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IBM

IBM & Microsoft Rift 201

About 30 million of you wrote in to say "This article at ZDnet describes the problems IBM went through when it kept selling OS/2 even after Microsoft asked them to stop " Essentially, MS quintuplied royalty fees to IBM, when IBM refused to stop selling competing products. This came out in a deposition from IBM execs.
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IBM & Microsoft Rift

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  • 1) You can not sell any other operating system without
    threats and damage from Micros~1

    Unless you are small reseller who pays retail price for
    Windows anyway. Most of the "treatening" appears to
    revolve arround how much MS charge for their software
    to OEM's
  • Years ago in the by-gone era (er, 1994-6) of a boy newly inducted into teenhood, I assumed my responsibilities as a civic member of the Kirksville, MO (pop. 17,904) area computer community. I fell in love with this funky, thought-out, multitasking GUI that showed more depth than anything I or my Kirksville-entrapped camarades had ever seen (ie, Windows and MacOS). OS/2 quickly won the race with Windows and DesqView for processor-ticks and mind share thus winning the honor of hosting Kirksville's third one-line BBS, "Society's Forgotten's BBS." Although they now may seem modest at best, I'll admit that I'm more than naustalgic for the countless conversations my friends, some strangers, and I churned out, and that I secretly basked in the faux glory of being custodian to discussions on religion, communism, and OJ Simpson.

    Of course, my Dr. Jeckel sysop turned Mr. Hyde on usenet in '95. Evil, dark, inflammatory. Not one step back. Fight the foot soldiers who dare to infiltrate *.os2.advocacy. Remember, though: They are minor pests who have no real power. (Nevermind that I empowered them by dignifying their /ignorant/ remarks.) The real bad guys were the PC magazines. They loved Windows and superficial beauty, hated OS/2 and artificial character. Their articles were glorifed press releases. They _never_ dared do real journalism. They stepped in no mud, manipulated no dirty characters, and never penetrated the blue walls of computerdom.

    Not that anyone would care. If wisdom comes with age, I've changed without aging. Sure, now I've taken classes in media. I read my ojr.org and cjr.org, but I'm now one of a million seventeen year old males, disillusioned with high school and non-Unix operating systems, who runs Linux and obligingly, hopefully turns to slashdot everyday.

    What keeps this message from being lost as "Offtopic"? The fact that it's "Flamebait" -- almost a "troll." In the spirit of naustalgia, I revert to my bitterness for ZD publications. More, reading this article aroused in me memories of the ideals of the institution of journalism. Investigative reporting. Finding the bad. Independence from government. Above all, though, reading this article made me wonder sardonically: Where was ZDnet when when Norris heard, "As long as you're shipping competitive products... you will suffer."
  • Add Lotus Smartsuite and Star Office to productivity, and add None to everything else.


    --
    Richard R. Klemmer
    WebTrek L.L.C.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What are you talking about? IBM *still* preinstalls OS/2 on commercial computers.

    not true. MS made them not pre-install os2, rather it could be purchased with the machine, or you could return your win95 cd and they'd send a os2 one. MS forced IBM to pre-load win95.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 1999 @02:43PM (#1875325)
    1) You can not sell any other operating system without threats and damage from Micros~`

    Interesting. Why is it that lots of OEM's do sell other OS's, including Dell and Compaq.

    2) You can not add software to that package except under strict scrutany by Micros~1

    You cannot *REMOVE* software from a windows installation, you can add anything you like. Lots of OEM's including Toshiba and IBM have been shipping Netscape for years, just not at the expense of removing IE. You also can't alter the boot up sequence.

    3) You can not write software that competes with Micros~1 in any way and still sell its OS on your PCs

    Well, since IBM is really the only company that both sells commercial software and sells PC's, it's hard to judge based on one case.

    1) You can not write software that competes with Micros~1 in any way.

    Strange that many companies DO compete with Microsoft, and still stay quite up to date. Intuit for instance.

    2) You can not write software for any other operating system and keep up-to-date on Windows.

    Strange that Intuit does this. So does Corel. So does IBM (remember, they write more software for NT than anyone else besides MS right now). So does Perforce, Rational, and more companies than I can name.

    3) You can not grow your business very large or Micros~1 will see you as a threat.

    Strange that Microsoft doesn't see companies like SAP as a threat. They're one of the top selling companies on the market.

    4) If Micros~1 decides your market is desirable you should be prepared to exit that market.

    Only if you're incompetant and have only managed to stay in business if you have no competition. Clearly, lots of companies compete with Micrsoft and win. Again, Intuit is one. Lotus is another. Microsoft doesn't automatically dominate in every market they enter.

    I think the fear and hype surrounding MS as an omnipotent being is what causes them to continue being so successful. They win by image alone, nothing more. It's been proven that if you have a good product, a good marketing department, and are willing to stay on top of things, you CAN beat microsoft.
  • Sheesh, it makes one wonder why any company would think of signing any business deal with M$. Maybe it will help out in the beginning, but then it seems you'd be hampered by M$.

    Take a look at Corel for an example of a company who wouldn't sign a business deal with M$. M$ has systematically gone after their biggest cash cows, and nearly driven them to bankruptcy.

    As far as I know (I'm just a coder, down in the trenches, so this shouldn't be considered gospel), PCDocs has signed a deal with M$, and they're still moving into our area. But at least they gave us some warning, and so we can go somewhere else, or build on top of what they will be offering.

    Later,
    Blake.

    I speak for PCDocs
  • I live in a country with only one phone company. It sucks big time. Expensive, lousy service and of course, I can't switch. Internet service? Give me a break. The same company controls it. The smaller ISPs all have to go through the big one. SLOOOOW. Expensive. Why? NO COMPETITION!
  • Back in the day (remember the 50+ free floppies IBM would give out if you'd beta test OS/2 2.1?), I saw a 386/16 MCA-bus IBM machine with 12M RAM that would SMOKE my 486/33 with 16 running OS/2.

    The MCA bus kicked ass back then, and we'd all be running a variant of it now (maybe some whiz-bang 100MHz 64bit MCA-3 or something) if it hadn't been for IBM's proclivity to proprietize EVERYTHING.

    They saw that open architectures meant they'd not have a total lock on a market, and instead of making a new, better standard for everyone to use, driving forward the technology, they only gave out programming specs on the hardware to a few business partners.

    EVERYONE, especially IBM, lost.

    That's the reason I can't understand folks like NVidia today. They could be THE STANDARD by which all others are judged (they are now, sort of, but I digress), but instead they err on the side of propriety.

    Gah. Stupid. What ever happened to KOSH?

    --Corey
  • I agree. All contractors would be switching to systems/software compatible with the non-Microsoft systems and so would state and local governments. That one thing would put a huge dent in Micros~1's profit margin and reality bites when you lived a fantacy for so long.
  • OK...

    so where does Gary Kildall fit in?
  • by coyote-san ( 38515 ) on Friday May 28, 1999 @11:00AM (#1875331)
    IBM was never broken up. It was investigated for anti-trust behavior, and I think it even had government monitors installed into the document chain, but it wasn't broken up like AT&T.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    My old Aptiva came with Win95a preinstalled. OS/2 wasn't even an option. Never-the-less, all the manuals and documentation talk exclusively about OS/2. I have to wonder how many users that confused. I can't see how switching the OS without re-writing the documenation is a real bright move.
  • It's interesting. You're proposing that the solution to the problem is to hamstring Microsoft so it's so balkanized that it's as weak as the Unix vendors. That's an interesting approach. Are you proposing that the government also reimburse all the businesses damaged by the new balkanized computer industry? Or can people like yourself instead by found liable?

    Oh, I forgot, Open Source(tm) will save the day.
  • I think the problem isn't that they are underused, it is the fact they are used, way too much for everything. Windows everywhere it seems. I really don't like the whole Windows NT line including 2000. I think they'll try to put it in everything. There are already 4 version of it, and 3 more will be on they way with the 64 bit version and then there is the personal that will come along in 2-3 years, and then Windows 2000 CE...you get the picture. Microsoft wants to give you choices, just make sure they are all Microsoft.
  • by Silverpike ( 31189 ) on Friday May 28, 1999 @09:14AM (#1875337)
    I thought I'd add some additional thoughts from inside Big Blue to this interesting conversation.

    It should be noted that IBM has no plans to offer a commercial PC OS. This should come as no surprise, given our past failures and recent support of Linux (I think after we handed a big fat layup to M$ and the recent rise of Linux have squished that idea quite nicely).

    However, it is also worth noting that IBM has created more than a dozen different OSes during its lifetime (AIX, VM, OS/2, OS/Open, OS/390, OS/400, the list goes on...) . It would be fair to say that we have no real emotional attachment to any one of them, which is why I think we're in a better position to support Linux than Sun or HP, who are clinging to their *NIXes like they're going out of style (- hey, a colloquialism that really fits!). Don't be fooled by their flashy press releases patting Linux on the back; I don't expect to see them really put Linux in the driver's seat for many years. Granted, IBM will probably follow the same road map, but at least we're more used to cutting our losses and switching out OSes than our other workstation buddies.

    It is also very true that IBM once attempted to make everything electronic IBM proprietary. That mentality still survives in some areas in IBM, but being that IBM is primarily composed of engineers, most of us are completely sold on IEEE, ITU, and ISO standards. I hear a lot of people shouting vehemently of how IBM is the evil proprietary empire, but I don't think that's a fair assesment anymore.

    I work in the Networking Hardware division (Slashdot reader: Networking? I didn't know IBM MADE switches and routers...), and there's only a few products I know of that use proprietary tech, and they are all going end of life. Gone are the glory days of 3270 and 3274. Everything else is purely IEEE and ITU, or else the safety and homologation guys come back and yell at us. All ATM, Ethernet, Token-ring, ISDN, FDDI, and T1/E1 are all our bread and butter now, not proprietary busses.

    Anyways, I don't think IBM is worth criticizing anymore for proprietary behavior. We pretty much lost that battle soundly.

    Comments welcome.
  • by Kludge ( 13653 ) on Friday May 28, 1999 @11:54AM (#1875338)
    All government would need to do is issue an executive order banning the purchase of M$ products with government money and ban the use of any M$ standard by a government agency. Your pal Bill C. has the authority to do this. Our government spends so much on software, it would be a huge fund injection for the competition, and M$ would crumble. Plus, our civil and military service people would get better software.

  • Every one of these industries have been deregulated due to the industry wide ineffeciencies caused by regulation. EVERY ONE. It would seem that the clarion call for the regulation of OS's as a government monopoly becomes a bit less sharp when viewed in that light. Government regulation is rarely the answer, and inviting it into a realm where the government has repeatedly shown itself to be incapable of understanding from a regulatory standpoint (remember the communications decency act?) seems to me to be a bit foolhardy. This is not to say that the DOJ should not address the monopolistic practices of Microsoft, merely that extending itself to cover the commoditiy-in-general (OS's) is a less optimal solution than dealing with the monopolistic company.
  • You misunderstand what is going on. OEMs can offer good deals on bundled software percisely because it is bundled and they are getting a volume discount. Your scheme has no economy of scale. If they forced you to buy software at retail prices, you probably could buy it cheaper somewhere else.

    If you are a big customer, the OEMs/System Integrators will put any damn disk image on the machine that you give them. If you are a small customer, find a clone shop - they usually will preinstall what you want to get the business. If you are an individual, do it yourself or pay someone to do it, because the fact that every computer doesn't magically come with the exact software you want is your problem, not the vendors'.
    --
  • Just like municipalities have Public Service Commisions that regulate the rate the utility monopolies can charge, there should be a commision that oversees the "Microsoft Tax" to ensure OEMs and customers are not screwed.

    Breaking up Microsoft will just create several monopoly companies.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is amusing. :) (let the rehashing begin.)

    It's funny. People are taking this so personally.

    To be honest, I don't care what happens to Microsoft. They're just another big corporation trying to rule the world. I don't use their products. It's as simple as that. If they crumble, I'll still be running the same system, developing free, useful software. If they don't, I'll still be running the same system, developing free, useful software.

    I laugh at my friends when their windows pc's go down in flames, and they lose all their work. Sounds cruel, but they laugh just as hard when I hit a web page that requires the "spiffy" plug-in, only supported by Windows. Competition (Microsoft isn't playing fairly, but they're still playing) is good. Without competitors, there's no motive to innovate. There's no doubt in my mind that if we were all happy with Windows (meaning end users, vars, developers, "el1t3 c0d3rz", admins, etc.), or some other OS, Linux wouldn't be enjoying the enormous support (and hype) it's experiencing now.

    In a hundred years we'll all look back and laugh. Many of us are doing that now.

    My two cents.
  • by Venomous Louse ( 12488 ) on Friday May 28, 1999 @10:50AM (#1875345)

    A computer operating system isn't a natural, unavoidable monopoly like the phone company.

    There's an argument that it is something of a "natural monopoly", because of compatibility issues. Once you've spent thousands of dollars on software to run on OS Foo (much of which may be available for that OS only), and once all of your friends and business partners are using Foo, switching to OS Bar can be impractical and expensive, even if Bar has tremendous technical superiority. The quality of the operating system itself is not the only issue.


    There is no need to regulate a free market for software unless some companies break the law.

    IMHO there is no need to regulate any free market unless it coagulates and becomes un-free, or unless mindless, irresponsible cretinism (a.k.a. free enterprise) in that area is too destructive to be tolerated, as in the case of finance. I mean, if upper management at Pepsico is a bunch of babbling morons, that's okay, because Crystal Pepsi is harmless. By contrast, the securities industry is very heavily regulated because those morons are genuinely dangerous.

    Anybody who actually gives a rat's ass about money is a hopeless mental and moral cripple, and can't be trusted with anything important. Pepsi, for example, isn't important. Let 'em do as they please! Are operating systems important? Only in a practical sense, but I guess you could argue that practicality is enough.

    Who really cares, anyway?

    As for merely breaking the law, that in and of itself doesn't call for regulating the market; it calls for imposing penalties on the guilty party.


    "Once a solution is found, a compatibility problem becomes indescribably boring because it has only... practical importance"
  • There are other issues here.
    If you sell IBM compatible PCs:
    1) You can not sell any other operating system without threats and damage from Micros~`
    2) You can not add software to that package except under strict scrutany by Micros~1
    3) You can not write software that competes with Micros~1 in any way and still sell its OS on your PCs

    If you write software for Windows:
    1) You can not write software that competes with Micros~1 in any way.
    2) You can not write software for any other operating system and keep up-to-date on Windows.
    3) You can not grow your business very large or Micros~1 will see you as a threat.
    4) If Micros~1 decides your market is desirable you should be prepared to exit that market.

    There will only be 3 places to be in PC technology. One is working FOR Micros~1 on software, selling services fixing Micros~1 products, or selling PCs with Windows on it. This is what I read from how Micros~1 treats its partners, OEMs, and ISVs. Look at this IBM information, look at how Netscape was delt with, look at how Borland lost its employees and thus its technology, look all around and everything says that you either make hardware only, provide service for Micros~1 products, or work for Micros~1.
    A dim future if you ask me. Unless.......Linux??????
  • Not necessarily off topic if the topic is MS!! It seems that MS is trying to buy as much time as it can. It may even be going light on all the retailers and IBM etc who are now supporting linux not because it is afraid of looking more like a monopoly, but rather because the longer they can delay the ruling and the case itself, the more likely it is that linux/be/bsd will be a true competitor and the basis of the case 'MS is a monopoly' can become an debatable reality. If this happens by the time the case is completed, MS may be hit with a whole bunch of fines (which they can afford to pay) but not suffer anything disastrous like splitting up the company. Maybe they are willing to have a competitor in the short run so that they can succeed in the long run. Lets face it folks... linux is a geek OS and it is going to be years and years before a newbie can be productive on it from day 1. MS isn't going to lose much market share in the early stages because linux appeals to a niche. Why would IBM and Intel support linux anyway??? So that Microsoft looks less like a monopoly by the time the case is done?? Are there any articles published on this?
  • To extend this analogy, go back further, to when the ibm pc was new. Microsoft *was* the good guy, who was going to save us from the dominion of IBM.

    Microsoft sold MS-DOS for other computers, so that you could run man (later almost all) of the programs for the IBM on other 8086 hardware. In 1982, it was ibm that was seen as the dark side.

    IBM *expected* you to buy ibm software to run on that pc, and only ibm hardware--though they couldn't force you. We had a *wall* full of ibm software for it, but I don't remember ever selling a single copy of it (mainly because it wasn't any good).

    With MS-DOS, though, you were safe, and could by someone else's hardware. In 1982, this didn't mean a clone, either. There were several other 8086 machines out there. And the 640k limit was peculiar to ibm (and the clones); iirc, Victor could access 768k.

    But along the way, things changed. Someone through young Microft through a Window, disfiguring it horribly, and creating the dreaded Micrso~1 . . .

    Now we see the emperor, err, ibm, coming to our rescue to protect us from microso~1 . . .
  • Personally, I would rather have some government agency regulate it than Bill Gates. At least we can vote to affect some change in the way government rules, with Bill Gates you have no
    say at all...

  • Ah, perhaps he was. But the analogy is that it's _Micros~1_ that was under the tutelage of IBM.

    By the time Micros~1 was in existence, Bill was no longer an "innocent kid".

    --

  • Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    How is more choice going to hurt consumers? The only possible answer is "because then Joe Consumer will have to know more before purchasing a computer".

    That's something I'd really like to see happen, wouldn't you?
    --
    "Please remember that how you say something is often more important than what you say." - Rob Malda
  • by Zoltar ( 24850 ) on Friday May 28, 1999 @11:01AM (#1875353)
    I read a book called "The Making of Microsoft" , I don't recall who wrote it. It was pro MS of course, but the story about the early days was pretty interesting.

    Bill was actually a "hacker" when he was a kid. In fact he got tossed off of some mainframe that he had access to (I think having wealthy parents gave him certain advantages) because he brought the whole system down by hacking something he wasn't supposed to. According to the book he was kind of a rebel, not too differnet from your average computer geek.

    It would seem that timing had a lot to do with the success of MS, they were in the right place at the right time. Then they hired some killer marketing people and the rest is history.

    It's easy and fun to believe that Bill is the evil anti-christ but it's really not true. It's a shame that he ended up in the software industry and not tupperware industry :)
  • Yeah, I kinda agree. But why bother ruining Microsoft? The consumers made Microsoft what it is today. We bought their damned products. I say, let the novice computer users use Windows. People who demand more can use Linux/FreeBSD/etc. Just leave the MS crowd alone and focus on doing our own thing.

    Just a thought.
  • I certainly can't speak for Mr. Gates, but I've gotten the distinct impression that he is into being successful more than anything else. Power is part of what he sees as success.

    Oh, and he's been pretty successful, too.

    (many people are very envious envious of his success. Of course they won't ever admit it. They get very shrill about denying it.)
  • by selectap ( 30841 ) on Friday May 28, 1999 @12:16PM (#1875357)
    ZDNET has a lot of nerve 'coming out' with a story like this. ZDNET played an eager role in helping promote garbage like Windows and to FUD non-Microsoft OS's like OS/2 into oblivion. The trade press is almost as guilty as Microsoft, in my opinion

    ZD actually didn't write the story. It's from Reuters, and this story actually appeared first on Wired. [wired.com]

  • by sboss ( 13167 ) on Friday May 28, 1999 @12:27PM (#1875358) Homepage
    WARNING THIS IS OFF TOPIC, but:

    I used to work for a software company that had (at the time) a large network where it connected it's private network to other companies' private networks, sorta like the internet but nowhere the size, nor flexibility. We used CISCO and BAY routers/switchs although we were a IBM Business Partner (at the level where we got 36-45% off everything). At that time (it has been a couple years), the IBM routers were realitivy useless. I had to connect our site to 3 different IBM sites and the routers that IBM gave me to use were bay routers. I asked if they were using IBM routers and their answer was "only in our labs to test/paly with, never in a production enviroment". I know this has changed since then but... The whole point I was trying to get to (but never do) is that IBM hardware is no real competion to anyone. The RS/6000 series competes with Sun/HP and does a poor job at it. High end NT or Novell competes with the AS/400 and can do equally decent job at a better price. Bay and Cisco rule the switching/router field. Even the SP2 nodes have competition with the Sun E10Ks.

    What is funny in my book is that OS/2 was developed by MS and IBM together until their little spat over what hardware was the minimum requirement for OS/2. IBM said 386 and MS said 286 (286 was the mainstream and 386 was the cutting edge back then). So MS broke off and developled Windows whereas IBM continued with OS/2. OS/2 is a rock solid os and I would run it except for the apps for it are limited.

    IBM has never been good at seriously competing in the PC market since the 386 timeframe. They have always have been there and will always be there. The only area of the PC market they really rock in is the Laptops (the thinkpads are rock solid).

    IBM has always had a problem of lack of or poor advertising. MS on the other hand advertises everywhere. IBM Global Services has taken MS' lead and started advertising everywhere and they are gaining market share.

    Well that was my 25 cents worht,
    Scott

    PS> Next time I will try to stay on topic.
    Scott
    C{E,F,O,T}O
    sboss dot net
    email: scott@sboss.net
  • I'm so sick of all this shit with M$... Everyday it's the same story written by someone else. I'm sticking to Linux!

    Pengwins
  • Ridiculous. Can you name any forms of government regulation that actually work ? Compare:

    UPS vs. (regulated) parcel post
    MCI/ATT/SPRINT vs (regulated) local telco service


    Historically, regulation has been sought by the company/industry that is REGULATED, to protect that company/industry from OUTSIDE COMPETITION.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I can see why IBM found it difficult to include OS/2 on their computers. It's not just preinstalling the software on the computers. You have the associated support costs for 2 operating systems, Windows and OS/2. Plus, you are plugging an operating system that people did not want in the first place.

    While it is disappointing to see no competition in the OS market, IBM has to make a buck.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's called PCI...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    When did they start doing that?

    Well, both Dell and Compaq (and several other OEM's) are selling Linux systems. Small vendors have been selling such systems for years since they don't get the steep discounts the larger OEM's get, they have less to lose by losing volume.

    Gateway owns Amiga and sells those (what's left of them to sell). HP has been selling Unix systems for years. (I believe that some of these even run on x86's, though I could be wrong there.) Compaq sells Digital UNIX systems (although as you point out, this is a somewhat recent thing but still about a year).

    Data General now sells Pentium II/III based systems that run both NT and DG/UX. (http://www.dg.com/aviion/ for some very nice servers that can go up to 64 PII/PIII's)

    IBM said it themselves, they pissed Bill Gates off (he was annoyed by the lack of respect that IBM showed MS). I would imagine this had something to do with their nasty negotiations.

    Wasn't Compaq threatened to lose its license to Windows because it installed Netscape?

    No, MS threatened them because they removed the IE icon, not because they installed Netscape.

    They can't put those products icons on the desktop though can they?

    Toshiba did. My company bought dozens of Tecra's that had the NS icon on the desktop. For over a year this practice continued (then we stopped buying Toshibas, so I can't comment on whether they continued or not).

    HP and Compaq have software divisions but why don't they have anything that competes with Micros~1?

    HP's software division is primarily embedded systems and Unix systems. I don't think you or anyone but HP can speculate on why they haven't been in the PC software business. If you'll note, HP's primary software is in support of it's hardware.

    IBM is about the only one willing to stand up and fight and even thought they are making alot of money supporting broken Windows installation/products they are also paying for it. As the current news stories are showing us.

    Not really. The news story also tells us that IBM *UNDERPAID* it's revenues for quite some time. The figures of gross increase in sales were related to IBM's underpaid pricing (they paid 40 million and should have paid 90 million, yet the 40 million price was being used to show how much the increase was). Still, the figures show an increase from 90 million to 220 million in the span of 3 years. Nothing was said about how many machines were sold in 94 versus the number of machines sold in 97. Nothing was said about the fact that IBM was selling Win 3.1 in 1994 and Win95 in 1997. The numbers don't reflect a lot of facts which could seriously change how those figures are being represented.

    IBM had a steep discount on win 3.1 in 1994. More so than any other vendor in the industry. So in 1997 they paid about the same price as every other OEM. And you call that unfair? You call that "paying the price"? Whining that you no longer have the best discount because you pissed off the vendor isn't the same thing as having your prices jacked far above what everyone else is paying (which didn't happen).

    Funny the government already told Micros~1 to stay away from them and you chose them as your one example.

    No, not really. The government never told them anything, they simply were investigating the deal. Microsoft on their own backed off and didn't pursue the matter. No ruling was ever made to deny MS from buying Intuit. MS didn't want to go through the trouble, which shows exactly how much MS really wanted them (not enough to even wait for a ruling, much less appeal it).

    Your version of history in several places here seems to be quite skewed from what really happened.

    There goes Intuit again. Do you really think Corel gets the time of day from Micros~1? They are fighting the good fight with what they have but since MS Office has been bundled with Windows, they don't have much market left. Again, IBM pays for dearly for doing this, they are just big enough to be able to afford it.

    When did Microsoft begin selling Office with every copy of windows? I must have been asleep.

    Microsoft offers good prices to vendors that also choose to bundle other MS products. That's not the same as MS bundling windows. The OEM makes this choice.

    Besides, most customers *DO* want Office and every bundle i've ever seen has given the option of deleting Office from the sale (and getting money off the base price), since they're afraid of file format incompatibilities. Sad, but true.

    But the point here is that Corel get's the same access to information that most other software vendors get. MSDN. This gives you everything you need to develop for windows (information wise). Hell, you can even get the same info for free by logging into their web site. Microsoft *WANTS* people to write software for their OS. The info is so available that even if MS tried to cut you off, they couldn't since it's too easy to get without them knowing you were getting it.

    Sure, they might not get priveledged information anymore, that just puts them in the same boat as anyone else who wants to write software for windows, and millions of people do it just fine without it. Don't confuse not being priveledged with not getting information.

    This is a desktop product? We are talking aobut Microsoft's leverage of the desktop here. If they are allowed to continue into the server space, SAP will be attacked the same way others have been.

    There was no specification of "for the desktop" in the original comment. In any event, SAP writes software for NT and NT is their largest platform (SAP/R3). They also have desktop clients.

    "continue into the server space"? That's what they do. They make billions of dollars off of NT every year. Clearly that's a large market that Microsoft could go into if they wanted, but they apparently don't want to.

    There is Intuit again.... Lotus has IBMs $$ behind it and they are putting up a good fight. Exchange should be no competition for Notes but look at what it has done so far. Boy it is even at something like rev 6 even though it is only a couple of years old. FUD and Micros~1 is attacking it with MS LookOut by preinstalls in Windows.

    I use Intuit because they're a great example of how to compete with MS and win. Exchange and Notes are really two different markets with an overlap in the groupware domain. Notes is primarily a document database with groupware capabilities, Exchange is primarily a message transport system with Groupware capabilities. Exchange started at revision 4 to sync up with the Exchange client which was at version 4 because it shipped with Win95 (which was version 4). It also didn't hurt the marketing. So Exchange is really at version 3 (when 6.0 is released. 5.5 is the current version.) Exchange is 4 years old BTW. Notes is only about 6 or 7. That's not a huge difference in these terms.

    Also, Outlook is not installed in windows unless they also install Office. Outlook is a generic client that also has Exchange connectivity (also internet connectivity). Theoretically, Outlook can talk to any MAPI source, including Notes.

    Kind a poor case you put up there. The history is there, you just have to be more then 20 years old to have actually seen it happen and be aware of it. Some 15 years of it. IIRC

    Which you have proven that you don't. Lots of things are not as you recall them. I'm 35 for what it's worth, and I've been in the industry since 1985 (professionally, unprofessionally since 1977). I've seen it all happen. I've followed everything closely. I owned an Apple II, an IBM PC, a PC Convertible (remember those?), a PS/2 model 30 (286/ISA bus). I was running OS/2 in 1990 (1.3).

    Here is an interesting article to read.

    http://www.mercurycenter.com/svtech/columns/gill mor/docs/dg052899.htm

    Microsoft has gotten to where they are by the ineptness of it's competition. Competition that was paying attention (such as Intuit) can counter Microsoft and nullify everything they do (since they're so slow to do things in the first place). It's people like you that continue to spread the myth that Microsoft is indestructable and Omnipotent that gives MS it's power. It's only in the belief that MS will destroy you that they can succeed.

  • I believe one thing that was imposed on them was that they could NOT announce a product unless it was released 30 days from that announcement. Imagine if just that one thing was imposed on Micros~1 back when they first had monopoly power. Sometime back in mid to late 1980's. Would it helped back in the 1994 consent decree???? Would it help today???? What about OEMs not allowed to modify the startup UI? In the DOS and Win3.x days many OEM came up with much more usable UIs to replace Program Manager and user bought some for that reason. 1995 saw the end of that too. Micros~1 is a monopoly and MUST operate and be regulated under monopoly rules. Is there a way to FIX the damage in such a way that other OS's have a new chance or do we start with Windows as some kind of base platform? Something has to allow progress going forward and allow for innovation by many and not the one. What held IBM back may be able to hold Micros~1 back. IMHO
  • No, what drives Bill and other authoritarians is some fundamental psychological insecurity, a need for "respect", perhaps driven by a domineering father or some high school bully. Who knows? We'll leave that to the posthumous shrinks.

    Bill Gates comes from a wealthy, well-to-do, positioned family that fostered/fosters a very competitive enviornment. Many of Bill's childhood friends have commented on the competitive atmosphere whenever they visited.

  • by hawk ( 1151 ) <hawk@eyry.org> on Friday May 28, 1999 @11:37AM (#1875367) Journal
    I am a lawyer, but this is not legal advice. I am probably not admitted in your jurisdiction. If you need advice on this topic, see a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction.

    That said, IBM's version of MS's behavior (assuming the truth of it for the moment) is about as illegal as it gets.

    *Having* a monopoly is not illegal, unless you got it in an illegal manner. The original microsoft mnopoly was lawfully acquired by most counts, and owes more to IBM pricing CP/M-86 at four times the price of PC-DOS than to anything Microsoft did.

    However, having legally acquired a monopoly, it is illegal to use market power for just about anything. ANd one does not have to be a monopolist to reach this prohibition, but merely to have market power. Here (again, assuming that it is true), they attempted to use a near-monopoly to eliminate a competitor. This creates two great sins against anti-trust law: 1) the use of the power, and 2) it is an *attempt* to monopolize, an offense on its own.

    It is possible to make economic arguments that what MS has done is good for the consumer, and that the law *should* permit the alleged behavior. THere have been several of these as op-ed pieces in the wall street journal over the past few months, and generally rely on the notion that microsoft is innovative.

    I haven't been persuaded by the arguments, but they can be honestly made. However, that is not what the law *is*. While antitrust law gives the courts far more flexibility than just about any other statutory law, and modern antitrust law acknowledges consumer interest rather than protection of competitors as the ultimate test, the definitions needed to permit the alleged behavior not only bend the meaning of the statutes, but requires that they be outright ignored.
  • None of this is surprising. ZDNet must come to its senses, and start bashing Microsoft like everyone else or they'll end up with the short-end of the stick on ratings.

    Newsflash: There is no good news about Microsoft that people will believe. Their products are overrated and underused, yet bloated and overpriced.

    This is a rediculous situation, where they are producing inferior products, and we have no choice but to use them.

    Can't wait for Windows 2000 Lite, the predicted new version of Win2000, for free. The eventual realization will be that the operating system market is dead by Microsoft's hand, and yet in the death and waste they left behind, we see Linux thriving.

  • by mcc ( 14761 ) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Friday May 28, 1999 @11:50AM (#1875369) Homepage
    i don't know exactly what antitrust law is like, but this is quite definately a violation of it, right?

    [note: possible trolling ahead]
    this brings us to the point of what, exactly, is going to be accomplished by the government attacking microsoft.

    It's all very easy to say "split up microsoft", but along what lines? and what would that accomplish, exactly? having three seperate Microsofts would do nothing _except_ confuse consumers,with no benefits.
    I think if they cut up MS into an OS company and an applications company, with the OS company not allowed to show any preferential treatment to the app company. The app company could integrate with the OS all they wanted, but it would have to be through open, clearly defined standards, so that Netscape could be integrated into the OS just as easily as MSIE (OpenDoc, anyone..? -_-).. then that would work well. It's hard to claim though that it would help anything Word and Outlook Express to be made by different companies.
    But this begs the question of where you draw the line between OS and applications. I think we could all agree that a web browser is an application, but aren't there certain internet-related functions (such as ping, telnet, time servers, etc.. yes, the windows telnet program SUCKS) that really ought to be handled by the OS? If MS wanted to let you mount an FTP server as a hard drive (which is definately innovative, and someting that makes sense) would they no longer be allowed to do that? Where do you draw the line? And what about Windows Media Player? I call WMP an application, and i believe that microsoft ought to bundle RealPlayer and Quicktime with Windows for the sake of their customers. But you could easily argue that WMP _ought_ to be part of the OS. For instance, look at apple's Quicktime, which is more a basic low-level library than a movie display program. If apple wanted to have the Finder use Quicktime for basic low-level bitmap display functions, they could do it very easily. But if MS did something like that, would it be a bad thing? (this is just an example. obviously WMP isn't that sophisticated. :P) Where do you draw the line?
    And if certain non-MS products start to get bundled with windows, which ones? Netscape of course, but what about Opera? We could probably say Quicktime and Realplayer ought to be included, but what about Vivoactive? there's no good reason to include vivoactive-- nobody uses it-- but you could argue that if QT and Real get in, so should vivo. This might get messy..

    Another thing that would probably work is greatly reducing the power MS has over computer makers-- for instance, allowing them to bundle any non-MS software they want freely, or ship computers with other OSes or no OSes. This is, remember, why Netscape started this lawsuit to begin with.
    Is this an option for the government? i don't know antitrust law.
    It might be difficult to enforce though unless MS standardized the contracts between different computer makers, and MS wasn't allowed to turn away any buyers. After all if a company starts shipping Linux computers and their windows prices immediately double, it could be very easy to claim this is a coincidence when everyone is paying different prices for windows anyway.

    The worst idea from my point of view is forcing MS to open-source its code, since the court is unlikely to take into serious consideration liscensing or future MS operating systems. Also that sets scary precedent. (and now that source code is legally free speech, doesn't MS have a right to withhold it if they want?)

    I'm not arguing any one point of view, but i think the government really ought to have a clear idea going in of what exactly they're going to do if they win. Right now they don't seem to be worried about that at all; they'll just deal with it when they come to it, and don't seem aware it's the most important part of the case.
    Because there is a very real danger that they'll either set up some kind of wierd precedent that could attack other software companies later, or even worse do some very small insignifigant thing that helps no one. Because if even if the DOJ's final desicion is something unhelpful, they will likely never do anything else to MS because hey, they won the Microsoft case! Their work here is done!
    Rememeber, MS is supposedly already supposed to be prohibhited from tying products to the OS, but they do it anyway. this is what this lawsuit's about. if they didn't follow the earlier no-tying agreement, will they keep their promises after this one?
  • OEMs can offer good deals on bundled software percisely because it is bundled and they are getting a volume discount.

    But "volume discounts" on software should not be legal. It's a positively ridiculous notion (although it is true). The software industry is so absurdly corrupt it's painful to even think about it.

    OEM's should be able to offer various OS's at little cost. The real economies of scale come into play where a company like Dell invests in assembly line style manufacturing of PC's where windows is installed on every PC. But even here it should be that difficult to offer additional OS's. Mainly it's a matter of having people who know how to configure the OS.

  • In 1994, the year Warp v3 shipped IBM was selling 1 million copies of OS/2 per month. They could not break into the preload business and we now know why. The total OS/2 install base was around 15 million worldwide and until March of 1995 IBM was heavily advertising OS/2. Nun ads and the like. One million copies per month at mostly retail is an amazing number. I was actually having people finally start asking me about OS/2 because of all the press and even in spite of the constant harassing Ziff-Davis and others published. Fighting a ghost for 3 years, Chicago, was appearently taking its toll on IBM and after all, Micros~1 kept advertising all the amazing things that this ghost would do real soon now.
    OS/2 would have kicked butt had Micros~1 not been allowed to use the press to lie to the public and be allowed to annouce a product that was not going to ship for 3 years. I'll say it again, a Ziff-Davis reporter in Europe told people that IBM was killing OS/2 around 1995 and that lie made it all over the world. The head of a Denver CO hospital was evaluating OS/2 for a complete replacement of DOS/Windows until he heard the lie that IBM was killing OS/2. THIS IS WHAT KEPT WINDOWS ALIVE. Illegal marketing practices by Micros~1 and it PR arm, Ziff-Davis and company. IMHO
  • Microsoft is a business, people. They don't work for free, and they don't take courses of action that would gut their revenues. This absolutely cannot be a real plan- not even a backup plan- not even if you ignore antitrust statutes. Why? Because THEY NEED THE INCOME. Their valuation is paper. The last thing they can afford is a collapse in their valuation, and conceding the OS business (for the consumer) as unprofitable, in hopes of totally controlling all of it and making up the loss in control of media, is a damned dangerous game.
    This can only be vapor. If they were fools enough to _do_ it, it would be time for rejoicing- because they can't turn sustainable profit on that model. They cannot simply abandon profit centers so lightly.
  • What do you think drives Bill Gates (or any big-shot computer CEO) anyway? Money? If the game were just about money, it's over. Bill won, the first person in history worth a hundred billion dollars.

    No, what drives Bill and other authoritarians is some fundamental psychological insecurity, a need for "respect", perhaps driven by a domineering father or some high school bully. Who knows? We'll leave that to the posthumous shrinks.

    How many times have we seen industry pundits at a loss to explain Free Software, because they simply cannot imagine a motivation other than fiscal profit? The same is true of Bill Gates. If you think greed drives him, you've underestimated him.
  • Lack of functionality? What functionality was missing in OS/2 in 1995? Functionality is why I got ahold of the beta of OS/2 v2.0 in 1990(IIRC). Up until some recent (2-3 years) new devices like DVD, OS/2 has been far more functional then Windows. Applications is a chicken and eggs thing. As far as users installing it, you have to have hardware that supports it just like every version of Windows has to have hardware that supports it or else Microsoft wouldn't have PC9x specifications. IMO, if OEMs were allowed to preinstall it without retributions from Micros~1 we would have far better support for devices today.

    I don't think that they would drop OS/2 again if they could go back. They had/have very large fortune 500 (redundant) companies that rely on OS/2. Mission critical applications that MUST stay running and run correctly. Can you immagine if ATM machines were running Dos/Windows? I think that bug that crashs Win9x after 49 days would have been found out long ago. IBM just made a deal LAST YEAR worth 1.2 Billion dollars based on mostly OS/2 technology. Could they have made that deal with Windows if IBM gave up OS/2 in 1995 or earlier? I don't think so.
  • Walk into a CompUSA, Best Buy, etc. and attempt to purchase a system(other than a Mac) without any Microsoft software installed on it. Even if you purchase the system and reformat the drive, you're still going to be counted as yet another happy Windows user...
  • Good quote in your sig, but he spelled his name: "Adlai Stevenson".
  • Unfortunately, the analogy fails on one key point:

    Anakin starts out innocent enough.

    Micros~1 was never from its inception a nice guy.

    --


  • In ftp.exe for sure, possibly elsewhere.

    --
  • I had not noticed him standing beside me saying "Open Wider."

    You must have far better eyesight than I do.
  • by IntlHarvester ( 11985 ) on Friday May 28, 1999 @12:20PM (#1875386) Journal
    but I believe if IBM had been allowed to create OS/2 properly and recoupe money for it, that by now OS/2 would be everywhere

    Yes, if IBM had been allowed to do what it wanted, we'd all be running OS/2 on our overpriced, slow, and proprietary IBM brand MCA hardware. But the 5250 emulation would be very good.


    --
  • He did go through the trash learning how to program! He said so himself!


    It used to be my sig on Slashdot:

    You've got to be willing to read other people's code, then write your own, then have other people review your code.
    -- Bill Gates

    So I made a webpage explaining it (it has a lot of typos since I made it in 5 minutes). See Gates himself admit that he went through the trash looking for source code here [duke.edu]
  • was why IBM didn't start an all-out blitz when windows 95 was delayed. It could run the existing w3.1 programs, and multiple dos programs. But instead, ibm chose to wait and add more features. The market was their plum waiting to be plucked, and they decided to plant another tree, instead. This gave MS the time to impose another api that os2 couldn't emulate, and ended the game.
  • by Praxxus ( 19048 ) on Friday May 28, 1999 @12:07PM (#1875392) Homepage
    I wouldn't jump to conclusions until after Microsoft has had a chance to cross-examine the individual.

    Uh...this all came out in a deposition TO the Microsoft lawyers.

    --
  • We bought their damned products.

    No. We HAD TO BUY their damned product, because the OEM who we decided to buy the computer from bought their damned product. This is precisely why I build my own systems from components, among others.

    --

  • by Graymalkin ( 13732 ) on Friday May 28, 1999 @08:34PM (#1875396)

    a monopoly IS NOT just their line of software. It is all the other communication mediums they are buying. And the communication mediums they are trying to control by "supporting" them with their propriatary software. Microsoft owns or is a joint venture-partnership-partial owner in many companies all around the world. One company trying to the end-all be-all source of information is what we call a monopoly. They are slowly trying to own as many forms of media as they can get their hands on. Cable companies, ISPs, hardware manufacturers, ect., if you dont call this monopolistic then you need to buy a microsoft brand dictionary (soon to be released) and look it up, it's cross referenced with Microsoft and Windows.

    Just think about how much the average computer user sees the Microsoft logo. It's everywhere, they see it when they boot up the computer, run a program from the start menu, cuss at it because it crashed. That is alot of free exposure that other companies would normally have to pay for, but since Microsoft can leverage companies into using their products so the users are bombarded with Microsoft. This is one of the main reasons why applications like Access and Excel like to only allow you to view their files in the Microsoft program...unless you want to make a VB (also made by Microsoft) program to run your database or spreadsheet. It's all about increasing exposure so you can never get away from the logo, name, or business image. "Need an answer? look to Microsoft...". Exposure is why Microsoft pressed IBM into getting rid of OS/2. Whenever someone had the ability to choose a non-Microsoft product to put on their workstation or terminal they often would. Microsoft needs to have their OS be pre-installed in new computers, otherwise people wouldn't use it. What i want to see from the government's anti-trust case is for microsoft to be split up into smaller companies, one company should not be able to purchase all of the public's form of communication.

  • by IntlHarvester ( 11985 ) on Friday May 28, 1999 @12:43PM (#1875398) Journal
    Absolutely true. When IBM created the original "open" PC, it was only open because IBM was trying to get to market quickly so they used off-the-shelf designs. It never occurred to them that someone might clone it (although it certainly occurred to Intel and Microsoft.)

    In my opinon, the key event in PC hardware history was in 1987 when Compaq chose to dump the IBM-licenced MCA PCs that they were about to release and instead release the Deskpro/386 with an ISA bus (and to go on and develop the EISA bus). If Compaq had chosen to go MCA, others probably would have followed (including Intel's motherboard division), and ISA would have died out after a few years.
    --
  • by Locutus ( 9039 ) on Friday May 28, 1999 @03:44PM (#1875399)
    > 1) You can not sell any other operating system > without threats and damage from Micros~`
    >
    > Interesting. Why is it that lots of OEM's do sell other OS's, including Dell and Compaq.
    When did they start doing that? Compaq just bought Digital so it has a base large enough to require support. Wasn't Compaq threatened to lose its license to Windows because it installed Netscape? Not a very friendly thing for a friendly Micros~1 to do. Compaq is not very close to Micros~1 any more. Recent history too.

    > 2) You can not add software to that package except under strict scrutany by Micros~1
    >
    > You cannot *REMOVE* software from a windows installation, you can add anything you
    > like. Lots of OEM's including Toshiba and IBM have been shipping Netscape for years,
    > just not at the expense of removing IE. You also can't alter the boot up sequence.
    And they pay dearly for installing those products too. They can't put those products icons on the desktop though can they? Customers have to go find those packages instead of having them right up front.

    > 3) You can not write software that competes with Micros~1 in any way and still sell its OS on your PCs
    >
    > Well, since IBM is really the only company that both sells commercial software and sells
    > PC's, it's hard to judge based on one case.
    HP and Compaq have software divisions but why don't they have anything that competes with Micros~1? Same reason why nobody will stand up againt them in court. Fear. IBM is about the only one willing to stand up and fight and even thought they are making alot of money supporting broken Windows installation/products they are also paying for it. As the current news stories are showing us.

    > 1) You can not write software that competes with Micros~1 in any way.

    > Strange that many companies DO compete with Microsoft, and still stay quite up to date.
    > Intuit for instance.
    Funny the government already told Micros~1 to stay away from them and you chose them as your one example.

    > 2) You can not write software for any other operating system and keep up-to-date on Windows.
    >
    > Strange that Intuit does this. So does Corel.
    > So does IBM (remember, they write more
    > software for NT than anyone else besides MS
    > right now). So does Perforce, Rational, and
    > more companies than I can name.
    There goes Intuit again. Do you really think Corel gets the time of day from Micros~1? They are fighting the good fight with what they have but since MS Office has been bundled with Windows, they don't have much market left. Again, IBM pays for dearly for doing this, they are just big enough to be able to afford it.

    > 3) You can not grow your business very large or Micros~1 will see you as a threat.
    >
    > Strange that Microsoft doesn't see companies
    > like SAP as a threat. They're one of the top
    > selling companies on the market.
    This is a desktop product? We are talking aobut Microsoft's leverage of the desktop here. If they are allowed to continue into the server space, SAP will be attacked the same way others have been.

    > 4) If Micros~1 decides your market is desirable you should be prepared to exit that market.
    >
    > Only if you're incompetant and have only
    > managed to stay in business if you have no
    > competition. Clearly, lots of companies compete
    > with Micrsoft and win. Again, Intuit is one.
    > Lotus is another. Microsoft doesn't
    > automatically dominate in every market they
    > enter.
    There is Intuit again.... Lotus has IBMs $$ behind it and they are putting up a good fight. Exchange should be no competition for Notes but look at what it has done so far. Boy it is even at something like rev 6 even though it is only a couple of years old. FUD and Micros~1 is attacking it with MS LookOut by preinstalls in Windows.


    Kind a poor case you put up there. The history is there, you just have to be more then 20 years old to have actually seen it happen and be aware of it. Some 15 years of it. IIRC
  • by JJSway ( 37912 ) on Friday May 28, 1999 @02:30PM (#1875403)
    I started in this business working for Amdahl Corp. 15 yrs. ago. For those who don't know, Gene Amdahl was the lead engineer for the System/360 in the 1960s. When he designed the System/370, he wanted to use state-of-the-art VLSI technology, but the bean-counters at IBM said that it would cost too much to retool the manufacturing plants.

    So, Gene went out and found financing and built the Amdahl 460/V6. If you've ever seen a chart of the cost of hardware vs. the cost of software, the point at which hardware costs going down cross the line of software costs going up is the year that Amdahl starting selling mainframes.

    I later became an IBM customer and was underwhelmed with the service. (Of course, this was about the time that M$ was spanking them, and Louis Gertner(?) said, "LET THE LAYOFFS BEGIN!" Now, I am again working for a competitor. I can assure everyone that IBM plays the same games that M$ does, even today.

    I have also had several experiences with IBM's lack of coherence to standards, including their own proprietary ones. They come close, but when they miss, they might or might not correct the problem. If they don't, then they pretend that they are right and often win by sheer weight. (ie. An AS/400 TCP/IP app was receiving too much data. The IP header length field was correct, so the stack was obviously not reading it, but just taking whatever landed in the input buffer. Yet, they spent a month insisting that the sending host's driver was broken! It was only after the customer collected traces at about a dozen points along the path that they finally admitted their mistake and fixed it. I've got dozens of these examples.)

    This is why I am not pleased that IBM has noticed Linux. They talk the talk, but they don't walk the walk! How much Open Source have they contributed. Some public domain sample code is all I've ever seen.

    At least with M$, you know what you're dealing with. Now that IBM is "on our side", we'd better watch our back.
  • by magellan ( 33560 ) on Friday May 28, 1999 @10:35AM (#1875410)
    ... however, your best comparison, i.e., the telcos, is different. Long-distance telephone service is an open-standards commodity, as is local service provider dial tone. What I mean by this is any company can make a phone (application) that will work with any local service provider and make long distance phone calls regardless of long distance provider. I still have a phone I bought back in 1987 -- it's been through seven locations, two countries, and four states. It worked in all of them -- Talk about application portability.

    The fact that it is (damn near) impossible for ACME software to produce a 100% binary compatible Windows clone is why competion is so difficult on the x86 PC platform.

    That is why I think that MS-Windows 98 and NT Workstation licensing fees should be set by a PSC. There is no other provider of 100% Win32 compatible operating systems.

    Nor could there be. Unless MS GPLs their code. Now there's a solution.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 1999 @11:07AM (#1875411)
    The anti-trust laws are distracting the DoJ from the real problems such as violation of contract & copyright, fraudulent sales of " * software", frivolous patent filing, IP abuse, the problems in the IP system, frivolous lawsuits (e.g. your domain name is my trademark), and I could go on.

    This scene is remniscent of the Romans throwing Xians to lions while their empire crumbled.

    My suggestions for DoJ:

    1) Was Digital v. Seattle-company-Gates-bought-DOS-from ever resolved? Or is Win311,95,98,2K still using cpm?
    (and where does the slash go?)

    2) MS and IBM co-develop OS, MS pulls out, takes toys home, whose toys?

    3) All the patent stuff we all know and hate.

    4) If it doesn't comply with the w3c standards is it really a web browser? If I sell you a toaster that frappes bread, is it really a toaster? Is it fraud to sell an operating system that doesn't operate? (ref. If MS built cars)

    5) Linux is open source, MS is closed source. How do we know they aren't violating GPL, besides the fact that they haven't got things working yet?

    6) All the 1st amendment stuff. Or more importantly the 9th amendment, even if no one ever noticed it.

    And one more for the rest of the country:

    Why would anyone ever agree to the ridiculous terms of MS licenses? Unless MS held people at gunpoint or ground-zero, the haven't forced anyone to do anything, hence no violation of rights (in this regard), nothing illegal, no case. The real problem is how so many people could be so foolish. Let's start by blaming the schools!

    Or maybe we could relax, confident in the value of free software, and go do some programming.
  • ZD has been pretty critical of Microsoft in it's trial coverage.

    The truth is ZD is secretly owned by computer users who by-in-large use Microsoft stuff or stuff that runs on MS stuff and like to read articles about that stuff and consume advertisments about that stuff. Big consipricy!
    --
  • by Hrunting ( 2191 ) on Friday May 28, 1999 @08:24AM (#1875414) Homepage
    It's funny, because IBM was everything that Microsoft is now back in its heyday. IBM made Microsoft what it is today. This may be a stretch, but IBM and Microsoft fit nicely into the roles of Obi-Wan and Anakin/Vader. IBM takes Microsoft under its wing, supports it and makes it a driving force in the industry. Then Microsoft turns around and bites the hand that feeds it, turning the Dark Side of the monopoly. Now, a much older and still much more experienced IBM is undermining Microsoft yet again, with its support of the new challenger, open-source software. IBM itself is too much of an old, slow behemoth to actually do much to counter Microsoft, but by supporter this new contender, they're encouraging not an anti-Microsoft sentiment, but a more inventive philosophy that is driving the software industry to new ideas and new successes. Even Microsoft is taking heed, even if it is in their own twisted way. Obi-Wan never actually defeated Vader, but he did train the little kid that did.

    Star Wars analogy aside, IBM can only be helped by these maneuvers (both past and present). By standing up to Microsoft back then, IBM paid a painful price, but set the stage for others to do the same. Hopefully, Dell and other companies currently trying to work in other (more productive) solutions will be more successful.
  • So does that make Linux a Luke Skywalker?

    Seriously, I think IBM is sore about MS growing so large when they purposely let it gain makret share to avoid problems with the DoJ. It came out with OS/2 too late, and it wasn't "hip" at all, just percieved as releasing its OS in a "me too" fashion. Yeah, it was popular with a lot of places for is DB support, but other than that it was pretty slim.

    IBM claims that MS was acting in a monopolistic way. Why did they wait so long to do anything about it? They are still a large company, why would they allow themselves to be bullied?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 1999 @08:25AM (#1875420)
    The idea I get from this article is be very very wary of conducting business with micros~1. IBM helped 'em out in the beginning, and got totally screwed, as it were. IBM's lawyer Norris was told, "As long as you're shipping competitive products ... you will suffer," by M$, in response to M$'s request that IBM not ship OS/2. It's actually pretty frightening.

    Sheesh, it makes one wonder why any company would think of signing any business deal with M$. Maybe it will help out in the beginning, but then it seems you'd be hampered by M$.

    Maybe IBM just happened to get the shaft (yeah, and so did Caldera, netscape, and thousands of others)...
  • I should first note that the first clone was not a surprise; compaq licensed the bios for their first luggable.

    that aside, what made microchannel a non-starter was the licensing terms: Royalties not only on microchannel machines, but on all past machines using the AT bus. For some reason, noone found that extra royalty payment desirable :)
  • It is ironic to see the old monopoly-IBM-be replaced by the new one-Micro$oft. Had a friend that worked for IBM. He said that they used whatever OS the user wanted on products--usually Windoze 95 or NT.

    Micro$ost is now moving into more and more IBM territory with their terminal server. They are trying to replace IBMs business systems--the AS/400 line. They are touting NT as a workstation OS to challenge AIX (along with Solaris, Linux, IRIX, etc.) Now, Win2000 Pro is supposed to do everything (except games)? (We all know that this is the perception by a lot of business people.)

    It's no wonder IBM is forgetting about development of low end products and is focusing on its high tech technologies--quantum computers, cognition, and AI user interfaces.

    MS won't be able to touch mainframes, though (not that they need to). Judging from NT, their systems are too bloated, complicated, and feature-ridden in the name of user frindliness and power to ever support hundreds of users at once.
  • Excuse me? He's a businessman. And regardless of the morality or legality of some of the things he has done, he is running a business. He is being prosecuted under antitrust, a body of law that is so vague that he has no way of knowing what is and is not a crime.
    It's a good thing that he made such flagrant abuses of the law that even with "vague" antitrust laws there's not much wiggle room.

    Oh, and before you continue to embarass yourself in public, head over to Caldera [calderathing.com] and take a look at their finding of fact filed in the lawsuit their inhereited from DRI. These are not the actions of any ethical company and are at best dubious under antitrust law and were not "perfectly legal at the time".

    Finally, not everyone has choices. We're all happy you have them at home. Try talking with people who work at places that gone with Microsoft because it's too painful to do otherwise and deal with all the barriers Microsoft has erected to prevent such a thing. There's a good reason why Microsoft breaks compatibility with every version of their products.

  • by IntlHarvester ( 11985 ) on Friday May 28, 1999 @08:54AM (#1875429) Journal

    What are you talking about? IBM *still* preinstalls OS/2 on commercial computers.

    They used to have a duel boot configuration with Windows 3.1 and OS/2 (which booted in to OS/2 by default), but the stopped because the customers were sick of deleting 100 MBs of OS/2 stuff off of every computer. (And the OS/2 customers were probably sick of deleting the Windows stuff.)

    --
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 1999 @11:27AM (#1875431)
    There are two issues here. The first is that OEM was told by other OEM's that Microsoft wouldn't allow them to ship OS/2. Second, there is the issue of Microsoft coming down on IBM for supporting other technologies.

    Issue 1:

    Something that everyone seems to forget is that IBM is a competitor to all the other PC OEM's out there.

    Tell me, If you were Dell, or Gateway, or Compaq, or whoever. Would you prefer to pay Microsoft, who isn't your competitor for your OS, or would you prefer to line the pockets of your biggest competitor with extra money to help crush you with?

    This is a one-sided story. IBM says that this is what they were told by OEM's. But consider this? If you were a PC OEM, and IBM contracted you about shipping their OS. What would you say?

    Die! you gravy sucking pig, i'll do nothing to help you!

    Or

    Well, we'd love to use your OS, but our existing contracts won't allow for it.

    Clearly, OEM's didn't want to anger their other Goliath, so they used Micrrosoft as their excuse.

    Issue 2:

    Again, this is a one-sided issue. We're only hearing what IBM (and even then, one guy inside IBM, not IBM's corporate position on the situation). I wouldn't jump to conclusions until after Microsoft has had a chance to cross-examine the individual. I think it's likely that some of the statements may be retracted and/or modified to reflect both sides. But we'll see.

    For microsofts part, they're not completely denying it. They are saying that they did nothing wrong though. And that wil remain to be seen.

    What it boils down to though, is that Microsoft did liscense Windows to them, and they did pay a typical OEM price for it, and they continued to support Microsofts competition.

    Microsoft aren't fools. They don't want to lose companies like Dell, Compaq or IBM. It would be a huge profit loss for them, and it would start a precedent that they don't want (major OEM's going with a competing OS).

    So I think that while MS may threaten a lot, they won't follow through with them. That's the lesson that IBM learned, and the lesson that almost all large OEM's should learn from this.

  • >like MacOS, Linux, *BSD, OS/2, etc. Every one of >them is arguably superior on the technical front
    > to Windows today.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my MacOS, but I don't find it technologically superior to Windows NT. In fact, it's not better (at least in stability) than Win 95/98.

    Don't get me wrong, I'd use MacOS >=7.5.5 before Windoze 95/98 any day because its easier to use and I know how to deal with it when it gets moody (and it doesn't have a registry or DLLs to get screwed up...just freakin' extensions).

    My point is, 7.5.5 = MacOS
    1. No (or very little) memory protection. I love when I see my pixels scrambled on my screen (because screen RAM on my machine is normal memory). I also love when my mouse pointer freezes and I have to press option+cmd+power.

    2. You can't print and do anything at the same time. Even with the print queue on.

    3. No command line (even though you don't need one).

    4. Using ResEdit to change file types.

    etc.

    MacOS is faster and still is the easiest OS to use and troubleshoot. Windoze is impossible to troubleshoot, even for an experienced user (even for me as a programmer) usually because of it's so very useful error messages. Of course, I'm trying to port all of my documents to Linux/AfterStep, later KDE or Gnome (no comments please, I'll judge for myself) from my Mac...Just too busy with other stuff (gota hate that).

  • I think Gene Amdahl coined the phrase "FUD" (for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) to describe the way IBM mainframe salespeople tended to operate, steering customers away from younger upstart companies with arguably superior products (like Amdahl) by using questionable statements which tweaked at underlying user concerns ("Sure Amdahl makes faster machines, but will Amdahl be around as a company tomorrow?")

    Also, if I recall correctly, it took action on the part of the US government to induce IBM to behave, and IBM was forced to operate under a series of consent decress starting as early as 1956, which severely limited their ability to preannounce products or tie some combinations of product together, and which had a profound impact on IBM's corporate culture.

    Kind of ironic, actually. Microsoft Corporation's very existence might well be largely due to the government's action against one of their predecessors. Had IBM total freedom to do what they wanted, they might've had more incentive to create and bundle their own OS with the first IBM personal computers...
    --
    -Rich (OS/2, Linux, Mac, NT, Solaris, FreeBSD, BeOS, and OS2200 user in Bloomington MN)
  • by ethereal ( 13958 ) on Friday May 28, 1999 @12:11PM (#1875451) Journal

    I'll agree that there are network effects associated with OS choice, but we don't have to be considering only incompatible OSs. For example, DR-DOS was compatible with MS-DOS and also included many improvements that users couldn't get from Microsoft. Many people liked DR-DOS much better, but Microsoft's deals with the OEMs prevented the widespread adoption of what was considered to be a superior product. DR-DOS spurred some innovations out of Microsoft at the time, but once the threat was gone, the innovation level at Microsoft dropped again.

    Another point to consider is that most people buy computers for the applications, rather than some knee-jerk loyalty to an OS (present company excluded? ;). If the public could get all the applications they like with any OS, then they will end up choosing the best OS based on technical merit and price. In a perfect world, consumers would have these kinds of choices and compatibility wouldn't be the problem that it is now. This is not, however, a perfect world precisely because companies like Microsoft (although they're not the only ones) have a huge stake in both the OS and application markets. Microsoft won't produce applications for other OSs, or does so only in a substandard manner, in order to reinforce its hold on the OS market. System interfaces and file formats are kept as a moving target in order to prevent competitors from providing better alternatives to MS applications on non-Windows platforms, or better alternatives to Windows which will work with MS applications. It seems to me that compatibility issues are greatly magnified by those who don't want competition on a level playing field.

    You are correct about regulation of free markets - I didn't mean to imply that a few companies breaking the law should bring down the heavy regulatory hand of the government on the whole industry. I do think the PC software industry may have been edging closer to being unfree, at least until the most recent DOJ trials started and Linux hit the big time. Hopefully these will help bring more competition back into the industry.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 1999 @10:20AM (#1875453)
    Regulate MS? Better do nothing at all. Can you imagine the constant subversion of the regulatory decisions and processes, the _constant_ whining, the outright corruption such a 'solution' would invite? Not to mention the _inevitable_ (and ready) purchase by MS of a Congressional faction dedicated to attacking the regulatory body from the legislative side...

    If the Feds get into the position of regulating MS they will in effect become complicit in MS' various oligopolistic business alliances and monopolies. Bad mistakes --even the honest ones!-- that let MS gain unfair control here or there will be officially whitewashed and covered-up. And, like any large corporation, MS will have a huge, almost veto-like power over who 'regulates' them (remember how they removed Judge Jackson's special counsel-for-technology ?) Meanwhile, like the sea eating away the chalk cliffs of Dover, or a swarm of insatiable locusts on a mulberry bush, the MS litigi-horde (codenamed: ActivePhuX.2000) will be incessantly whining and sniveling in the courts and Senate committee-rooms about the big bad government regulators (whose most cherished ambition will actually be just to become lobbyists for MS in a few years.) In the course of time, you see the erosion of the regulatory agency's power, and simultaneously the erosion of political support for its existence: thus when/as the agency approaches the status of a completely hollow, impotent shell, it's very subversion and ineffectualness becomes an excuse used by those who corrupted and weakened it to get rid of it altogether. By then the constant, concerted drumbeat of criticism in the pre$$ insures that ordinary citizens have long since stopped caring about this issue when the final knife is stuck in. Corporations are legal persons, but unlike real people, they never, ever give up; and they have this shit down to an exact science.

    I for one do not want to spend the rest of my life listening to such shite -- break them up or do nothing!

    At least if we do nothing this go 'round we will have the option of pouncing on even more egregious criminal acts from Gates & co. in the future and then doing what needs to be done. Regulate them and watch them 'capture' the process in about 5 minutes. Then they will bend it to their will, and have the rhetorical cover of being "reglated" to hide behind.


  • Yes, your work has scripts to install things, but you also probably have a standard set of software packages, a standard set of hardware, and techinicians to fix anything if it breaks.

    The complexity of managing and QAing a bunch of Windows auto-installation scripts for 50 software packages on 10 hardware plaftform is mind boggling. (Oops, Netscape 4.61 just came out - better go back and retest everything!) Unless you think "DLL Hell" is a good "out-of-box experience".
    --
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

  • by MindStalker ( 22827 ) <mindstalker&gmail,com> on Friday May 28, 1999 @09:49AM (#1875460) Journal
    No it fails on more than one key point.
    Another would be that Microsoft is Linux's father.


    Well I'd be willing to speculate that had Microsoft never existed Linux may not have taken off as well as it did. That is not to say anything negative about linux, but I believe if IBM had been allowed to create OS/2 properly and recoupe money for it, that by now OS/2 would be everywhere and quite possibly be a very good/stable operating system. While I will always praise Linux, I seriously doupt it would have gone much farther than Unix in the home/small buisness market, if it wasn't for the fact that everyone is getting sick and tired of the sh*t that is Windows 95/98
  • by webslacker ( 15723 ) on Friday May 28, 1999 @08:08AM (#1875461)
    That IBM couldn't even package their own operating system, OS/2, with their own computers. I recall a little issue that came up during the Windows Refund protests, that customers couldn't get OS/2 bundled with computers even after persistenly requesting it.
  • As I recall, IBM didn't contract MS to write OS/2: it was supposed to be a joint development project. However, IBM marketed their extended edition (EE) version which had the database and comm built in, whereas MS marketed the SE version, so you could choose your own database and comm apps. Thus it would be fair to say the the IBM version was a lot more proprietary than the MS version.
  • by kuro5hin ( 8501 ) on Friday May 28, 1999 @03:30PM (#1875463) Homepage
    Just saw this one. It's one of those "Where do you want to go..." commercials about a bread store franchise chain. Looked like just another M$ love-fest, but then...

    They start talking about how popular this bread store is, but why? It's just another franchise right? Well (GET THIS) "it's different because it's open. Those who know marketing share with those who know more about bread machines. If one store needs advertising tips, maybe they trade with another who's figured out a more efficient stocking system..." (a paraphrase, but that was the gist). They were talking about Open Source enterprise!!! Microsoft! I wanted to vomit. You know when someone does something so unbelievably arrogant that it makes you physically ill? This was it.

    So after neatly summarizing all the benefits of an open system (whether it's bread or software), they continue to be the world's greatest paragon of obfuscation, monopoly, and proprietary secrets. Can they really be that stupid? Time will tell...
    ----------------------

  • An operating system is not a public utility - maybe twenty years this was closer to the truth, but certainly not today. Utilities are regulated because they have high capital costs (physical infrastructure, like laying phone lines) when they are created. It's difficult for more than one utility to make money serving a particular market, because of these startup costs. Since this makes them de facto monopolies, they are regulated by the government.

    Software is different. There is a capital cost to create it, but the current means of distribution (the Internet, computer stores, etc.) are widely available, so software companies can try to get into any market they feel like. There is no need to regulate a free market for software unless some companies break the law.

    This is what the government is alleging in its lawsuit. A computer operating system isn't a natural, unavoidable monopoly like the phone company. Microsoft constructed their artificial monopoly by a number of unethical and possibly illegal marketing, sales, and distribution agreements, many of which are only now coming to light. It may be a temporary inconvenience for the public to have to deal with three or four "Baby Bills", but that is a small price to pay to encourage fair business practices and discourage monopoly-building in the software industry.

  • It's all very easy to say "split up microsoft"

    Bah. There's no need to do that. Here's what DoJ should do:

    • Fines
    • Criminal prosecution for the individuals who broke the law
    • Invalidate all illegal and anti-competitive contracts, such as per-processor licensing, preloads, etc.
    • Make sure everything uncovered is made admissable in the civil cases against Microsoft. IBM should be suing them like Caldera. So should ever computer vendor that got manipulated into their nasty deals. So should end users (we're talking huge class-action shit here). The stuff the DoJ investigation is digging up will make great evidence.

    Basically, the government should forget about directly manipulating Microsoft, and simply concentrate on enforcing the law. Breaking up MS along the app/OS divisions, or nationalizing them, is unfair and way too commie for my tastes. MS doesn't owe third parties any assistance in marketing apps for their proprietary closed OS. That means Netscape is in trouble, but only until they realize the Right Thing to do: stop development on the Windoze version of their product. The app developers are the one group who probably doesn't really have a legitimate claim against MS. Other than them, though, it's open season.

    The civil liabilities are probably several times the total assets of the company. That means that the victims will only collect pennies-on-the-dollar when MS has to liquidate all their assets to pay, but that's generally how things go when someone goes on a destructive rampage like Microsoft has. Live with the loss, and thereafter be vigilant so that it can never happen again.

    One of the assets that will have to be sold is the Windoze ownership. That's the best part: the overall economy wouldn't be harmed in the slightest by the Microsoft lawsuits. The product (which some people seem to think is necessary for the industry) can survive -- assuming someone really decides it's worth buying. This isn't anything to worry about, as long as the purchaser obeys the law with regard to it's marketing. If Gates thinks Windoze is so great, let's see if the new owners can get anyone to buy it once they have to play fair. Gates himself probably won't be available to do that, since he'll be busy with his prison sentence.

    Of course, I'm just dreaming. None of this will happen. The DoJ people are clearly on the payroll, or this would have been resolved many years ago.

  • Bill Gates is a sick, demented, power-hungry person, IMHO.

    Excuse me? He's a businessman. And regardless of the morality or legality of some of the things he has done, he is running a business. He is being prosecuted under antitrust, a body of law that is so vague that he has no way of knowing what is and is not a crime. Given that, it is not at all suprising that he often makes statements that border on lying. When he is asked to prove that he has not engaged in "anticompetitive practices," what is he supposed to say? That's his JOB--to outcompete the other companies in his field. So obviously he is engaging in "anticompetitive" practices. That's how you succeed, by doing better than your competition.

    Now he may have done some specifically illegal or unethical things, and I am all for prosecuting him on those. But such laws need to specific--it needs to be clear ahead of time what is and is not illegal. With antitrust, the rules change every few years, and then companies are forced to prove that they did not engage in practices that were perfectly legal at the time.

    So DESPITE your writing EVERY sixth word in capital LETTERS, I am not scared of Bill Gates. I use a Mac at home, Linux for work, and I pretty much never touch a M$ product. Microsoft is not holding anyone hostage. The fact that people are unwilling or unable to switch to another OS is not Bill Gates' doing. People have choices, they simply have not taken advantage of them.
  • This whole issue is just a repeat of what has happened in many other industries.

    IBM had a hold on the marketplace, and was broken up, with heavy restrictions on their competitiveness. It's only been in the past few years that those restrictions have been lifted. The breakup, for a while killed IBM; but IBM came out stronger than before.
    Same deal with AT&T and the 'baby-bell' breakup. Most of the BB's started into new products (often at the expense of consumer-level services, but that's a point for another discussion).

    Competition breeds Innovation : just look at how sad the utilities market has been : we used to have Norton Utilites, PC Tools, Mace, some other one that started with a 'B'. Symantec bought up most of them, and now we have the new bloated version.

    I read about a proposal to break up Microsoft into O/S Division, Application Division, Consulting/Networks Division (can't remember where). IMHO it would force MS to develop better products because the Applications + Consulting/Networking wouldn't be able to keep paying for the development of O/S's any more.

    Hey, if we get really lucky, some exec in the app division will decide to make MSOffice for Linux :-)

  • Aptivas of course aren't commercial computers, so they'll probably be Windows only for a while.

    The documentation that used to come with IBM PC systems was particularly horrible, I agree. (Somebody should have told them that PC users generally don't know what an "IPL" is!)
    --
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ... they are producing inferior products, and we have no choice but to use them.

    This is not quite accurate. I have not used Microsoft for at least 7 (seven) years. Never, ever, did to use MS Word. Many thanks then to RMS, and to Linus, and to Cox. They, however, are not the important people, my thanks belong to those who rightfully deserve them more. My gratitude belongs to the faceless developers, to the ones who send bug reports, and to the ones who give advise in the newsgroups. That means all of your. No Microsoft for me ever again. When I negotiate for a new research assignment, that is what I do for a living, my colleagues know better not to say it, and yet, they say it anyway: "We had solaris before, we use NT now", my answer is simple and well rehearsed:"It is no fun working here then, I think you are talking to the wrong guy." And I leave. Now I must to spend one extra week looking for a job. I have come to the conclusion long ago that it could not be otherwise.


  • Don't forget that OS/2 pretty much bombed out of the corporate market in the 1990-2 period. By 1994 and the "Warp" timeframe, it was pretty much over but the shouting.

    (The flame wars years later on comp.os.os2.advocacy, "Team OS/2", MS employees posting FUD. etc.)
    --
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 1999 @09:19AM (#1875479)
    I always knew that MS would eventually get called out over their schenanegans over OS/2. The DOJ has hardly touched the tip of the ice berg. MS did a lot of stuff that conviently hurt OS/2 even if you couldn't quite prove that was the intent. Stuff like the changes to a few DLL's in Win 3.11 which just happened to break Windows in OS/2 for Windows. Or the Win 32 API of the week club. Or VxD's. They seemed to go out of their way to make sure stuff wouldn't run on OS/2. They certainly did a good job of it.
  • When he is asked to prove that he has not engaged in "anticompetitive practices," what is he supposed to say? That's his JOB--to outcompete the other companies in his field. So obviously he is engaging in "anticompetitive" practices. That's how you succeed, by doing better than your competition.

    Anticompetitive actions are the opposite of out-competing those other companies. A company who is competing with other companies will work hard to bring a better product to market faster than their competition, and sell it for a little cheaper. An anticompetitive company doesn't make a better or cheaper product, they just use marketing and sales tactics to destroy the other companies, so that the consumer doesn't have a choice of products any more.

    As another poster mentioned, you can legally gain a monopoly by out-competing your competitors - if your products are that much better, your competition can't stay in business. But if you gain your monopoly not through better products but instead through actions which restrict consumer choice, then you had better watch out for anti-trust law. Yes, trust laws are vague, but any company which focuses more on destroying its competition and their products, rather than improving its own, would do well to be careful.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 1999 @08:27AM (#1875482)
    Whenever I got into an OEM to purchase a new system, I would like a select list on that page. Order by alpha.

    Operating System

    BeOS
    Linux
    Microsoft Windows
    OS/2

    Productivity

    Corel Wordperfect (linux,windows)
    Gobe Productive (beos)
    Word (windows)
    None

    Browser

    Internet Explorere (win)
    Netscape 5.0 (win,beos,os/2,linux)
    Opera 3.x (win,beos)

    The consumer is king!!!
  • by gavinhall ( 33 ) on Friday May 28, 1999 @10:25AM (#1875485)
    Posted by Phantom of the Operating Syste:

    There are lots of sick, power-hungry people in the world. What separates Bill from the rest is more that he has vision, and is intelligent enough to carry it out.

    His vision was to have the microsoft name everywhere. He had a stubborness that only his technology was good..a thumbing of the nose at everyone else's..and especially the technical community which rejected him.

    He targeted the people who wrote the checks in companies..the people who made the purchases. Other companies targeted the nerds, but old Bill knew to talk to the PHBs.

    What drives him is an unholy mix of love of money and a desire for the common people to love and worship him. I wonder if he despises technical people who don't grasp and worship his technical vision.

    -phantom

  • Not that MCA wasn't a good bus, but considering that OS/2 and PS/2 were two prongs in the same strategy to lock up the microcomputer market, it shouldn't be a surprise that OS/2 ran better on PS/2 machines than ISA ones. In fact, early versions of OS/2 *only* ran on PS/2s. (Furthermore, EISA machines were still cheaper than PS/2 and had similar throughput.)

    I recall some PS/2 non-intel 486 machines (Model 50?) that were dead slow compared to Compaq Prolina 486/33s. This was Windows 3.1, of course.
    --
  • by Col. Klink (retired) ( 11632 ) on Friday May 28, 1999 @10:54AM (#1875491)
    See on rec.humor.funny a long time ago...

    Newsgroups: rec.humor.funny
    From: sehlat@uclink4.berkeley.edu (Geoffrey Kidd)
    Subject: "In a Galaxy Far, Far Away..."
    Date: Fri, 4 Jul 97 19:30:02 EDT

    A Long time Ago, in a Galaxy far, far away...

    Luke: "You used to program."
    Ben: "I was once a software engineer the same as your father."
    Luke: "My father wasn't a software engineer. He was a custodian at
    Lockheed-Martin."
    Ben: "That's what your Uncle told you. He didn't hold with your
    father's ideals. He thought he should go to work. Not gotten
    a degree."
    Luke: "I wish I had known him."
    Ben: "He was a cunning object-oriented analyst, and the best systems
    programmer in the galaxy. I understand you've become quite a
    good hacker yourself. And he was a good friend. For over ten
    years the systems programmers created user interfaces. Before
    the dark times. Before Microsoft."
    Luke: "How did my father die?"
    Ben: "A young systems programmer named Bill Gates, who was a student
    until his mommy kicked him out of her basement, founded
    Microsoft and helped destroy the intuitive user interface. He
    betrayed and murdered the Macintosh. Gates was seduced by the
    Dark Side of Money."
    Luke: "Money?"
    Ben: "Yes, Money is what gives a programmer his resources. It's an
    exchange system created by human beings. It surrounds us.
    Works for us. Binds the economy together. Which reminds me. Your
    father wanted you to have this when you were old enough, but
    your Uncle wouldn't allow it. He thought you'd follow old Obi-Wan
    on some damn idealistic crusade."
    Luke: "What is it?"
    Ben: "It's an object modeling tool. The weapon of a systems
    programmer. Not as random or clumsy as a lexical parser. An elegant
    compiler for a more civilized age."

    [Note - originally appeared titled "Object-Oriented Jedi" on "Funny Town", a
    humor publication at http://www.funnytown.com. My thanks to them
    for granting reprint permission - ed.]
  • by IntlHarvester ( 11985 ) on Friday May 28, 1999 @09:07AM (#1875492) Journal
    If Linux continues to chomp at the server market (especially the holy-grail SMB licences), I could see a really cheap/cut-down version of NT/2000 Server aimed at small and midsized businesses. I doubt you'll seem much movement on the Desktop OS licences, though.
    --
  • by SuperDee ( 14231 ) on Friday May 28, 1999 @09:42AM (#1875498)
    First of all, as a former OS/2 user, I can tell you that OS/2 was (and still is) a remarkably stable and well-engineered product when compared to Microsoft's Windows family. Yes, it has a few weaknesses (and some SERIOUS ones, IMHO), like the Single Input Queue, and the ugly little kludge they ended up implementing in the end to fix it... I agree with anyone who says that Windows 9x/NT's multiple asynchronous message queue is better. But I still found OS/2 to be much more stable and efficient than Windows. I later switched to Windows NT when I saw the writing on the wall that OS/2 was dead (mostly due to a lack of native OS/2 applications). I was figuring that since NT was originally based on the work done on OS/2 at the time, it would be most like OS/2 with regards to stability, etc. But unlike OS/2, I was disappointed to see that NT still crashed more often on me than OS/2 did... And NT took about 3 times longer to boot up than OS/2.

    Granted, as a 100% pure Linux user now (I don't even do the dual-boot thing), I think even OS/2 is bloated, inefficient, and buggy compared to other alternatives, but leaving all other technical comparisons aside, let me say that this MS antitrust trial is **NOT** mainly about technical superiorities of one OS battling another one for market dominance. The point I am trying to make here is that yes, there are LOTS of alternatives to Windows, like MacOS, Linux, *BSD, OS/2, etc. Every one of them is arguably superior on the technical front to Windows today. But face it, had Microsoft been competing solely on the basis of the technical merits of their software in the marketplace, they would have been killed LONG ago. I can think of NOTHING more bloated, buggy, unstable, and inefficient that MS products.

    It is the ANTI-COMPETITIVE tactics of MS that have resulted in their market share, and the scariest part is that there is evidence that they will now do ANYTHING to maintain their monopoly... Just consider how they DELIBERATELY tried to undermine and fracture the Java platform for example, all because they did not like the idea of "write once, run anywhere..." They saw it as a threat because it might open the door to make other OS's viable if they have software that would run anywhere. THAT is the key to their stranglehold on the OS market: Windows has about 70% or more of the software market running for it, and if it lost that advantage, they would almost surely die, as everyone (okay, even if only half of everyone) flocked to other OS's to get away from the bloated vaporware of MS.

    The Internet itself also constitutes a potentially major long-term platform threat to Windows, for much the same reason--it is currently possible for ANYONE, with ANY operating system to surf the web. That is why they spent MILLIONS on developing Internet Explorer, and distributed it for free, and tied it to Windows, and then proclaimed that it would damage Windows if it were removed (which as 98Lite demonstrates, is nothing more than a complete, straight-out LIE). Their ultimate goal is slowly to commoditize the infrastructure, and make the Internet proprietary, so you MUST use Windows to use it. Look at the Halloween Documents if you need proof. Remember this, people.

    And also remember, Bill Gates is a sick, demented, power-hungry person, IMHO. I am not saying he is dumb; I think he is one of the SMARTEST people in the world. I seriously admire his knowledge and knack for making intelligent business decisions, too. But face it, when he says things like "I must admit, I find it hard to concentrate lots of resources on trials and things, when the Internet is eroding our power everyday" (quoted from ZDNet, thank you), I think this is a sign of a man who cares only about hanging on to POWER. That is NOT healthy, IMHO.

    Please remember this folks. I do not want to be held captive by a company that is willing to LIE to the public, and CHEAT just to maintain a monopoly as Microsoft is doing. That is why I think there is even more serious evil to be seen if this trial does not do something to neutralize the threat. That is why I am an avid Anti-Microsoft advocate, and that is why I think it is necessary to speak up loudly like this for ACTION.

    And remember, GO MOZILLA!! It is our single most promising hope of re-gaining the momentum of W3C STANDARDS-compliance.
  • Ok this is not intended as a flame, but my geez, what socialist brainwashing camp did you just come out of. A major benefit of computers is having individual freedoms pecially in the form of communication. Do you think that if we allowed the government to have sayso in the creation of our operating systems that we would have any privacy left. Hooks would be added to allow the government to use/control your computer whenever they want. If you don't believe me look at the information concerning our government wiretapping our government regulated telephone system..
  • by Bob-K ( 29692 ) on Friday May 28, 1999 @08:42AM (#1875507)
    Maybe, IBM and Microsoft deserve each other. Neither is exactly a saint here.

    Recall that OS/2 was originally developed as an attempt by IBM to take the system proprietary again. They were facing severe profit pressures from all those clone makers that MS was selling DOS to. So they contracted MS to write OS/2 for IBM and IBM alone, hoping to leverage their still-dominant brand name to allow higher profits. It's hard to imagine now, but in the context of 1990, DOS and Windows were relatively "open" systems, at least in the sense that they could run on generic hardware.

    Today, of course, MS is threatened by a system that has taken openness to the next level.

  • I think the answer to (1) is that Digital Research chose not to sue Microsoft.

    (2) IBM and Microsoft got access to each other's products before the breakup. Hence Windows 3.1 code in OS/2 and OS/2 code in Windows NT.

    (4) Netscape is hardly W3C compliant either, so perhaps we should ban the term "web browser" and use "Graphical Program for viewing Internet Content" and other such obnoxious terms like the MS Lawyers are doing right now in court.

    (5) Why would Microsoft steal GPL code, when they can (and have) legally use(d) BSD code?

    As for software licences, Microsoft's are not that dissimilar to anyone elses.
    --

All life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities. -- Dawkins

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