Bonum Certa Men Certa

Has Microsoft Crushed a 'Windows Clone' Competitor?

As the famous saying goes, rumours about one's death are usually greatly exaggerated. However, given some of the recent developments at Linspire, one wonders if Microsoft has "tilted the company into the death spiral". What is this ramble all about? Well, there is background to this malicious phrase.

Or let's go back in time a bit and read the Caldera Statement of Facts in the DR DOS case, the section called FUD Drip Feed. That case settled prior to a court ruling, so keep that in mind as you read, but it was settled with money from Microsoft going to Caldera. A lot of money. You can read in the document numerous allegations of tricks Microsoft employed to make sure its competition was always a dollar short and a day late, such as by not providing them betas to work with in a timely manner. And here's one of my favorite paragraphs:

32. The "death spiral" is somewhat of a term of art at Microsoft. On October 18, 1991, Mike Maples enquired of several executives: "I would like to ask you to invest half a day with me following Comdex. What I would like to brainstorm is how to push Excel over the top and Lotus out of business." To which Silverberg replied: "I'd be glad to help tilt lotus into the death spiral. I could do it friday afternoon but not saturday."... At a management conference in June 1992, one of the "6 Core Strategies to build share" included "Drive competitors into a death spiral," complete with objectives and tactics. ... Ironically, other discussion there focused on "Our Image" and how to overcome the industry perception of "Microslop," "Microshaft," and "Microsleaze."


Microsoft is not known for peaceful coexistence. So, you will have to forgive us if some of us are allergic to Microsoft promises of cooperation and openness. There is some history here.


There is a new short review of Freespire and it is not very [L]inspiring.

I've been waiting for months for the release of Freespire 2.0. Over the past two years I've downloaded and tried many distros but had been saving the "best for last."


Well, this ended up as more of a disappointment. What is more disappointing are the latest news from Linspire where an "exodus" is said to be taking place. The following short video clip says a thing or two about Microsoft's classic strategy.

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