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Gates Successor Says Microsoft Laid Foundation for Google 500

thefickler writes "According to Bill Gates' successor Craig Mundie, there would have been no Google without Microsoft. 'I mean, the fact is: Google's existence and success required Microsoft to have been successful previously to create the platform that allowed them to go on and connect people to their search servers. Now, Microsoft's business is not to control the platform per se, but in fact to allow it to be exploited by the world's developers. The fact that we have it out there gives us a good business, but in some ways it doesn't give us an advantage over any of the other developers in terms of being able to utilize it.' This comment comes from a lengthy interview between Mundie and APC magazine, which talks with the newly installed strategy and R&D head. Other interesting topics discussed include the future of Microsoft and Windows, OOXML, and and the 'rise of Linux' on the desktop."
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Gates Successor Says Microsoft Laid Foundation for Google

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  • by kmac06 ( 608921 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @11:44AM (#20603875)
    I think I want some.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 14, 2007 @11:50AM (#20603985)
      but... but... ./sarcasm --on

      If it werent for microsoft, there would have been no internet, or at least no web browsers for it!

      I mean didn't Microsoft invent networking?
      The first web browser (Internet Explorer, the Mosaic thing is a LIE!), wasn't that created by MS?
      And everyone knows IIS was the first web server!
      Certainly BSD, Sun, Apple, and the rest didn't have any internet access before they stole it from Micrsoft. ./sarcasm --off

      I feel dumber even after typing that, knowing it is sarcasm and false...
      • by NickFortune ( 613926 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @01:41PM (#20605747) Homepage Journal

        I feel dumber even after typing that, knowing it is sarcasm and false...

        That's not really fair.

        I think it's fairly clear that Mundie is referring to the sudden increase in global data flow that coincided with the advent of the Internet. In effect, I think he's making the claim that without Microsoft's valiant attempts to choke off this dataflow, without its deliberate obfuscations and distortions, without the calculated policies of embrace and extend... I think he's suggesting that without these factors, there would be no need for Google; that without Microsoft fscking it up for the rest of us, we wouldn't need Google to find useful information. And to that extent at least, I think he has a point.

        All the same, I still think he's giving MS too much credit: The main problem was that even despite MS' best efforts, there was still to much information to easily organise.

        Still, I can see where the man is coming from.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by tbannist ( 230135 )
          No, I'm afraid not. He's shameless agrandizing the company he helms because it's good for business to do so. He has no knowledge of the history of computing and doesn't care to learn it either. As far as he's concerned everything good is a result of Microsoft's hard work. Learning more about the actual history would only make it harder for him to say the things stuff like this with a straight face.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by elyk ( 970302 )
        Hey Microsoft - Al Gore called. He wants his credit for the internet back
    • by stox ( 131684 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @11:58AM (#20604137) Homepage
      I don't think you want to smoke what he is smoking. It obviously kills a lot of brain cells. I guess he kept a vintage stash of PCP from the late 1970's.
    • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @01:10PM (#20605307) Journal
      He's completely right. If Microsoft hadn't invented TCP/IP, the network Google runs on would not exist. If they hadn't written Linux, Google would not have had the platform they use for hosting services (they'd have had to use BSD or something). If they hadn't written Apache, Google wouldn't have been able to serve web pages. If they hadn't written Mosaic or Netscape Navigator, then the web on which Google runs would have been a small scale research toy.

      This post was brought to you by Microsoft Minitrue(TM)

  • Yeah - so? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkFencer ( 260473 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @11:45AM (#20603889)
    And many others (IBM, Bell Labs, Xerox, Apple, etc.) were needed for Microsoft to be successful. Who cares?
    • Re:Yeah - so? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @11:49AM (#20603957) Journal
      This claim is pathetically off-base, however. There were Internet search programs before Microsoft even noticed there was an Internet. Search engines like Webcrawler existed while Microsoft's Internet iniative was in its infancy.

      Ah well, they don't hire people to run Microsoft based on honesty or an actual understanding.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        I don't know about that. Yes, there were web crawlers way back in the day. But you have to admit, Microsoft helped bring computing to the masses. If there had been no Microsoft, the internet would be what USENET was back in the day: something used by geeks and scientists and not much else. In that sense, I think he's right.

        On the other hand, that doesn't entitle MSFT to any preferential treatment. By his same logic, the phone companies and the electric companies laid the framework for the internet beca
        • Re:Yeah - so? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Timothy Brownawell ( 627747 ) <> on Friday September 14, 2007 @12:06PM (#20604293) Homepage Journal

          But you have to admit, Microsoft helped bring computing to the masses. If there had been no Microsoft, the internet would be what USENET was back in the day: something used by geeks and scientists and not much else.

          No. If there had been no Microsoft, someone else would have done that. Maybe Apple, maybe BSD, maybe Linux/GNU/etc, maybe some company we've never heard of. Maybe OS/2 would have taken off.

          Really, it tends to be complete garbage to say that a particular advance would not have happened if whoever did it hadn't been there. Once the foundations are in place things become pretty much inevitable, and being remembered for starting something is just a matter of out-competing everyone else and/or getting things working two weeks before the next guy.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Selfbain ( 624722 )
            Is Newton hadn't been born we wouldn't have calculus and... oh wait.
          • Re:Yeah - so? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Alien Being ( 18488 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @12:24PM (#20604599)
            You're absolutely right.

            MS claims to have paved the way for Google, yet their initial goal was to make the Internet irrelevant with "The Microsoft Network". Ever since they embraced the Net, they've been creating speedbumps, potholes and tollbooths. In my estimation they have set the computing world back at least a decade from where it could have been without them.

            Just look at how late they were in offering a memory-protected multitasking OS. How many years were lost fighting "The browser wars"? How many good software companies have been destroyed by their predatory practices? How many serious security problems did they fail to address? How much extra hardware has been deployed in order to cope with the inefficiencies of MSWindows? How much data is locked away in their proprietary formats?
          • Re:Yeah - so? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by hobo sapiens ( 893427 ) <TEA minus caffeine> on Friday September 14, 2007 @01:13PM (#20605351) Journal
            "Really, it tends to be complete garbage to say that a particular advance would not have happened if whoever did it hadn't been there."
            Um, no, I am not saying that. That's you putting words in my mouth.

            You are right, someone else would have done what MSFT did. But MSFT was there, and they did what they did well -- bring computing to the masses, nefarious business practices aside. I guess I said something contrary to the groupthink here because people are pretty rabidly trying to refute my post, which in most cases, it is obvious they did not read. I am NOT defending MSFT, I too dislike their business practices. I generally dislike their software, and I too believe that IE is THE inhibitor to the web's progress. It's just that in the mid 90's, MSFT did *something* right, even if that something was to market an inferior OS to the point it became dominant.

            When you mention obscure operating systems, I have to laugh. The point that you and almost everyone else who replied to me fails to see is that if the internet was just a place for geeks, hobbyists, and scientists to communicate, that is, if someone hadn't made it feasible for virtually EVERYONE to have a home PC, google might exist but they most certainly wouldn't be the multi-billion dollar corporation they are now. That is no slam on google -- as someone else posted, everyone stands on the shoulders of giants. Innovation comes from innovation.

            Again, I AM NOT defending MSFT. But give credit where credit's due, even if that credit is to acknowledge that a company was very successful in marketing an inferior OS to the masses. Saying that MSFT did a good job in marketing an inferior product to the masses, which in turn allowed for everyone to be on the internet, which in turn paved the way for countless individuals to make a crapload of money is not the same thing as saying MSFT invented the internet or that google owes MSFT royalties. I don't know how much clearer I can make it. Please don't put words in my mouth.

            And what is wrong with admitting that MSFT has been successful at making the world of computing more accessible to the layperson? I honestly didn't think that would be such a controversial statement; it just seems like an acknowledgment of fact. It's not like I am even saying that Windows is better than *nix or Mac OS, or that the popularity of Windows hasn't caused problems of its own, or that I think all the people on the net these days make meaningful contributions, or even that MSFT still makes computing easy. Those would be opinions. I figured what I stated is a fact, provable that most poor computer users are all prisoners of bill to this day, and most PCs used by people to connect to the net are (malware infested) windows computers.
          • Re:Yeah - so? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by SEE ( 7681 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @01:22PM (#20605493) Homepage
            OS/2 was heavily written by Microsoft in the early years (the 1.x versions were all called "Microsoft OS/2"); if Windows/386 hadn't been invented (setting the stage for Windows 3.0) and prompted the IBM-Microsoft Divorce, Microsoft would have still been the dominant PC OS vendor in the 1990s, selling OS/2. Which, given various factors, probably would have had a 16-bit 2.0 version similar to OS/2 1.x, and a 3.0 version based on the Windows NT kernel with a more OS/2-like 32-bit API.

            However, let's assume Microsoft is wiped out by some sort of financial scandal in, oh, 1984. It ceases to exist, IBM winds up with exclusive control of PC/MS-DOS, Windows never comes along, IBM tries developing OS/2 in-house for the 286 processor.

            Well, the most likely result here is the Revenge of Digital Research. DR ships DOS Plus (a predecessor of DR-DOS able to run both CP/M-86 and DOS 2.11 programs) and GEM/1 (a GUI) in 1985; the clonemakers buy both from DR instead of just DOS from IBM.

            The likely evolution of PC OSes probably then follows the historical late 1980s evolution of DR products -- you wind up with a multitasking GEM (similar to the historical GEM/XM) and DOS (probably something similar to Concurrent DOS) pretty much filling the Windows 3.x role as everybody's standard x86 PC desktop, and an evolved version as Windows 95-equivalent. (Past there gets murky; does DR do a Windows NT? Do they use 4.4 BSD Lite and create a Unix that runs DOS/GEM programs? Or does a competitor knock them off the perch?)
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by walt-sjc ( 145127 )
          Yes. Without Microsoft, the Mac, Amiga, Unix, BeOS, etc. would never have existed, and people would still be using model 33 teletypes over acoustic-coupler modems.


          The personal computing revolution would have happened with or without Microsoft. It was all a matter of timing and nefarious business practices that allowed Microsoft to be the dominant player and their resulting "defacto monopoly". We they a part of "bringing computers to the masses?" Sure, in a sense because they were THERE, not because o
        • Re:Yeah - so? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Newander ( 255463 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @12:12PM (#20604409)
          The Internet came to the masses despite Microsoft.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Stormwatch ( 703920 )

          But you have to admit, Microsoft helped bring computing to the masses. If there had been no Microsoft, the internet would be what USENET was back in the day: something used by geeks and scientists and not much else.
          If IBM had chosen CP/M for their PC, rather than Microsoft's inferior (but cheaper) rip-off, maybe you'd be saying the same thing about Digital Research now.
          • by flyingsquid ( 813711 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @12:35PM (#20604779)
            And what if the Nazis had won WWII, like in Philip K. Dick's Man in the High Castle? Instead of having little Windows icons on our start menus, we'd have little swastikas!

            Then again, given that the Allies were the leaders in computing during WWII, a victory by the Third Reich would probably have delayed the PC revolution by many years. So really, Google couldn't have happened without Germany's disastrous decision to assault the Soviet Union... and we all know who made thatdecision. What that means, of course, is that Google really owes their very existence to Hitler.

        • Re:Yeah - so? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by king-manic ( 409855 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @12:23PM (#20604585)
          But you have to admit, Microsoft helped bring computing to the masses. If there had been no Microsoft, the internet would be what USENET was back in the day: something used by geeks and scientists and not much else. In that sense, I think he's right.

          I wouldn't credit Microsoft, I'd credit IBM and their incredible lack of foresight. It was cheap computing that made PC's ubiquitous. If for some reason Apple had thought of cheap commodity hardware first we'd all be complaining about a apple hegemony and how much we fear and hate the evil apple empire. We'd bemoan the cruel and restrictive titan etc... MS was lucky to get where they are. I have no doubt MS would have been successful due to its shrewd business practices, ruthless direction etc.. but it's total dominance is more about luck then talent or skill.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Xonstantine ( 947614 )
            Microsoft's skill, as an organization, is creating and defining the market. And frequently, destroying the market to kneecap a competitor. Aside from the initial Bill Gates break with DOS, Microsoft hasn't been that "lucky" in a business sense. A lot of people, especially on Slashdot, look at Microsoft and their frequently shoddy products, and go "How did Microsoft get here? It must've been luck!". Never mind that Microsoft isn't the only one that releases shoddy products and engages in unfair business
        • Re:Yeah - so? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @12:25PM (#20604615) Homepage
          But you have to admit, Microsoft helped bring computing to the masses.

          No, I have to admit that cheap IBM PC clones which double in power and drop in price every year or two helped bring computing to the masses. If Microsoft hadn't been there, it would have been some other OS that ran on these clones and that would have been that. If IBM had signed an exclusive license with MS for MSDOS, then it would have been any of the other disk operating systems and any of the other DOS-based GUIs that would have become the standard PC OS.

          If anyone has the right to say that they brought computing to the masses, it was Compaq who reverse engineered the IBM BIOS and then won the resulting legal battle.

          Especially considering that the real "platform" which Google is based on is the WWW, which Microsoft is infamous for having first underestimated (along with the 'net in general) as a passing fad, then viewed as a threat to their monopoly that they had to embrace and extend to make sure you still needed Windows to use the Web.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Radon360 ( 951529 )

          If there had been no Microsoft, the internet would be what USENET was back in the day: something used by geeks and scientists and not much else. In that sense, I think he's right.

          I'd disagree on this one issue. I think stuff like NCSA Mosaic and Eudora had a part in making the internet friendlier to the masses. If not that, one could arguably say that mega BBS services like AOL and Prodigy were the precursors before melding the internet into their offerings. Web/file/mail servers were largely (if not almost entirely) running on Unix/Linux platforms around the time the internet was released fully to the public domain. MS basically just happened to have a popular OS for the XT pl

        • Re:Yeah - so? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @12:57PM (#20605109) Journal
          If there had been no Microsoft, the internet would be what USENET was back in the day: something used by geeks and scientists and not much else

          Oh, if only. If only...
      • Re:Yeah - so? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @12:51PM (#20605021) Homepage Journal
        CP/M was already out there and pretty popular when Microsoft rolled onto the scenes. Back in the early-to-mid 80's there was a general computing boom going on, with several companies putting forth systems designed for home use. You had Tandy, Atari, various CP/M systems, Texas Instruments and Commidore. Oh and Apple. All my high school programming classes were done on Apple II machines. Most college CS departments had UNIX machines and the more well funded ones had Sun workstations running CDE. Well before Microsoft even started to think about GUI programming, I might add.

        Had the PC or Microsoft not come onto the scenes, one of the others would have ended up on top and we'd possibly even be further along than we are now. Who knows what would have happened if the industry hadn't standardized on Intel's crappy segmented memory architecture and Microsoft's crappy APIs. We probably would have fusion and flying cars right now if it weren't for Microsoft and Intel. Ok, that's exaggerating a little, but the PC platform was not the only one out there and it wasn't even the one with the best design or the most usable interface.

        And as much as Microsoft would like to rewrite history, they were very late to the Internet party. When they finally realized that it was important they came over and started doing their own thing. They didn't lay the framework for anything. They're still playing catch-up. They really are a company of very little technical vision. They ARE at the industry leader at claiming the work of other people as their own, though. I'll give them that.

    • "great Artist Steal" but the Blue Screen? THAT is an original...
    • The problem I have is in the quote "Google's existence and success required Microsoft to have been successful previously to create the platform that allowed them to go on and connect people to their search servers."

      He's sort of stating the obvious (which is what you're complaining about), but he's also talking bollockss. If Microsoft hadn't existed then Google wouldn't exist in name, but something delivering their serices surely would. Apple could have taken the place of MS, possibly IBM if they hadn't
    • I think (not like I RTFA) that he means that since Microsoft provided the OS on the computers that made computing a every-body-every-day-act, they provided people to (a) create content for Google to index (b) want to search that content, and is therefore a major part of Googles supply-chain.

      Only problem is that he falls in the "after, therefore because of"-logical trap. Chances are that IBM could have pulled off the PC with somebody other than Microsoft, and that somebody else would have made a modular, ext
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Funny, I didn't know MSFT created the internet, desktop computing, and web browsers.

    Google would work just as well if MSFT had been nothing more than a long-forgotten BASIC provider.
  • by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @11:46AM (#20603897) Homepage Journal
    So, what microsoft are saying is google is standing on the shoulders of giants.

    Well, I suppose they have to; there are no seats left to sit on ;)
  • Al Gore was working for Microsoft when he invented the internet.
  • Bizarre concept. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by threaded ( 89367 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @11:46AM (#20603903) Homepage
    I thought Google only needed a browser to run on, and you can get a browser on any of the various OS I've tried. Well, maybe not that one in the Engine Management Unit, but there again it's not something I thought necessary.
    • The [flawed] logic goes like this: If you take MS out of the picture, then over 90% of the world's desktop and laptop computers go away. What use is Google without a consumer base? MS made the GUI popular and brought the Internet into the home. They are not the first company to do this, of course, but they have been more successful than any other company at it. That is, is [i]doesn't[/i] work on Windows, then Google would not be the colossal corporation that it is today.

      Of course, [i]any[/i]
    • without NeXT there'd be no intertube-web-information-highway thingamajig.
      without PARC there'd be no mouse

      google wouldn't work without either of these companies, but they'd probably do just fine if Microsoft would go under.
  • by pieaholicx ( 1148705 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @11:47AM (#20603907) Homepage
    That without Benjamin Franklin neither of them would be in business. So where's his praise MS and Google? Huh?
  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <(eldavojohn) (at) (> on Friday September 14, 2007 @11:47AM (#20603911) Journal

    Well yes and no. I mean, the fact is: Google's existence and success required Microsoft to have been successful previously to create the platform that allowed them to go on and connect people to their search servers.
    Translation: There were no other operating systems before us. Networking did not exist. Microsoft is GOD. Everything that happens from this point on only happens because we allowed it, we are the original creator, the original thought vector of computing itself. We are the beginning & the end--the Alpha & the Omega! *eyes roll back up into head as lightening strikes in the background*

    Now, Microsoft's business is not to control the platform per se, but in fact to allow it to be exploited by the world's developers. The fact that we have it out there gives us a good business, but in some ways it doesn't give us an advantage over any of the other developers in terms of being able to utilise it.
    Translation: Microsoft maintains a symbiosis with malware developers. Alongside that, we give away free software to universities so that students use it. Then we charge hundreds of dollars for an individual to program the .NET framework. It's free to get the framework's runtime environment on your machine (like Java) but in order to develop anything useful for it, you have to pay us money (unlike Java). In 'some ways' (which I won't list) other developers have an advantage over us because they aren't closed minded to other technologies. Also, we will define standards and strong arm them into the community or make it look like the community made the decision to accept them. Then we will charge you money to develop for them. Remember, we want you to exploit our platform so in the end we can exploit your dependence on us. It's a standard bait and switch procedure. Something looks free then we step in and reveal the cost once you're dependent on it.

    For example, as much as our Virtual Earth product uses a lot of local 3D rendering technology, so does Google Earth. So I think there will be other ways in which we distinguish ourselves and where our knowledge of the platform and ability to continually evolve it, will be a business advantage for us.
    Translation: Remember when we copied Google in the whole mapping and Google Earth thing? Yeah, that was actually totally our idea. I don't recall who came first but I'm certain it was Microsoft. What we'll probably do is use our income in other markets to make sure that nobody ever hears about things like NASA's World Wind [] again. Remember how we lost money on the XBox? Doesn't matter! And we'll lose money on Virtual Earth too if we have to. It's really too bad Google is doing the same thing because we could have totally been making bank off of Virtual Earth from day one if there wasn't a free alternative. It's all a game to see who can get the most developers hooked first, we'll see where it goes from there.

    It is just the difference between being part of the infrastructure of the internet as well as competing directly in the service or client capability as well.
    Translation: Microsoft is bigger than Jesus.


    I think this article should have been filed under "It's Funny, Laugh" as the notion that Microsoft 'laid the foundation' for anything is humorous. Did this man ever stop and consider that technology and advancements in networking or bandwidth made Google possible? That the early Google founders themselves may have had something to do with their fate? This was more of a marketing pitch than an interview.

    I think someone should point out to this man that simply because Microsoft became successful doesn't mean that another technology wouldn't have risen to fill the same gap.

    Like my father always told me, there ain't no shame in being humble. I think Microsoft is forgetting that humility is a virtue & if they continue to talk like they're the savior of man then they're never going to fix the flaws that plague them. This is the classic example of business tactics & marketing trumping technology & progress.
    • Actually, long before Google Maps existed, Microsoft had this thing called TerraServer. It was about the first public site that allowed you to view high res satellite photography. Back then I think they were trying to sell the service to allow you access to the highest resolutions available, and I think the photography was all B&W at the time as well.
    • Google Earth is not a Google developed product - they just bought the Keyhole viewer. And you can thank ESRI, MapInfo, Microstation, and others for developing that market.

      Face it, Google copies others just like every other company copies others. The whole idea of any company being the One True Innovator is a marketing myth.
  • by stox ( 131684 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @11:47AM (#20603913) Homepage
    The first time I used Google was on an SGI IRIX machine, and the overwhelming majority of my usage has been via FreeBSD and Linux. Please tell me what Microsoft contributed that made this possible? I come up with a big fat ZERO in answer to that question.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Horn ( 517263 )
      Right, because google made all their money serving ads to people who use FreeBSD. I think his point (although a poor one) is that without the windows users out there google wouldn't be anywhere near as successful as it is. He's pretending that is Windows didn't exist then Windows users wouldn't exist where in all likely hood they'd be OS/2 or Mac users.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Please tell me what Microsoft contributed that made this possible?


  • He's right. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by faloi ( 738831 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @11:47AM (#20603925)
    After all, if Microsoft had been able to create a decent search engine for the Internet early on, Google would've never come in to being. Without Microsoft all but ignoring the rise of the Internet in its early stages, Google would never be what it is today. Microsoft's continued dedication to bringing really poor web content to the world allows Google to step up and offer web mail services and tools for the desktop that are useful.
  • Of course, google would not be what it is without Microsoft. It also wouldn't be what it was without Linus Torvalds. Or Thomas Edison. Or George Washington. Or any number of others in history.
  • By that logic.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spookymonster ( 238226 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @11:48AM (#20603953)
    Microsoft owes everything it has to Unix, since C was created for Unix, and Windows couldn't have been written with C...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Actually, Windows was originally written (mostly?) in Pascal. That's where the funny calling convention in very early APIs came from.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @11:51AM (#20603995) Journal
    Well, the logical conclusion is that everything became possible because the Australopithecus Africanus discovered that the stones could be used as projectiles and gradually learned to use it as a tool. From there it is just a short skip and jump to the taming of fire, the domestication of dog, invention of agriculture, domestication of other animals, the invention of wheel, invention of script, invention of paper, invention of the printing press..

    Next thing you know another Boreopithecus Redmondanus is throwing chairs instead of stones.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Just Some Guy ( 3352 )

      Next thing you know another Boreopithecus Redmondanus is throwing chairs instead of stones.

      Or, for intelligent design types:

      Windows is the end result of Noah saving a pair of jackasses.

  • Hardly... (Score:5, Informative)

    by techmuse ( 160085 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @11:51AM (#20603999)
    The "platform" that Goooooogle uses was not developed by Microsoft. The Internet originated with DARPA. Other companies developed the routing and networking infrastructure. The Web originated at CERN, on a NeXT machine. Web browsing was common on Unix machines long before it was available or easily usable on Windows machines. Windows didn't even support TCP/IP natively when the browser was developed. The web server also originated at CERN, although the first popular one (NCSA HTTPD) originated at UIUC's National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Microsoft was late to the game, late to recognize the usefulness or importance of the Internet, attempted on a number of occasions to try to gain control of the Internet as a platform, and has done little or nothing to advance the Internet on its own (except for adding extensions to standards that would lock people into its own platform.)

    Oh...and Goooooogle runs on Linux.
    • by timster ( 32400 )
      And who developed the NeXT machine? A team working under Steve Jobs! And NeXT went on to become Apple in the famous reverse takeover.

      The fact that Apple (of all companies) has a way, way better claim makes the Microsoft claim seem even more ridiculous. This guy is so far away from reality that I can almost hear all of Microsoft's competitors giggling.
  • Google's existence and success required Microsoft to have been successful previously to create the platform that allowed them to go on and connect people to their search servers.

    That assumes that only Microsoft could have brought about the proliferation of the common desktop computer. I personally think that Microsoft was a major factor, but someone else would have stepped in later had they never existed. This is just plain arrogance, and easy to state since there's no way to know what would have been oth
  • by Phat_Tony ( 661117 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @11:52AM (#20604019)
    Just look at the evidence. There's no way they could ever make Google compatible with Macs or Linux.
  • Huh? I thought it was Al Gore that invented the internet.

    Seriously, its retarded that MS is trying to claim that the internet wouldn't be around except for Windows. I mean PC's don't *have* to run windows. If Windows wasn't around the world would just be running something else. Hell, even PC's aren't that necessary. We could all be surfing with Macs or Amigas or thin clients or something else that didn't get invented in this timeline.
  • Another ridiculous example of Microsoft hubris. Plenty of us remember MS itself being late to the Internet party back in the 1990s.

    If anything, Google came about because of Yahoo (with banner ads, etc), and possibly Altavista which was also being sold as local document search/archival platform.

  • He he ... (Score:3, Funny)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @11:53AM (#20604051) Homepage

    Now, Microsoft's business is not to control the platform per se, but in fact to allow it to be exploited by the world's developers.

    Well, it gets exploited all the time, so they're succeeding. :-P Though, maybe not the way they think.

  • Not quite like IBM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RyanFenton ( 230700 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @11:53AM (#20604053)
    ...yes, sort of like IBM looking for a quickie outsourced OS helped to create Microsoft.

    But not really.

    While IBM created the environment for Microsoft to thrive, Google wasn't aided by being inside Microsoft to give them the advantage of official endorsement. Google thrived on their own merits, and didn't have to pull a switcheroo with an existing product line of theirs to get people to use their main product. The packaging they did do was remarkable in it's lack of crassness - simple text advertisements, relatively clean services for images, maps, and tools, etc.

    It's the usual progression to see Microsoft's PR switching to a "Well, we're really just like Google - we're really their buddy, see" approach after the usual dismissive phase.

    Ryan Fenton
  • Google does not use Microsoft internally to run their servers.

    Microsoft was one of the *LAST* platforms to adopt TCP/IP. (Even counting Trumpet WinSock)

    There were web browsers WAY BEFORE IE.

    What, exactly, did Microsoft for for Google?
  • The Bush administration has taken a liking to Microsoft's public relations and historical accounting techniques and wishes to hire them.
  • The fact that we have it out there gives us a good business, but in some ways it doesn't give us an advantage over any of the other developers in terms of being able to utilize it.

    Except for those secret unpublished APIs, that is.

  • Now, Microsoft's business is not to control the platform per se, but in fact to allow it to be exploited by the world's developers.

    Let me [] count [] the [] ways []!

    Don't forget the fastest growing exploit []
  • by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @11:59AM (#20604157)
    No. The 'salvation' attitude at Microsoft will continue. They can do no wrong, and will defend each legal claim until exhausted (and have the money to do it, too). Their success is an accident of history, boorishness, and illegal behavior, as documented through hundreds of judgments. There's a nugget of good work done here and there, but you won't change their ego, their testosterone-driven hubris. It's silly to try. Step aside, let the train go through, and continue on. Let Gates retire, the sooner, the better. Mundie adds little.

    The nice thing about dictatorship is that eventually, the dictators either retire or pass on, leaving lesser leaders in their place. These lesser leaders inevitably fail.
  • Trumpet Winsock.

  • If Microsoft hadn't done it, someone else would have. Not only that, but almost all of the other players who were in a position to 'lay this foundation' probably would have done a better job! I'm really not sure how comparing yourself to a cement contractor is a good thing...particularly when the foundation you've laid is full of cracks.

  • This is the biggest load of bullshit I've heard in a long time.

    Let's give credit where credit is due:

    1) cheap 14.4/28.8 kbps modems
    2) HTML
    4) cheap 15+bit color video cards

    As far as I can see, MS had nothing to due with any of these things.

  • From wikipedia:

    AltaVista was started by Digital Equipment Corporation employee volunteers who were trying to provide services to make finding files on the public network easier.[citation needed] AltaVista was launched public as an internet search engine on 15 December 1995 at []

    HotBot was one of the early Internet search engines and was launched in May 1996 as a service of Wired Magazine. It was launched using a "new links" strategy of marketing, claiming to update its search da

  • by rjamestaylor ( 117847 ) <> on Friday September 14, 2007 @12:02PM (#20604227) Journal
    Yes, MS laid the foundation for Google to be a success, but not as Mundie suggests.

    The analogy would be more akin to Detroit, in the 1970s, laid the foundation for the success of Japanese automakers.

    Instead of laying a positive foundation, it was a foundation of failure that gave Google a chance to seize upon.

    Much could be said for the entire Web economy -- it was Microsoft's Monopoly position on the desktop and subsequent Failure To Innovate that opened the way for desktop-less computing. And Linux. And for a resurgence of Apple (which could have easily been killed off if not for Microsoft Pinto, I mean, Millennium Edition's reliability and XP's Security).

    Thanks, Microsoft!
  • ...that Microsoft really hasn't provided the foundation for ANYTHING in computing.

  • by wonkavader ( 605434 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @12:03PM (#20604243)
    This is very interesting. It is, of course, untrue at almost every level and clause. (The clause "The fact that we have it out there gives us a good business" seems true, though you could argue that it takes a lot more than that.) But this two paragraph set constitutes is a big lie. Or I should say Big Lie. It doesn't matter that it's wrong, some will believe and parrot it. The more energy you spend fighting it, the more people will hear it, and some believe it. Even if you (if you were a senator, FTC commissioner, DOJ head, etc.) don't believe it, you can still grin and use it as an argument against... something.

    That's where things get interesting. Why is Microsoft saying this? Is this just the normal self-importance of Microsoft, or the naivite of Craig Mundie, or does Microsoft have a plan to annoy Google by making Google Microsoft's child? I suppose it could be used over and over in arguments against Google, where MS and Google disagree, but is there something in specific?
  • In one sense, yes, MS's success ensured that lots of people were out there connecting to the Internet. But in a more important sense, no, MS was not key to making data indexable or searchable. HTTP's success ensures enough data can be indexed by a spider to make it worthwhile; HTML's success ensures enough people can access a web-based search engine, regardless of desktop platform. The only thing MS brings to this party is masses of underserved users, yearning to breathe searchable data.

  • Up until XP windows used the BSD networking stack. Google runs on BSD servers. The BSD code, or a fork thereof, is used on a majority of servers. Most routers run kernels based on the BSD code. Most DHCP clients are based on ... well you get the idea. I mean seriously... BSD => Microsoft, that is quite a typo...
  • Experiment (Score:3, Funny)

    by moeinvt ( 851793 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @12:07PM (#20604301)
    Let's send a machine back in time(running Linux on a PowerPC architecture so they don't get any bad ideas)
    to assassinate Bill's mother before he was born, thereby erasing his entire existence. We can then observe the effects on the present and determine if the statement is true.
  • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @12:13PM (#20604429) Homepage Journal
    The logic seems to be something like this: Google needed lots of home and office computers to succeed, and most of those computers ran Microsoft software. But that doesn't mean that those computers wouldn't exist without Microsoft. If history had gone differently, they might well be running an OS derived from CP/M instead of from MS-DOS (which was Bill Gates's original recommendation to IBM). Or they might all be running a Unix-like OS (something Microsoft itself once assumed was inevitable). Or IBM might have stayed out of the desktop computer market (which they almost did) and there'd still be no de-facto standard for desktop computers. Or one of the other players might have created the commodity system, and we'd be running something derived from the Amiga or the Atari ST. That last scenario was always unlikely, but personally I'm very sorry it didn't happen that way.

    So of course, this claim is hilarious. But we shouldn't laugh too hard. This isn't the first time I've heard technogeeks congratulate themselves for "changing the world" when all they did was surf the waves of technological progress. Even Brin and Page, who deserve a lot of credit for their technological savvy and also for correctly anticipating how search engine technology had to evolve, are just surfers, not the equivalent of Lord Neptune who gets to decides where the waves go.
  • No, Luke... (Score:3, Funny)

    by greg_barton ( 5551 ) * <> on Friday September 14, 2007 @12:15PM (#20604467) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft/Vader: Sun/Obi-Wan never told you what happened to Netscape/your father.

    Google/Luke: He did. He told me you embraced and extended / killed him.

    Microsoft/Vader: No, Google/Luke. I am your father!

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @12:19PM (#20604537)
    Finally someone else has stepped up to be the fool of the year as the one who "invented the internet".

    (Unlike Mundie, Gore actually never claimed he did []. Only that he fueled money into it to get it on track)

  • It was IBM that was under heavy scrutiny back in the day when predatory monopolies was considered harmful for a free market. IBM was under hard pressure and didnt dare to act against anybody, tipping toes. As a result they didnt go after Compaq for reverse engineering the bios and essentially let the PC platform free. Because of this multiple manufacturers of computers could build against an open platform and make clones of IBM PC. Microsoft got in by pure luck and not so little dishonesty. Bill Gates sold an OS he didnt own (QDoS) that wasnt at all ready for use to IBM. Its also believed that Dos did contain a fair amount of CP/M in it. IBM wanted CP/M but a kink in the relationship got them to turn to other places instead. Microsoft didnt in any way contribute to the success of the PC. It was IBM and US antitrust regulations that made the PC what it is today. It could have been any other of the multitude of good OS out there who got a hold of the PC. I had the pleasure to run CP/M before Dos became more usual and Dos was a horrid piece of crap in comparison. My point is that Microsoft greatly overestimatis its importance in getting computers out to everyone. It was just a matter of time and any number of OS could have easily replaced Dos without any problems. All Microsoft has done is to hold computing back by seriously stifling anything thats better by choking and killing things off instead of competing on its products merits.
  • Google doesn't need windows, they just need browsers, html and http, and their linux servers.

    none of which was developed on windows.

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."