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Microsoft Businesses

Confidential Microsoft Emails Posted Online 479

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the behind-the-curtain dept.
dos4who writes "From the class action 'Comes et al. v. Microsoft' suit, some very enlightening internal Microsoft emails are now made public. Emails to and from Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, Jim Allchin, etc all make for some mind blowing reading. One of my favorites is from Jim Allchin to Bill Gates, entitled 'losing our way,' in which Allchin states 'I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft.'"
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Confidential Microsoft Emails Posted Online

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  • 2001 (Score:5, Funny)

    by DarkOx (621550) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @11:13AM (#17873668) Journal
    called they want their Halloween documents back!
  • One of my favorites (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lecithin (745575) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @11:14AM (#17873678)
    http://www.iowaconsumercase.org/011107/PX_2768.pdf [iowaconsumercase.org]

    "Screw Sun, cross-platform will never work. Let's move on and steal the Java language."
    • by Cheapy (809643) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @11:22AM (#17873752)
      Interestingly, that one is written by someone working on Visual J++.
      • by diesel66 (254283) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @11:38AM (#17873878)
        I don't mean to nit-pick you, but it wasn't written merely by someone working on Visual J++.

        It was written the the Visual J++ Product Manager.

        This speaks volumes to the company's strategy.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Frizzle Fry (149026)
          It's sort of silly to say that the fact that the guy is PM makes him sort of super authority. It's not as if he has a high-ranking position (VP, PUM). For all we know, he was just hired out of college last week; hell, there are PM interns.
          • by Mydron (456525) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @01:53PM (#17874960)

            It's sort of silly to say that the fact that the guy is PM makes him sort of super authority. . . . hell, there are PM interns
            You have product [microsoft.com] and program [microsoft.com] manager confused.

            From the links:
            A program manager "[l]eads the technical side of a product development team, managing and defining the functional specifications and defining how the product will work." These PMs are, as you intimate, a dime a dozen at microsoft.

            A product manager "[f]ormulates business and marketing strategy." These PMs have a lot of authority and make decisions at a much higher level.

            Just compare the description of a product manager [microsoft.com] compared to that of a program manager [microsoft.com].

            There are a 110 product manager job openings at MSFT compared to 365 program manager openings.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by nbritton (823086)
            Really? He was also the PM for C#, and worked for Sun prior to joining Microsoft... http://www.ilkeratalay.com/articles/vsnet_en.php [ilkeratalay.com]
    • Context is important (Score:5, Interesting)

      by BenJeremy (181303) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @01:39PM (#17874858)
      Let's not forget that both people discussing "screw Sun" used to work for them. There is probably a whole lot of baggage we'll never know that goes along with two guys switching companies and paradigms.

      As an EDSer, I've seen plenty of my former colleagues take a "screw EDS" view in their new companies... they were dissatisfied with aspects of business and how they were managed (sometimes justifiably, sometimes not so much); until they became just as disafected by their new employers, they were considerably hostile in words and action, at times, to their old employer.

      Given that they were involved with J++, discussing a cross-platform mandate (big with Slashdotters, but not even a blip on the radar screen with 99% of Microsoft's customer base), and the context of the discussion involved co-opting lessons learned and design imperitives (not really the product itself), this discussion was not exactly the smoking gun you guys would like it to be.
      • Context. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by twitter (104583) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @04:43PM (#17876392) Homepage Journal

        Given that they were involved with J++, discussing a cross-platform mandate (big with Slashdotters, but not even a blip on the radar screen with 99% of Microsoft's customer base), and the context of the discussion involved co-opting lessons learned and design imperatives (not really the product itself), this discussion was not exactly the smoking gun you guys would like it to be.

        The attitude is not so easily dismissed and it shows itself again and again. While the comment might be aimed at Sun, it ultimately harms the customer.

        "Cross-platform" is a huge subject that customers deeply care about but one that M$ customers will always be disappointed with. People desperately want their computers and other devices to work together but it's not going to happen with a company like M$ around. People want their PDA, cameras, portable music players and DVRs to work together and share information. Anyone trying to provide that for customers on a M$ platform is doomed to have their work broken when M$ inevitably comes in to steal the market. "Let's steal java," is a perfect example. When he says that, he means "we have the market share and can define what works and what does not." I watched them do the same thing to Palm, when "security" updates screwed over sync on W2K, so that the new Windoze Pocket PCs could gain market share. And, we've seen the same kind of thing in portable music players [theregister.co.uk]. The third E of EEE is extinguish. Once the treat to M$ dominance has been removed, the thing stolen will be ignored or removed. The issue is so much larger than Java and one or two employees. When you sum up all the pieces, the picture that emerges is not pretty at all, is it?

      • (big with Slashdotters, but not even a blip on the radar screen with 99% of Microsoft's customer base)

        you know, this makes me think that this "cross platform" stuff should not be pushed as 'cross OS' but instead, it should be talked about in relation to working across Microsofts various OS's and their versions.
        Here are two scenarios in this regard:

        1:
        developer1-"Look, why don't we start these new projects on JBOSS and Java? It's all cross-platform and we can not only run it on our Windows Server 200

    • by zCyl (14362) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @08:45PM (#17877966)
      I tried going through it manually, and then noticed there were countless emails, most of which were boring. A much better approach is to google through the emails for keywords like this [google.com].

      In doing so, I noticed the first hit is a document outlining their strategy for partially breaking networking compatibility with Linux. "Our Linux Strategy" [iowaconsumercase.org]

      Another document [iowaconsumercase.org] from January of '99 describes Linux's greatest strength over NT as its flexibility, and its greatest weakness as its ease of use (although nearly every usage problem specifically mentioned no longer applies in modern Linux distributions). It also describes two of their worst-case scenarios being that IBM and Sun adopt Linux. One quote of interest is, "There is the very real long term threat that as MS expends the development dollars to create a bevy of new features in NT, Linux will simply cherry pick the best features an [sic] incorporate them into their codebase. The effect of patents and copyright in combatting Linux remains to be investigated."
  • Email (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 03, 2007 @11:16AM (#17873694)
    If only they had used lycos for their email.
  • by Travoltus (110240) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @11:18AM (#17873712) Journal
    MicroSoft's worst detractors are their own execs.
  • Groklaw coverage (Score:5, Interesting)

    by arun_s (877518) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @11:20AM (#17873728) Homepage Journal
    Is this not the same thing Groklaw covered [groklaw.net] quite sometime back? There are several updates in the link, including a clarification [windowsvistablog.com] from Allchin on that 'I'd buy a Mac' quote.
    • Re:Groklaw coverage (Score:4, Interesting)

      by stsp (979375) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @11:41AM (#17873910) Homepage

      Is this not the same thing Groklaw covered quite sometime back? There are several updates in the link, including a clarification from Allchin on that 'I'd buy a Mac' quote.

      Which is hilarious in itself :)

      Quote:

      2-and-a-half years later, Windows Vista has turned into a phenomenal product, better than any other OS we've ever built and far, far better than any other software available today, in my opinion. It's going to be available to customers on Jan 30, and I suggest everyone go out and get it as soon as you can. It's that good.

      Next thing he says is:

      The spirit of being self-critical continues to flourish at Microsoft.

      • Re:Groklaw coverage (Score:4, Interesting)

        by x-caiver (458687) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @01:37PM (#17874840) Homepage Journal

        2-and-a-half years later, Windows Vista has turned into a phenomenal product, better than any other OS we've ever built and far, far better than any other software available today, in my opinion. It's going to be available to customers on Jan 30, and I suggest everyone go out and get it as soon as you can. It's that good.

        Next thing he says is:

        The spirit of being self-critical continues to flourish at Microsoft.

        Those two sentences may seem to conflict, but you are not seeing the whole picture.

        You are not seeing the people who are already working on making their feature 'have more features'. You are not seeing the work that the team is doing in preparation for a Service Pack, which will not add much in the way of new features but will address any late breaking issues or customer-reported features requests/bugs. And most importantly, you aren't seeing the individuals who are extremely passionate about the products that are shipped by Microsoft, the people who write ranting emails to other teams, the people who use the product and file bugs about how something is lame, or the people who go to meetings and sometimes have to get in to shouting matches with other people who just don't get it.

        Vista, like it or not, has turned into a 'phenomenal' product, by definition. Is it better than any other OS MS has released? Well, in some places it is, and in some places it isn't. There is a lot of new code that fixes a lot of old issues, but there are new behaviors that are less than pleasant. Is it far better than any other software available today? I don't really know what that even means. 'Better' in usability, stability, feature-bredth, customer-focus, opportunity for 3rd party develops, source code quantity? Who knows, luckily he put 'in my opinion' after it so we don't have to try to figure it out.

        But, the point is: The spirit of being self-critical is alive, and though every now and then it suffers a minor setback those events are simply small battles in the larger war.
        • by bit01 (644603)

          ... in the larger war.

          It's a living, not a war, and the sooner the sociopaths at M$ realize that the better off everybody will be.

          Tangential to your point but relevant to the tone of yours and many other M$ missives.

          ---

          Don't be a programmer-bureaucrat; someone who substitutes marketing buzzwords and software bloat for verifiable improvements.

    • Re:Groklaw coverage (Score:5, Interesting)

      by nacturation (646836) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `noitarutcan'> on Saturday February 03, 2007 @11:41AM (#17873914) Journal
      Anyone have the original video? The URL (http://www.apple.com/ilife/video/ilife04_32C.html ) in the PDF is a 404... Apple should really put it back up.
       
    • by Vellmont (569020) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @12:08PM (#17874130) Homepage

      including a clarification from Allchin on that 'I'd buy a Mac' quote.

      Where I live we don't call that clarification, we call that spin.
    • by Erris (531066) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @12:36PM (#17874346) Homepage Journal

      Nothing could be more clear than the intention of the rant, so I'll type it here for those too lazy to click the link. It deserves the space.

      I'm not sure how the company lost sight of what matters to our customers (both business and home) the most, but in my view we lost our way. ... our teams lost sight of what bug-free means, what resilience means, what full scenarios mean, what security means, what performance means, how important current applications are and really understanding what the most important probems are customers face are. I see lots of random features and some great vision, but that doesn't translate into great products.

      ...

      I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft. If you run the equivalent of VPC on a MAC you get access to basically all Windows applications software ... If we are to rise to the challenge of Linux and Apple, we need to start taking the lessons of "scenario, simple, fast" to heart.

      -Jim Allchin, January 07 2004

      It's obvious they did not listen to him and that's good for everyone. Vista is 10 GB in size and wastes all sorts of processing power for it's DRM insanity, after they dropped their silly new file system and many other vaporware improvements. While it will be difficult if not impossible to make Vista work under Linux or Mac, it's not going to matter because Vista is going to kill the platform. The failure of Vista, more than the failure of Zune and Xbox shows that M$ is going to have to compete on something other than, "It's M$ and you are going to need them tomorrow no matter how crappy their stuff is."

  • HAHAHA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 03, 2007 @11:21AM (#17873742)
    These confirm that Microsoft so-called critics are just telling it like it is. Vista is a second-rate, user-hostile OSX knock-off, .NET is a java knock-off and MS senior execs are lying through their teeth when they talk about innovation.

    Classic stuff.

    • It is so sad that again, no one gets it.

      You think its funny? They think it is fucking HILARIOUS.

      By yesterday, Microsoft made more money on Vista than OSX has in its entire lifespan.

      Sun's handling of Java gave Microsoft enough time to make .NET a killer platform, especially for Web apps.

      Even if the only way that Microsoft is innovative is in how they turn other people's ideas into profit centers, I assure you that they are laughing a lot more than Apple or Sun today.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by myowntrueself (607117)
        By yesterday, Microsoft made more money on Vista than OSX has in its entire lifespan.i>

        Considering how much was spent on developing Vista ($billions) it seems very implausible that $billions+n has been recouped by Microsoft at this point in time, for any value of n.

        You did say "made more money on Vista"; at this stage, Vista has made a net *loss* not a profit.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by senahj (461846)

      I bow to no one in my disdain for Microsoft's bad software.
      Don't get me started talking about Windows 98 and predecessors,
      or Outlook and Exchange, or Word, or Source Safe, unless
      you're prepared for an angry rant.

      But many of the best programmers I know consider C## and the .NET
      runtime to be a distinct improvement on Java; a truly superior
      bit of language design and software engineering.

      Your mileage may vary. Contents may have settled during shipping.
  • Coral Cache (Score:4, Informative)

    by Baldrson (78598) * on Saturday February 03, 2007 @11:24AM (#17873760) Homepage Journal
  • Thats nothing.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cybrthng (22291) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @11:25AM (#17873776) Journal
    If you read what people post here, most sane people wouldn't touch linux and would look at these discussions as childs play.
  • Losing our way? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rolman (120909) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @11:26AM (#17873782)
    It's interesting for Jim Allchin to state this, because in terms of performance, security and understanding what the most important problems a customer face, I didn't know Microsoft had a "way" they're somehow losing now. To say that Microsoft has always been lazy in these areas is an understatement.

    Now this gets me thinking, because we in FLOSS care a lot about security and performance, but not too much about the end users experience and the applications that are important to them. We all know how Apple just Gets It(tm) and we should, too, if we ever want to expand our installed base and market share beyond geeks and tech savvy users.
  • by bratwiz (635601) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @11:26AM (#17873788)

    The Linux Strategy???

    Since we now know that Microsoft is willing (nay, obsessed) to go "to the mat", as it were, the Linux strategy should be to exploit this tendancy as often as possible. If it happens often enough, either it will become an un-tenable situation for Microsoft, wherein after Microsoft will no longer be able to make any kind of TCO statements regarding Linux vs. Microsoft; and/or else they will go broke in all these no-profit deals (okay, admittedly, it will take them awhile to go broke... but it could happen! :)

    If nothing else, these documents reveal _very_ publically (what many of us already knew) that Microsoft is scared SHITLESS of Linux.

    Why should the market leader (a monopolistic, strong-arming, dirty-tricks, no-holds-barred leader at that!) be scared of a FREE operating system and open-source applications-- unless they can see that their dominant position is deeply threatened?

    Maybe Balmer will throw some more chairs at somebody. Better be prepared to duck fast.

    I wonder what business Microsoft will get into after computers, software and IT? :)
    • by EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @11:39AM (#17873888)
      "..(what many of us already knew) that Microsoft is scared SHITLESS of Linux."

      Given that the youth of America have been brought up on MS products, they're going to have a stronger attachement to them than those of us who were brought up on Commodores, Amigas, and Apples. MS *clearly* knows this. Think about that.

      • Wishful Thinking (Score:5, Interesting)

        by LibertineR (591918) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @11:45AM (#17873946)
        Microsoft may have been scared of Linux at one time, but that is certainly not true today.

        This is because the promise of Linux has been wasted by the lack of production of true killer applications, allowing both Microsoft and Apple to further embed their OS's among their faithful.

        New systems shipping with Vista are sticking a finger in the Penguin's eye, because when it comes down to it, its all about the apps.

        • by 4e617474 (945414) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @01:16PM (#17874688)

          This is because the promise of Linux has been wasted by the lack of production of true killer applications, allowing both Microsoft and Apple to further embed their OS's among their faithful.

          I remember sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for Linux's world domination, but I don't think that that was ever its promise. The whole concept of the "killer application", IMHO, runs contrary to the Linux way of doing things. In fact, the more obviously useful a "Linux" app tends to be to large numbers of people, the more likely you are to see Windows and OS X ports.

          Linux let users run whatever machine they could get their hands on and have a stable, supported (as in patched and secure) system that would run current apps while the Mac and Windows worlds had people running to the store to replace perfectly good machines. Schools in under-funded districts and governments in poor countries slowly discover that proprietary software vendors hold them over a barrel while FLOSS just gives and gives. These aren't strategies that get you ahead by the next fiscal quarter, but they get you ahead of where you were four or five years ago.

          MSFT and Apple fight for their share of consumers (and MSFT pretty much takes the business world for granted) while the FLOSS world makes sure to keep doing what they're doing and their share of developers, enterprise users, and savvy home users expands slowly but steadily. Linux isn't out to get people to come on board because it's got something you'll be deprived of if you don't, and it isn't out to attack or exploit how the other guys slip up. Hell, Linux isn't marching lock-step towards any single goal - it's fragmented, huge numbers of disparate groups and individuals working towards different ends, which Linus has said is exactly what he likes to see. Linux developers achieve a means to an end, polish up the rough edges when they've got something that's going to be around for a while and the users demand it, and let you get off the roller coaster of everyone else deciding what latest and greatest features you just have to have. You want Linux? Here it is. You want to wait a few years for it to improve some more? It will, and it will still be yours for the asking. [insert stream vs. boulder or similar Taoist metaphor]

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          This is because the promise of Linux has been wasted by the lack of production of true killer applications

          Herein lies the answer to why the kooky predictions of GNU/Linux domination have yielded nothing eight years later. The GNU system /is/ the "killer app".

          The promise of the general purpose PC is only realized in a few areas of computing. Desktop computing isn't one of them. After having managed all aspects of a ~600 seat network for seven years, I am convinced that the click-and-drool way has done mo

        • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by codepunk (167897) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @04:44PM (#17876398)
          Linux is the killer application and it will be even more so in the future. Don't worry MS is scared of Linux and probably even more so today.

          1. When you typed this posted at least a few linux boxes where involved in storing, sorting
          and displaying your drivel.

          2. I bet you probably even do a few google searches per day, there you go again 100,000 linux boxes
          faithfully answer your request at lightning speed.

          3. Go to work and half the printers there probably have embedded linux.

          4. You are probably posting using your wireless router again running linux.

          5. Watching your dvr or tivo today, again linux.

          6. Go to the movies and watching CG animation again rendered on linux.

          7. Request a web page, probably linux dns server answering that request.

          8. Check your email, again probably linux or routed through linux boxes somewhere.

          9. Wipe your ass, some embedded controller at the paper mill running linux made that happen.

          10. Picking your nose... well ok linux probably had nothing to do with that but that is what the
          parent had to be doing when authoring that post.

          Linux touches your life everyday and does so without
          being noticed...now that is the killer app!
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Lumpy (12016)
          New systems shipping with Vista are sticking a finger in the Penguin's eye, because when it comes down to it, its all about the apps.

          Nice marketing. Because if what you said was actually the truth, they would have problems selling any Vista licenses outside of new computers as users would be satisfied with the "apps".

          There are lots of Baying sheep that went out and bought vista. and right now they are calling me and other tech people wanting to know why their apps they bought have stopped working.

          Quicken
  • by spleen_blender (949762) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @11:28AM (#17873796)
    I think it is kind of refreshing to see such emails. At least it lets us know that they aren't totally disconnected from reality and at least from the looks of it want to make progress that is not only profitable for their company, but for computing as a whole. Oh yeah, I HATE TEH MICRO$AUFT ZOMG! Sorry, was obligatory.
  • by jonadab (583620) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @11:30AM (#17873822) Homepage Journal
    That's what happened to WinFS: Jim Allchin killed it, or talked someone into killing it. If you read that "losing our way" email carefully, that's what he's talking about. LH means Longhorn, i.e., what they were calling Vista at the time (early 2004). "We need a simple fast storage system" in this context means "We need to ditch WinFS".

    The "scenario" stuff is probably related to this topic also, but I don't know enough about the culture inside of Microsoft to say how.
    • by Erris (531066) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @01:18PM (#17874712) Homepage Journal

      "We need a simple fast storage system" in this context means "We need to ditch WinFS".

      Now that Vista is out, you can see he was talking about much more than that. Had the company quit focusing on trying to become a publishing, music and games monopoly as well as a computing monopoly, Vista would not weigh in at 10GB of trip bits, encrypted binary paths and other in the customer face insult and instability. WinFS was just one of the things that make Vista less than fast, stable, secure or anything else the customer might want. He thought that M$ should spend developer time on making things work for the user, not building better cages.

  • Microsoft brand FUD (Score:5, Informative)

    by DaveM753 (844913) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @11:37AM (#17873876)
    I love this:

    From exhibit PX 851, a memo from bradsi to billg and steveb (among others) regarding alleged "bugs" in DR DOS as found by Microsoft commissioned NSTL:

    "We are engaged in a FUD campaign to let the press know about some of the bugs. We'll provide info a few bugs at a time to stretch it out."

    Ahhhh...Microsoft(r) Time-Released FUD(tm). Gotta love it. :-)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Technician (215283)
      "We are engaged in a FUD campaign to let the press know about some of the bugs. We'll provide info a few bugs at a time to stretch it out."

      It seems to have bitten them back hard. Whenever there is a major Windows breach, I mention it as the exploit of the week. Most people "get it". Some don't and ask me about it. I tell them that this exploit is this weeks exploit, then pull up Google and find last weeks, the weeks before, the weeks before... Then mention patch Tuesday.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat [wikipedia.org]
  • finally... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Grinin (1050028) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @11:51AM (#17873980) Homepage
    some true insight right out the mouth of the sources. I'm bookmarking these, and I've already printed some for my friends to read. Finally some proof that the evil empire is truly evil. "Screw Sun?" Scre you M$! Their products work!
  • by Omeger (939765) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @11:56AM (#17874030) Journal
    They would want to buy a Mac. You can do a LOT more things a LOT cheaper on a normal PC.
  • by koan (80826) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @11:58AM (#17874048)
    Im a big fan of XP, but Vista has left me scratching my head trying to figure out what they were up to, from the emails I gather they don't really know either.
  • by emptybody (12341) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @12:01PM (#17874068) Homepage Journal


    We are engaged in a FUD campaign to let the press know about some of the bugs.
    We'll provide info a few bugs at a time to stretch it out


    the proof is in the pudding [iowaconsumercase.org]
  • by twitter (104583) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @12:01PM (#17874074) Homepage Journal

    Not even the rhetoric from a "Women's study" class can prepare the reader for the contents of those letters. All the diabolical "power" talk is like a script from a bad movie. Start anywhere and you get there fast. They really are sick.

    The first thing I looked at had this nonsense: [iowaconsumercase.org]

    To gain power, IBM's got to take it away from Microsoft, and our power starts with DOS. ... We are engaged in a FUD campaign to let the press know about some of the [DR-DOS] bugs.

    You might recall later evidence from the Novel DR-DOS lawsuit, where Microsoft later killed DR-DOS off by making Win3.1 not work with it and then blaming DR-DOS in BBS postings. Nice.

    The next thing seems to indicate witness tampering [iowaconsumercase.org] in the same power struggle.

    The next random look [iowaconsumercase.org] has more opinion manipulation trough astroturf:

    User story placement - developing and placing MS-DOS related stories in key publications, both trade and vertical, to communicate that corporations have a large investment in MS-DOS and will continue to trust in it. Develop user profiles?

    And it goes on and on. The targets today are the ones that survived, IBM, Novel, and friends but now include the free software that everyone but M$ has agreed to use because it's better. Instead of fudding BBS, they are here and in the newspapers and TV networks they purchased for the purpose. If these dorks spent half the time wasted on improving their product, they might have a product that works. Instead, they have focused on marketing, "power" and other crap that's ended in DRM [slashdot.org] and botnet hell. No one should trust M$ for anything and everything they touch is suspect.

    • they have focused on marketing, "power" and other crap that's ended in DRM and botnet hell.

      This is probably what Jim was talking about in 2004. I've posted this twice now, but it deserves every inch of space.

      I'm not sure how the company lost sight of what matters to our customers (both business and home) the most, but in my view we lost our way. ... our teams lost sight of what bug-free means, what resilience means, what full scenarios mean, what security means, what performance means, how important

    • by Haeleth (414428)

      Microsoft later killed DR-DOS off by making Win3.1 not work with it

      Wow, you have a real talent for rewriting history.

      Sadly, in the real world, no such thing happened. What happened was that Microsoft inserted code into a beta version of Win3.1 that displayed a warning. That's right, not only did the evil code not stop Windows working at all (it just displayed a misleading message and waited for a keypress), it was removed after the beta and never existed in any version of Windows that was sold to the pub

  • by dioscaido (541037) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @12:19PM (#17874204)
    Written on January 2004. This was just before the big 'reset' where they realized they were going in the wrong direction, and completely refocused their efforts -- they wen't gun-ho on security, developing XP SP2, and moving 'longhorn' development to the win2k3 codebase instead of the bloated junk they had for the very early previews.

    So the statement makes total sense within context. Soon after Jim's statement, the development of 'longhorn' was dramatically altered. You can't use it as a reflection of the RTM'd product. The RTM'd product is a result of these harsh words.
  • by mrfantasy (63690) <mike AT chairthrower DOT org> on Saturday February 03, 2007 @12:23PM (#17874236) Homepage Journal
    Is Jim Allchin.

    I mean, his chin isn't particulary prominent at all.
  • FWIW (Score:3, Interesting)

    by inode_buddha (576844) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @01:50PM (#17874942) Journal
    FWIW, the folks at GrokLaw [groklaw.net] have dug out copies of the Bill Gates deposition videos from the anti-trust trial. It's a pretty big download, but funny and sad as hell when you look back at it.
  • Confidential email (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Duncan3 (10537) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @02:41PM (#17875412) Homepage
    When will these guys figure out all email is public?

    If you want to scheme, that's what golf courses are for.
  • by tiny69 (34486) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @05:05PM (#17876578) Homepage Journal
    http://www.google.com/search?q=+site%3Amicrosoft.c om+%22microsoft+confidential%22&btnG=Search [google.com]

    I always enjoy seeing proprietary markings on a company's documents. It makes finding them with a search engine much easier. Other fun search terms:

    site:microsoft.com "Microsoft Internal Use Only"
    site:microsoft.com "Internal Use Only"
    site:microsoft.com NDA
  • by Master of Transhuman (597628) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @05:56PM (#17876994) Homepage
    one of the "research" organizations - I think it was IDC - to produce a "comparison" between Linux and Windows that was favorable to Windows, after Gartner told them they wouldn't do it.

    Then they argued over whether they should ADMIT that Microsoft sponsored the study because they KNEW that admitting it would blow the game - so they argued for LYING about it.

    Here's a quote from the story: [itnews.com.au]

    In an email dated 1 November, 2002, Kevin Johnson, now the head of Windows, wrote: "I don't like it to be public on the doc that we sponsored it because I don't think the outcome is as favourable as we had hoped. I just don't like competitors using it as ammo against us. It is easier if it doesn't mention that we sponsored it."

    And another:

    And the month before, Houston wrote Johnson a message that intimated pressure had been put on IDC to tweak the report so it would put Microsoft in a better light. "I hate to put it like this, but at this point, IDC is done negotiating with us. We have moved them quite a bit already, but they are now holding the line, saying that if we want the names of their 'big' analysts on the report, this is it."

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