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Gates Testifies in Antitrust Suit 488

teamhasnoi writes "Bill Gates is testifying today in the Microsoft antitrust case. Here's the 5 page executive summary (pdf) and here's the 163-page full version (1.1 MB pdf). Bill waxes on about the early days, talks about .NET, xml, and why Microsoft should not be penalized for its role as 800 lb. Gorilla. (Developers, Developers, Developers)" Other readers point to the BBC story on Gates' testimony, as well as a similar one at Yahoo!.
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Gates Testifies in Antitrust Suit

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  • Another story ... (Score:3, Informative)

    by ProfMoriarty ( 518631 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:28PM (#3389682) Journal
    is on MSNBC []

    • Re: Why Bother (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:44PM (#3389715)
      Seriously, why bother. The way the govt's going its pretty much foretold that MS will survive unscathed. It looks impossible that *anyone* or *anything* will stop the Microsoft steamroller.

      Unless a lot of changes happen in the Linux world (attitude changes, improvements in desktop usability, improvements in the installation process)


      regular users start to become pressured by Microsoft's policies in ways that *directly* affect them...(i.e. people soon become unable to pirate MS products...)

      NOTHING will change. Almost no 'normal' user I know chooses Linux - only people who love to tinker with their systems.

      I wonder how long it will take before I get modded down for not toeing the party line...a few mins?
      • Re: Why Bother (Score:3, Interesting)

        Heres how I feel:
        DON'T use linux in the "average joe-shmoe desktop environment". At least not in the conventional way.

        Instead, get a project going to make an OS _targeted_ for the desktop. Even feel free to use Linux/*BSD kernels and librarys. Just don't have what the normal Linux distro tends to be - A very UNIX like system with X and maybe KDE or GNOME slapped on top.
        • Re: Why Bother (Score:5, Insightful)

          by doooras ( 543177 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:55PM (#3389809)
          you mean like Mac OS X?
      • Re: Why Bother (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SCHecklerX ( 229973 ) <> on Monday April 22, 2002 @05:12PM (#3389978) Homepage
        My non-technical g/f and her two children use linux. Why? Because it was pre-installed on the machine I built for them.

        People use, and figure out how to use, what comes with their computer. What needs to change is M$'s ability to strongarm companies into putting that shit on every system they ship and penalizing them if the don't.

      • Blind? Ignorant? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by 2nd Post! ( 213333 ) <.gundbear. .at.> on Monday April 22, 2002 @05:14PM (#3390008) Homepage
        You do realize that it seems silly to talk about Linux when OS X has answered most of those questions already?
        Attitude: The consumer n00b is your customer
        Destkop usability: Aqua, Dock, etc
        Installation process: Okay, it's a *bit* hairy, but mostly a lot better than Linux

        THINGS change. Lots of 'normal' users choose Mac; that's why Macs are still here, 18 years after they're supposed death, and counting.
      • by A nonymous Coward ( 7548 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @05:36PM (#3390189)
        They are locking themselves into their corner. Go back and look at how Unix and MSDOS started. Unix started on expensive time sharing machines, where self protection and security were necessary, multiuser and multitasking from the start. It also ran on different machines. MSDOS started on dinky machines where there was no concept of sharing the machine, thus no security, no multitasking. The hardware grew up to match Unix, whereas MSDOS never grew up to match the hardware.

        In spite of all the cruft they've grafted on Windows doesn't, and never will, have the flexibility of Unix.

        Plus they have branded themselves so much as the the king of the desktop that they have no other image.

        And plus they have branded themselves as terrible partners. Look at all the licensing suqablles, not just with auditing schools, but also doubling the licensing costs for business, other audit raids, and so on.

        Do you remember several years ago when the mobile phone companies banded together (Symbian?) precisely because they did not want M$ in their sandbox? Because they were afraid of M$ not playing nice.

        Same thing with TV set top box manufacturers. M$ spent a fortune just to get them to promise to look at their code, I think only one bit, and they later dropped it because M$ was so late.

        X-box disappoints. Pocket PC sales disappoint. They can't get out of their corner. .NET is a vague buzzword with no meat yet, and not many people fooled so far.

        In other words, M$ have painted themselves into a corner of their own choosing. If they were smart, they'd use the antitrust trial as an excuse to totally revamp their business, and go forward. But they are so arrogant and greedy and shortsighted that they are just using it to apply ever more coats of paint around their corner.

        At some point, I bet in 5 years or so, they will find themselves locked out of every market except the desktop, which will not only have become a amrginless commodity, but will also have been invaded successfully by Linux.

        That's how I think they will die. Time will tell :-)
        • by kevinank ( 87560 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @05:53PM (#3390306) Homepage
          Unix started on expensive time sharing machines, where self protection and security were necessary, multiuser and multitasking from the start. It also ran on different machines. MSDOS started on dinky machines where there was no concept of sharing the machine, thus no security, no multitasking. The hardware grew up to match Unix, whereas MSDOS never grew up to match the hardware.

          The proliferation of hardware MMUs was what allowed Unix to move to the desktop, which is surprising considering that when AT&T first split their research off of Multics, one of their main reasons for doing so was to avoid the high end hardware requirements of Multics such as MMUs.

          Initially Unix and DOS were much the same. Unix began as a single user operating system with no address space seperation, and no security (and all Unix flavors to this day can be booted in single user mode.) But you are right that while Unix grew to incorporate these features, DOS never did. These days I think that Microsoft is blind to the need for multiuser processing on a single box. Their adoption of the GUI is so complete that they can't imagine someone needing to adminstrate a headless box.

        • FUD (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tshak ( 173364 )
          X-box disappoints. Pocket PC sales disappoint. They can't get out of their corner. .NET is a vague buzzword with no meat yet, and not many people fooled so far.

          The Xbox is awesome. True, the PS2 has a far superior game library, but it's also in it's second generation and second year of release, and wasn't released during a very poor point in the world economy.

          Pocket PC sales do not dissapoint. The last time I checked, they've been giving Palm a run for their money. Palm has been very static, while PocketPC 2002 is actually very slick.

          YOU may not understand .NET, but many developers do. Many non-religious, objective professionals claim that it's an incredible development platform (and some say that it's too bad that MS was the creator of it). Let's not forget many of the Fortune 100, Government, and small-medium sized business that have chosen .NET as their platform of choice for future projects.
      • I'd rather reply than mod you down, especially since I don't dis-agree with everything ;)

        However I will take offense at you comment about desktop usability. This complaint about Linux is a myth. Typically, when people say this what they really mean is "More like windows". Using Windows as the de-facto standard for desktop usability is not only unfair, it destroys the (small amount of IMHO) credibility that usability tests have in the first place.

        Taking people from Windows and seeing how they feel with Linux proves nothing. Of course they're more comfortable with Windows. They've allready been using it. If you want to do this right, have people who know nothing about computers, and have never used one sit down and figure it out. You won't get the same results I promise you that.

        I won't go off on it, but you also need to remember that there are a large number of desktops for Linux, which are tested, KDE? Gnome? Some of the older desktops? It matters. And someone who wants to prove that Windows is has a easier desktop could easily do so, just by their choice of Linux desktop- to compare to.

      • It seems to me that if the States that are suing MS were NOT backed up by another greedy big corporation like AOL, Sun, etc. the Government would have had a much better chance at getting MS than it is now.

        If the public can bring a class action suit against MS and it is backed by the States as it is now, MS would not be able to stand the trial as it is doing now.

        The fact that AOL, Sun, Netscape, etc. have gotten so involved in this case, it makes the case questionable.
    • by MonkeyBot ( 545313 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:58PM (#3389841)
      One person who was there said that Mr. Gates cried; another described him as choked up and shaking.

      I'll pay for a video of this!

  • Testimony? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dattaway ( 3088 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:42PM (#3389697) Homepage Journal
    It read more like he was going for a job interview, selling himself, or something. When are they going to learn to question this guy rather than letting him control everything?
    • Re:Testimony? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ImaLamer ( 260199 )
      It's almost as if there is some sort of mind control going on.

      Bill sends waves to certain people and they respond with:

      "Bill Gates will lead us through the computer revolution!!!"

      I don't think they have perfected this trick using your monitor; alas they have been trying and getting people for years.

      Because of this people have placed that 800 pound primate on their own backs. The mind share has been extended to the senate, state's attorneys and federal government.

      No one feels like the world would continue if Microsoft was to be punished. People fear the "future" will never come - in terms of their imaginations.

      The funny thing is I browse over to freshmeat and see projects for everything. I can see the seeds of the "future" in all these projects that mainly one person works on.

      There can be a 640 pound primate out there but something needs to be done.

      People need to realize that one company can't be producing all the code, dictating what projects could be squashed and making choices for the computing future.

      As week look forward into the future we realize that computers - no matter how simple - will be in our lives.

      It's going to be hard as things get more complicated - a precedent needs to be set.
    • Well, a lot of it was under friendly questioning from his own lawyer.

      • Well, a lot of it was under friendly questioning from his own lawyer.

        I'm looking forward to the cross examination by the States' attorneys.

        It should be quite entertaining. Although, I don't hold out hope for sound bites quite as colorful those gems in earlier trials where we got to hear about "pissing on Java" and "cutting off Netscape's air supply".

  • At what point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Slash Veteran ( 561542 ) <> on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:42PM (#3389699)
    does the judge just say "enough is enough, stop lying."

    We know you can separate IE from Windows.
    We know you use your leverage to stifle competition.

    You're a 900 lb gorilla, you've been acting like one, now we're going to treat you like one.

    • by oingoboingo ( 179159 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:44PM (#3389709)
      You're a 900 lb gorilla, you've been acting like one, now we're going to treat you like one.

      Ummm....scream hopelessly at him and then proceed to be torn limb from limb? I thought that was already happening.
    • If your shit was architected properly in the first place, it would be trivial to separate the "toys" from the kernel.

      Now, if by removing the extras like IE we're crippling your OS, that's YOUR problem.

      Do it and shut up so we can all go home.

    • "We know you can separate IE from Windows"

      Im sure it's POSSIBLE to remove IE from Windows, but man I sure don't trust MS to do it. In IE 6, they removed support for Netscape Style Plugins, yet when you have that type of plug-in in the plugins folder it still installs itself into the registry and tries to run as a mime type. In other words, they turned off one feature but not another.

      If they won't take the time to implement a good solution for removing NS Style Plug-ins, I can only imagine the half assed job MS'd do of removing IE.

  • Who would have guessed that proprietary software would make itself undesirable because of the extreme aggressiveness of the companies that sell it?
    • In this case it's gotten to the point where other products can't enter the market because of the controlling power of said company.

      It's almost sick that innovations can't be made. I'm not being an open source zealot here - there are other proprietary projects which also have problems.

      Hardware vendors are getting shoved into crazy deals that limit their own business.

      The funniest thing I've heard lately was this; coming from a guy who bought XP and is waiting to install it because some of his old flight sims don't work:

      "I'm going to wait until Microsoft releases a fix - they don't work now on XP"

      They don't care. They already have the market - if you want to develop a "fix" you need to buy their coding software and work with incomplete or hidden API's.

      After going from XP on one machine from 98 I have accidentally "broke" USB on my system; which is only two years old. It's simply not supported or tested. We are talking the USB chipset, not the whole system.

      There are a number of things that need to be fixed at Microsoft; if need be it will be the law that fixes them because the situation is out of hand.
  • Two days on the stand will cost Bill Gates more money than I will make in a decade if I continue with my current line of work.

    Something about that disparity upsets me.

  • Ironically, yes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dant ( 25668 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:43PM (#3389707) Journal
    "By reducing Windows to some undefined 'core operating system' the (states) would turn back the clock on Windows development by about ten years and effectively freeze it there," [Gates] said.

    Well, in some sense, yeah. That's about the last time Windows was an operating system and just an operating system, as opposed to a forcibly-bundled OS, browser, media player, photo editor, etc., etc., isn't it?

    • Re:Ironically, yes (Score:3, Interesting)

      by czardonic ( 526710 )
      Well, in some sense, yeah. That's about the last time Windows was an operating system and just an operating system, as opposed to a forcibly-bundled OS, browser, media player, photo editor, etc., etc., isn't it?

      Yeah. Everyone knows that the average computer buyer just wants a bare-bones platform on which they can roll their own browser, media player, photo editor, etc.

      Based on the wild-fire spread of alternative OSs that trade in this needless bloat in favor of lower costs, we can safely assume that the "Just the basics, thanks" movement will only continue to build steam.

      The continued decline in popularity of full service ISPs such as AOL and MSN, which force features on to users that they would prefer to track down, download, compile, test and de-bug themselves is further evidence that Joe and Jane Average User are saying "Enough is enough!"

      Only time will tell whether these withering corporate giants will heed this cry soon enough to save their businesses.
      • Re:Ironically, yes (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Steveftoth ( 78419 )
        At the same time, computer manufactures should be allowed to install whatever software they want on top of windows 'base' install (whatever that may be). Right now they can't. They can't change things as they see fit. There are very strict limitations to what Gateway, Dell, Sony, your local computer OEM can do without violating the MS agreement. This should be changed.
      • If asked, most people would love getting their paper news, tv news, etc .. all from one convinient, cheaper source. The problem? IT'S NOT HEALTHY.

        Just because people act one way does not mean they wouldnt not prefer the other way if they were given the chance (and even potentially 'forced') to do it the other way.
      • Re:Ironically, yes (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Telastyn ( 206146 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @05:07PM (#3389915)
        No, but wouldn't it be better if during the windows install it gave you a bevy of choices for each component install?

        Have a "software disk" or two or three that includes alternative options.

        Install Web Browser?:

        (o) Microsoft Internet Explorer
        ( ) Netscape Navigator
        ( ) Opera
        ( ) Mozilla Clone
        ( ) None

        Have options for everything. Their stuff will be default, but allow others to modify installers to install other things as their own distro. MS gets the cash for the sale, with perhaps some for the distro maker due to "value added" stuff.

        Because if you notice, those same Alternative OSes are gaining in bloat becuase there's becoming less and less things that you need to go and find and install, because it all comes with the distro.
        • by czardonic ( 526710 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @05:17PM (#3390044) Homepage
          No, but wouldn't it be better if during the windows install it gave you a bevy of choices for each component install?

          Most certainly. Market research indicates time and again that the major gripe most consumers have with software install processes is that there are far too few questions to answer.

          Indeed, when it comes to options and configurations, "More is more" is the attitude most users subscribe too. Give them a pre-installed OS with all applications governed by a unifying design and support paradigm, and they are likely to be frustrated by the lack of freedom and absense of engaging confuguration dilemmas.
          • by xixax ( 44677 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2002 @02:37AM (#3393023)
            Which gleplaxlor should your fazzweeger plonkspobble when divotting?

            (o) Humungospleen 2000
            ( ) FDISK.EXE
            ( ) No, pick me! Yeah! Yeah! Me!!!!! I'm cool!!!!
            ( ) Mungemaster 8.1

            Be warned that selecting the non-orthogonal option may result in wergle alignment conundrums!

            Half a dozen relatives call me whenever this kind of stuff appears on their screen. The other half call me the next day to rebuild their box.

        • I think that everything should be installed. But the first time I use my brand-spanking new computer or click on a new file type, I have to select one: IE, Navigator, Opera, or Mozilla. But if this application screws me around, I should be able to right-click or cmd-click and select a new default application that's already installed. This even means when a page doesn't display right in IE (or Netscape or Opera for HTML --or Photoshop or Paint .jpgs or .gifs), I can quickly select another application.
      • Re:Ironically, yes (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mcc ( 14761 ) <> on Monday April 22, 2002 @05:12PM (#3389979) Homepage
        If i'm not mistaken, the entire thrust of the "debundle IE" argument at this point, more or less, is for the benefit of OEMs.

        Everyone knows that the average computer buyer just wants a bare-bones platform on which they can roll their own browser, media player, photo editor, etc.

        The point is to get a bare-bones platform for the average computer seller so that, say, Compaq, can sell a computer with the bare-bones microsoft OS, and on top of that a web browser, media player, IM client, etc, selected by Compaq.

        There are a lot of people on slashdot who want to just get the win32 APIs and a file browser from microsoft, and then have the freedom to "roll their own", as you put it, as far as applications go. There are not a lot of people out in the unwashed masses who want this.

        However, who's to say that if OEMs weren't suddenly allowed to offer wildly different initial software setups, some of them wouldn't come up with more usable systems than the uniform setup that microsoft forces everyone to ship now? If Compaq can save X amount of money on each PC sold by not having to pay MS for IE and instead bundling Mozilla, and that X amount of money goes back to developing better products, wouldn't this benefit Compaq's unwashed-masses end users?

        Forcing a bare-bones windows system out on the market is not going to change everything overnight, and it is not the only thing that needs to be done. But it isn't exactly an idea to just laugh at , and the gaps in the bare-bones system won't equate to a lot of work for the end user-- they'll just equate to slightly larger variety in the setups of the computers they have a choice of buying.

        Remember, this lawsuit didn't start off saying "debundle the browser from the operating system." It started off saying "allow computer companies to sell computers with a netscape shortcut on the desktop by default instead of an IE shortcut"..
      • The problem with your scenario is that Microsoft is not giving people a choice. If you buy a computer from Dell, Compaq, etc. you pretty much have to buy Windows because that's the way MS's licensing practices work.

        MS has forced all other players out of the game. Perhaps its because of their superior products, but many believe that it's their strong-arming OEMs and the abuse of monopoly power that keeps them on top. In any case, Microsoft doesn't offer a roll-your-own prodcut and since MS punishes OEMs for selling non-MS OSes, it's practically impossible for other OS companies to compete.

        There's no choice, so there's no way to know what people would prefer. But certainly one could imagine that if Dell can bundle disparate hardware components, they could just as easily bundle software for their users. And I could happily buy just the products I want for my machine one at a time, the same thing I do with hardware when I need a new computer.

        The hardware PC business is actually a perfect example of why your argument is fecescious. There are companies out there who sell pre-built PCs that come in one-of-three standard flavors. There are companies out there that sell custom-built PCs which allow the customer more flexibility. And ther are companies which sell just the components. All these companies co-exist and everyone who buys computers can get what they want.

        • The problem with your scenario is that Microsoft is not giving people a choice. If you buy a computer from Dell, Compaq, etc. you pretty much have to buy Windows because that's the way MS's licensing practices work.

          The solution is not to make microsoft sell a stripped version of windows. The solution is to make microsoft change their licensing practices to allow manufacturers to bundle whatever else they want with the OS.

          Were you trying to be clever when you said "fecescious" or do you just need a dictionary []?

      • Re:Ironically, yes (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jelle ( 14827 )
        Your sarcasm is loud and clear.

        But the point is not whether or not the end user is allowed to compose the bundle of software that goes on their PC, but whether or not the PC manufacturer is allowed to compose the bundle of software that goes preloaded with every new PC. Even if it were a MS operating system, for the OEMs, there should be the option to use the boring $5 clean OS without addons (you know, the part that even Bill Gates testified hasn't changed in the last 10 years), and spend the rest of the money on addon tools from various competing software vendors.

        But now, with the way Windows is, and with the way MS OEM contracts are, that's not possible. That's the monopoly-abuse that is to be countered by this demand from the nine states.

      • 'Yeah. Everyone knows that the average computer buyer just wants a bare-bones platform on which they can roll their own browser, media player, photo editor, etc."

        Which is exactly why OEMs will take care of this for you. People do want choice. Should I get Apple with their iLine of software or Dell with their software, or maybe, HP's and their software suite, or just build a PC and choose from off the shelf solutions. Do you honestly think, OEMs CAN much less want to sell PCs with no abilities? They will fill in the cracks...

      • Yeah. Everyone knows that the average computer buyer just wants a bare-bones platform on which they can roll their own browser, media player, photo editor, etc.

        After media player phoning home and every other "add on" becoming another way to thumbprint my hardware - its getting old. Yah, I trust them to know that a StittsPlayboy.avi is really about me sowing fabric on an old airplane wing - along with anyone else if Microsoft's datastore ever was hacked and pushed out to my boss and anyone else on my email system.

        I don't expect to build binaries - hell, I don't even do it on my Linux workstation if I can get an RPM. Since most of my boxes are hooked up to the net, I really prefer to have a base OS and then add the apps I want - games, utils, MP3 players, etc - since I don't really want/trust most of these apps that are bundled with the OS. Mind you, this applies to Linux as well! After getting rooted - I quickly discovered to love the minimal slackware install for my CS server... got to know what apps are in there to keep the code patched. That goes double for any "internet enabled" applications - expecially the ones I never knew may connect.
  • of work.

    If Bill isn't going to employ them, when he's the one who put on the street, then what is he talking about?

  • by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:44PM (#3389714)
    GATES: Microsoft would be crippled

    Isn't that sort of the point? A crippled Microsoft is EXACTLY what the US states want, so giving other companies a chance to fix the mess they've made of the computing industry.

    • Quite. The quote that always gets me is "But the remedy the States want will just help Microsoft's competition".

      Isn't that the entire point?
    • Actually, NO, it isn't the point. The point of a remedy in an anti-trust trial is to create more competition, not add punitive damages. Read the laws, then come to a knee-jerk reaction.
      • by kcbrown ( 7426 ) <> on Monday April 22, 2002 @07:20PM (#3390953)
        I don't know about you, but I think the way antitrust is handled is ridiculous.

        Corporations, which the Supreme Court has essentially declared to be legal entities with rights and everything, act like spoiled children because they have one and only one purpose: make money to the exclusion of all else.

        What's the best way to make money to the exclusion of all else? Become a monopoly and abuse it once you have it!

        If antitrust remedies don't include really stiff penalties, then every corporation out there is going to be very predictable and attempt to become a monopoly -- and once they do, they'll be even more predictable and abuse that monopoly. And why not? Abusing a monopoly doesn't cost them anything. The worst thing that happens is that they lose their monopoly status, right? But until that time, they bring in the cash hand over fist because of their abuse of their monopoly position.

        Abuse of a monopoly should be so horrendously expensive that corporations don't even think of doing it, because the consequences would be too devastating. Much better to play nice and profit reasonably from it than to play dirty and get smacked down hard for it, right? But with the rules as they are right now, corporations have every incentive to abuse their monopoly for as long as they're able, because doing so doesn't cost them anything.

        And that's gotta change.

        I mean, if individuals are punished under the law for breaking the law, then why aren't corporations? Why are corporations so special, anyway, that we have elevated them to the status of godhood?

  • I'm still waiting for a "what about the children?!?" moment.

    Hmm. Then again, I probably shouldn't hold my breath. []
  • by hendridm ( 302246 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:45PM (#3389721) Homepage
    There is an HTML version [] of the 163-page version on Microsoft's web site.
    • I opened it up, and looked at the first two graphs 'computer industry 1983' and 'computer industry 2002', and they make it seem as if a user can go from vendor to vendor in 2002, but was locked into a specific vendor in 1983. That's just not true. Users are at least equally if not more locked into MS for operating systems and some applications than they ever were in 1983 locked into any of the other vendors. And the company doing everything it can against interoperability (including the latest file sharing patent BS) is... Microsoft.

  • by primus_sucks ( 565583 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:45PM (#3389722)
    "There is no clear dividing line between where a particular block of "middleware" ends and the rest of the operating system begins," Gates said.

    Maybe Gates should go back to being CEO instead of Chief Software Architect!
  • Too bad. (Score:3, Funny)

    by tcd004 ( 134130 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:45PM (#3389726) Homepage
  • by stagmeister ( 575321 ) <> on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:46PM (#3389729) Homepage
    It seems to me that Gates is like the big DV in many ways -- not only does he preach the dark side, but he strives to build an Empire. As Vader says in The Empire Strikes Back, "Join me, and together we can end this distructive conflict." Basically, what I'm saying is that it's pretty obvious what Microsoft's goal is -- not necessarily to make tons of money, but to make a whole computing system under which it is very easy for developers and users a like to work and play. Now, making lots of $$ is a side-issue, but Gates also seems to think that the only way to get people to work together and come up with something that is good is to take them all over, business-wise, so that they have to use MS technologies. I've developed some stuff with a couple of people who used to work for MS (as developers, not corporate paper-pushers), and what they all tell me is that MS has high lofty goals, and that actually most of the bugs in software don't come out of bad coding, but bad communication between the coders, as some people may create a class to do X and the creators of software Y use it, but then the API of X is changed and then Y is screwed up. Either way, I think that Gates' view, like Vader's, that you need to create an empire and then order will come, is wrong. I think that OSS is the way to go and that that's the best way to get people to work together -- to share. Gates'll probably shoot himself in the foot through cross-examination anyway.
  • ...yes, but what colour was it?
  • GREP (Score:2, Funny)

    by TheoFish ( 139696 )
    grep -c innovat
    • Re:GREP (Score:2, Funny)

      by hburch ( 98908 )
      To save others some time, the answer is 79, of which 4 were in the table of contents and 1 more in the summary table of contents.
  • by BurritoWarrior ( 90481 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:47PM (#3389747)
    I'm a delusional billionaire who thinks that even though my company has been convicted, it should be allowed to continue doing what it has always done.

    Cripes. The remedy will set computing back? *Hits Gates with the clue stick*. It's your fucking company's predatory bullshit that has driven out competitors and stifled innovation that has set the industry back.
  • From this article: []

    "The (states' ideas) would undermine all three elements of Microsoft's success, causing great damage to Microsoft, other companies that build upon Microsoft's products, and the businesses and consumers that use PC software," the world's richest man said in his 155-page written submission.

    Hey, wait a second...

    "The (states' ideas) would undermine all three elements of Microsoft's success ..."

    ... fear, uncertainty, and doubt?

    "... causing great damage to Microsoft ...."
    • by 1WingedAngel ( 575467 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @05:09PM (#3389953) Homepage
      Bill Gates: NOBODY expects the Microsoft Monopoly! Our chief weapon is
      suprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two
      weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our
      *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an
      almost fanatical devotion to the Bil Gates.... Our *four*
      *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as
      fear, surprise.... I'll come in again. (Exit and exeunt)

      Congress: I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition.
  • I am amused (Score:5, Insightful)

    by subgeek ( 263292 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:53PM (#3389793) Homepage Journal
    that MS keeps talking about the damage to MS and the PC ecosystem.

    MS was found to be a monopoly that abused its monopoly status to further its business. why should business that was illegally obtained be protected. it's as though they should be let off of the hook since they got away with it for so long. this is similar to a person stealing a car, getting caught after a year, and then being allowed to keep the stolen car because he'd already had it for a year.

    as far as the PC ecosystem is concerned, it is just as ridiculous. MS probably did have a lot to do with standardizing a PC platform way back in the infancy of desktop PC use. but now they are saying innovation will stop and things will be set back if people are allowed to use things other than Windows to do Windows tasks. this is not necessarily the case. if companies are allowed to make emulators/interpreters/compatibilty programs, all of the existing software out there would still work. people would have the choice of using native software or the generic Windows software on their systems. the only ones hurt in this scenario is Microsoft. letting more (non-MS) software interact with Windows would make things even more compatible than they are now. People just wouldn't have to depend on a single OS / Office vendor to provide compatibility.

    other companies should not have to help cover MS's r&d expense for MS Office. MS talks about this like they are the only ones who ever thought of making word processor and spreadsheet programs. the only secrets that would be unveiled would be the wacky MS file formats.

    in spite of all of this, i think MS will come out of this trial with a slap on the wrist and monopolistic business practices will continue
  • I think the astounding part of this is that Gates has come to the point of arguing that modular software is bad, and not only that, impossible. When in fact Microsoft fully understands the value of modularity and is really in the mainstream of software engineering on the issue of modular == good.

    What they really think is that exposing modularity in a fair way will hurt MS, but what they are arguing goes so much further... it's a little worrisome if I thought anyone would believe him at his word.

    Odd Thought: I wonder if they really want to stop shipping windows but can only do this if they blame the Government. MSUnix without losing face ("they made us"). (Note: I didn't say MSLinux)
  • Umh... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by OneFix ( 18661 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:56PM (#3389822)
    In written testimony submitted after he was sworn in, Gates argued that penalties the states have proposed would give Microsoft's competitors an unfair advantage.'s doing its job. That's exactly what this is meant to do. M$ has held an unfair monopoly over the industry for years, and this is meant to give other companies the chance to strip some of their power away.

    As a monopoly, everything that comprises Windoze and Office are the result of ill-gotten gains and should be plundered like M$ has done to others in the past.

    If it is sucessful, this could be what brings the tech industry out of its current slump...
    • M$ has held an unfair monopoly

      Instead of "unfair", say "illegal": it's true (ruled on and upheld on appeal), and it has a nicer ring to it -- "unfair" sounds a little whiney.

  • The remedies suck (Score:3, Flamebait)

    by cygnusx ( 193092 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @04:57PM (#3389833) Homepage
    There was this good Register story [] a while ago where a Sun director talked about customers' expectations from a *software* vendor. The word `sedimentation' was mentioned. And that's precisely the problem: from MS to Redhat to Sun, everyone bundles, is forced to, or goes out of business because that's what the customer wants.

    But the people (or their backstage paymasters) focus on buzzwords like `bundling' and push for stupid remedies like ``releasing windows' source'' and all. Yeah right. Like that's gonna happen. The thing to do would have been fine MS (heavily -- they sure can afford it, with 36bn(!) in cash -- for restrictive OEM licenses, cause a world of hurt to their bottom line, and move on.

    But for MS' many (whiny []) competitors, legal eagles are now substituting for credible tech competition and decent business plans. And so the lawsuit has become a hem-the-giant-in game, even as these very same whiners [] continue [] haemorrhaging [] money. These losers don't deserve any sympathy at all.
    • Re:The remedies suck (Score:4, Informative)

      by pmz ( 462998 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @05:28PM (#3390139) Homepage
      ...from MS to Redhat to Sun, everyone bundles, is forced to, or goes out of business because that's what the customer wants.

      However, the manner in which companies do the bundling varies widely. Take Solaris, for example.

      Sun hides nothing when it bundles software and gives credit where it is due. They do this with Apache, Perl, Java, X Windows, and the Berkeley UNIX compatibility tools, for example. The user is never forced to use these tools, but they certainly may choose to. The only component of Solaris a person is really forced to use is the kernel. Otherwise, Solaris is very modular allowing the user to pick and choose pretty much everything else.

      The same is true for Linux and the free BSDs, as well. This is not true of Windows.

      The difference between Microsoft and everyone else is that Microsoft is arrogant, imposing, and rude towards its customers. Microsoft has lost the notion of working for the customers, which is why more and more people are turning away from Microsoft every day.

      Companies should be bending over backwards to satisfy their customers, and they should be honest about it, too. Meanwhile, Microsoft has been steadily dropping in rank on my list of companies that have earned my business. I think it will be very soon before Microsoft drops off that list entirely.
      • by cygnusx ( 193092 )
        Sun hides nothing when it bundles software and gives credit where it is due. They do this with Apache, Perl, Java, X Windows, and the Berkeley UNIX compatibility tools, for example. The user is never forced to use these tools, but they certainly may choose to.

        Actually Perl, Apache, X .. can all be bundled with Windows if MS wishes. The reason they don't bundle it is that they have a strong not-invented-here and don't-leave-our-walled-garden mentality (proof: look up WMIC []. oh the pain of reinventing - badly!)

        The point is, with this sort of attitude, you run the risk of being called an arrogant prick, but a judge shouldn't even consider it. What's tragic about the MS antitrust case is that the shady OEM deals, the dual-boot prohibition (BeOS suffered because of this), the arm-twisting -- are all subsumed into a weird argument about how Netscape was wronged because Microsoft bundled an effing browser with the OS.
        • by gehrehmee ( 16338 )
          Or they're worried that someone can pay $200 for their home edition of Windows and get server-quality http and smb daemons with no limitations on the number of users, instead of paying countless thousands of dollars running a MS-based web server.
  • The Real Story... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I just read an article about how the government is deciding which vendor / vendors to go with concerning the mandated use of some type of "passport" system for all users of the internet in the US.

    heres on story on it: stech nology/134438173_passport18.html

    After reading it I realized why Microsoft created .NET, passport, and the whole hailstorm philosophy. It not a natural shift in the sense of technology. It's not and was never intended for the corporate world. Knowing how long the government takes to decide on something, we can be assured that the governments plan has been in the works for some time more than likely years. Naturally any company including Microsoft has been keeping tabs on the government's plan from the beginning.

    Microsoft's entire new technology shift to XP, .Net, and passport was intended to get this contract from the government. Once you realize the magnitude of the this contract it becomes clear that the money Microsoft makes in a year will be a drop in the bucket compared to this contract. Think how much money they will make once ALL internet users in the US and all those accessing US sites will be required to use some sort of "passport" service.

    Getting corporate america to sign on to any of Microsoft's new technologies is just a bonus.
  • "Microsoft today is investing heavily in XML Web Services, a next-generation computing platform that holds the potential to unleash new waives of productivity gains in the economy."

    Amazingly truthful for a Microsoft statement, but I think it would have been clearer to say "throw away", or "forsake" instead of "waives" productivity gains.
  • Bill Gates puts a lot of emphasis on the protection of Microsoft's intellectual property and how the nine states' rememdies will "force" Microsoft to give its IP to competitors. Gates is using essentially the same arguments to defend itself in the trial and attacks on the GPL--the need to protect Microsoft's "innovation." Gates is projecting his own interests to be the interests of the world.

    The new judge should see Bill Gates' self-centered ego, like Judge Jackson who thought Gates has a Napoleon-like mentality [].

    Wonder when will Microsoft begin to claim the nine states are "intellectual property destroyers" or are conspiring with Richard Stallman against Microsoft...
  • by Andy Tai ( 1884 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @05:08PM (#3389939) Homepage
    Gates claims [] today Microsoft's efforts to open its APIs and protocols to developers, so they can develop programs that interoperate with Windows, are enough.

    Then the nine states should question Gates over the recently publicized CIFS license incident [], asking him why are GPL developers excluded?
  • by Hnice ( 60994 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @05:09PM (#3389948) Homepage
    If MS Server products are indeed the biggest threat to high-priced Unix provider alternatives, boy oh boy, Sun must be shaking in their boots!

    You know what would be even worse for guys selling Unix systems would be if there was a completely free, readily available posix-compliant operating system that would run on PC hardware! AAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!
  • There is no clear dividing line between where a particular block of "middleware" ends and the rest of the operating system begins

    You just have to wonder what kind of moron would come up with something like this. No wonder Windows has trailed the Unix word when it comes to stability.

    I'll admit that win2k is a decent piece of software. It does what it should do, fairly cleanly and it's pretty stable too. However, this is only a recent development after Microsoft realized that they were threatened from below by the OSS movement.

    Microsoft has a long history of doing its best work (IE3&4 were quite good from a user point of view) when it is in a direct competitive situation. It is clearly in our best interest that they are forced to compete.

  • by elflet ( 570757 ) <elflet&nextquestion,net> on Monday April 22, 2002 @05:13PM (#3389995)
    Gates' testimony basically comes down to if we can't have everything, all we built will crumble to dust. That would make many /.-ers happy, but it's unlikely to happen.

    Look at Everett Rogers []' work on the diffusion of innovations. Basically, once an innovation has been picked up by about 25% of the available market, network effects (people talking to each other) take over and adoption becomes virtually unstoppable. Just the use of MS Office gives Windows a thoroughly entrenched position.

    Can MS be dislodged? Let's say that the various *NIX factions get organized enough to make a serious run at displacing MS Windows. Rogers lists 5 conditions that are required for an innovation to be successful, and they place alternate operating systems at a disadvantage (definitions from Rogers' site, italicized comments mine):

    1. Relative advantage: the degree to which an innovation is perceived as better than the idea it supersedes. Unless an alternative can show a substantial increase in uptime, a far more attractive UI, and seamless installation, it won't play in the mass market.
    2. Compatibility: the degree to which an innovation is perceived as being consistent with existing values, past experiences, and needs of potential adopters. It has to run MS Office and whatever motley collection of apps people have gathered over the years.
    3. Complexity: the degree to which an innovation is perceived as difficult to understand and use. Self-explanatory.
    4. Trialability: the degree to which an innovation may be experimented with on a limited basis. OK, Windows fails this too -- but people don't even know there's an alternative to be tried. Where's the *NIX equivalent of AOL's "1000 free hours" preview?
    5. Observability: the degree to which the results of an innovation are visible to others. If you adopt *NIX, how will this improve your life in ways that are clearly visible to others, including (and especially) non-techies?

    So, anyone want to make Gates' nightmares come true?

  • Hmm. It occured to me that maybe we are misinterpreting the fight that MS is putting up. They keep whining about the crippling effect the relatively benign settlement would bring about. They keep telling us how it'll hurt them, so badly, and please don't do this.

    To me this seems like a great way to avoid a proper, harsh remedy. (Many others have suggested far better remedies that would cause much more pain and be much more appropriate; I don't need to go into those here.) If they yell it loud enough and long enough, maybe people will believe this is a harsh remedy, and apply it, because after all, MS does deserve punishment, and why not use this one, since it's pretty harsh, after all MS said so?

    Food for thought.

  • From Gates' testimony:
    272. Over the long-term, modifications to Windows by individual OEMs acting in their short-term self interest would present a classic tragedy of the commons problem. Just as a lake that is fished too heavily soon will support no one, the PC ecosystem as a whole will suffer if the stability and consistency of Windows is not maintained, for the reasons I discussed above. When PCs become less reliable because the quality of Windows has been compromised, when consumers must undergo retraining to operate different brands of PCs because of differences in their user interfaces, when applications written for one version of Windows will not run on another version, the entire PC ecosystem will suffer.

    How many game theorists out there are gnashing their teeth because of this blatant misstating of the "tragedy of the commons" problem?
  • by NetRanger ( 5584 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @05:21PM (#3390079) Homepage
    The reason Microsoft will not be disentrenched from the mainstream computer is precisely because that is exactly what most corporations fear the most. In their eyes, MS software has solved even basic corporate organizational problems (think Exchange). The fear of Microsoft picking up its toys and going home is exactly why you are seeing so much appeasement from their end.

    At this point, everything has been standardized, IT execs only know MS products, MS services, and IBM compatible computers. They've never known a world where you chose what computer systems had a available version of the software your company needed -- there is no longer such an issue. And they love Bill for that.

    Microsoft has developed a monopoly of the market precisely because it saw the needs of the big businesses and filled them as quickly as possible, and worried about quality later. It's unfortunate, but that's how the cookie crumbles.

    Has Microsoft really innovated? Of course not -- but that's beside point. The point is they took lots of great ideas, appropriated them, made it illegal for anyone else to appropriate them, and then packed all the most useful stuff into five or six packages which can all be ordered from one place. Game over.

    Unfortunately even the U.S. Government is seeing the failure of easy controls on the software market. By the time you put one control in place, the market has already changed. Frankly, if the breakup option is gone, then there is no remedy that will stop Microsoft from continuing to terrorize the software industry.
  • You gotta admire this guy's cojones, though. He argues that because of the states' remedy, "competition would be reduced not only in operating systems, but in other key product categories where Microsoft is the strongest challenger to incumbent leaders." Specifically, he mentions online services (AOL), handhelds (Palm), and game consoles (Sony).

    In other words, Microsoft will no longer be able to use its monopoly position in the OS market to heavy-handedly bash its way into new markets. And he spins it like this is a bad thing! Simply amazing.

    Come to think of it, what does he mean by "competition would be reduced not only in operating systems"? Is he arguing that the states' remedy will actually increase Microsoft's stranglehold on the OS market? If so, then maybe we need some more severe remedies. :-)
  • by weave ( 48069 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @05:33PM (#3390170) Journal
    He claims that the state's remedies would set Windows back 10 years and freeze it there.

    Come on Bill, you throw out a wild claim like that that has no foundation in reality and it makes all of your other claims suspect.

    10 years ago, Windows 3.0 was out. The copy of Windows NT I got 5 years ago allowed me the option not to install IE and it ran fine without it.

    He's sounding like a spoiled whining brat.

    I guess he just can't tell the truth like "Yes, it'd be possible, but we'd have to spend about x amount of time and y amount of dollars to separate the page rendering code into a callable API to allow alternative browsers to link into it.

    I *do* see a benefit to having the OS render HTML in a window of an app I build, and you can do this quite easily with IE currently. Removing it would break apps that expect this to be there. That wouldn't be a good thing. Why doesn't he explain that point instead of throwing a temper tantrum like "If you make us do it, we'll never release another version of Windows ever again, nyah, nyah, how do you like that?"

    • Ummm... What's the difference to an app making a RenderHTML( &window, &HTMLObject ) call whether the RenderHTML() implementation is in the OS or a DLL? In fact, in Windows, it is in a DLL even when it's in the OS, so the only thing that would change is which DLL it's in.

      Which is the point Gates doesn't want to admit to, because as soon as he does the whole "everything must be integrated into Windows or it won't work" argument explodes and his main method of fending off competitors evaporates.

  • a thought (Score:5, Funny)

    by kin_korn_karn ( 466864 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @05:47PM (#3390259) Homepage
    I wonder how much smoke his hand gave off when it touched the Bible :D
  • by ackthpt ( 218170 )
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates (news - web sites) took the witness stand on Monday, telling a federal judge that antitrust sanctions sought by nine states would cripple Microsoft [slow down a monopoly juggernaut on its way to world domination] and set its Windows operating system back 10 years[leading to an operating system less inconvenient to used than the present on], to the detriment of consumers [we'll have to jack up the prices to make up for lost 'Microsoft Tax' revenues] and the computer industry [That part of it that isn't already dead from declining markets, consolidation and predatory practices of monopolists].

    Appearing in person for the first time [second time actually, first time he behaved like an ass which probably has a lot to do with the fix he's in now] in Microsoft's four-year antitrust battle, Gates warned U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of dire consequences["If you don't play according to my rules, I'll take my ball and go straight home"] if the judge accepts suggestions that include a version of Windows that can be customized by computer makers and rival software designers [Which, heaven forbid, would lead to some real innovation, not just that dictated from Redmond] .

    Gates said the nine states threaten Windows' existence as a stable platform[Watch out for perjury, Bill] that allows a wide range of computer hardware [PC's, soon to be phased out Alpha's and the odd multi processor system] and software [Mostly theirs] to work together, and would deny Microsoft the incentive[Huge profits only realized by monopolies and other criminal activity] to make continual improvements [Rather than make it secure, stable and open].

    "The (states' ideas) would undermine all three elements of Microsoft's success [Getting rich, richer, richer still], causing great damage to Microsoft [Excluding the damage they do to others and themselves], other companies [Partners yet to be screwed] that build upon Microsoft's products [Which used to be made by other companies now out of business or holding less than 5% of the market], and the businesses and consumers that use PC software," the world's richest man [who gained much of his wealth from predatory and monoplistic practices] said in his 155-page written submission [Doubtlessly not composed in Word Perfect].

    Some legal analysts have said Gates' failure to take the stand at the original trial damaged the company's defense [No worse than heavy sighes, evasive answers, and contemptful attitued toward the court]. The Justice Department [Soon to be part of the Microsoft empire] (news - web sites), instead, showed unflattering portions of a videotaped pretrial interview in which Gates appeared uncooperative and quibbled over the meaning of common words.

    The nine states still pursuing the case have refused to sign on to a proposed settlement of the case reached between Microsoft and the Justice Department in November[Written by Microsoft, agreed to by DoJ].

    Appearing as Microsoft's seventh witness at the remedy hearings, Gates credited Microsoft's Windows monopoly with having helped to unite a fragmented personal computer industry[I.e. destroy all the fragments and the companies which were developing them]. "By reducing Windows to some undefined 'core operating system' the (states) would turn back the clock on Windows development by about ten years and effectively freeze it there," he said [Which would actually make it more accessable to consumers and business customers who don't want all the bundled and confusing bloat, thus pulling it out of the dark ages]

    Gates said the company's new .NET strategy for Internet-based services [And to kill Java and absorb 95% of that market, too, locking every user into running Windows proprietary software] would spark a new round of opportunities in the computer industry [Opportunities go bankrupt, to deal with more bugs, to be vulnerable to more security flaws, to spend huge bucks retraining or recruiting new staff, ...], contradicting some witnesses for the states who feared Microsoft would use its Windows monopoly to dominate this emerging technology [Which they would].

    The demands of the non-settling states are technically impossible, Gates said [And amazingly his nose didn't grow an inch or three]. And he dismissed the idea that Windows' could function properly with add-on features, known as "middleware," that were easily added and removed [i.e. we trust no-one but ourselves and we're basically barely any good at it ourselves].

    "There is no clear dividing line between where a particular block of "middleware" ends and the rest of the operating system begins," Gates said[Particularly because Microsoft violates their own API's whenever it will gain them an advantage, hence dirty software].

  • by Hooya ( 518216 ) on Monday April 22, 2002 @07:34PM (#3391048) Homepage
    Yeah, yor 'onor...

    I'm an honorable businessman. I got dis business down in chicago. Wit dis money I make, I'm creating a loddof, watcha call it, jobs... yea, jobs. On toppadat, I also pay the state and da feds.. sometimes underda table. So in oder words, I'm generating a lot of revenue for da country. Wit dis Ness [] (or here [] for an update) mess, you got dis business set back some fiddy years. Do you really want to set us back 50 years and undo all the progress we made? The eco-system that we have created with our blood and sweat? People are working together day and night and the supply chain management is flawless. We have efficiency you don't see in any other industry. We also have the best dedication among any group of organized labor. They are ready to give their life for the good of da business. You want to dismantle us just because we rob banks and supply the alcohol that the consumer wants? Since when is it a crime to supply what the people want. This is what the consumer are telling us -- 'give us more alcohol'. The consumer also wants some redistribution of wealth so we bundled that together as well. We rob banks and give the money to the working class (as long as they're working for us.) People also wants protection. Why have the police as a seperate entity just to provide the protection. We bundled that together too -- just pay us the protection fee. So you see yo 'onor. We are just putting together dis package that the consumer wants. We bundle all these features together and give the consumer what they want. With everyting integreted into one big package, they just have one, how shall i say this, neighborhood representative to talk to for all their daily needs: booze, protection, etc..If you dismantle us we won't be able to function like one large organized business. [] It will take us years to rebuild this empire. Many more people will have to be killed in the process. Whadabbout all the 'little' people that drive trucks everynight to bring you the booze. In short, yor 'onor, we are one big happy family. We bring people what they want in one big package. It took us years to build this empire. Besides I just gave some money and R&D promise to provide for compition to Steve Jobs' [] Apple. Don't break us up.

    You dissappoint me fredo. (oops.. wrong movie) you dissappoint me yor 'onor.


    Bill Gates []

    Seriously tho, the similarities about the business/empire and how they are evolving are scary. Bill Gates must be the digital gangsta'. He needs to get a wireless divice shooting bits and bytes all over the place disrupting standard protocol ala Kerberos. let's call it the 'tommy PDA'. wouldn't it be funny when you start hearing .. 'in the news.. Bill Gates is wanted by the feds for questioning for the drive by rebooting.'

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes