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Was Microsoft Ever First in the Market?

Video download link | md5sum c63991b78c1d3046bd5b4d884d32c2a8



Summary: Confronting the false belief that Microsoft ever innovates anything of significance or is "first" in some market/s

Further to the previous video (and corresponding post) about last night's piece by Mitchel Lewis, we've decided to make a separate video along with an accompanying post about Microsoft's history, which mostly involves copying other people's things and then using illegal tactics (business crimes) to get an "edge"...



I've intentionally limited my personal thoughts (relegated to the above video). The text below is correspondence between Mr. Lewis and a Techrights associate, who had read drafts of the article before it was published yesterday.

"I thought Microsoft was never, ever first to market," the associate noted. "They only ever copied, and slowly and poorly at that. What they can do is implant false memories, of sorts, so that the market and then individuals forget that there was ever something better. Take Kerberos+LDAP. It was the primary way to manage identities and authentication and occupied the niche that Microsoft aimed to destroy with Active Directory. Once they started pushing Active Directory, which was about 20 years ago, it couldn't handle more than a half dozen accounts at a time yet all the microsofters, followed by the trade press, parroted the line that there was nothing on the market to manage identities and authentication. Same when they aimed to destroy e-mail with the Outlook+Exchange combination, they started parroting that there was no competing product. Well, given how many functions and capabilities were lacking from both, maybe they were partially right, but in spite of that, there were quite a few much higher quality, established MUC and MTAs. The list goes on."

"The text below is correspondence between Mr. Lewis and a Techrights associate, who had read drafts of the article before it was published yesterday.""When I say that Microsoft only dominates when they are first to market," Mr. Lewis responded, "I mean that Microsoft only dominates markets when it enters them in its infancy and that they’re almost always dead in the water when a market is already dominated."

"Ok," our associate responded, "but which markets was Microsoft ever early to enter? As far as I recall, they've only ever followed and slowly at that. Steve Jobs used to rib them on both the slowness and the bad quality. I want to know if I've missed an area, but otherwise the statement implying that they have ever been first to market should be walked back."

"I can't recall a single area where they were first to market or, for that matter, even early to enter a market: DOS (CP/M, AppleDOS), GUI (GEM, DESQview, Lisa), Shell (Bash, Ksh), WordProcessing (WordStar, WordPerfect), SpreadSheets (Visicalc, 1-2-3, Quattro), Databases (dBaseII - dBaseIII, FoxBase), E-Mail Clients (Eudora, Pine), E-Mail Server (sendmail, postfix, exim, et al), Presentation Graphics (Harvard Graphics, Freelance Graphics), Desktop Publishing (PageMaker, QuarkXPress), OOP (java, python), Developer tools (Borland, Eclipse, Emacs), Web Browsers (Mosaic, Netscape), Web Server (Apache), Web Design (Dreamweaver, HotMetal, Emacs), Music Player (iPod), SmartPhone (iPhone, Android), Hosted Services (AWS, GoogleCloud, Nebula), Document Formats (ODF), etc. Maybe my memory is getting too rusty, that's all I can think of. I would add that even when Microsoft did introduce a product into the market, that it was usually be at least a few more years until the product became usable enough to become recognizable."

One has to be a little more "senior" to know or recall those products. Some of the above I've never heard of myself. For Microsoft it is a lot easier to charm or bamboozle the younger generation, with a swath of revisionism and press entryism. I'm still in my thirties, so some of the above brands I only know from young childhood.

"I know the story of Novell and IBM.""There is a factual error," our associate noted about the article. "Microsoft business strategy cannot be dependent on them being among the first movers in a market because they never are and never have been among the first. They are always slow in getting on their feet. Their business model has been nearly 100% dependent on illegally leveraging their OEM and Desktop monopolies as well as their monopoly on productivity suite file formats. tldr: it is a lie to assert that Microsoft is a first mover."

As we do not edit/censor articles, in respect to their original authors, we've decided that instead a response to this article will follow. We ended up making two videos.

Mr. Lewis, who received this feedback prior to publication (finalisation), defended his position by stating: "Most of the markets that Microsoft entered into were in their infancy, wide open for the taking, and were anyone’s game. They didn’t have an AWS to compete with in the OS, Server, and Productivity markets like Azure does. To their credit, they did PCs better than IBM ever could. But taking out Novell and Lotus when the market was infinitesimally smaller than it is today was inevitable; they could barely put up a fight."

I know the story of Novell and IBM. I do not agree with those statements and I've responded to them in the video (along the way).

"As they were doing this," Mr. Lewis concluded, "they were relying on various tactics, from anticompetitive to creative, to dominate these young markets and maintain this domination to this day albeit losing ground everywhere now."

"I saw nothing creative over the last four decades in their uniformly illegal and dishonest tactics," our associate responded. "They gained a desktop monopoly from IBM which at the time was forced by the DOJ to choose between hardware and software. IBM chose hardware and thus handed, via Bill's mother, Microsoft a monopoly on a silver platter. Microsoft then used Kildall's work, via Paterson for chump change, and pawned it off as their own. BASIC was gained by dumpster diving and pawned off as if their own. Etc."

"Even their gains in the productivity suite market were due entirely to the desktop monopoly rents which were used to underwrite the apparent price dumping. They undercut WordPerfect and Quattro by at least half. Blocking DR-DOS was also only enabled by their monopoly.

"The only somewhat new market Microsoft entered was the browser market, which though short in years already had a great many independent web browsers before Bill got around to ripping off Spyglass Mosaic. Now that, I must admit was creative because they agreed with Spyglass Mosaic on price based on a percentage of sales and then gave it away as part of an illegal bundling.

"Lying to improve and soften Microsoft image might assuage some consciences among some of those involved in perpetration of those kinds of activities, but it won't alter what happened and would be revisionism at best to present those lies as truth. At this point what's done is done and with all the original sources dead, dying, or going out of print it is of utmost importance to squelch revisionism.

"One area where Microsoft actually was creative was in the way it could keep convincing small companies to negotiate with them under NDA. Microsoft would talk them into meeting, raid them for their ideas and trade secrets, and then shamelessly whip up a half-assed copy of whatever product or service the small company had built their business around. Often the Microsoft imitation product or service was given away or provided at an inappropriately low price, the result was that the small company quickly went under and/or sold to Microsoft.

"They still do that though more sneakily and less blatantly as in the day back when they screwed companies like Sendo.

"Another area where Microsoft is actually creative is in the lies they are able to get the public to swallow via their whisper network of consultants, salespeople, and associated minions. The best example was them going against Novell's flagship product Netware. Microsoft's whisper campaign convinced managers that Novell was pulling the plug on its highly profitable, highly popular SME product Netware. Microsoft replacement file server and identity management software was more than a decade away from becoming even partially usable and appeared to be in the proof-of-concept stage. Yet it spread through SME server rooms like a digital hantavirus."

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