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New Documents Shed Light on Microsoft's Tactics

CowboyNeal posted more than 10 years ago | from the skeletons-from-the-closet dept.

Microsoft 614

Tigen writes "As the NY Times reports, even as MS prepares to face penalties from the European Union, testimony during the second week of trial in the consumer class-action lawsuit in Minnesota has revealed some embarrassing internal documents from Microsoft which were not disclosed in the 1997 federal antitrust lawsuit. Items include a 1990 letter from Bill Gates to Andy Grove, and Microsoft's illegal tactics against the Go Corporation, a Silicon Valley startup."

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Newsflash! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665449)

Newsflash! M$ sucks!

Re:Newsflash! (0, Flamebait)

Moonpie Madness (764217) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665656)

Newsflash, they have made a lot of mistakes and set the tech industry back quite a ways by destroying innovation with subpar crap, but they also did a great deal to advance us. Sometimes the world needs a hegemon. so many programs written for Dos and Windows. Could any programmer have made as much money without that large compatible market? Its too bad they have been and become concerned with competitors rather than innovation... but it isnt a joke, its just too bad for you and me and billy g

good morning slashdot!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665450)

Yeah, Microsoft's tactics really suck. I like Fianl Fantasy tactics better. Oh, and FP, propz to all my dead homiez.

Re:good morning slashdot!! (-1, Flamebait)

Moonpie Madness (764217) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665638)

OH you certainly can do better than that, kiddo. Microsoft has done some serious stuff here, and I'm honestly disapointed. I'd love to see a large company not go down in flames, we certainly don't need to see MIcrosoft need to lay off anybody, the tech sector is suffering enough. They have it sooo good, is it so much for them to enjoy their position and just innovate, have fun, and compete? No, I guess 800 billion is better than 80 billion, but I don't really know pragmatically why. Why be so cutthroat, i ask, and remember that's probably how they got where they are in the first place. And then I come in here, depressed, and the trolls arent even slightly creative?

Article (5, Informative)

BigDork1001 (683341) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665453)

Here [nytimes.com] is the Google link to the article.

Re:Article (-1, Redundant)

prat393 (757559) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665514)

Does google let you in without registration? NYTimes didn't used to care about that particular market.

Re:Article (5, Informative)

jimmyCarter (56088) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665526)

Whenever you append "&partner=google" to the end of a NYTimes URL, you're in sans registration.

Re:Article (5, Funny)

AftanGustur (7715) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665582)


Whenever you append "&partner=google" to the end of a NYTimes URL, you're in sans registration.

Well, whenever you append "&partner=[Anything]" you are in ...

Try http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/24/technology/24sof t.html?ex=1080709200&en=81be83eda9c09dad&ei=5062&p artner=AlQaida [nytimes.com]

Re:Article (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665619)

echo '[q]sa[ln0=aln80~Psnlbx]16isb15CB32EF3AF9C0E5D7272 C3AF4F2snlbxq'|dc

I'm a Windows user, and therefore I have no way of knowing what the HECK your signature means. Would you mind if I dropped you an e-mail at rikardur@sky.fr [mailto] and ask you to tell me what it does?

Thanks!

Re:Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665629)

Pipe the string gibberish into dc, the Unix desk calculator. Read this [latech.edu] for more info about dc. By the way, Windows has an echo command and the pipe operator.

Re:Article (5, Funny)

flewp (458359) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665622)

Whenever you append "&partner=google" to the end of a NYTimes URL, you're in sans registration.

But what if San wants to use his registration when we already are? Then what will he do?!

Andy Grove intimidation? (-1, Interesting)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665454)

Trying to intimidate the guy who would kidnap misbehaving Intel employees and keep them locked in his cellar in Oregon for weeks on end?

Microsoft might be bad, but they've never done anything remotely as illegal as that.

Re:Andy Grove intimidation? (1, Insightful)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665519)

Well, Mr. Obvious, would you be as kind as to point us to some references to these kidnappings?

Re:Andy Grove intimidation? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665623)

Heh... somebody mentions "thousands of secret Guantanamo detainees", and it's accepted without a second thought. Mention a single Andy Grove detainee, and suddenly we want proof. I love America.

Re:Andy Grove intimidation? (3, Funny)

Moonpie Madness (764217) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665646)

Im submitting this from my gitmo cage right now! It's not so bad really, though this tablet PC is just junk. I mean seriously! Damn thing only gets 12 fps on counterstrike.

Re:Andy Grove intimidation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665640)

http://www.antiwar.com/lobe/?articleid=1426

Re:Andy Grove intimidation? (-1, Offtopic)

pubjames (468013) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665525)

Trying to intimidate the guy who would kidnap misbehaving Intel employees and keep them locked in his cellar in Oregon for weeks on end?

Sounds interesting. Reference?

Re:Andy Grove intimidation? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665556)

Yeah, and I heard that ObviousGuy can't orgasm unless he kills a dog.
Of course, that's just what I heard.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665455)

propz to gnaa

No-pass required version (0, Redundant)

damieng (230610) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665457)

Or alternatively for those that don't want to register at NYT [commondreams.org] .

goatse link beware! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665483)

parent post is gostse link!

ENOUGH WITH THE ANTI MICROSOFT FUD (-1, Flamebait)

Amiga Lover (708890) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665460)

It's over. The antitrust trial has gone by. A decision was made and we've stuck to it.

What now? does dragging this stuff up accomplishe anything more? It's just for microsoft bashing.

This whole story should be market -1 FLAMEBAIT

Re:ENOUGH WITH THE ANTI MICROSOFT FUD (2, Insightful)

torpor (458) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665491)

We've found one dead body, the criminal is in jail.

We don't need to find any more. Even if they are out there, somewhere in the ditch, buried ... nah ... its 'not needed'.

You should be marked "-1 Ignorant Buffoon", but alas thats ... only ... possible in the alternative /. universe ... in my head.

Re:ENOUGH WITH THE ANTI MICROSOFT FUD (0, Redundant)

Amiga Lover (708890) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665522)

Right. and if you equate some company's lawsuit loss over anti competitive practices to be the same as MURDER then my friend you are plain and simply psychotic.

What next do you want to call for EXECUTIONS when people don't pay a PARKING FINE?

Re:ENOUGH WITH THE ANTI MICROSOFT FUD (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665574)

What next do you want to call for EXECUTIONS when people don't pay a PARKING FINE?

YES! Thank you.

How History Repeats Itself (5, Insightful)

Crash Culligan (227354) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665595)

It's over. The antitrust trial has gone by. A decision was made and we've stuck to it.

A decision was made, but a lot of people believe that decision was just so much tepid crap. Courts have been overturned in the past; perhaps if enough new evidence comes to light, the case can be reopened.

What now? does dragging this stuff up accomplishe anything more? It's just for microsoft bashing.

Yes, it does serve a purpose. It serves to dig up more facts and evidence should someone in the judiciary ever get wise and reevaluate that case.

Even if the trial never reopens, the Court of Public Opinion is always open. The more people learn what kinds of jiggery-pokery Microsoft has been up to, the more likely Microsoft will gets its just desserts sooner or later, and the less likely anyone else will ever pull such stunts again.

Honestly. I'm trying to figure out your attitude. "Microsoft did it, they got away with it, and that's good enough for me!" Are you always this doggedly complacent?

This whole story should be market -1 FLAMEBAIT

Need something burned down in a big hurry? Then come on down to the Flamebait Market, for all your pyromaniac needs!

Re:ENOUGH WITH THE ANTI MICROSOFT FUD (2, Insightful)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665641)

"What now? does dragging this stuff up accomplishe anything more? It's just for microsoft bashing."

One man's flamebait is another man's insightfu.

What's this? (4, Funny)

TypoNAM (695420) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665462)

Microsoft has actually been a bad big corp? Tell me it isn't so...

OK it's so, let the "Exchange server ate my email" excuse begin!

Re:What's this? (4, Funny)

Alphix (33559) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665558)

dont you mean "the Exchange server wrote my email"?

Re:What's this? (5, Funny)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665609)

Recently overheard somewhere at One Microsoft Way:

What's this: "New Documents Shed Light on Microsoft's Tactics" ?!

I thought I told you guys to SHRED those documents, nod SHED them!

use google, avoid registration (-1, Redundant)

jtcm (452335) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665466)

Sounds like a Movie Script (2, Funny)

sirdude (578412) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665471)

Sounds eeriely like a movie script minus Erin Brockovich..

The Microsoft Damage. (4, Insightful)

torpor (458) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665476)

I've contended for years that computing in general has been held back by Microsoft, not pushed forward, and this is an example of just how that has been the case.

There are a lot of 'high order' dreams in the computing science. The CS holy grail of pocket, portable computing is only now coming to fruition (thank you Palm), but has been on the cards since at least the 60's as a design reference/specification. Go could've given us this in the late 1980's, early 90's. Microsofts' machinations, however, prevented that from happening.

I understand now, why the Palm founders adopted their 'found and leave' strategy for PalmOS. In the light of Go, Inc's demise it makes sense to light 4 or 5 small fires that the enemy can't put -all- out, rather than making a very large target, like Go and Motorola did ...

I stopped using Microsoft products in 1998. They'll not get one penny of $ from this consumer, and not one item of code from this programmer. I tell all my Microsoft-using friends to fuck off with their self-made problems, too, and get real operating systems, from real software companies ... and most of them do.

slashbot (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665517)

Typical slashbot FUD.

Please explain how pocket, portable computing would have been possible even ten years ago. The hardware was the limiting factor. Microsoft had nothing to do with it - the state of the semiconductor industry did. We didn't have CPUs that worked withotu sucking *lots* of juice. NMOS CPUs were very power hungry.

Today we have calculators [hp.com] with 75 MHz processors, powered off AAA batteries. Would that have been possible 10 years ago? perhaps, but the price would have been insane.

Companies are always free to develop their own embedded OS; some do. Back then the hardware wasn't available. So quit the microsoft bashing.

Typical slashdot groupthink [anti-slash.org]

MOD THIS UP! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665546)

Finally, someone who isn't a MICRO$OFT SUX0Rz!!! drone.

Re:slashbot (5, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665550)

Companies are always free to develop their own embedded OS; some do. Back then the hardware wasn't available. So quit the microsoft bashing.

You seem to have forgoten what Wintel is...

OS writers are very much in a co-dependant relationship with the chip makers... the direction that the OS writers take their software and the direction the chip makers take their chips have to be in sync because one will not work without the other.

Thus, research into chip design was up until recently funneled towards keeping up with the Moore's Law pace of faster and faster clock speeds. Research into creating a chip that could run on low power just wasn't done because there wasn't much of a market for it.

In order to justify writing an OS for a handheld, you need to know what chip you're going to be running on. In order to build a chip geared for handheld use, you need to be sure somebody's actually going to make handhelds.... it's a classic catch 22, and Microsoft appears to have blocked the Go-Motorola partnership that would have made those advances a decade or so before they actually happened.

Re:slashbot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665553)

Gee, PalmOS is going OK

Re:slashbot (4, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665605)

and Microsoft appears to have blocked the Go-Motorola partnership

Go-Motorola partnership? The article talks about an investment reduction from Intel. Given that Intel and Motorola are competitors, maybe Intel just didn't want to indirectly fund their own competitor?

PDA (1)

KeelSpawn (575726) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665588)

True...I'm a Palm advocate and I had my first handheld back when the first one came out in 1996. It was the PalmPilot Personal/Professional, I believe. But he was close though, saying it was 10 years ago. But I'm sure 1994 they already had some of the ideas and design for a PDA. It's just that the hardware technology hasn't caught up yet.

Re:slashbot (5, Informative)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665616)

Please explain how pocket, portable computing would have been possible even ten years ago.

What about the Newton [oldschool.net] , circa 1993?

timeframe is wrong, but the point still stands (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665625)

The stupid fuckface sayed that things like that could have been around in the eighties.

Actually the newton proves he is wrong. Thank-you

Re:slashbot (5, Informative)

pesc (147035) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665662)

Please explain how pocket, portable computing would have been possible even ten years ago.

While Americans might think that Palm (or Apple/Newton) invented pocket computing, I suggest you take a look at Psion [computer-ease.com] . This company made several successful pocket computers more than ten years ago. They released the Psio series 3 [dolphinmaritime.com] in 1991. In the later models they managed to include word-processors, spread-sheets, graphical software, games, web browsers, in a tiny ROM. The computers were truly innovative.

Sadly, they recently decided to get rid of their innovative technology (Symbian) and focus on WinCE devices instead. No more innovation from Psion. From the leading edge to a me-too M$ slave. :-(

Re:slashbot (5, Informative)

ahunter (48990) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665663)

Not 75Mhz, but 30Mhz would have been easily possible: 10 years ago, the 30Mhz version of the ARM6/7 was available (and shipping in production hardware). Designed for low power consumption and low cost, not much different from the ARM processors we see in portable devices today, really. The Apple Newton was shipping too, and it had an operating system that would not have looked out of place in modern hardware. Plus the original Palm Pilot was shipping, and the OS there hasn't changed much in that time.

As the ARM was shipping in hardware in those days, a full set of support hardware and software was available, Digital was licensing the technology in order to develop the StrongARM (1995/6 for the 200Mhz version IIRC - got a Palm on my desk that's powered by one of those). ARM didn't have quite the same profile in embedded systems markets in those days, but they were well aware of the potential of their CPU: the ARM6 was the first CPU they specifically designed for embedded applications.

So no, the hardware was *NOT* the limiting factor. The main limiting factor was the will to make the devices, especially as the (ARM6 powered) Newton was not exactly setting the world on fire.

See Here [greenend.org.uk] for example, discussing the ARM6 core - in 1991!

I bet that calculator is powered by an ARM7/8. A direct descendant of a processor available in quantity 10 years ago, not that much faster, and it wasn't the only one around.

Re:slashbot (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665668)

UK company called Psion had portable computing, including word processing, scheduler, database and a programming language with a keyboard you could actually type on in the early 1990s (Psion3 in 1991). They used Flashdisks for portable storage and you could even get modems for them to fax with and, if you connected them to a PC/MAC there were printer drivers to allow the Psion to print and just use the PC as a spooler. I used to use terminal softwatre on my Amiga to communicate and I could swap files between the Psion and my Miggy

This device was pocket sized, heavy but not as bad as the Jornada 620/720 and used two "AA" batteries with a watch battery for backup.

History of Psion here
http://3lib.ukonline.co.uk/historyofpsion.ht m

Re:slashbot (4, Interesting)

Xenna (37238) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665672)

The current Palm-brain washed crowd seem to forget we had powerful PDA devices 10 years ago as well. In fact I bought an Intel 80186 based HP 100 LX palmtop 10 years ago that had all the power of an IBM PC + a bunch of very good PIM applications. Also don't forget the Psion devices that were very popular back then.

Palmtop history [palmtoppaper.com]

I now own a Sony Clie TG50 but I must say its PIM features are still not quite as good as that old HP (BTW: I still have it and it *still* works for about two weeks on a pair of AA batteries).

Of course doing e-mail and browsing with it was a real pain but I remember plugging it in in a Tokyo phonebooth to mail home with Compuserve.

I got a 10MB PCMCIA flashcard (not compact!) for it that cost me $500.

Also I remember beta-testing a hotsync type of application for a company called Palm software. I've always wondered if they took that hotsync technology and went on to make the Palm devices...

Regards,
Xenna

Re:slashbot (4, Interesting)

RedBear (207369) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665676)

Please explain how pocket, portable computing would have been possible even ten years ago.

I'll tell you how it was possible. I used to own one. [computercloset.org] The Dauphin DTR-1. It wasn't exactly a pocket computer but it was a very small tablet with a pen-based version of Windows, which even included a nifty handwriting recognition system *gasp*. This was in ~1994, and I got it out of a discount catalog, so it must have been at least a year old at the time. I held it in my hands and got a lot of use out of it, so I'd say it was perfectly possible to have portable computing 10 years ago. Guess what, the software back then didn't need nearly as much power as it does now. Full size desktop computers at the time ran fine with a 486SX/33 and 4MB of RAM.

I really miss that old computer. Had a 486SLC and a 40MB hard drive. Not much but it ran Windows 3.1 just fine. That thing was so cool. Everyone who saw it loved it. And I've always wondered why I've never seen anything like it in the intervening years. Well, this article about Microsoft and Go pretty much explains it. After Go Corp. collapsed, Microsoft dropped the whole PenWindows and portable computing project. I can only imagine what neat things we could have seen if Microsoft hadn't interfered as usual.

Slashdot FUD, my ass. This is real damage to market innovation caused by a real monopoly. Put that in yer pipe and smoke it.

Great Friend... (3, Insightful)

jimmyCarter (56088) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665534)

I tell all my Microsoft-using friends to fuck off with their self-made problems, too..

Surely there's a way you can express your displeasure with MS products to your friends with a little more tact?

Re:Great Friend... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665542)

What do you expect from a slashbot? M$ is teh sux!!!!!11

Re:Great Friend... (5, Funny)

cmacb (547347) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665647)

Well, I've tried telling my Windows support leaches that I don't remember much about Windows any more, but it doesn't seem to help. They go on and on anyway about all the things they have already tried and still they get this message on start-up that doesn't stay up long enough for them to read but tells them that something is missing.

I suppose I COULD give them outright bogus advice... "Try deleting some of your registry keys. Too many of those can cause problems like that." But then, that wouldn't be very nice would it? On the other hand, once their system was totally toast maybe they'd be more inclined to give a true manly operating system a try.

"Dat girly-man operating system should be a ting of de past" - Ahnuld

Re:The Microsoft Damage. (1)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665536)

There are a lot of 'high order' dreams in the computing science. The CS holy grail of pocket, portable computing is only now coming to fruition (thank you Palm), but has been on the cards since at least the 60's as a design reference/specification. Go could've given us this in the late 1980's, early 90's. Microsofts' machinations, however, prevented that from happening.

I really have to disagree with you there. What would a pocket pc look like in the early 90's ? How effective would it be ?
IMHO, it must have been limited on processor power and hardware more than the software. Besides, even as the article states, Go wasn't "going" until mid-1990 themselves, and even if they weren't held back by Microsoft they wouldn't have been able to release anything until 1 - 2 years later. Move your timescale a bit, and I agree more.

Re:The Microsoft Damage. (4, Insightful)

pubjames (468013) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665541)

I've contended for years that computing in general has been held back by Microsoft, not pushed forward, and this is an example of just how that has been the case.

I think the clearest demonstrator that Microsoft has held back innovation is PowerPoint. Because it is virtually installed as default on all business machines, everyone uses it. Microsoft has had little motivation to update it, so it still functions like a piece of software from ten years ago. But ask any graphic designer about it and they will free out about how impossibly sh*t it is for creating presentations, especially bearing in mind the amazing graphics computers are capable of these days. And yet where is the strong competition for PowerPoint? There isn't one, because it is impossible to compete with the kind of product bundling Microsoft can get away with.

Re:The Microsoft Damage. (2, Interesting)

Moonpie Madness (764217) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665666)

Man, you can always use macromedia flash and a web browser... that's what I do. hell even basic html and some good images are basically the same thing as powerpoint... and more compatible... Powerpoint is like AOL, its just very very easy to do but if you need a better presentation, do what the big companies do when they present to you, use a flashy sexy flash animation or alcohol, alcohol could sell a dead llama to a empty jar of butterranch

Re:The Microsoft Damage. (5, Insightful)

prat393 (757559) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665543)

It's very interesting that as a consequence of Microsoft's domination of the market, people give you very weird looks when you tell them you don't use windows. Then they calm down, an idea hits them, and they ask, "Oh, so you use Mac, then?" The weird look, however, wrests itself upward from its grave where the pallbearers were finally resting with (they thought) the satisfaction of a job well done, and climbs back on to the poor user's face when you're forced to disillusion them.

Using something other than windows is almost a stigma in some circles (circles the average slashdotter has little contact with, and avoids as much as possible), and it's the fact that most people only know and (ha!) understand how to use one OS that leads to this sorry state of affairs. A consuming fear of new ideas leads to stagnation, not innovation, and this fear is exactly what the Microsoft monopoly has led us into.

Re:The Microsoft Damage. (3, Funny)

pubjames (468013) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665665)

people give you very weird looks when you tell them you don't use windows

Yes. I had to suffer my sister lecuring me about how clever Microsoft was to "invent" Windows and the web (Internet Explorer == web), and she rolled her eyes in disbelief when I tried to explain to her that they didn't actually invent them.

Re:The Microsoft Damage. (1)

robbyjo (315601) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665548)

Ah, yes...

But remember that Microsoft also takes an important role on enabling joe6pack to use computers. Also, Microsoft research has contributed quite a lot to scientific community...

Re:The Microsoft Damage. (1)

jimhill (7277) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665608)

Yes, Microsoft takes an important role in enabling joe6pack to use computers. And given that joe6pack uses them to click on malware attachments and get himself pwn3d, perhaps it would be better if Microsoft hadn't "helped" so much. Heck, even a minor hurdle like installation and configuration of Trumpet Winsock to get online would cut down the riffraff by at least two orders of magnitude.

Re:The Microsoft Damage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665572)

I tell all my Microsoft-using friends to fuck off with their self-made problems, too, and get real operating systems, from real software companies ... and most of them do.

I sure that it must be your effervescent personality that wins them over...

Re:The Microsoft Damage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665673)

I sure that it must be your effervescent personality that wins them over...

How much you want to bet that you're a chick?

MOD PARENT -1, FUCKING IDIOT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665610)

Parent says that we could have had PDA's in the 80's - thats more then twenty years ago. HELLO?!?! McFLY?!?! PC's were not that affordable back then - much less low power processers with LCD Screens.

The parent is clearly a fucking inbred retard

Re:The Microsoft Damage. (1, Insightful)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665634)

"I've contended for years that computing in general has been held back by Microsoft, not pushed forward, and this is an example of just how that has been the case."

Yeah, never mind that Windows gave computers some much needed unity. Never mind that computer ownership skyrocketed after Windows 95 came out. Never mind that nearly every household has a computer in it, now. Microsoft held back computing. Anybody remember the Commodore days? Having a computer was like driving a moped.

$1.5 billion..... (5, Interesting)

phillk6751 (654352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665478)

The new lawsuit, which contends that Microsoft overcharged Minnesota customers from 1994 to 2001, seeks almost $500 million from the company. If the company, based in Redmond, Wash., loses, it could also be forced to pay triple that amount under Minnesota state law.
Looks like if Microsoft looses this case a fine of $1.5B would be imposed....THIS is the case Microsoft should be worried about, not the one from EU. Or do they think they can get away with this lawsuit?

Re:$1.5 billion..... (2, Insightful)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665507)

In the EU they may be forced to exclude Windows Media Player from the operating system in addition to heavy fines. I think they should be worried about both.

Re:$1.5 billion..... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665511)

No, with more than $50 billion in the bank you shouldn't be to afraid. However you should be afraid if the reason for having this kind of money in the bank, that is, not giving information to your competitors about how servers and the desktops interact and bundling your own products with your operating system in order to force competitors out of the market, is attacked, as it is in the European Case.

Re:$1.5 billion..... (1)

ChrisTaylor2904 (553656) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665512)

The EU settlement is, AFAIK, a cash sum. Since the likely outcome for this case will be for that $1.5bn to be in the form of Windows discount vouchers, I wouldn't think they'll be too bothered.

Re:$1.5 billion..... (1)

surprise_audit (575743) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665592)

Would it be possible for the judge to levy a fine and insist that MS writes out a check, instead of simply printing their own money in the form of "discounts"?? After all, I though the point of 3x damages was to make the offender think twice about doing it again. If they can just print off vouchers in the sure and certain knowledge that: a) they won't all ever get used; and b) those that are used extend the monopoly, it doesn't really hurt them.

Re:$1.5 billion..... (1)

jobbegea (748685) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665642)

Interestingly the fine is in . I am wondering if postponing paying up will make the amount in $ higher

Re:$1.5 billion..... (5, Insightful)

James Durie (1426) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665597)

The case in the EU isn't really about the money.
If the fine were the only issue microsoft would have paid it and said "sorry we wont do it again" before going off and doing it again.

The main issue in the EU case and the reason Microsoft is going to appeal it is control.

Making Microsoft remove media player (and who knows maybe others will happen later).
Making them provide *complete* specs such that other software companies can make totally compatible products.

Those are the real issues. Efforts to control microsofts future not make them pay for wrong-doings in the past.

The best thing that could come out of the EU case is the interoperability thing. Imagine if you could choose your html renderer and it slots itself into place so perfectly that anywher IE was used before your choice of renederer gets used now.

How about an NTFS implementation for Linux with complete read/write compatibility.

How about open office reading/writing all of Office's document formats perfectly.

That is what microsoft is scared of.

Media BS (1, Interesting)

jag164 (309858) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665481)

Consider the author and the source of the article. First, the NYTimes now has a history of embellishing and a keeping lying journalist n the payroll. Second, Markoff is the cat who made up stories about Mitnik breaking into NASA and other cracks and phreaks that Mitnik whole heartedly denies. Plus the jackass sold his soul to a book on Mitnik (a poorly written book at that). Now though many of you hate MS, consider the source to this story and take it with a grain of salt.

Re:Media BS (-1, Redundant)

prat393 (757559) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665551)

Hell, we take EVERYTHING with a grain of salt. At least we're not watching Fox News.

"A fair and balanced look at subjugation of the masses."

News snippet (-1, Redundant)

g-to-the-o-to-the-g (705721) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665484)

Here is an actual account from one reporter's experience at Microsoft after news of these documents getting leaked:

"Hi Tom, I'm reporting live from Redmond WA, and here with me is Paul who works in our favourite software giant's shredding department. So Paul, now that your employment has been terminated, what do you plan on doing?"

"I heard they're hiring in India."

"Well folks, thanks for tuning in. Until next time, I'm Jimbo with your live report.

According to sources, Microsoft still has a 90% marketshare.

But... (3, Interesting)

robbyjo (315601) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665486)

Back then in June 1990 (as the date of the letter), Microsoft wasn't a monopoly yet, right? So, the anti-trust trial cannot use this as an evidence against them....

I would say that this may lead to anti-competitive lawsuit... (btw, is such lawsuit allowable in the USA?) And of course, as usual, IANAL...

Re:But... (2, Interesting)

surprise_audit (575743) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665523)

IANAL either, but is this something that should have been disclosed in the federal antitrust lawsuit?? If so, how much trouble are they in for not disclosing them??

Re:But... (4, Informative)

runderwo (609077) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665529)

Attempting to gain a monopoly in a market is also an antitrust crime under the Sherman Act. Abusing a monopoly one has already gained is wholly separate from that.

Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding $10,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, $350,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding three years, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.

microsoft abuses power (1)

Moonpie Madness (764217) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665678)

but what monopoly? i see macs, i see red hats, i see real players and firebirds they are dominant, but in what way am I even inconvienienced for avoiding ms? not that ms isnt culpible for its crimes, but thanks to creative and intelligent and bored middle class programmers, we finally are able to overcome and avoide monopolies.... or im just a moron

Re:But... (3, Informative)

Gadzuko (712568) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665535)

It's quite essential for the prosecution to show intent to attain a monopoly on Microsoft's part, which can only be done with this kind of evidence. By your logic, evidence in a murder trial establishing a motive would be thrown out, as the defendant was not yet a murderer at the time.

what is going to happen (0)

uv_light (750273) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665492)

from what I can see, MS is trying to make money, while other people try to sue them (again and again). very soon their product need to raise to cover their cost, at the end, the general public will have to pay more for the product. Is it a good thing? we don't know yet... it could cause more diversity on OS when pepole start thinking about other less expensive option. :)

I'm a little suspicious... (2, Insightful)

ewe2 (47163) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665496)

... after all it's a Markoff article.

So does this mean he... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665532)

... made it all up, including this:

The plaintiffs contend the new documents show that Microsoft violated nondisclosure agreements with Go, and then used that information to build PenWindows, a competitor to Go's PenPoint operating system. The documents included Microsoft's internal e-mail messages showing that it had detailed knowledge of Go's product plans.

and this:

Shortly after the letter was written, according to Mr. Kaplan, Intel reduced its planned investment in Go from $10 million to $2 million, and stipulated the investment be kept a secret.

and this:

In late 1993, Go was sold to AT&T where it was ultimately merged into the company's portable computer subsidiary. In 1994 the phone company shut down the effort in portable computing. Three months later Microsoft canceled its PenWindows project.

I kind of doubt Markoff did make all this up. Ignore the rest of the article, these facts makes one think, perhaps M$ is targeting all its potential competitors and burying them before any competition actually takes place?

If only GO Penpoint software was open-sourced... (5, Interesting)

toesate (652111) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665499)


If GO Penpoint software was open-sourced 14 years ago... as an attempt to counter Windows H agression...

I wonder what would the landscape of mobile computing be like today?

Re:If only GO Penpoint software was open-sourced.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665505)

Pretty lousy. GO used "inkblot" style handwriting recognition, and wasn't very good at it.

Microsoft Crimes (5, Insightful)

amigoro (761348) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665502)

From Analysing of the NY Times article: a letter in which Bill Gates, Microsoft's chairman, the chief executive of Intel at the time, that any support given to the Go Corporation,would be considered an aggressive move against Microsoft.
If this is not anti-competitive, then what is?

Microsoft violated a signed secrecy agreement with Go and showed that Microsoft possessed technical documents from Go that it should not have had access to.
Industrial Espionage.

Microsoft violated nondisclosure agreements with Go, and then used that information to build PenWindows, a competitor to Go's PenPoint operating system.
GO has loyalty rights for PenWindows. GO should sue PenWindows licensee's individually. This is what Microsoft is trying to do to Linux users through SCO. GO has more legal grounds to stand on that SCO.

Shortly after the letter was written, Intel reduced its planned investment in Go from $10 million to $2 million
Intel was held to ransom, and they paid it.

The advice read in part that the focus should be shifted from "killing the competitor" to "providing a better solution to the customer's problems."
So they did believe in Killing Competition. A tiger never changes its stripes.

I think some of these allegations could ammount to criminal offences. I do hope Mr. Gates does a time in a cell with No Windows

Moderate this comment
Negative: Offtopic [mithuro.com] Flamebait [mithuro.com] Troll [mithuro.com] Redundant [mithuro.com]
Positive: Insightful [mithuro.com] Interesting [mithuro.com] Informative [mithuro.com] Funny [mithuro.com]

MOD SPAMMING PARENT DOWN! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665589)

Sir, why do you need to post nine links to your tard website [mithuro.com] in one post? Is it so that you can get more opportunities to rake in Google ad clicks?

Re:MOD SPAMMING PARENT DOWN! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665598)

You don't HAVE to click the links, ya know. I have more faith in mithur.com mod score than on the /. one.

spin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665596)

While I don't think anyone will deny Microsoft is guilty of non-competitive behavior, there is certainly some spin on the part of the author regarding this story. The quote doesn't say "this is agressive and we'll come back at ya," but it says, somewhat sensibly, that Intel would weaken the i386 platform by dividing its support between Microsoft and Go. I wouldn't use this as any evidence for non-competitive behavior.

There's plenty of that all over the place, it's just a question of whether 500,000,000 Microsoft users give a damn.

Come up with an argument that Microsoft is holding back the floodgates of technology and then you'll see some grumbling. Replace them with a superior alternative and they will become obsolete by definition.

I don't think Linux is successful because it is technically special. But it is more immune to Microsoft's monopoly powers than closed-source efforts. If Microsoft didn't exist perhaps we'd have many snazzy OS's out there and computers would resemble video game consoles more than computers. If Microsoft didn't snuff out these alternatives we wouldn't care about smelly hippies and free software.

Re:Microsoft Crimes (1)

spacefight (577141) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665631)

Ah man...

Re:Microsoft Crimes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665655)

Do you see that most of his comments get +5 interesting or informative? He's the new god of the geek world. I am off to build him an altar.

Login or Google link for story (1, Informative)

Anubis333 (103791) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665506)

I was going to point to the Google link [nytimes.com] of the story, as I'm some people will do.
But also remember the login/pass: slashdot1234/slashdot1234 to quickly log into a slashdot NY Times acct, which beats searching google for the other...

PenWindows? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8665508)

Maybe it's a bit before my time, but does anyone remember anything about PenWindows at all?

Was it renamed Windows CE in a later life?
Or was it just another MS experiment?

MS word.doc (2, Funny)

ratfynk (456467) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665520)

I just wonder if there are MS word docs out there ready to reveal more about the evil empire. It would only be fitting if Intel and IBM leaked some old word.docs from Redmond.... naw Microsoft couldn't be that stupid.

A simple solution (5, Funny)

dodgyville (660660) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665524)

Microsoft would not leak so many embarrassing documents if they never wrote anything down. But, I hear you say, surely people will just record what they say and leak the recordings. Well, not if they conduct all their business in mime. So that is my suggestion. Microsoft should do everything by mime.

-

Re:A simple solution (1)

apdt (575306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665567)

Yes, but if you do it all in mime, you back to email, and that will be leaked.....

I'm sorry, that was a truly awfull joke...

Re:A simple solution (2, Funny)

Too Much Noise (755847) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665581)

and the app that will open the application/ms-mime files will show Ballmer frantically dancing his mime-encoded message on your desktop.

Can't wait for it to happen ... a Mozilla plugin in linux too, please ^_^

Re:A simple solution (1)

damgx (132688) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665585)

How would that work?

Didn't you see the Monkey boy [only4gurus.com] dance video?

Re:A simple solution (3, Funny)

prockcore (543967) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665613)

So that is my suggestion. Microsoft should do everything by mime.

text/funny

embarrassing! (-1, Redundant)

dncsky1530 (711564) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665528)

Yes this is ONE of microsofts most embarrassing moments however this would also make the list [bbc.co.uk]
even includes embarrassing photo.

pirates of silicon valley (1)

dncsky1530 (711564) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665538)

If this is embarrassing then what does bill gates think of the scene in pirates of silicon valley [alt.tnt.tv] when he gets high and steals a steamroller.

Go (5, Interesting)

damian (2473) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665566)

It is too bad that the Go Penpoint OS never made it. In my opinion it was a very nice system and well designed. The Apple Newton came close, but not quite.

I read the book "The Power of Penpoint"
by Robert Carr, Dan Shafer but never had one of their computers myself (they are pretty rare in Europe). I nearly bought one on ebay recently though.

Some images: http://www.ojisan.com/penpoint/index.shtml [ojisan.com]

Microsoft might stolen IP (3, Insightful)

goatan (673464) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665600)

the plaintiffs contend the new documents show that Microsoft violated nondisclosure agreements with Go, and then used that information to build PenWindows, a competitor to Go's PenPoint operating system. The documents included Microsoft's internal e-mail messages showing that it had detailed knowledge of Go's product plans.

Every time Microsoft goes on about piracy hurting them damaging innovation etc they should be reminded of this that they are IP thieves themselves and if SCO can ask for $1million from IBM then what can the former executives of Go sue Microsoft for? All hypothetical of course the documents have yet to prove this is the case.

Not relevant... (4, Funny)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 10 years ago | (#8665659)

From the article:

A Microsoft spokeswoman said that many of these newly disclosed documents were not relevant to the trial, which focuses on Microsoft pricing actions.

Oh, of course, sorry. Yes, these documents aren't relevant for the current trial, so we should just ignore them completely and pretend they don't exist.

"These are not the documents you are looking for..."

Jedidiah.
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