Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Against Standards: So Many Years, So Little Change

New off the boiling plate from the Comes vs Microsoft trial in Iowa...

Thanks to an anonymous friend, we finally have this OCR-ed court exhibit [large PDF] (66 pages) and a plain text version of it. As a teaser, below you'll find some text which was extracted from the large document.

There was Microsoft chart, but we don’t sell it independently it always comes with Word and Excel and then so on. And so there are a whole bunch of other separate companies that have charting applications: Jendel Scientific and Deltapoint, and so forth. They do nothing but charting. And so I went to the various ISVs and said, “How would you like to all work together to form a standard charting-OLE interface for both, you know, custom interfaces and OLE automation interfaces?” And they said, “Great! Great!” But of course it only matters if Excel participates, because if Microsoft Office doesn’t use that charting interface, it really doesn’t matter. So I went to the Excel guys, which is what I had expected to do, and said specifically to...I can’t remember the guy’s name, the guy in Chart who was in charge of charting, “Hey, how would you like to standardize this stuff and work with these ISVs and make it a standard?” And his answer was very simple. He said, “Why should I work with~anyone outside the company to make their products better because all it’s going to do is help them sell copies that could otherwise be a Microsoft copy? Any money they’re making they can sell...they can spend on improving their product and staying in existence, and making it harder for us to do well. My job is to make Excel basically, like, the only application in the world. And if it doesn’t add money to my bottom line, then there’s no point in my spending any cycles on it”...


Does this remind anyone of Microsoft's attitude towards OpenDocument format?

There is a great deal one can find among the exhibits. You may also recall some older exhibits such as this one [compressed PDF].

[Microsoft:] "...we should take the lead in establishing a common approach to UI and to interoperability (of which OLE is only a part). Our efforts to date are focussed too much on our own apps, and only incidentally on the rest of the industry. We want to own these standards, so we should not participate in standards groups. Rather, we should call 'to me' to the industry and set a standard that works now and is for everyone's benefit. We are large enough that this can work."

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