Bonum Certa Men Certa

What Microsoft's Brad Silverberg, Bill Gates, and Al Capone Have in Common

Gangster Rice Dodge Neon



Summary: Groklaw analyses the personal contributions of Brad Silverberg and Bill Gates to crimes against Novell

BACK in January we published the text of a Comes vs Microsoft exhibit [PDF] whose page can be found here. Groklaw now has an analysis of it, which is nicely weaved together with news from the WordPerfect case.



Novell and Microsoft have each filed summary judgment motions in the antitrust litigation about WordPerfect that Novell brought against Microsoft. In addition, we find out what happened regarding the Bill Gates deposition. And neither party can find certain documents that might be in the Comes collection. I wonder if you can?

[...]

It has to do with whether or not Microsoft made certain APIs available, like IShellBrowser, iShellView, iPersistFolder, and iCommDlgBrowser. Novell says Microsoft decided to make those APIs private and iShellFolder a "read only public interface", making it impossible for Novell to use the namespace extension mechanism or implement it in a customized fashion, so Novell software couldn't rely on or invoke those APIs. The context is Windows 95 and NT, in the years between 1994 and 1996.

[...]

Update: The BoycottNovell folks have found one. We have it here also, on our Comes Exhibits page, Plaintiffs Exhibit 2158, which is an email from Microsoft's Satoshi Nakajima, dated October 10, 1994.

[...]

An anonymous comment also mentions 4293 [PDF] ("the way to shut out novell in the base is to either ship a full client or make it so there is no network connectivity" and 5673 [PDF] (Gates, October 3, 1994: "It is time for a decision on IShellBrowser....I have decided that we should not publish these extensions. We should wait until we have a way to do a high level of integration that will be harder for likes of Notes, Wordperfect to achieve, and which will give Office a real advantage....Our goal is to have Office '96 sell better because of the shell integration work..." To which Brad Silverberg wrote: "I will jump in -- yes we have to take them out of marvel and capone too.").


Brad Silverberg is not a particularly nice guy [1, 2] and he can probably be held accountable for many of Microsoft's crimes that typically come from management, not ordinary programmers who merely follow instructions. Regarding the above article, one blogger argues that "many eyes means you cannot bury needle in haysack." Therein we are given credit for work that our reader/contributor has done studying many exhibits; there are many new "smoking guns" yet to be unraveled and only lack of time is an obstruction right now. We could use help from readers.

Further discussion follows a similar line of explanation, as already pointed out in Groklaw comments, e.g. [1, 2]. It seems safe to say that Groklaw has glued together enough PDFs and any additional commentary can be spared. The antitrust exhibits speak for themselves.

In light of all this, the most astounding thing is that Novell pardoned Microsoft and became an ally just weeks after Ray Noorda had passed away.

Jim Allchin on Novell

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