Postman writes on “knowledge monopolies”:
This aptly describes Microsoft’s control over
Mr. Postman emphasises the power of technology
Two more quotes:
“As for change brought on by
I am not against technology per
|Snippet:||Both Bristol’s request for a
preliminary injunction, and Microsoft’s request to throw out the case
altogether were rejected in the 30 December 1998 ruling of federal
judge Janet C. Hall.
Microsoft’s press release emphasizes the
Of course, ignoring this element of the case makes it simpler for Microsoft to refer to their press release as: “Microsoft Wins Preliminary Decision in Bristol Lawsuit”.
“Microsoft looks forward to presenting a powerful case in defending itself against Bristol’s baseless allegations.”
We find thus that we can not trust
Aside from ignoring part of the
“Throughout this case, it has
You can find Bristol’s press release here: http://www.bristol.com/legal/12-31-98pr_release.htm
You can find Microsoft’s press release here: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/1998/dec98/bristolfinpr.htm
|Snippet:||During the last couple of days I have
been thinking about making Billwatch more effective. Given that I work
some 55 hours a week, I have limited time left for the site so I have
to make choices.
The previous item on the ruling and the press
Expect my postings on billwatch to become less frequent but not less fierce.
But then, here’s a link to a Mary Jo Foley article at ZDNet about which I have little to say, but which may interest you:
Of course, Roy has his own agenda wrt his postings here.
|Snippet:||You can find Franklin M. Fisher’s 111 page testimony at:
Microsoft’s response is at:
This reply is introduced as:
From the contents I’d
I will comment on the testimony and the reply as soon as I have read those voluminous pieces.
|Snippet:||All in all, Billwatch has been down for
some six days during the last two weeks. I do not know what causes the
problem, but if the advice of my local UNIX guru is correct, the
machine on which the site resides should now at least reboot when it
has a problem, instead of merely hanging until I get access to the
I apologise to all readers for this inconvenience.
|Snippet:||After a call by the Chairman
personally, guaranteeing not having to speak the party line, director
of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Laboratory for Computer
Science, agreed to appear in court as a technical expert giving
testimony for Microsoft.
However, two weeks after his deposit,
|Snippet:||In this story at
|Snippet:||Sorry folks, but the machine on which
Billwatch runs seems to be beset with problems. I had hoped to have a
solution, but as such things go, I should have waited to see it work
before postings that things were probably solved.
It now seems
Keep the faith.
|Snippet:||It is about time for my yearly hardware
update so I looked around for bargains. My eyes fell on a computer with
the following specifications: AMD K6-II cpu 333 Mhz, 2.5 Gb ultra-ATA
HDD 5.4 rpm, 32 MB SRAM, S3 ViRGE 4 MB PCI, Intel 430 TX chipset,
Miditower ATX chassis, MS Windows 98, and a 14” monitor.
|Snippet:||After most of the media and one general
attorney uncritically accepted Microsoft’s claims on the relevance of
the AOL/Netscape merger for the trial, it is refreshing see a sign of
This article “explains” Judge Jackson’s
|Snippet:||You can find the latest transcript fragment of the Chairman’s testimony at: http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f2000/gates7.pdf
You can get a sample of Mr. Gates’ testimony at The Register: http://www.theregister.co.uk/990107-000008.html
|Snippet:||MIT economist Franklin Fisher is
winding up his testimony, with closed-door testimony with confidential
OEM pricing to be given on Monday. Story is here:
|Snippet:||To evaluate the value of their poll, it
isn’t relevant that the CSEF appears to be a Microsoft partner, given
the links to MSIE and MS Frontpage on their home page.
What does matter is what they tell us about the preferences of those that are polled.
I won’t comment on CSEF’s press release extensively, but here are some things to watch out for.
By replacing the actual poll
You can find the press release about the poll here: http://www.cse.org/cse/nr-telecom990107csef.htm
|Snippet:||The following article:
But, even more than the
|Snippet:||Mostly based on Joachim’s Kempin’s famous memo to Bill Gates – trial deposit 365: http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/exhibits/365.pdf
- several consumers organizations wrote a report on Microsoft’s pricing
and relate this to its monopoly position. The report, “THE CONSUMER
COST OF THE MICROSOFT MONOPOLY: $10 BILLION OF OVERCHARGES AND
COUNTING”, is pretty much a heavily annotated version of Joachim
Kempin’s memo to the Chairman. Kempin is Microsoft’s senior
vice-president of OEM sales, which makes him the highest authority on
The organizations are: Consumer Federation of
|Snippet:||Nowadays Microsoft spokespersons are
eager to tell the public that the “economics of network effects” is at
best misguided. Another popular item with them is that market dominance
is transient as a result of fast moving technology.
The difference between IBM
Here are some quotes from “The Road Ahead” with my annotation: http://main.billwatch.net/annotated/compatibility_or_technology.html
|Snippet:||Perhaps Microsoft employees can tell
their superiors of irregularities, but doing so by a means that is
traceable by the government is not appreciated. This is what chief of
internal audits Charlie Pancerzewski did by e-mailing to his superiors
CFO Mike Brown and chief operating officer Bob Herbold.
Well, Pancerzewski got thrown out
|Snippet:||Dan Gillmor wrote a column that pretty
much reflects how I see Microsoft today. What matters is not so much
Gillmor’s prediction about the outcome of the case, but rather his
frank evaluation of the “Microsoft culture”.
|Snippet:||At the end of each week Microsoft briefs their pick of Wall Street analysts. Just the folks they like and no press.
Of course, the press is not allowed to be present either.
|Snippet:||It seems that Mr. Fisher is doing
better when writing about economical phenomena than when being asked
about esotoric software technology or about specific numerical data.
Of course, Microsoft’s emphasis on the latter doesn’t make the former less relevant and the latter more so.
Anyway, you can get an impression of the court session from Graham Lea’s article here:http://www.theregister.co.uk/990111-000015.html
(Generally, http://www.theregister.co.uk/ gives frequent and regularly good counterweight to the major media.)
|Snippet:||The one thing that Microsoft doesn’t
talk about when trying to show that its operating system prices are
“fair and competitive” is the prices of competing products.
|Snippet:||From the quality and extensive
character of the testimony it is clear that the testimony is a
well-funded team-effort. That is a good things, as it is more rewarding
to find fault in the best possible defense of one position, than in a
couple of loose slogans.
Given that the testimony happily offers
It is interesting to see how Mr. Schmalensee comes up
Actually, the software market is
Saying that: “Eminent economist Professor Richard
|Snippet:||Once in while I refer to the Microsoft
special of the Law Journal Extra. I may not always agree with the
articles, but at least they are produced by the application of the mind
instead of copy-and-paste.
I really should look there more often, it’s worth the effort.
|Snippet:||An outline of what Microsoft’s defence is likely to be is here:
For anyone tempted to agree with
Competition would be hard even without Microsoft’s
|Snippet:||The following press release indicates
that not only the US DOJ was overly happy with the Consent Decree. The
EC was just as please with the settlement. Well, since my first two
machines, with respectively DOS 3.3 and DR-DOS 6 pre-installed, I’ve
always been able to circumvent the tax and install Linux on a virgin
Has Microsoft lived by the agreement? Anyway, one need
For the press release, see a message by CPT’s James Love to the on-living “appraising-Microsoft” mailinglist:
|Snippet:||In a follow-up on his earlier message on the 1994 EC agreement with Microsoft, James Love points out that:
|Snippet:||Microsoft’s first witness started out
by testifying contrary to his earlier “expert” testimony in the Bristol
case. A nasty result of Microsoft’s overwhelming vertical and
horizontal presence in the software industry is that they pretty simply
become a competitor.
Whereas Mr. Schmalensee was earlier
Just as Mr. Schmalensee attempts to
|Snippet:||I don’t know if I quote John Maynard Keynes correctly, but Mr. Schmalensee reminds me of the quote.
Mr. Schmalensee’s theory is that a
Another theory of Mr. Schmalensee is
My respect for MIT has just received a serieus dent.
|Snippet:||After finishing its part of the
testimony, the DOJ has published some 500 additional documents. Among
these the complete testimony of the Chairman.
You can look for some more skeleton’s in Gates’ testimony at: http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/ms_gates2.htm
|Snippet:||The protagonist of Dostoievski’s “Crime
and Punishment” believes that special persons need not adhere to the
law, nay, they *should* not adhere to the law.
Well, they have appealed the injunction requiring it to modify Windows and Internet Explorer to adhere to the java standard.
You can find their press release here:
The motion for appeal is here:
(The folks in Redmond seem to confuse the different cases, as they put it in the “doj” directory.)
|Snippet:||Just as Microsoft makes using Internet
Explorer and therewith Microsoft’s polluted version of java a
pre-condition for using its monopoly Windows product, it forces
developers to make a similar move.
For developers on the Windows
|Snippet:||Microsoft has been and will be claiming
in court that their internal emails of employees – up to the highest
level – give no insight in the actual motives for the actions of the
Remember how they originally tried to get rid of the
Consistency is a rare virtue, at least in Redmond.
|Snippet:||Graham Lea exposed some of Microsoft’s pricing practices.
Why would the price of the older
|Snippet:||Some time ago, I hypothesized about the
ways in which the results of a poll can be influenced by specific
phrasing of questions and introductory texts.
“A memo from a Microsoft researcher at the
Microsoft has been guilty of such an act.
Incidentally, Microsoft regularly employs the firm Hart and Teeter to conduct their polls. Beware when that name is mentioned!
For the article by John Lettice in The Register:
|Snippet:||Both at home and at work my systems are
Microsoft free. However, while I could have obtained the machine
without any operating system at all, I chose to buy my desktop machine
with an OEM version of Windows NT 4.0 Workstation.
It seemed like a
I chose to use
If my new
|Snippet:||In my previous postings I described
restrictions in Microsoft’s licensing for an OEM version of Windows. I
actually used the OS to play around a bit (but got bored quickly kept
to Linux from then on). Therefore I have no right to the refund
mentioned in the EULA:
“If you do not agree to the terms of this
This can be quite a hassle, but it makes a good story:
|Snippet:||I was fairly amused to read this article:
* – Microsoft is not prevented from distributing this drivel, for the reader can easily download it directly from http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/trial .
|Snippet:||For $6.7 billion, about one-and-a-half
times the price AOL is to pay for Netscape (or rather, its portal, as
AOL is getting rid of its software as fast as possible), cable company
@Home, a Microsoft partner, bought portal Excite!
In the context
For Microsoft’s comments on AOL’s
For an article on the transaction, see: http://cnnfn.com/hotstories/deals/9901/19/excite_a/
I find it interesting that CNN doesn’t mention the consternation surrounding Netscape in its prsent newscasting.
|Snippet:||As mentioned earlier, Microsoft’s “End
User License Agreement” includes a statement that those who do not
agree with it and decide not to use the software before using it, are
entitled to a refund from the OEM that bundled Windows with the
Those running Linux, FreeBSD, OS/2, Netware or perhaps
Second best is
To help people organize in their efforts to obtain what
You can find the Windows Refund Center here: http://www.thenoodle.com/refund/
|Snippet:||I consider it quite funny that Dell
moved to keep Microsoft’s agreements with OEMs secret. There is no open
market for computer operating systems as Microsoft is the only vendor
seriously considered. It is a public secret that Microsoft uses price
discrimination to obtain some degree of control over OEMs marketing and
hardware decisions. Apparently, Dell managed to get a bargain and
intends to keep its competitors from learning about it.
The trial sessions on OEM agreements has been secret, but from the remaining testimony some things can be gleaned.
Check out Graham Lea’s article “What is it Microsoft wants the court to keep secret?”: http://www.theregister.co.uk/990118-000003.html
|Snippet:||One of the arguments, perhaps from
OEMs, perhaps from Microsoft itself, for *having to pre-install*
Windows is to fight piracy. The idea is that people who don’t pay for
Windows will steal it and hence all buyers of computer hardware must
pay for Windows also.
There is nothing new about the problem of
For Microsoft there is a dire implication
Aside from that there is of course an
Claiming that this is a necessity contradicts Microsoft’s claims that they operate in a competitive market.
|Snippet:||Starting with Richard Schmalensee’s
“testimony” Microsoft has discovered the word “paradigm shift”. To be
very brief, the concept means in Kuhn’s philosophy of science that one
conceptual framework is completely replaced by another – no stone is
left unturned, so to say.
This greatly appeals to Microsoft: if
I can’t help wondering what happened to
Mr. Nielsen, Microsoft manager for
|Snippet:||In this story, read about Microsoft’s reaction to the Windows refund campaign:
Also, spokesman Sohn says that Microsoft
|Snippet:||After initially claiming that Linux was
essentially by a single person – a mere student – to show how simple
entrance in the OS market was (read John Warden’s early interrogations,
Microsoft’s “Setting the record straight paper that introduced their
position in the trial, and Microsoft’s general manager in France who
claimed that development of Linux has just about stopped since the
student-originator moved to the US to work on a real job), the latest
claim from Redmond – by way of the testimony of senior vice president
Paul Maritz – is that more developers are working on Linux than on
Another funny aspect of Mr. Maritz testimony is his
Perhaps Mr. Maritz should learn
Paul Maritz’s testimony is quite, er, bloated, and I restricted myself to the testimony here: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/trial/jan99/01-22maritz.htm
|Snippet:||Graham Lea wrote a very readworthy article on Richard Schmalensee’s testimony. You can find it here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/990122-000024.html
Update: Here’s another one: Schmalensee trips on DoJ banana skins.
|Snippet:||Readers will no doubt know about
Microsoft’s original licensing of “Internet Explorer” from Spyglass. By
giving the browser away, Microsoft evaded having to pay royalties to
Spyglass and thus made the company change its line of business as the
other licensees (some 182 from the top of my head) stopped licensing
the product in a market where Microsoft was dumping. (A Robin Hood
variation: the big one takes from the small one and gives to everybody.)
I can’t help wondering if Microsoft
Did Microsoft tell
If Microsoft did not represent the case like this to Spyglass, it has committed fraud.
|Snippet:||Senior vice president Paul Maritz is
Microsoft’s group manager of software and platforms. He is the highest
ranking Microsoft executive climbing on the witness stand.
I annotated some fragments from his lengthy testimony.
You can find the result here.
|Snippet:||Microsoft has long used its position to
force exclusive contracts upon OEMs and later ISPs in order to raise
barriers to competition.
The emerging networking markets,
The solution is to apply the traditional way of denying entrance to the competition: you buy up the channels.
Conclusion: don’t expect a level market for the Internet appliances that Microsoft is so loudly afraid of when in court.
|Snippet:||At a time when it is alleged in court
that AOL might at some undefined time in the future start distribution
and should henceforth be considered a formidable opponent of Microsoft,
AOL itself is about to start a massive distribution by *snailmail* of
its own version of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
|Snippet:||Whereas a normal procedure for a cable
company would be to support whatever software its clients have, UPC,
Europe’s largest privately held cable television and television
company, has decided it needed a particular software partner.
In this John Dodge column:
|Snippet:||Procompetition did some research on Mr.
Maritz’ relevant utterances in the past that seem to contradict what he
tells the court in his testimony.
|Snippet:||You can find some numbers on Microsoft in the following ProComp article: http://www.procompetition.org/xp/p-headlines/i-current/a-917374894/p_article.view
Gates personal wealth suffices to buy AOL/Netscape, Sun and more than half of Oracle. So much for the “formidable competition”.
|Snippet:||With its market value recently climbing
above $400B, Microsoft is now worth 100 times more than Netscape. Such
numbers put Microsoft’s claim of Netscape being a “formidable
competitor” in some perspective.
|Snippet:||Microsoft has played a video in court on which Vinod Valloppil, the author of the infamous Halloween memos,
presents the ease of use of the “Caldera operating system”. What Mr.
Valloppil fails to mention (and the DoJ most surely didn’t notice) is
that we are looking at a branded version of Linux with the KDE desktop.
Apparently, the folks at Microsoft feel that something can have the
“integrated feel” even if both parts are separately available and
functional. Could it be that the advantages of integration can be
accomplished without having one component fail whenever another
component of the same vendor is not present?The text of the video is
included in the trial transcript.
|Snippet:||In yesterday’s anti-trust trial
proceedings, Microsoft executive Maritz admitted under questioning by
Judge Jackson that Microsoft’s goal in welding Internet Explorer to
Windows was to increase its browser market share. As late as July 1997,
consideration was given to selling an “Internet Explorer upgrade” to
Windows ’98. The arguments that integration of Web browsing
functionality into Windows ’98 was technologically motivated and “for
the good of the consumer” are looking shakier by the day.
Full story is at:
|Snippet:||Microsoft’s next witness on the stand
is Jim Allchin, you know, the one from “leveraging the operating
system” to get browser market share.
You can find it at: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/trial/mswitness/allchin/allchin.htm
First comments are available now by the vitriolic hand of John Lettice (pity that the HTML italics didn’t match):
|Snippet:||The “International Alliance for Compatible Technology” (http://pages.cthome.net/iact/) released an “action letter” concerning Compaq’s limitation of Altavista’s Discovery section to Microsoft software.
I know nothing about IACT, but this makes good sense to me.
You can find the letter at: http://pages.cthome.net/iact/iact-3.html
|Snippet:||As mentioned a few days ago, Microsoft
has taken a $500 million interest in British cable company NTL. What
wasn’t mentioned then is that NTL had announced a week before that it
would launch NTL TV-Internet, its new interactive television service,
using NCI’s (Network Computer) software. Given Microsoft’s history of
exclusive contracts, be they with OEM’s, with educational institutions,
with Apple, and with just anybody that ever enters into a business
agreement with them, we can safely presume that NTL has now dropped
from the software market as a potential buyer. In this context one is
also urged to remember that WebTV was an early adopter of java, but
they shedded support for the language after having been bought by
Another cable company mentioned a few days ago was
It looks like Microsoft is closing the markets for software as AT&T closed the market for telephones.
|Snippet:||Australian biologist Shane Brooks found a solution to give consumers options that Microsoft denies them:
If you’re in the mood, check out the Sm@rt Reseller article about it, that concludes:
|Snippet:||“[O]n 13 February 1998, Imatec filed a
suit against Apple alleging the company had infringed three patents it
holds for device-independent colour management software. Imatec claimed
Apple’s ColorSync software contained its technology. Imatec is seeking
$1.1 billion in damages.”
If I am not mistaken, Apple is
“UNLESS WE COULD SOLVE THIS BASIC ISSUE, WHICH WAS
Strange, isn’t it?
(News agencies don’t seem to have caught
|Snippet:||I enjoyed an article by Karen Donovan of the “American Lawyer Media News Service” that was published by “Law Journal Extra”.
Aiks, rewriting history becomes more complicated when people are allowed to ask you nasty questions.
See: http://www.ljx.com/LJXfiles/dojvms.html (I have no permament location for the file.)
|Snippet:||To get in the mood for Microsoft’s next
witness on the stand ProComp has listed some of the already familiar
quotes, such as: “We need to smile with Novell when we pull the
trigger” and “[Windows98] must be a simple upgrade, but most
importantly it must be a killer on OEM shipments so that Netscape never
gets a chance on these systems.”
Nice reading to get in the mood: http://www.procompetition.org/xp/p-headlines/i-current/a-917630416/p_article.view
|Snippet:||At the DoJ’s side one can find the transcripts of all of Gates’ deposit testimony since the end of the first part of the trial.
(By the way, Gates spoke to Associated Press about the deposit and said the following:
|Snippet:||Earlier I mentioned that Microsoft
presented KDE in court and called it the “Caldera operating system”.
Now they go further and introduce software as competition of which the
makers – the list of developers now says there are ten in all – say:
Okay, so we have software in alpha stage here. When looking at the site we find that ten developers are working on the package.
Let’s have a fragment from John Warden questioning Paul Maritz in court:
Q. WILL YOU TELL THE COURT WHAT IS IN 2318, MR. MARITZ?
14 BY MR. WARDEN:
19 I AM AWARE OF ANOTHER EFFORT CALLED “ABI SOURCE.”
20 AND THEY ARE ATTEMPTING TO DO MUCH THE SAME THING. THEY’VE
Somebody ought to inform Microsoft’s senior vice-president of platforms and applications about the value of a screenshot.
|Snippet:||I just re-read Dean Schmalensee’s prepared testimony. I find the following quote interesting:
“All successful software packages have high profit margins.
I wonder how Mr. Schmalensee and Mr. Maritz think to combine the categorical statement that “All successful software packages have high profit margins.” with their claims that free software has a very real chance to be successful. “The
To be more explicit: If it is a necessary condition for a “successful software package” to have a “high profit margin”,
By the way, WordPerfect8 (for Linux at least) can’t
|Snippet:||Apparently forgetting that Microsoft is
today buying into cable companies in a big way, Paul Maritz explained
in court that cable companies can provide an important channel for
competition and that whoever controls them has a “strong influence on
what software you choose to download onto your computer”.
As reported earlier, Microsoft has sunk billions of
Mr. Maritz’ statement makes clear that Microsoft’s buying into cable companies is relevant with regard to its monopoly position.
The fragment came from the transcript of the 28 Jan 1999 am session of the antitrust trial.
As seen in Chairman Gates’ book “The
|Snippet:||Always the first to trumpet about the
protecting of their own copyrights, Microsoft turns out to have no
qualms to stamp their own copyright notice on the trial transcripts as
published at their site.
For an example you can just pick the latest transcript published at their site as of writing this item:
At the bottom of the transcript you’ll find:
|Snippet:||Graham Lea seems to have spent the
weekend with the transcripts of the trial sessions with Paul Maritz.
The prolific result is spread all over the front page of The Register: http://www.theregister.co.uk/
The testimony of Microsoft’s Dr.
|Snippet:||Always a good showman, Sun’s CEO makes
for good quotes during the “World Economic Forum”‘s annual meeting
where Chairman Gates also spoke to the public (World *executives*
“Microsoft is a planned economy. Left unfettered,
“If they are allowed to use that leverage before
It seems to me that
(I’ll leave the quotes on the importance of not-breaking up Microsoft as an exercise to the reader.)
|Snippet:||To emphasize how much Dr. Felten’s
modifications harmed its performance, Microsoft presented a video to
the court. Unfortunately, the opposition there noticed an irregular cut
in the tape. Apparently, Microsoft’s supposed proof was forged. David
Boies aptly remarked: “How in the world could your people have run this
program? … You do understand you came in here and swore this was
|Snippet:||While one group of Microsoft lawyers is
telling the court the the browser is part of Windows, another group has
been telling the patent office that: “It should be understood by those
skilled in the art that a Web browser, such as Netscape Navigator or
Internet Explorer, … is separate from the operating system.”
(Courtesy of Richard Fane.)
|Snippet:||The article contains no acquisitions
not mentioned earlier here, but I’m glad to have my list confirmed by
another party (Hmm, there is one numerical difference.)
|Snippet:||William Neukom, senior vice-president
of corporate affairs and law: “This is a tiny, tiny part of a very long
tape and it doesn’t stand for anything more than things can happen with
software.” (This compares with “a tiny, tiny” bit pregnant. “Things can
happen with software” – This has nothing whatsoever to do with software
as technology, but solely with filming something that was set in scene.
Now that it turns out to have been tampered with, it is very hard to
conclude that the tampering was not intentional too.)
Microsoft spokesperson Mark Murray called the affair of “essentially nit-picking an issue like video production.”
The video-affair was bad for Microsoft’s
The quotes are from: http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,31808,00.html?st.ne.lh..ni
|Snippet:||Shortly after filing with the SEC that
he wants to divert himself of 3.5 million Microsoft shares, Bill Gates
today enters talks with Holland’s prime minister.
Could this be purely coincidental?
I can’t help being reminded
|Snippet:||You can find the testimony of Michael T. Devlin, president of Rational Software Corporation at: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/trial/mswitness/devlin/devlin.htm
his testimony Michael Devlin touts the importance of the presence of
Microsoft’s Internet Explorer on their customers computers:
For those interested, Mr.
Coincidentally, I visited the
So, what is Microsoft to Rational? Although
Apparently, having an “alliance” with Microsoft gives “access” to sources not open as “IE APIs are publicly available”.
Clearly, Rational manages to
For this reason I consider Mr. Devlin to apply a double standard.
About being asked by Microsoft to testify, Mr. Devlin states:
I hope to
|Snippet:||By mouth of spokesperson Mark Murray:
Quote from: http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,31913,00.html
|Snippet:||(Posted by Mitch Stone to am-info=”appraising Microsoft” mailinglist.)
MS issues marching orders ...
It is interesting to count the postings that do exactly this.
Most interesting, indeed.
Marching orders? I'd refute that.
First, I'm a test manager for an Internet related feature and have heard nothing.
Honestly, the word from Management is focus on your work and deliver product.
Disclaimer: My thoughts may or may not coincide with anyone else's including my boss, my boss' boss, etc.
MS orders confirmed.
But frankly, I did not interprete the thing as 'encouraging us to post'.
It was more like 'Do it! And do it a lot!'
Update: Wired tried to trace the author of the first posting. Interesting. See: http://www.wired.com/news/news/business/story/17745.html
|Snippet:||You can find Graham Lea’s extensive account of the video-affair here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/990204-000005.html and here:http://www.theregister.co.uk/990204-000004.html.|
|Snippet:||Microsoft has now for some time claimed that every “modern operating system” contains an integrated browser.
Jean-Louis Gass�e writes about the claim:
For the full article, see: http://www.be.com/aboutbe/benewsletter/volume_III/Issue5.html#Gassee
|Snippet:||In this story:
|Snippet:||More of Microsoft’s strategy for the
World Wide Web comes into focus with the news that Microsoft has a
patent on the idea of Cascading Style Sheets. This is an element of the
newer versions of the standards for the Hypertext Markup Language
(HTML) under the auspices of the W3 Consortium. Microsoft is a member
of the W3 Consortium and took an active role in promoting the idea of
making Cascading Style Sheets into a standard. Curiously, they did not
mention their patent on this idea. Yet the patent itself:
explicitly refers to the W3 Consortium’s standards document.
For more details and discussion of the Microsoft patent on Cascading Style Sheets, see the Slashdot story at http://slashdot.org/articles/99/02/04/169219.shtml
|Snippet:||Who would ever have imagined that the
Internet doesn’t transport data traffic at constant speed? Not
Microsoft’s engineers at least. They proposed to do a performance test
directly over the Internet. This can be done to some degree by a
statistical analysis of the test data. But that was not Microsoft’s
Microsoft proposed to repeat a test that was to show that
To the public and to
Says spokesperson Tod Nielsen:
Giving up after four
Was Microsoft sorry
This attitude is not
Could it be
|Snippet:||As noted earlier, the Dutch government
has been hanging on Bill Gates lips to learn how to introduce computers
in education. Meanwhile, the scene has repeated itself in Germany.
|Snippet:||Paul Crowley sent a message to the
am-info mailinglist that I wanted to reprint here. If you won’t follow
all links, I suggest you pick at least the Web Standards Project press
release. Here is the unabridged message:
|Snippet:||On Bill’s current European trip, he gives an interview to Denmark’s national radio. A transcript can be found at http://linuxtoday.com/stories/2856.html.
|Snippet:||In an effort to extend the W3C XML
standard with a standard for storing and sharing object programming and
design information, OMG members such as Unisys, IBM, Oracle, Platinum,
Fujitsu, Softeam, and Daimler-Benz, and supported by Rational Software,
Sprint, Sybase, Xerox, MCI Systemhouse, Boeing, Ardent, ICONIX,
Integrated Systems, Verilog, NCR, and NTT, have created and accepted
the new XML Metadata Interchange (XMI) format.
|Snippet:||After it was found out that a video
that Microsoft presented to the court as factual material was in fact
edited from video-fragments that didn’t represent the actual testing,
Microsoft on the one hand started calling what it earlier submitted as
proof an “illustration”, and on the other hand requested for an
opportunity to remake the video.
To the surprise of Microsoft’s
|Snippet:||Graham Lea has once more spent a busy
weekend with the trial transcripts. You can find the results all over
the front page of The Register: http://www.theregister.co.uk
Coverage of the Microsoft video-affair in The Register:
|Snippet:||ProComp wrote an article on Microsoft’s
present witness on the stand, William Poole. Mr. Poole is Senior
Director, Business Development and Personal Business Systems Group.
|Snippet:||If you like to read articles that
depict Microsoft’s present situation as not very happy, you might enjoy
a couple of San Jose Mercury New articles:
Update: Richard Fane sent a reference to another good beating: And the times they are a changin’ by John McCormick for Inter@ctive Week.
|Snippet:||The taboo on critizing Microsoft seems to have been broken now. This seems like a landslide, but it is really only a start.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is one
The following two articles give
ProComp: http://www.procompetition.org/xp/p-headlines/i-current/a-918597967/p_article.view (article by Alfred Foer, President American Antitrust Institute)
|Snippet:||People at ProComp seem to find delight
in introducing the next Microsoft witness before he (never she in this
trial) takes the stand.
Shortly, Cameron Myhrvold is Microsoft
More in the ProComp article: http://www.procompetition.org/xp/p-headlines/i-current/a-918598091/p_article.view
|Snippet:||Eric Bennet wrote an overview of
articles indicating the development of critical coverage of Microsoft
by the press to the am-info mailinglist.
You can find it here: http://lists.essential.org/am-info/msg01377.html
|Snippet:||Many a company has showed its
technology to Microsoft in the hope of being considered complementary
and useful, and therefore worthy of the support of Microsoft’s vast
wealth and power over software markets
As illustration you can
In 1996 a small Scottish company tried to gain favor with Microsoft by showing them their product and the expected happened:
Once in court, Microsoft launched an army of
Fearing yet another courtroom disaster, Microsoft gave in.
For the full story in The Register by Graham Lea, see: http://www.theregister.co.uk/990210-000011.html
|Snippet:||Microsoft now contends in court that
their exclusive agreements with ISPs merely reflect agreements in the
software industry and even any industry. According to Microsoft,
Netscape sought no less exclusive agreements, so Microsft can not be
guilty of any crime in doing this.
This is wrong. What matters
An argument like the above won’t easily be found in the
|Snippet:||“As Vice President of Marketing,
Personal and Business Systems division at Microsoft, Brad Chase leads
client and server marketing strategy and business development for the
Microsoft� Windows� operating system.”
From what I’ve
Mr. Chase attempts the impossible in showing
The summary, containing a link to the entire testimony, can be found at: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/trial/feb99/02-10chase.htm
|Snippet:||Another Microsoft witness has just made
the DOJ’s point for it. Microsoft Internet Customer Unit Vice President
Cameron Myrhvold admits that Microsoft was late in presenting its
browser and that, if consumers were given a level playing field to
choose between Internet Explorer and Netscape, he was afraid that
Microsoft would not be able to dominate the market for browsers. The
context of this testimony is vis a vis the exclusive deals that
Microsoft made with ISP’s to distribute Internet Explorer at the
expense of Netscape. However, it also fits nicely as an explanation for
why Internet Explorer is not a removeable part of the latest Windows
release and cannot be excluded from Windows by OEM’s. This admission of
the desire to curtail consumer choice in browsers is an important one,
since anti-trust cases are normally brought expressly to preserve
|Snippet:||As soon as the trial started ZDNet
started a scorecard. It gave points, but no explanations and was
therefore not attractive to those who would like to do the counting
Fortunately, they have now (for some time) revised
|Snippet:||The “Citizens Against Government Waste”
has some 600,000 members and less than one percent of their 1998
funding came from Microsoft. Everything they say seems to follow from
the premiss that anarchy-enterprise-style is the ideal mode of
Under the title “National taxpayer watchdog group
Press release: http://220.127.116.11/Media/Releases/02-09-99.htm
|Snippet:||John Lettice of The Register read the
the press release, the testimony and the transcript and wrote his own
remarks. I liked them ;-).
|Snippet:||Microsoft allegedly pushed Internet
Explorer by actually paying for its dissemination and requiring that
Netscape’s Navigator was not also distributed by the payed party.
Such a reply makes one wonder how much more Microsoft didn’t do “formally”.
You can find the article from which the above is lifted at:
|Snippet:||Gary Connors sent me a link to an
article in the LA Times discussing Microsoft’s position. I was pleased
to find that IBM’s old monopoly position is described as a hardware
monopoly and that hardware differs from software. The difference seems
quite obvious, but there are plenty of parties that claim on the one
hand the especially the government is backward in understanding
technological matters, while at the same time claiming that IBM’s
position in the past is akin to Microsoft’s position today.
LA Times article: http://www.latimes.com/HOME/NEWS/REPORTS/MICROSOFT/lat_micro990212.htm
|Snippet:||No doubt you are familiar with the Windows Refund Day that is to take place February 15th. You can find information at: http://linuxmafia.com/refund
Actually, I have always been able to buy
French Refund site: http://www.linux-center.org/detaxe/index.shtml
|Snippet:||This is about the DR-DOS case planned for this summer (remember how Microsoft wanted to delay it another 120 days?)
Update: It has taken some time, but you can now find a list of references to the individual motions at: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/caldera/.
|Snippet:||The goal of development tools is to
wrap an interaction layer around a programming language that makes it
easier to produce working code with it. One can do miracles with tools
without modifying the language that is to be operated on.
Translated to the English language, Mr.
When Mr. Leake says:
|Snippet:||Good reading: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/business/longterm/microsoft/micro.htm|
|Snippet:||Microsoft is unwilling to refund those
who could obtain the computer of their choice only on the condition
that they would also buy the Windows operating system. Microsoft’s End
User License Agreement mentions that a refund for Windows is possible,
but passes the burden on to the vendor who provides the hardware and
Typically, such vendors have no provisions for giving
I allege that under European law, such computer
|Snippet:||The Register published an article by John Lettice providing some context for the refund actions yesterday.
|Snippet:||You can find the text of the hand-out that Microsoft presented to refund seekers here: http://www.loyalty.org/~schoen/dear-valued-customer.html
Note that Microsoft does not sell
Thus, Microsoft’s responsibility for the Windows
|Snippet:||Jerry Passacaglia sent me a link to a
list of reports on the antitrust trial. Due to bad connectivity, I only
read the first – discussing Vinod Valloppil showing KDE and telling the
unwitting audience that they are looking at the “Caldera Operating
System”. The writer of the article didn’t notice the KDE part, but did
take the trouble to mention that Paul Maritz, praising Linux to the
skies today, was last year dismissing the OS as a “curiosity”. Did so
much change in the meantime?
I especially liked the statement
(real-timing/waiting for the page)Ah, page two of the list has just been loaded. I’ll read on a bit, but post this now.
Here’s the link to the first of the pages: http://www.pathfinder.com/fortune/1999/03/01/mic.html
|Snippet:||Microsoft’s proposal nine years ago to
let Intuit restrict itself to DOS and the Macintosh is yet another
illustration of their strategy to implement a centrally planned
industry where companies carry out their assigned role instead of
competing with one another.
|Snippet:||After an initial preliminary decision
that the deposits were to be kept secret at Microsoft’s request,
despite the letter of the law, stalling the process of a final decision
after that, and then deciding that the law was to be upheld and the
deposits were to be made public (and accessible to the press), we now
find that they are still kept secret to give Microsoft a chance to
(Same article as in previous item.)
|Snippet:||The language of the testimony sounds as if Mr. Rose is fulfilling cross-promotional agreements with Microsoft.
You can find the summary here: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/trial/feb99/02-16rose.htm
|Snippet:||Rapidly increasing political staff,
attempts to persuade states to drop the case, supporting loud pressure
groups, and well, the nationwide advertisements weren’t mentioned.
James Grimaldi of the Seattle Times reports: http://www.seattletimes.com/news/technology/html98/tria_021799.html
|Snippet:||Only a few days after protesters took
the trouble to come by Microsoft’s office to request a refund for
software that is tied with hardware according to Microsoft’s contracts
with OEM’s but not used by people who prefer to use an alternate
operating system – a large and growing number according to Microsoft’s
sworn statements in court – we can read in the Washington Post that no
consumers have been harmed.
Apperently, Mr. Ignatius of the
First of all, Mr. Ignatius is wrong about
Given that Microsoft can distribute its browser in such a
Microsoft has managed to have consumers being taxed
Well, you can find the article here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/business/longterm/microsoft/stories/1999/ignatius021799.htm
|Snippet:||The anti-trust trial lately has taken a
faster pace with the DOJ’s Boies doing the cross-examination of
Microsft’s witnesses. Yesterday, Compaq executive John Rose was on the
stand when he admitted to Judge Jackson that presently, “there are no
commercially viable alternatives to Windows.” More detail is here: http://www.mercurycenter.com/business/top/069891.htm
Today, the report from Graham Lea here http://www.theregister.co.uk/990218-000014.html
|Snippet:||The pattern of Microsoft’s latest
testimonies seems to be a written testimony saying something like
“Gosh, how can anyone think that…” followed by an admission in court
saying “Well, actually we…”.
Rather pitiful for the executives for that are forced to play hide-and-seek with truth.
Eric Engstrom is Microsoft’s General Manager of MSN Internet Access, his testimony can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/trial/mswitness/engstrom/engstrom_full.htm
Dan Rosen is Microsoft’s General Manager of new technology, his testimony can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/trial/mswitness/rosen/rosen_full.htm
|Snippet:||Richard Fane sent in a link to a BusinessWeek article on the many forces working against Microsoft’s success.
|Snippet:||Compaq’s John Rose’s credibility was damaged during the trial:
Update: The New York Times came down pretty hard on the testimony too: http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/99/02/biztech/articles/19soft.html
|Snippet:||A class-action suit has been brought
against Microsoft and the major OEM partners of its trust for damages
inflicted by monopolistic pricing of its products. As became clear
during the Windows Refund events, Microsoft holds OEMs like Compaq,
Dell and Packard Bell responsible for tying the sale of the Windows
operating system to their computer systems.
The resulting trust
Although Compaq now claims that a
The difference between the
Well, the setup looks like a classic conspiracy against consumers and that’s what has given rise to the class-action suits.
“MS socked with two class action suits”
“Charles Lingo: Microsoft’s worst enemy”
|Snippet:||Pursuant to the preliminary injunction
telling Microsoft to comply with Sun’s Java specification or warn
developers their tools may produce incompatible code, Microsoft sought
a clarification on whether the injunction would cover “an independently
produced Java.” Judge Ronald Whyte has ruled that, since neither party
has brought up that possibility before, the injunction would not cover
an independently produced Java.
If this part of the ruling is
|Snippet:||Ian Kluft of the Silicon Valley Linux User Group (SVLUG) wrote a short article on the benefits of the Essential Facility remedy.
You can find Ian’s article here: http://www.svlug.org/editorials/19990220-ms-antitrust.shtml
|Snippet:||A class-action lawsuit against
Microsoft for monopolistic pricing won’t lead to a sufficient return of
money to consumers to be worth the trouble.
The real benefits of
(Link courtesy of Richard Fane.)
|Snippet:||… I can go back to programming.
I thoroughly enjoyed Dan Gillmor’s article: http://www.sjmercury.com/svtech/news/indepth/docs/dg022199.htm
|Snippet:||For a couple of months now John Katz
has been writing items for slashdot.org and I saw at the bottom of his
San Jose Mercury News article “The end of the Microsoft Age” that he
even has a slashdot.org e-mail account. Strikes me as cool.
Anyway, the article is here: http://www.mercurycenter.com/opinion/perspective/docs/katz21.htm
|Snippet:||Katie Hafner wrote for a follow-up on
the results of Gates’ multi-billion dollar donations to be spent on
placing computers in public libraries.
(New York Times: registration required.)
|Snippet:||Business Week Online reports that
although the DOJ wasn’t able to find any OEMs who would testify against
Microsoft, many were subpoenaed for depositions, and the government has
placed their statements into evidence.
|Snippet:||Microsoft witness Dan Rosen holds fast
to his claim that Microsoft wanted to partner, not compete, with
Netscape.Now if he can just explain why it necessary to “wrest”
leadership from them.
|Snippet:||Story by Robin Raskin, FamilyPC
“While the Justice Department and Bill Gates
I wonder if the New York Times will pick up on this?
|Snippet:||“Over the years, Compaq has been the
most aggressive among the personal computer makers in seeking a measure
of independence from Microsoft, even as it is one of Microsoft’s
closest allies and largest customer. Frequently, Compaq’s actions have
not fit neatly into the picture of a company in Microsoft’s
monopolistic grip, constantly seeking favors and ever-fearful of
reprisal — the picture the government tried to paint in court last
week when a Compaq executive took the stand as a defense witness for
Yet it is also true that there is an established
|Snippet:||I’m legal expert, but I think it’s a
bad sign when, during your testimony, the spectators laugh out loud and
the judge rolls his eyes.
Microsoft witness contradicts himself and others
|Snippet:||Legal experts wonder if the first two consumer oriented law suits are about to start a stampede.|
|Snippet:||Here’s The Register’s take on Dan Rosen’s testimony.
MS trial to recess over March – this story has a little more to say about Mr. Rosen’s credibility.
|Snippet:||Here’s an excellent BBC produced summary of last weeks testimony by Microsoft VP Brad Chase and Compaq VP John Rose.|
|Snippet:||This is an editorial at the San Jose Mercury:
Does the Internet affect only the people who use it? Or does it affect everybody?
Another San Jose Mercury editorial – she considers the effects of the immediate release of trial transcripts on the Internet.
|Snippet:||The Register takes a peek at the written testimony of Joachim Kempin.|
|Snippet:||Mary Jo Foley, Sm@art Reseller
U.S. Says Microsoft Witness Made Up Evidence
Rosen said he never actually got the
Boies looked at the witness and said slowly: “You don’t remember that, do you sir? You’re just making that up right now.”
|Snippet:||By Mary Jo Foley, Sm@rt Reseller
his testimony, Kempin revisits charges against Microsoft of product
tying, exclusionary contracts and prohibitive first-boot requirements.
And like a number of his Microsoft predecessors on the stand, Kempin
devotes much of his testimony to splitting hairs regarding the meaning
of terms, such as “browser.”
|Snippet:||BY DAVID L. WILSON
for the San Jose Mercury
Another one bites the dust