Bonum Certa Men Certa

How Microsoft Discourages Use of Competitors' Products

One word: F.U.D.

SOME months ago we showed recent examples of technical sabotage at Microsoft and about a year ago we explained what Microsoft did to DR-DOS [1, 2, 3, 4]. One of our readers pointed out that Bill Gates had some personal involvement [PDF] and in fact one exhibit reveals: "Bill Gates ordered to all application business units to include checking routines of operating environments and if it is Microsoft DOS, nothing will happen."



DOS screen



We actually found the code that was prepared for the court to have a look at. It's Microsoft code, which produces errors like "may void valuable warranty protection provided by.”

We have produced a plain text copy of this scan [PDF] by hand, for those who are interested:







/******************************************************** *DisplayAlienDosMessage * *Purpose: * Displays a warning message if the user is running * a non MS or IBM PC DOS machine (i.e. pirated DOS). * Returns: * none ******************************************************** int near DisplayA1ienDosMessage(void) {

print(9,TAE,”WARNING: Microsoft QuickPascal has been tested for use”); print(lO,TAB,"only with the MS-DOS and PC-DOS operating systems.”); print(12,TAB,"Your use of this product with another operating system"); print(13,TAB,"may void valuable warranty protection provided by”); print(14,TAB,"Mlcrosoft on QuickPascal."); print(16,TAB,”...Press any key to continue’); getch(); return(1); }

/*** *main - setup's main *Purpose: * main code for setup. Initialize stuff and do the setup. * *Entry: * argC, argV as in ‘the bible” (K&R) *Exit: * void, note that setup exits from “terminate" not main. ******************************************************************* / void NEAR main ( argC, argV ) int argC; unsigned char *argV [];

{ extern ME1~4U contMaiu; extern unsigned char sDrive; // set if sourcedir non- default int retVal; unreferenced (argC);

InitVideo();

. if (!Verify_DOS ();

DisplayAlienDosMessage ();

if (argV[O](1)==’:’) // don’t assume drive A: sDrive = (unsigned char) toupper(*argv[O]); JnitDefOptions ();

if(GrabMemory()) { retVal = DoThatStateThing (); ReleaseMemory Q; } else ( ppszErrLns= ppszErrTable [ OUTOFMEM ]; AlertState ( &contMenu, 1.2, dispGenErr); retVal = rv_JtJSTEXIT;

} terminate (retVal); // exits setup} }






It all seems eerily familiar.

'We recommend that we *informally* plant the bug of FUD in their ears. "Have you heard about problems with DR DOS?"'

--Internal Microsoft communication [PDF]



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