Bonum Certa Men Certa

As Yahoo Proxy War Looms, VMWare and Nokia Return to One's Mind

"Number two is move Netscape out of the win32 client area."

--Paul Maritz, Vice President, Microsoft



In a recent analysis, "Did Microsoft Hijack XenSource Like It Tries to Hijack Yahoo?", we explained the role of insiders in subverting a company's direction. Only yesterday, as already mentioned in our digest, news emerged that Yahoo got sued for declining Microsoft's offer. Another by-proxy lawsuit? Your call. Microsoft explicitly said that it was entering "proxy war" mode only days beforehand.

VMWare Gets Insider



Takeovers, takeovers, takeovers.

What's with all the takeovers anyway? Might this be the effect of a recession Soros speaks of nowadays? These are some interesting yet very confusing times that we live in. An acquisition by VMWare has just brought this somewhat alarming news.

Former Softie Maritz to head cloud computing at EMC



Former Microsoft Platforms chief Paul Maritz may be best remembered for his alleged threat to “cut off Netscape’s air supply.” (For the record, Maritz has denied he ever said those exact words.)


Paul Maritz brings many memorable quotes back to mind. Why will he be heading a company that Microsoft intends to attack from multiple directions? That's how they typically begin to affect companies like XenSource and even Google. One of our readers, who is also an active participant in OpenSUSE, called these "Microsoft inside jobs" (or insiders) and he once suggested that Novell might be a victim also.

"The major reason for this is: to combat [Netscape] we have to position the browser as “going away” and do deeper integration on Windows. The stronger way to communicate this is to have a “new release” of Windows and make a big deal out of it. We will thus position Memphis as “Windows 98. IE integration will be the most compelling feature of Memphis.

--Paul Maritz, Vice President, Microsoft



On Nokia, Microsoft and Other Arbitrary Thoughts



With the sudden departure of the long-time chief of Microsoft's Mobile Unit, it hardly seems like Microsoft's future in the cellular area is all that bright. The chief moves on to Vodafone by the way.

The Nokia-Trolltech situation [1, 2, 3, 4] gives not so many reasons to cheer. In fact, rather curious was the recent Nokia-Microsoft flirt. which fortunately ended up with no major announcement being made. But let's look a little closer at possible relationships between those two companies.

After posting this short article, a reader got in touch and below are parts of the conversation which you may or may not find interesting (the first part in particular).




Reader:

Think of adding one main link to a good article on a non-Microsoft tool in each article.

Microsoft would rather have criticism than talk about their competition. Talking about the real tools frustrates that.

BN:

Linking to Nokia, a software patent lobbyist?

Reader:

Yeah it sucks that Nokia bought Trolltech. Nokia does some good things, but their software patent lobbying and their sabotaging of Ogg in HTML5 really compensate. By the way, if you look at the HTML5 fiasco, Stephen Wenger's full resume explains a lot: he worked at Microsoft for several years. It's so much like Scientology, except dressed as a business rather than a Church.

[,,,]

Call me cynical, but when the news first hit Slashdot the first thing I did was see who the company rep was and then search for his homepage and read his CV. Voila. Mystery solved.

The recent Groklaw story goes a little into these methods:      http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20071023002351958

but nothing explicit about use of fifth columnists. Microsoft apologists always counter with accusations about "conspiracy theorists"(*) Were it that simple to dismiss. Just because it's harmful does not mean it's a conspiracy.

“Ad hominem is one of their most commonly used and successful counters to just about everything. e.g. Look at Massachusetts.”All that brings me back to the question of what place in tomorrow's society can there be for today's Microsofters? They have jobs but what they do in their jobs doesn't actually benefit their own employer, but instead puts Microsoft interests ahead at the cost of their employer. That's both up front cost and lost productivity. And further it's done over time in spite of many opportunities to take a different path. So the choice to cause harm is made not once but many times. Given that level of breach of trust, where can they fit in?

And that also skips the unpleasant question of their lack of technical skills.

(*) Ad hominem is one of their most commonly used and successful counters to just about everything. e.g. Look at Massachusetts. I notice that Quinn's name has not been cleared despite all the time passed since the accusations and smear campaign.

[...]

Both points (conspiracy + ad hominem) in the first half: http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/169233/open-xml-vote-has-turned-into-a-riot.html

Checkout the date-time stamps of the article (UTC) and my message. (UTC +2) :) It's like clockwork or script.

[...]

BN:

Mind you, Microsoft hires abroad, so ex-Softies are independent from total headcount at Microsoft.

Reader:

As are permatemps. It was my hypothesis that this was done so as to be able to downsize without reporting mass layoffs.

I've unfortunately been off Usenet for about 1.5 years. It's of major importance, or at least of major use, with the OLPC project because of the mesh network - async communications. It needs to get relaunched, perhaps with a redesign to deal with spam, in the US, China and Russia to counter facism.

However, Microsoft is growing into a large anti-democracy movement of its own. If enough people sell out / turn quisling, then it can trump the current world powers.




An equally interesting E-mail exchange brought up some interesting observations about staff reduction. This message was receive just a couple of hours ago from a well-regarded veteran whose name won't be mentioned here:




Anonymised, in reference to Microsoft's growing pains:

Interesting. They have a lot of mouths to feed so if they do run into income problems it won't take long to show up. There is a limit to how long accountancy can hide stuff.

BN:

Novell is the same. They admitted it (to Asay, in private).

Anonymised:

I'm not at all surprised about Novell. We used Netware back in the late 80s and I thought it was over-priced then. It was a business model waiting for someone to come in and disrupt it as networking became the norm. What happened with NT was pretty classic Christensen-style disruption. Good enough for the bulk of new users and a lot less expensive than Novell. OOo and Linux are doing the same thing. Since then I'm surprised Novell kept enough customers to stay in business at all. I'm not sure they will stay in business now. Maybe Microsoft will buy them :-) Suse Linux owned by Microsoft. I remember when Acorn was dominating the schools market here and brought out the ARM processor. All the Acorn geeks had stickers on their computers with "Intel Outside" on them. Now Intel license ARM products mainly as a result of buying Digital who produced StrongArm. At some point Microsoft is going to end up selling services around Linux, it's more a matter of when than if. And probably Microsoft Office will at some point get ported to Linux. Microsoft will probably downsize its workforce through some sort of restructuring. Maybe break the company up into several smaller companies and some of those could go out of business without bringing the lot down. Might be next year, might be 5 years off but I think the tipping point has been reached some time ago where the changes are unstoppable. It's just timing now.




Another reader asked us to revisit the role of Corel, which we shall do shortly.

"To combat NSCP we have to have [sic] position the browser as ‘going away’ and do deeper integration on Windows. The stronger way to communicate this is to have a ‘new release’ of Windows and make a big deal out of it. We will thus position Memphis as ‘Windows 98'."

--Paul Maritz, Vice President, Microsoft

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