Bonum Certa Men Certa

Our Chinese wall never existed

Date: December 1993


"I think we will have to live without a Chinese wall clause for the front end of the compiler", Bill Gates 2001

"GATES: [Strongly] Chinese wall is not a term we've ever used", 1994

"Microsoft has stated to the Press over the years that there is a "Chinese Wall" between its operating systems and applications divisions", 1994

"We bend over backwards to make sure we're not getting a special advantage," Bill Gates March 1991

"There is a very clean separation between our operating systems business and our applications business... It's like the separation between church and state.", Steve Ballmer 1983


From: Bill Gates To: Pam Edstrom; Marty Taucher; Steve Ballmer; Jeff Raiks Cc: Mile MAples; Mike Murry; Bill Gates; Bill Neukorn; Jonathan Lazarus; Pete Higgins; Paul Maritz; Nathan Myhrvold Subject: Microsoft and the Chinese Wall Date: Saturday, December 04, 1993 4:08 PM

: .. Our Chinese wall never existed and yet is constantly cited in press article after press article. What is the truth about this Chinese wall? ..

: The boundary between applications and systems is constantly changing with more and more work being taken over in an abstract way by the system to simplify the creation of complex applications, allowing for tighter sharing and integration and to allow abstractions that allow hardware to improve without forcing software redesign ..

: Some people like to suggest that developers were confused about whether OS/2 or Windows would succeed. Microsoft certainly didn't have a crystal ball on this. We shipped Excel well before 1/2/3 shipped. We shipped Word way before anyone except Describe shipped a Word processor. Other than IBM we lost more money on OS/2 than anyone else in both systems and applications. Fortunately it is not hard to retarget a program written for one graphical platform to another and a number of libraries were available to make the task very straightforward ..

: So back to the Chinese Wall. Does Microsoft systems allow Microsoft applications to provide input on the next version of the system? Absolutely .. There is no Chinese wall. Information is encouraged to flow in both directions. It happens on a formal and an informal and basis everyday ...

Comes v Microsoft

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