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Founder of Go Computer, Inc. sues Microsoft

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the no-such-thing-as-a-statute-of-limitations dept.

The Courts 370

wantobe writes "From Yahoo! News 'Microsoft saw Go's PC operating system as a serious threat to its operating system monopoly and took swift covert action to 'kill' it just as it did the Netscape/Sun Java threat to its monopoly," according to Go's private action in federal court. ' Are Kaplan's complaints warranted, or is he just taking advantage of some recent Microsoft court losses and trying to get his cut? "

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370 comments

You know what'd be nice...? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12994743)

If slashdot breaks, can you at least put up a Taco JE stating "Slashdot experiencing problems today... should be fixed and running normally now?"

It'd also be nice if you guys had a testing and staging computer isntead of just pushing coding into the live server...

Re:You know what'd be nice...? (-1, Offtopic)

$mooth (855695) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994757)

shuddup yo' face

Re:You know what'd be nice...? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12994856)

lmfao

Yeah mr, stfu, n00b ;P

(j/k)

Re:You know what'd be nice...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12994766)

All in all I think they do a pretty good job of keeping the system running. There are plenty of other things they do or don't do to bitch about.

Re:You know what'd be nice...? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12994789)

What are you smoking? Slashdot goes down more than a las vegas hooker.

Re:You know what'd be nice...? (1)

warbital (897641) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994838)

Have you ever thought that it might be due to overuse? Servers do get overloaded after all. You obviously have no clue how difficult system management is so you shouldn't be talking.

Re:You know what'd be nice...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12994874)

Um I actually run a server farm for a living. We have paying customers so we are expected to have as near 100% uptime as humanly possible.

Slashdot is just utter shit. They have paying customers but they can't manage to catch dupes or keep the server running. Being overloaded is not an excuse - use better code (Slashcode is terrible shit that is inefficent) or bring more servers in.

I would go back and say YOU obviously have no clue about system management and should shut your fucking ignorant loudmouth up before you embarass yourself more.

Go soil yourself, retard.

Joke edit (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12994848)

Slashdot goes down more than your mom at a boner convention.

More funny.

Re:Joke edit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12994984)

Dad? I thought the shrink told you to cut down on the harassment.

Re:You know what'd be nice...? (-1, Offtopic)

warbital (897641) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994776)

how does this have any relevance at all?

Re:You know what'd be nice...? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12994808)

what does your post have any relevance to anything at all?

ooh burned. hypocrite.

Re:You know what'd be nice...? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12994780)

that would be work. You see slashdot is all about getting by with the least amount of work possible. witness the refusal to fix the overrated moderation bug. if you get modded overrated, your post does not go to metamod. It took them forever to fix the stupid page widening bugs.

I used to subscribe because I liked the site, But the upkeep got so pathetic that I never bothered to renew my subscription. 503 errors all the time, broken moderation (see above).

Wow!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12994758)

Another lawsuit? How many times is GO going to sue Microsoft?

Kooks (2, Insightful)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994760)

Are Kaplan's complaints warranted, or is he just taking advantage of some recent Microsoft court losses and trying to get his cut?

Yup. This has been going on for a long time. Once a company becomes successful, kooks start coming out of the woodwork to sue them. It's starting to happen to Google too. Microsoft is an ideal victim for this, with their "unclean" history when it comes to other peoples' intellectual property. Microsoft would be well advised, if they haven't already, to have a strict regimen for ensuring that all code they release is really theirs. This is the only viable defense against these types of suits. This suit certainly won't be the last.

Re:Kooks (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12994819)

Gee, you're really breaking my heart.

Sniff.

Poor liddle Microsoft. Why won't all these 'kooks' just leave them alone! Leave them alone to carry out their long time company policy of IP theft and sleaze.

Re:Kooks (2, Insightful)

Pyrowolf (877012) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994860)

I think it's a little more than opportunism though. I mean, granted, waiting 20 years or what not is a little bit of a stretch, but A portion of the case hinges on the behavior of Microsoft's engineers after they had been given access to Go's technology under a nondisclosure agreement.

1. Gather information on product
2. Wait a few years for the company/product to completely flop
3. Bootstrap your exisiting OS to support features you're engineers have been squirrling away for 20 years
4. Feel the wrath of a company that has nothing more to run with but suing the Cash Cow for a piece of the pie they think they helped MS innovate, albeit indirectly.

Re:Kooks (2, Insightful)

rajafarian (49150) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994877)

Microsoft would be well advised, if they haven't already, to have a strict regimen for ensuring that all code they release is really theirs.

They don't have to do such thing when they can do the following:

1. Steal from other companies/Break Laws.
2. Sell products that break laws or include properties of others for A LOT of money.
3. Pay off gov't or company suing them.
4. Profit.
5. GOTO 1.

Re:Kooks (4, Interesting)

MooseByte (751829) | more than 8 years ago | (#12995012)


3. Pay off gov't or company suing them.
4. Profit.

With all the dirt that's coming up as one antitrust suit cascades into another though, I start to wonder just how long Step 4 will remain viable for MS. Especially after the US$850 million settlement with IBM (which only settled some of the claims there, IIRC).

To paraphrase a famous quote from a US Congressman, "A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you're talking about real money."

Karma's a bitch, and MS has bad karma by the cargo ship load to burn off.

Re:Kooks (5, Informative)

wiggles (30088) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994880)

If you had RTFA, you would see that this case has nothing to do with IP. Letters surfaced in a different lawsuit which proves beyond a doubt that Bill Gates himself asked Andy Grove not to invest in Go, and that Bill viewed any investment in Go as "Anti-Microsoft", in Billy's own words. Sounds pretty anti-competitive and collusive to me.

Re:Kooks (3, Insightful)

hotchai (72816) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994952)

For a detailed, albeit somewhat biased, story of Go, read Jerry Kaplan's book: "Startup : A Silicon Valley Adventure". It makes an interesting read, and in the book he even mentions that Microsoft was copying some of the interfaces and functionalities of PenPoint. Go apparently had discussions with Microsoft under NDA, and Jerry alleges that Microsoft stole their ideas and violated the NDA.

Amazon.com link to book: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0140 257314/qid=1120666767/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-707629 3-4464656?v=glance&s=books/ [amazon.com]

Re:Kooks (3, Insightful)

Bohnanza (523456) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994983)

Are Kaplan's complaints warranted, or is he just taking advantage of some recent Microsoft court losses and trying to get his cut?

Both could be true.

Re:Kooks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12995030)

Microsoft would be well advised, if they haven't already, to have a strict regimen for ensuring that all code they release is really theirs. This is the only viable defense against these types of suits.

Waitasecond... so... you're telling me that the only viable defense against lawsuits is... TO NOT BREAK THE LAW?!?!?

Does anybody else know about this?

Re:Kooks (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#12995036)

Yup. This has been going on for a long time. Once a company becomes successful, kooks start coming out of the woodwork to sue them.

SPECIALLY if the company becomes more successful by crushing OTHER companies. DR-DOS, anyone?

Re:Kooks (5, Informative)

blamanj (253811) | more than 8 years ago | (#12995039)

Kaplan is hardly a kook [stanford.edu]. He is claiming that new information has come out in the recent antitrust trials, in particular, that Gates pushed Intel into dropping plans to invest [mercurynews.com] in Go.

``I guess I've made it very clear that we view an Intel investment in Go as an anti-Microsoft move, both because Go competes with our systems software and because we think it will weaken the 386 PC standard. . . I'm asking you not to make any investment in Go Corporation,''

In his book, Startup, Kaplan describes how they shared trade secrets with Microsoft, something they were not keen on doing, but Microsoft promised to set a "Chinese wall" between their app division and the OS division, so only the applications people would know and that they'd be able to produce software in support of Go. In this excerpt from Startup, Kaplan details how Microsoft's app division made us of confidential information [amazon.com] Go had shared with them to create Pen Windows, which, even as vapourware, effectively killed Go.

Re:Kooks (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 8 years ago | (#12995051)

When they want to do that, they will have to recode all their software. There is virtually no code and/or ideas that Microsoft didn't steal or buy from other company's

Looking for a fast buck? (2, Interesting)

Will Stewart (892360) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994761)

It looks like opportunism to me. According to the lawsuit, Gates wrote in a memo, "guess I've made it clear that we view an Intel investment in Go as an anti-Microsoft move, I am asking you not to make any investment in Go." That doesn't seem like enough to dig up a 20 year old case, especially since the "grandfather clause" for those types of cases is 5 years.

I felt a great disturbance in the Force (-1, Offtopic)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994770)

As if millions of Nerds cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced.
-everphilski-

Will this be like the Be, Inc. lawsuit? (5, Interesting)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994772)

Several years back Be, Inc., developers of BeOS, launched a similar lawsuit against Microsoft. While it was touted as the case that would demolish Microsoft, I believe they ended up settling. So I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a repeat in this situation.

Re:Will this be like the Be, Inc. lawsuit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12994932)

While it was touted as the case that would demolish Microsoft, I believe they ended up settling.

Of course they settled because that's exactly what everyone wants. Why bother to go to court and spend money when you can stay out of court and *make* money?

None of these companies want "justice" or to stop Microsoft. They just want a piece of the pie that is getting easier and easier to come by.

Re:Will this be like the Be, Inc. lawsuit? (4, Informative)

bmalnad (808193) | more than 8 years ago | (#12995150)

They settled for about 23 million dollars. Read about it here [beincorporated.com].

Sounds like a bunch of BS (1, Interesting)

khoury.brazil (882366) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994781)

I hate MS as much as the next guy but this sounds like a person who bought the company to sue and make some serious cash on the curtails of other companies legit claims against Microsoft. And on top of it all its a 20 year old claim. Where was the litigation 18, 17 or even 15 years ago?

Re:Sounds like a bunch of BS (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994916)

The fact was not known then. The email in question was produced in discovery in the Microsoft Anti Trust case.

RTFA (2, Informative)

Udo Schmitz (738216) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994926)

" a person who bought the company to sue"

Could you at least read the very first paragraph of TFA?

"The founder of Go Computer, a pioneer of pen-based computing that was once seen as a possible alternative to Microsoft Corp.'s operating systems, filed antitrust lawsuits against Microsoft last week"

Re:RTFA (1)

CaymanIslandCarpedie (868408) | more than 8 years ago | (#12995032)

I think he did. In fact I'm guessing he read all the way down to this:

Lucent sold Go Computer Inc. and its claims to Kaplan three months ago in April 2005

Did you?

Nice try (1)

Udo Schmitz (738216) | more than 8 years ago | (#12995186)

As a matter of fact I didn't only read this article but many more since July 1st, as this wasn't exactly breaking news, but after all this is /. :)

The guy said he was preparing to sue since 20 years, but only now was able to buy the shares back and getting the right to sue. AT&T or Lucent didn't feel like sueing MS for some reason or other.

Re:RTFA (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 8 years ago | (#12995189)

Or read even further in the article where it says:

Some of the claims made by Kaplan were detailed in a popular business memoir he published *** in 1995 *** detailing the rise and fall of his company entitled "Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure."

Hey, this is fun!

Is this the war cry!? (0)

LegendOfLink (574790) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994785)

Microsoft saw Go's PC operating system as a serious threat to its operating system monopoly and took swift covert action to 'kill' it just as it did the Netscape/Sun Java threat to its monopoly

You know, I'm not an MS fan by any means, but please, that's gotta be the most over-used line in the universe! It would seem that any company that isn't doing so well decides to use the "let's sue the MS monopoly route" rather than trying to improve themselves by, oh I don't know, innovating!

Microsoft isn't a monopoly by any means. If you don't like it, get a Mac. Or, better yet, get Linux and quit complaining.

Re:Is this the war cry!? (2, Insightful)

Chmarr (18662) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994821)

That might well be true... however...

If Microsoft DID use unfair monopolostic practises, then EVERY company that commercially released software that in ANY way overlapped with Microsoft's business would have been adversely affected by Microsoft's illegal/unethical practises, even if it was in the minutest way.

So, yes... let people sue Microsoft. There has to be SOME downsite for being an illegal monopolist.

(And, never let it be said, now, that Microsoft totally weaseled out of 'that' court decision :)

Re:Is this the war cry!? (-1, Troll)

ad0gg (594412) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994998)

That case was bunk. Everyone knows it, how can Microsoft be a Monolopy when I can go out an buy an Apple? I love how people redefined monolopy they meaning monolopy. I love how slashdot posts articles about governement/companies/schools switching away from Microsoft yet slashbotters still call Micrsoft a monolopy. I'm simply amazed.

Re:Is this the war cry!? (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 8 years ago | (#12995146)

how can Microsoft be a Monolopy when I can go out an buy an Apple?

Apple sells computers. Sun Sells computers. IBM sells services. Microsoft sells desktop operating systems. Apple would go out of business in 5 years if they dropped their hardware business and tried to survive making and selling just an OS. MS is a monopoly.

Re:Is this the war cry!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12995155)

I love how slashdot posts articles about governement/companies/schools switching away from Microsoft yet slashbotters still call Micrsoft a monolopy. I'm simply amazed.

Was this before or after Microsoft was convicted? I think beforehand, an entire government dropping microsoft would have been amazing and unexpected.

Re:Is this the war cry!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12995157)

What the hell is a "monolopy"?

They have been legally found to be a monopoly. (3, Funny)

khasim (1285) | more than 8 years ago | (#12995161)

That case was bunk.
Well, you have the right to claim that.
Everyone knows it, how can Microsoft be a Monolopy when I can go out an buy an Apple?
Simple. Not "everyone" gets their understanding of monopolies from a Parker Bros. board game.

This has been argued before. Simply put, it is not necessary for NO alternatives to be available for a monopoly to exist.

To phrase it without the double negatives ... it is possible for a company to have a monopoly even if there are alternative options available.
I love how slashdot posts articles about governement/companies/schools switching away from Microsoft yet slashbotters still call Micrsoft a monolopy. I'm simply amazed.
Again, that's because many of us understand what a "monopoly" is and understand that it does not mean that alternatives are not available.

Re:Is this the war cry!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12995167)

Okay TROLL, I'll bite

What part of convicted monopoly do you not understand?

Perhaps you should check out grocklaw and read up on the defence witnesses.

Re:Is this the war cry!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12994845)

Not a monopoly? They control 90%+ of the desktop market. Things must be different in the states, in the UK a company with over 25% of the market is legally a monopoly.

Re:Is this the war cry!? (1)

BungoMan85 (681447) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994950)

Main Entry: monopoly Pronunciation: m&-'nä-p&-lE Function: noun Inflected Form: plural -lies 1 : exclusive control of a particular market that is marked by the power to control prices and exclude competition and that esp. is developed willfully rather than as the result of superior products or skill --see also ANTITRUST Sherman Antitrust Act in the IMPORTANT LAWS section 2 : one that has a monopoly Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law, © 1996 Merriam-Webster, Inc.

Re:Is this the war cry!? (1)

BungoMan85 (681447) | more than 8 years ago | (#12995011)

In case you missed why I posted that it's because MS is not the exclusive provider of any kind of good or service nor have they ever been. There are dozens of alternatives.

Re:Is this the war cry!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12995046)

That's because you're a bunch of socialists. In the free world, government doesn't do everything it can to suppress business.

Re:Is this the war cry!? (1)

digidave (259925) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994948)

There is no monopoly for end-users, but there is if you're trying to enter Microsoft's market because Microsoft has a monopoly on OEMs. Microsoft penalizes Dell, HP, etc if they ship a competitors product instead of or as well as Microsoft's product.

OEMs have more freedom now thanks to the previous lawsuit. For a while they simply couldn't ship something like Linux with their systems or MS would pull Windows or not send them the new version of Windows (happened to IBM).

If MS does things like that, then they deserve to get sued. They should not lose a lawsuit simply because they have such a high market share.

Is too (3, Informative)

Udo Schmitz (738216) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994956)

Microsoft isn't a monopoly by any means."

Au contraire, it is officially [wikipedia.org] ("Judge Jackson issued his findings of fact on November 5, 1999 that Microsoft's dominance of the personal computer operating systems market constituted a monopoly.").

Not a Monopolist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12994990)

Microsoft isn't a monopoly by any means.

That's an odd claim, especially since they were convicted in court of illegally using their monopoly position.

Sort of hard to do without actually being a monopoly, hrm?

Not that actually being a monopoly is illegal - it's the use of that position to suppress others in that market through your monopoly that's illegal. You're still expected to compete, like everyone else.

he should sue (0, Troll)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994794)

"or is he just taking advantage of some recent Microsoft court losses and trying to get his cut? " Well, seems to me that is MS did take those steps against GO computers, then how is it "taking advantage"? If you had a business and for years you had money problems, and you later found out the business nextdoor was taking money from your safe, would you be taking advantage of him if you then sued?

New business model: (1, Redundant)

Hungus (585181) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994795)

1) Found Company
2) Sell company - stage 1 profit
3)Realise there is more money to be made by suing a former competitor
4) Buy failed company back
5) Sue Competitor
6) More Profit????

Timing? (5, Insightful)

teiresias (101481) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994796)

Does Go feel they have a better case now that tablet PCs are using pens as a means for control?

In the 1980's pen recognition wasn't what most people would call viable so perhaps this "swift covert action to 'kill' the Go PenPoint wasn't as villanous than. However now, I'm sure there are a few judges that probably use a tablet with stylus and will see PenPoint as a possibly OS in a more favorable light.

Tort Reform, Anyone? (1)

DanielMarkham (765899) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994799)

I don't think there is a defense for Microsoft. In the same week that Microsoft writes a big check to IBM, they get slapped with another suit. Draw your own conclusions about the merits of GO.
But the long and short of it is that it's going to be impossible for Microsoft to prevent these kinds of suits. They have something like sixty thousand employees, for cripes sake, how could they possibly make sure that each and every employee isn't infringing in some way on somebody's IP?
In a way, it's poetic justice. Microsoft has led the war on patenting the universe, now they're getting a little of their own medicine.

What Part Of Software Development is Outsourcable? [whattofix.com]

Re:Tort Reform, Anyone? (1)

RealityMogul (663835) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994900)

Because when you deal with partners like Intel and Compaq, the higher-ups know what's going on, if they aren't the ones doing the dealing themselves. It's not like some intern would be calling up other CEOs on his lunch break.

Re:Tort Reform, Anyone? (1)

DanielMarkham (765899) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994924)

Are you telling me that Ballmer and Gates know the details of every piece of communication that passes between Microsoft teams and partner teams? I doubt it. Most likely promises were made, or loose language led to inferences that just weren't true. Heck, I doubt if senior managers even know what's in the legal contracts -- that's probably delegated out to a platoon of lawyers.

Re:Tort Reform, Anyone? (1)

RealityMogul (663835) | more than 8 years ago | (#12995033)

We're talking about the late 80s. Microsoft did not have 60,000 employees at the time and I'm sure Gates was much more involved with partners back then.

I think I have a case too! (1, Funny)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994810)

A few times in the last 10 years, I wrote a few lines of code toward a new operating system. Each time, after thinking about Microsoft's monopoly and how they conspired so that people like me couldn't compete, I gave up.

I'll send them a bill and follow it up with a lawsuit if they don't pay it.

Pen-based computing is a fairly recent phenomenon (2)

ReformedExCon (897248) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994814)

I'm not saying that the technology didn't exist 20 years ago when Go was making their Pen-based computer. However, the computing world back then didn't take it seriously, and until the PalmPilot III was released less than 10 years ago, using a stylus was simply not a reasonable way to enter data into a computer.

20 years ago, there was no mobile computing world to speak of, and Microsoft's monopoly did not extend into that field at all. Their first real forays into the mobile computing world, with the Casio Aladdin and eventually the Cassiopeia, weren't even pen-based, as such. They were more like the original HVGA HPCs.

I don't feel this case has any merit. Microsoft's power did not extend to the area that Go contends they were forced out of. And when someone (Palm) serious came along with a viable mobile operating system, Microsoft was caught way off guard and stumbled quite a bit.

Re:Pen-based computing is a fairly recent phenomen (1)

Udo Schmitz (738216) | more than 8 years ago | (#12995053)

"20 years ago, there was no mobile computing world to speak of, and Microsoft's monopoly did not extend into that field at all."

Maybe, if Microsoft hadn't abused its market power there would have been more progress in the field of personal computing. Ever looked at it this way? It always amazes me how little fantasy some people have when it comes to computing. Maybe that explains why Windows users are so content with their working environment and why they think of the promised new features that Longhorn is told to bring them, as if it were the best since sliced bread. Yeah, I'm getting to sound somewhat trollish here, but I'm pretty serious.

give me a break... (3, Interesting)

rwven (663186) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994815)

This was like 20 years ago... Why is he just now pressing charges? It looks like someone is low on cash so they thought getting on the "Sue MS" bandwagon was a good idea.

True: I do believe that if MS did do wrong, it should have it's tail whuped.

Also True: The extremely late timing of this looks very suspicious. It looks more like he's grasping at financial straws...

Because he just regained his company (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#12995020)

Because he sold the company and just got it back 3 months ago. It became part of Lucent.
But yea, IMO, the whole thing is rotten. The reason Go flopped wasnt because of MS, it was because pen-based computing wasn't popular back then. It really isn't all that popular now. I mean yea we have Palm Pilots and what not; but it looked like Go was aiming at the comptuer market anyways and not necessarily the portable market...
-everphilski-

Re:give me a break... (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#12995110)

This was like 20 years ago... Why is he just now pressing charges? It looks like someone is low on cash so they thought getting on the "Sue MS" bandwagon was a good idea.

Yeah, 1999 would have been the best time to sue them as that's when they were convicted of being a monopoly.

Not surprised (0, Offtopic)

zymano (581466) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994841)

If Mickeysoft did do it then they should pay.

It was standard procedure from them. The government didn't do anything under the do-nothing Republicans.

Which brings up the Justice departments ridiculous penalty or slap on the hand . Why didn't anyone mention to the DOJ that Mickeysoft should release 'driver source code'.Hardware makers should have been forced to release technical details or not use Mickeysoft's OS. Anything that dealt with 'lockin' should be opened.

Also breaking the OEM and MSFT monopoly would have been a nice idea. So you would have to buy the 'expensive' software off the shelf. That might have made people think twice about buying it.

Nope.

Re:Not surprised (0, Troll)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994955)

Why didn't anyone mention to the DOJ that Mickeysoft should release 'driver source code'.

It's worth noting that the only platform that "requires driver source code" is Linux - everyone else's is stable enough such that hardware vendors can write their own drivers and not have to worry about the next sub-minor kernel revision breaking them.

Re:Not surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12995057)

Based on the quality of your post, I'm guessing you're about 7 years old. Am I close?

OEM and MSFT (2, Interesting)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#12995059)

Also breaking the OEM and MSFT monopoly would have been a nice idea. So you would have to buy the 'expensive' software off the shelf. That might have made people think twice about buying it.

That'd kinda be like selling appliances without power cords. Make people decide what source of power they want. I mean people could choose - wall sockets, solar power, nuclear reactor in their basement, hampster wheel, whatever. But you'd probably wind up with a lot of people who'd fry themselves trying to attach the default power method anyways, just like you would probably wind up with a bunch of people buying Microsoft products anyways. It's just not worth the trouble.
-everphilski-

American hero James Stockdale dies (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12994842)

Shame we do not have men like this anymore... just whining Slashdot asshats

"James Stockdale, Perot Running Mate, Dies 30 minutes ago

Retired Vice Adm. James Stockdale, Ross Perot's 1992 presidential running mate who received the Medal of Honor after enduring 7 1/2 years in a North Vietnamese prison, died Tuesday. He was 81.

The Navy did not provide a cause of death but said he had suffered from Alzheimer's disease. He died at his home in Coronado.

In the 1992 presidential election, Stockdale became independent candidate Perot's vice presidential running mate, initially as a stand-in on the ticket but later as the candidate.

Stockdale gave a stumbling performance in the nationally televised vice-presidential debate against Dan Quayle and Al Gore and later said he didn't feel comfortable in the public eye.

"Who am I? Why am I here?" he asked rhetorically in his opening statement. Toward the end, he asked the moderator to repeat a question, saying, "I didn't have my hearing aid turned on."

During the Vietnam War, Stockdale was a Navy fighter pilot based on the USS Oriskany and flew 201 missions before he was shot down on Sept. 9, 1965. He became the highest-ranking naval officer captured during the war, the Navy said.

Stockdale was taken to Hoa Lo Prison, known as the "Hanoi Hilton." His shoulders were wrenched from their sockets, his leg had been shattered by angry villagers and a torturer, and his back was broken. But he refused to capitulate.

Rather than allow himself to be used in a propaganda film, Stockdale smashed his face into a pulp with a mahogany stool.

"My only hope was to disfigure myself," Stockdale wrote in his 1984 autobiography "In Love and War." The ploy worked, but he spent the next two years in leg irons.

After Ho Chi Minh's death, he broke a glass pane in an interrogation room and slashed his wrists until he passed out in his own blood. After that, captors relented in their harsh treatment of him and his fellow prisoners.

Stockdale spent four years in solitary confinement before his release in 1973.

He received 26 combat decorations, including the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest medal for valor, in 1976. The citation reads, "By his heroic action at great peril to himself, he earned the everlasting gratitude of his fellow prisoners and of his country."

He retired from the military in 1979, one of the most highly decorated officers in U.S. Navy history, and became president of the Citadel, a military college in South Carolina. He left in 1981 to become a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford.

Stockdale came to know Perot through Sybil Stockdale's work establishing an organization on behalf of families of prisoners held during the Vietnam War.

When Perot ran again in 1996 as the candidate of his Reform Party, Stockdale had rejoined the Republican Party.

He is survived by his wife and four sons."

Microsoft has a point... (2, Insightful)

kschawel (823163) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994843)

"Handwriting recognition had severe limitations in the late 1980's and early 1990's and no company that attempted pen computing was successful then," [Microsoft spokeswoman Stacy Drake] said.

Go was sold to AT&T Corp. in 1994, which closed the company in July of the same year. In November of 1994, Microsoft shut down its competing pen-computing effort, called PenWindows, which the suit alleges had largely existed to destroy Go.


Go was based on handwriting recognition. The technology was not very good in the early 90's and has only recently become usable. I realize that most of Slashdot never sides with Microsoft but in this case Microsoft only made a competing product that didn't even do very well itself. Just because Microsoft shut down their PenWindows division after Go was sold does not mean that it existed to destroy Go. This was 1994! Handwriting recognition was horrible! -Keith

Re:Microsoft has a point... (4, Interesting)

szo (7842) | more than 8 years ago | (#12995062)

Even if the technology was not there in '94, Go was a company comitted to develop it. May or may not they would suceeded with it by let's say '96, if they had the chance. Instead, I think something like this happened:

1, Go starts do develop the technology.
2, Need money, so make publicity, attract investors.
3, MS smells competition, announces similar product
4, investors think: why should I invest in Go, when MS will soon have the same product (competing with MS never good!), which (according to MS) will be as good as or better, run on windows, thus instantly have all win application, integrated, etc, you know the MS drill about a new product.
5, Without money, Go folds.
6, MS suddenly realizes that the handwriting is not so hot.
7, The handwriting development stops for years, the world is set back in this field by about 5 years.

MS did something illegal? Will be hard to prove. But they were well avare that anything they say, people listen, and abused their position.

Szo

Re:Microsoft has a point... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12995074)

"This was 1994! Handwriting recognition was horrible!"

This statement is simply untrue. A little thing called "Newton" was making significant in-roads into the handwriting recognition space.

And by the way,

"Just because Microsoft shut down their PenWindows division after Go was sold does not mean that it existed to destroy Go.",

how naive are you? This is exactly the way Microsoft works.

"Microsoft only made a competing product that didn't even do very well itself."

I don't know if I even have to state the obvious but Microsoft are not innovators they simply Embrace, Extend, and Eliminate.

I remember PenPoint (1)

jockm (233372) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994849)

It was innovative, and had some interesting points (the developer documentation was well done). However I have to say that it wasn't a Windows Killer IMHO. While a better Pen OS than Windows for Pen Computing, the latter provided a better overall user experience and could run apps I already had. The programming interface to PenPoint struck me as cumbersome (though I never did any development for it).

Proposal (2, Interesting)

JerkyBoy (455854) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994851)

Reject any submission that ends with '?'. Makes the submission sound like a tabloid. Imagine an article in the NYT ending with a question mark. Doesn't make sense.

There's a difference? (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994857)

Are Kaplan's complaints warranted, or is he just taking advantage of some recent Microsoft court losses and trying to get his cut?

Considering that in a private antitrust action the only possible resolution is a cash settlement, I don't see the difference.

The only party in a position to change the competitive landscape (with either a behavioral or structural remedy) is the Department of Justice.

Oh, wait ...

If Microsoft had taken a hit in the shorts... (2, Interesting)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994859)

...for just a few more months and closed it in 95, then where would this suit be?

Of course, everyone ascribes to Microsoft the mastery of the mythical magical power of money, so therefore the only reason Microsoft would shut down an effort so soon after Go did and sold to AT&T would naturally be, mission accomplished. Not the very real reason that it was just not going to happen back in 1995 the way Go or Microsoft wanted.

Go is being a real opportunist and they need to be slapped down. The Linux world needs to understand that their derision for Microsoft doesn't change the fact that opportunistic lawsuits happen all the time. The SCO affair should make that abundantly clear. How long till some small distro outfit sues Red Hat or Novell? If there's merit, there's merit, but this doesn't smell like it and neither does SCO's actions and if things keep up like this, it is bad news for any IT company for the future.

I almost cried dupe (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12994888)

Until I realised I read this yesterday on Yahoo after I saw it on http://news.google.com/ [google.com]
This was reported yesterday Tue Jul 5, 4:33 PM ET

Between Dupes and old news stories sometimes I wonder why I even bother with /.

Kaplan wrote a book about it (1)

nubnub (795694) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994893)

Kaplan wrote a book Startup [amazon.com] that goes into detail about how Microsoft undermined his company. Read the book before taking the knee jerk reaction that everyone above has in saying that this is another guy trying to make a quick buck off of Microsoft.

Re:Kaplan wrote a book about it (1)

Kineticabstract (814395) | more than 8 years ago | (#12995085)

Read the book before taking the knee jerk reaction that everyone above has in saying that this is another guy trying to make a quick buck off of Microsoft.

So you're suggesting that I read the book of the guy who's trying to earn a quick buck off of M$ in order to understand why he thinks he has the right to earn the quick buck?

The above posts aren't knee-jerk reactions in this crowd. A knee-jerk reaction would be, "Yay, M$ is being sued again!!!"

This thing smells fishy, and just because the guy wrote a book defending his position doesn't make it smell any less.

Americans Have a Choice (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12994896)

If you don't like Windows, you can always buy Apple. The Mac is a great product that is compatible with Microsoft Office and runs on top of Unix.

Apple's phenomenal growth, and to a trivial extent Linux (based on market share), ensures that we have choice.

Which is it? Why can't it be both? (4, Insightful)

RealAlaskan (576404) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994898)

Are Kaplan's complaints warranted, or is he just taking advantage of some recent Microsoft court losses and trying to get his cut?

Why would we assume that those two are mutually exclusive?

Is there any doubt that MS would have behaved that way, if they really perceived GO to be a threat?

Is there any doubt that they would have behaved immorally and illegally if that's what it took to counter that threat to their monopoly?

Was there any reason for Kaplan to file a suit before there was a possibility of success?

I'd say there's a good chance that Kaplan is taking advantage of MS's recent court losses to get his cut ... the cut that he's warranted because MS wrongly did him out of it!

Not an "or" question (1)

evilpenguin (18720) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994944)

I don't think this is an "or" question. I think it clearly is both. IAMDNAL (most definitely not a lawyer ;-), but I think MS could argue that "it has been too long."

I wouldn't slam the plaintiff here, though. I suspect the majority of actions brought are "nuisance suits," intended to extract a "pound of justice" by the mere threat rather than cases intended for trial.

This is the judicial ecology. It's all part of the semi-free market. I'm a big fan of the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. The alternative is the good old days of range war. I can't say I'd be a fan of that.

Geez (1, Interesting)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 8 years ago | (#12994963)

Or maybe the Go operating system JUST SUCKED?? Naw, that couldn't be it. It has to be that handwriting recognition, which is barely usable even now, was miraculously good back in freaking 1987 and would have taken over the world if mean ol' Microsoft hadn't sent the blue helicopters.

Not to mention that Microsoft didn't hold nearly the power back in '87 that they do now. Windows took over the world because it was better than the DOS-shell alternatives (better meaning "more compatible with DOS", which is Microsoft's big thing the Did Right). I used a lot of these things. They all SUCKED compared to Windows 3.1, which was way, way faster. I even remember an X-based shell. God was that thing bad. HP had a DOS shell that was interesting, but had major problems.

People don't remember that there was a reason Microsoft won. They actually had a better product.

The only thing that came along that was better was OS/2, and IBM made the fatal mistake of making it incompatible with Win32 and Windows drivers (which meant no software). Microsoft learned that compatibility was everything; IBM didn't. I even recall that IBM shipped OS/2 and Win 3.1 as a dual-load for awhile. It defaulted to OS/2, and you actually had to go through some steps to delete OS/2 and install Win 3.1, and people STILL installed Win 3.1.

Re:Geez (4, Informative)

argent (18001) | more than 8 years ago | (#12995166)

People don't remember that there was a reason Microsoft won. They actually had a better product.

Where "better" is (as you note) defined as "more compatible with Microsoft's existing product". Where the competition was compatible, Microsoft changed their software to make it incompatible (this is not simply speculation, it's well documented by MS employees and in MS memos). Microsoft really DID have that kind of power to cripple a competing product back in 1987 (or the early '90s: Windows wasn't really usable until Windows 3.11 and the 386 came together).

But the key thing that you're missing is that the fact that "better" means "more compatible with DOS" means that Microsoft was starting the race at the finish line.

both, and that's OK (1)

cahiha (873942) | more than 8 years ago | (#12995061)

Are Kaplan's complaints warranted, or is he just taking advantage of some recent Microsoft court losses and trying to get his cut?

Kaplan's complaints are warranted, based on the history of Go. And now that Microsoft's conduct has been laid bare by other lawsuits, he is trying to take advantage of that, because it does make his case simpler: it has been demonstrated clearly that Microsoft has a pattern of anti-competitive behavior, and a lot of useful Microsoft-internal information has come to light.

MS & GO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12995064)

Taking advantage? Either a crime has been comitted or not. A crime is a crime, dipstick. The annoying part is that Microsoft has brainwashed(some might say trained) so many geeks that they seem to be reaching critical mass. Their constant claims of victimization on the part of MS is getting a little tiresome. I had one ASS come to our office and blame all our computer problems on the fact that we didn't exclusively use MS programs. He had taken no time to examine our system either. Typical idiot.

all the dirt on this and other misconduct (4, Informative)

a137035 (895166) | more than 8 years ago | (#12995172)

You can get all the dirt on this from the book "Barbarians Led By Bill Gates: Microsoft from the Inside - How the World's Richest Corporation Wields Its Power" [powells.com]. Here is the publisher's synopsis:
"Microsoft, a rather new corporation, may not have matured to the position where it understands how it should act with respect to the public interest."-U.S. District Judge Stanley Sporkin
Teamed with the daughter of one of Bill Gates's closest associates, thirteen-year Microsoft veteran Marlin Eller shows us what it was like at every step along Gates's route to world domination, making all that's been written before seem like a rough guess. If the Justice Department had Eller and Edstrom investigating the current-headline-making antitrust case, they would have on the record many of Microsoft's most respected developers directly contradicting the "authorized" version of events being presented in court. They would know the real scoop on how Windows was developed in the first place, shedding new light on the 1988 Apple v. Microsoft lawsuit over the alleged copying of the Mac. They would even know the real story of how Microsoft killed off Go Corporation, told for the first time by the man who did the deed, Marlin Eller himself.
Revealing the smoke-and-mirror deals, the palms greased to help launch a product that didn't exist, and the boneyard of once-thriving competitors targeted by the Gates juggernaut, this book demonstrates with often hilariously damning detail the Microsoft muddle that passes for strategic direction, offset by Gates's uncanny ability to come from behind to crush whoever's on top.

Pretty damning stuff.

Justified suit (4, Insightful)

ContractualObligatio (850987) | more than 8 years ago | (#12995177)

People, don't just RTFA, RTF book. If you read Jerry Kaplan's Start Up, you see that he was on the receiving end of Microsoft's illegal practices e.g. forcing OEMs to pay licenses even on machines that did not have Windows installed. Go was a real company, not some opportunistic "my business model is a lawsuit" bunch of asshats. For all the obvious reasons, challenging Microsoft in a court of law was hardly an option.

The fact that Microsoft shafted them in the early nineties and it's only now that Go is suing is irrelvant (not sure when Kaplan got the rights back from AT&T/Lucent to do so), the fact that pen computing did not take off back then, all these are irrelevant facts. MS broke the law to ruin other people's businesses. Now that they have been convicted of doing so, it's open season for a few years yet for anyone with strong evidence that they were a genuine victim.

StartUp is kind of a heart breaking read as a technologist. When Go is unable to get proper funding or business deals (here's where MS's business practice screws them, for instance), and the company dies even as part of AT&T, MS quietly shuts down its own pen computing division, apparently happy that another potential competitor has been crushed before it could be a problem. The idea is we're supposed to be able to try and get innovations tried by the marketplace, not blocked by people with the vested interest to do so.

If MS is found guily or settles out of court, then that would be entirely appropriate. Yes, there are so many complaints like this that it's a cliche. Doesn't mean there aren't genuine cases, and given there's a published book on the facts from 1995 - well before anyone knew MS could be successfully to court - I would say this is one of them.

Statute of Limitations (1)

blankmeyer (600714) | more than 8 years ago | (#12995188)

Isn't there a statute of limitations regarding this? I mean wasn't that like 10 years ago or something? I think the guy is just out to try and recoup some of his losses from a failed business (not that I doubt MS tried to put him out of business).
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