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MS Employees making Fake posts in Forums? 255

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the why-wouldn't-that-surprise-us dept.
mikey writes "Wired has an article stating that Microsoft employees are highly suspect of making phony statements in internet forums. Difficult to prove, but an independnt analyst concures on page 2 of the article." Makes me wish I logged anonymous coward activity so that I could find out how much is coming from tide*.microsoft.com.
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MS Employees making Fake posts in Forums?

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  • Thank goodness for my logic classes. Now I know that you're all liars. Heheheheh
  • by davie (191)

    the AC MS-shilling I've seen on /. consists usually of "govt don't belong in software industry" anti-DOJ rantings of teenage libertarians who are drunk with their newfound religion.

    The government has no business going after Microsoft, or any other corporation, unless they are guilty of interstate criminal activity.

    Microsoft is doing a fine job of self-destruction without any help from the federales. There is no way MS can compete against Free Software--even if they pull their usual tricks, they'll eventually lose, it's just a matter of time. You know it, I know it, Bill Gates knows it. If the feds really wanted to "make Gates honest," they would use Linux and/or FreeBSD instead of NT. Government licenses must make up a huge chunk of MS's sales. (Didn't I just read that the USN is going back to UNIX after the NT-based "smart ship" debacle?)

    Wouldn't it be great if we could get Traficant to do a "Beam me up Scotty..." one-minute on NT v. Free Software?

  • by drwiii (434)
    I wouldn't put this past M$.. Especially after that whole lets-flood-the-media-with-pro-microsoft-shit incident from awhile back..

    Of course, there are no Microsoft people infiltrating Slashdot.. Rob wouldn't have that. Or would he... [min.net]

  • Oh and one other thing - filter for people posting from Microsoft and I'll continue to do it from my personal ISP. Its not worth you time to worry about it.

    Typical M$ thinking.. "I'm going to have my way, and there's nothing you can do about it.. wah wah.. I don't care if the site is your property, I work for Macrosloth and that gives me the right to post here since M$ invented the InterNet(tm) and I'm Billy's bitch.. wah wah.."

  • A few weeks ago, someone decided to throw a massive concrete ashtray through the ground floor of one of our buildings, searching for Bill Gates.

    Sorry, I'll aim better next time.

  • The only two things he is most likely guilty in are increasing number of MCSE by one (so M$ will brag about it more), and probably keeping NT working in situation where it deserves to burn and be thrown away. Pretty bad by my standards, but it's nothing compared to working for M$.
  • by jandrese (485)
    I see you read the article! I wonder how many people got that?
  • Not to worry, friends. Your friendly dealer of high-quality operating systems and applications would never stoop so low as to try and fool the public by paying people to support it in online forums. Why, that would be as bad as, say, sending fake "letters to the editor" in major newspapers or trying to fake a video for a major antitrust trial!

    The hard working men and women of Microsoft are the best of the best in their fields. They've been working for better than two decades to bring you stable and easy-to-use systems.

    If a product gets delayed, say, or promised features aren't delivered, who can say that Microsoft isn't just protecting the consumer? And this nonsense we've all heard lately about how Microsoft isn't lowering their prices and how you must purchase Microsoft products if you want a PC; what's the problem? After all, it's not as if there's any other operating system out there that treats you better.

    (Although it should be noted that MacOS and Linux and BeOS and the C64 operating system are all very complete and powerful systems that could strip Microsoft of it's marketshare and leave its employees out on the street with their children starving if Microsoft's right to innovate is taken away by the Evil United States Government).

    Now, forget about this silly and obviously overblown side-show and return to the protective cocoon that is Microsoft and its products. Log on to your Windows 98(tm) or Windows NT(tm) machines, fire up MSN(tm), and have a good 'ol time using Hotmail(tm) or "surfin' the web" and checking out Slate(tm) with Microsoft Internet Explorer(tm).

    ----

  • first there was the LA Times article where a PR program with spurious letters to the editor for an ersatz grass roots campaign for MS.

    Here's another to consider, a MS VP was quoted on how he and his group destroyed the lone official supporter of IBM's OS/2 program with misinformation deposited on internet sites by his group in the fight against that OS prior to the release of Win 95.

    This is not a personal attack against you or every Microsoft employee (or even its products), however, there is some documented history of MS playing such a game. Moreover, the above-cited VP noted his win was so easy because it was against IBM's policy to use such tactics.

    What I find astounding is the short memory span of both those defending and attacking MS. This should not simply be a matter of opinion when some evidence exists already with high level admissions.
  • I'm an avid Linux user (both here and at home) and I feel that I'm a part of the slashdot community, but sometimes I have to wonder if the anti-Microsoft sentiment is taken a little to far.

    Hey I'm glad you posted here (really!). It takes some guts to admit publicly that you work for Microsoft on /.

    I started out my computing life with Microsoft Products. My first Operating System was MS-DOS 2.something. I didn't know any better and it seemed pretty spiffy to me. I remember drooling when MS-DOS 5 and 6 hit the shelves.

    I looked up to Microsoft and thought it would be a great thing to be able to work there someday.

    But, it was around DOS 6 that I started to question things. I remember seeing stacker on the shelves and then the next thing I know its out of business. DoubleSpace was "integrated" into DOS and Stac went down the toilet.

    Things seemed ok, I mean hey MS is saving me money, right? They are innovating for me, right? Windows 3.0 was hitting things big even though anyone who had any knowledge could plainly see how crappy it truly was. It was a MASSIVE hack and didn't run very well.

    Well I still looked up to Microsoft and I learned to use it and I learned to love Microsoft Word 2.0. Soon I was happily using all of the Microsoft Office products. I didn't even blink when the once mighty WordPerfect began its death spiral. Hey MS is innovating for me, the customer, right?

    More and more Windows/DOS wouldn't do what I needed it to do. So one day I try out IBM OS/2 2.1 and am utterly amazed! Here was something that WAS TRULY innovative compared to Windows. I eventually upgraded to Warp 3 and I began to resent Windows. Microsoft had initially worked with IBM on OS/2, but yet they chose to go with a crap of a hack instead. I couldn't figure out why.

    Soon I began to read about this magical new OS from my heroes at MS codenamed Chicago. Eventually the trade rags started hyping up what would become Windows 95. I believed every word of it. I drooled at the thought of Windows 95 (besides my parents were giving me a hard time about not being able to run all their windows apps perfectly under OS/2).

    I begged my dad to purchase win95 and we pre-ordered the sucker. I came home that fateful day in August to see it sitting on the front porch. I ran in and wiped Warp and gleefully installed this great new OS. I knew in my heart that my heroes at MS had finally gotten it right and my computer would be running better just like PC Magazine said it would.

    Funny thing was after running it about 5 minutes I could tell it couldn't multitask worth beans compared to OS/2. I thought well maybe I just need to tweak it or something. I played with every setting I could get my hands on. I installed Norton Utils, defragged the hard drive, played with RAM, swap space, everything. NO go.

    The more programs I installed the more flaky the system got. I began to learn the BSOD dance. I knew that i had been lied to. It felt personal! I had looked up to you guys dammit. I believed the hype. I believed you guys were innovating out there at Redmond. I actually admired you guys and someday wanted to be like you.

    It was at that moment I begin to hate Microsoft and everything they stood for. I heard about Linux and found it was hard at first but no harder than mucking with EMM386 and memmaker was in DOS.

    IBM had fucked up the marketing of Warp and MS put the final nail in its coffin with Win95. The thing that I liked about Linux was nobody could kill it and it felt good to free myself of Microsoft.

    Eventually I graduated HS and now I'm in the third year of a Computer Science degree. Already I have some input at my student job on a major computer purchase. Guess what I'm recommending going with instead of NT? Guess what company I wouldn't consider working for after graduation? Guess what products I'll be recommending to any future employers?

    I can't speak for anyone else, but I suspect theres plenty of us out there who feel violated and let down by Microsoft.

    There is so much talent at Microsoft and there is so much money you guys could do some truly truly great things for the world, but I guess money also corrupts. Thats why I look up to and admire what Linus did. Its not about the money its about putting something out that does something great and you can be proud of at the end of the day.

    As far me I just want to learn enough to start giving back to the OSS community.

    --Sincerely former Microsoft Worshiper

  • Instead of NO competition like Microsoft wants. As proof, read the latest testimony about how Microsoft is afraid of Windows becoming a commodity. Can't have that now can we? It may have to compete based on merit!

    As for the allegations of fake posts by Microsoft employees or representatives, I would be truly surprized if it wasn't true.

    !TPEEM
  • I've known many Microsofties in my time and I can say that they are all very polite, friendly and likeable people. That fact doesn't get in the way of their singleminded determination that everyone else's software products are merely legacy systems to be migrated from...

    Microsoft is a marketing company. They spend more money on advertising, market analysis and manipulation than any company that springs to mind. If Microsoft put as much effort into making reliable software as the money and time they spend marketing, they'd have a wonderful product.

    Microsoft is a monopolist. With around 95% of the operating system market, there is no doubt that Microsoft is a monopoly. It is nearly impossible to buy a computer these days without being FORCED to buy Windows. Microsoft has used their monopoly power to deny competitors entry into the market via pricing controls and OEM exclusive contracts.

    Microsoft is afraid of Windows becoming a commodity. They fight with every fiber of their being to prevent such an eventuality. As proof, look at their own testimony from the DOJ trial. Microsoft obfuscates er uh... I mean innovates, they destroy competitive markets er uh... I mean integrate, they proprietize standards er uh... I mean extend functionality to provide benefits to their customers...

    I know you are not asleep. You are listening aren't you? You know I speak the truth but are afraid to admit it - right? You know that Microsofts controlling of the technology and it's gradual meeting out to users based on Microsoft's agenda is both anti-competitive and anti-innovative and it's hurting the software side of the industry? Deep in your option holding Microsoft heart you know...
  • Posted by Phantom of the Operating System:

    I work with Microsoft tools at work and I try to do the best damn job I can with them. Some days it seems that the tools fight and twart me at every turn. Some days its not so bad.

    I can understand if you want to make neat things for Microsoft. However, I'd bet that appearance wins over elegance and that your ideas have lost out to clumsy cludges, for whatever reason.

    As long as Microsoft does not foist its 'standards' and tools on me, I have no beef with it. I'm sorry but that is about as kind as I can be with your company.

    -phantom
  • Posted by Robert Schouwenburg:

    Hmmm... maybe we should just ban all posts coming
    from Microsoft?

    Who really cares what people at Microsoft thinks
    anyway?

    ;)
  • Posted by patg:

    if($handle_name eq "Anonymous Coward") {
    if(substr($ENV{REMOTE_ADDR},0,8) eq "131.107.3") {
    print "
    by Anonymous Coward (Microsoft Poster)
    ";
    } else {
    print "
    by Anonymous Coward
    ";
    }
    }
  • Posted by Bill "Willing Boy-Toy of the Borg" A.:

    That sounds very familiar to me.

    I jumped on the Linux bandwagon pretty early, mostly so that I could have a cheap Xterminal in my dorm room for CS assignments, but pretty soon I only booted into DOS/Windows (3.11 at the time) for games and occasionally to play sound files. At the time, the PC-speaker sound driver was the best Linux had to offer me.

    On a steady diet of man-pages and usenet, my appetite for OSS grew, but I'm fortunate enough that I did not become what I consider to be a radical/rabid MS basher. I used Linux in school because it "empowered" me as a programer, not to mention the fact that I wasn't about to pay for an alternative to something that I was perfectly happy using. I still use it at home because of lingering admiration for the OSS movement, and because I also like to see how it has developed since then (for one thing, every piece of hardware in my dual-processor machine is finally supported and seems to work well). Besides, having invested the time in college to get past the linux learning curve, it was easier for me to set up a heterogenous home LAN using a linux server than it would have been to use NT, although I'm told that it would have been possible to achieve the same configuration with NT.

    Rather than let this turn into a paeon of praise for Linux, let me get back to the point (besides, you'll all probably assume that this is astroturf anyway). I accepted an internship with MS last summer, and while I was here, I tried to keep an open mind. What I saw was that MS has a lot of people they're trying to please, and in order to get the widest customer base, efforts seem to focus on including as many people as possible. MS products are usually not aimed at narrow markets. The scattershot approach to adding features is aimed at putting something in there for everyone, and this often comes at the price of virtues that I held dear as a budding young geek, like speed or efficiency of space and UI. That's not to say that MS doesn't try to please that group of customers, but sometimes the desires of the uber-geeks come behind the needs of the newbies.

    I believe MS made a mistake by not paying more attention to the desires of technologically influential folk, but I understand how that decision was made. I also think that the MS-bashing has surpassed all rational bounds, and MS deserves a chance to at least answer charges that are brought against it.

    I don't worship MS, but I've warmed up to it a lot more since last summer. Some of the stuff MS produces (I'll leave innovation out of this so that I don't trigger a flame storm) is downright cool, and I do feel like I'm helping customers as well as MS by helping to improve our products.

    Anyway, you can't say that I wasn't honest.
  • Posted by The Mongolian Barbecue:

    And here we have another microsoft employee
  • Posted by Bill "Willing Boy-Toy of the Borg" A.:

    You don't sound like a delighted customer to me!

    *THWAPP!*

  • by pingouin (783)
    I suspect there's a lot of good AC posts emanating from microsoft.com (Hi, Randy!); the AC MS-shilling I've seen on /. consists usually of "govt don't belong in software industry" anti-DOJ rantings of teenage libertarians who are drunk with their newfound religion. If badly-done stuff like that came from MS, they have a lot more to worry about than just getting W2K out the door.

    Astroturf is the last refuge of scoundrels whose hired-mouthpieces have failed them.

    --

  • I doubt you'll find "astroturfing" in a dictionary. It has roots in American baseball. A team called the Houston Colt 45s moved into the first indoor stadium, called the Astrodome. The team changed its name to the Astros - there was a Space Program motif, since the Johnson Space Center is in that part of Texas, I guess. Attempts to grow grass indoors failed (it's doable now - witness the '94 World Cup games played in Pontiac Stadium near Detroit), so they switched to artificial turf made by Monsanto, IIRC; they called it "AstroTurf", in keeping with the space/astro motif. "Astroturf" is nowadays used interchangeably with "artificial turf", though I suppose that most modern artificial turf is not AstroTurf®.

    Anyway... "astroturfing" refers to the creation of fake "grass roots" support, something that many political organizations and corporations do in the US.

    Long-winded, yes, but I hope this helps.

    NP: Soft Machine 4 :) (r.m.p lurker!)

    --

  • Several people have tried to write comments like yours in response to this article, but I think yours is by far the most realistic.

    Did you know that the word "gullible" doesn't appear in the US edition of Websters? It seems they removed "irony" too, a long time ago...
    --
  • ... Well, maybe they do, but who cares? Does anybody actually take Usenet advocacy posting seriously?

    > Anyway, the DOJ trial is nothing but a government attempt to take away the right of Microsoft to innovate.

    No, the DOJ trial is nothing but a government attempt to make Microsoft contribute its share to the DNC....

    Craig

  • by Craig (839)
    > Microsoft is WORSE than the tobacco or gun lobby, and we all know the other party is a puppet for this group... ;-)

    Sorry, is there something wrong with the tobacco and gun lobbies?

    And if the RNC is a shining example of "standing up" for both of those groups, then we should all stock up on cigarettes and bricks of .22 right now, because by spring they'll be illegal....

    Craig

  • by Craig (839)
    > Microsoft is WORSE than the tobacco or gun lobby, and we all know the other party is a puppet for this group... ;-)

    Sorry, is there something wrong with the tobacco and gun lobbies?

    And if the RNC is a shining example of "standing up" for both of those groups, then we should all stock up on cigarettes and bricks of .22 right now, because by spring they'll be illegal (which of course means only that schoolchildren will find it easier to buy them on streetcorners, but the price will be higher)....

    Craig

  • Microsoft was caught at this years ago, in various OS/2 forums. They even coined a term for the MS shills: "Munchkins."

    Read up on the Steve Barkto incident (it occurred on Compuserve).

  • Others have posted the URL elsewhere in this thread. I think it's http://www.pjprimer.com/jihad.html [pjprimer.com].
  • Add IIS to your list. That web server was acquired from Progress(?). I don't believe it start out life as buggy web server, but MS turned into one. So not only did they not innovate, but the took innovation and turned it into crappola.
  • Whether or not this is true, the point is that a lot of folks will or can believe that MS would do such a thing because of its past and present antics. In all seriousness, I don't think Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer are the most recent manifestaions of Satan and Hitler, nor do I think that MS as a company is inherently evil.

    BUT, MS has done things in the past that reduce its credibility as an honest company. And the "war mentality" that was mentioned in the article is well documented. That people believe the worst of MS is no one's fault but MS's.
  • ...the MacCentral forum. Especially Jason. He admitted he worked for MS. (but I wouldn't beleive everything he says).....but, a lot of kids out there may be getting out of line defending MS, that it seems they work for MS. I wouldn't discount that.


    Maccentral [maccentral.com] and click Forum.
  • The fake MS video isn't a rumor dude.....
  • by Nate Fox (1271)
    in light of recent court happenings, this seems to fit right in...
  • But the Plaural form of Forum is FORA
    --Zachary Kessin
  • It's pedant. not pedent
  • DHTML is just hashed-over JavaScript.

    Buzzz!
    Wrong, try again.
  • . . . thank you Mr. Barkto.
  • hey, didn't UNIX rip-off Telnet and FTP from Windows95?
  • If Microsoft were up to HALF the shit that some of the emails that have been leaked imply they are, I'd be embarrassed too.

    Maybe they've cut off your air-supply, or knifed your baby. . .
  • hm. I'm not a Linux zealot. I'm a Macintosh zealot. and reading some of these leaked eMemos that were sent around by MS's upper managment kind of pisses me off.

    ". . . Use Office as a club . . ."?

    If you have pride in your employer, then why don't you change carreers to something a bit more lucritive like the Mafia - sounds like you'd have little ethical difficulty with that.
  • by Matts (1628)
    That must be you?

    Hehe. Anyway, nice to see you (or whoever you are) on Slashdot. Sometimes it does get out of hand here. You have to remember that this is a completely different side of the fence here. Anyway, feel free to email me.
    --
  • If Microsoft keeps playing the part of villain, then really the only one villifying it is itself. If that's what they want to do, I don't see any problem with it. Just don't expect the courts to see things the same way.
  • Wasn't there a big scandal just a little while ago with MS agents writing letters to the editor of newspapers, similar to an IBM scandal from the 70s? I know this rings a bell, but I just can't place the details. If anyone knows I'm dying to find out the precedent to this.
    --
  • All right. Why does everyone think image has sold his soul, just because he works at Microsoft? C'mon! Even if Microsoft does have a policy of posting pro-MS messages to various forums, do you think everyone would be involved?

    Microsoft is a huge operation. Its left hand doesn't know what the right is doing; and the FUD-spreading directives don't necessarily come from Mr. Gates himself. My bet: there are a few departments who really push employees to push MS. Other departments (especially development, I'd suspect) probably don't.

    There are some great people who work at Microsoft; people who's stock options aren't big enough to buy their souls.

    The problem with MS isn't their people, it's their development model. Development is in constant chaos; goals shift regularly, people on the same development team can't share code, and a lot of their testers don't know anything at all about coding. The one thing that can save Microsoft is changing their development model. If they open up their code internally, so even secretaries can download it; if they modularize their code so installation of the kernel is independent of installation of the GUI; if they encourage their developers to mingle, exchange ideas, and party together; if they open up development internally, they could make some kick-ass programs, and still have a closed development model.

    But they won't. Microsoft is deeply afraid one person could learn too much about Windows, and move on to another company. Development is more like revolutionary cells, where nobody knows anything about any of the other cells.

    But in any case, there are a lot of great, intelligent, open-minded people at Microsoft. And MS is not evil-- just stupid, like any beaurocracy-bound corporation.

    Bill Gates is evil.
  • That's a BIG IF. Remember the quote that went around a few years back that said "If they were selling a computer for $500, with a 1GHz processor, 2GB of ram and a TB of drive space, the first question people would as is, "does it run windows?"." The sad thing is, that this is nothing short of the truth, and the only "merit" that hardware/software products are based on is windows compatibility. If that could be changed, the world would be a better place. Obviously MS wants that changed. If it was that way, we wouldn't have any need for judicial intervention.
    --
  • Note, I said I WORK at MS, not I work FOR MS. There's a difference. I'm a Peon, pronounced "pee on." I also post to slashdot. I also don't agree with a lot of the stuff that goes on at MS. OTOH, I'm probably not high enough on the totem pole to hear stuff like this, so it's quite possible.
  • This is so consistent with Microsoft's general behavior. They are masters of the art of dissembling.

    With MS faking videos in its Anti-Trust trial, is anyone surprised at their use of shills to protest the characterization of MS as less than wonderful?

    Sickening, isn't it?
  • One day you will pay for your crimes against the people, and I will be there laughing while I burn your campus and nail you all to trees.
  • Not with Billy G at the helm, not on your life.
    MS shied away from the internet initially precisely because it was free. "Communism" is how I believe he first described it.

    Bill is the child of a rich corporate lawyer and founded his fortune on inherited money and high-level connections within IBM. (His mother was well acquainted with several members of IBM's board of directors, and she helped him get the DOS deal) His first claim to fame was porting the freeware Dartmouth U. language BASIC to the Altair, and then demanding that the users of "his" language not share it with others.

    Bill is an under-socialized hyper-competitive nine year old. He would sooner off Linus than cooperate in an OSS project. Remember Gary Kildall? (may he rest in peace)

    MS may eventually out of necessity take advantage of Linux, but I can about guarantee you that Bill would leave the company if it happened.
  • A joke my brother, a joke. Yeesh.
  • Oooh! Doesn't that sound nice! The government is big and ineffective, so we should hand the reigns of power over to a dangerously unbalanced despot like bill gates!

    If too many people end up unproductive and on welfare, our benevolent national CEO could "downsize" them. Every year or so they could "raise the bar" on us and if we can't handle the extra workload, we could go on "work improvement" before we got downsized.

    No frills, no waste, a place for everyone and everyone in their place. National dress code, random drug screens and searches, ID worn on the lapel at all times... Free Coke for everyone!

    The more I think about it, the better it sounds! Let's let corporations run the country. We'd be a model to the world of national efficiency!
  • Your post, paticularly the last paragraph, just made day.....
  • >My impression of the average Linux user after reading /. posts for 6 months: Arrogant, clannish,
    >immature, geek elitist assholes.
    >By the time you kids grow up and relax a little bit your OS will probably be obsolete and you'll
    >have to find something else to argue about.

    My impression of the average Microsoft employee after reading MS FUD for the last 6 years: Arrogant, clannish, immature, monopolist elitist assholes.
    By the time you kids grow up and relax a little bit you will realize your OS will be worthless and you'll have to find something to actually innovate.
    • I can say that I've experienced absolutely *nothing* like that here.
    So... all of the proven cases where Microsoft have done this in the past were also made up like this new allegation? Yeah, right.

    I'm not saying that you are lying your personal experience, but wake the fuck up.

    • that sort of behavior would definitely not be endorsed or even condoned.
    ROTFLMAO. That's why it's happened repeatedly in the past. I'm so sure all of the perps from the past occaisions were promptly fired. I'm laughin' so hard it hurts.
    • I'm an avid Linux user (both here and at home)
    Oh, why didn't you say so. Now I can no longer think critically about anything you say no matter how stupid!
    • if I felt that Microsoft was up to half the shit that is suggested on slashdot, I wouldn't work here.
    Well, I've been on the recieving end of a Microsoft dirty tricks campaign. Go drink a big gulp of numbing Micromilk from the Microteat and stay asleep, friend.
  • I posted my opinion about M$ on a ZDnet TalkBack forum. I included my email address in the post. Soon after I started receiving a series of nasty emails for a M$ employee who gave his name as Bob Gaiswinkler. He obviously felt that it was part of his job to spend his time writing emails to people who take exception to the illegal tactics M$ has used for many years.
    Naturally they would post there own opinions on Slashdot as Anonymous Coward.
    I smell a big fat M$ rat!
  • After posting my opinion of M$ illegal tactics Bob Gaiswinkler from M$ sent me a series of nasty and harrassing emails. Obviously he felt that it was his duty as a M$ employee to bother people who take exception with M$ criminal activity.

    One time I sent him a link to a story that referenced by Slashdot. His response made it clear to me that even though I never mentioned Slashdot to him, he was well aware of Slashdot.
    Bob went on another of his rants and said "an org of 29000 people does not mean shit."

    M$ employees are definitely organized to distribute FUD, and to harrass people who express negative views of M$. I know this to be true.
  • Card-caryin' member of Microsoft! Sic 'em! Sic 'em!


    --
    Aaron Gaudio
    "The fool finds ignorance all around him.
  • Fermet's last theorem, which has now been proven (publicly), states that for integers x,y,z
    x^n + y^n = z^n is unsolvable when n > 2.

    The modern proof (no-one knows Fermet's proof) is far beyond my comprehensions, but should be available in some math journal pretty easily.

    BTW, the proof also invalidates a Star Trek: TNG episode, which refers to the theorem as unproved by the 23rd (or whatever) century. Maybe they just lost it again? ;-)

    Besides, since any "positive" proposition can become a "negative" proposition using the law of the double-negative, there is a multitude of provable negative statements. Also, propositions which are mutually exclusive imply an infinate number of negative statements. For instance,

    2 + 2 = 4
    therefore, 2 + 2 != 5, 2 + 2 != 6, .....


    --
    Aaron Gaudio
    "The fool finds ignorance all around him.

  • "It is against Microsoft policy for any employee to misrepresent him or herself by email or any other means."




    Am I the only one who finds this highly ironic, considering they were recently busted for a fake grass-roots campaign in support of microsoft. It's almost the exact same thing, except MS isn't paying any high-priced advertising firm to do it. According to their policies it seems individuals aren't supposed to lie or misrepresent themselves, but the company itself can.


  • Check my back posts for some examples.

    I imagine most M$ers don't do this, but it only takes one or two full time anonymous propiganda artists to really disrupt an otherwise sane online forum.

    If you work at MS and don't belive there are any such people doing this, think about this... why would Bill G, or the the people who lie like that tell you?

  • We all know about Project Astroturf... the phony grassroots campaign. This is just another part of it. Who cares now? Microsoft is irrelevent...

    The reason I use Linux now has LESS to do with Windows generally being inferior as an OS, and more do do with a general boycot of the operating system. I think Linux is great, but I suspect for many of us it is MORE work to stay away from Windows that some would admit, and it's mostly because of things like games, drag and drop, and modem support. Thankfully a good old US Robotics external works great, and now the more progressive game developers have woken up and offering Linux ports.

    I wonder is Bill reads Slashdot? Probably not... I wouldn't call him a nerd anyways. Maybe a pirate though.
  • You meet these people on USENET sometimes. A few years back, when Java was brand new and the network was just starting to be commercialized, there was an exodus of people from corporations coming onto USENET to try to sell us their junkware. For example, some guy from Macromedia would tell us we were fools to be writing Java applets when we could be pointing and clicking with Shockwave. I tell him, but you can't make or view Shockwave on Linux and he writes back "There aren't enough people that use Unix for that to be profitable, most people use Windows or the Mac." I tell him, "We might be the only ones, but we use Unix and you can shove Shockwave up your butt."

    Most of these guys could take about a week of abuse and then they'd go back to their hole, where they could put ads in magazines and on TV where the victims of propaganda don't get a chance to shoot back.

    Then Active X came across the land and a lot of people from microsoft.com told us Java programmers that we were real losers to be programming Java applets -- we could be writing Active X controls that take over people's whole screens, use Windows this and Windows that, and everybody will be able to see it because everybody uses Windows. We bitched them out. Then people started talking about the security problem with Active X and they're saying we're full of sh*t. Next we know, some guy writes an Active X control that shuts off your computer. When I posted about that, they say "That's impossible." I said "Go see it for yourself" and that was the last I heard from them.

    I have to hand it to them, those Microsoft PR flaks are hardy -- it took two weeks of abuse for them to run for cover.

    Since then I've seen a lot of pro-Microsoft posts from non-Microsoft addresses that look suspicious, both on USENET and web forums such as Slashdot and ZD Net. I think Rob had better record the IP numbers of all the AC posts; maybe we can catch them in the act, or in the very least, publish the IP numbers of "first post" offendors.

  • Complete with the continuity errors you'd expect of Hollywood....
  • On this particular "Mickey Mouse" comment - I don't think it came from an M$ employee. I have been corresponding with Klaas off and on since he posted his comment.

    He seemed a little misinformed about Linux, but not unreasoning. He drives his IT management decisions not on things going on today, but what he sees happening in five years.

    He has not been rude to my unsolicited e-mails, and has always acknowledged receiving them with a return note of thanks (I have been sending him updates on news articles about corporate growth and support for Linux.)
  • Only when computer products are allowed to compete on the basis of merit -- not judicial intervention -- will real advancements in information technology be made.

    That argument would be worth something if a Microsoft operating system ever competed on merit.

  • There aren't a whole lot of companies that are hiring researchers anymore. MSR is one of the few that is growing. They've attracted hundreds
    of top, noted researchers from industry and academia to work for them. Not all of the research is targeted -- there are MSR employees that will never produce anything tangible for MS -- they can research things that truly interest them rather than having to research towards a particular goal. (I read this in an MSR article in Fortune.) For the researchers who are working towards a goal, they have the satisfaction of knowing that their work will likely be included in a future product. (Yet another MSR article, this time in Computer.) And then there is the fact that MS fosters an incredibly nice environment for its workers (I know I'm a bit spoiled since my internship)...

    Both the Jan 1998 issue of Computer and the Dec 97 (I think) issue of Fortune have very good articles about MSR (as referenced above). They turned alot of my thinking around. I don't agree with a lot of what MS does, but MSR leaves me impressed.

    marijane
    --
  • While faking positive postings is quite clearly wrong, every pro-Microsoft posting can't be dismissed as "astroturf". Some people legitimately believe in Microsoft's position and even their software - which, let's face it, often gets a bum rap just because it's from them. If I worked on software at Microsoft, I'd certainly take to the net to defend it, even if I had to use a pseudonym to avoid looking like a company spokesthing. What, you mean other people are allowed to use pseudonyms but Microsoft advocates aren't?

    Hell, if I was Bill Gates, I'd be all over places like this. You don't like my OS, nerd-boy? Spanq me. (Well, maybe not like that, but it would be nice to see him out here with the geeks mixing in.)
  • Let's see, in the last 6 months or so I've read stories about Microsoft allegedly:
    1. rigging a survey [cnnfn.com],
    2. faking video evidence in court [techserver.com],
    3. using cash reserves to affect profits, then firing the internal auditor that questioned it [seattletimes.com],
    4. mounting a bogus grassroots PR marketing campaign [detnews.com]

      The actions of a desperate company? An overly arrogant company?

      Or both?

  • That one still baffles me, because I always ask the question - in what human context is the error that this program has performed illegal?

    It might be in Redmond, WA, but it sure wouldn't be in Australia, where we have different laws entirely.

    Someone should give the boys and girls a Microsoft a copy of "Tog on Interface".
  • Well, I run the MacOS on my client machines and Linux on the servers (headless servers, too).

    I consider myself a Linux person, but I can't say I'm prone to having to deal with non-scalable fonts of a lack of anti-aliasing. Heck, you Microsoft boys even stole that from Apple...
  • Dear sir,

    The saddest part of your story is when you make the comment that the needs of the newbie are sometimes (always?) placed ahead of the technologically influential.

    What is sad about this is that you appear to think producing for both audiences is a mutually exclusive proposition.

    The example I cite to prove that it is not is Apple Computer's Mac OS. It endears itself to the beginner yet has enough tweaks in it for the experienced graphic designer or Quark operator to be able to produce just about every ad in mainstream media around the world today.

    With a mindset such as that which you appear to have, it's no surprise at all that people who appreciate quality in their software bash Microsoft in public forums such as this any every opportunity that arises, misguided and as hate-filled as the term "bashing" might imply.

    Linux may not be a true competitor to your operating systems and products at this time, but with the technologically influential already catered for in Linux, I believe you face a much harder task scaling up your newbie product to suit for the technologically influential than we will have scaling down for the newbie.

    I look forward to your response,

    Grant Bayley
  • You're not addressing the technically stupid here. A majority of the readers ala Linux users of Slashdot have not yet been users of MS-Life-For-Dummies 2000 (TM) where all computer users worship the "Magic" that the "wizards" at microsoft must have used to develop such "Awesome" applications and OSs.

    Give me a break. M$ innovates nothing. GREAT IDEA GUYS!!! Let's put NT, a single user OS on NETWORKS!! Whoever thought that one up should be a comedian....

    Get with it M$ apologists.. you are so pathetically easy to see through...posting on slashdot does not make you a member of the Linux community any more than being a member of MSN makes you a web-geek. Some of us program because we truly enjoy it. It also happens to be a job for many of us. Not the other way around. It's possible to make a damn fine living and still take pride in your work.

    M$ is pathetic. Faking videos, arrogantly walking around saying "Linux is a hobbiests OS" But when you need a scapegoat... "Linux is feature rich, developed by a vast army of programmers" Which is it? Again your stuck for words...

    M$ is going down....maybe they should just stick to marketing and get out of OSs all together because they are a walking disaster.

    It's just amazing how such a brain-dead organization get's publications ala ZD-Net to print their scoop. No one in IT takes ZD Net seriously anymore.... like I said M$...stick to marketing....it's what you do best anyway.


    Nick
    LSG

  • Linux companies are usually short of money, but in their unlimited benevolence MS lawyers have taken over the position of the Linux Marketing Department.

    Out of their sincere love for technological superiority they actively promote Linux as a better alternative and immense competition to Windows, in court and in the media.

    Definitely, they just want the best for the customer...
  • This is a very common practice for them. Over in comp.lang.java.advocacy, take a look at the pro-MS posters' NNTP-Posting-Host header - it's VERY often msn.net (even though nobody else on the planet uses it) or microsoft.com.

    They do the same thing in the OS/2 newsgroups. And the Linux newsgroups. And anywhere else they feel threatened.

    Redmond. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

  • No sir, this is not a joke. We are talking about the most dangerous terrorist organization ever lived. Landscape is littered by people whose careers and businesses have been destroyed and have been reduced to the final acceptance state a la 1984 by George Orwell. If you can't see the parallel, you are either too young or too ignorant, or a Microsoft employee.
  • Ahahaheheheheh....
    eheh...
    Tell me another one.
  • I invite you all to visit The Microsoft Hall of Innovation [vcnet.com].

    If I may quote the author, "Certainly, Microsoft holds scores of patents and copyrights but we'd like to know which products or basic technologies we use can be credited to the big brains in Redmond. This is a prime opportunity for Microsoft defenders to provide some evidence for the company's original contributions to the industry, because frankly, we're at a loss to think of a single one."

    Currently the only nominations that have cleared the debunking process are :

    • Microsoft BOB
    • The Talking Paper Clip
    Rejected nominations are:
    • The Tabbed Window View
    • ClearType
    • VFAT Filing System
    • Hypertext Help
    • Word for DOS
    • CD-ROM Autorun
    • Auto/hiding taskbar
    • Excel/Multiplan
    • QBASIC engine

    For more details on why a nomination was rejected, and/or if you can suggest any nominations or rebuttals for TMHOI, please submit them to Hall of Innovation [mailto].

    Quote Du Jour
    "We have increased our prices over the last 10 years [while] other component prices have come down and continue to come down."
    JOACHIM KEMPIN, Microsoft Senior Vice President

  • How do you have time to post? Doesn't M$ keep you busy trying to debug their shit?
  • The Internet
    oh, you mean the ARPA internet created back in the late 1970's, designed around large mainframes? m$ i think not.

    The Mouse
    the mouse was out before they had them for pc's. again, no m$ here.

    The Web Browser
    netscape? mosaic? i'd heard of them before i'd heard of explorer (er, exploder).

    GUI
    there were other gui's before WinDick (tm).
    macos, and there was one before that, i don't remember what it was called.

    Hypertext
    here we go back to the internet.

    Basic
    perhaps... just perhaps...

    TCP/IP
    look up at the top. micro$oft's protocol is netbeui.

    DOS
    disk operating system? blecht. although i know there was something before it... cp/m wasn't it? or something like that...

    so all WHAT that m$ has given us? stuff we already had?
  • hahahahahaha.

    Call me when MS actually _creates_ anything.
  • There is a name for people who do for money what is against their ethics--and it's not a pretty name.
  • I hate MS as much as the next guy, as my Linux box with a near triple digit day uptime can attest to. But this crap is going a little too far. Some person posts a message on a ZDNET forum and they write an article about it? Sheeit. Don't you guys have anything better to do with your lives than attack Microsoft? Wouldn't your energy be better put to use improving or creating free solutions? Do you think Linux would exist if all Linus had done was sit on Solaris and say things like "Anyone who claims to like Windows more than Unix must be a Microsoft employee"?

    Jeez, I hope that the Linux community isn't turning into the hype machine that every single thing referred to as a "scene" has.

  • We're talking about capitalistic innovation here. If you've got a nice cooshy stable job with MS, what motivates you to break any new ground. At the very least, the majority of whatever profits you make go in to MS's coffers. Furthermore, innovation is more than mere invention. It requires a certain commitment of time and resources to fully develop it. Despite popular opinion, large companies main problem is not that lack of invention, but the unwillingness to pursue a good idea to its ends. Take Xerox for example, they broke a great deal of ground in technologies that we take for granted today. The problem was that they were unwilling to divert resources into any of the projects. In the case of MS, what reason do they have to innovate. They are an effective monopoly, and its alot cheaper to just bully the competition when a superior product comes along.
  • The sad thing is that those idiots have the influence and the cash reserves to hire a bunch of smart people (not too many), shield them from the marketing robots, and have 'em develop an operating system that's genuinely GOOD -- I mean something as new and interesting as BeOS or whatever. They could make the application support happen, they could make the OEM support happen, they could pay off the trade press to kiss the new beast's ass until it developed its own momentum, they could astroturf it to the high heavens.

    It's maddening; they're in a position where they could do something really worthwhile, instead of all this bullshit that they keep churning out year after year. Why don't they? There must be absolutely nobody there with any authority at all who has even a trace of integrity or simple decency. They sit on top of an enormous potential to create, and they choose instead to destroy. I'm tempted to start using loaded words like "monstrous", "degraded", "immoral", and whatnot . . . slingin' mud proves nothing, of course, but by my own (admittedly off-center) standards, there's something badly wrong between an awful lot of ears over there in Redmond.

    Are they really dumb enough to think they're NOT ripping people off? Now *that* is scary.

  • M$ is not alone in pushing their current product line rather than developing a competitive product, because they are more profitable in the short term that way.

    I think you hit it right on the head: These people don't really give a flying fuck about software. They'd be equally happy selling rocks or laundry detergent, just as long as they got to squash competitors and thereby make themselves feel manly (or whatever it is that motivates suits -- i guess money is probably a big part of it, but then again, after a certain point the numbers become meaningless).

    I'm thinking, "gee, if I had pockets that deep and a lot of influence in the software industry, what cool things would I do with it?", while they're thinking, "how do we take what we've got and squeeze more dollars out of people this quarter than we did last quarter". They have very different goals and values than I have. (If I sound arrogant, well, fuck it -- they think their mindless animalistic greed and lack of imagination, ethics, and self-respect makes them superior to people like me, so I'm equally (un?)justified in feeling superior to them! :)


    I have worked at other companies that actively suppressed technologically superior products by any means necessary. This includes tactics such as buying the company that developed the new technology just to keep the new product off the market. I have seen this first hand.

    Well, sure, they're gonna whack competitors. That's unpleasant, but at least it makes some kind of sense.

  • What we must all remember is that Bill G. calls the shots. The company can become anything, but it's Bill's "vision" that drives them now. So, the founders are getting up there in age now (mid 40's), and with the money they have, they could easily retire in 10 years or so. Since all the founders are the same age, the new people taking over the captains chair might have a new vision--a more open vision. That is the key. Microsoft is an amazing company. It's the leadership that defines it, however. If that changes, Microsoft could turn on it's heals in a day.

    (Of course that all assumes a Bill-wannabe doesn't take over... :-)
  • It must be a spoofed address! I bet this is the same rogue who secretly spliced the video at the trial to thwart MS's defense strategy and make them look bad in the eyes of the judge...the scoundrel!
  • Hi,

    I'm a program manager in developer tools at Microsoft, and while I obviously can't speak for the whole company, I can say that I've experienced absolutely *nothing* like that here.

    Some slashdotters have legitimate criticisms of Microsoft -- but that sort of behavior would definitely not be endorsed or even condoned.

    I'm an avid Linux user (both here and at home) and I feel that I'm a part of the slashdot community, but sometimes I have to wonder if the anti-Microsoft sentiment is taken a little to far.

    On occasion, I have to take what some of you say personally, and that sucks. Those who know me from the slashdot IRC know that I'm an alright guy who loves technology and innovation. And I can tell you that if I felt that Microsoft was up to half the shit that is suggested on slashdot, I wouldn't work here.

    Anyway, just felt the need to post.
  • Makes me wish I logged anonymous coward activity so that I could find out how much is coming from tide*.microsoft.com.

    Oh, really? Couldn't you just do this:

    SELECT cid, host_name FROM comments WHERE name="Anonymous Coward"
    WHERE sid IN (SELECT sid FROM articles WHERE tid="microsoft");


    The actual value of tid may not be microsoft, and MySQL won't do sub-selects, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out from your schemas.
    # MySQL dump 4.0
    #
    # Host: localhost Database: slashdot
    #------------------------------------------------- -------

    #
    # Table structure for table 'comments'
    #
    CREATE TABLE comments (
    sid varchar(30) DEFAULT '' NOT NULL,
    cid int(15) DEFAULT '0' NOT NULL,
    pid int(15) DEFAULT '0' NOT NULL,
    date datetime,
    name varchar(50) DEFAULT '' NOT NULL,
    email varchar(50),
    host_name varchar(50),
    url varchar(50),
    rank int(1),
    subject varchar(50) DEFAULT '' NOT NULL,
    comment text DEFAULT '' NOT NULL,
    pending int(1) DEFAULT '0',
    PRIMARY KEY (sid,cid)
    );

    Then, for the lazy, grep for microsoft, if that's all you're really interested in.

  • it's obvious from the Slashdot code and the schemas that he can do this with little effort. He could this retroactively for several months if he wanted to. So why is he saying otherwise?

    I'm certainly NOT saying he SHOULD do anything like this. Far from it. I'm saying, his source tarball makes it obvious that he COULD do this, so what's with the "I wish..." baloney?

    No need to trust me, just click that little code link on the left side of your screen.

  • by ddt (14627)
    Well-written, informative, and genuine. Thanks
    for posting. We don't get much of a glimpse into the guts of Microsoft.

    =-ddt->
  • At least you know microsoft is predictable. A predictable enemy is a dead enemy.
  • by yAm (15181)
    Oh yeah, I forgot:

    insmod -fkv humor.o

  • Anyone else find it amusing that it seems that there are more "ordinary" people pretending to be Microsoft employees in their posts here than vice-versa?

  • I wouldn't at all be surprised if MS tried a trick like this. We've already seen AstroTurf and the fadese with the faked video in court, this is no different.

    They probably wouldn't risk it just now though, the chanse of something like this leaking would be large.

    Still, I found it hard to believe they'd actually go fake a video and show it to the courts too... They're silly enough that it _may_ actually be true.
  • These sort of fake rumors are exactly the reason we need to keep the government from interfering with innovation in the computer industry.

    The government interfering with Microsoft will do nothing to interfere with innovation in the computer industry. Microsoft has done almost no innovation. They copies and takes credit for other companies innovations. They don't even steal from the original innovators in a lot of cases, they clone clones. Even if this instance is fake, it is widely known that Microsoft has used, and likely will continue to use the practice of Astroturf.

    Only when computer products are allowed to compete on the basis of merit -- not judicial intervention -- will real advancements in information technology be made.

    Microsoft's products compete based on advertising, name recognition, exclusionary contracts and bundling practices more than technical merits.

  • Yes, Microsoft is guilty of buying companies and rights to products.

    But many of the people who built the products joined Microsoft. They did not drop their "innovator" title when they joined Microsoft.


    The question is did they keep innovating after they joined Microsoft, if not, then their title changed to former innovator.

    And let's look at the innovative aspects of IE like DHTML. Does Spyglass of DHTML? I don't think so. I think Microsoft invented that one.

    Except that most of the concept of CSS is taken from prior art such as SGML and the other main aspect of DHTML is JavaScript, which was innovated by Netscape and cloned (JScript) by Microsoft. Cloning is another non-innovative Microsoft technique.

  • The last MS product that I actually liked was XENIX,

    Yikes. XENIX was a buggy port of Version 7 UNIX saddled with the crappy Lattice compiler. Not even really a Microsoft product.

  • Yikes. XENIX was a buggy port of Version 7 UNIX saddled with the crappy Lattice compiler. Not even really a Microsoft product.

    Yeah, yeah. But XENIX (on a crappy 286) and SCO XENIX (on a less-crappy 386) were my first Unixen; I have a soft spot for it. Plus I was trying (hard) to say something nice about MS; it's "Be Kind to Ruthless Monopolies" Day - didn't you get the memo?


    My first UN*X was 4.2 BSD on a VAX-11/780. When I saw XENIX on a 286 a little later than that, I was less than impressed, particularly when I was trying to port code written for BSD to the crappy Lattice supplied compiler on XENIX.

    I suppose if it was the first thing you ever saw it might not seem so bad, but compared to BSD, it was pretty wretched.

    Few have ever accused me of being nice.

  • Boy I'd like to kick your ass.
  • Unfortunately, the C-64 BASIC interpreter (which was essentially the OS) *was* published by Micro$oft. That it fit into 16k of ROM makes evident the sad state of M$ software now.
  • Wow! What goes around, just keeps going around!

    Back when OS/2 was still going strong, somebody started comparing the times that messages from ms.com were being posted, and found that they were during business hours. They stopped soon afterwards, but started again from other ISPs. It took some doing, but the story broke that many of those messages were from blocks of accounts that MS had bought.

    The jist of this is that MS & its employees will stop at nothing to destroy anything and anyone they deem to be a threat to their plans.

    They've done it before, and their morals are still in the same gutter, you may presume that they'll do it again.

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