Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Microsoft

Salon Article on MS PR 100

Richard Finney sent us a link to an interesting story at Salon about Microsoft's PR surrounding the trial. Its a pretty interesting little bit I'd say. Pretty much sums it up- things are going so hot for Bill & Co.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Salon Article on MS PR

Comments Filter:
  • That or not let them work in the business again. Let them conquer and dominate yarn, or the pickle industry, or Katz's sexbots- send 'em off to Roger Waters' "Fletcher Memorial Home for incurable tyrants and kings" but get their hands off computing.

    Yarn??? My mother makes great knit sweaters, and I really, really don't want yarn industry to be dominated by those people. I have seen more than enough of their garbage in software, and it will suck if the next time my mother's sweater will fall apart, turn blue or require me to grow shoulders an inch per year because yarn was produced under the same kind of management.

  • NT outgrew unix last year, in case anyone was watching.

    By the number of installed copies by the end of the year, or by the number of copies, installed within the year?

  • To whom? Most likely more GameBoys are sold in last year than cars. What should I do about it?
  • BZZZZT! Like it or lump it, NT will be the most widely deployed server OS in the world in 1999.

    If it is server, how come it's used as replacement for Windows 95/98 that are desktop-only? Also note that "Unix" in that study was "Unix" minus Linux, minus FreeBSD minus NetBSD minus OpenBSD -- what is blatantly incorrect way of counting Unix installations.

  • Or, is this the "Doh, should have pressed Preview first" meme... hmmm...
  • All the MS people are crazy- they can't face the reality of what's happening, can't acknowledge that their basic corporate ethic is, in fact, against the law. Wouldn't be if they were just little schmucks, it'd just be annoying- but they aren't, are they? They aren't.
    I just read the c/net article (despite a screwed-up link on their roundup page- use the sidebar link instead) where the MS lawyer insists, 'We will prevail' in an internal memo somebody decided to leak. It's freaking weird when lawyers are that off the beam- guy could get disbarred or something for his trouble, going all the way down the line with these people. I immediately pictured a killer editorial cartoon- the lawyer's talking to his secretary, better yet an MS dictation program! And it shows on the screen 'we will prevail' and the guy's going, no, no! 'we will be put in jail'!
    Heh.
    There needs to be jail time for many of these people. If it was good enough for the top levels of the Nixon cabinet it is good enough for Microsoft- it's not like they wouldn't get very high class imprisonment, these are not people who would be thrown in a drunk tank, but locked up they must be.
    Locked up because they are too crazy to be safe running around in the world- and too sane and convinced of their perfect reasonableness to get off on an insanity defense.
    It's almost good that they're so far gone- no more conciliation, no more insincerity, now we see the true Microsoft and they are saying, screw you, we've been right all along, we're right now, we own you and the courts and we just win- what's so hard to understand about that?
    It gives the government lawyers a solid base for proposing remedies, and I for one really think some of these people had better see jail time to knock their bloody blinders off and make them see the reality for a change. That or not let them work in the business again. Let them conquer and dominate yarn, or the pickle industry, or Katz's sexbots- send 'em off to Roger Waters' "Fletcher Memorial Home for incurable tyrants and kings" but get their hands off computing. How much will we put up with? When do we start demanding that the government be a government and assert power over these people?
  • FYI, in Apple's 1984 commercial, the last thing Big Brother says before he's smashed by the upstart Macintosh is "We Shall Prevail." Eerie...
  • ...isn't a problem if one is using fbcon (and doesn't have their X server running as root).
  • Posted by Anonymous Cool Dude:

    I heard something on the news this morning about a new memo/email leaked by an "anti-microsoft group". It was apparently from the "chief lawyer" to "the executive group".

    What the email contained, however, was just a claim that "the gov't hasn't proven anything."

    Sounds like a bogus leak to me, especially as I only heard about it on an extremely kiss-ass Seattle radio station.
  • Hasn't someone alerted the Microserf Truth Squads to come out and join the festivities? "Microsoft Boy", where are you? And "MicroSerf", put down that bagel and set us straight! Where are the tide*.microsoft.com ACs? I don't have much time to wait; I need to go hack my I Told You Sobot so I can have it ready for the punishment phase.

    --

  • by mackga ( 990 )
    MS is sounding more and more like a cult. The point being that a cult reflects the leader's personality - and with an unstable leader, the cults self-destructs. Obviously, MS reflects Bill Gates' personality. It's sad, really. I'll bash him and call him names, but in reality, not being able to see anything but one's own view of the world, no matter what, is not healthy. Yes, you've got to be driven to succeed, but when ten people tell you you're drunk, you'd better go lie down and sleep it off. Not that I feel sorry for the man. After all, he's got heaps of cash.

    I found it interesting that the article painted a rather ugly scene of the tele-interview. I mean, the reporters were yelling at Gates. Huh. Must be a first for him. Well, maybe not. There was that pie.......
  • by mackga ( 990 )
    MS is sounding more and more like a cult. The point being that a cult reflects the leader's personality - and with an unstable leader, the cults self-destructs. Obviously, MS reflects Bill Gates' personality. It's sad, really. I'll bash him and call him names, but in reality, not being able to see anything but one's own view of the world, no matter what, is not healthy. Yes, you've got to be driven to succeed, but when ten people tell you you're drunk, you'd better go lie down and sleep it off. Not that I feel sorry for the man. After all, he's got heaps of cash.

    I found it interesting that the article painted a rather ugly scene of the tele-interview. I mean, the reporters were yelling at Gates. Huh. Must be a first for him. Well, maybe not. There was that pie.......

    Also, I just remembered an news piece quite a while ago. Connie Chung was doing an MS piece for CBS or something, and she of course did the interview w/ BG. They did it in such a way as to show how the interview was setup, how it went, and the aftershots - like a documentary. Basically BG came off as an arrogant asshole. Anyone remember that?
  • At that, one reporter completely loses it. "That's just bullshit," shouts Brock Meeks, who works for (of all places) MSNBC.

    HA I love it! Finally someone speaks up! I have been feeling like that kid in the Emperors New Clothes!

  • This is pretty funny and totally wrong.

    There is no "expected minimum time." Microsoft expects you to do what you have committed to do. Period. Do it in 40 hours or in 80 hours.

    There are no cots (except that people might bring in themselves if they decide to sleep/live in their office).

    There are no dorms. Japanese companies use dorms.

    Maybe we do work 12-18 hours a day sometimes. Who doesn't?

    No one lives on campus except by choice.

    Buy food at the MS store? Yeah right.

    Yes we have social events. Many are retirement parties. You can actually make money working at Microsoft. Sorry, that's real life.

    Marry each other? I've seen it happen. It happens in lots of places where people work closely with each other.

    Jeff;

  • From what I've heard from Ellison and McNealy, they would've done exactly the same things if they only knew how. If Sun had succeeded in their vision of Java Everywhere (forgive me, "Write Once Run Anywhere"), they would've been no different from Microsoft's vision of Windows Everywhere, and we would have just substituted one tyrant for another.

    I have more respect for Andreessen because he actually wrote code. I don't think Ellison is even sure what his company *does*, much less have any deeper technical insight than the average PHB-who-wants-to-be-a-samurai.

    -Jake
  • Note: I don't think this is what is actually happening. But I do think it is a possibility.

    Keep in mind that although Microsoft has created numerous paper millionaires and a few billionaires, many of them cannot realize that wealth. If billg decides he wants to buy his own space shuttle, or New Zealand, he can't. The moment he tries to sell half his stock (say $20 billion), the value of that stock would drop though the floor.

    But if he (and other big holders) was _forced_ to sell 50% of this stock by the feds, that's a different matter. Can't be helped. Not his fault. The two resulting companies are just as good as the old M$ - just smaller. No need to panic.

    So it is possible that there are people at MS who desire a breakup, whether or not they acknowledge it even to themselves.

    sPh
  • The funny thing is, Michael Kinsley was one of the more independent pundits when he worked in Washington (DC, that is). Some good original thinking and not much bowing to conventional wisdom. And he promised to maintain that attitude when he left TNR for Microsoft.

    But that sure isn't how it has seemed the last six months or so. Slate's coverage of the MS trial is a joke thoughout the world of political journalism. I wonder what happened?

    sPh
  • I think Scott might not ever be as neurotic as Bill, but he could end up more evil.

    I heard an anecdote about how Scott found some Compaq monitors in one of his buildings, went ballistic and demand that they be removed IMMEDIATELY. (Scott's veins bulge out when he gets mad, too).

    Someone had to calmly remind him later that his company did make Solaris for the x86 :-)

    So, no, I don't think he can stand competition any more than Bill can. Which is why I'm a happy Linus supporter.


    --
    As long as each individual is facing the TV tube alone, formal freedom poses no threat to privilege.
  • I've heard this theory before too. I guess if you fsck your own defense up enough you can get the case thrown out.



    --
    As long as each individual is facing the TV tube alone, formal freedom poses no threat to privilege.
  • It's likely that Judge Jackson will find against Microsoft, but the sentencing is what I'm most concerned with.

    It is quite possible that MS may only get fined.
    IMO, MS could probably shrug off just about any fine the court could impose.


    --
    As long as each individual is facing the TV tube alone, formal freedom poses no threat to privilege.
  • Let me clue you in on some harsh realities of microsoft's continued success.

    MS does not have much in the way of assets, just office space and vested pseudo-geeks.
    It may suprise you, but most MS employees don't make all that much money compared to other software firms. People stay and work there because they can get rich quick cashing in their stock options after a year or two.

    So to keep their geeks in line, MS has to break it's own earnings records every quarter. So far it has done so, but its getting harder and harder. This is why they have to overcharge for Win98, why they changed the licensing for Office, and why they will be cripling some (of now 5) versions of Windows 2000 in order to charge more for the high-end versions.
    There have also been allegations that MS has been cooking their books.

    In a nutshell, MS need only have a couple quarters of expected or below-expected earnings to take a hit in their stock value and completely fall apart. I anticipate this may be the year.


    --
    As long as each individual is facing the TV tube alone, formal freedom poses no threat to privilege.
  • 'Nuff said.

    Or higaisha-ishiki.

    Guilty! :-)


    --
    As long as each individual is facing the TV tube alone, formal freedom poses no threat to privilege.
  • that was a great article!

    "The lie, Mr. Mulder, is most convincingly hidden between two truths."
  • They're showing signs of ALL of those...
  • poor bill.. his empire slowly.. and i mean SLOWLY crumbles.. and all we can do is mock.. .. yay karma!@!

  • No. Salon seems to be independent, as well as quite clueful when it comes to technology and Linux. I think Slate is the Microsoft-affiliated magazine site. And Sidewalk, if it still exists.
  • I imagine you're thinking of Slate, MS's little webzine project that talked of the wonderful profits they'd make by going from a free service to a subscription service. Suffice to say, they're back to being a free service again, so we can figure out how well that one worked.


    -mike kania
  • I think that it depends largely on the particular X Server in question. I've never had my OS (Linux 2.0.36) crash, but I have had my X Server crash/lockup a couple times. If I start switching between virtual consoles, I'm very likely to lock X. (A nuisance, since I love virtual consoles.)

    I have a friend who said he had some stability problems with X -- he switched to a more popular video card (ie, a better supported X Server) and it's been very stable for him since.

    --
    Mark Fassler
    fassler at frii dot com

  • But if MS makes office for Linux, then they need to compete on the actual merits of their software, and the software industry will be much better off for it.

    The only reason MS won the office war was because they had control of the operating system that the applications were running under.

    An MS Linux would be a strange sight. Maybe they really are planning on doing something like that. But would anyone buy it?


  • How many hits (and AC comments) anti-M$ articles get from *.microsoft.com
    It wouldn't be that hard to implement, methinks...
  • Rob,

    You might want to check out www.zdnet.com/zdnn/ right now.

    There is a long article there about rumors that Microsoft is right now porting Microsoft Office to Linux. If the rumors are true, then you might as well kiss StarOffice and WordPerfect goodbye, since much of the corporate documents created nowadays are in MS Word/Excel/Powerpoint format.

    The more frightening possibility is that Microsoft might be seriously considering turning their ActiveX and DirectX technologies into Open Source programming code; that has considerable implications since it could slow the acceptance of Java and could allow games under Linux to take advantage of the current gaming hardware out there easily.

    I've heard of "co-opting the revolution," but this is ridiculous.

  • The most telling line in the article, IMHO is

    Yet it is so "used to controlling the presentation" that it doesn't seem to know how to deal with a looser environment that it can't dictate to.

    Of course, the looser environment the article referred to was Washington.

    But... I would venture that the Internet (our home) is somewhat looser still. Boy is Micros~1 in trouble.
  • Their support is pretty brain dead, although if you are persistant they might actually get an engineer to try to reproduce the problem.

    I can understand why they are brain dead, tho. They get a lot of stupid calls from dolts who didn't RTFM or slept through their MCSE class.
    --

  • Well, if you go to the bookstore, you'll see a 15 pound set of books called "Windows NT Server Resource Kit", aka, the f*ing manual.

    Show me Microsoft marketing that implys you can support NT server without manuals or training. Can't? Then shut your AC piehole.
    --
  • Not true. Crappy apps can kill the credibility of an OS in the eyes of the pointy-haired bosses out there.

    Imagine MS releasing Office for Linux, and it runs 3x slower than Office for Windows. Then their spin doctors go to work, and all of a sudden, magazines warn everyone how Linux is much slower than Windows.

    Think it can't happen? Look at OS/2.
  • everything from Redmond seems to be mostly PR: if you've ever waded through a tech net article not already knowing most of the answer then the the content most likely makes no sense - but it fits the Microsoft answer to everything, absolutely correct and totally worthless. You gotta love those guys.
  • Which is why bugnet exists. Someone with enough contacts to check up on things, post the information to a site, and have an audience that actually reads the site.

    For major problems, slashdot and other news outlets embarrass MS enough to get something done. But for the little ones, Bugnet does the job.
  • Microsoft is going to go down in a big burning ball of fire. It is pretty sad in a way, but they brought it on themselves.


    http://vapid.ddns.org
  • That's my Bill--always the do-gooder, fighting for the privacy of his customers against the evil government. Glad he's got the best interests of his customers at heart, even if it means the court-ordered end of his lock on the market...

    Feh.
  • Last fall, my roommate had to go to Microsoft for a week. He came back, and described all the people he met there as extremely arrogant, and they all fully believed in and supported MS, but not because the disliked the alternatives and competition, but because they didn't know any better. In short, all the people who worked there were just there trying to make as much money as they could, as fast as possible. They all had the attitude that anything MS did was correct because they are successful, so therefore whatever they do must be right. It was nice to finally see someone print this. It IS true.
  • There was a mention at the end of the article regarding their "cult-like monotone" or some such thing. This is quite telling. It sounds to me like these people are quite brainwashed into believing they can't lose, that they are "the chosen ones" as someone mentioned here.

    The Cult Meme is a very powerful memotype, rooted very close to some fundamental memes that are hardwired into our brains. It's quite easy for this to manifest itself unintentionally, especially when the organization is under siege. These people are starting to sound like the high-tech equivalent of Moonies!

    I think I'll skip the jokes about their soda machines dispensing Kool-Aid... ;-)
  • I have more respect for Andreessen because he actually wrote code. I don't think Ellison is even sure what his company *does*, much less have any deeper technical insight than the average PHB-who-wants-to-be-a-samurai.

    Ellison is not a technical guy, but he knows what he's doing. Oracle got its start by reading IBM's relational DB papers and rushing a product to market before IBM implemented its own ideas. I'm pretty sure that Ellison has been running the show since day one.

    In some ways, Oracle might be even more evil than MS. In the beginning, Oracle would do things like ship purposely garbled tapes to customers, so Oracle could have a few extra days to fix bugs. I don't think MS has done that _yet_ (MS usually doesn't fix bugs without making the customer pay additional moolah), but we'll see what happens when W2K ships ;-)

    -jon

  • ... Have actually gotten 'real' tech support from the (evil) micro$oft?

    (First post with a name behind it... Wasn't expecting that tho!)
  • The descriptions in the article are quite apt. My view is that the press has finally crossed the line from where the money from microsoft ads is outweighed by the increased circulation from showing the downfall of the mighty. Like the press has always been, they will not leave this alone until they get their bleeding carcass.

    Bill & MS had it coming. The kind of arrogance MS displayed at the trial and especially in their post court PR sessions was wearing thin on even the most pro-MS journalists.

    This is one place where the freedom of the press is working in favour of the OSS movement. Go press!. Trumpet the arrogance and greed he's displayed over the years and pronounce it something we need to rid society of.

    10 years from now, there will be books on "The Fall of the Microsoft Empire". I wonder if they'll blame it on lead pipes too?
  • I think the tag for this article should read
    "things are not going so hot for..."
  • That quote didn't really strike me as scary, but more as very accurate and on-target. I've noticed for quite some time now that MS press releases and even their standard advertisements often sound like they were drafted at the Ministry of Truth -- I feel funny about making the 1984 comparison, just because it's so easy and clichéd, but there's a frequent inversion of reality that's very much the same in feel. Big Brother "raises" the chocolate ration from 30 grams to 20 grams, and Microsoft declares that Windows NT is scalable. In either case, the reality is the opposite of the claim.

    I compare MS's "we are winning" bullshit with the bit at the end of the novel: The announcement comes through that "our forces on the Malabar front have just won a glorious victory", and you suddenly realize that, based on what else we've seen coming out of MiniTrue, the chances are extremely high that Oceania just got clobbered. And then you realize that there may not even be a Malabar front in the first place, and the world just implodes around you and you want to be sick.

    So I see that quote and I'm actually a bit pleased to see that other folks are noticing what I'm seeing: that Microsoft's execs are living in a whole nother world, one where NT is scalable and 2 plus 2 does equal 5 if calc.exe says it does, one where Microsoft is good for innovation and DNS even stands for "Digital_Nervous_System".

    And the more people that see MS' disconnect with the rest of reality, the more people will be equipped to properly understand their propaganda. No, that quote doesn't scare me at all.

  • I've also heard an interesting rumor the other way - that the reason the DOJ is after M$ so doggedly is not because of monopolistic practices, but because Gates won't incorporate the US Gov's encryption scheme into their software. From what I've heard, M$ is one of the only major companies refusing.

    This is hearsay - I have no facts to point to. I'm also just throwing it in for conversation's sake, BTW. I love watching M$ squirm.
  • For the most recent entries in the series, go to http://cgi.pathfinder.com/fortune/1999/03/29/mic.h tml

    I didn't see if there was anything on the press conference, but there's a lot of links to previous installments. The "Witnesses in Wonderland" segment is very good reading.
  • I for one ceternally have not and do not associate with microsoft in any way shape or form. If they cannot support their DOS product line or make improvements for their low end users then it really dosn't matter to me. I use Linux. Mr. Gates can take a long walk off a short pier for all I care.

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.

Working...