12.27.08

How Microsoft Discourages Use of Competitors’ Products

Posted in Antitrust, Courtroom, IBM, Microsoft at 3:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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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9 Comments

  1. pcole said,

    December 27, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Gravatar

    Just what you would expect from a person who could ‘mysteriously’ fix computer problems on the campus computers he had access to.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 27, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Gravatar

    You must be referring to Bill Gates’ sabotage.

  3. pcolon said,

    December 27, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Gravatar

    Exactly!

    BTW You know the saying ‘Put your money where your mouth is’?

    FSF member#7202

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 27, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Gravatar

    What are you insinuating?

  5. pcolon said,

    December 27, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Gravatar

    Not insinuating. It’s the first time I’ve contributed to something I believe in since I can’t do anything else.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 27, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    Gravatar

    Oh, I see! Congrats on joining.

  7. pcolon said,

    December 27, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    Gravatar

    Thanks; Now to get the rest of our techs to do the same.

  8. The Mad Hatter said,

    January 24, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Gravatar

    Did you know that Microsoft used to interfere with ISV’s in the programming language business by not providing test copies of the new version of Windows for them to check their software on?

  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 24, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Gravatar

    Yes, Borland is probably a good example.

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