Is this for real? No way.

Story: How Microsoft Got its OS Declared an "Open System" and wound up in GovernmentTotal Replies: 21
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Nov 02, 2005
6:07 PM EDT
OK. I'm not a Linux proponet. I'm still getting SUSE 10 to work so I can write java server pages with Apache and MySQL. I admit, Linux is much better than I thought.

I really get turned off by all this adversarial bullsh*t. This is the more friendlier of the Linux News sites. I typically do not read these kind of articles. So, it's unusual for me to do so.

BUT. Now, I see why Linux people are worried about Microsoft. I didn't pay attention to the trial and all the anti-trust stuff. I just figured it was jealousy. Maybe it is.

This goes a little far.

It's exaggerated, right?

Nov 02, 2005
6:11 PM EDT
So, are you a typical mainstream American? Don't believe what you read?

Give me a break. If anything Stephe soft-peddled the story.

I wouldn't have been so gracious, but then he didn't have the benefit of the trial records. Nor did he know a trial would happen in 1995.


Nov 02, 2005
8:55 PM EDT
I don't believe in MS bashing for the sake of bashing Avenger, but, Microsoft's track record in underhanded business, addressing user concerns, and overall shoddy product quality is very well documented. This is not adversarial, Just factual.

Nov 03, 2005
12:10 AM EDT
avenger: exaggerated? We wish. Just check out I wish he was exaggerating, but unfortunately he isn't. When you just list together all the sneaky, underhanded business methods Microsoft has used to create and maintain its monopoly, with complete disregard of any laws or ethics, do you find it abnormal that some people feel their blood boil?

In my experience, people usually think, like you, that it's just jealousy, and leave it at that, without going and check the facts. However, I don't know *anyone* who actually checked the facts of Microsoft's history that doesn't end up with at least a profound distrust of the company. Their track record is abysmal, but most people just seem not to be aware of it...

Nov 03, 2005
12:47 AM EDT
What a gem. I applaud whoever dug this up and thank for saving history like this.

Nov 03, 2005
4:31 AM EDT
I remember the days of this time frame with disgust.

One example, of many; I was an engineer making a living installing CAD/CAM applications on Unix systems (joy). Anyway, the apps all fell to NT over the space of about a year or so, many of the vendors promised to continue support for Unix, only to have those promises fall through.

It was amazing to me, how many vendors did this, until I found out what happened. Basically, Microsoft promised the vendors a toolkit for developing CAD/CAM applications that would include a set of libraries that would make it easily portable to any Unix.

Vendors coding up new CAD products under Unix and then porting them to NT said "Whoa -- we can make one code base, and hit the port button, and have multiple products with less hassle". Made economic sense, as taking Unix CAD products to NT was often painful and required some serious creativity (Bentley, in my not so humble opinion, seemed to do an incredible job of this).

What happened, though? Microsoft bascially waited a year or so, and said "oh, we decided that porting kit didn't make economic sense."

Suddenly, all but a few Unix CAD/CAM products were gone. Great work on the shady side of the fence. Awesome move business wise.

The problem is that this is standard fare -- used to be at least. I seriously have my doubts that Microsoft is done with this kind of "promise now, but only deliver the goods that help us, later" mentality.

Nov 03, 2005
4:50 AM EDT
Paul: are there still people who would actually *believe* Microsoft's promises?

Your story points out another reason why Microsoft pulled it off: managers and directors seem to be so gullible! I mean, who in their right mind would base a decision that completely changes their business on vaporware from a company they have absolutely no control over? I know I'm pretty illiterate when it comes to running a company, but having worked for a year in a very small company (10pp), one thing I've learned is that others have to show you the goods before you can even *consider* basing your business on them. Any other way always leads to catastrophes.

But then I am *really* business illiterate, so I'm probably just missing something ;) .

Nov 03, 2005
5:09 AM EDT
Tsela: You had to be there to seriously appreciate the stupidity of this. Basically, tons of stuff like this was going on, to the point where people were saying things like "It's just like the way Lucy holds the football for Charlie Brown" -- every time Charlie goes to kick the ball, whoosh, Lucy would pull it out of the way, each time offering a different excuse as to why.

But on to more fun things...

Nov 03, 2005
5:19 AM EDT
Isn't what PaulFerris describes in the CAD/CAM field what MSFT pulled in the late 80s, early 90s with OS/2? I mean, Lotus and all kinds of companies spent bazillions of dollars, basically betting the farm on OS/2 ports of everything. And then MSFT pulls the OS/2 football out of the way, substituting Windows instead. This is what led to WordPerfect and 123's fall from grace isn't it?

I had wondered about the CAD/CAM thing while it was happening. NT in the early days (92-95) wasn't terrifically well-documented, well-designed or even well-debugged, as we found out later. The CAD/CAM products that moved to NT were often pale shades of the Unix originals, albeit cheaper. I never could figure out the reason for the move - it had to cost the CAD/CAM companies a lot of time and effort to retool for NT, and it was pretty obvious that "You can develop under NT 5 times faster than Unix!" was a flat-out lie.

When managers and directors make the decisions, particularly in large corporations, you have to follow the money. I bet a lot of these decisions get made because of chronic, low- to medium-level corruption. Yes, pay offs. The few times I've heard drunken managers confess to it, the amounts were surprisingly small, easily covered by fake travel expenses.

Nov 03, 2005
7:41 AM EDT
avenger, you would be surprised.

I was just the other day corresponding with Magnus Londén of Hufvudstadsbladet, who had written a column about the corruption of the laptop repairs market. His experience was, that even simple-to-fix laptops were routinely written off by the shops, telling you it's cheaper to buy a new one.

Then he took it to a small repair shop back in Ruskeasuo at the edge of Helsinki, run by a Nigerian (I'm not making this up!) who fixed it for a few tenners. He fixes laptops, videos, cameras, -- even vinyl record players.

As Londén wrote, "This Means War". I reminded him that the war has been on for a while, and the corruption of the Windows world is no secret. He could only agree, but wrote "Unfortunately the point (also of the column) is, that so-called ordinary folks don't grasp/dare to believe that they are being cheated the way they are."

So, avenger, welcome to a bigger, badder world. (And _do_ go prove marxism for me, OK? ;-)

Nov 03, 2005
7:47 AM EDT
phsolide --

Ummm....I think you've got some culprits a little confused, though Microsoft certainly was a bad actor, however, for the OS/2 fiasco...IBM gets to share the blame.

In the early days of OS/2 development, Bill Gates and Microsoft guys were telling developers that the Windows API would be the graphical API for OS/2, and that they should write to it.

IBM, however, chose to use their own GDDM for OS/2, meaning that OS/2 and Windows programs would not be compatible.

Developers had to choose between IBM and OS/2 or Microsoft and Windows.

They chose IBM and OS/2, only to be hobbled by some very bad decisions IBM made -- most specifically that the original OS/2 be able to run on an 80286 -- because IBM had advertised the PS/2 models 50 and 60 as being OS/2 compatible.

OS/2 came out complex to install, resource-hungry, and unable to multi-task DOS programs.

Microsoft brought out Win 3.0, which, for all its problems, took some advantage of the 30386, multi-tasked DOS programs --- better than Windows programs, I might add, as Dos programs were pre-emptively multi-tasked and Windows programs were not -- and much lighter resource requirements. I was able to run win 3.0, for example, acceptably on my 4 mb 80386x.

As you know, the market chose Windows.


Nov 03, 2005
9:39 AM EDT
Quoting:As you know, the market chose Windows.

I have to quibble here. Didn't the "guilty" verdict in DoJ vs Microsoft basically mean that no fair market, and maybe no market at all, ever really occurred?

At least since Windows 3.11, I sincerely doubt that a consumer market for PC operating systems has existed. And I mean that in both economist and practical usage.

Nov 03, 2005
10:40 AM EDT
phsolide -

No it doesn't.

It means merely that Microsoft acquired a monopoly and then proceeded to abuse it. Prior to Windows 3.0, Windows was a complete joke, good for very little. Most people presumed that OS/2 was the next step in PC OS's.

IBM screwed the pooch big-time on that one, trying to plant the impression hat OS/2 was tied to the PS/2, trying to maintain premium opn PS/2's and licensing microchannel technology at prices that most makers found easy to resist, esp. since the benefits could be engineered more cheaply.

Nov 03, 2005
12:16 PM EDT
Dino: All agreed except that it was 3.1 that was usable.

Windows 3.0 was so bad that most people forget. I remember it even had trouble not crashing while *idle*. Microsoft implemented per-processor licensing during this timeframe, didn't they?

Nov 03, 2005
12:29 PM EDT
It is funny how IBM is suddenly Our Friend. Today the Evil Empire, tomorrow Our Fuzzy Puppy.

Windows 3.1 and 9x/ME all had an interesting habit of crashing after a couple hours of idling, with no applications running. Good thing DOOM ran under DOS.

Nov 03, 2005
7:12 PM EDT
Paul -

Like many things, YMMV.

Windows 3.0 crashed a lot more than I would have liked, but not so much to keep me from using it. The ability to run multiple DOS Windows was a big boon to me. I was doing C programming under CICS (if you can imagine it), prototyping under QuickC in a DOS Window before I moved stuff up to the mainframe.


Nov 04, 2005
2:04 AM EDT
Quoting: The ability to run multiple DOS Windows was a big boon to me.

I hope you've had therapy since then.

Just kidding, it was similar functionality that got me excited about 3.1 for me back then.

Nov 04, 2005
2:18 AM EDT
yeah yeah, while you guys are doddering down memory lane, I'm busily predicting who our next Evil Empire is going to be. Gotta start making preparations. The next ruthless corporate overlord, who is born of humble beginnings, raised in love, and beloved by all, until the fateful day when it turns to the Dark Side and enslaves us all. Red Hat? MySQL? Nessus The Closed-Source Edition?

Who will it be....

Nov 04, 2005
3:53 AM EDT
tuxchick --

It will surprise us all...

Flush with cash after personal health concerns lead to sale of their primary business, Ben and Jerry begin producing Free Spirit software.

Using the clever marketing honed in their former enterprise and buoyed by goodwill instilled in their hordes of happy former customers, their ChunkyMonkeyOS takes the market by storm. Especially popular is their project planning software, "Why Bother, brother?", which replaces milestones with "Let's get stoneds". Nothing gets done, but nobody cares.

The forces of Free Software try to warn the public about this so-alled Free Spirit software, but the public is confused by the difference, and, besides, it's good ol' Ben and Jerry!

The Free Software movement is crushed for good when Free Spirit includes a Cherry Garcia coupon with each purchase of a Free Spirit product.

A few years later, a young woman goes to the office supply closet. While there, she notices an unopened box gathering dust on the floor. She wipes off the dust and is puzzled. Box in hand, she walks back to the office and starts asking around, "Has anybody here heard of Microsoft?"

Nov 04, 2005
4:18 AM EDT
Nah Dino you have been dazzled too much by Vermont hippies or had too many bad nights of ice cream poisoning. Here's the real deal:

It is the year 2030 and newly installed Emperor William the First of Jesusland (via Redmond) has just bulldozed the anachronistic White House and Congress buildings. "I want no reminders of democracy, the future belongs to the magnificient Oligarchs who rule by divine right. (This was later confirmed by 110 year old Pat Robertson the Jesusland spritual leader)" he says cursing as his laptop crashes once again. "Bill is a God, he invented personal computing" says Jesusland Minister of Truth, O'Reilly. "I see nothing wrong with gulags for the likes of Torvalds. Linux nearly destroyed capitalism err oligarchy".


Nov 04, 2005
4:39 AM EDT
tuxchick: How about this one -- In 1994 I purchased OS/2 Warp, and set about for a fourple-boot system on my computer. I install Linux, Install OS/2 -- double-boot just fine. Following the OS/2 dual-boot stuff so I can have DOS, it says to do some commands, and install DOS.

So, I go to install DOS, and it says (paraphrasing here):

"I found a copy of OS/2 -- do you want me to delete it? (y/n) [y]:"

Gotta love those M$ guys. Gutsy.

Nov 04, 2005
4:58 AM EDT
Tomorrows enemy will be Google.

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