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Sendo vs. Microsoft: The Truth Comes Out

Hemos posted more than 11 years ago | from the following-up dept.

Microsoft 360

igotmybfg writes "The Register has a story which includes many details about the phone maker's Texas suit against the software giant. It seems that Microsoft had much more to gain from letting its partner fail than helping it to succeed: in the event of a bankruptcy, Microsoft acquired all of Sendo's intellectual property related to the z100 Stinger SmartPhone, and was then free to do whatever it wanted, which in this case turned out to be going behind Sendo's back and making a deal with Orange SPA." Read our original article about this to get more background information.

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360 comments

NEWS FLASH!!! (2, Funny)

unterderbrucke (628741) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024530)

Microsoft a company of back-stabbing money-grubbers.
Film at 11.

Re:NEWS FLASH!!! (1)

trido (638898) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024558)

Ummm I can't see this in the newspaper. Oh, hang on, COPS is on?

Re:NEWS FLASH!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024615)

This isn't flamebait, it's the truth.

Re:NEWS FLASH!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024618)

Are you saying we should ignore any of their behavior from now on?

Bush attacks Iraq: we can ignore that, everybody already knew he was planning to do that.

Al Queada attacks the USA again: we can ignore that, everybody already knew they are planning that too.

Hell, why even report news at all?

Re:NEWS FLASH!!! (1, Offtopic)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024641)

Bush attacks Iraq: we can ignore that, everybody already knew he was planning to do that.

I was already expecting Bush to work on his ongoing US-police state project, so that's not really news.

Seriously, I just noticed on Google News that Rev. Sharpton is planning to run for President.

That's undoubtedly the best news the Repulicans have had for years. It'll neatly split the Dem supporters, and seriously damange any opposition to continued Republican dominance. I mean, this seriously negates any Dem benefit the whole Lott debacle might have caused.

Yay, more Dubya.

SOP? (0)

IgD (232964) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024537)

S)tandard O)perating P)rocedure for Microsoft
They probably have a manual outlining their Borg like business plans:)

First post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024542)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of THESE!

HOW STUPID CAN SENDO's executives be? (2, Insightful)

thona (556334) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024543)

I mean, if I would have THIS clause in the contract, it is NORMAL to assume that MS would play hardball to then gain all the rights. This is to be expected. Unless they crossed some lines then (which to proove will be the problem of Sendo), Sendo got what they deserved - for neglecting the reality of harsh businesses practices.

Re:HOW STUPID CAN SENDO's executives be? (-1, Flamebait)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024563)

if you're going to include you business details in you post, don't you think it'd be smart to learn how to use a FUCKING SPELLCHECKER?

P-R-O-V-E

Re:HOW STUPID CAN SENDO's executives be? (5, Insightful)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024579)

"Sendo got what they deserved - for neglecting the reality of harsh businesses practices."

Not at all, business relationships - like all relationships - must have a basis of trust to succeed. Sendo obviously made the mistake of thinking that Microsoft was run by humans.

How brazen can Microsoft's executives be? (5, Insightful)

MonTemplar (174120) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024600)

I mean, if I would have THIS clause in the contract, it is NORMAL to assume that MS would play hardball to then gain all the rights. This is to be expected. Unless they crossed some lines then (which to proove will be the problem of Sendo), Sendo got what they deserved - for neglecting the reality of harsh businesses practices.

This part doesn't suprise me much, having read up on the history of Microsoft's dealings with its 'partners' over the years.

What gets me is that this sequence of events started back in 2001, at the time that Judge Jackson was throwing the book at Microsoft for, amongst other misdemeanours, doing the very same thing they were evidently planning on doing to Sendo!

Even if Sendo's case falls flat, it will have served to make Microsoft's circle of friends even smaller. What more proof could you ask for to show that the people in charge of Microsoft have not learned to play fair?

Re:HOW STUPID CAN SENDO's executives be? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024632)

I guess this is a more-or-less standard part of any (exclusive) contract: if one partner fails, the other gets the freedom to make new deals with new partners.

Stupid? No, hardly. The alternative would be that M$ could not sell *any* phones if and when Sendo fails.

Of course, Sendo should have insisted on a "M$ will not run us into the ground" clause. But really, trust *is* a major part of business.

Re:HOW STUPID CAN SENDO's executives be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024665)

You're right. When any small company deals with a large one, issues like this are going to come up. In the banking industry at least, it's a standard clause that if small company X fails (owner dies, goes bankrupt, etc), the source code falls into the partners' hands.

It makes sense. After all, lots of great software is produced by small 3-people businesses that could realistically go bankrupt from something as unpredictable as a tornado wiping out their data centers.

Re:HOW STUPID CAN SENDO's executives be? (2)

jez_f (605776) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024674)

Even if they do get fined it will only be for pocket money in M$ terms.
Seeing how soon the SPV came out after sendo switched to symbian I would think that there was some dodgy dealing going on. I mean not spending a couple of dollars to help M$ against it's biggest competitor (nokia), when they are happy to loose billions on the Xbox. Just dosn't sound right.
It would be nice if the US government could introduce a 'three strikes and you're out policy' for anticompetitive behaviour. Not that this would happen with the current administration.

Re:HOW STUPID CAN SENDO's executives be? (3, Interesting)

rseuhs (322520) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024742)

Well, business is about trust.

Think about it: Imagine you would make a deal signed with only a handshake with the local mobster-boss and another with Bill Gates.

Which deal would you trust more?

Re:HOW STUPID CAN SENDO's executives be? (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024784)

Yeah, but with Microsoft, it should be about anti-trust. Things are changing here in Thailand: read my journal to find out how.

I'm starting to understand (0, Offtopic)

notque (636838) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024547)

So any time there is an article about Microsoft on Slashdot, I am to assume they did something wrong.

They need an FAQ for this stuff.

Re:I'm starting to understand (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024575)

You can generalize this to "Any time the sun rises in the east, I'm to assume that Microsoft did something wrong".

Re:I'm starting to understand (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024644)

You can try to twist this in any pro-microsoft way you like, but the plain fact is that they have again been very, very bad.

And we are not talking about some presumed badness that may or may not happen in the far future. We are talking about well-documented badness that happened just now.

Running your business partners into the ground and stealing their trade secrets is NOT normal business practice.

Re:I'm starting to understand (2)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024675)

So any time there is an article about Microsoft on Slashdot, I am to assume they did something wrong.

Well...usually, but they have lost the occasional anti-trust lawsuit... :-)

This looks quite serious (2)

madprof (4723) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024548)

If these allegations are true it could have very serious consequences for Microsoft. That's pretty obvious. But one possibility is that companies will simply refuse to get into similar deals with them in future.
As the article notes, it is not as if MS have been able to produce the goods even now for the Orange phone. A handset that dials your friends' names as opposed to their numbers, anyone?

Re:This looks quite serious (2)

suman28 (558822) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024636)

This isn't news when we talk about Microsoft. But Sendo executives or lawyers were crazy to have signed such a contract with someone like Microsoft. I guess they will be more careful if there is a next time.

Re:This looks quite serious (2)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024658)

But one possibility is that companies will simply refuse to get into similar deals with them in future.

Um...yeah, right.

Nobody wants to deal with Microsoft. Microsoft partners have a lousy history of getting the short end of the stick. You know what, though? They don't have a choice. You can't ignore the most influential computer company, with multiple crucial monopolies, simply because they're risky to deal with.

Re:This looks quite serious (4, Insightful)

madprof (4723) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024692)

OK. Biggest computer company.
Who have no phone market share. Show me they have a winning strategy in that marketplace and I'll believe you have a point in this instance.
You may be right about desktop apps but this is just not the same.
Similarly games companies, if looking to tie themselves to a console maker, would do better to tie themselves to Sony than MS.

Re:This looks quite serious (1)

really? (199452) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024721)

You can't ignore the most influential computer company, with multiple crucial monopolies, simply because they're risky to deal with.

Right, and that's why you hire lawyers which are supposed to look over any "deals" before you, as the company representative, sign them.
I'd say that chances are overwhelmingly against Microsoft being found guilty; no, not because they will "buy their way out."
If one wants to play with the big dogs, one risks being torn apart. Perhaps not fair, but last I looked there was no "life is fair" guarantee.

Wow (4, Funny)

psyconaut (228947) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024550)


I'm astounded. I truly can't believe a household name such as Microsoft would be involved in underhand business practises.

Seriously, the law makers in the US should probably look into Microsoft being a monopoly....don't they have these things called antitrust laws too?

And Bill Gates looks like such a nice guy. How can he be evil when he wants to save children in third world countries from AIDS?

Mom!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024683)

You're embarrassing me!

duh (-1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024567)

This is what capitalism is all about.

Re:duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024657)

If someone breaks into your house and steals all your stuff, is that capitalism? Didn't think so...

It is the same for companies. Like everybody else, they have to play by the rules.

Re:duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024680)

you mean capitalism is no holds barred, fight to the death, winner fucks all?

Re:duh (1)

really? (199452) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024734)

This is what capitalism is all about.

I would say, "This is what North American capitalism is all about". (Not that _I_ find anything wrong with it.)

Wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024755)

Capitalism is not about fucking people in the ass just to look good on the next quarterly report.

Re:duh (5, Interesting)

malkavian (9512) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024767)

Uhh.. Score 5? Someone's got an odd concept of Capitalism.
Capitalism works fine when everyone's honourable, and keeps their word, and basically plays the game. People make products and make money. Best product wins (votes=money).
MS, as usual, are breaking the rules, and pulling their own game (kill all other contenders), which isn't Capitalism.
In Capitalism, you end up with a flourishing ecosystem of companies providing a variety of competing products. Evolution selects the best.
In the MS game, you end up with one monolithic power providing what it thinks is best for people.
In fact, MS' way is more like communism than capitalism.
"To each unto their needs'..
MS decides what each person needs, and that's what they get, like it or not. It attempts to take all competition out of the arena, so, if you want an office suite, you have MS office, as MS has killed the competition.
So, really, MS is anti-capitalist.

Malk

Sendo needs better lawyers... (5, Informative)

HiyaPower (131263) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024571)

When you walk into the lion's den, you need more than a g-string on. To have put themselves in a position where M$ could grab Sendo's intellectual property by not giving them anything is stupid.

That said, dealing in bad faith is something that is tortous. I hope Sendo recovers the stars the moon and the sky from these bastards.

Re:Sendo needs better lawyers... (1, Troll)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024589)

That said, dealing in bad faith is something that is tortous. I hope Sendo recovers the stars the moon and the sky from these bastards.

That's crap, though. If you read the article, they're basically suing MS because MS won't give them more money.

That's like suing your parents after they pay for the first five years of college and then refuse to pay for year six.

Re:Sendo needs better lawyers... (2, Interesting)

yeti (dn) (618882) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024620)

That's crap, though. If you read the article, they're basically suing MS because MS won't give them more money.

Of course they will be bankrupt when MS won't give them more money (and it surely won't). But MS will also grab their know-how/IP/... as reward for making them bankrupt, and that's the point.

Re:Sendo needs better lawyers... (5, Interesting)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024642)

No the argument that Sendo is raising is very legit. Their argument is that they and Microsoft entered into a deal where the aim was to sell product. While they had backdoor clauses, MS, it would appear dealt in bad faith.

Bad Faith is not something to underestimate. Whenever you enter into a contract you have to actually pretend to support the contract. Because otherwise you will be in contempt and be VERY liable. In fact this could get very messy for MS if it is proven that they acted in bad faith.

This could be the case that kills MS. Think about it. This company had a once in a life time offer. They were ready, but the company they wanted to deal with was not. Result, you kill that company. You are liable because potentially the other party could have become very large and very rich.

I guess finally history is catching up to MS.

Re:Sendo needs better lawyers... (5, Insightful)

plugger (450839) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024670)

That's what I thought on first reading the article, but maybe this extract is significant:
...summer comes, and the code isn't ready. It isn't ready in the autumn, either, and this starts to play hell with Sendo's budgets. December rolls round, and according to Sendo, bugfixes that carriers have requested are being refused by Microsoft. Sendo is in a cash crisis, and a call to VCs is spurned. So Sendo asks Microsoft for a further cash injection, which is declined:
"Microsoft refused with the full knowledge that this refusal would push Sendo to insolvency", claims Sendo in the filing.

So, it looks like MS failed to deliver the software on time, which caused a cash-flow problem for Sendo. According to the story, MS also refused to make a scheduled payment to Sendo, thus causing them further financial difficulties.

A friend of mine has an Orange/MS phone. Judging by the problems he has experienced (counter-intuitive address book, problems connecting via GPRS), I think MS have had genuine problems getting the software right. I mean, this phone shipped about a year after MS failed to deliver working code to Sendo, and it still isn't finished.

I doubt this is a conspiracy by MS to steal Sendo's IP, but it still looks as if they bear some responsibility for the situation. If they signed a contract and can't honour it, they should be held accountable for any damage that causes.

Re:Sendo needs better lawyers... (2)

Subcarrier (262294) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024773)

So, it looks like MS failed to deliver the software on time, which caused a cash-flow problem for Sendo.

The contract should have had progressively increasing sanctions against slipping delivery deadlines. The Sendo execs must be kicking themselves.

Re:Sendo needs better lawyers... (3, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024717)

That's crap, though. If you read the article, they're basically suing MS because MS won't give them more money.
Not in the article I read. In the article I read, Microsoft deliberately delayed the OS they had promised to Sendo with the specific aim of driving Sendo into bankruptsy, and using the time in between to gain critical information about Sendo's technologies that could then be passed on to competitors.

If you're summarising that as "suing MS because MS won't give them more money", then you have a wierd way of looking at the world. Presumably the Cold War can be boiled down to Stalin not giving Truman more money too, or something.

Re:Sendo needs better lawyers... (5, Insightful)

rseuhs (322520) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024817)

That's like suing your parents after they pay for the first five years of college and then refuse to pay for year six.

Well - no.

Microsoft promised to have Stinger ready in summer 2001. Without Stinger, Sendo couldn't make any money. Over a year later Microsoft still hasn't got the product ready and is refusing to fix some of the bugs Sendo found. You get the picture?

So yes, Sendo was stupid. Everybody is stupid who thinks Microsoft can put out a working product in schedule.

Re:Sendo needs better lawyers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024652)

When a 700lb gorilla comes along you as a small chimp certainly think it's a good thing to have such a big buddy - even if he tells you he will get all your bananas when you get tangled up in the vines.

- t

Signatures (0, Offtopic)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024682)

When you walk into the lion's den, you need more than a g-string on.

Slashdot is just full of good .sig material.

sounds like the mafia... (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024577)

Only summer comes, and the code isn't ready. It isn't ready in the autumn, either, and this starts to play hell with Sendo's budgets. December rolls round, and according to Sendo, bugfixes that carriers have requested are being refused by Microsoft. Sendo is in a cash crisis, and a call to VCs is spurned. So Sendo asks Microsoft for a further cash injection, which is declined:

"Microsoft refused with the full knowledge that this refusal would push Sendo to insolvency", claims Sendo in the filing.


This sounds an awful like the Mafia. Take over a business. Milk the shit out of it. Keep saying you will take care of it. Burn the damn place down when it fails (as if you cared in the first place).

Re:sounds like the mafia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024603)

.......... It has been taken care off Don Willy..... Stevie the Balmer put out a hit on them...Soon all the families will be united under you.

yeah baby (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024578)

Watching the free market in action is like watching a lion rip apart a gazelle on animal planet.

woohoo!

Re:yeah baby (3, Insightful)

rseuhs (322520) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024855)

Wrong. This isn't survival of the fittest.

Microsoft was too incompetent to ship their part of the product in time. Sendo is paying for Microsoft's incompetence.

They're suing *who* again? (5, Insightful)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024580)

Seems like the lawsuit here really ought to be "Investors in Sendo v. Sendo Execs".

In MS's defense, there is no (nor should there be any) law against getting into really sweetheart deals at the expense of the other party. If I see an antique on eBay selling for $5 that I know to be incredibly valuable, I should buy it -- I'm under no imaginable obligation to contact the seller and let him know he's an idiot.

And so it appears in this case: whoever was making decisions at Sendo really, really screwed up. They gave MS the power to destroy them, then gave them huge incentive to do so.

That's life.

Re:They're suing *who* again? (2)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024656)

No there is a law against this. It is dealing in bad faith. Here is a link http://www.zreclaim.com/badfaith/contract.asp.

It states very clearly that you must act in good faith. Ok it deals with insurance and indivdual things, but law is the law...

Re:They're suing *who* again? (5, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024672)

It appears that the deal included some expectation that Microsoft would make certain payments of capital, as well as provide the software on-time (or a reasonable software-world representation of such) which according to the story neither happened.

Its one thing if Sendo signed a paper saying "Go bankrupt and we get your stuff", another entirely if the paper said "We'll do these things to prevent you from going bankrupt, but if you do anyway, we get your stuff" and then not having "these things" done.

Re:They're suing *who* again? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024678)

The problem with this statement, if you read the article completely, is that one of the key persons who was making these "bad decisions" was at the same time also employed as a business development manager for Microsoft. If anything that specific individual clearly engaged in business fraud, the presumption being that he did so at the knowing behest of his superiors. If this case goes anywhere, Microsoft has a convenient scapegoat they could hang out to dry and claim no knowledge about what this rogue employee did, unless, of course the discovery process manages to turn up one of those damn incriminating emails they never seem able to get rid of :). This one should be a fun ride...

Contract is law (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024686)

In the Anglo Saxon legal system, a contract has equal status as the law and the contract terms are used by a judge to determine the outcome of any dispute.
However in germanic and roman law (Rest of Europe and large chunk of the world), the contract is the law, but is tempered by other laws that define that some clauses are innaceptable (an example would be the prohibition of contracts based on human organ trade).
If these 2 systems attain the same result most of the time, the germano-roman type of law gives some sort of implied guarantee to any type of contract.
One of these guarantees states that both parties in a contract should enter the agreement in good faith or else the contract is void.
The point of this diatribe is to state that when you see a bargain on a item because of an error or mischief, and you profit from it, your sales contract can be rendered void afterwards in Europe, but it can only be rendered void in the US and the UK if there is a cllause that covers that point in the contract.
So following this path of thought, if Microsoft is profiting from Sendo's poor management, they still would have had to prove that their tactics were not intended to harm their partner. That is if the trial was not in Texas!!!
My "European" 2 cents

Re:They're suing *who* again? (3, Informative)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024705)

I'm under no imaginable obligation to contact the seller and let him know he's an idiot.

No legal obligation, but there are plently of moral and ethical ones. In a like vein, if you were to contact the seller and your appraisal was accurate, he'd be under the same kind of non-legal obligation to give you first crack at the antique--or just a "finder's fee."

As someone else pointed out, there are laws against getting into extremely one-sided deals--Usury, bad faith, court policy, etc. No law against making a bad deal, but there are laws against one-sided "mafia" deals.

Re:They're suing *who* again? (3, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024713)

Never ever should the abused party be the one who gets the blame. They acted in good faith wich is in my world a good thing. If Microsoft then abused this good faith that is a bad thing done from Microsofts part.

Clearly even companies need to have some sort of regulation and rules to work by. Else doing business becomes "he who is the dirtiest snekiest win" and that doesnt benefit anyone but the one with the least concious possible. Anarchy and capitalism isnt the same thing.

Re:They're suing *who* again? (2)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024752)

I believe what Microsoft did constitutes criminal fraud. Not that any criminal behavior on the part of Microsoft will ever actually be punished by our judicial system.

Re:They're suing *who* again? (2)

will_die (586523) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024785)

If I see an antique on eBay selling for $5 that I know to be incredibly valuable, I should buy it -- I'm under no imaginable obligation to contact the seller and let him know he's an idiot.
Different case here. This is more a case of you being a an antique appraiser and are hired to appaiser someones possesions, you then under value everything and when they offer to sell you or a friend purchase all they are selling.
Also in the ebay case you a have a pure buyer/seller relationship and you are perfectly in your rights to do whatever you can to get the best deal.

Re:They're suing *who* again? (2)

rseuhs (322520) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024873)

If I see an antique on eBay selling for $5 that I know to be incredibly valuable, I should buy it -- I'm under no imaginable obligation to contact the seller and let him know he's an idiot.

OK, imagine you buy that antique for 5$. The seller promises after he got the money that he will ship it. 2 weeks after that he sais, that it is no ready yet. 2 months after that, it is still not ready, but will be soon. The next year he sells it to another one.

Who's the idiot now?

What's the big deal? (-1, Troll)

X-BOX LIVE DEV TEAM (637223) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024584)

Business is about making money.

If you want to know the nitty gritty details about the goings on behind the scenes of your typical American business, please don't be surprised if it's not some kindergarten style smile-'n-kiss-your-ass-routine.

Business is tough, tactful, and not for the weak of heart or stomach. But, there are some big gains to be made for those who can play the game.

Re:What's the big deal? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024710)

If I make money by robbing you, is that legitimate business? How is it any different from what M$ is doing?

Business is not just about making money, and certainly not about making money by all means. M$ crossed yet another line, here.

Re:What's the big deal? (3, Insightful)

wtom (619054) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024758)

I am sure the Enron executives share your viewpoint, and wonder why they are in jail... After all, it's just doing business, isn't it?

Perhaps one day some of the Microsoft folks can join them. We can hope, at least...

Taking advantage of stupid or weak people/companies/customers/whatever is wrong, even if it *is* legal. It shouldn't be legal... One of those house-repair scammers tried to screw my grandmother (in her late 80's at the time). She did not fall victim, but others did. If she would have fell for it, would that have been OK? I see no moral difference between the small-time and big-time scammers.

MS does something evil again? How shocking... (-1, Flamebait)

BFaucet (635036) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024585)

I wonder if more small companies will stop working with MS after this.

Oh well...Microsoft is an evil asshole blah blah blah...

Microsoft's business model (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024604)

1. Profit. 2. Profit???? 3. Profit.

Re:Microsoft's business model (4, Funny)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024754)

1.Promise
2.Confuse
3.Delay
4.Move Goalposts
5.Destroy
6.Get Sued?
7.Profit!

Tiem will tell... (5, Insightful)

vpreHoose (587524) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024609)

if Sendo engineers can actually integrate onto a Series 60 platform.
Just because the OS can't do what you need, then just bypass it. A classic example of this is SIM Locking to a particular network, or group of networks. The SDK (Pocket PC 2002 and Smartphone) doesn't support this. Sendo complain, HTC, MiTac, Samsung, and Compal work around it (to varying degrees of success).

From the article: (3, Funny)

Amoeba (55277) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024612)

But it was never a partnership of equals, alleges Sendo, and after promising that StinkerOS was ready in the middle of last year, Microsoft used the delays to uncover Sendo's integration secrets and carrier relationships, and then cut off their air supply, using this knowledge to promote its new sweetheart, the Orange SPV instead.

Emphasis mine. I really don't think I have to add anything to this quote. ;)

Another quote from the article (2)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024664)

At this point Brown suggests that Microsoft convert the share deal into a loan, repayable in three stages, and in February (last year), Sendo agrees. Stinker still hasn't shipped, so Sendo can't sell a phone.

You know, I'm beginning to think that the article writer had something to do with this ;)

Re:Another quote from the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024766)

Nope, the Register just uses nicknames, eg. chipzilla for Intel

You'd better believe it... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024619)

I knew about this months ago - no I don't work for Sendo, Microsoft or any subsiduaries or affiliates.

I kept telling people but all they said was 'well that's not the way we've heard it'. Eventually the truth appears and it is even worse than was origionally described to me, and that made my toes curl !!! (I believe there may be even more to come out yet.)

But this is how M$ has done business for a long time. What really boggles my mind is that people still queue up to do business with M$. They must know that if what they have is slightly inovative or 'required' by M$ they are going to get screwed over !

It's OK folks, (5, Interesting)

countach (534280) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024621)

Don't believe this nonsense. For example Microsoft would NEVER, screw over Miguel de Icaza and the MONO effort. Trust them. If Microsoft says they support the MONO effort, we can take them at their word. They are people of high integrity and whatever they say, they mean. They would never lead others along the garden path, with every intention of crushing them later on.

+5 Sarcasm.

Re:It's OK folks, (4, Funny)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024684)

I actually agree totally with you. I think MS will screw Miguel de Icaza so hard that he wont sit again in years. Mono in itself is admirarble but its origin spells bad future. Microsoft is just using Mono to be able to say .net is x-platform and then when market share is anough in comes version 1.1 breaking all compability with Mono.

That's the hard way of doing it.... (4, Interesting)

countach (534280) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024706)

The easier way is that MS just says "Sorry folks, we have a patent on XXXX, and you can't use MONO any more. Oh by the way, since it is now so ingrained into Gnome, you can't use it either. Oh, and since all those Linux disks have Gnome on them, you'll have to destroy them all too."

Big deal, I use Debian. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024779)

And I don't use GNOME; just GTK apps in Widowmaker [windowmaker.org] . At least Steve Jobs isn't being a prick and jerking around with the OpenStep specs.

Re:That's the hard way of doing it.... (1)

fredrik70 (161208) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024781)

AS much as I think it would be a shame for MONO to go down the drain. I do believe MONO will be modular enough to be fairly easy to rip out of Gnome if the need should arise. If not there are quite a few other window managers and Desktop ENvironment one can use rather than Gnome on Linux - oh, the power of multiple choice. Hey, it might prtobably even be enough to rip out the offending parts of MONO, replace it with something homegrown, and we'd still have a pretty good app framework!

Re:It's OK folks, (2)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024783)

they brand you insightful or informative. See how easy people are influenced :))

Miguel, I know you read Slashdot man, see this?

Re:It's OK folks, (1)

GiorgioG (225675) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024890)

I know that we're all geeks here, and that we tend to be idealistic, but you have to realize, companies do not make money by being 'nice guys', just like most guys don't get laid by being nice guys. Business is war. A business partner is nothing more than an ally, you need to keep a sharp eye on them to keep them in check. And on the flipside, if switching partners is benificial to your company but destroys another partner, any company will do it. A business's responsibility is to its stockholders, not its customers, not its partners or anyone else for that matter. Sure, they try to make themselves look good in varying degrees for PR reasons, but in the end, the shareholders' interests & goals are king. And that goal is profit.

Could the fate of microsoft be made in civil court (4, Interesting)

WPIDalamar (122110) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024627)

With all these civil cases going on, could they shape MS's behavior more than the antitrust trial?

I could see a future where microsoft is afraid to do the "bad things" they like to do for fear of lawsuits .... but then I think about their huge pile of money, and the idea seems laughable.

And what ever happened to the EU antitrust type trial?

Re:Could the fate of microsoft be made in civil co (2, Interesting)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024720)

I could see a future where microsoft is afraid to do the "bad things" they like to do for fear of lawsuits .... but then I think about their huge pile of money, and the idea seems laughable.

Their huge pile of money will only get them so far. If they start losing it by the billions, their stockholders (including Mr. Gates) will sit up and reign in the company.

$40 billion+ in the bank shouldn't be enough to avoid justice--but it should be enough to elminate a chance of appeal, or tiered payments, etc.

And what ever happened to the EU antitrust type trial?

AFAIK, it's still going on.

They have proven it again. (5, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024661)

If you are a company with any intellectual holdings or patents, dont ever work with Microsoft. If you only manufacture things and dont know anything about what you do then its fine.

Its nearly written in stone since before. Microsoft is a midas touch to any company with any form of knowledge that works together with them. Sendo should have realized this ofcourse. Still that doesnt in any way defends what Microsoft did wich clearly fradulent behaviour and underhanded business practises. If every company behaived like Microsoft all resources would go to fighting instead of developing good products. This kind of mafia methods needs to stop now!

In my book thats bad for me and other consumers.

And you're surprised, why? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024668)

You sleep with the devil, you're going to get hurt. Simple as that. Next time, just let them buy you outright and walk away.

Re:And you're surprised, why? (2)

SystematicPsycho (456042) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024712)

I always thought it was if you play with fire you eventually get burnt.

And another thing.. (1, Informative)

Amoeba (55277) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024677)

Okay, I joked about this in another post but does anyone else find it irresponsible that the StingerOS is called StinkerOS not once but twice in the article?

This isn't bad editing, it's on purpose and only undermines the impact of the story by showing where the Register's bias is. Bad freakin' journalism. Then again, it cemented the chance this would show up on ./

uh.. not that the editors ever read the stories of course.. :)

Amoeba

Re:And another thing.. (2)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024708)

Read the bottom of the article:

"What sank Sendo's Stinker" [theregister.co.uk]

This time, the typo is in the title-- for those busy editors who don't have time to read whole articles :^)

Re:And another thing.. (2, Informative)

jez_f (605776) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024715)

you read theregister regularly you will find that they always do this sort of thing. After freeserve was bought by the French government they were always calling it 'le freeserve'. There are loads of other examples but none that come to mind right now.

Re:And another thing.. (3, Informative)

madprof (4723) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024716)

They insult everyone, to try and be fair.
Hence Intel is ChipZilla and AMD is ChimpZilla.
The only exception to this really is when it comes to figures in the Linux world.

Re:And another thing.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024737)

All sources are biased. I'd rather someone was up front about their biases than try to conceal them.

Re:And another thing.. (1)

fredrik70 (161208) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024841)

well, the Registry is the tabloid of Software news, and yes, they show pretty clearly where they have their sympathies. Not that it makes MS behavoiur any better, but I prefer to double-check with other sources as well usually. Haven't found any for this story though, mind you, haven't looked that hard. Anyone knows any other links?

Re:And another thing.. (2, Informative)

DanMilburn (120933) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024852)

Well, no. Why is it irresponsible?

The Register are biased against Microsoft, and have good reason to be. Would you prefer that they don't reveal that bias?

Really, this is just what they do. Their tagline is 'Biting the hand that feeds IT', and they tend to take the piss out of anyone they feel like. It's one of the reasons I like them so much. :)

Business as usual (3, Insightful)

johann_moeller (638595) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024685)

Let's face reality. That is the way business is exercised nowadays. I fully agree that it should not be that way, but there are certain points that enforce that behaviour. Hordes of shareholders demanding better results and higher profits every quarter are one side of the coin. Nobody believes that Microsoft will be able to keep its profits rising within the same industry for years and years. The aim is to increase the amonunt of industries and therefore increase the opportunities to push the Net Income even further above. No need to tell you that MSFT hat an income of $9.27 billion on sales of $30.0billion. Now it is your duty to show me a way to increase profits without increasing sales....

Summing up - The aim of Microsoft is to increase profits - no matter which methods they use. Time for the govt to step into the ring and show them what they are allowed to do and what they aren't.

Standards (5, Insightful)

den_erpel (140080) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024693)

From the article:
To Americans, the telecom world's model of promoting growth through vertical investments (a Nokia or an Ericsson bails out the carriers) and through IP sharing (yeuch!), and promoting common standards (that's goddam Communism!), must look like a filthy and incestuous business.

Perhaps slightly unrelated (yes, mod me down), but I wonder if the cell phone market would ever have been that successful as it is now without these common standards, especially if you think that the mobile market/penetration is the largest in Scandinavia. Imagine a world where a Nokia phone could not communicate with a Sony/Ericsson, what a waste of resources would that be, ... I would say we're lucky this technology wasn't determined by American companies (and I basically don't care if they are European or Asean), or else we'd pay double for our phones, just for the patents to use the proprietary communication format.

But hey, isn't that exactly what we have on the desktop?

This doesn't change anything (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Custard (587661) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024694)

1. Sendo sues MS.

2. MS fights for a little while.

3. Sendo gets more desperate, and settles with MS for enough money to appease their investors.

Case closed.

Or, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024750)

1. Sendo sues MS.

2. MS stalls for a long, long time. Judge is too wimpy to issue an injunction.

3. Microsoft refuses to settle. Sendo goes bankrupt from the legal fees.

4. Microsoft acquires Sendo's IP as part of the SDMA.

5. (Even more) profit for MS

oh, the horror! (0, Insightful)

Otis_INF (130595) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024725)

Microsoft acquired all of Sendo's intellectual property related to the z100 Stinger SmartPhone, and was then free to do whatever it wanted, which in this case turned out to be going behind Sendo's back and making a deal with Orange SPA
Erm... it clearly says: "[microsoft] was then free to do whatever it wanted". Which part of "was then free to do" do you all not understand? If Sendo would have had any managers with a vision and who could envision a set of concequences related to a buy out of IP by MS, this never would have happened... but no, they were eager to sell, money in the bank!...

Nokia (4, Informative)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024727)

This shows pretty nicely why Nokia was right [theregister.co.uk] to avoid the boys from Redmond like a mixture between syphillis and herpes.

Seemed to be a smart choice after all..

Enabling environment? (5, Interesting)

Allt (581696) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024730)

I found this interview [kuro5hin.org] with a former employee of Microsoft on Kuro5hin.
You worked at Microsoft for ten years, then left the company two-and-a-half years ago. From your perspective, do you think Microsoft has fundamentally changed as a result of the antitrust lawsuit?
My short answer would be "No".
There were many positive things about the Microsoft work environment. But there were some negatives. People use the term "enabling environment" to mean a situation that encourages someone to act in a negative way, such as drinking alcohol heavily, by mitigating the negative impact of the behavior, and providing tacit approval for it. Well, Microsoft constructed an enabling environment for socially obnoxious behavior: it was welcomed and rationalized into positives. If you were late for meetings it meant you were busy doing important work, if you were extremely confrontational it meant you were passionate about your job, if you required subordinates to work long hours it meant you were committed to the product, if you turned down everyone you interviewed it meant you weren't soft, and so on.
So Microsoft had this system that encouraged and rewarded people who acted a certain way. And some of that behavior trickled out into meetings with customers and partners, where they were correctly seen as negatives and helped foster the anti-Microsoft attitude. But since Microsoft kept hiring and promoting obnoxious people, they kept being obnoxious.

I don't know how much truth lies in this, but when any organization becomes big enough, culture plays a big role in dictating what is allowed and what's not.

If you cut a deal with the devil, (1)

j0nb0y (107699) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024763)

you're going to get burned.

Damb those evil bastards (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024787)

M$ usually makes me sick, but now my bludy stomach has exploded. There are guts all over my workstation,the floor and the keyboard.

I wish I could say that this behaviour does not suprise me, but ... it DOES. This is an evil sick horrible cheap trick from the wolfs at m$.

Even forcing Bill Gates to use a Linux workstation for the rest of his (short) live without giving him the root password isn't enough for this outragious crime.

Thank you M$ for proofing ones again that you are marketering assholes instead of a software company

Why fraud pays (3, Funny)

deego (587575) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024853)

The problem is that there's never enough persecution. The bigger the company, the lighter the punishment.

Even the worst of legal losses lead to a mere breakup of the wrongdoer. A breakup doesn't take back the money from thw wrongdoer or its shareholders, merely splits the assets into 2 different names.

And of course, that's just for the worst the losses.

The most likely scenario is that the big wrongdoer is never taken to court in the first place by the small wronged parties, even if a slightly bigger party (like, a Government) takes MS to court, the case ends up, after years of appeals, with "promises to not repeat" that action.

So, if i am a big company, fraud can only pay. Even in the rare case that someone takes me to court and wins, it STILL PAYS.

Re:Why fraud pays (1)

deego (587575) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024867)

>persecution

prosecution. sorry.

UK Sunday Press (5, Informative)

Martin S. (98249) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024868)

Over the Week-end this was plastered all over the UK's Broadsheets (quality) news papers in the last few day; and not technology sections but in the Business. The damage to Microsoft's reputation for bad-faith with the 'Captains of Industry' from this episode will be profound.

There is also refuge for Sendo in UK bankruptcy laws, where Creditors have an incredible amount of power in the say of the winding up of a company. There are two forms, Administration, a private sector accountant is appointed to take over running of the business. He has absolute authority in to persue the Creditors best interests, even if the only real assets are IP, bad debts and damages. In this fails the next step is Insolvency, Government investigators from the DTI investigate why the business failed, have criminal investigative powers and can sequestrate assets of bad debtors, and prosecute offenders. If Sendo do go bust that is only the start of Microsoft problems.

Patient, like Sauron (4, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024889)

It seems that Microsoft had much more to gain from letting its partner fail than helping it to succeed: in the event of a bankruptcy, Microsoft acquired all of Sendo's intellectual property related to the z100 Stinger SmartPhone

IIRC Microsoft has a stake in General Magic, which developed video software for handheld devices. It was of note, a few years ago, because General Magic was down to $1 a share when Microsoft took interest. Last I looked General Magic closed September or early October and was winding down completely about December. Guess who will get their IP, as a significant debtor

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