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Microsoft-Compaq-BeOS 183

shaldannon writes "This morning on National Public Radio there was a story about the ongoing Justice department case against Microsoft. Yesterday Justice Department attorney David Boies challenged Microsoft's Windows licensing policies, particulary the "verbal contracts" not to include Netscape on the desktop. He questioned a Mr. Rose of Compaq on this subject. Mr. Rose tried to distance himself from Microsoft by claiming that he'd never had close dealings with the company or Mr. Gates. Attorney Boies produced an email in which Bill Gates specifically thanks Mr. Rose for his assistance to Microsoft on the DoJ case. Boies then dropped a bombshell announcement: Compaq had been having secret negotiations with BeOS to do some development for them. At the same time, Compaq sent representatives to Microsoft for their blessing on the arrangement. Microsoft killed the deal. Compaq's attorney jumped to his feet, emotionally denying the charge and accusing David Boies of 'cheap courtroom tactics.' Attorney Boies then produced evidence from BeOS substantiating his announcement." ZD-net and PC-Week both also carry the story. Thanks to Rick Irvine (a Furious Be User) and BitMan. In related news,Matthew Tebbens tells us that CNN is reporting that Windows 2000 will need apps to be rebuilt or even rewritten to be compliant (whatever that means). Update: 02/19 06:02 by S : And to top the cake, Microsoft has been charged with monopoly pricing in a California Class Action suit. Thanks Dwight Johnson. Update: 02/20 12:57 by S : More on the Be Story: Alledgedly, Be is making an embedded OS that would have better media capabilities than WinCE for information appliances.
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  • MS used to be good enough for me. DOS/Win3.1 was reasonably good at doing what it did, and versions of DOS after 4.00 (shudder) seemed to be getting better and better.

    Maybe my expectations have risen, or maybe Win95 is actually worse than DOS/3.1, but that's how it feels to me. Now:

    the programming of the small program

    Unix is small program heaven compared to Windows. You've got about a million scripting languages to choose from, a C compiler sitting around begging to be used, and no monster-sized GUI API to fuss with.

    One other point: you're doing with your computer what I do with mine when I'm running Windows. Except that I've got a P166 with 32 MB of RAM. Aside from playing games, what are you doing, besides running NT, that really needs all that hardware?

  • Avoid Linux for another year?? What for?

    Ease of use. Win95 and MacOS machines just don't need administration the way Linux does. You buy them, you turn them on, you use them, you turn them off. "Setting up my Internet," is probably the toughest thing a Win95 user ever really has to do, and that's a hand-holdy, pointy-clicky, press-F1-for-help experience at worst. At best, they just install some software given to them by their ISP. Installing software (or 90% of it, these days) involves double clicking and then chatting to InstallShield (and you really only have to grunt).

    If people moved right from that to Linux in its current state, they'd be asking "stupid questions" and then you'd just be sneering at them and telling them to "go use your stupid Macintosh."

    Billy's pocket

    Or Steve's. The person you're attempting to condescend to mentioned that most people who find Windows "good enough" would probably be better served by MacOS. Given where MacOS X is headed, I think that's pretty accurate.

    I've probably missed some points on both sides. Whoop-de-doo.

  • Most likely not. A class-action suit is typically filed by parties directly injured by some company's practices. In this case, it would be filed by those directly injured by Microsoft's (alleged) monopolistic pricing. People affected in such a way would be those who bought Windows, who feel that they paid an unfairly high price for it as a direct result of monopolistic practices. SVLUG users typically do not buy Windows, so they'd have no reason to file suit.
  • rebuild apps? *gasp*

    Sort of like rebuilding during the a.out->ELF switch, eh?
  • Ahh, so that's what this is about. I didn't see that made clear in the article. From what I had read, I had thought that it was a complaint about monopolistic pricing of the retail Windows you buy in stores (i.e. the plaintiffs are claiming that $180 is too much for Windows). If it's about the pre-loaded Windows copies, then I can see why one of the LUGs would get involved.
  • One of my aunts is an extremely artist. When not producing some of the best oil paintings and tiny clay figurines I've seen, she uses Juno for her mail and, from what I know from my visits, needs some hand-holding to do anything else.

    Please don't refer to folks who may simply have different talents as drooling idiots.
  • Many thanks for raising the point. Integration is nothing but a buzzword -- and one which makes for slower, more RAM-hoggish and less functional software (witness MS Outlook for a prime example).

    Less functional? Yup. Calling a dedicated program with years of development and refinement behind it (particularly when the user can choose this program) is far better than including a piece of software built in (the effort towards which could better be put towards improving the software's primary functionality).
  • Posted by AnnoyingMouseCoward:

    And proud of it. Moderation in all things, including moderation.

    There are times when an unreasonable response is the only reasonable reaction that you can make to an unreasonable situation.

    For example, the current situation with M$ - totally unreasonable, and therefore "DEATH TO MICROSOFT!" is the only reasonable position that anyone with an understanding of what an OS is can take.

    So in this reagard, all this talk about "where are the moderates?" is really pretty silly. There is nothing moderate about M$, so we are under no moral compulsion to treat M$ as anything other than vermin to be crushed.

    On this point, I'm really looking forward to work on Monday. Telling the pointy haired imbeciles that "..Windows 2000 contains 25 MILLION LINES OF NEW CODE...". The look on their faces will be a *classic*.
  • Isn't it annoying that people like you try to paint all linux users with one broad brush? Since when are the opinions of this one antigrammarian representative of the whole. He's already shown that his opinions on "The Trial" are different, so why should the differences stop there?

    Pretending that all people in a group are identical is the cornerstone of predjudice.

  • Oh one small point - don't forget that some people who eschew proper English rules do it quite on purpose, not out of ignorance. For example, the English rules for quoting things are illogical. It tells you to put punctuation inside the quotes when it's not a part of what the person being quoted said, as in this sentence:
    Did bob really say, "hello?"
    IMO, that's plain wrong, since the question mark is an artifact of the sentence surrounding the quote, not a part of what was quoted itself, but it is the right way according to the rules.

    Because of this some programmer types deliberately break English rules when they don't make sense.

    Another example is the silly notion that some combinations of prefixes and bases are "real" words, and others are not. For example, why is "ingratitude" a word, but "ungratitude" is not? It's totally arbitrary.

    I feel sorry for those people who have to try to write software to parse English. It must be quite painful.

  • The problem with judging whether or not something is "good enough" is that everything you are used to always seems "good enough". People once thought typewriters were "good enough". People once thought 640Kb was "good enough". If you've never tried anything better, then you never know what's missing.

    (Yes, Windows is plenty good enough in most people's opinions, but since those opinions have been shaped by years of using Windows, it's hardly a meaningful observation.)

    • [...] at the MSFT site (*gasp* this guy must be Micro$oft flak for even *reading* the actual primary source materials

    No, but he must be a Microsoft sheep for actually believing that MSFT is an unbiased source of "primary source materials".

  • by mackga ( 990 )
    I bet a whole bunch of ms folks are glad the weekend is upon us. What a way to end the week, eh?

    I know it's impolite to laugh at the misfortunes of others, but in this case, I could care.)
  • Rose didn't seem to know much of anything when he was on the stand. Boies presented him with information on several contracts that Compaq had made with Microsoft and others, and he didn't seem to know anything about them. He is either a janitor that was recently promoted so that he could testify, or he is lying about not knowing about the contracts so that he won't have to answer any tough questions about them. Which do you think it is?

    Be's CEO said that someone from Compaq had called him and admitted to divulging the info to Microsoft back in Novemeber. I doubt he would make something like that up. The fact that Compaq hasn't been adamantly denying this pretty much dispells any lingering doubt.

  • by Danse ( 1026 )

    1) Can I inquire how pointing out that the statement "Attorney Boies then produced evidence from BeOS substantiating his announcement" is factually false, is somehow putting a 'pro-MS spin' on things.

    Well, I don't know if he produced the proof in court or not, but Be's CEO has said that he was contacted by Compaq back in November and was told that Compaq had divulged information to Microsoft that was under NDA. Here's the link: microsoft/ []

  • >Did bob really say, "hello?"

    Actually, in this case, you would put the question mark outside of the quotes, because it chages the meaning of hte quote.

    Just one of many exceptions to a rule. Having had to learn English as a foreign language, I have come to realize that English has many rules, but almost more exceptions.

    BUT, I say, if one is to learn and use a language, then one might as well use it properly, just as any other tool. After all, you wouldn't go changing C or Perl syntax just because "it doesn't make sense."
  • For my purposes, Windows is nowhere near fit for use. The lack of a desktop pager (multiple desktops), the stability concerns, and priciness of the tools required to really get anything done with it completely rule it out from my perspective.
  • Reminds me of the article I read here... went searching back on it... and here it is [].
    The most interesting is the link to Compaq's itsy [].
    Somrthing that has small multimedia capabilities... could be used as a digital picture viewer with some sound...
    Maybe they were looking to put Be on it?
  • Oops. Write that down to comment confusion, I'm having some trouble keeping the threads separate and I must have gotten confused about where this one came from..


  • It isn't stated explicitly, but it looks to me as though the California class action suit was filed after Microsoft/Dell/Compaq/etc. failed to provide refunds on the 15th.

    This would make for a better story, but is there any basis in fact?

    "Microsoft's Refusal to Provide Refunds Backfires" sure is a nice headline...
  • As Cringley pointed out, we really need to forget Microsoft and chase the dream. When it comes right down to it, the dream is all that separates the hackers from the coders...

    Linux and OSS started growing because the hackers did what they wanted, when they wanted, and with an excellence born of love. Watch out that you don't trade in who you are for something as shallow as "winning" against some "great evil", or one day you'll wake up and find that you're really no better than what you replaced.

    Keep on hacking.

  • Not defending M$ or Win2000 here, but if systems undergo significant change sooner or later applications have to be rebuilt. It isn't reasonable to condemn an OS for lack of progress (e.g. Win95 built on a DOS foundation), then also condemn the new system (Win2000, assuming it ever sees the light of day) for making changes which break compatibility with the old system. Upward compatibility is nice, but if the price of significant progress is recompiling/recoding, soorner or later that's the way it will have to be.

  • >Anybody else tired of abusing MS engineers?

    Please do not use MS and engineering in the same sentence. Unless you are describing business tactics.

    They don't innovate. They assimilate!
  • Sheesh!

    I wonder when MS magically disappears at some point in the near future (hmm, maybe by an alien ship kept at Roswell to be used by the DoJ) and any memory of MS is wiped from the member's of society by satellites orbiting the Earth, what company are you paranoids going to go after next?

    How the fuck do you relate Microsoft antitrust court documents with aliens and roswell? Talk about needing prozac, get a grip and write something comparing two related things next time.
  • > Sort of like rebuilding during the a.out->ELF switch, eh?

    Only if you happen to work for every company whose software you use and thus have access to the source code ...
  • I like Word 5.1 on the Mac. We're upgrading to Office98, but I'm hanging on to 5.1 as long as I can. It went downhill from there, except for some improvements in tables and borders.

    Excel is one of my favorite apps. I've never tried another spreadsheet except for KOffice and the Siag spreadsheet and that's not really a fair comparison.

    Everybody ridicules Bob but it's the only really innovative thing MS has done.

    I agree that Windows is "good enough" for a lot of people. I'd also argue that MacOS would be better for most of those people and that most of them would best avoid Linux for at least another year.
  • Charles Lingo, who filed the suit, was part of the Windows Refund Day march - he was quoted by the AP.

    BTW, I've seen some legal analysts wailing that the MS defense team is screwing up. I don't think there's any strategy which would do better - MS can't be defended because their behavior has been indefensible.

  • Only today in the New York Times, there was mention of an e-mail sent to Compaq by a MS account manager which contained a thinly-veiled threat that there would be no change, in spite of the 1995 consent decree, to the per-processor OS licensing. How do you defend such contempt for law enforcement? This is only today's news; it's been going on for years.

    My attitude towards MS was formed by having my wallet lightened by them three times (yes, shame on me), and getting _nothing_ in return. I have no sympathy for those who commit consumer fraud.
  • Typical reactionary response...

    The AMD 5x86 was not a "piece of crap". It was a chip designed to be cheaper than a P5-75 and about the same performance on a 486 board. My dad ran one for about 2 years until he got a K6-2. It served his needs until his needs grew.

    I also use a 5x86 as my Linux gateway to the Internet at home (IP Masquerade box) and web proxy. It's grossly OVERPOWERED for that task mostly due to the amazingly slim Linux kernel.

    While I don't have an NT 4 box near by, I am sure the system requirements do not state P2-400 minimum (seeing as it was out before or right at the same time as the P2 came to market). Your attitude that people need more and more hardware is fueled primarily by the crap (yes it is crap) that MS has helped to perpetuate. Word uses something like 20% of my K6-2's CPU power when it's sitting idle in the background...come on MS...

    • BeOS is still more of a development OS than a production OS, althought at this point it clearly outshines windows as far as reliablilty and performance are concerned.
    These two statements seem contradictory to me. BeOS Release 3 may have been a little shaky on Intel, but Release 4 is pretty damn rock solid, and as about as full featured as the first release of Windows 95, plus and minus things here and there. I don't see any reason not to consider BeOS a production OS at this point. Hardware support and applications are issues, as they are for any platform that's not the Microsoft reference system. But they don't detract from Be's viability strictly as an OS, and I think statements like the above are a slander against how far Be has come.
    • App availibility is Be's biggest problem...
    I don't agree with this, either. The only things I can't really do right now on BeOS are check my mail (my mail server uses Kerberos) or use any Java. And many other things don't work as well as, say, their Windows counterparts -- the Be clones of AOL Instant Messenger and ICQ are not full-featured or stable, Javascript support in the NetPositive browser is still in beta, etc. But there are several office productivity suites, which are quite good, and seem like they'll be matching MS Word within a couple releases. There's even Minesweeper, and soon Quake. App support is a problem, but not as big as people make it out to be. And it's certainly not Be's biggest problem. I'd vote for hardware support on that.. it doesn't really matter if an OS doesn't have the apps you want if it doesn't even run on your hardware. :/
    • and they're still massaging the API's to make them easier to develop for and to maintain.
    I don't see what you mean here. The API was pretty well designed from the get-go, and hasn't changed drastically. R4 introduced a new version of the MediaKit API, but that's not really part of the core operating system, and the old API is still around for compatibility, so nothing breaks. It's sort of like Microsoft releasing a new version of DirectX.

    Where the APIs need the most work is not "massaging" existing code, but adding the stuff they haven't gotten around to, like some specific networking routines and the last bits of POSIX compatibility (all coming soon.. but soon is never early enough. :P) And hardware 3D acceleration is another API that people are starving for, but it's coming in R4.1 with limited driver support, to be expanded afterwards.

    • MS really has a great opportunity to slam Be because they don't have a strong application base, and Be knows this.
    No, I don't believe that at all. MS has an opportunity to slam Be because Be doesn't have a strong media and mindshare base, with consumers, retailers, and OEMs. Of course the trial is changing this -- I think that's one of my favorite parts of the whole mess, all the attention that Be is getting.
  • Having actually used NT5.0 (now W2k) betas, I can say that no Win32 apps need be rebuilt or rewritten. They run under w2k. Now the fact that the betas were unstable as hell is another matter.
  • Name one that doesn't.

    The fact that W2k is ass doesn't mean that it's not compatible with the last version of ass.
  • Sure you can upgrade the kernel without recompiling? How about the libc though? I'm finally finishing up recompiling things that used slang, stdc++, ncurses, or wrote to utmp for glibc. I still can't run certain builds of X, because I haven't gotten to dealing with the libc change there yet.
  • Windows is good enough on the desktop. On the desktop, all that really matters are the applications, not the OS itself. Most people use their workstation simply to launch their favorite programs - Word, Netscape, Quake. Despite what people say ("mac-bashers" / "PC-bashers") most people simply don't know and/or care enough about the differences in OS's, as long as they work, and Windows or MacOS usually suffices.

    As a server? No question in my mind - Windows NT can't hack it. It doesn't have true remote administration out-of-the-box, so I have to physically go to the console of a server to do most things, or buy a product such as PC Anywhere. There's no built-in scripting language (that I can find). For example: We were trying to setup an intelligent mirroring / backup system for our Intranet web servers. In a bash shell, it would have been easy - two scripts run from cron. How we ended up doing it was with a custom-built C program, a custom-built ColdFusion program, and about 5 dos batch files run from NT scheduler. (A co-worker later found a copy of GNU Bash for Windows for me. Next time, that's the route I'll take.)

    I'm constantly running into things that NT doesn't do without the purchase of yet another software package; and even then, it's some kind of cluster-f*cked solution. Add to that: no out-of-the-box email server, having to reboot for every little configuration change, no true multi-user capability (along with no equivalent of "su")... the list goes on and on.

    Just talking about this gets my blood pressure up. Just to vent: "Windows NT Server is the biggest cluster-f*ck of a joke ever to claim to be a networking solution. If I ever meet Bill Gates, I'd very much like to strangle him for this fact alone. "

    But, like I said: Windows on the Desktop? It'll do - it's really the applications that define the user-experience, not the OS.

    Mark Fassler
    fassler at frii dot com
  • Eh, fudsters, 40% of windows applications still don't run under W2k...

    At least as far as I know...
  • OK, people, we all know that PR workers from Microsoft do in fact read Slashdot, and try to put a pro-MS spin on things (and anti-ESR sour grapes) while looking like just-your-average-Joe. MS has a long history of pseudo-grassroots media tactics like this.

    Now, you (the poster) may or may not be one of those "M$ flaks", but there's little way to know if you don't identify yourself. Don't blame us for being justifiably suspicious.

    And I'd prefer a transcript source other than Microsoft-- I hardly consider them an unbiased source. Or honest-- they have a history of altering court evidence and other documents.

    (signing my name in case login doesn't work through this experimental proxy)

  • The sad thing is that not only does this person handle English much better than 99.44% of the "English as a first language" posters would handle this AC's native tongue, he/she handles English better than those "English as a first language" persons handle English.

  • You're absolutely correct about the inconsistencies and illogicities of English. Unfortunately trying to correct them now results in stuff in print that just looks "wrong".
    However, if you know the way it's supposed to be, you can do it "wrong" for effect. (This usually works better in speaking than in writing)

  • Yeah, but I'm a conservatively liberal radical moderate!
  • Cable companies, just about the only thing this side of the mafia which, in comparison to, Microsoft looks at least benign if not benevolent.
  • But do they monitor your scanner?

    "blatant propensity for abuse" + MS
    Yeah, sounds about right.

  • I regret to admit that I like Microsoft Word (after you turn off all the idiot "wizards" and "helpers" and that fscking paperclip!). The last version of Word I really liked was Word 5.1a for the Mac.

    Word is, of course, shoddy, but it's damn useful.

    I have not tried any of the available office software for Linux. I tried LyX about two years ago, but found it a bit too primitive. So I do most of my writing in (brace yourself) 'vi'. If Word were to become available for Linux, I would probably buy it.

    Disclaimer: I am an employee of Be, Inc.


  • We tend not to bother reading the comments, actually...
  • (Doing the happy dance)

    Yipee! Time to start shorting Microsoft stock. Ok...maybe not, but it's a happy thought. =)

  • Once upon a time, Unix machines of any sort were unheard of, and high school students like me were happy with a 286, a greyscale monitor, DOS 3, and Word Perfect 5.1 (and Civ :-).

    It was reasonably priced, and even if it crashed at least it didn't mudge your hard drive.

    There was once a time when MS wasn't outwardly evil.
  • My son plays games on an old Win95 box I have at home. He'd like a faster processor (AMD5x86 133 == P75), but he doesn't care if it crashes. Windows is "good enough" for him.

    My wife runs Juno, writes letters with MS Word 6 and makes greeting cards with some other package. She gets upset if it crashes and she loses work. In general, Win95 is "good enough" for her, but I think she'd appreciate something that didn't lock up so often. (It's a good thing she has a couple of computer experts in the house to bail her out every time Windows barfs.)

    I'm stuck at work with a P166 with 64Meg RAM, running NT. I can't find UML modeling apps that run under Linux, so I have to use NT. IT'S A PIECE OF CRAP. I'm constantly waiting for it to respond, or rebooting, or screaming at it, or tearing out my hair.

    It all depends on what you're doing, and how hard you push the OS. NT probably runs "good enough" on a 200MHz with 96Meg, but I could probably build a real kick-ass server running Linux on a box like that.

  • There's more to contributing to Linux than writing kernel code. I just passed out 50 copies of the RH5.2 CD the other day where I work, along with boot floppies and a one page "Getting Started" sheet. (We were having an employee "Trade Show" at one of our quarterly meetings.) I don't know if that makes me a "lead Linux type", but it helps make more people aware of the alternatives to MS.

    Like they say, if you don't like the articles, then don't whine about having to read them.

    (BTW, how does flaming MS help MS???)

  • I think the previous poster was referring to Mr. Rose's testimony, or that of the various Microsoft representatives - i.e., lieing through their teeth again and again. The botched/faked videotape is another example.

    Seems like the judge just keeps handing out more rope for MS to hang itself with...

  • You're right, but I still think it's pretty amusing how many people think of themselves as "moderates", even when they are foaming at the mouth and calling names.

    I suppose it's safe to say RHS doesn't think of himself as a moderate...

  • by Bilbo ( 7015 )
    > The AMD5x86 was a cheap piece of crap.

    Hummm... Runs Win95 just fine

    > Juno is an email service for idiots.

    Does the job... for free. Got a problem with that?

    > Your wife sound like a drooling idiot.

    (*snicker*) You wish...

    > A P166 is not a suitable box for NT.


    > A P2-400 is a good starting point for NT.

    Helloooooo.... That's my point. NT and all the MS network services that go with it, are so bloated you have to buy a new computer every year just to keep even. However, when the machine's handed to you to do a job, you don't have much choice. If I could find a Linux OO UML Modeling tool, the NT would be gone in a heartbeat.

  • It looks like the stuff about having to recompile all your app.s is just grandstanding. What it really means is that if you want to use APIs that are new in 2000, you have to rewrite your code. Duuh! Of course my apps won't be "directory enabled" unless I write code to interface to the directory.

    Now, if they'd decided to scrap the random, poorly documented Windows API set for something organized and understandable, *that* would be news.
  • What it says in the articles is that Compaq showed some proprietary information that was under NDA to microsoft. Not that microsoft squashed it.

    Read. Comprehend. Then Report.
  • Now, at least, we know why Microsoft has been so vociferous in citing BeOS as a competitor in the OS market, despite Be's repeated rebuttals to the contrary. Seems MS has known more about BeOS all along than they let on...
  • ... hope we don't get slashdotted... Eh, what am I worried about? I'm pretty sure Dreamhost is /. effect tolerant...
  • Look, I had too. . . Some people are actually interested in the case. If you aren't interested in the story, don't follow the link. Why would you spend the time to complain about something you feel is a waste of time? Let those of us who want to read the news read the news, and do so without someone who can't articulate his/her thoughts attempt insulting us.
  • "If truth insults you, then I feel sorry for you"

    Well, it is beyond the next day and I am quite certain I did not forget what I read, therefore it was a false statement and NOT truth I found insulting.

    "you guys who supposedely lead Linux hype. . ."

    I never said anything about hype, I just read about the MS DOJ case, saw someone comment that reading that was worthless, and I replied that I didn't share their opinion

    "You'd better contribute to Linux codebase"

    I am still learning to code, though I do try to help people who have posted to the Newsgroups about Linux problems. With or without AC threats.

    "but you can't shut my mouth"

    I am not trying to have you shut your mouth, I am merely asking you to stay relavent to topics, ie: "I am sick of this MS court case stuff" is fine, but "If you read about the MS court case you are wasting your time and you will forget about it tommorrow anyways" is not a relevant or worthwhile comment.
  • This works to the favour of Open-Source Software as a whole...

    Funny... My company Linux Systems Group, writes a lot of custom Linux applications for clients and we have no problem running them on a 2.0.x kernel or a 2.2.x kernel.
    (Of course the apps may run more efficiently on the newer kernel but certainly don't break at all....)

    The Linux community and Linux based companies should shout this to the high heavens and let the frustrated developers out there know.....they have a new home in Linux.

    Nicholas Donovan
    Linux Systems Group
  • If you don't want to recompile, simply stick to the older kernel. Linux just has faster development cycle. Unlike Windows(tm)
  • Running as strict static bin files they were fine in most cases. For others, it takes all of 5-10 minutes to recompile most apps. Big deal.
    They apps were not broken like the Windows apps will be. I mean how long can one kludge over DOS?
    If you find that Word97 is broken because of Windows-2000 how are you going to recompile that?
    You can't. Your forced to be at the whim of M$ to produce the next service pack that will yet again break more things than it fixes.

    One of the great things about Linux is its rapid development cycle.

    By the time Windows-2000 comes out we should be on kernel 2.2.14


    Nick Donovan

  • Follow the chain of events, and you will see that the Be information released in court today is a direct result of Microsoft recently claiming in the same court that Be is a viable competitor to Windows. That claim pissed off Be to the extent that they announced a few days ago that they might "join" the case. Now it's obvious why.

    The gall... using your monopoly power to shut a competitor out of the market, then holding them up as an example of "competition"... is utterly unbelievable. And ultimately unsustainable. Bullshit and duplicity just don't work the same under cross-examination.

  • I never tire of abusing engineers, let alone MSoft engineers.
  • I never tire of abusing engineers, let alone MSoft engineers!
  • Wow, you newgrouped one of my fave newsgroups. We're not worthy!

    _Deirdre (also a BeOS user)
  • You're right. Word 5.1 for Mac was the last, best version. But what the fsck did Word 4 (also Mac) need with a fscking screen saver?

    As for office software, I use WordPerfect. I actually think I prefer 7 to 8 but I'm using 8.

    I will never again *buy* a MS product of any flavor, but I will cheerfully continue to use my ancient copies of Word and Excel on the Mac until I find something I want to convert all those files to (and until I have enough accrued vacation time to do so).

    _Deirdre (Linux, BeOS, MacOS and MacOS X Server user)
  • Microsoft's behavior is perfectly defensible.

    Heh, maybe so if they were just a mean little company. But now that they're a mean big company (read: market-grabbing monopolist), the gov't *should* pay attention to the competitors' complaints. Microsoft earned the attention they got from the authorities, but now want to cry about it.

    And finally, donating $ to political campaigns wouldn't have helped as much as evincing a little humility. This whole case probably could have been forestalled/avoided if Microsoft had made some good-faith gestures when that door was open to them. Instead, they chose the in-your-face, criticise-by-ridicule route. Typical.

  • Does anyone know if it was the SVLUG that filed that Class action suit in CA?
  • Have you ever ran a old window 3.1 app on win95, It's the same concept. With the win 3.1 apps you can't use long file names, fancy dialog boxes and stuff like that. There's not much point in upgrading all your severs and such to Win2k if your not going to use apps that take advantage of all the new bloat.

  • I spoke at length last night to Be's VP of Business Development, and untrenched a lot of answers to this and other questions. A full analysis/editorial can be found at []

  • Please identify yourself

    Please relax, Mr. Policeman. Who the hell taught you to take yourself so damn seriously?

    we all know that PR workers from Microsoft do in fact read Slashdot, and try to put a pro-MS spin on things (and anti-ESR sour grapes)

    Sour grapes my ass. There are a lot of valid criticisms to be made of Raymond's behavior and ethics. I am no damned fan of Microsoft, much less an employee -- but I am even less a fan of their tactics and mentality than I am of them as a specific corporate entity. Microsoft is just one part of the problem. You, for example, are another (much smaller) part of the same problem.

    Your quasi-Stalinist crap is disgusting and contemptible (and entirely of a piece with the Manichean anti-Microsoft hysteria that I hear out of Raymond). If someone should dare question Raymond, you blindly and dogmatically refuse to listen -- god forbid someone should try to make you think for yourself! Oh, heavens, no! You just write 'em off as a Microsoft flack. Well, screw you, buddy.

    Nobody is above criticism. Not you, not Eric Raymond, not anybody. Raymond's beliefs are at odds with those of a large portion of the free software community. We have a right to speak about this. Deal with it. Free and open debate is not a crime, however much you might wish it were.

  • And then when the aliens gobble up Rob Young they'll move on to SuSE, and then Debian, and then the little grocery store on the corner, and then the FSF, and finally when there's nothing left they'll run around in circles biting each others' ankles howling about ZOG or whatever.

    They'll think of something, trust me. William Jennings Bryan is not dead, just sleeping.

  • It gets worse. I think it was on the CNN business news last night that I saw a spokesman for Be say that he was concerned that Compaq might have violated their NDA and shown some of Be's code to Microshaft. (I know; the people who disagree with the idea of intellectual property will think this is OK).
  • I'm a Linux fan, but I use Windows, too. I don't think that there is anything fundamentally wrong with Windows as an operating system. I think that most OSes like Be and Linux have an intrinsic advantage in that they do not build on a hoarde of old code and complexity. This makes them world class Operating Systems.

    Microsoft does have an advantage in consumer product availability and overall convenience and ease of use for the average computer user. Ten years ago, your average computer user was far more technical than the computer users of today. A "geek" can't be as happy with Microsoft's OS because he or she doesn't have as much freedom anymore to tweek and program. Windows is targeted to the computer illiterate, and this offends a lot of technically oriented people.

    My problem with Microsoft is their marketing. I am comfortable that they have a good product, but I don't like the way they have to own everything. This is the fundamental difference between Windows and Linux; Linux is free, Windows is not. Both are fine operating systems.
  • I think that the previous poster wasn't reffering to Br. Boies, but rather to Microsoft. The fact that Microsoft can get away with all of their blatant lying (or at least what appears to be blatant lying) is really quite amazing.
  • > Of course, MS solutions have worked, and better
    > than just 'good enough'.
    Yes, and miracles happen, too. Pointing out the exception doesn't do much more than prove that Microsoft products haven't been magically cursed.

    > 0. My dissertation research is done entirely on
    > NT. I tried Linux, but found myseld spending way
    > too much time doing system administration tasks
    > and not enough time doing actually research.
    What system administration were you doing? What was your dissertation? Once you get a linux box set up, it runs (assuming that you have a large enough disk to hold your system logs and user quotas, etc.). I'm in charge of the web server for the entire college of liberal arts and sciences here at alfred (which houses the search engine for the whole scool). It's been up for 59 days (power went down 59 days ago), and I've had to do precisely 1 administrative exercise that wasn't adding a user account or resetting a password. I had to restart apache because we're using an ancient version of apache due to a miniscule hard drive and not enough space to compile and install the new apache. This box is doing dynamic content, ftp, and mail. Practically 0 administration that isn't human necessary (setting up and modifying accounts, etc.). I've never had a Linux box that I had to administer in the sense of keep it up, only fine tune to what I want. I've never really had to do that with NT because, whenever I did anything with NT, there was no fine tuning to be done. You can occasionally change a thing or two, but otherwise it's fairly strict bondage on that beast. If something doesn't work, you're @#$@#'d. You want to do something non-standard, you have to start writing programs with expensive tools. Don't forget my question: what administration did you constantly have to do?

    > 1. I work for an R&D govt contractor doing
    > simulation and modeling, software development,
    > and other scientific endeavors. All of our
    > deliverables, from programs to reports, are done
    > on NT. Our customers are very happy.
    Who are you customers? The gov't is fairly vague. Which government? What are you simulating? What are you modeling? What software are you developing? What other scientific endevors? What boxes that NT ran on were capable of doing intense calculations? The only high end hardware that NT runs on are Alpha boxes. That isn't that significant a fraction of high end hardware.

    > 2. Dell runs there WWW site on NT.
    Wow. Microsoft runs Hotmail on Solaris and BSD. What hardware does Dell run its website on? If the answer is 200-500% more hardware than would reasonably be required like, that isn't saying much about NT past the fact that it isn't completely unworkable.

    > I think the current antiMS sentiment is 80% fad.
    > Remember, computers are not sentient. They are a
    > tool. Use whatever helps you get the job done.
    Maybe the current antiMS sentiment is 80% fad. Maybe not. It's almost impossible to actually determine do to the vagueness of what you mean. If you're talking about the total population, then 80% of every populational sentiment is fad. I've yet to hear one person able to defend microsoft other than based on hardware support that someone else wrote (i.e. drivers provided by the manufacturer) or applications that run on windows. Neither of which is actually attributable to Windows being anything but dominant.
    Actually, that's not quite true. Superior integration often touted. I haven't really dealt with this, so I'm not qualified to say anything about it other than this: I haven't heard about any integrated capabilities that aren't either marginal improvements.
    Question: if my program invokes sendmail to send files, does that mean that I have "integrated email capabilities"? What about running wget to fetch a web page, do I have "integrated email and web functionality?" What if I use some of the database libraries to access a database, do I have "totally integrated email, web, and database capabilities"? If the answer is yes, then how is integration anything more than a word for what UNIX has been doing for the last 20 years?
  • What on earth are you talking about? Microsoft was behind everyone on the web developing. It didn't have a TCP/IP stack in win 3.1, that had to be written by trumpet. The web nearly passed them by, they had to play catchup with netscape once they realized that the web mattered. The only concievable thing that Microsoft has done to benefit humanity is making better intel hardware more in deman, just to run the next version of windows at the same level as the last one.

    Think about what a friend said to me (heavily paraphrased): "I figure that M$ has set computing back ten years. Here's why. W2k is supposed to be more posix compliant, have more UNIX utilities, and support user quotas. UNIX did all that 10 years ago."
  • People generally advocate abiding by their agreements. Especially when they aren't being broken for a good cause. It's one thing to break an agreement for the greater good, even if it probably shouldn't be done in most cases. It's quite another to do it out of self interest. Anyhow, people aren't really bashing compaq for sharing, they're bashing microsoft for allegedly killing off the deal that they had no right to know about.
  • I looked on their site, and all I found was
    a *SUMMARY* of the days events in court. *NOT*
    the entire court transcript. A summary is easy
    to bend to your cause.

    I don't have time to dig too deeply so if you
    can could you share the URL of the *ENTIRE*
    *OFFICIAL* *TRANSCRIPT*. Otherwise I assume you
    thought that daily summary was the real deal, and
    you will have my pity.

  • ???
  • I read the bit on apps being rewritten for Windows2000 and could only say "duh!" When has any OS ever come out and apps didn't need to be rewritten to take advantage of the new features.

    The BeOS bit did not surprise me at all this is very typical of MS.
  • I'd describe myself as a moderate. Actually, I'd describe myself as someone who sees computers as a tool and not something to get too emotional over. That doesn't mean they are not my passion, but I've seen so many things come and go (RIP Nextstep) that I'm kinda tired of advocacy.

    I do ok with NT and BeOS.
  • I think it is a typical bandwagon reaction to all of the antiMS sentiment in the industry. Clearly *every* application will not need to be rewritten or changed.

    Personally, I hope that MS has a team of hotshot OS programmers working on the real Windows 2000 version while the official hacked version is being beta'ed as a trial ploy.

  • Of course, MS solutions have worked, and better than just 'good enough'.

    0. My dissertation research is done entirely on NT. I tried Linux, but found myseld spending way too much time doing system administration tasks and not enough time doing actually research.

    1. I work for an R&D govt contractor doing simulation and modeling, software development, and other scientific endeavors. All of our deliverables, from programs to reports, are done on NT. Our customers are very happy.

    2. Dell runs there WWW site on NT.

    I think the current antiMS sentiment is 80% fad. Remember, computers are not sentient. They are a tool. Use whatever helps you get the job done.
  • ... because it's better to share source code, right? I am being a bit sarcastic because the people who generally advocacte that anything that is not OSS is crap are

    1. singularly condeming MS and not giving Compaq their share of the responsibility (supposedly, Compaq entered the deal and then went to MS to get their blessing -- maybe they came bringing gifts?)

    2. upset that the code was shared. Isn't this what you people want?

    Personally, I believe in intellectual property and the right to keep things you develop secret, if that is your choice. But in a forum which frequently calls on any commercial interest (Sun's Java, BeOS, Windows, Photoshop, etc.) to release their source code at the expense of being trashmouthed, I find some of your reactions pretty hypocritical.
  • Sheesh!

    I wonder when MS magically disappears at some point in the near future (hmm, maybe by an alien ship kept at Roswell to be used by the DoJ) and any memory of MS is wiped from the member's of society by satellites orbiting the Earth, what company are you paranoids going to go after next?
  • I like Word, too, but it took a bit to make the transition from LaTeX. Once I figured it out, though, Word makes many things alot easier (except references -- if anyone can recommend a way to handle references in Word like BibTex does, I'll drink a beer to you and your family).

    Now, if someone would develop an office assistant with Elizabeth Hurley in a teddy, I might use it.
  • It tells me you are a troll since you ignored the original question.
  • Good point.

    Jerry Falwell?
    Newt Gingrich?
    (I've never met them, though)
  • Let's see.

    The original question was, paraphrase, have MS products been used such that they were 'good enough'.

    I answered affirmatively by providing three examples.

    What questions did he answer?
  • Items 3, 4, and 5 are as mundane as saying "Humans need oxygen to breath."
  • There was a similar article in ComputerWorld this week claiming that apps would have to be "rebuilt or even rewritten" to run on Win2000. On closer inspection the article says you only need to do that if you want to use new features like ActiveDirectory or COM+.

    Well, duh.

    First off, I am a little confused why you would have to recompile. Dynamic linking should take care of this. I mean, if you don't change a line of code and recompile then isn't this just relinking?

    Secondly, last time I checked I usually had to rewrite code if I wanted to take advantage of the lastest gee whiz stuff. You had to recode mainframe apps if you wanted a spiffy HTML front end didn't you? So why weren't there articles about how AS/400 forced you to recompile or rewrite apps if you wanted to take advantage of the Internet?
  • I'm pretty much a M$ toady, but, hey, a guy's gotta eat, you know. My company is M$ Solution Provider and we are totally M$. NT4 from stem to stern.

    Except for the Linux box under my desk. I couldn't the network management I need to do with four times the machine and twenty times the budget. It's running on a discarded P5/90 w/40M RAM a 1.5G HD. What's it doing? Nocol, mrtg, tools for mapping traffic, and I use it to telnet to all my routers and to hold all of their configs and software images.

    And I'm just a newbie. When I grow up, I haven't any idea how far this can go, but I like what I see.

    I'm not real crazy about using Linux as a workstation, but then again, I'm still a newbie and I use it at home just to get used to it. I run NT, NW 3.12 and 4.11 Small Business, and Linux. Linux plays with the others really well.

    Grow and learn, it certainly is worth the effort.


  • I found MS's attempts to bring BeOS into the limelight quite predictable. At this point, it server two purposes, first it allows them to claim that there is strong competition isn the OS market, and secondly it puts BeOS out for mainstream review before it's really ready. BeOS is still more of a development OS than a production OS, althought at this point it clearly outshines windows as far as reliablilty and performance are concerned.
    App availibility is Be's biggest problem, and if you're looking for alternatives to windows, Linux is probably the best choice right now. Be is workiong furiously to attract developers,and they're still massaging the API's to make them easier to develop for and to maintain. MS really has a great opportunity to slam Be because they don't have a strong application base, and Be knows this. Gassee say that he had an equally good opportinity to stick it to MS for anti-competitive behavior. Since MS tried to fsck them, Be fsked them back, but MUCH harder.
    I can't wait to see what justice does to punish MS when the trial is over. I think the 3 companies split is the best approach cuz it forces MS to compete across the board. If you divide their product lines properly, they can't "integrate" any apps into the OS without fscking one of the other baby-bills and begging for a shareholder lawsuit. Splitting them logically, financially, and physically is the only way I see to end the abuse of power that they've been practicing for over a decaade.

  • It might be argued that Mr. Boies should have turned over a copy of his evidence before Mr. Rose took the stand, but playing games with the discovery process is nothing new.

    Depends. During discovery you're obliged to turn over things your opponent asks for or about, but you're not obliged to volunteer information he hasn't asked for. If MS didn't ask if Boies had evidence Compaq had leaked confidential information to them, AFAIK Boies is entirely within his rights not to volunteer the information. Yes, Boies ambushed Compaq and MS with this. Part of his job is to pull suprises like this if they let him set them up.

    The embarrassing part is that MS's attorneys keep letting these things happen. MS has done more for the government's case than any of the government's witnesses. That's sad.

  • I think the point was to provide evidence that MS has enough power and influence that a company like Compaq would feel that, if violating a non-disclosure agreement with another company would annoy MS and endanger their relationship with them, then keeping MS happy is worth the legal consequences of violating an NDA. That goes to the question of whether MS has enough power to be considered a monopoly ( albeit a bit obliquely ).

    OTOH, it would be more impressive if DoJ could come up with more than a single such instance. A single instance is easily just an accident or oversight, multiple instances make a much better case.

    As far as primary source material, I don't consider anything from either MS or DoJ a primary source, no matter what they claim. A copy of the transcript from some source not affiliated with any of the parties involved, that would be a good primary source.

  • The characterization is misleading, yes. But, Be hasn't been involved heavily in this case ( as compared to, say, Netscape ). Boies is relying on their statements about what Compaq said to them, and I don't think Be would stick their nose in like this if they couldn't back that up, not considering the risk of annoying the judge by making claims in court you can't produce evidence to back up. So far, Boies has a pretty good track record of producing the evidence ( and MS is not happy about that at all ).

    As for trusting or not trusting the validity, both MS and the DoJ have overt reasons to spin anything they present in their favor. MS, moreover, has already shown that they're willing to, under oath before a judge, misrepresent and edit evidence. If they've done that under those circumstances, I simply can't trust them not to do it again.

  • If he has evidence, he has to tell you about it. If he doesn't, he probably will shortly. That's one of the chances you take in discovery, and it does work both ways.

  • Depends. You needed to recompile to use the ELF format, but a.out binaries would still run ( and still run today ) just fine if you included a.out support. This also applies to things like libc upgrades: when I upgraded to libc6 all my libc5-linked apps continued to run just fine, albeit using the libc5 libraries.

    The userland tools that need recompiled are the ones that talk intimately to the kernel. Things like procps or sound drivers need rebuilt. Things like StarOffice should continue to work just fine, blissfully unaware of the kernel upgrade.

    Linux, I think, has a much better record for letting older apps continue to run without breaking than Windows. Heck, just installing an NT service pack or a new version of their compiler can break things in the Windows world. They really need versioned DLLs.

  • I regret to admit that I like Microsoft Word (after you turn off all the idiot "wizards" and "helpers" and that fscking paperclip!).
    The last version of Word I really liked was Word 5.1a for the Mac.

    I find it particularly distressing that for most purposes, I find MS Word to have gotten worse rather than better in the past two major versions. Word 97 seems slower and less useable than Word 95 which was worse than Word 6.x.

    Word is, of course, shoddy, but it's damn useful.

    Urk. Well, it is better than nothing I suppose.
    I have not tried any of the available office software for Linux.

    You probably should. Either StarOffice or ApplixOffice's word processors are quite adequate substitutes for MS Word for most purposes. Both of them even bear more than a passing cosmetic resemblance to MS-Word. I also like the Word Perfect that is available for Linux.

    I tried LyX about two years ago, but found it a bit too primitive.

    You might also check out other free stuff like Maxwell. The KDE (KOffice) and Gnome projects also both look like they will eventually produce usable office suites.

    So I do most of my writing in (brace yourself) 'vi'.

    Well, I still use 'vi' for a lot of things. But for general writing I tend to use a word processor.

    If Word were to become available for Linux, I would probably buy it.

    Yuck. I wouldn't. If for no other reason than Bill doesn't deserve my money. But seriously though, I wouldn't use it even if it was free. As I said before, Applix Office and StarOffice are really quite decent, especially for the money.

  • If it weren't for Bill using mass marketing and shoving new and better, bug filled apps and OS's down the public's throat. The WWW, E-Commerce, URL's on Billboards and the public actually cozying (is that a word?) up to technology would have taken another 25 to 30 years to get to the point we are now. It may suck having to beat MS with a stick to fight this monopoly thing; but it has done one thing which benefits society. Just think what all us /.ers will be able to accomplish in our lifetimes due to Bill's abuse of the everyday lemming.


    - Can't lurk all the time. -

    ps. "lemming" not used in reference to anyone, and I mean anyone who would actually frequent /.
  • ... if you or I behaved like this in front of a judge, we'd be in prison by now. Think about it! The only thing that this case will prove is that might makes right, money buys justice.

Due to lack of disk space, this fortune database has been discontinued.