Bonum Certa Men Certa

Translation of Bill Gates Deposition With Reference to Today's Strategy, or Microsoft's Abusive Tactics Against the Competition (Including Linux)

Previously in this series:



Start me up
Crimes from the "start me up" Microsoft era (imposing inferior computer software on people)



Summary: We examine some transcript of the Bill Gates testimony, which was taped and served to reveal a nervous Gates telling a lot of lies

THE FOLLOWING testimony is two decades old. But a lot of the said tactics (which Gates is being grilled for) are still applicable and are often leveraged against GNU/Linux companies (like Canonical) and against hardware companies that generally support GNU and Linux. Here we go:



Question by Justice Department attorney David Boies: Did Microsoft make any effort to convince Intel not to help Sun and Java?


Or Linux?

Answer by Bill Gates: Not that I know of.


Not answering the question directly, instead changing it.

Q: Did you or anyone at Microsoft attempt to convince Intel not to engage in any software activity?


They did it to Linux at Intel. See reference above. Gates himself asked: "Where are we on this Jihad?" (Referring to discouraging Linux support at Intel)

We last mentioned it a year ago.

A: No.


Wrong answer. A lie.

Q: Did you or, to your knowledge, anyone at Microsoft try to convince Intel that it should not engage in any software activity unless Microsoft was involved in that activity?

A: I'm sure we pointed out sometimes how sometimes a lack of communications between the two companies on various subjects including software development led to unfortunate unreliability and mismatch, which led to bad customer experiences.


This is untrue. It's all about control. If Microsoft controls it, good. Otherwise, bad. Microsoft never cared about customers, who are -- or were -- OEMs anyway (users are/were forced to get Windows with a new PC).

Q: And what did that lead you to ask Intel to do?

A: Oh, in general, to see if we couldn't do a better job communicating with each other so that people would have better experiences using the PC.


Notice the still-ongoing lie that it's about "people" rather than Microsoft (or Gates).




Q: Did you or, insofar as you're aware, anyone else at Microsoft tell people at Intel that they should leave the software side of the PC business entirely to Microsoft?


The interrogator knows this to be true and has evidence at hand.

A: We were having a hard time coordinating our work with Intel, and we thought the quality of some of their work was very low as well as not working with any of our new Windows work. We may have suggested at some point that the net contribution of their software activities could even be viewed to be negative.


As The Register recalls it: "Presumably. Gates shows little sign of having been well-briefed for the deposition by Microsoft lawyers. It is quite likely that Gates refused advice - this is of constant concern to his PR handlers. It may well turn out, if the performance he produced on Monday is typical, that the greatest single factor causing Microsoft to lose the case will be Gates' performance. Gates' had a mantra for the part of the deposition about Intel: the words were "low quality" and "incompatible" for Intel software. His vehemence, and other evidence, suggests that the opposite may be true: Intel's software was a considerable threat to Microsoft, as we shall detail in due course. Outside the courtroom, Boies said that Microsoft deliberately tried to stop Intel from competing because its software quality was good, not poor. In many of the exchanges which follow, Gates paused for up to 25 seconds, staring down at the table..."

Q: Did you, or insofar as you are aware, anyone else at Microsoft tell representatives of Intel that their software activities were inconsistent with cooperation between Intel and Microsoft?

A: The specific work they did that completely broke our work I'm sure I indicated I didn't think that was a good idea for either company.


Another falsehood. He is also contradicting what he said earlier. When asked "Did you or anyone at Microsoft attempt to convince Intel not to engage in any software activity?" he said "No."

Q: Other than the specific software that would not work on Windows 95 that Intel was working on, did you or, insofar as you are aware, anyone else at Microsoft tell Intel representatives that the software work that Intel was doing was inconsistent with cooperation between Intel and Microsoft?

A: Well, there's some other things that they did that created incompatibilities.


The answer "no" suddenly revealed to be a lie. Again.

Q: Incompatibilities between what and what?

A: Between their software and Windows, that was intended to run on Windows, that created incompatibilities.

Q: And did you tell them that that software also was not consistent with cooperation between Microsoft and Intel?

A: I doubt I used those words. I suggested that it wasn't helpful to any of their goals or our goals to have software that had incompatibilities and was low quality and broke.


Gates comes from a lawyer family. The only "incompatibility" was... with some dodgy contract that is likely illegitimate anyway.




Q: Did you, Mr. Gates, personally ever express concern to (Intel Chairman Andy) Mr. Grove that Intel's software work was beginning to overlap with Microsoft's software work?

A: Only in the sense that the low quality and incompatibilities were inconsistent with any goals that Intel might have had in doing that work.


He keeps mentioning that word, "incompatibilities," without giving any concrete example.

Q: Why was that a concern?

A: Because Intel was wasting its money by writing low quality software that created incompatibilities for users, and those negative experiences weren't helpful for any goal that Intel had.

Q: Were they harmful to any goal that Microsoft had?

A: Only in the sense of hurting PC popularity by creating negative user experiences.

Q: Is it your testimony that your only concern with what Intel was doing in the software area was a concern to avoid negative user experiences?

A: That's right. Low quality and incompatibilities.


Again, no examples given.

Q: Which, according to you, would lead to negative user experiences, correct?

A: That's right.

Q: Did you or, insofar as you are aware, anybody at Microsoft ever tell Intel representatives in words or in substance that they should stick to hardware and leave the software to Microsoft?


Market sharing is illegal.

Gates: I'm sure there were times when we were frustrated about the quality and incompatibility problems created about their software where someone might have expressed that sentiment in an extreme feeling about how tough it had been for Intel to do quality work that would have advanced any Intel goal.

Q: Were you aware of any work that Intel was doing relating to Internet software development?

A: I can't think of any.

Q: Did you ever express any concern to anyone at Intel, or to your knowledge, did anyone at Microsoft ever express any concern to anyone at Intel concerning Intel's Internet software work, if any?

A: I don't think Intel ever did any Internet software work.

Q: And if they did, I take it it's your testimony no one ever told you about it?

A: That's right.


The interrogator knows he has evidence to the contrary. He lets Gates lie on the record in this testimony... and gives him ample opportunity to correct himself.




Q: Did you ask Intel to keep you apprised of what software work Intel was doing?

A: I think I made that request in vain on several occasions, nothing ever came of it.


Not answering the actual question, though it seems like "yes" is the reply. Plus some excuses. Answering questions that were never even asked.

Q: Is it your testimony that they refused to keep you apprised of the software work they were doing?

A: No. I just said to them that if they would -- whatever software work they were doing that was intended to help Windows, they should talk to us about it early on if they wanted to have the highest probability that it would, in fact, achieve that goal. And unfortunately, we never achieved that result; that is, they would do things related to Windows without talking to us in advance, and then once they had done the work, there would be some incompatibilities between what they had done and Windows itself.


Gates contradicts himself again. Because he acknowledged a harmful allegation that Microsoft has been trying to control Intel and its work (akin to hardware-software collusion and market sharing).

Q: Did you or, to your knowledge, anyone from Microsoft ever tell people at Intel that Microsoft would hold up support for Intel's microprocessors if Intel didn't cooperate with Microsoft in areas that Microsoft wanted Intel's cooperation in?


A form of blackmail.

A: When we saw Intel doing the low quality work that was creating incompatibilities in Windows that served absolutely no Intel goal, we suggested to Intel that that should change. And it became frustrating to us because it was a long period of time where they kept doing work that we thought, although it was intended to be positive in the Windows environment, it was actually negative. And we did point out the irony of how while we seemed to communicate with them on microprocessor issues and yet they seemed on the areas where they were trying to enhance Windows that the communication worked very poorly.


Intel didn't play ball with Bill's "Jihad" (his word). But Microsoft had threatened Intel.




Q: Did you or others on behalf of Microsoft tell Intel that Microsoft would hold up support for Intel's microprocessors if Intel did not cooperate with Microsoft?


Asking again to overcome the evasion (evasive long answer and subject change).

A: No.

Q: No one ever told Intel that, to your knowledge?

A: That's right.


Another lie on the record.




Q: Did you, Mr. Gates, ever yourself try to get Intel to reduce its support of Netscape?

A: I'm not aware of any work that Intel did in supporting Netscape. They may have used their browser internally or one of their server things, but that's -- that's not really support. So I'm not sure of any support they were giving to Netscape.


Not answering the actual question. And also lying.

Q: You may mean that to answer my question, but I want to be clear. It is your testimony that you're not aware of any instance where you asked anybody at Intel to reduce the support that Intel was providing to Netscape; is that your testimony?

A: No. I may have asked I may -- and I don't remember it -- but I may have talked to them about their internal browser use. I don't think so, but I may have. And I may have talked to them about their web servers and what they were using, but I don't think so.


Gates admits lying. So he now resorts to some more face-saving waffle.

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