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New Documents Shed Light on Microsoft's Tactics 614

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the skeletons-from-the-closet dept.
Tigen writes "As the NY Times reports, even as MS prepares to face penalties from the European Union, testimony during the second week of trial in the consumer class-action lawsuit in Minnesota has revealed some embarrassing internal documents from Microsoft which were not disclosed in the 1997 federal antitrust lawsuit. Items include a 1990 letter from Bill Gates to Andy Grove, and Microsoft's illegal tactics against the Go Corporation, a Silicon Valley startup."
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New Documents Shed Light on Microsoft's Tactics

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  • by ObviousGuy (578567) <ObviousGuy@hotmail.com> on Thursday March 25, 2004 @05:30AM (#8665454) Homepage Journal
    Trying to intimidate the guy who would kidnap misbehaving Intel employees and keep them locked in his cellar in Oregon for weeks on end?

    Microsoft might be bad, but they've never done anything remotely as illegal as that.
  • $1.5 billion..... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phillk6751 (654352) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @05:36AM (#8665478)
    The new lawsuit, which contends that Microsoft overcharged Minnesota customers from 1994 to 2001, seeks almost $500 million from the company. If the company, based in Redmond, Wash., loses, it could also be forced to pay triple that amount under Minnesota state law.
    Looks like if Microsoft looses this case a fine of $1.5B would be imposed....THIS is the case Microsoft should be worried about, not the one from EU. Or do they think they can get away with this lawsuit?
  • Media BS (Score:1, Interesting)

    by jag164 (309858) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @05:38AM (#8665481)
    Consider the author and the source of the article. First, the NYTimes now has a history of embellishing and a keeping lying journalist n the payroll. Second, Markoff is the cat who made up stories about Mitnik breaking into NASA and other cracks and phreaks that Mitnik whole heartedly denies. Plus the jackass sold his soul to a book on Mitnik (a poorly written book at that). Now though many of you hate MS, consider the source to this story and take it with a grain of salt.
  • But... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by robbyjo (315601) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @05:39AM (#8665486) Homepage

    Back then in June 1990 (as the date of the letter), Microsoft wasn't a monopoly yet, right? So, the anti-trust trial cannot use this as an evidence against them....

    I would say that this may lead to anti-competitive lawsuit... (btw, is such lawsuit allowable in the USA?) And of course, as usual, IANAL...

  • by toesate (652111) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @05:41AM (#8665499) Homepage Journal

    If GO Penpoint software was open-sourced 14 years ago... as an attempt to counter Windows H agression...

    I wonder what would the landscape of mobile computing be like today?

  • PenWindows? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2004 @05:44AM (#8665508)
    Maybe it's a bit before my time, but does anyone remember anything about PenWindows at all?

    Was it renamed Windows CE in a later life?
    Or was it just another MS experiment?
  • Re:But... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by surprise_audit (575743) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @05:47AM (#8665523)
    IANAL either, but is this something that should have been disclosed in the federal antitrust lawsuit?? If so, how much trouble are they in for not disclosing them??
  • Go (Score:5, Interesting)

    by damian (2473) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:00AM (#8665566) Homepage
    It is too bad that the Go Penpoint OS never made it. In my opinion it was a very nice system and well designed. The Apple Newton came close, but not quite.

    I read the book "The Power of Penpoint"
    by Robert Carr, Dan Shafer but never had one of their computers myself (they are pretty rare in Europe). I nearly bought one on ebay recently though.

    Some images: http://www.ojisan.com/penpoint/index.shtml [ojisan.com]
  • by Moonpie Madness (764217) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:35AM (#8665666)
    Man, you can always use macromedia flash and a web browser... that's what I do. hell even basic html and some good images are basically the same thing as powerpoint... and more compatible... Powerpoint is like AOL, its just very very easy to do but if you need a better presentation, do what the big companies do when they present to you, use a flashy sexy flash animation or alcohol, alcohol could sell a dead llama to a empty jar of butterranch
  • Re:slashbot (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Xenna (37238) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:36AM (#8665672)
    The current Palm-brain washed crowd seem to forget we had powerful PDA devices 10 years ago as well. In fact I bought an Intel 80186 based HP 100 LX palmtop 10 years ago that had all the power of an IBM PC + a bunch of very good PIM applications. Also don't forget the Psion devices that were very popular back then.

    Palmtop history [palmtoppaper.com]

    I now own a Sony Clie TG50 but I must say its PIM features are still not quite as good as that old HP (BTW: I still have it and it *still* works for about two weeks on a pair of AA batteries).

    Of course doing e-mail and browsing with it was a real pain but I remember plugging it in in a Tokyo phonebooth to mail home with Compuserve.

    I got a 10MB PCMCIA flashcard (not compact!) for it that cost me $500.

    Also I remember beta-testing a hotsync type of application for a company called Palm software. I've always wondered if they took that hotsync technology and went on to make the Palm devices...

    Regards,
    Xenna

  • Re:slashbot (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RedBear (207369) <redbear@re3.1415926dbearnet.com minus pi> on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:38AM (#8665676) Homepage
    Please explain how pocket, portable computing would have been possible even ten years ago.

    I'll tell you how it was possible. I used to own one. [computercloset.org] The Dauphin DTR-1. It wasn't exactly a pocket computer but it was a very small tablet with a pen-based version of Windows, which even included a nifty handwriting recognition system *gasp*. This was in ~1994, and I got it out of a discount catalog, so it must have been at least a year old at the time. I held it in my hands and got a lot of use out of it, so I'd say it was perfectly possible to have portable computing 10 years ago. Guess what, the software back then didn't need nearly as much power as it does now. Full size desktop computers at the time ran fine with a 486SX/33 and 4MB of RAM.

    I really miss that old computer. Had a 486SLC and a 40MB hard drive. Not much but it ran Windows 3.1 just fine. That thing was so cool. Everyone who saw it loved it. And I've always wondered why I've never seen anything like it in the intervening years. Well, this article about Microsoft and Go pretty much explains it. After Go Corp. collapsed, Microsoft dropped the whole PenWindows and portable computing project. I can only imagine what neat things we could have seen if Microsoft hadn't interfered as usual.

    Slashdot FUD, my ass. This is real damage to market innovation caused by a real monopoly. Put that in yer pipe and smoke it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2004 @06:39AM (#8665679)
    I used to work at a start-up specialising in pen computers in the early '90s (my first job
    after leaving university) and PenPoint was actually a pretty good system IIRC.

    The primary development language was 'C' with an OO facade used to build the windowing libraries -
    rather like GTK in that respect in fact.

    There were also tools enabling development in ObjectiveC instead of 'GO' C if you preferred. (though
    I think these were from a third party (Slate?))

    All in all if my hazy memory serves 10 years later, it was a pretty damn good mobile computing
    solution.
  • by OwlWhacker (758974) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @07:05AM (#8665736) Homepage Journal
    "All of Microsoft's conduct was designed to acquire and hang on to their monopoly,'' said Eugene Crew, a lawyer at Townsend, Townsend & Crew, based in San Francisco.

    Many companies would desire to maintain a monopoly. The problem here is that after so many years of knowing that Microsoft has this attitude, nobody has done anything effective to stop it.

    People can complain about the EU being anti-American in its anti-trust case, but personally I feel that the US should have imposed far more restrictions on Microsoft than it has thus far. Microsoft continually gets away with anti-competitive practices, everybody knows this - although some Microsoft apologists vehemently deny/excuse it.

    "Consumers were harmed by being deprived of choice. The greatest harm out of the Go story was the suppression of innovation and new technology by Microsoft."

    The extent of consumer harm can't really be known. People seem to be relatively happy with Windows. Then again, people just accepted that computers needed regular rebooting after running Windows 95, it just goes to show how most people just accept things without question. I guess we'll never know how far things could have progressed if it wasn't for Microsoft preventing competition by abusing its position.

    Consumers are harmed, so are competing businesses.

    Look how things are flying now because Microsoft has a bit of competition from Linux/Open Source. Of course, Microsoft can say, "Hey, we're doing this because we love you all, not because we're scared of Linux", but why does Microsoft care now when it obviously didn't give a damn for years (judging by the poor quality of Windows up until now)? If there's no competition then you work at your own pace, and as long as it appears that there's progress, people seem to be satisfied.
  • by arivanov (12034) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @07:20AM (#8665778) Homepage
    IMHO, it must have been limited on processor power and hardware more than the software.

    Nope. The difference between a 30MHz Arm used 12 years ago and a 75Mhz Arm used today is nearly nothing. Software is and will be the limiting factor. And it is not just software - it is the OS.

    At the time general purpose OSes that do power management did not exist. The reason we see devices now is the appearance of general purpose OSes which:

    Have power management and can make the portable really work

    Have a well known API which makes "industry standard programming" (one of my favourite swearwords) very easy.

    If these were developed 10 years ago we would have had portables at the time and market pressure would have dropped their prices to nearly nothing by now. At the same time the PC would have remained an expensive developer only specialized system.

    I am not sure what is better though, because this development would have meant that the hobbyist programmer would have become extinct by around 2000. Actually, from this perspective MSFT is definitely regretting the Go adventure. If they would have not been so shortsighted they would not have had to fund one three letter company now.

  • Re:PenWindows? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ozric99 (162412) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @07:24AM (#8665786) Journal
    Maybe it's a bit before my time, but does anyone remember anything about PenWindows at all?

    Was it renamed Windows CE in a later life?
    Or was it just another MS experiment?

    From the article:

    In late 1993, Go was sold to AT&T where it was ultimately merged into the company's portable computer subsidiary. In 1994 the phone company shut down the effort in portable computing. Three months later Microsoft canceled its PenWindows project.

    In 1996, Mr. Kaplan wrote a book, "Start-Up: A Silicon Valley Adventure" (Penguin USA), in which he blamed Microsoft, in part, for the demise of Go. Two years later, Marlin Eller, a former Microsoft programmer who was part of the PenWindows project, wrote in "Barbarians Led by Bill Gates" (Owl Books) that the intent of the PenWindows project had been primarily to undermine Go.

  • by shaka (13165) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @07:30AM (#8665801)

    What would a pocket pc look like in the early 90's ?

    Perhaps like this: Psion PDAs from 1986-1999 [filesaveas.com]
    Or like this: Apple Newton H1000 from 1993 [compuseum.de]
    Or like this: HP 95LX from 1991 [i-m.de]

    How effective would it be ?

    About as effective as today's PDAs, minus the audio/video stuff, and some glitz. Oh, and less space. But all the apps, calendar, calculator, memos, spreadsheets, and syncing. Sometimes Internet functionality to boot.

    IMHO, it must have been limited on processor power and hardware more than the software.

    IMNSHO, this is a typical statement of some self-proclaimed "geek" who has written, maybe, a web application in the early 00s. If you didn't use computers ten years ago, don't babble away about how ineffective they were back then. Mmmmmkay?

  • by goatan (673464) <ian.hearn@rpa.gsi.gov.uk> on Thursday March 25, 2004 @07:31AM (#8665802) Journal
    His goal was to develop a 4-pound, easy-to-use computer that would appeal to a wider audience than the bulky desktop computers and 20-pound luggables then available [startribune.com]

    The Whole point of Go was to create the software and hardware together remember that IBM and Intel where involved. Microsoft persuaded Intel to reduce its contribution to the project which they did which killed the hardware side resulting in the failure of the software side. Once this happened neither IBM nor Intel would have wanted to work with Microsoft thus no hardware for PenWindows either.

    Back then the hardware wasn't available. So quit the Microsoft bashing.

    Again the point was to develop the hardware Microsoft stopped Intel from helping. It would only be Microsoft bashing if it was untrue. Quit the knee jerk response and find the facts.

    extra note ran this through the spell checker and PenWindows is in there it even corrected the capitals

  • Re:PenWindows? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Secrity (742221) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @07:31AM (#8665805)
    I think that PenWindows died, descended into hell, and then arose as PenWindows ver 2.0; which was too crappy and too late. Later, the carcass of PenWindows went on to become a part of the Tablet PC. See http://pencomputing.com/PenWindows/ and http://pencomputing.com/frames/tablet_pc.html
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2004 @07:33AM (#8665812)
    i tried keynote. in fact i bought a mac just so i would complete the triumvirate and be able to talk meaningfully about linux/win/mac debates instead of blowing fud. keynote's compatibility importing/exporting powerpoint documents was really disappointing. given that grant reviews require PPT slides to be left with them, i won't be using keynote, much to my chagrin; it does have a lot of extremely nice features that PPT can't match.

    although powerpoint isn't the perfect tool for my job, it meets my needs better than keynote. sorry. you bet your ass i'd use keynote if it would correctly export to PPT.
  • It's over? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2004 @07:35AM (#8665820)
    Apparently not. The real fun is just beginning!

    Let's see, $613 million to the EU and being forced to make their server APIs open (WOO HOO!), maybe $1.5 billion to Minnesota.

    That MCSE of your's is starting to look a bit less useful, eh?

  • Re:Article (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AKnightCowboy (608632) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @07:56AM (#8665879)
    Well, whenever you append "&partner=[Anything]" you are in ...

    Well I wish Slashdot would append that to the links by default. They link to the god damn NY Times so much that they might as well use a partner link. Thankfully kind people like yourself usually post a link within a few comments as long as the moderators don't come along and delete your posts.

  • by Daengbo (523424) <daengbo@@@gmail...com> on Thursday March 25, 2004 @07:57AM (#8665883) Homepage Journal
    I want to debate your claim about unity, but first I'd like to say that if using a C64 was like driving a moped, then I don't want to know what you think my use of a Model I through to 1987 represents.
    Anyway, I think this unity argument is just propoganda that we've heard for years coming to rest as truth. Really, before Windows, there were a multitude of DOS variants, operating as the launcher for programs written directly to the metal, for the most part. MS owned this one from early on with IBM, but DR-DOS might've had a chance. These were all effectively neutral as far as the program went.
    Then we had the window managers which appeared on top of DOS. There were several, including the fledgling Windows, but I don't remember them, because my Model I had died, and I didn't own a non-DOS computer for several years after that. Anyway, MS didn't own that part for a long time, and programs were still pretty much DOS.
    But no matter what, it wouldn't have stayed that way. Toolkits other than MS versions would have appeared. We could have seen DOS cores with competing window managers and toolkits, and things would look pretty much like they do now on Linux.
    And, just like now, computer manufacturers would be integrating these components looking for consistent appearance and behavior, leading to standardized APIs, most likely.
    So, I don't think that MS brought unity to the computer industry, because I think that it was an inevitable result of market pressure. MS was simply in the right place at the right time (because of their contracts with OEMs) and used the right (aggressive) business tactics to own the whole thing.
    We can argue whether this is all true or not, and certainly whether the result under MS is better or worse than what I've laid out, but I do believe that, if MS had not taken the desktop, someone (probably several someones) would've done it in MS's place, and we'd have unity in the form of standard APIs.
  • by fw3 (523647) * on Thursday March 25, 2004 @08:09AM (#8665914) Homepage Journal
    From the article:
    Microsoft has already paid $1.6 billion in its efforts to settle consumer antitrust claims filed in 10 states.

    In both the US Fed. and EC cases the fine/penalty/remedy is not really the big economic point.

    Once a company has a gulty verdict against it in a federal anti-trust case the door is open for all kinds of civil cases.

    Realistically, materially punitive federal judgements would hardly fly even in the EC, let alone the US (where an amazing majority of people actually like the applications that MS produces and a highly vocal segment figure if they're so successful they must be 'good' both technically and in customer service).

    So really this kind of suit could sink MS, and in fairness to the feds (even the shamefully inept way the Bush administration runs the show) There is a case to be made that letting the market take care of itself is more efficient in the long run.

    As the 'market' has access to the courts MS can look forward to more of these.

    Coupled with the likelihood that more and more of their products will become materially irrelevant due to opensourcing of better alternatives I think MS's future isn't as gold plated as it surely looked before the whole anti-trust thing started.

  • business 101 (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2004 @08:13AM (#8665920)
    this is business 101 and it is revered in the corporate world.

    there are no morals in the corporate world it is just me, myself, and I.

    Microsoft sucks and I will never buy another one of their products again (windows nt was the last one I bought). I am forced to use it at work but yet I risk my job by putting linux on my laptop. I just can't go into a place everyday and use microsoft. It just sucks. Use to be an mcse also but I am not taking four tests just to renew my certification. I'll go get a unix one if I have to do that - it would also be more respected by my peers than a mcse.

    fsck off Microsoft and SCO.
  • by phillymjs (234426) <slashdotNO@SPAMstango.org> on Thursday March 25, 2004 @08:38AM (#8666008) Homepage Journal
    You should read the books mentioned at the end of the article to see just how blatant it was. Microsoft sent people to a PenPoint demo given for the Boston Computer Society. They brought a video camera and taped the presentation and analyzed it when they got back to Redmond. Anytime a PenPoint feature drew a positive crowd reaction, that feature was on the 'must add' list for Pen Windows.

    Yes, the argument can be made that it was dumb to allow anyone to bring a video camera into that presentation, but still-- this is complete and total thievery, perpetrated by Microsoft. I got angry just reading about it, more than a decade after the fact. Go had some neat stuff back in 1989-- I can only imagine how technological advances between then and how would have improved their product, had Microsoft allowed the company to exist.

    In this day and age, I don't see how any company with a promising new product doesn't take great pains to hide the thing's existence from Microsoft to keep from getting ripped off. After all these years it's clear they had and still have absolutely no shame about it.

    ~Philly
  • by torpor (458) <jayv@@@synth...net> on Thursday March 25, 2004 @09:10AM (#8666144) Homepage Journal
    You. Completely. Missed. The. Point.

    The point is, the original poster said "we already know they're criminals, we don't need to look at any more evidence".

    Well, duh. A crime is a crime, whether its a stiff-in-the-ditch or a battle-order-from-the-boss. Just because one crime has been discovered, doesn't mean we should stop looking for more...
  • by ztom (662764) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @09:16AM (#8666185)

    ..in my programmers opinion, is that..

    most ordinary users think, that it's perfectly normal, that your computer crashes few times a day. they just let it go as "well, that happens" not knowing, not expecting and not caring for any particular reason.

    this only single fact gives "excuse" for millions of lines poorly written code, (who cares, it happens anyway) and keeps thousands of "hacky" programs and viruses alive, while most of those crashes may be their "natural" side-effect, not nessecerily something, that would "normally" happen with healthy system..

    ..but it's NORMAL, that windows machines crash, so let's all thank microsoft for this "innovation" too!

  • Thats so Awesome. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @09:36AM (#8666282) Journal
    There are two ways to view mircosoft. There is the traditinal Slashdot Micro$oft is evil and sucks opinion, and my view that Microsoft is evil and is really cool. Think about it. The mobsters in The Godfather movies, and the Sopranos are evil, but they don't suck. Admit it, you Love playing GTA Vice City. Its not always easy being so evil. You have to admit Microsoft does a very good job ( at being very evil) and in my book that makes them the coolest company in the world.
  • by Hangtime (19526) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @09:36AM (#8666283) Homepage
    Agreed. Back in high school I used Lotus SmartSuite. Pretty neat stuff except AmiPro held it back. Bad Word Processor = No Traction. The best application in the suite though and still to this day is better then PowerPoint is Freelance Graphics. So many interesting templates some even created by Zig Ziglar. You can design your own slide layouts instead of the crappy 20 that Microsoft will only allow you to have...Gee I don't want all of my text + chart displays to look like that, I'll just change my default for the presentation...BOOM! Done. Since I am in business I have to use PowerPoint, unfortunately, its the standard. As for working with something like Flash to do a presentation. PowerPoint's to damn easy to use then trying to build an entire presentation in it, I do not want to sketch out the entire process. Also, with Microsoft's dominance of the productivity applications they have no need to update PowerPoint because no one else will buy anything else.
  • Re:slashbot (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Stween (322349) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @09:40AM (#8666294)
    How about the Atari Portfolio, of 1989?

    Linkie [oldcomputers.net].
  • by RoboOp (460207) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @10:09AM (#8666468)
    Check out Veblen's Theory of Business Enterprise [mcmaster.ca]. It argues that the entrepreneur is the antithesis of the engineer who wants to make cool stuff. In the desire to make as much money as possible, they end up interfering with progress rather than accelerating it.

    Veblen's businessperson makes profits not by providing an outlet for the forces of industrialization and social evolution but by distorting them: by engaging in monetary manipulations, by restricting output to keep prices artificially high, and by interfering with the engineers who actually produce goods and services.
    American Philosophy [radicalacademy.com]

    Microsoft is a classic example of this. One would be pressed to think of a single innovation from Redmond.

  • Re:slashbot (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Trailer Trash (60756) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @10:14AM (#8666497) Homepage

    remember netscape?

    Remember NCSA Mosaic? Didn't think so...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2004 @10:24AM (#8666592)
    1. Having the power to fix prices.

    2. Having the power to exclude competition.

    For once, the legal definition is better than the ones you find in the dictionary. It focuses right on the essance of what a monopoly is. Market share doesn't define a monopoly, but being able to exclude competition or fix prices does. That's the control that matters, that's the kind of dominance that's at issue.

    A company can have 100% of the market, but if they can't fix prices or exclude competition, then they don't have a monopoly. If they can fix prices or exclude competition then they have a monopoly even if they don't have anywhere near 100% market share.

  • Re:Article (Score:5, Interesting)

    by robnauta (716284) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @10:31AM (#8666647)
    In late 1993, Go was sold to AT&T where it was ultimately merged into the company's portable computer subsidiary. In 1994 the phone company shut down the effort in portable computing. Three months later Microsoft canceled its PenWindows project"

    As if this doesn't make it obvious what M$ was doing! They were only in the game to keep somebody else from innovating new technology. As soon as a potential competitor closed down, they stopped attempting to "provide a better solution for the customer." Dude I think you got your history all wrong. When Apple announced the Newton in 1992, everyone wanted to jump onto the same boat. Several companies rushed development of similar devices, including Microsoft, Go, and several others.
    When the Newton was released in 1993, and proved to be a fiasco, many companies put their projects on hold or sold them off. That's why Go was sold, and that's why MS stopped development.

    The humiliating failure of the Apple Newton put mobile computers on hold for a few years, until Palm revitalized the once dead market.

  • Re:Article (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sisco (763303) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @10:46AM (#8666826)
    I didn't realize this. Perhaps the writer of the article did not either. Thanks for the info!

    Though this makes me wonder...are we hyping this story for no reason?? Seems then like Go might not have failed because of Microsoft. After all, what was M$ SUPPOSED to do? Help the competition?! This is business. You want the consumer to buy your product, not the other guys!

    and yes, i might have changed my mind... but who knows, it may change back in the future!
  • Re:Article (Score:3, Interesting)

    by banzai51 (140396) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @10:50AM (#8666884) Journal
    Most likely. Many of the memos are dated from 1990. Microsoft was still becomming the giant we now know, not trying to maintain their dominance.
  • by Darren Winsper (136155) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @10:52AM (#8666917) Homepage
    My team actually did that last year for a presentation. The front-end for our system was web-based, so we decided to use our own system for our presentation. I knocked up a slide template in HTML and used that for the slides. That way, we could easily jump from slides to product demo and back without switching applications. The judges thought our approach was far better than everyone else's approach of using bog-standard, generic Powerpoint slides and awarded us the prize for the best presentation.
  • The big fakers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Udo Schmitz (738216) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @11:21AM (#8667266) Journal
    From Article:

    Two years later, Marlin Eller, a former Microsoft programmer who was part of the PenWindows project, wrote in "Barbarians Led by Bill Gates" (Owl Books) that the intent of the PenWindows project had been primarily to undermine Go.

    In the same book he describes how they put together a presentation for their PenWindows for a computer fair (Comdex?) to show that they could do the same stuff as Go. When in fact they had absolutely nothing. It was all smoke and mirrors.

    I always remember that story when watching another cool Longhorn presentation. And I wish others would too, especially journalists ...

  • by toasted_calamari (670180) <(burningsquid) (at) (gmail.com)> on Thursday March 25, 2004 @11:50AM (#8667614) Homepage Journal
    I have relatives who use comcast cable internet.

    Comcast will not give them the time of day unless they are using Windows, Internet Explorer, and Outlook

    I use earthlink.

    When you call them up, you get a "press 1 for Windows, 2 for Mac" I press 1, since at least the processer architecture is the same as my x86 linux box. Then, 1 of 2 things happens:

    1) They lower their voice and say "well, we don't really support linux, but here's what you do..."

    2) (this has actually happened):
    Tech support: What version of windows are you running?
    Me: Actually, I run debian Linux.
    Tech support: So you arn't even running an opperating system.
    Me: ...
  • This is business (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Melantha_Bacchae (232402) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @12:04PM (#8667776)
    Yes, this is business. Not to be confused with highway robbery.

    Business: Microsoft was supposed to build their own competing product, follow all legal and ethical guidelines, and fairly compete with Go. Hopefully if they both have good business plans and a good product, they both make a profit. The good natured rivalry between the two causes each to put for their best effort to make their product better. Their customers have a choice of who to give their money to, and high quality products from which to choose from. Everyone benefits.

    Highway-robbery: Microsoft violated a non-disclosure agreement (a contract). They took Go's technology and used it to compete with Go. They used their monopoly and bullying tactics to try to frighten investors away from Go. Regardless of the fate of the Newton, this was breach of contract, and potentially a violation of antitrust laws (IANAL). In short, Microsoft's actions were unethical, and possibly illegal.

    Btw, Apple canceled the Newton in order to streamline their product line so they could concentrate on OS X (and staying afloat). The Newton still has users today.

    "At this moment, it has control of systems all over the world.
    And...we can't do a damn thing to stop it."
    Miyasaka, "Godzilla 2000 Millennium" (Japanese version)
  • by gmezero (4448) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @12:43PM (#8668245) Homepage
    Look I was all impressed with Microsoft's XP Tablet Edition when it came out recently until I one day came across the IBM ThinkPad 360P, 360PE and 750P laptops.

    Holy shit these were 486SX and 468DX touchscreen systems where the screen flipped over on top of the keyboard making the laptop a thick tablet computer.

    Running OS/2 Warp 4 with full pen functionality enabled, these systems are absolutely amazing. I never use the keyboard, even from a DOS window as the handwriting recognition is pretty darn good all across the OS (even with Win-OS/2 aps, etc...). ...the systems even seem to have support for pressure sensitivity but apparently that was never added into the full driver support because sometime around when Microsoft "decided" that pen computing was dead, everyone inlcluding IBM quit developing the format. It just makes me see red to think that this technology had to sit and stagnate for 10 years until Microsoft got off their ass and decided that *THEY* should be working on it again... and they shut down everyone else in the meantime. Man, I am so sick of this crap.
  • by BigBlockMopar (191202) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @12:44PM (#8668267) Homepage

    Why did I stop moderating? Why did I do that?

    Because I *simply* had to respond to this.

    If I had to bet on it, I would wager that 90% of the devoted Microsoft bashers that infest Slashdot are either devout liberals or aspiring socialists.

    Not this particular M$ basher.

    Actually, I'm mostly a Libertarian. I am a fiscal conservative but a social liberal. I wish to see as little government meddling in free enterprise as possible, because it almost always backfires. As an example, I'm quite convinced that the government Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations which killed the full-size station wagon are, in fact, the very reason why we now have full-size station wagons built on even thirstier (CAFE-exempt) 4x4 pickup truck chassis choking our streets.

    But I make an exception for Microsoft. Without government intervention, there'd be nothing to stop monopolistic behaviors. Linux is an aberration unique to computers: if one car company had more than 97% of the market and was abusing its monopoly, there wouldn't be open-source cars because the product is not intangible and easily duplicated. Normally, the free market will work things out on its own. But Microsoft lucked its way into a position of power initially, and has ruthlessly used that power to squash anything which could become a threat.

    Micrsoft, it seems, has become a symbol for "corporate greed", "bullying", etc, etc and bashing it serves as a substitute for bashing capitalism - the real target of their enmity.

    Microsoft is a symbol for corporate greed and bullying. If they're not, I can't imagine what they'd have to do to get that name. Maybe Bill and Paul would be abducting competitors' children in a non-descript white van.

    As for capitalism, yeah, it sucks. Some people starve while others get rich. But it's also a lot better than anything else anyone has come up with. I do hate capitalism. But I hate socialism and communism even more.

    Indeed, bashing capitalism is considerably less "fashionable" than bashing MS (or Wal-Mart, or any other large and successful company), so why not use MS as a proxy?

    I love Wal*Mart. Usually, after I've been shopping there, I compare prices with their competition (key point, that) and determine that I've saved a couple of bucks with each shopping trip. Case in point: was going to buy a small level, checked out Home Depot. Found a level that I liked for $19.95, which seemed a little steep. Went to Wal*Mart, found exactly the same make and model of level for $4.99. I do not begrudge Wal*Mart their success, because unlike Microsoft, it seems they've actually done something to achieve it. The very first thing Wal*Mart has done is somehow create a discount department store that I'm not embarrassed to go into. The next thing is almost always having what you want in stock, and usually at the same price or a little better than the competition.

    So, all you MS bashers out there, why not just admit that you are, at the very least, liberal Democrats and voting for Bush would be as inimical to your creed as using Windows?

    A vote for Bush is evil, pure and simple.

    • He appealed to me because he was allegedly a fiscal conservative. But even through the bad times of the past few years, he's proven that he's not.
    • His social platform was repellent, even from day one. After all, if I wanted to live in a religious state, I'd move to Iran.

    Al Gore was no better. His liberal fiscal policies would have punished me for my financial success rather than enticing me to expand my business and hire more employees. His pro-union stance drives up the cost of labor artificially to a point where a person who makes brake pistons all day gets $25/hr while a McDonalds employee whose job requires far more intelligence and skill gets minimum wage. But, on the other hand, at least Gore was intelligent and secure enough with his masculinity to know that gay people aren't going to hurt him.

    Furthermore, why not just say that capitali

  • by CanadianMikey (752337) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @02:12PM (#8669636)

    10 years ago I had an Amstrad PC with Dos and GEM as a GUI...

    now I've got WinXP...but I don't remember GEM ever asking me every 5 minutes if I wanted to send an error report...

    Sometimes I wonder...did we ever innovate, or did we just move to one provider.

    Which leads us to another question...if a word is not recognized by Microsoft's spellchecker, is it really a word?Have you looked to see if monopoly is a word in the Microsoft spell check lately?

    Did anyone just hear that tree fall in the forest?
  • Re:slashbot (Score:2, Interesting)

    by slipnslidemaster (516759) on Thursday March 25, 2004 @03:49PM (#8671061)
    Here are some priceless quotations from emails by Bill Gates regarding DRDOS:

    "DOS being fairly cloned has had a dramatic impact on our pricing for DOS. I wonder if we would have it around 30-40% higher if it wasn't cloned. I bet we would!" (August 6, 1989)

    "I doubt they [Digital Research] will be able to clone Windows. It is very difficult to do technically, we have made it a moving target and we have some visual copyright and patent protection. I believe people underestimate the impact DR-DOS has had on us in terms of pricing." (May 18, 1989)

    For a considerably more indepth analysis of the DRDOS question from the Caldera lawsuit checkout: http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/network/2000/02/07 /schulman.html

    What originally annoyed me about the parent post about DRDOS was the "AARD" code that was present in the beta versions of Windows 3.1. Schulman wrote a book called Undocumented DOS 2 which went into great depth to expose this seemingly unnecessary code in WIN.COM.

    Here is a link that has an article: http://www.ddj.com/documents/s=1030/ddj9309d/

    There are a lot of examples of Microsoft abuse but DRDOS is one of the most obvious that exist in recent memory, IMO.

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