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New Microsoft Dirty Tricks Revealed

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the sleights-of-hand dept.

207

Conrad Mazian writes "Robert X. Cringely has an article on the Technology Evangelist web site where he claims that Microsoft destroyed evidence in the Burst vs Microsoft case. Specifically Burst's lawyers had asked for certain emails, Microsoft claimed that they couldn't find the backup tapes the emails would be on, and while this was happening the tapes were in a vault at Microsoft — until they mysteriously disappeared. It's a fascinating story, and even names one person at Microsoft."

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207 comments

Oh, NO! (2, Insightful)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051962)

Oh, No! A corporation wrangles, delays, misplaces, obfuscates in the face of a lawsuit. Heaven's, what is the world coming to?

Microsoft must be the very first to EVER do this.

Re:Oh, NO! (0, Redundant)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052016)

Seriously, I know Microsoft is supposed to be evil and all, but even Disney does this. Just about every one, corporate, individual, government, does this type of thing when faced with a lawsuit. I'm not saying its right, but I think the only reason this one made Slashdot was because it was Microsoft and there is, admittedly, a hefty anti-Microsoft Knee-Jerk element here.

Not really news, but geez, guys, this really is pandering.

Re:Oh, NO! (5, Insightful)

CHacker (971699) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053516)

How exactly is this pandering to the Anti-Microsoft element on slashdot?

It is a story about a company that when faced with legal action regarding their behavior deliberately destroyed/hid evidence that showed they as corporate entity were perfectly aware that their behavior was wrong in the legal sense.

The fact that corporations routinely do this is completely irrelevant. All this story is exposing is a pattern of behavior on the part of Microsoft with regards to compliance with the law, or in this case a complete disregard for the law. While it may be redundant as the case against Microsoft has been made time and time again it isn't pandering to the anti-Microsoft zealots. It may be embarrassing to the pro-Microsoft evangelists, but we all know they are nuts ;-).

If Apple, Red Hat or Novell had done something similar they would be called on it. However, none of those corporate entities have done anything like that to my knowledge. But Microsoft has. And considering that Microsoft products are on ~85% of the PCs out there makes it relevant to the slashdot community.

Re:Oh, NO! (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053650)

Not Apple, Red Hat or Novell, but I believe the whole Reiser incident was pretty well covered on Slashdot, and that had less to do with tech than this did.

Re:Oh, NO! (4, Insightful)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052074)

It's not like the story is looking at this wide-eyed and saying that this is the first time it's ever happened. We all know it happens all the time. The main point, is what can be done to stop this sort of thing from happening short of killing all business owners who resort to this type of evil behavior. There is nothing noble about it, therefore it shouldn't be defended nor should it be ignored or allowed to continue. This type of behavior should be brought out in the open, the perpetrators brought to justice and the business made to pay for it's crimes. Frankly, I'd love to see them all lined up and shot, but that's just me. I'm in this business purely for technical interests and could give a rats ass about anyone making a buck.

I swear I had no choice to hide the tapes! (2, Funny)

alexandreracine (859693) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052302)

Ballmer duck tape me to the wall, and told me "I'LL f**king kill you!" and threaten to throw a chair at me!

So that makes it OK? (-1, Flamebait)

FatSean (18753) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052430)

You smell like one of those people who is OK with the USA using torture...becauase at least we don't chop their heads off! Freakin' moral relativism.

Re:So that makes it OK? (-1, Troll)

midnighttoadstool (703941) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052916)

What's wrong with torture?

Let's say a guy admits that he has planted an A-bomb in an american city and it's going to go off soon and he doesn't care that this will cause massive death and untold agonies for those left alive, in fact he wants that. Now tell me why he shouldn't be tortured?

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with torture, just as with capital punishment. The problem is mistakenly applying it to the innocent. But to just say that torture is bad always is childish simplisticness.

Re:Oh, NO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18052766)

Exactly, that is why Capitalism is evil and why the xtians love it so much. We need to go to communism and eliminate all religions.

Re:Oh, NO! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18053878)

Oh, no! Some guy goes out and kills his workmates in a rage. Clearly, he must be the first to do it.

Oh, no! Your SO is cheating on you. How terrible! Must be the first time...

Oh, no! A country gets attacked, some thousand lives are lost, rage prevails and two countries are invaded, hundreds of thousands killed, civil wars started to further break the lives of millions. Must be the first in history!

Oh, no... People drink and drive under influence and kill innocent ones. Heck, I bet this never happened before!

---

What amazes me is not the repetition of the eroding tactic (i.e., downplaying a fact as not that serious). When you have no defense even crying Wolf! will do...

But:

a) how they get this promoted to insightful? Do they have "infiltrated" people here? With karma to burn?

b) or are there morons here who vote for this willingly as insightful?

The real criminal in this story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18051964)

Backup Exec.

Anyone who uses that trash deserves a corporate shakedown.

Re:The real criminal in this story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18052264)

Backup Exec.

Anyone who uses that trash deserves a corporate shakedown.


That piece of crap still around?

I was unfortunate to be the only one on nightshift to get called to babysit the server room every time the backups started. I complained and was told Backup Exec was the best software money could buy. After several months of reboots (50% backup success rate) I found another job.

Jesus Christ! (5, Insightful)

His name cannot be s (16831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051990)

This is *real* journalism:

  - Nth hand unverified, information (My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with a girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious. )

  - this is about stuff along time ago. ... the headline here said somehting about Microsoft's "NEW" dirty tricks? WTF?

  - There is a lot suspect in what's being claimed in the article as well.

Well, as the tagline says:

Re:Jesus Christ! (3, Insightful)

stubear (130454) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052102)

I agree but did you read the comments? A user named Bob Cringley claims to have corraborating evidence and while he names the source as anonymous, they are not anonymous to him. WTF?!? If he had corraborating evidence he should have mentioned it in the article don't you think? What can you expect when it's a story about Microsoft allegedly doing something bad though?

Re:Jesus Christ! (5, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052124)

What can you expect when it's a story about Microsoft allegedly doing something bad though?

The corraborating evidence comes up missing ?

Re:Jesus Christ! (2, Funny)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052212)

I heard, from a second hand but reliable source, that evidence destruction goes all the way up to Steve Ballmer.

He's mostly just in charge of the destruction of chair evidence though.

You can do no wrong... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18052736)

as long as a stockholder in your company has a Slashdot account. OJ should have hired Bill Gates to do the murders; then not only would he have hordes defending him, but there'd be an effort to convince the public that Nichole never existed in the first place.

Re:Jesus Christ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18053134)

My sister's best friend's best friend's brother's girlfriend's boyfriend may confirm that Cringley did possibly receive an e-mail from an alleged ex-Microsoft contractor that the tape may have disappeared.

Re:Jesus Christ! (1)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053288)

Like you probably, I was engaged and mesmerized as I read twisted tales of deceit and corporate espionage. Then, this "star" witness source (in part II) continues his story, "So the outside vendor was Hewlett-Packard, one of Microsoft's hardware OEMs, which is to say Microsoft's bitch."

Hmm, bitch huh? Anyone else here detect ulterior motives?

Re:Jesus Christ! (2, Informative)

multisync (218450) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053556)

- Nth hand unverified, information (My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with a girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious. )


According to Cringley:

The former Microsoft contract employee who contacted me on this issue did not do so anonymously, by the way. I know his name and how to reach him. We have talked on the phone more than once. He did not hesitate to name names.


You are welcome to question whether Cringley is being truthful or not, but why should I belive your assertation that the source was a friend's sister's boyfirend's ... whatever?

- this is about stuff along time ago. ... the headline here said somehting about Microsoft's "NEW" dirty tricks? WTF?


I think what is new is our knowledge that Microsoft is being accused of destroying evidence. The allegations are new. Cringley said in the article you apparently didn't bother to read:

Now that the (Iowa) case is settled I'd like to write a little bit about something that happened in an earlier case - Burst v. Microsoft - but was never revealed. I kept expecting it to be revealed in this case, but apparently it was not.


Mind you, there is no date on this blog entry (I couldn't even find a Cringley byline, only a link to an audio version that gives his name), but the comments are dated Feb 15. So the allegations are current.

There is a lot suspect in what's being claimed in the article as well.


There is also a lot that sounds pretty damning, like:

lawyers for Burst.com found in the discovery phase of their case what appeared to be a pattern of message destruction, with Microsoft unable to reproduce ANY e-mail concerning Burst.com over periods of time surrounding specific meetings between the two companies. Burst had ITS copies of the messages where it had been part of the conversation as the two companies worked together under NDA, but Microsoft presented none of these. It seemed logical to Burst that Microsoft, as a company that fairly lives by e-mail, would have atg least a few messages concerning the meetings, either before or after. Eventually Burst lawyers uncovered a mechanism -- a sort of procedural algorithm if you will -- under which Microsoft had consistently and in MANY cases managed to keep all the messages it didn't need to keep and to destroy all the ones it DID need to keep. The survival of ANY incriminating messages, in fact, came only from the breakdown of discipline in implementing this procedural algorithm. Burst revealed this information and the judge in that case, Judge Motz, ordered Microsoft to take heroic measures to search backup tapes for messages that were supposedly lost.


Sorry for the long quote, but I think this lends credibility to what is being asserted by the source Cringley has so far not named.

How convenient (1)

fuckingsound (983190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052004)

'Microsoft server ate my hard disk.' The trump card in the ol' microsoft lawyer suitcase. All they have to do now is line up a liberal jury ...

Re:How convenient (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18052108)

'Microsoft server ate my hard disk.'


Far more believeable then "the dog ate my homework", no shortage of historical evidence for Microsoft crashes, the only evidence I ever saw of a dog eating someone's homework was the neighbor's daughter feeding her Home Economics mistakes to their dog.

Re:How convenient (4, Funny)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053250)

I had a dog eat my home work once. Actualy is was more then once but i finaly figured out the problem. We used to put peanut butter in the dogs chew toys as a reward for doing something good like not tearing anything up when we left him along or comming when called.

Well, long story short, When I would eat a peanut butter sandwich while doing my homework the dog would seem interested in my backpack that night. When I left the zipper open or worse yet, it broke fro shoving too much stuff in it, the dog went in and ate the papers I was working on while eating the peanut butter sandwich.

And your point? (4, Informative)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052008)

These days when you are as large as microsoft is, it doesnt really matter if you break the law.

If you do, and actually get caught, you get some token fine and you chalk it up as a cost of doing business and move on.

Re:And your point? (4, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052138)

Which is why Enron is still around...

Re:And your point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18052334)

That was quite different. The execs at Enron ran the company into the ground by funneling money to themselves.

Re:And your point? (5, Insightful)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052354)

Which is why Enron is still around...

Enron is not gone because they broke the law and got obliterated for it, Enron is gone because the reality that they actually had no money overtook their fiction and they collapsed into overnight bankruptcy. Legal recourse against Enron only really began after it was long gone, and was against the company's directors.

Re:And your point? (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052422)

That's exactly my point. There are sometimes consequences, whether by the market or the government. Once their questionable activities were realized by investors they all ran and the stock collapsed.

To blindly say there are never any consequences is wrong. There are rare legal and often economic consequences.

Re:And your point? (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053118)

'' Once their questionable activities were realized by investors they all ran and the stock collapsed. ''

But not because of their questionable activities. Enron didn't collapse because they were lying about their financial situation, they collapsed because their financial situation was bad in the first place.

It's sad... (2, Interesting)

Xenographic (557057) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052844)

The only way to kill an evil company appears to be to bankrupt it.
What on earth does it take to revoke a corporate charter these days?

Re:It's sad... (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053030)

So you want to destroy a business, corporation or not? Seize their assets. That's why a business isn't as powerful as a government.

Re:It's sad... (1)

Xenographic (557057) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053070)

> Seize their assets. That's why a business isn't as powerful as a government.

Oh, that can destroy a government, too. If I live long enough, with the US Federal Deficit as deep as it is and climbing like it is, I might even see it happen.

Re:It's sad... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053348)

lol.. Nope. You will never see it happening to the US government. Congress passes the laws determining how a deficit is paid and what action can be taken to collect it. They won't allow it to happen. Also, in times of an emergency, the feds can sieze property for their own use. If selling this property to pay the deficit bills is what they see as usable, nothing would stop them short of a revolution. But the left has succesfully taken guns away from law abiding citizens so this won't likley happen and you can bet that stricter gun control laws would come around if there was even a hint of it.

In short, you have nothing to worry about other then higher taxes. But apearently that is what some politicians are running on so it wouldn't neccesarily matter either. And the ability to run a deficit is a sign of our econimic foundations. When entering WW2 we ran a deficit to make loans to other allied countries. We called it industrial strength back then. The only difference now is whether or not you agree with how the overspending is being spent. If you agree, it is a good thing, it you disagree it is a bad thing.

Re:It's sad... (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053552)

For an extreme counterexample, consider the regime of Pol Pot in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. He supposedly killed off an eighth of the population, emptied the cities, and otherwise was working to completedly destroy the country. The only reason he stopped was because Vietnam invaded. If he had played his diplomatic cards competently, that wouldn't have happened either (since his troops were harrassing the Vietmanese). Who knows how far he'd have gone? But to summarize, it's an example of a government that was in the process of destroying all infrastructure and most of the population. They only stopped because they ticked off a greater military power.

Re:And your point, redux? (2, Interesting)

runningduck (810975) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053692)

Enron is not gone because the reality that they actually had no money overtook their fiction, Enron is gone because they changed their name to CrossCountry Energy Corp. While most of their business activities stopped they were too well connected to just disappear.

http://www.enron.com/corp/pressroom/releases/2003/ ene/062503release.html [enron.com]
http://www.igorinternational.com/press/bloomberg-c orporate-business-name.php [igorinternational.com] - read down a bit.
http://money.cnn.com/2002/02/22/news/enron_roundup /index.htm? [cnn.com]

Re:And your point? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052580)

didn't the enron guys only get in real (criminal) trouble after the buisness had already collapsed because they could no longer keep up the illusion of profitability?

Re:And your point? (1)

eyegone (644831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052796)

s/Enron/Arthur Andersen/

Re:And your point? (1)

Hooya (518216) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052994)

Andersen Consulting spun off most of it's viable business into Accenture. So with a nice shell game, there are no *real* legal consequences for Arthur Andersen.

Re:And your point? (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053762)

Microsoft do actually have something to sell unlike Enron.
I notice Ford is still around despite some evil behaviour (although they seem to be in some financial shit finally) as are IBM (they weathered their financial shit) and no doubt dozens if not hundreds of evildoer corporations which haven't been destroyed for their crimes. The all-powerful market doesn't punish criminal corporations only unprofitable ones and most corporate crime convictions don't really affect profits.

Re:And your point? (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052526)

``you get some token fine and you chalk it up as a cost of doing business and move on.''

It's always like that. The only thing that matters is whether the rewards and "cost of doing business" do or don't exceed the rewards and cost of working within the law.

Not completely right... (3, Funny)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052020)

Microsoft didn't loose the tapes, it's just that the backup server was being run by Vista!

Re:Not completely right... (0, Offtopic)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052170)

In Soviet Russia, server runs Vista! er...something like that anyway.

Re:Not completely right... (1, Redundant)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052382)

> loose

If you loosen tapes too much they get caught in the rollers.

Re:Not completely right... (3, Funny)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052568)

``it's just that the backup server was being run by Vista!''

And the DRM wouldn't let them access the content?

Vista wasn't out then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18052786)

Uh, Vista wasn't even available in beta form back then, so how does that work again?

New? (3, Informative)

NoTheory (580275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052024)

As far as i am aware these aren't new allegations, i remember hearing about this back as far as 2 years ago at least. Some casual googling [google.com] turns up documents from that time period.

names (5, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052030)

It's a fascinating story, and even names one person at Microsoft.

Oooh! It names someone at Microsoft. I'll tell you, but you gotta keep it a secret, okay? Bill Gates. Shhhh, don't tell anyone I told you...

lawyers (1)

PipoDeClown (668468) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052064)

i believe that microsofts legal department is much much bigger then their horde of programmers. and there is probably a kb-article on microsoft.com about "unable to restore data from backuptape" or something like that.

Re:lawyers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18052704)

Yea, maybe they need to install a service pack on their servers.

According to Slashdot logic (0, Troll)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052072)

MS should be the good guys here. Burst were suing them for patent infringement which we all know is an evil practice and should be resisted by all possible means.

Re:According to Slashdot logic (1)

Teresita (982888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052500)

MS should be the good guys here. Burst were suing them for patent infringement which we all know is an evil practice and should be resisted by all possible means.

Only for patents with titles like "A Method Of Compressing ASCII Text Files By Flagging The 128 Most Common English Words With The Parity Bit"

Re:According to Slashdot logic (2, Interesting)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052938)

The patents are generic and Burst pulled the same shit with Apple, claiming they infringed them as well.

Re:According to Slashdot logic (1)

Bob Cringely (527815) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053726)

Burst sued Microsoft for restraint of trade (bullying Intel and others into changing their minds and choosing not to license Burst code -- yes CODE), breach of contract (violating an NDA), anti-trust (essentially killing Burst's business through the intentional application of monopoly power), AND patent infringement. This case was far less a matter of Microsoft infringing Burst patents than it was Microsoft obtaining confidential access to, then STEALING Burst technology, which happened to be all those nifty improvements they added to Windows Media 8.

the irony (5, Funny)

troll -1 (956834) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052100)

Microsoft was saying that it couldn't find the tapes and that it would take millions of man-hours to search for them ...

And Microsoft wants to be number one in search?

Re:the irony (1)

Rhsqueak (818528) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052196)

Microsoft was saying that it couldn't find the tapes and that it would take millions of man-hours to search for them ...

And Microsoft wants to be number one in search?
They also want to be number one in Technology and they're still backing up to tape...

Re:the irony (2, Informative)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052278)

Do you have a longer-lasting cost effective backup solution for truely massive amounts of information? Just the migration from a system that's been in place for decades would cost millions.

Re:the irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18052624)

> Do you have a longer-lasting cost effective backup solution for truely massive amounts of information? Just the migration from a system that's been in place for decades would cost millions.

Yes. Divided by their 71000 employes, it means it would have cost of dozens of dollars per employee.

Amazing.

(And your nickname is truthsearch. Well, good luck)

Huge cost effective backup (2, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052646)

I believe what you're looking for is called "Archive.org"

How large is the Wayback Machine?

The Internet Archive Wayback Machine contains almost 2 petabytes of data and is currently growing at a rate of 20 terabytes per month. This eclipses the amount of text contained in the world's largest libraries, including the Library of Congress.

Re:the irony (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052906)

Just the migration from a system that's been in place for decades would cost millions.

Or save them, depending on what gets lost during the migration.

No, they want to be number one in search and... (1)

Freed (2178) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052236)

...destroy. Destruction of evidence, rights, the digital commons, a free market, etc.

Here's the second part (5, Informative)

SEMW (967629) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052184)

Cringely posted the story in two parts, but the summary only links to the first. Second part here [technologyevangelist.com].

Microsoft's M.O. (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052322)

"Burst lawyers caught a pattern of apparent destruction of e-mail evidence on the part of Microsoft."

The same repeating pattern: msft destroy's evidence, then msft accuses others of destroying evidence. Msft steals code, then accuses others of stealing code. Msft abuses the public by controlling the standards, then msft has a screaming hissy-fit accusing others of trying to control the standard. Msft lies to the public with astro-turfing, and hiring others to front for msft etc., then msft screams and crys and falsely accuses others of fronting for the competition. And so on, and so on.

Re:Microsoft's M.O. (0, Troll)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052454)

You forgot to add: They generate a large fraction of the US GNP, they make the software that has made computers cheap and ubiquitous for everybody on the planet, and Bill Gates personally funds one of the largest charities in the world. Now, if I can only get one of their salespeople to call me back about a large new installation I'm getting ready to do...

Re:Microsoft's M.O. (1)

kegger64 (653899) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052648)

While I agree with your other points, "They generate a large fraction of the US GNP" is silly. The US GNP is about 6.7 trillion dollars. Microsoft's 40 billion in sales last year is about six tenths of one percent of that.

Re:Microsoft's M.O. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18052662)

SMOOCH!

Welcome to ass-kissing 101!

Re:Microsoft's M.O. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18052932)

Not just any ass, but an ass with tapeworms in it.

Re:Microsoft's M.O. (4, Insightful)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052882)

"They generate a large fraction of the US GNP, "

    They do? And assuming they do, is that a get out of jail free card?
    If so, why?

"they make the software that has made computers cheap and ubiquitous for everybody on the planet,"

    There were many others in that game too, till they were crushed.
    And they have made a very pretty penny from it.
    And it is not like it would not have happened anyway ( there is nothing all that special about Microsoft
        in that regard )

"and Bill Gates personally funds one of the largest charities in the world."

    Again, is this a get out of jail free card? Why do you bring it up?
    Is it OK to destroy evidence because you donate money to a charity?

"Now, if I can only get one of their salespeople to call me back about a large new installation I'm getting ready to do..."

    Good luck on that.

Re:Microsoft's M.O. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053380)

I think he was shilling for a discount in the costs of his large install. I found his post most humorous. I didn't think he was serious.

Re:Microsoft's M.O. (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052950)

If you noticed someone doing somthing you just got your ass chewed out for doing, would you bring it to others attention, or just go back to doing it ?

We are instructed to not retain any emails (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18052362)

.. at Microsoft unless there is a legitimate business reason for retention.

Nothing to see here...move along (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18052400)

What you ppl don't want other ppl to realize is the bottom line here...Microsoft didn't loose the case...They were not guilty...in fact what's the fuss about...They rarely loose any cases....That proves that they are much much more innocent than you ppl blabber on about...

An even bigger issue is how Microsoft has lifted man kind...The PC would not exist without them...

Even if they did anything wrong the Bill & Milenda Gates Foundation makes up for it by an infenite amount.

This so called journalist just has a grudge against Bill Gates because he's so rich...just like you ppl...your just jealous about his money...grow up and get a life!!!

Re:Nothing to see here...move along (2, Insightful)

Teresita (982888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052606)

An even bigger issue is how Microsoft has lifted man kind...The PC would not exist without them...

Nonsense, if Micro$oft never bought the CPM rip-off 86-DOS and renamed it "PC-DOS 1.0" Gary Kildall at Digital Research would have just marked CPM directly to IBM and today we'd all be running GEM XP [wikipedia.org].

Re:Nothing to see here...move along (1)

harry666t (1062422) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053454)

DOS was arguably the greatest step backwards in whole computer history.

Arguably.

Because after DOS there were Windows 1.0 - 5.x (which were a step back from Macintosh and Unix running X11) and Windows Vista (which is a step back from GNU/Linux running X11 and Beryl/Compiz).

Why is M$ living backwards in time?... =P

Re:Nothing to see here...move along (1)

psbrogna (611644) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053468)

... or one of /.'s favored Posix o/s's that have gained popularity in the last decade or so.

RTFA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18052576)

Read that article - those tapes were manually gathered complete backups that were moved by this contractor. He signed off on a specific number of tapes, and later it was discovered that the location held less tapes than it should have. The contractor and his company were held responsible.

The guy even mentions that this might be due to his companies error:

"Several months after all of the tapes were gathered, MS legal started asking for restores of any pst files captured, the tapes "mysteriously" went missing. Now because our team was a managed service vendor, we were held directly accountable and responsible for the loss. I can think of a lot of reasons that the tapes were removed by someone blue. It is also possible that someone on our team performing a standard purge of old media mistakenly pulled them and sent them to the shredder and even though the tapes were stored in a special section specifically marked "Do Not Touch" taped across them I find it highly unlikely."

Other than 'complete hearsay', this is speculation about a possible error on behalf of the contractor rather than a demonstration of Microsofts dirty tricks.

Corporate Records Retention Law (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052604)

I think we need a corporate records retention law to help avoid these sorts of situations. Besides intentional destruction of evidence, many corporations intentionally destroy email as quickly as possible, to make it difficult for anyone to find any evidence of wrongdoing in future civil or criminal litigation.

Re:Corporate Records Retention Law (1)

Phoobarnvaz (1030274) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053254)

I think we need a corporate records retention law to help avoid these sorts of situations. Besides intentional destruction of evidence, many corporations intentionally destroy email as quickly as possible, to make it difficult for anyone to find any evidence of wrongdoing in future civil or criminal litigation.

Unless you take said emails home on a thumb drive in your pocket...print them off & take them out the front door...send yourself a copy by webmail by using the hole in the firewall to that off-shore email account that you have or the webmail account you have for work purposes for the company who doesn't have their own email server(s). Then for some reason...the messages weren't lost at all...just that the lowly peon was smarter than everyone else & doing a CYA...just in case.

Guess that's the new face of loyalty. Making sure you do it to them...before they do it to you.

Brought out in Plaintiff opening comments (1)

Windrip (303053) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052640)

This was brought out by Plaintiff's opening statement in Comes. Check around 12/7 or 12/8 Because it was in opening statements, it's not evidence.

no backing up of pst files ? (1)

troicstar (1029086) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052664)

why on earth ? can anyone confirm ?

Re:no backing up of pst files ? (1)

jfclavette (961511) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052750)

Lots of companies have e-mail retention policies. You shouldn't keep e-mail that is not important to current business since it can prove disastrous when someone is able to subpoena it. There's simply no good reason to do it, and it can hurt your case when you face legal action even if you tought at the time that what you were doing was perfectly legal.

Re:no backing up of pst files ? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053456)

On the down side, IF your asked to produce certain comunications and you cannot your case can be damaged equaly as well. And if there is reasons to belive a lawsuite will come about, then your in deeper problems if you don't retain those emails after you came to this beleif. (in other words, If i said i was going to sure you, and you deleted everything after i said that but before the case was filed, you still destroyed evidence in most situations.

And if your in a certain businesses that is regulated like securities exchanges, banking and such, you are require to keep the emails for a certain period of time to be in compliance. I'm not sure about the length, But i do know it goes beyond the doing the business with whated the comunications are about.

Sneak Peak (1, Funny)

nevillethedevil (1021497) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052782)

Microsoft DirtyTricks


The codename for the sucessor to vista?

(I know it's offtopic but it's funny so go ahead and nuke me)

One small problem (3, Interesting)

Wolfraider (1065360) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053022)

Any one noticed one big problem in this post. All of Microsoft's email is stored in pst files? Wouldn't they be using a email system like Microsoft Exchange that stores all emails on the server? It does not make sense from a company standpoint to download all email to your desktop at work and not have it available anywhere.

Re:One small problem (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053202)

Exactly. If this one company can't archive emails successfully, what does that say for the likely success of sarbanes-oxley compliance in the US business world?

I'm kind of confused why this story is being treated as it is in the comments. MS is supposed to be helping other businesses avoid the possibility of losing data... hmmmmm MS wants to be the preferred supplier of software to government agencies and this is a bad mark on them if you ask me. Sure, they might have lost tapes which is not part of their software per se' but they are supposed to be designing software / systems that provide REALLY good backup processes in mind. If you can't demonstrate that you know how backup processes should work, perhaps your software shouldn't be used by anyone with legal requirements to backup data?

The end of Robocop 2 (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053162)

What if this was the work of one individual?
A person who had her own agenda, wasn't in sync with the goals of our company?
Well, that usually works.

Use computers (1)

lancejjj (924211) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053174)

Microsoft was saying that it couldn't find the tapes and that it would take millions of man-hours to search for them ...

Yes, it is best if they have a person search through the tape backup database to see where the tape is physically stored. It would take millions of hours. A computer could perform the database search in a couple seconds, but the query keeps crashing SQL Server ever since the Vista upgrade.

XBOX 360 - be a player! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18053312)

I just picked up an XBOX 360, this thing ROCKS! I had thought about getting a playstation 3 but the games suck and Sony is an evil corporation. THank god for Microsoft!

I don't get it (1)

thewils (463314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053792)

Wouldn't it hurt Microsoft's case to _not_ have the email backups? I mean Burst could claim anything they want to in an email purporting to come from Microsoft, and if MS didn't have the "original" then they couldn't dispute it.

Ergo, Burst has them by the short and curlies. You should keep copies of email specifically so that you can refer back to them in the event of a dispute.
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