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Microsoft

MS Struggles to Discredit Linux 723

PrimeNumber writes "The Register has this interesting story about a supposedly "leaked" email from Microsoft Windows division VP Brian Valentine. Although half of it is admittedly suit/rah rah speak, the interesting nuggets mention use of Microsofts "Sun and Linux insiders"." The whole email is pretty funny actually.
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MS Struggles to Discredit Linux

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  • the PS of his email says it all --

    if you think I am not tracking this message, think again

    makes me wonder about WinXP's calling home.....
    • I think it's more likely that he's put a check on the MS Exchange servers to catch any copies of that mail that get forwarded. Not exactly foolproof, but better than nothing...
    • by angelo ( 21182 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @01:41PM (#2774567) Homepage
      Perhaps they should ban the cut and paste buffers if they want to prevent this sort of thing.
    • PS: I used to run Exchange -- so if you think I am not tracking this message, think again. Don't forward it! And if you have forward rules that have forwarded this message, then perhaps you should think again about forwarding internal email with those rules. I want to give you folks all the information I can in a very open way. If we continue to have bad apples or careless people out there, I will not be able to help you by sending this kind of information!

      This reads a lot like 'Our Company is great and wonderful! Anyone who says different will be punished!'

      Seriously, with this kind of mentality, its a wonder that more emails of this nature are not leaked.
      • For those of you who don't know, the best way to get around Exchange's ability to track this sort of mail is a simple 'cut and paste' operation into a non-MS mail client.

        I beleive that in most Exchange installations, you can also pop mail with any given non-MS pop client, Eudora, MozMail, Elm, Pine, or even Hotmail.
      • Remarkably, he apparently thought nobody at Microsoft was smart enough to save the message as a text file ("Well, I'll be darned, Outlook CAN do that...."). Or just print the darned thing, sneak it out of the building (in your sneakers, of course), and OCR it from home.
    • WindowsXP AntiSpy [xp-antispy.de] software works pretty well. Anyone running windows xp might want to check out all the various ways ms "phones home".
  • Seems to me... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ChadAmberg ( 460099 )
    The tone of the message seems to suggest that he knew it possibly would be leaked. The wording seems to carefully step around anything suggesting Linux is evil, but suggests that he considers Linux the alternate operating system competitor that it is, sort of like Coke vs. Pepsi...
  • Discredit? (Score:3, Informative)

    by EnglishTim ( 9662 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @01:38PM (#2774541)
    Discredit seems a bit harsh. He just seems to be encouraging his peons to try and make sure that they beat Linux to the punch when they're dealing with their corporate customers, especially when those customers are looking at getting rid of their specialist UNIX systems in favour of PC-based stuff.

    He does imply that Windows beats Linux in all corners, but a guy's allowed an opinion, especially when he's trying to rally the troops... ;)
  • I hope people out there are not actually going to believe this. Please read the letter first and then think about it.
    • by rseuhs ( 322520 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @03:46PM (#2775301)
      I hope people out there are not actually going to believe this. Please read the letter first and then think about it.

      When I first saw the Ballmer video, I thought to myself:

      "Wow, that has been professionally faked." - I did not believe it was true for a long time.

      I don't see anything in this email that beats Big Boss Ballmer in childishness, sorry.

      And usually the big boss is acting more professional than the smaller execs, so maybe this email just sounds too professional to be true.

      Maybe the real emails go like this:

      Give it up for me!
      IIIII LLLLLLOOOOVVVVEEE TTTHHHHIIIISSSS COMPANY
      Yeah!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    the site already seemed pretty darn slow so:

    What's cheaper than an OS you can buy outright once and install on every PC in your shop -- and upgrade cost-free for eternity to boot? Why, a slew of cheesy licenses for Microsoft Windows, 'Doze Division VP Brian Valentine claims in his latest cheerleading effort for his sales associates.

    That's right; a putatively independent analysis by 'we'll-conclude-anything' whores DH Brown is going to rip Linux a new one and find that Windows is actually cheaper. How Valentine knows this is anyone's guess. Perhaps he has a mole in the Brown organization as good as the one we have in his. Or perhaps MS simply paid for it. We don't know.

    It also appears that MS has bought off a number of Linux/Sun 'insiders' whose job it will be to explain to the sales team how to pitch the illusory advantages of Windows to unsuspecting IT managers. "Dumber people can run Windows" is the best advert I personally can come up with, though this is without the benefit of expensive analysts and turncoat 'insiders' to feed me intriguing tidbits.

    But let's let Valentine tell it in his own words:

    From: Brian Valentine
    Sent: Wed 12/26/2001 7:14 PM
    To: WW Sales, Marketing & Services Group
    Subject: Me again -- Linux updates

    Microsoft Confidential -- Do not print, copy or forward this email and do not share this email with anyone out side the company. For internal use only!

    Now that the whole world knows we are taking Linux seriously based on the leak of my last email... Wait -- stop there -- since when did they think we weren't taking them serious?!? Did they think we are not going to build the best products possible? Did they think we were going to just be fat, dumb and happy and not continue to win business? Did they think we were going to forget about taking care of our customers??? NO!

    Who do they think we are? We have the best d*mn sales force in the world backed by the best engineers in the world -- of course we will take any non-Windows OS serious. The thing about the leak that made me mad was not that we would legitimize Linux, etc. it's good in some places, we are better, and it's not very good in other places and we are much better. but they are a competitor and we will compete. What made me mad was that my friends -- some of you and some of our customer's names where in that email and then available for all to see on the web. That made me mad. I want you selling and supporting our products -- not having to take random calls, emails, etc from the press and others and I know what out customers share with us is in confidence that we will keep it internal. I have no problem any random Linux person sending me hate mail, junk mail, adding my email address to every list server out there, you name it -- that comes with the job, but I don't want my friends to have to deal with the same junk.

    Ok, Ok, enough of that. On to some new things we are doing for you around Linux.

    Linux is out there in some of your accounts and you may not know it. The ground up nature of how Linux is introduced into our accounts means that we need to modify our traditional approaches of finding out about Linux in our customer base. We have to be more hands on and dig deeper in your accounts!

    Many Linux projects in CAS and Depth accounts happen below the IT Manager/BDM level. It's crucial that you get out there with your TSP/SE/MCS folks and do actual walkthroughs in your accounts. Ask open ended questions; find out what they're evaluating for both key projects as well as smaller, more tactical projects. Ask about the 'connector' pieces -- you'll potentially find Linux in these areas. This is a great way to not only find out about Linux, but also other IT projects that may include Novell, Sun, Oracle, and other competitors! If you are struggling with how to do this, then do the simple exercise of walking through you accounts data centers and when you see a Sun or IBM machine, ask what it's used for, if you see some strange servers you don't what they are doing -- ask what is running on them and take notes. I would like to challenge each of you to have these conversations with your customer as soon as you can. Oh -- and you can bet anyplace IBM is talking to your accounts, they are saying Linux and switching to higher end non-pc systems. With the current economic times we are living in, just about every customer is looking into how they can get rid of those over-priced, legacy Unix systems and ride the PC economics wave. We need to be there when they are making these decisions and prove to them the Windows platform is the best platform for them across any aspect of their business.

    I want you to know just how seriously we're taking Linux here in Redmond. We're investing major efforts in creating easier processes and resources for you.

    I. To start, we have expanded the in-field Linux Competitive Champ program and renamed it "Linux Insiders". Like the other TSP Champs programs, it has been changed to use the new TSP role-based database and will be ready to roll out with its new name at the Envision event in January. It is up to each regional TSP manager to select or assign each member; therefore, anyone wishing to become an Insider should see their manager to be signed up. Much like the support "communities" that define the Linux experience, the FCS team will strive to build a community to cooperate in winning business against Linux. By building a virtual team of field staff and corporate resources, we will enable the field to have one place to go for communication and competitive information. The Linux Insiders will have access to a centralized web site where personnel can request help, route issues, and share best practices that the entire field can leverage. This site, a restricted sub-set of the http://infoweb/linux site, will be accessible by all "Insiders," for items such as SLT reviews, web-casts, notes from conference calls and other sensitive information. If you have questions about the Insiders program, please email Kelly File of the FCS
    team at mailto:kellyfi.

    II. Second, I'd like to announce the new Linux/UNIX escalation process that is being headed up by [MS Enterprise & Partner Group VP] Charles Stevens' organization. Here's how it works:

    a. First, make sure you check out the latest additions to the Web sites: http://infoweb/linux and http://infoweb/sundown.

    b. If you can't find what you need there, involve your local expert: the district Linux or Sun Insider (TSPs with Linux and/or Sun competitive responsibilities). These Insiders have the expertise and the resources to help you win. You can find your local Insider on the web sites.

    c. If you still need help for Global, Strategic and Major accounts, the Linux/Sun Insiders (or your GM) can escalate the issue to the new corporate Linux/Unix Escalation Team. Let me emphasize that you need to work with your local Insider or your GM because they have direct access to this escalation team. The team is committed to provide an initial response within one working day. These guys have in-depth UNIX industry backgrounds and have been winning against UNIX and Linux. The product development organization will be working closely with this team to make sure you have all the resources you need.

    III. Finally, we're working hard to debunk the myths around Linux. We're approaching this in waves.

    a. The first wave will attack the perception that Linux is free. To that effect, we'll have an independent analysis commissioned by DH Brown looking at a very popular topic these days -- server consolidation. If you're not seeing this yet, you probably will. IBM is proposing to use Mainframes running many virtual instances of Linux as a low cost server consolidation scenario for file and print, messaging, and database activities. The DH Brown report will be customer ready and will help your customer understand just how competitive Microsoft is in this arena.

    b. The second wave will be a full blown cost analysis comparison case study between Linux and Windows in a variety of usage scenarios (web, file and print, etc.) done independently by the analysts for us. ETA for this tool is in May and it will be a great tool to help you sell the value of Windows solutions over Linux. If you have any questions on this study, please email the mailto:lnxteam alias.

    You can expect us to turn up the volume on winning against Linux, as well as IBM. There is some great cross team work between PMG, SMG, and CMG marketing groups to ensure we're addressing your needs and believe me, that feedback goes directly to me and the senior leadership team so we can build better products to help you win against Linux!

    Thanks,

    Brian

    Microsoft Confidential -- Do not print, copy or forward this email and do not share this email with anyone out side the company. For internal use only!

    PS: I used to run Exchange -- so if you think I am not tracking this message, think again. Don't forward it! And if you have forward rules that have forwarded this message, then perhaps you should think again about forwarding internal email with those rules. I want to give you folks all the information I can in a very open way. If we continue to have bad apples or careless people out there, I will not be able to help you by sending this kind of information!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Slashbot Fun Time Frolics
    Simply copy n' paste your favourite expression into a post!
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    • "My professor said I should be using emacs..."
    • "My professor said I should be using vi..."
    • "It's sooo easy to port this application, why hasn't anyone done it yet? I would, but I'm too busy working on the kernel and choosing new Transformers wallpaper..."
    • "If everyone was as talented a coder as me, we'd have beaten Microsoft by now!"
    • "I don't care if Windows Ultra has no bugs or security flaws whatsoever, it's still worse than Linux."
    • "Chyeah! Right! If it was a business requirement to use Java, they should have refused to do the project!"
    • "Of course I don't use Internet Explorer. I only use it when I'm forced to, like at the office, and at school, and at home..."
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    • "I've always wanted a Japanese girlfriend so I can understand my non-dubbed/subbed anime collection..."
    • "Uh! That's is such a rip off of Communication OS from Serial Experiments Lain!"
    • "Why didn't Alan ask Linus about the VM? I like being on first name basis with my heroes."
    • "Everyone on IRC told me Enterprise was crap. I watched it, loved it, and then told everyone I met that it was crap."
    • "The government is taking away my rights! This is so like '1984'!"
    • "I'm reading the preface to C for Dummies and my head already hurts..."
    • "But real programmers use a CLI! Anybody who doesn't use a Common Library Injector should have got a degree like me!"
    • "I'm going to code my Gamecube emulator in C, but even though I have only ever used Visual Basic Learning Edition, it should be a one banana problem and ready in the next few days."
    • "I hardly think you can call me a fashion victim - I been encoding to ogg since 1994"
    • "But I'm taking Computer Science at university; You WILL respect my opinion! I am the law!"
    • "I may have only just graduated, and may still be looking for work, but I've got more experience than you with your '20 years of coding'!! Get A BS!"
    • "I asked Neff if they would Open Source the code to my microwave, but they told me it was proprietary..."
    • "I know Ada, Fortran, Cobol, C, C++, Java, HTML, Perl and RPG.... Oh, I thought you meant know *of* them..."
    NickTheGreek, London
    The traffik's blaadhy murder, but then that's part a' the charm, aint't it?!
  • Maybe it's just me (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Wind_Walker ( 83965 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @01:39PM (#2774552) Homepage Journal
    Maybe it's just me, but I always react with skepticism whenever an "anonymous source" leaks a "classified document" to the public. For all we know, this e-mail was written up by Mark Jabroni from Nowhere, TX.

    What especially rings my "hoax/troll bell" is the last couple of lines about the message being "Microsoft Confidential" and how he can track any and all forwards. Give me a break.

    This article is complete bull. Nobody will ever be able to convince me otherwise. It was written by a well-intentioned Linux advocate and sent to The Register because it would give the people of Slashdot a reason to cheer.

    Nothing to see here, folks. These are not the e-mails you're looking for. Move along.

    • Tracking forwards (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wiredog ( 43288 )
      Not hard to do, assuming clueless users. Just write it in HTML and embed a web bug. Every time the message is opened in Outlook (or Kmail) it sends a message home.
      • Yeah, you're right, if you assume clueless users. I mean, it would be a pretty simple matter to monitor the outgoing mail through their Exchange server, and just catch keywords...

        On the other hand, why not just print it out (or copy it down by hand), take it home, and mail it out from a home dial-up account?

        This whole thing was a hoax, plain and simple. And the Slashdot editors (and a large percentage of Slashdot readers) bought it hook, line, and sinker.

    • and how he can track any and all forwards.

      I'm sure that within the company it is very easy to see what is sent external and by whom.

      However, I think I remember reading this somewhere else before...and it does seem like a hoax.
    • by Proaxiom ( 544639 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @01:52PM (#2774636)
      how he can track any and all forwards. Give me a break.

      Actually you can. All the company e-mail is on Exchange Servers, and so anybody within the company forwarding it would be using those servers, and the admins can see it.

      He mentioned the problem with auto-forwarding, because if it gets forwarded once then they can no longer track it. Once it's off the company network it is out of view.

      Of course anyone can just as easily copy and paste the text into a web browser and send it from a Hotmail account, but security based on futile half-measures just makes me think this must be authentic Microsoft.

      Anyway, it is addressed to Microsoft Sales and Marketing people, who probably know none of the above. They would most likely take whatever the guy says at face value.

      • You're right (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Wind_Walker ( 83965 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @02:02PM (#2774719) Homepage Journal
        I admitted in this thread that it would be pretty easy to "leak" the e-mail (if nothing else, good old pen-and-paper works great!) but it's just that I'm always skeptical of anything from "anonymous sources". And yeah, you could track things going through the central Exchange server, with a pretty simple mechanism. But still...

        I think you're right; it was used as a scare tactic towards the clueless non-tech people who don't necessarily have the technical background to filter out the hype from the truth.

        Back to my original point, I still think it's a hoax. Maybe it's just my cynicism shining through, but I can't believe that Microsoft is really focusing that much attention on Linux. The hype surrounding Linux in the media has died down, Linux companies are going Chapter 11 left and right... Unless the Xbox is more of a flop than I anticipated, I can't believe Microsoft is that concerned with Linux. I could be wrong, though...

        • Re:You're right (Score:5, Insightful)

          by iceT ( 68610 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @03:14PM (#2775105)
          I think your comment may be a bit short sited.

          Sure. People jumped on the LINUX bandwagon way before they market was ready to accept it, and that means that companies will fold.... especially if they're dedicated to the task.

          The possible exception to this is RedHat. But you also have to look at the stuff that RH has done. They've been partnering up the wah-zoo. Dell server preloads are ONLY RedHat. Most of RH's announcements recently have been in the 'big' arena: big databases, big support. Big.

          Lastly, Redhat is working to make a zSeries port for IBM.

          And those three letters are probably what Microsoft fears more than Linux itself: a LARGE scale vendor dishing up LINUX. If large companies use LINUX with their consolidated servers, then it's going to be an easy/easier push down to smaller/dedicated servers.

          IBM has the cash that LINUX needs to get accepted... PLUS, there are datacenters full of mainframes with support people that love them. If LINUX let's them keep them longer, They'll embrace it.

          Is this letter real? Maybe, maybe not. Based on meetings I've had w/ MS/Redmond people (part of a corporate trip with a fortune 10 company)... it sure sounds exactly like the attitude I've seen from all the employees I've met (including Balmer himself). There's big ego's, big attitudes, and big expectations. Relentless doesn't even BEGIN to describe these guys...

          It very well could be real..
        • Re:You're right (Score:3, Interesting)

          by PD ( 9577 )
          Linux is making serious inroads into corporations. I have personally worked on Linux solutions for companies that you have definitely heard of, and which run a lot of machines. One of those companies has retail stores in every city of the US, and many overseas. Each store has multiple registers and back office systems. All of them are going to be running Linux within the next couple years.

          The other company is in the financial industry. You'd think that they have all the money in the world, but they too are implementing Linux solutions in an effort to save money. They took this step SPECIFICALLY based on Amazon's experience with Linux: it saved them a dump truck full of money.

          So that's why Microsoft is concerned. The hype is definitely gone. Reality has set in, and Linux is kicking ass.
        • Re:You're right (Score:5, Insightful)

          by dhogaza ( 64507 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @03:34PM (#2775220) Homepage
          IBM is peppering every NFL game with their "The Heist" Linux ad. This ad is selling EXACTLY the server consolidation message the e-mail you so swiftly proclaim to be a hoax addresses.

          The e-mail message mentions names IBM specifically. The last time I looked IBM did not fall into the category of "Linux companies going Chapter 11 left and right".

          And the "escalation center" rings like it could be true, too. They're not fighting Debian - they're fighting IBM. IBM is clearly targetting MS in its current marketing campaign, so MS taking specific steps to counter them makes fine sense.

          Now ... it may be a hoax. But not for any of the reasons you mention.
        • Re:You're right (Score:4, Insightful)

          by rseuhs ( 322520 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @03:57PM (#2775370)
          Back to my original point, I still think it's a hoax. Maybe it's just my cynicism shining through, but I can't believe that Microsoft is really focusing that much attention on Linux. The hype surrounding Linux in the media has died down, Linux companies are going Chapter 11 left and right... Unless the Xbox is more of a flop than I anticipated, I can't believe Microsoft is that concerned with Linux. I could be wrong, though...

          Microsoft is scared because they look at the big picture:

          Why did the DOS-PC win against Apple although Apple owned the desktop? Certainly not because DOS was easier than MacOS.

          Because it was 20% to 30% cheaper.

          10 years ago, DOS made up 1 to 2% of the total system price, now Windows alone makes up 10 to 20%.

          With hardware-prices becoming cheaper and Windows staying the same or even rising, Linux-systems become a lot cheaper compared to Windows-systems.

        • Re:You're right (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Chris Burke ( 6130 )
          If you look at the corporate battle field and all you see lying in the rubble left by the economic decline is Linux companies... You must be wearing some special penguin-shaped blinders.

          It is true that Linux companies are going Chapter 11. But so are companies doing anything else. The point isn't that this is happening now, the point is that when the economy recovers, those companies that survived are going to be stronger. And that includes Linux companies.

          Not to mention that recessions are the time when managers take a look at their balance sheet and ask themselves how to save money, and the line on their balance sheet labeled "Windows Licenses" is going to start looking like a tempting target.
        • Linux Hype (Score:3, Insightful)

          The media hype surrounding Linux may have died with the various high-profile linux company's stock prices but that doesn't mean Linux has stopped making inroads.

          An example of this would be Java. When Sun released it everyone was shouting Java this and Java that and how it would change the world yada yada yada. Sound familiar? Well Java news has been pretty slim in the non-geek world (or at least from what I've seen.) However, Java has been making big inroads into the back-end systems that don't get much media converage. One might assume Java had gone the way of many a dead language without realizing it's at work behind the scenes and growing.
    • by Otter ( 3800 )
      What especially rings my "hoax/troll bell" is the last couple of lines about the message being "Microsoft Confidential" and how he can track any and all forwards. Give me a break.

      If this is real, the line at the end is a reference to a previous mail about Linux [theregister.co.uk] that was supposedly leaked to the Register and was linked here.

      Nothing to see here, folks.

      I agree with that, but for a different reason. As Valentine says here (supposedly), "Now that the whole world knows we are taking Linux seriously based on the leak of my last email... Wait -- stop there -- since when did they think we weren't taking them serious?!? Did they think we are not going to build the best products possible? Did they think we were going to just be fat, dumb and happy and not continue to win business? Did they think we were going to forget about taking care of our customers??? NO! "

      I don't get why we're supposed to fly into a rage because Microsoft decides that paying attention to customers and giving them what they want for a better price is a good idea. As Linus said a few years ago, "when that happens, we've won."

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I assure you, this email is very real. I work for the company. I am part of the WW Sales group that received his "Me Again - Linux Updates" and the angry email he sent this morning, pissed off about the leak to the Register. It's very real, and it was not leaked intentionally. Neither was the prior email.


    • Maybe it's just me, but I always react with skepticism whenever an "anonymous source" leaks a "classified document" to the public. For all we know, this e-mail was written up by Mark Jabroni from Nowhere, TX.


      Well... that's the nature of the beast, isn't it?


      I've been on the inside of stories hitting various web news outlets before. It lead to some discussion amoung my co-workers, but nobody commented in public... even when such forums were available. What I knew could have shed some interesting light on the story... but it could also have cost my job. You never know how management and/or the legal department (not to mention PR) will react.


      Because of this, its pretty obvious that verifying a source will be difficult. At best, the reporter breaking the story might have some idea of their source. But in this day of less-than-thorough reporting you can hardly expect this. And even if the reporter could be trusted to do some background checking, their job is likely to be difficult. We've seen plenty of legal action recently that should cause any legitimate insider / whistle-blower to hide their true identity.


      Having said all that - I do agree with the overall post. Skepticism is good. We should look at any anonymous source carefully. I remember an April Fools joke from several years ago that took much of this community for a ride simply because the community believed anything put in front of them. But at the same time, we can't immediately dismiss anonymous information simply because of its anonymous nature.



      What especially rings my "hoax/troll bell" is the last couple of lines about the message being "Microsoft Confidential" and how he can track any and all forwards. Give me a break.


      Eh. I don't find this as particularly odd. First, I've seen the "CompanyName Confidential" moniker included in emails from other companies. And the bit about tracking forwards actually rings true. All this "confidential" and "tracking" speak sounds just like the Secret Squirrel games I've seen non-infosec people play. And it works.


      The horrid truth is that even within the most technically advanced organizations... there are still a cadre of very technically limited users. And they tend to be found most often within Sales & Marketing roles (I know, I know... that's a broad brush I'm using. Not every individual in sales fits this. But my experince shows the generality tends to hold true).


      It does not suprise me such wordings would be found in a legitimate internal memo. It would not suprise me if it was fairly effective. And it certainly wouldn't suprise me if there was an individual with the minimal technical understanding to circumvent these precautions / threats.

    • by Jobe_br ( 27348 ) <bdruth.gmail@com> on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @02:36PM (#2774909)

      Anyone looking to see if all those Linux folk are still zealots w/r/t Linux v. Microsoft would only need to measure the response to a story like this. Do you hear that sucking sound? That's the sound of many fine folks wasting their time and energy on bashing Microsoft, their products, their practices, their religions ...

      It doesn't need to be like this, folks. Speak with your wallets, speak with your advice to people who seek out your opinions, speak with your civil rights as a citizen of a free country (whichever country that might be!) Don't buy Microsoft products if they aren't any good or if you have ideological reasons not to (this is always your dime, as people say). If you're asked for your opinion on technology, recommend Open Source products if applicable or products produced by competitors of Microsoft if they are better, or if you have ideological reasons not to recommend Microsoft products. Write your senators, representatives, school board members, and city council members about your opinions. Propose alternatives to Microsoft packaged solutions. Maybe your solution costs less, maybe its more reliable, maybe it just makes the point of not supporting a company found guilty of anticompetitive practices, whatever.

      Summing up: who cares what Microsoft thinks of Linux, don't waste your time on fruitless flames, trolls, op-ed, etc. that merely 'sings to the choir'. Do something that counts or don't do anything at all. Perpetuating the opinion of others, that all folks involved with Open Source are anti-Microsoft zealots doesn't gain us favor in areas that might provide some of us Open Source advocates money in the future. Its all about impressions when dealing with conservative (or even just fiscally minded) executives. A sure thing is always going to be better than the latest underground trend.

      • I dont know if you've noticed, big guy, but slashdot appears to have more microsoft defenders than linux zealots now.

        And besides, microsoft doesn't need your help. They have over $30 billion in the bank. So lets cut this poor microsoft crap, cause they're doing just fine with or without our help or "bashing".
  • or is it? I don't know what to think. At first, I thought "no one would seriously write this" but it turned into "you can't make this stuff up."
  • by MathJMendl ( 144298 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @01:40PM (#2774556) Homepage
    From: Brian Valentine
    Sent: Wed 1/2/2002 1:14 PM
    To: WW Sales, Marketing & Services Group
    Subject: Me again -- Linux updates (part 2)

    Our elite PI squad has managed to break into the linux infrastructure! Now, all their source code base are belong to us! With their source code, we can now see how they do things. This infiltration of linux will let us defeat linux, once and for all, from the inside! All we must do now is figure out what the heck all that code means... We would know already, but Visual Basic wasn't able to open their source code files for some reason.
  • delicious irony. (Score:2, Insightful)

    "Although half of it is admittedly suit/rah rah speak, the interesting nuggets mention use of Microsofts "Sun and Linux insiders"

    hmmm, i wonder how this email was obtained?
  • Does this mean MS is commiting corporate espionage and sabotage against Linux and Solaris? Meaning MS is paying someone to work for Sun and quietly cause problems with Solaris code. Same for Linux - have someone inside Red Hat or even as just any ol' OSS guy causing problems to the Linux kernel. Of course, the Linux kernel is under much more watch than Solaris is.
    • The Insiders that he referred to in the alleged leaked messages were just Microsoft technical staff. They appear to be provided to the Sales force as people who are familiar with competative solutions and can advise the customer on how to replace them with Windows services.

      In reality it seems far less interesting than the insinuation in the headline.
    • I'd guess it means that they've hired some ex-Sun sales engineers and other unix sales people and paid them big piles of money to exaggerate the deficiencies of Sun and Linux systems relative to the strengths of MS systems.
  • Exchange? (Score:3, Funny)

    by bdowne01 ( 30824 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @01:42PM (#2774572) Homepage Journal

    PS: I used to run Exchange -- so if you think I am not tracking this message, think again.


    So what's he running now, Sendmail?? heheh

    What a tard. You can't track if someone cuts and pastes it into a new e-mail. Then again, I guess we *are* talking about MS employees.
    • Re:Exchange? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by morcheeba ( 260908 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @02:06PM (#2774746) Journal
      You can track emails, even if someone prints it out and mails it, rewrites it by hand (with a pencil), or even speaks it over the phone. It's called Steganography, and it hides information by subtly changing the punctiation and spelling [fasterlight.com], or by changing the text (omission or inclusion of various words/sentences). For all we know, the sent line "Sent: Wed 1/2/2002 1:14 PM" indicates that employee #114 leaked the info.

      Incidently, it's just barely 2 pm here the US east coast... sure, this is a worldwide email, but in Redmond it's still 11 am, not 1:14 pm.
  • Okay, who works for the Global Linux Escalation Team? I'm imagining a set of MS techs in Star Wars Stormtrooper gear.

    The sad part is the quote at the end.

    PS: I used to run Exchange -- so if you think I am not tracking this message, think again. Don't forward it! And if you have forward rules that have forwarded this message, then perhaps you should think again about forwarding internal email with those rules. I want to give you folks all the information I can in a very open way. If we continue to have bad apples or careless people out there, I will not be able to help you by sending this kind of information!
  • by christurkel ( 520220 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @01:42PM (#2774577) Homepage Journal
    Puts on bad German accent (like on the one from Hogan's Heroes): "Dear troops. There iz a threat to us out thar called Leeenox. It is insidious; it may be in your very server room right now! Go out! eradicate the Leeenox Scum! Use our informants to bring zee traitors to heel! "If you forward or leek thiz email, you will be summarily sent to the Eastern Front!"
  • To funny (Score:2, Funny)

    by emf ( 68407 )
    "PS: I used to run Exchange -- so if you think I am not tracking this message, think again. Don't forward it! "

    That line would be enough motivation for me to leak that msg.
  • Made to be leaked? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by danielrose ( 460523 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @01:43PM (#2774582) Homepage Journal
    This email looks a lot to me like he wrote it and it was released intentionally as some type of stupid PR thing...
  • by markj02 ( 544487 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @01:44PM (#2774590)
    Linux is out there in some of your accounts and you may not know it. The ground up nature of how Linux is introduced into our accounts [...]

    It's ironic that Microsoft is getting a dose of its own medicine. The IT department (which existed pre-PC) tried to get everybody to use their centrally managed platform, but people just kept buying those darn PCs running Microsoft software.

    Well, that aside, I wouldn't necessarily trust the authenticity of the E-mail. Can Microsoft management be stupid enough to send out mail with big warnings "don't forward this"? Haven't they learned from painful pas experience that if you don't want it to get forwarded, you don't send it by E-mail? At the same time, the content of the E-mail seem in character for Microsoft.

    Most plausible about it is the obsessive need by Microsoft to control the whole market and let no competition appear. And that's exactly why Microsoft needs to be reduced in size: there is nothing wrong with having Microsoft be a big player in the market, but there is a lot wrong with any OS or software vendor being the only significant player in its market segment.

  • OK, so I may not be the biggest fan of Microsoft ever and I certainly limit myself to only administering Windows machines, but I think that DH Brown may have a point in their conclusions. Extremely biased language of The Register aside, I think it would be fair to say that they weren't far off the mark.

    Linux is, after all, an extremely expensive operating system. After all, just look at Hewlett Packard, their Linux distribution sells for $3000 retail. When was the last time you saw a copy of Windows XP (and this is a retail copy, not considering the fact that it comes free with most new machines) for $3000? And think of the support costs! Whereas you can drag just about any MCSE off the street who doesn't drool too much and use him to effectively administer an NT network, you need highly intelligent, qualified people 24/7 in order to maintain a Linux installation. And guess what? They don't grow on trees, enough of you ought to know that; they are expensive. Just as with commercial UNIX, it isn't the initial cost that will break you, it is the ongoing support contracts from the vendor that are the most expensive over time.

    • by coyote-san ( 38515 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @02:16PM (#2774797)
      First off, if you think that the copy of XP that came bundled with your new system is "free" you are an idiot. The OEM paid MS a significant amount of money (the exact amount is never disclosed, but believed to be in the $100-$200 range) and it's passed on to the consumer. Same as the cost of the hard disks, memory, CD or DVD drive, etc.

      But on the main point, your $500 retail copy of XP-server gives you the right to set up a server. But not to use it - that requires a client license. For every service. You want a database? Again, you need a license - and MSSQL is expensive. Plus client licenses. Ditto upgrades to the back office (exchange), IIS, etc.

      I haven't seen price comparisons for XP vs. Linux, but I seem to recall that a Win2K server set up for a reasonably sized workgroup would cost $100k and up by the time you had all necessary licenses. In contrast, that $3000 HP charges for their distribution (which includes their own proprietary tools) is pretty cheap.

      P.S., maybe you can find a NT MCSE who doesn't drool, but other studies have shown that you better have one MCSE for every 5 users or so. Your 100-person workgroup will need 20 MCSEs to keep it working. In contrast, the average load on Unix sysadmins in 20- to 100- users per admin (depending on the shop) - you'll need 2-5 unix admins to support the same workgroup. (You need at least 2 to cover vacations, illness, etc.)

      Assuming each person costs $150k/year (salary, benefits, overhead), the unix shop costs $300k-750k to support. The Windows shop will cost $3 million to support.
      • by jht ( 5006 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @03:13PM (#2775101) Homepage Journal
        Windows isn't cheap to support, but it's a lot cheaper than those figures. I have 150 users here, and we support them with 5 people (myself and 4 staffers). However, of those 5, 1 does primarily applications support (we have a lot of legacy apps) and runs the 2 NetWare servers, and 1 does mostly database work and development. I run the group and work mainly on security. We really have 2 people specializing in NT administration, and we're just fine that way.

        I'd also estimate the per-person dollar figures to be a lot lower than $150k/person/year. I'd say a figure of $100-$110k for a highly-paid NT person (total, not salary) is still high, but closer to reality. The skilled Unix person is more expensive, but you _will_ often need fewer of them. Total cost for most shops is probably somewhat comparable.

        I used to support about 100 Macs pretty easily with 2 people, so that support cost goes even lower...

        Also, I don't know exactly what the OEM cost for Windows is, but I believe that it's typically well under $100 in volume (around $50-$60 or so, typically). XP Pro (NT 4 and 2000 Pro, as well) add a little more to the ticket, but most OEMs typically raise the price $100 from what they'd charge for the "home" OS versions for the pro stuff. At least part of that $100 is profit for the vendor.

        Retail packages of the server OS usually include 5-25 licenses. But that's still pricey, of course. I can say that our Enterprise license pricing (we're part of a group with a bigger company, so we qualify) is very attractive - it includes the server CAL, desktop Windows (any version), and Office Pro. It almost makes Windows worth using ;-)
        • (this is my first ever post)

          I have to agree with you on that. I'm an admin at Leiden University and my part of the network, though small with about 100 computers and ~180 users, would cost about $10000 if we would install W2k and Office on just 25 computers (even though we also have an enterprise agreement going for us).

          This would be all of our requirements as 75% of our desktops run Linux (who said Linux wasn't ready for the desktop? It's been ready for about 2 years now! And these are non-technical users too!).

          We spend about 60% of our time on the 25% Windows computers/users however. So I think I can safely say that both in initial costs and in maintenance Windows is quite a bit more expensive than Linux.
  • by Ars-Fartsica ( 166957 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @01:46PM (#2774601)
    Lets face it, the sustaining force behind this entire community website is Microsoft bashing and unabashed (often unreasoned) linux advocacy. Why shouldn't MS fire back?

    Maybe its a message to the linux community that its time to grow up. Look back at Amiga, Be, and OS2 newsgroups and you'll see the fine tipping point where advocacy gets stifling, annoying, and often leaves only the completely clueless fanboys participating in the discussion at all.

    Personally I'd like to see /. evolve a bit in 2002...beating the linux drum is a useful practice, but a raison d'etre, it does not make.

    • The point isn't that they shouldn't fight, I mean that's what businesses do, we all know that. The point is that yet again Microsoft doesn't fight fair, and they have illegal practices.
    • Personally I'd like to see /. evolve a bit in 2002...beating the linux drum is a useful practice, but a raison d'etre, it does not make.

      Now this interests me, because I think the "bash /." meme is now far more popular than the "bash Microsoft" meme. I just quickly counted the responses to this article and I've estimated a 3:2 ratio of "bash /." to "bash Microsoft".

      I suspect the same holds for other once-popular memes. Whenever there's a BSD article I hear the same rhetoric that "/. is anti BSD" but I have the strongest suspicion that I have seen far more articles about BSD than Linux on /. in recent weeks!

      Even articles that are unrelated to BSD receive a huge share of "BSD does it better" or "BSD did this first" in the talkback sections. I've personally been attacked for daring suggest that the early days of *BSD had their own fair share of bun fighting and political nonsense.

      I strongly believe that /. is full of zealots of all walks of life. I see just as many pro-Microsoft and pro-BSD zealots as I see pro-Linux zealots. It seems the pro-Linux zealots are just being more quiet these days, or at least have been flamed often enough to be less outlandish in their claims.

      Sadly I haven't yet seen the same tempered behaviour from the non-Linux zealots.

  • "...we'll have an independent analysis commissioned by DH Brown..."

    Hahahaha!

    "PS: I used to run Exchange -- so if you think I am not tracking this message, think again."

    Yeah, I wonder how long it will take for MS to release a version of the Exchange client that doesn't allow copying&pasting and screenshots...
    • Yeah, I wonder how long it will take for MS to release a version of the Exchange client that doesn't allow copying&pasting and screenshots...
      That's nothing - next year's release of exchange pops up a dialog[ue] every time you press <CTRL><P> - asking you to raise your right hand and swear that you won't mail the printout to anyone on the list of disapproved journalists (they provide a hyperlink).
      And if the mail contains copyrighted songlyrics - well just wait and see what is in store from the following years Exchange..

  • The second wave will be a full blown cost analysis comparison case study between Linux and Windows in a variety of usage scenarios (web, file and print, etc.) done independently by the analysts for us. (Emphasis added)

    If it's a hoax, then the pranksters know this is just how Microsoft think - lets pay someone to do an "independent" job - and are doing a great chain-pulling job. If it's real - and I personally think it is - then, er, it's funny for the same reason. Millions will be given to the analysts to produce what Microsoft wants. A good 70% of the result will be refuted within days of publication. The 30% that makes good points will just focus the priorities of the developers concerned.

  • It's funny how marketing-speak has its meaning (if any) independent of the subject. For example:
    With the current economic times we are living in, just about every customer is looking into how they can get rid of those over-priced, legacy Unix systems and ride the PC economics wave.
    Could have the subjects swapped to read:
    With the current economic times we are living in, just about every customer is looking into how they can get rid of those over-priced, legacy Windows systems and ride the Linux economics wave.
    - and still not really mean much (though many slashdotters may prefer the second version).

  • Discredit? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheGreenLantern ( 537864 ) <thegreenlntrn@yahoo.com> on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @01:50PM (#2774619) Homepage Journal
    Honestly, isn't "discredit" a slightly harsh, or at least not-quite-right, word for this email? This isn't some mass-media FUD campaign; I mean, it's a motivational email to (presumably) a bunch of sales wonks, encouraging them to try and sell their products. Gasp, call the Justice Department.

    It's not as if Linux vendors aren't out there right now doing the same thing, telling customers they're bug-nuts for running NT/2000/XP. I realize it's pretty funny and/or scary to hear him talk about "eliminating" Linux from customer sites, of doing "walkthroughs" to find hidden Linux machines, like some kind of Secret OS Police. But from a business standpoint, you want to sell to your customers, as much as possible. This is just a reminder to the sales guys, "Hey, don't let any sales opportunities slip through your fingers".

    Don't get me wrong, MS has been Very Bad on many different things, but I fail to see how trying to sell their product should be considered some kind of Evil Act (tm).
  • by xZAQx ( 472674 ) <(ten.labolgcbs) (ta) (rezirz)> on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @01:50PM (#2774621) Homepage
    This sounds like a big scary task force of Windoze suits equipped with page after page of FUD, moving into every client they have and investigating (read: Spying) their enterprises usage. Snoop out the linux and squash it dead.

    MS Suit: and this box over here, what's it running?

    Joe, IT Manager: It's a debian box I built that works as a router, jabber server, and sendmail server for our engineering staff

    MS Suit: (Scratches some notes in little black book of infidels) Ah, I see...

    Replacing his sunglasses

    We will be in touch

    Snaps his little black book closed and walks out

    • Everything (Score:3, Funny)

      by leonbrooks ( 8043 )
      A more real-life scenario:

      MS Suit: and this box over here, what's it running?

      Joe, IT Manager: It's a debian box I built out of spares, and it basically runs everything. File services, web, FTP, mail, database, legacy apps, a few instant messengers, name service, firewall, proxy, virus filter, the lot. I haven't had it off-line in the last year. The other boxes are there to make the server room look good and keep the managers and accountants happy. I think some of them run game servers.

      MS Suit: Could you repeat that, please? I can't write that fast. What's in an `F' teepee? And you reckon it's poxy? Why's that?

      Joe (rolling eyes): We are out of touch.

  • by Bowie J. Poag ( 16898 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @01:53PM (#2774646) Homepage


    Theres one important clue here that points to this email as being legitimate. The lack of British euphamisms. The Register is a UK-based resource. If they wanted to doctor up a fake email in a conversational tone, it would have been written differently from the style in which it appears. Infact, when I was reading it, I kept expecting to see language differences, and didn't find any. Hell, to any self-respecting haxx0r, that bad-bad-doggy conclusion at the bottom of the email just begs to be disobeyed.

    Even more true is the snippet about DH Brown being total FUD-whores. It says so right on their damn webpage, you can pay for the results you want.. Give em $1M and they'll tell that the majority of people surveyed think the sky is green, Windows is better, and we all ride around on invisible pink unicorns.

    • by 1010011010 ( 53039 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @02:07PM (#2774752) Homepage
      I don't know anything about D.H. Brown, other than that an MS Sales Dude implied he could buy a desired result from them.

      So I went to their website. The front page had several Linux and Unix articles on it. I clicked on one:

      From the D.H. Brown website, Sept. 2001 [dhbrown.com]:

      For the first time, the strongest Linux distributions surpass the weakest UNIX systems in overall functionality. Using the version 2.4 Linux kernel has improved the features of the operating system. In addition, all of the vendors studied - SuSE, Red Hat, Caldera, Turbolinux, and Debian GNU - have increased the breadth and depth of their bundled network infrastructure software. The report provides detailed analysis against critical criteria: scalability, RAS (reliability, availability, serviceability), system management, Internet and web-application services, and directory and security services. With these upgrades in place, the leading distributions of Linux are able to serve as general-purpose operating systems for a wide range of departmental and workgroup applications


      ... doesn't seem terribly anti-Linux to me.
      • If you read carefully it looks like the study's intended to compare the acres-of-beige-NT box scenario versus the consolidated server scenario (the IBM/Linux ad case now being seen on TV).

        That's not anti-Linux per se. Remember that the previous e-mail supposedly leaked by this guy included some rough numbers comparing an IBM solution with a PC/NT solution. IBM may not charge for Linux but they charge a lot for hardware and service...
  • Anyone bother to verify the authenticity of this one? I have no doubt that memos with the same message are being circulated within Microsoft. Just as similar memos are being circulated in every mega-corp whose main product is facing a competitive threat. But even though executive-level memos are not required to display decent spelling and grammar, they usually do, yet this example does not. And the bit at the end about "tracking this memo" would be implied, not stated, in such a love note.

    Sorry, I don't buy this one.

    sPh

  • by tomreagan ( 24487 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @01:54PM (#2774653)
    unless they are really stupid.

    It's a simple trick - they sent out slightly different copies of the email to everyone on the list. Then, when the public version gets published they can reference the published version against who got what.

    The changes can be cosmetic - slight changes in phrasing, additional punctuation, spacing, line breaks. Stuff like this would be pretty much unnoticeable without having a couple of different copies to compare against. Even then, it would likely be tough to notice the difference.

    Add in 3 separate requests to "not distribute" as a tempting goad to the leaker, and the odds are that MS has solved their problem with that person.

    Unless The Register sliced up the email themselves....
    • I should add that it makes no difference whether the email was intended to be legit - it's possible that they just made it up to catch the leaker.

      Which could explain the fact that it reads like such an unitelligent analysis. Gross oversimplification and stupidity == increased probability of leakers spreading it around.
  • by siphoncolder ( 533004 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @01:55PM (#2774663) Homepage
    doubtless, this is the title that's going through rational people's minds.

    not that MS can't be discredited in various other ways, but this story reeks of grasping for straws. /., i expect better of you - stop trying so hard.

    besides - the register? *shakes head*

    come off it and get with it.
  • by lowy ( 91366 )
    First the Halloween Document, and now the Valentine email.
    What's next, the Groundhog Memo?
    The Thanksgiving letter?

    Inquiring minds want to know! :-)

  • But it's to be expected from MS. It sounds like they are performing illegally with their Linux Insiders, but the email was short on details of who those people actually are, so we can't make any accusations. The main point of us all knowing about this is so we keep pressure on the justice department to go after these guys. Business has never been a perfect enterprise, but the legal system has at least attempted to make things right in the past, they need to step it up right now and do something about Microsoft.

    On a related note, something I find funny is the propoganda retailers are using to push PCs and XP. I was PC shopping with my Mom over the holidays and had a nice little chuckle when one of the teenage haxor wannabe pimple faced sales reps said to my Mom "well, you should buy a PC with Windows XP, not ME, because within a year everything will be XP and you won't be able to use the computer without it." That's great... I mean it really, really is. I laugh every time I think about it. But anyway, the point is this kind of propoganda is to be expected, and you hate to see it in the business to business world, but it's old news, just think about car mechanics...
  • At several places, the email refers to infoweb, giving the address as, for instance, http://infoweb/linux. Obviously, this is some sort of internal Microsoft database. Is it just for marketing info? Any Microsoft employees know what is going on?

    If it is just an internal database, seems a little strange to start a "Linux insiders" group, unaccessable to anyone in the Linux community. Unless, of course, the idea is show a client what looks like a public web page, filled with the "real facts" on Linux.

  • by AgTiger ( 458268 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @02:02PM (#2774727) Homepage
    Always consider that leak is intentional, and that you have been specifically targeted as part of a disinformation campaign. Ask yourself what purposes might exist in getting you to buy into the message. Be skeptical, it pays off. My own impression is that this message was too convenient and is attempting to convince me to underestimate Microsoft, or to misdirect me away from where their real efforts are. Just look at the opening lines - it's practically _begging_ to be "leaked". Of course, that's just my opinion...
    • Always consider that leak is intentional, and that you have been specifically targeted as part of a disinformation campaign. Ask yourself what purposes might exist in getting you to buy into the message. Be skeptical, it pays off. My own impression is that this message was too convenient and is attempting to convince me to underestimate Microsoft, or to misdirect me away from where their real efforts are. Just look at the opening lines - it's practically _begging_ to be "leaked". Of course, that's just my opinion...

      Nah, this is a real leak. Look at all that marketing speak.

      Check out the part about the consulting company doing a study, comparing the cost of Microsoft solutions to Linux solutions in Unix upgrade costs. There's two possible conclusions to that study. One, Linux could come out on top, and then Microsoft would never release the study. Two, Microsoft would come out on top, and now a Linux company (Red Hat) can proactively do their own study, so that they have something to give to their own marketing people. Even without a "leaked memo", the sales folks could have said "yes, DH Brown is releasing a study in a few months, showing hard numbers that Microsoft is better, I'll get that to you when it comes out, etc. etc.". No real advantage in leaking the memo.

      At the same time, I doubt he's really concerned about a leak - there's no real facts in there, just strategy. I imagine the sales team is out there, selling Microsoft products, and complaining to each other that the customer brings up Linux, and they have no ammo to use. This is the boss saying "we've heard the coffee room conversations, we do have a Linux strategy. Here it is. Sell, you beautiful marketers, Sell!".

      Now we just need real cost-of-ownship numbers, since you know the DH Brown report will use top consultant by-the-hour numbers...

  • Yawn (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NiftyNews ( 537829 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @02:07PM (#2774750) Homepage
    I was somewhat shocked to see all the replies that seem to think this memo was ever real.

    It's clearly a fake, and a clever one at that. You want reasons? Alright.

    It is setup with a "man I hope this doesn't get leaked again" and ends with a mindless left-field "I used to run Exchange so don't leak this or...else!" intended to fool the reader into believing it was truely internal.

    The purpose of the memo by the AUTHOR is to grab the reader with a flashy idea (MS memo leaked!) and then promote Linux from within. Read the center sections, they're an ad for Linux. Very clever, really. This gets the Linux community more press than if they just released an ad themselves.

    The supposed "MS author" tells his employees how to ask about Linux, further giving examples of how and where Linux would be useful.

    Just a prank intended to serve as promotion. Kudos to the author, but don't be fooled into thinking this is actual MS material.

  • by oobeleck ( 313907 ) <oobeleck@@@yahoo...com> on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @02:46PM (#2774966) Homepage Journal
    Deep inside Slashdot headquarters......

    CmdrTaco: Come on guys this is BS. We needs some
    news today. Isn't ANYTHING interesting going on?
    Do I have to do EVERYTHING myself???

    [CMDRtaco@debianbox] telnet expoitable.sendmailbox.ru

    220 exploitable.sendmailbox.ru ESMTP Sendmail 8.6

    HELO aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa(250 times)
    250 exploitable.sendmailbox.ru Hello debianbox.slashdot.org pleased to meet you
    mail from: bvalentine@microsoft.com
    250 2.1.0 bvalentine@microsoft.com... Sender ok
    rcpt to: news@theregister.co.uk
    250 2.1.5 news@theregister.co.uk... Recipient ok
    data
    354 Enter mail, end with "." on a line by itself
    To: WW Sales, Marketing & Services Group
    Subject: Me again -- Linux updates

    etc...............

    Oldest Troll trick in the book.
  • by SanLouBlues ( 245548 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @03:08PM (#2775081) Journal
    There is a mailto:lnxteam in there. Send a mail to lnxteam@microsoft.com, see if it bounces. It doesn't necesarily mean the email is real, but it will debunk it if it's not.
  • by malevolence ( 301869 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @03:45PM (#2775294)
    that makes me think it actually is real is the following:

    "We have the best d*mn sales force in the world backed by the best engineers in the world."

    Only a marketroid would think that the salesmen are more important than the engineers.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @04:51PM (#2775691) Homepage
    "While Linux is going nowhere on the desktop, it remains a threat in the server space. The use of Linux, especially with Apache Web Server, slows down the deployment of our next generation of web services, such as .NET, Passport, and Hailstorm. This in turn interferes with transitioning our customers to a subscription model and providing us with an ongoing revenue stream during periods of low growth. It's therefore important that efforts be made to displace non-Microsoft web servers.

    We're embarking on several initiatives in 2002 to deal with this.

    • The "99.999%" reliability program will be offered competitively to IT shops which use only Microsoft software.
    • Presentations to Fortune 1000 clients will emphasize the migration path planned for Windows XP and its successors, which will move consumers away from a generic Web environment to one that requires .NET-enabled web sites.
    • We will be introducing a new mail protocol in 2002 which will replace the present "SMTP" protocol. This protocol will provide authentication of mail senders (but not encryption of content) and will protect mail servers from unauthorized use. The client for this mail protocol will be distributed as an update to Internet Explorer. Initially, users will see no change as a result of this action. But when ISPs transition to our replacement for Post Office Protocol, our mail clients will treat old-format unauthenticated mail as potentially hostile. In high-security environments, old-format mail will be down-converted from HTML to plain text, and attachements will be stripped. Our intellectual property will prevent the cloning of this mail protocol, giving us control of the worldwide e-mail system within three years.
    • We are working with PC manufacturers to develop firmware which enforces a secure boot process. This will prevent the loading of non-signed operating systems. While any company will potentially be able to obtain permission to sign an bootable file, we are working with the National Infrastructure Protection Center to insure that such authority is only available to U.S. companies able to qualify for Government security clearances.
    With these new initiatives, you should have no trouble convincing top IT management that conversion to an all-Microsoft environment is inevitable."
  • by s390 ( 33540 ) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @04:57AM (#2777994) Homepage
    and Microsoft's targets are all non-M$ servers. But they'll have a hard time convincing all but the most naive IT executives with a commissioned "independent" study. I don't know about Sun or HP, but IBM has actual case studies for various industries to back up their sales presentations. And IBM will do an onsite competitive analysis using your actual and projected costs, comparing their offerings against your current environment and the costs of competing vendors. Microsoft better pack a lunch.

    However, M$ will still be able to buy some business somehow. I can hear the CTO office conversations now....

    "So Mr/Ms M$ sales-droid, why do you think Microsoft offers lower Total Cost of Ownership - that's what TCO means right?

    "Well, our higher licensing costs include support that Linux doesn't offer. There is no one firm responsible for Linux - but Microsoft is there for you with support."

    "I can buy Linux support for less than your licenses cost.... Why would I want to pay you more for bad service? Licensing terms that say you're not responsible for anything bad that happens to us by using your software, no way no how, never? Support that costs EXTRA, over and above licensing? Tier 1 tech support that needs help getting dressed in the morning? Added charges for Tier 2/3 support? And NOT TO MENTION most of our problems are caused by your own sloppy code, insecure defaults, arcane proprietary system internals, file format incompatibilities! Where is my credit for all these costs?"

    "Er, Microsoft makes the best software; everyone uses this."

    "Yes, everyone in our offices surfs the 'net, downloads porn and music files, and wastes time chatting online - all well enabled by your promiscuous everything-enabled Windows! And I have a dozen MSCE-papered dweebs running around fixing peoples' self-disabled capabilities to do that instead of work! I can replace that dozen MSCEs with just 2 or 3 Linux people tomorrow. What does that do for your TCO calculations, huh? Do you have any real answer to Linux? I'm very interested."

    "Well, we do have some er, confidential partnership offers."

    "Is this where you offer me a rather... personal incentive?"

    "Um, why yes, now that you mention it. Do you have a non-US bank account by any chance?"

    "(Sliding paper over the desk). Well, harumph, having dealt with all my considerations, on balance it's Microsoft here."
  • by ImaLamer ( 260199 ) <john...lamar@@@gmail...com> on Thursday January 03, 2002 @06:09AM (#2778139) Homepage Journal
    [I will be working on this more in depth later]

    Notice the best thing about XP is already in Linux?

    Users? Firewall? Services [I can change the OS!]? Themes?

There's no sense in being precise when you don't even know what you're talking about. -- John von Neumann

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