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Microsoft bid on 240

Chris M. Costello sent us a link to a article about the Bidding War for which includes the exceptionally interesting tidbit that among the bidders was one Microsoft corporation. Other bidders were Red Hat (duh) Compaq (that makes some sense) and HP (huh?)
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Microsoft bid on

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  • Uhh... Dude! You're going WAY too far back in time for me...

    I lose sight of anything outside the current scroll buffer. :-)
  • by Micah ( 278 )
    But *technically* (or just legally?) Linux isn't *really* UNIX. No UNIX source code. They could probably argue that in court.

    I'm not worried. M$ Linux would be crushed by the market anyway. They'd get in too late in the game to be a threat.
  • That's not good.. The only way M$ can try to defeat Linux is to become the "one true Linux []" to the world. This would mean releasing their own distro and supporting it just long enough to fool the real world into thinking M$ == Linux, and then *BAM* they'll pull an ActiveX and conveniently "forget" that their Microsoft Linux product ever existed.
  • There are already pages at Microsoft with information about more or less 'transitioning' from MacOS to Win95. So you could expect something like 'at we can _help_ you transition from linux to windows NT when you outgrow linux! Oh, and here are some ls themes' ;)
    Well, maybe not the ls themes, but get the picture? Expect this approach, whether or not it's technically justifiable (it wasn't with the Mac transitioning pages either, and those pages are out there). The argument will be that standardization is only Windows, that you _will_ be involving Windows in your plans, so here is the way to seamlessly transition _from_ linux to all-Windows, here are some tools that can convert pine mailrscs or whatever into Exchange or Outlook Express (note pointed lack of converters going the other way! ;) ) and so on.
    That is what a microsoft would be.
  • I've worked on similar UNIX->NT porting projects. Filenames really suck on NT.

    1. There is two names for non 8.3 filenames

    2. The default location for installation of Vendor software is "%SystemDrive%\Program Files". This is a pain in the ass for command line utilities that take absolute pathnames as parameters.

    Various other things are a pain in the ass like password authentication, user creation/deletion in a domain environment, temp file creation (%TEMP% is a user environment variable not available for services). I can't remember anything offhand that was better on NT except the product installation. With InstallShield for UNIX, I don't think this is the case any more.

    To summarize: UNIX is great.
  • "First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win." --Gandhi

    Well we've been ignored, we've been laughed at and now Microsoft is getting ready to blast both barrels at our community. We've almost won.

  • Posted by Phantom of the Operating Syste:

    Fred van Kempen did his bit to become a part of linux history. Kudos to a responsible person!


  • Posted by macguy:

    If NT4 isn't approved for government use, then I'm scared! About 80% of the State of Ohio is run on NT. No wonder we're having so many problems with our servers, someone forgot to tell the head honchos NT sucked so bad.
  • Posted by Phantom of the Operating Syste:

    got the feeling M$ offered him a _lot_ of money,
    and he turned it down in favor of a 'little' from VA research. I'd guess that there was a substantial difference. A few million would be pocket change for M$.

  • Posted by Mr.Perlbot:

    Test comment
  • According to the article, not everyone offered plans for the site. All people who offered money and no plans got refused.
  • Wouldn't Microsoft's attempt to buy a domain be an attempt to hijack the trademarked name of a major (MS's words, not mine) competitor?

    If Red Hat tried to buy out, MS's legal team would be frothing at the mouth.

    Looks like the boys in Redmond still don't know how to play fair, even with their coffin fully nailed by the DoJ.

    Arrogance will be their downfall ... and boy are they gonna fall hard. (Some other OS communities should take this hint as well)
  • Wasn't MS one of the companies that wanted to crack down on domain squatting? Linus owns the Linux trademark, I'm sure he would have authorized somebody with money to litigate this.
  • I'd like to know how much they offered. Being that
    if they really wanted it, they could offer anything they want. $20M would disolve anyones morals.
  • Well, yamssm (yet another ms scummy move) Remember way back when, when the internet was a "huh?" for most people, but the World Wide Web was the latest thing? MS had clue -10 about it. Despite the revisionist history they have tried to write, they missed the wave. Then all of a sudden, bg redirected the whole friggen company to focus on www applications and then proceded to tactically nuke netscape. I remember reading trade rag reports about ms's "about face" on the www, and the reporters using just that term a number of times. Okay, ramble, ramble, we all know that, etc. But the thing is, ms is like a large, slimy, somewhat foul-smelling invertebrate chia pet on steroids. Once it gets moving toward something, it just don't stop 'til it surrounds, stuns, and then dissolves its prey. While, of course, surrounding itself with a smoke screen upon which is displayed a peaceful country scene. And, like any other large, slimy organism, it sometimes takes a while to change directions and begin the hunt in earnest.

    Of course, I could be wrong.
  • Actually, Linux competes in the Unix market, therefore it could be argued in court that Microsoft would be entering the Unix market.

  • Wasn't Microsoft complaining a while back about domain hijacking? They were taking certain domains back that they claim were infringing on their trademarks and such. What hypocrites.

  • ... it exists. It was developed at HP in-house
    but never released as a product.

    See, MicroSuck does not own the soul of HP.
  • Isn't it $70 now?
  • So who gets the money that people bid, and if this guy keeps it, what gives him the moral right to profit from the linux name? Surely he should plough the money back into the linux community.


  • Hmmm. I guess most people here (including me) would support someone who ran a site called that contained anti-ms jokes, anti-ms truth, and anti-ms FUD in equal quantities.

    But I would also support a site called run by Microsoft that contained anti-linux jokes, anti-linux truth, and anti-linux FUD in equal quantities.

    It's not a case of supporting the little guy against the big guy - it's a case of supporting free speech against spin and evangelism.

    Anyway - that's not directly relevant - just curious to see how people would feel if MS _did_ do something like that.
  • Yes - it would be interesting.

    I think an MS linux distro is quite possible - remember that MS had xenix in the beginning, and they have never been averse to backing two horses if that seems sensible.

    Also, I think MS may port DCOM to Linux, although that is less certain. No-one I know in the shrink-wrap development scene has much interest or faith in CORBA.

    I think DCOM is a case of MS doing it badly but doing it better than anyone else, so unless CORBA really takes off, I think alot of the people who might start developing for KDE/GNOME would love to see a proven object model available.

    Remember folks - outside of Unix, if it isn't OO, it isn't in the running.
  • Err.. In the UK anyway, non-profit means just that - the company cannot make a profit - all revenue must be ploughed back into the company (as opposed to going to investors in the form of dividends, or to employees in the form of profit-based bonuses). So, in the long term, the company can only break even.

    Non-profit organisations can be very lucrative things, of course. Large charities will employ people with 6 figure incomes, so long as they can justify that it's a reasonable way to spend the charity's funds.
  • It's on the SciFi channel after Star Trek. Around 9pm maybe?
  • That's funny...
    I can still type cd \progra~1 and have it work on NTFS...

    Actually do a "dir /x" on NT and you'll see them.

    "True Long Filenames" would be a filesystem with 1 filename per file.. Not 2.

    E2FS has "True Long Filenames" 8)

    -Jerry (
  • SCO would have MS's ass if they got into the UNIX market. As UNIX-like as Linux may be, UNIX is a brand name. So in trade-agreement parlance, Linux wouldn't count.

    As long as each individual is facing the TV tube alone, formal freedom poses no threat to privilege.
  • Sorry, the name is really growing on me.

    As long as each individual is facing the TV tube alone, formal freedom poses no threat to privilege.
  • None.

    Microsoft stole all it's ideas from other companies. It won a precedent-setting lawsuit against apple over the copyright of Apple's "look & feel".
    What they gonna do, claim fvwm95 or StarOffice or KDE stole the look&feel they stole from the Mac?

    It would be funny to see them try.

    As long as each individual is facing the TV tube alone, formal freedom poses no threat to privilege.
  • Thank you for your interest in Linux.

    Your browser will now automatically be redirected to

    please click here [] if your browser does not support redirects.

    As long as each individual is facing the TV tube alone, formal freedom poses no threat to privilege.
  • What else would they be doing? They sure as hell wasn't going to be supporting the site to benefit Linux.
  • You see, MS signed a few agreements as part of their spinoff of SCO that were required for SEC reasons- one of them is that they don't go into the Unix market- ever.
  • In order for this to work, they'd have to proprietarize Linux and WINE. Since both seem to be GPLed items, distribution would REQUIRE distribution of the changes to the source code that make it "MS Linux". And if you don't think that someone would come up with either a normal lawsuit or a class-action over the violation of the GPL that would be needed by MS to make it happen- you're sadly mistaken. And it would be ugly for MS to attempt such a thing- especially at this point in time.
  • i'm sure MS wants the domain to make the best support for linux on earth :>
    they want to spread linux, help linux development and provide HOWTOs for sure :>

    this realy makes sense
    just another "small thing" which makes me almost hate M$

  • i think that prety good ilustration of MS owning can be found at [] :>
  • IMHO MS is not planing to kill windows with ownership of i think their plan is to infiltrate (with some MS Linux distribution) and after wide spread of such a think make som trojans into it (i.e. bugs, incompatibilities, ...) and after spreading such a thing too provide "easy upgrade from that bad linux to our nice windows "
    just spread not that good news about linux to the widespread so called computer users which are unable to see the diference between and
  • MS have to fear knowledge - wide spread knowledge
    why? beceuse they can't sell their products to people which know "how it works"
  • there is MSIE available for UNIX. it is entry in UNIX market, isn't it?
  • that's same as faked videos :)

    i personaly am aware of claim on any .com page while it means "commercial" therefore there can be thousands of reasons not to tell truth (or not to tell everything)

    it does not mean that anything on .org is right because it is made by non-profit org. :)

  • oh sorry. i forget about monika & bill :)
  • Since my last post got deleted by SOMEONE...

    1) "Linux" is a trademarked name
    2) Linux owns Linux (tm) regardless of who registered it.
    3) Linux is a community effort, and proceeds for the sale of the domain name should go to the community at large. I'm sure for example it costs money to drive GNU.ORG, no?
    4) Some of this money could go to also so you can say something "un-politically correct" bad about a /. advertiser without you post getting DELETED.

    It's plainly obvious Intel is trying to buy or muscle in so the Linux World Domination, if it happens, will ONLY take place on Intel processors. Intel buys off Be, and no PPC version... Intel buys out VA, and no Alpha or AMD versions...

    Every popular revolution that has been thwarted, usually happens because the establishment co-opts the movement by inviting the "elite" for dinner. Microsoft and Intel are famous for this.

    It's also exceptionally rude to censor someone's post without notifying them, even if after the fact. I'd like to see WHICH part of my post (in the article) was "Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated.".

  • correction:
    2) LINUS owns Linux (tm) regardless of who registered it.

    Just correcting typo before the spelling flames arive...
  • MS Linux would be available for $2 plus shipping at You could legally share your MS Linux CD with all your friends. The only way MS could prevent it would be to use a proprietary non-redistributable install program. If they did that, and you were the type of person willing to try Linux, why would you choose restricted MS-Linux rather than a distribution that you can do as you please with?
  • SCO could not do a thing if Microsoft touched the UNIX market. That particular agreement was made null and void in late 1997, much to SCO's relief (SCO was sick of having to keep their OSes XENIX-compatible)

    In fact, IIRC, the fact that the SCO-Microsoft agreement was dissolved was a Slashdot article.

    - Sam T.

  • Considering that MS did not outright deny making the bid, I think that Van Kempen is probably telling the truth about this point.
  • I honestly think this is dead on. When I saw that MS bid on the domain, I imediately thought 'why? So they can put out their own distro?' It makes sense, really. If they really wanted to, they could make Windows run on a Linux shell. Sure it would take a lot of work, but they've got an army of code monkeys to do it. It would help them recapture some of the server market, and they could improve (gasp) their home client OS.
    So what if they have to open source the kernel? They no longer have to do all of the work of maintaining their own - the Linux army would do most of the work for them.

    It may not (probably wouldn't) even be as stable as other distributions of Linux, but they would capture market share with 'their' version since they would have a lot of end-user software already compatible with it.

    This is not to say that this would kill Linux, or even really hurt it, but it would slow its grwoth on the desktop market greatly, and even if Microsoft only retains what they have now in that arena, they will still be the big cheese for a long time.
  • ----
    "Oh, bother," said Pooh, as he hid Piglet's mangled corpse.

    Ok, that's just twisted. Demented. Sick.

    And it made me laugh.
  • by GypC ( 7592 )
    I'd have to wait to see MS-Linux before passing judgement... who knows it could be good!
    But seriously, at least it would be linux and not DOS/NT
  • There's this new invention. By the way. It's called the COMMA. If I could only figure out how to use it. I could write compound and complete sentences.
  • [...]
    or if all of europe had gone communist.

    Actually - I have yet to see a *single* communist country on the face of this earth... So far, I've only seen some poor excuses for socialism. It's a bit like the old "hacker vs. cracker" thing, really.
    Real communism is most likely condemmed to be a nice dream - like real christianity and other things with a high moral goal... :-/

  • SCO would have Microsoft's ass on a platter if they did this, and you know it.
  • SCO would. It would be illegal for them to release anything Unix or remotely like Unix. Sorry, your paranoia and the same paranoia of the same thing coming from many other people is entirely invalid.
  • SCO owns the Unix source code. SCO also had some sort of legal agreement saying that Microsoft _can_not_ develop Unix. Doing so would get MS in yet another law suit. And they'd most certainly lose.
  • It was argued that it could be stated in court (if M$ does write its own Linux, which is unlikely) that Linux isn't UNIX. It could also be argued that court can say that Linux is a UNIX workalike, and acts like UNIX more than, say, DOS, or something else non-UNIX-ish. Being a FreeBSD user and having only limited Linux experienced, I bet I could run a Linux box with little extra reading. This is because they're both [like] UNIX.
  • Time for your TLD refresher.

    .COM = Commercial website.
    .ORG = Non-Profit organization.
  • Upon doing so, they would get themselves in "Yet Another (TM) Law Suit."
  • I see that your life sucks, though. At least your work life. I don't see how anybody can use Windows NT and be happy. Isn't Windows NT supposed to be the "Power User's" OS for both the workstation and the server? And isn't supposed to be so easy? How odd. My mom is completely computer illiterate and she likes using my FreeBSD box more than the Windows NT boxen at work. Why?

    Oh, and the salary for a *IX admin tends to be way better than that for an NT admin.
  • SCO had the contract after Xenix. Go read up on it sometime.
  • Nope. It's `entry' into the browser market (even though everybody uses Netscape ...)
  • Microsoft won't do this. They aren't stupid. Microsoft is one of the smartest companies I've seen. Who else can sell total sh*t to its customers and still have the market by the neck?
  • CORBA is object oriented. I don't know where this myth came from....lets look at the code for DCOM IDL

    // uuid and definition of IGrid1
    [ object,
    helpstring("IGrid1 Interface"),
    interface IGrid1 : IUnknown {
    import "unknwn.idl";
    HRESULT get([in] SHORT n, [in] SHORT m, [out] LONG *value);
    HRESULT set([in] SHORT n, [in] SHORT m, [in] LONG value);

    // uuid and definition of IGrid2
    [ object,
    helpstring("IGrid2 Interface"),
    interface IGrid2 : IUnknown {
    import "unknwn.idl";
    HRESULT reset([in] LONG value);

    // uuid and definition of type library
    [ uuid(3CFDB281-CCC5-11D0-BA0B-00A0C90DF8BC),
    helpstring("grid 1.0 Type Library)
    library GRIDLib
    // uuid and definition of class
    [ uuid(3CFDB287-CCC5-11D0-BA0B-00A0C90DF8BC),
    helpstring("Grid Class")
    // multiple interfaces
    coclass CGrid
    { [default] interface IGrid1;
    interface IGrid2;

    Now for A corba IDL

    interface grid1
    long get(in short n, in short m);
    void set(in short n, in short m, in long value);

    interface grid2
    void reset(in long value);

    // multiple inheritance of interfaces
    interface grid: grid1, grid2


    CORBA is much better at cross platform than DCOM.
    Also, CORBA supports true inheritance, etc.

    I say stick with Corba...
    IMHO. ;-)


  • "Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get you."

    Cliché as hell, but true.


    (somewhere in tenn.)

  • by Si ( 9816 )
    Micros~1 feed the hype of Linux (recent articles in MS-press, e.g. ZD, praising Linux) until such a point that they release MS-Linux, riding the Linux wave.

    What then happens of course is that Linux is "the next best thing" and MS is the "name no-one got fired for buying" and so...< insert logical conclusion here >

  • catchy title :)

    If MS ever owns anything having to do with Linux, you can bet it would only be a matter of time before they began to subtly and not-so subtly imply that Linux was their idea in the first place. And millions of clueless idiots would believe it.


  • Gee, from that example, DCOM is obviously more OO than CORBA.


    It's longer, after all. And more complicated. The Micros~1 way! ;)

  • No matter what the M$ idea was the mere attempt is a reasonable suspicion to be added to the DOJ case.

    It will be a real pitty if Van Kempen does not ship ALL M$ proposals to DOJ immediately.

  • Had microsoft won the domain, we would have seen no end to the FUD.
  • If mircosoft smells money in Linux they will get their fingers in the pie regardless of what it takes. Its only a matter of time before the "embrace and extend" begins. I think whoever made the call of the end of the summer for some announcement was spot on.

    It will be all spun up in a manner that supports their defense in the anti-trust suit to boot. Kind of a "look, not only are we not monopolistic, we are actively supporting the competition." Much as they have done with their straw-man competition, Apple.
  • Fred was looking for not only offers of money
    but 'plans' for what the people who wanted the domain wanted to use the site for. What I'd like to know is what MS submitted as their plan for the site? A mirror of ;) Who knows, if anyone has Fred's email address I think they should ask him, I'd really like to know.

  • Hmmm, I wonder what such a beast would do to the Linux community. Just imagine if they actually did it right, and MS Linux was actually good. Just imagine what kind of Distrobution wars we would have. Oh lord, I think I see it comming, hmm, we had better prepare.
  • Why is it so odd that HP put in a bid? HP has for a long time offered UNIX solutions to companies, it's quite understandable that they'd put in a bid.
  • $100 for two years. isn't registered to anyone yet.
  • Isn't it $70 now?

    Yea, I think you are right about that. Seems is worth even less than I thought.

  • You've obviously never been to the DOS Shell in Windoze 95/98.
  • Yeah but then, unfortunately, he'd probably have to go after *all* of the other sites which use linux in the domain name. Otherwise they'd probably toss the case out onto the street, saying he hasn't enforced it in the past....

    etc. etc. etc.
  • At least someone is watching the bastions for the invading hordes...

    I've said this before in other forums - when you target M$, and score a hit, they eventually shoot back. They've got a big gun too - just ask Netscape.

    The unfortunate fact is that there's nothing in the GPL that says "you can't use this if you are an agent for or employee of Microsoft (insert other legaleese)..." , so they can indeed produce thier own distro. Every one associated with Linux is about to have a lesson in Big Business, from the biggest, dirtiest player in the league.

    Wake up, people. Be preparred to duke it out with a 800 pound Gorilla.
  • We're assaulting the motherland, kids, not liberating a colony like Ghandi was. Windoze is the very foundation of the M$ machine, and as such OSS is threatening it's very survival. You had better belive that they'll try whatever they can to screw up, pre-empt, short circuit, fud to death and/or buy out Linux.

    We should fake them out - feed Linux to them in a long protracted battle, and develop a killer FreeBSD on the sly. When they're done schlurping down Linux and look up from the plate, we deposit our newly honed OSS OS right between their eyes.

    One other passing thought - what happens to the 2 trillion dollars (or what ever the Redmond behemoth is worth) when Linux starts killing Windoze? Makes you think that there's more people out there that will want to see Linux limited to the geeks....
  • I have seen this a couple of times but can't figure out what it means.

    So what does Micros~1 mean??

    It's a reference to 95/98/NT's bogus attempt at "long filenames". If you look at a long-named file under MS-DOS, you get the first 6 characters of the name, then a tilde and then a digit. If your directory listing in Win95 would look like, say:

    Microsoft Alpha

    Microsoft Beta
    Microsoft Gamma
    This is really lame!.doc

    then the same group of files in DOS come out as:



    It's a Win95/NT/98-aware way of joking about the fact that you can't even fit Microsoft's name into the 8.3 format it enforced for so long (and still retains backward compatibility with).

  • .COM = The bit that goes on the end of a normal URL, right after the company name bit...

    URL? What's that, man? Is that, like, some geeky name for a websight address?

    Sorry, I just had to do that. Normally, "Web Sight" makes me scream...

  • Of course, any Linux user who has ANY trust in ms for ANYTHING needs to have their head examined.

    Hey, man, I trust Microsoft on a number of things...

    1. I trust Microsoft to put out buggy software.
    2. I trust Microsoft to put out software that's bloated, oversized and slow. (Bad in addition to buggy.)
    3. I trust Microsoft to put out software that involves a lot of proprietary new techniques, protocols and standards, which MS will call "revolutionary", "necessary" or some combination thereof. (Annoying and closed in addition to bad and buggy.)
    4. I trust Microsoft to distort the truth in anything they say or print. Oftentimes, they're suspiciously like the Ministry of Truth in the particular style with which they distort, but not always. But no matter what, I trust that if the Microsoft press release matches the official news, then I know the official news isn't telling me the whole story, either!

    Indeed, it sometimes feels like there's something almost algorithmic about MS's spin department. Often, they'll simply invert the truth -- they say Win98 (re)boots faster than 95; I've found the exact opposite. They say NT is scalable; we all know better.

    I want to figure out their algorithm and reverse it to get a Microsoftian-to-truth converter. :-)

  • When MS-Linux is eventually released (and I would be surprised if a behemoth like Microsoft doesn't do *something* significant while they are sinking in the tar sands) we need to be diligent and remind the PHB's why the proprietary, closed source development model is not an ideal one for the software industry.

    I just hope Microsoft doesn't react for at least two more years. That's all we need to reach impetus for the desktop.
  • Yea, I posted thhe origonal "M$ Linux" as anon from one of my school's dumb terminals...anyhow.

    Lets take another look at it this way. M$ sees that they are losing some servers to OSes like RedHat and Slackware, and even face the possibility that some ppl might not continue on the NT bandwagon for security/overhead/etc.

    They are already looking at getting rid of the shell in their newer OSes (I hear this one is being passed over for Windoze 2000).

    They need a server OS that is fast, solid, and has a shell.

    So...they go for Linux, custom make their installers, even make Wine-32 that's compatible with the "M$ OS Flavor of the Day" (M$ Linux only of can be done, it just usually isn't). They get a kernel that is constantly being updated/changed/etc and a whole bunch of media publicity to boot.

    They gain back the server systems and a few "power users" in the process...

    Every company that is now running a UNIX flavor or Linux suddenly moves to M$ Linux.

    If you don't think this would happen, you don't know how businesses run. They would rather stick with M$ OSes throughout their system. Sure, it wouldn't happen overnight, but it would happen. Especially if M$ started some sort of a support deal for companies switching from another UNIX flavor.
  • Since Linux contains no UNIX source code, and
    Linux isn't branded with the 'UNIX' moniker,
    MS wouldn't be entering the UNIX market.

    Rather, they'd be entering the LINUX market.

  • SCO is crap, but it is far from dead. Not only do they own the UNIX source, SCO actually leads the UNIX market in sales.

    However, in case you didn't know, SCO is pretty much in bed with Microsoft. So much so that an MS VP sits on SCO's board. Sorry, I don't have the name right now, I did a report on this last year in my business law class.

  • I would enjoy seeing what would've happend if Germany had won WWII or if all of europe had gone communist.

    What do you mean IF all of Europe had gone Communist? They just prefer to call the same philosophy by different names (EU, "The Third way", etc.)

  • I would agree with this. I think this could be "fuel for the fire" of the DOJ trial. It proves that M$ is using their monopolotive weight and $$$ thus acquired to "squash" the competition in any way it can.

    I'm happily running Linux as an M$ free environment ;-)
  • What market? There is no Linux Market as far as 98% of the world is concerned. If you're the average Joe Loser what would you buy;
    M$ Linux with a desktop you are used to (since they would force the Win9X desktop onto it) from a company who've heard of and will run M$ Office.

    Or some tiny weird company called Red Hat whom
    you've never heard of
  • I heard HP has taken the initiative in Merced Linux. Can anyone confirm or deny this?
  • What else would they do? It's their corporate style. When FoxPro became better than any DBMS Microsoft could put out (Access 1.0), they bought out Fox Software. When it was clear that Quicken ruled the market and Money would go nowhere, they tried several times to buy out and take over Intuit.

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll