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Microsoft's Lobbying In Massachusetts

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the schmandards dept.

Microsoft 148

Andy Updegrove writes "Carol Sliwa at ComputerWorld has posted two excellent stories just now on ODF in Massachusetts, based on over 300 emails secured under the Massachusetts Public Records Law (the local analogue of the Federal Freedom of Information Act). The longer and more intriguing article focuses on Microsoft's lobbying efforts in Massachusetts, and confirms, as I reported last week, that Microsoft lobbyist Brian Burke was spearheading an effort to bring pressure on the state's Information Technology Division (ITD) by promoting an amendment that would have taken away much of the ITD's power to make technology policy. The article goes on to describe the back-channel negotiations between State CIO Louis Gutierrez and Microsoft's Alan Yates, and the way that Microsoft played the lobbying card throughout those discussions in an effort to protect its wildly profitable Office software franchise against potential erosion by competing products that support ODF." Andy has a blog entry on the lobbying effort.

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Call a spade a spade (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17102038)

far to many re-defining words in todays world

s/lobbying/bribing

s/pretexting/lying

Re:Call a spade a spade (5, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102072)

s/to/too

Re:Call a spade a spade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17103432)

s/to/too


s/s\/to\/too/s\/to\/too\//

Re:Call a spade a spade (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17103912)

s/usu/sudio

Re:Call a spade a spade (1)

morrisonsean (543154) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105182)

"toodays world"?

That's not right...

Corporate PETITION -- Re:Call a spade a spade (2, Interesting)

gaspar ilom (859751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104056)

I work at a tech company in Massachusetts.

MSFT has obviously monopoly leveraged *huge* extra costs on virtually all businesses in this state and others.

Does anyon know if there's any such thing as a "corporate petition" that I could pesuade my company to join?

Re:Corporate PETITION -- Re:Call a spade a spade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17104354)

Aint no fun when the rabbit's got the gun is it, bitch? Best 4 mod points I ever spent.

Re:Corporate PETITION -- Re:Call a spade a spade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17104846)

protect that microsoft stock!

Moral (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17102040)

Any supplier that makes enough to pay a full time lobbyist is overcharging.

In their defence... (4, Insightful)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102392)

It takes a lot of energy to convince people that using open, standard formats to store files somehow gives "preferential treatment for specific vendor products"

Re:In their defence... (5, Insightful)

genooma (856335) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103862)

It takes a lot of energy to convince people that using open, standard formats to store files somehow gives "preferential treatment for specific vendor products"
"energy", what a strange way of spelling money.

Re:Moral -- Every sizeable company has them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17103428)

Every sizeable company has them. They're called salesmen.

That's funny, Red Hat lobbies... (0, Offtopic)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103454)

Red Hat lobbies... [slashdot.org] are they overcharging? Is free too much?

Re:That's funny, Red Hat lobbies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17103496)

RHE is free?

Re:That's funny, Red Hat lobbies... (1)

cHiphead (17854) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104050)

FREE?!

Sounds like somebody has never looked into purchasing RHEL ES or AS + support...

Cheers.

Re:Reality Check (4, Insightful)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103998)

I don't normally reply to AC's but it got modded insightful for no good reason and saddens me because it suggests there is way too much ignorance on the issue.

In my limited experience working on the contractor side of gov't projects, I promise you lobbying of all kinds is done for every single expenditure. Standard Operating Procedure.

I don't know how much of it is legal versus illegal, but this is an excellent example of how gov't IT expenditures really work. Nearly all of the decision making is done via back channels, then the appropriate public documentation is created and the money is spent.

If there was ever a better application of the term "textbook case" I cannot think of it.

Is that the sound... (2, Funny)

Sneakernets (1026296) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102098)

Of a dying company?

Re:Is that the sound... (2, Funny)

Shadow-isoHunt (1014539) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102754)

I don't know, has netcraft confirmed it?

Be careful what you wish for.... (5, Interesting)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102110)

Long ago I remember a Microsoft that had nothing but contempt for the political process. A Microsoft that intended to dominate the market through mass, vendor lockout, FUD, giving stuff away, etc.

You know, the Microsoft that got sued.

Having learned the lesson that ignoring politicians is not good for your health, is it any wonder that Microsoft is lobbying as hard as it can?

Good luck to them. I'll be happy to see them take their lumps when they screw up their technology badly enough that the world moves en masse to something better. Meanwhile, I'm smirking at the do-gooders and busybodies who are being hoisted on their own petards.

Re:Be careful what you wish for.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17102284)

I'll be happy to see them take their lumps when they screw up their technology badly enough that the world moves en masse to something better.


I hope you're prepared for disappointment, because it's on the way. No matter what Microsoft does, they always win. Even the worst of their worst (WinME?) or the EU fines didn't even put a dent in their operations and profits.

It's like the dreamers claiming that "Nobody wants Vista" or "MS miscalculated this time!", and "Who needs to 'upgrade' to Vista?"...the same shit was said about every other Windows release, yet each very quickly became the new standard.

If Microsoft shipped shrink wrapped boxes of horse shit they'd still dominate. Yay.

Re:Be careful what you wish for.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17102972)

If Microsoft shipped shrink wrapped boxes of horse shit they'd still dominate. Yay.

When Microsoft ships shrink wrapped boxes of horse shit they still dominate. Yay.

There, I fixed that for you.

Re:Be careful what you wish for.... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17103072)

If Microsoft shipped shrink wrapped boxes of horse shit they'd still dominate. Yay.
When Microsoft ships shrink wrapped boxes of horse shit they still dominate. Yay.
There, I fixed that for you.

Microsoft ships shrink wrapped boxes of horse shit and they still dominate. Yay.

It needed still more fixing.

Re:Be careful what you wish for.... (1)

alc6379 (832389) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104466)

Any more fixing, and it's going to look like a tongue twister...

Re:Be careful what you wish for.... (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105130)

Microsoft shipped me wrapped boxes of horse shit, and left them on fire at my doorstep, and the still dominate. Yay.

Re:Be careful what you wish for.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17103242)

If Microsoft shipped shrink wrapped boxes of horse shit they'd still dominate.
What do you mean "if"?

Re:Be careful what you wish for.... (1)

PinkPanther (42194) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103904)

If Microsoft shipped shrink wrapped boxes of horse shit they'd still dominate.
...though maybe not in the horse shit vertical. Remember MS-BOB? WebTV? Or other ideas from the market leader [google.com] ?

Re:Be careful what you wish for.... (4, Funny)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104324)

Okay, if Microsoft shipped shrink-wrapped boxes of horse shit labelled as as Windows® HorseShit® Professional 2007 (with Workgroups), they'd still dominate.

The end will come some day... (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105116)

No matter what Microsoft does, they always win


But every time someone announces a plan to migrate to FOSS Microsoft is forced to give them a bigger discount. Someday soon a Microsoft salesperson will tell you, "Hey, why would you install OOo for free? We will pay you to install MS-Office!".


If Microsoft shipped shrink wrapped boxes of horse shit they'd still dominate


Others have replied that Microsoft does ship horse shit, but I beg to disagree. Horse shit is useful as manure. Hmmm, wait, not really. I remember now that a gardener once told me that horse shit isn't as good a manure as cow shit. Cows are ruminants. By chewing their cud, they digest seeds better than horses, so you get less weeds from cow manure. Yes, perhaps Microsoft does sell horse shit, but they certainly don't sell anything as useful as cow shit!

Re:Be careful what you wish for.... (2, Interesting)

cptgrudge (177113) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102622)

Meanwhile, I'm smirking at the do-gooders and busybodies who are being hoisted on their own petards.

And ultimately, the taxpayers of Massachusetts may be hoisted along with them.

The penalty for moving viloation in MA? (1)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103334)

Re-election to the Senate.

The people deserve the government they get. And they deserve to get it good and hard.

Re:Be careful what you wish for.... (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103286)

The legal front is another and more dangerous front in the war against MS. Overall it was a great front to open up and they have been steadly loosing there. Company after company has gotten hundreds of millions of dollars from MS. This is a war that MS doesn't know how to fight very well as evidenced by their steady stream of losses.

Every penny MS spends paying lawyers and paying penalties is a penny they are not spending on engineering, design, or bribing politicians.

In the long run opening up the legal front in the war against MS will be looked as a great strategic move.

well I wish for... (-1, Flamebait)

nietsch (112711) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103564)

Al-qaida to drive their homemade nuclear bomb right into M$ campus, and force mr Gates to push the button.

I know it is bad, and those microserfs should not have to pay with their lives for the mistakes they are making every second, but if you multiply this evilness with the probability that it actually will happen, you arrive a the value I attach to M$ products.

Wow! (2, Insightful)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103718)

If I have the right take on you, you're from a country famed in the past for its tolerance.

I see now that your new Muslim Overlords are changing the tenor of discourse in the Netherlands. Instead of live and let live, it's a slit throat and knife in the chest for Theo van Gogh, and nukes for Microsoft.

Nice.

Re:Be careful what you wish for.... (1)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105372)

Yeah, because enforcing the law against a big company is somehow representative of big government and corporate influence at their worst. We should just let monopolies run rampant. That way we'll have a really excellent telecommunications infrastructure and software that improves over time and isn't subject to massive world spanning security breaches and... Oh, wait... We don't have any of these things, despite having largely not bothered with monopoly law enforcement in those industries. Well... Hmmm... I guess that failed then.

OMG! (-1, Troll)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102142)

Large corporation tries to do business like all large corporations in the US. What is the world coming to!

I am more interested to see if the ODF have addressed the usability issues which were raised.

Re:Usability???? (4, Insightful)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102436)

ODF is a data format definition not an application. It does not have usabilitiy issues, applications do.

ODF has usability issues? (5, Informative)

tjwhaynes (114792) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102440)

I am more interested to see if the ODF have addressed the usability issues which were raised.

ODF (Open Document) does not have usability issues. Period. It is a document format, nothing more. Now if you are talking about OpenOffice.org, AbiWord, KOffice, the next version of Wordperfect or any of the word processes/document systems that support ODF, then you might have a point. All the talk of ODF having usability issues is just the sound of FUD smacking the media around. Accessibility for the disabled should ultimately be superior with the ODF format because it is a completely open, machine readable format and therefore should be easily transformed into what ever media is required for disabled access (Large Print, audio - speech and speech recognition, braille, etc.).

Cheers,
Toby Haynes

Re:ODF has usability issues? (3, Funny)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102496)

heh. you took the words out of my mouth.

In related news, has anyone fixed the usability issues that Dvorak discovered for us in CSS?

Re:ODF has usability issues? (1)

TristanGrimaux (841255) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103640)

There is a problem with macros, AFAIK, and they do not work properly between programs. I know it is not easy to implement, but macros are very important and something has to arise to solve the matter.

In the meantime, any problem associated with the way the information is stored or interpreted will introduce usability issues. I do implement ODF applications everywhere I can, and I end up finding this things.

ODF is not perfect yet, but it smells a lot better than MS.

Re:ODF has usability issues? (1)

sgtrock (191182) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104742)

You're right, there is a problem with macros embedded in documents. They should be taken out and shot at dawn, the corpses thrown to the dogs, and the offal from the dogs buried in the deepest pit in Hell.

Separation of code from content is a key component of sound security. Not to mention that it's just good design practice.

It's not that hard to grasp, is it?

Re:ODF has usability issues? (1)

TristanGrimaux (841255) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105144)

Macros where taken out of their initial scope by commercial software vendors who needed to add features to their products, but they are pretty useful in the world of single files, and that is: the files affected by the definitions of ODF.

I hate macros more than you can imagine, but my clients needs them.

This article is flamebait! (1)

Sneakernets (1026296) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102254)

Lobbying companies aren't new, but when you're Microsoft, it all changes?
It's just good-ol'-boy business/politics in action.

Re:This article is flamebait! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17102444)

What we have here is a state supplier lobbying against its customers public policy decision. This is not new, it's not flamebait and nobody should need any other reason to drop Microsoft products.

Re:This article is flamebait! (4, Insightful)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102860)

So lobbying isn't new. So what. Just because the article lambastes Microsoft for lobbying doesn't mean it is flamebait, nor does it mean that the article is wrong. I could understand your angst if you were complaining that there are no articles on the net attacking other companies' lobbying efforts as being bad (like for instance, when you google for 'haliburton and lobbying'). I could also understand you being angry if perhaps you had previously, in this forum, tried to point our attention to lobbyists from other companies who were trying to create vendor lock-in in public/government sectors and were rebuffed.

Lobbying is shite pure and simple. This story is an example of lobbying and conflict of interest in the technical/computer world. Seeing as how this is a forum on technical and computer related topics, it works here. So maybe you should have titled your post "This post is flamebait"... and I shouldn't have bit. Ahh well... can't help my nature.

Damn Straight (3, Interesting)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104206)

Companies lobbying the government subvert democracy. That works when the taxpayers aren't paying attention but the country seems to be getting irritable about all the corruption at this point. I'm thinking news story about any law being made should mention how much money the sponsoring Congessmen get from the industry lobbies the bill helps out. Then you could say something like "Ted Stevens tried to attach a rider to the budget bill to the budget proposal again. Sen. Stevens has received $372,140 from oil and gas companies over the course of his career (According to opensecrets.org. [opensecrets.org] )" I think there'd be far fewer shennanigans if news stories took that tone. I think it'd be better still if lobbying and riders were outlawed outright but then Congress wouldn't be able to get their piggy fingers on any of that pie. And Congress does like their pie...

Re:This article is flamebait! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17103902)

Here on Slashdot, we pretty much critic everything.

It's just that when it comes to Micro$oft, we all like to give that "extra kick in the nuts"

Capitalism at it's finest! (5, Insightful)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102264)

" Microsoft lobbyist Brian Burke was spearheading an effort to bring pressure on the state's Information Technology Division (ITD) by promoting an amendment that would have taken away much of the ITD's power to make technology policy."

So, instead of spending time and money on making a better product, Microsoft decides to spend it on removing the power of choice from potential consumers? It's beginning to seem like the only products actually available in a free market here are the legislators themselves.

If Office is so good, why is Microsoft so afraid?

Re:Capitalism at it's finest! (5, Insightful)

tokul (682258) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102458)

If Office is so good, why is Microsoft so afraid?
OpenOffice might be good enough and has lower price tag.

Re:Capitalism at it's finest! (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102770)

I think that might have been a rhetorical question.

Re:Capitalism at it's finest! (1)

LParks (927321) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102890)

You assume that Microsoft could spend the time and money on making a better product. Placing these resources elsewhere, Microsoft couldn't really do much to actually improve Office.

We've already seen a recent topic about the number of people involved in the Vista shutdown menu, so new hires wouldn't really help. They could spend their lobbying money on streamlining their processes and allowing better connectivity between different work groups, but is much more costly and will have less short term rewards. Throwing money at Office can't help Microsoft right now, and even a momentary lapse in market-share is disastrous for a monopoly.

Lobbying is cheap, effective, and can help meet both short and long term goals. While I think corporate influence is one of the largest problems in the political process today because it doesn't represent the people, it is the right move from a business standpoint to invest in lobbying such as this.

Re:Capitalism at it's finest! (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103218)

"So, instead of spending time and money on making a better product"

OK, what? We're talking about Microsoft. When has "making a better product" ever been their goal?

Re:Capitalism at it's finest! (4, Informative)

tbradshaw (569563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103882)

So perhaps it's futile, but I have to mention that this isn't capitalism. It's corporatism or "crony capitalism". Capitalism doesn't involve lobbying for government assistance. Lobbying could be seen as a "short cut" to avoid having to deal with the market pressures of capitalism.

Re:Capitalism at it's finest! (2, Insightful)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104116)

It never fails that those who criticize "Capitalism" are always actually criticizing the lack of Capitalism. Monopolization is the opposite of Capitalism.

Re:Capitalism at it's finest! (1)

leoxx (992) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104580)

Yeah, but Bill Gates is giving all his money to charity, so that makes it okay.

Failing Bad! (0)

Havoc_Chaotix (1035500) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102292)

This is another failed attempt by M$ to take over everything. They want the US cause France has gone open source! YAY! LINUX! ~Havoc~

Re:Failing Bad! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17102376)

Yes, well if MS can't have France then America will just HAVE to do. *sigh*

Re:Failing Bad! (1)

remembertomorrow (959064) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102466)

Slashdot should have stopped registrations at the 1 millionth user.

You seem like someone who just downloaded Ubuntu. :|

Re:Failing Bad! (1)

itlurksbeneath (952654) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103160)

Maybe they should have stopped at 955,000...

Re:Failing Bad! (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103252)

Yeah, because your opinion is 40,936 better than the millionth user's.

Get off my lawn.

Re:Failing Bad! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17102530)

You are garbage and should be ashamed of yourself. Stop trying to make linux users look bad and get a life.

Waaah! *sniff* (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17102316)

All of you open source people are crybabies. What exactly is so wrong with MS exercising its free speech rights? Microsoft as much right to a voice as the open source crowd does. Let the marketplace of ideas resolve this, not whiny censorship.

Re:Waaah! *sniff* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17103560)

You're an idiot...

The finest government... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17102358)

Money can buy! If you are going to allow such blatant lobbying and kickbacks in your political system you have nobody but yourselves to blame for the results.

news? (0, Redundant)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102464)

Lets see, a large corporation is lobbying in order to expand/protect its market.. This is news how?

Who won? (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102498)

I remember there was a lot of effort put into ODF, then there was a change of political leaders in Massachusetts, and then .. I can't remember - did they scrap whole project, or not?

What is the current state of Massachusetts switch?

Fourteenth! (After half an hour on Slashdot). (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102536)

Fourteenth! (After half an hour on Slashdot). Woot!

Seriously, is this really surprising to anyone? I guess I'd be more interested to know who's pimping the blogger who spends so much valuable free time following this minutiae. (I only wish someone followed FEDERAL requisition contracts with as much interest.)

Gov Microsoft (2, Funny)

netsfr (839855) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102548)

Wasn't there an article recently about Gates for President??? I think MSFT is attacking on several fronts now...

Re:Gov Microsoft (1)

netbuzz (955038) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103602)

We've got that "Gates for President" coverage right here:
http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=node/9430 [networkworld.com]

Even have a followup, of sorts, today, headlined 'Gates for President': Stocking-Stuffer Edition': http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=node/9495 [networkworld.com]

Doubt the Massachusetts CIO will be getting any of this stuff ... at least not from anyone who likes him.

Nuclear Trigger - Software Upgrade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17104450)

Bill Gates first official act as President will be to upgrade the Nuclear Trigger Software with the latest version of Microsoft Server: Nuclear Edition. Who knows if the world will still exist for his second act of having Balmer throw out the old chair in the oval office to make room for his more comfortable seat of power.

Posted anonymous on the chance I can still whore myself out to Microsoft one day.

Please submit resume in ODF format. (2, Interesting)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102552)

Why do tech companies that work with OSS not insist on resumes only in ODF. Gently force the issue. After all other companies only accept DOC.

Re:Please submit resume in ODF format. (2, Interesting)

Aadain2001 (684036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103692)

Why not skip all this formatting crud and simply ask for ASCII. That way, the document is already in an easily parsed format and allows the employer to use search functions and keywords to identify potential interviewees.

Re:Please submit resume in ODF format. (1)

alc6379 (832389) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104548)

They won't go back to just ASCII because PHBs like to read pretty paper resumes, and print them out for interviews. Not that writing a parser to make a pretty, readable resume would be that difficult, but switching to ASCII might end up being too big of a "shock" for the people who do the hiring process.

Re:Please submit resume in ODF format. (1)

Aadain2001 (684036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105512)

But that is easily solved: have them submit both a "pretty" document and an ASCII document. That way, the computer can crunch the ASCII document and the PHB can choose to print out the pretty document if they interview the person. These days, if there is a person who only reads resumes, their job is hanging by a thread. Computers are MUCH faster and cost a lot less.

Re:Please submit resume in ODF format. (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105416)

Submit your resumé in XML format and let the computer choose people!

Re:Please submit resume in ODF format. (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104420)

Well, they can all take PDFs whether they say it or not. If they say they can't open the files (and they're valid PDFs), they're probably not worth working for (HR is bad enough at its best).

haha (0, Troll)

Havoc_Chaotix (1035500) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102582)

What results. The end of most regular everyday needs in America will be replaced by the huge wave of monopoly. Just kidding, but imagine what that would be like. Micro$oft as our GOVERMENT! Why does M$ think they can mess with everything? Or do they just want are money? ~Havoc~

Re:haha (3, Insightful)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102796)

Why does M$ think they can mess with everything? Or do they just want are money?

What? You mean unlike every other major corporation on Earth?

Companies want to do whatever they like unimpeded and what they like to do is earn as much of our money as possible and control as much of their respective markets as they can. But to disparage Microsoft like this is somehow unique to them is a bit foolish. Right now Microsoft draws all the ire. Someday it will be someone like Google or Apple.

I'm not necessarily defending Microsoft. I'm just trying to point out what I feel are childish perceptions some people have of companies. How people can go to absurd lengths to put one company on a pedestal, Apple is one of the first examples to come to mind, and then go to the most absurd lengths to bash a company Microsoft. Look at Sony. Imagine what people would think about Apple if they had 80% or 90% marketshare. Would Apple also be sued by various nations for including Quicktime, Mail and Safari with OS X? And lets see how people feel about Google in 10 years.

Re:haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17103412)

idiot!

Microsoft used to be almost the model corporation (-1, Troll)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102666)

for leftists. Too busy fighting in the economy to get involved in any big way in politics. Then they provoked the ire of the Clinton Administration and well, Microsoft has discovered the joys of lobbying!

What's ironic about it is that Linux and OSX would still have enjoyed tremendous success if the antitrust case never happened. Both of those have gotten where they are squarely on technical and aesthetic grounds (both in the latter's case). The anti-trust case was nothing more than a few losers like Sun and Netscape whining and moaning about getting their asses kicked by Microsoft.

Now, congratulations, people. You've awakened a sleeping giant. How do you like them apples?

Re:Microsoft used to be almost the model corporati (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17102772)

Except that Gates stepped down because of the antitrust trial, seeing as he was becoming quite a bad image for the company. Now it's run by a useless fat bastard who should be in insurance sales, and is probably one of the few people capable of making it implode.

Re:Microsoft used to be almost the model corporati (2, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102910)

The model corporation for leftists? It seems to me that they might have been considered a triumph of capitalism and the free market before all these anti-trust issues. Now they're a perfect case for people who want government intervention in the market.

The unfortunate thing is that, whenever the current US government gets into managing things, they seem to go wherever the money is. Lobbyists have too much influence, and they're good at what they do, so whoever is paying the most for lobbyists is likely to come out on top. Therefore, government intervention tends to take the form of things like the DMCA instead of meaningful anti-trust actions.

Re:Microsoft used to be almost the model corporati (1)

CrazedWalrus (901897) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103796)

The unfortunate thing is that, whenever the current US government gets into managing things, they seem to go wherever the money is. Lobbyists have too much influence, and they're good at what they do, so whoever is paying the most for lobbyists is likely to come out on top. Therefore, government intervention tends to take the form of things like the DMCA instead of meaningful anti-trust actions.
I know people are still going for all it's worth to try to assign charges of corruption to the US government, Bush, Republicans, and/or the US population in general, but pointed qualifiers such as "the current US government" are unnecessarily restrictive. Your statement holds true for all governments, everywhere, always. To claim otherwise is disingenuous and only exposes your blinders.

Re:Microsoft used to be almost the model corporati (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104826)

If you notice, I didn't claim otherwise. I would, in fact, lean towards it being a statement that's generally true, but I just wasn't feeling ambitious enough right at the moment of writing my post where I wanted to make such an bold claim about all governments everywhere ever.

Maybe a government could be constructed that wasn't very corrupt. Maybe such a government exists somewhere, or has existed at some time. I don't know. I'm not trying to be specifically ant-Republican, in the last few years, EU has tried to stand against Microsoft and the US government hasn't. I'm not versed enough on the situation to blame anyone in particular for this, but in my opinion it's a bad thing. I'm generally not in favor of "big government" particularly because of inefficiencies and corruption, but I believe that anti-trust regulation is necessary in some cases.

Sherman act violations are criminal felonies (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17102980)

The anti-trust case was not about companies "moaning about getting their asses kicked", it was about Microsoft breaking the law. If other companies had been permitted to ignore competition law, Microsoft would be long dead; Gates was a successful criminal but a mediocre businessman.

> Now, congratulations, people. You've awakened a sleeping giant.

Sorry, I don't see what basis a software vendor has to lobby against a document format chosen in the public interest. Microsoft are free to support ODF or not, anything else is just the dirty business tactics we've come to expect from this criminal monopoly.

I agree! (3, Funny)

Darlantan (130471) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102790)

We can't possibly let these "information technology" people decide what to do with our inter-nets resources. They obviously don't understand the critical nature of how this technology works. Why, just this Friday I sent an email to one of my contacts in the state government there, and their internets were so clogged that it still hasn't arrived. If they can't keep their system of tubes clean, how can we possibly expect them to make good decisions about what prograpplications are wise to run on their computers?

Sincerely,
Sen. Stevens.

ODF in Saugus, MA (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17103046)

I'd read before here [livejournal.com] and there [wikipedia.org] that Saugus, MA [saugus.net] has been experimenting with the OpenDocument format for a (relative) long time. Does anyone know what the outcome there was? Is ODF still being used in Saugus?

It's all bloatware (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17103246)

Microsoft's shenanigans appalls. But the sad thing is all this stuff is bloatware. Oo.org is even more bloated, and rather slower, than Office. And way back when it was Wordperfect started the rot.

Take wp programs. *Most* people could do all the word-processing they need in a lightweight application that uses rft format. Software sellers have relied on adding "features" - features that most of their customers don't understand and don't need - to keep selling "upgraded" versions of their software. And with the added complexity come sluggishness, the need for ever-more powerful hardware, insecurity - Office macros, anyone? - and instability. Heck, MS did a survey asking people what new features they'd like to see in Office, and the amusing thing is that all the top answers were *already* in it; the customers simply didn't know they were there.

All Microsoft's products are like this - feature-driven. That's why there are more holes in Windows than in OpenBSD, which is quality-driven. But MS are not the only offenders here by any means.

Related: Novell to fork OpenOffice (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103518)

At least groklaw claims it's related.

http://groklaw.net/ [groklaw.net]

Sue Apple!!! (0, Flamebait)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103578)

SUE APPLE BECAUSE IT LAZOREDPEWPEWED THE MARKET WITH DRM INFESTED MUSIC!!!

see how easy it is to make something that makes sense sound stupid?

I don't get it. Microsoft gets sued because it had a better idea than everyone else (which, despite of whether you think it is bloatware or not, sales numbers do not lie...they didn't magically reach monopoly status, the market majority put them there) and yet Apple gets praised for it's "groundbreaking" mp3 player that has more restrictions on it than a 13 year old pregnant girl?

Re:Sue Apple!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17104224)


I don't get it. Microsoft gets sued because it had a better idea than everyone else (which, despite of whether you think it is bloatware or not, sales numbers do not lie...they didn't magically reach monopoly status, the market majority put them there) and yet Apple gets praised for it's "groundbreaking" mp3 player that has more restrictions on it than a 13 year old pregnant girl?


Apple are not illegally abusing a monopoly and Microsoft never had "a better idea than everyone else".

To borrow your analogy, Microsoft went and impregnated a 13 y/o girl knowing it was against the law. Then these criminals acted as if they didn't know they'd done anything wrong. The final piece of the puzzle is you and those like you. People who appear to not understand that Microsoft knowingly induldged in criminal activity. People who stick up for convicted felons on a public forum.

Interesting isn't it?

Re:Sue Apple!!! (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104508)

You know what the most ironic thing you have assumed about me is?

I despise Microsoft. Not because it is "the cool thing to do." Because I think they make a shitty product.

Just because the other team scores a touchdown doesn't mean that I cannot say it was a good play.

Re:Sue Apple!!! (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104602)

I know what youa re going to say, How can I say it was a good play if I think they make a shitty product?

Because a vast majority of people obviously DO NOT CARE that microsoft does what it does. If they did care, Macs would have a larger market share. Linux would have a larger market share. Microsoft is very slowly losing ground, but again, they didn't put themselves there. The public did. Now, the public didn't tell them to break laws, but the public did indeed make them big enough to become the monopoly that they are.

Frankly, I don't consider them to be a monopoly. There are many other OS's out there, not to mention if one were so inclined they could just make their own. Yesyesyes, I know it's more complicated than simply saying it, but if they care as much as they say they do, they should code something else.

But anyway, back to refering to their touchdown as a good play. Microsoft has managed to do what every big buisness strives to do: maximum amount of income with maximum market penetration. Again, regardless of your point of view of the company, reglardess of if you think they are crooks, regardless if you think they release shit, you CANNOT sit there and honestly tell me that they DONT control the market because of the MAJORITY of people buying their products.

Re:Sue Apple!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17104740)

you CANNOT sit there and honestly tell me that they DONT control the market because of the MAJORITY of people buying their products

Actually I can :-/ They control the OS market because Windows is pre-installed by OEMs. If the OS was sold seperately, Microsofts monopoly would wane.



Your other points are fair enough, if MS had sustained growth without breaking the law and stabbing all their partners in the back I'd probably respect them also.

Re:Sue Apple!!! (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104780)

Ah, but then the question becomes thus: WHY do OEM's use Windows as their pre-installed OS?

BECAUSE IT SELLS. Fuck whatever you think about Windows, IT SELLS. Bottom line. It makes money. Do I agree with it? No. Do I think it's right? No. Do I still UNDERSTAND why they do it? You bet your ass I do.

Re:Sue Apple!!! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17104618)

Just because the other team scores a touchdown doesn't mean that I cannot say it was a good play.
The other team had your star quarterback put in a wheelchair and poisoned your coach 6 weeks before the game. Yet here you are, praising them on their sportmanship?

Re:Sue Apple!!! (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104758)

And they did that how?

Explain your analogy to me. How has Microsoft's shady buisness practices DIRECTLY affected Mac, or Linux, or OS/2, or any of the other OS choices out there? If anything, those companies should be HAPPY! Microsoft's greed is starting to bite them in the ass, and more people are shifting to OSX and to Linux. Apple and co. should be ENCOURAGING microsoft to continue shooting themselvse in the foot.

If you are going to say that it harmed them because it made it harder to gain traction in the market, guess what...THATS THE PURPOSE OF COMPETITIVE BUISNESS. You know, that whole "get more customers than they do" thing...

It's simple. People like windows. Those that don't like windows don't use it. Are you going to blame microsoft because people are too lazy to learn how to switch? We both know there are things out there that are more stable, are prettier, and are more efficient than windows. And yet for whatever reason, people don't use them. Because they either don't want to or don't know that they are out there (which is bullshit, people know that Apple exists.)

You know, if you look at automatics versus manual transmissions in cars, it is VERY similar to the Microsoft situation. It is a reaction to the market. Myself and many other people out there prefer Manual transmissions. However, a large portion of the population does not know how to use them. Thus, automatics hold (roughly) 90% of the automotive market, despite the fact that Manuals cost less to repair, last longer, and give you more control of a vehicle.

Now would be the time (1)

LuciferosX (987569) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104158)

...to enact corporate death penalties. A monoply in itself isn't much of a crime, but abuse by said monopoly should warrant the business's death sentence, which would be a complete liquidation of their assests to be spread in full to the community and disallow any golden parachutes for the likes of Bill Gates or any other in position of power.

TFA Reads like 14th century diplomacy... (1)

Oriumpor (446718) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104402)

...between 2 warring states, not what ends up being a feature request from a customer to their vendor.

This is why Microsoft must be crushed, for no other reason than the "we know better what you need than you do" mentality that this just exemplifies. You do not continue doing business with clients being a jackass in any other position than that of MONOPOLY.
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