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Novell's 2004 Case Against Microsoft Moves Forward

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the on-hold-since-2004 dept.

The Courts 197

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Novell's antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft for destroying the market for WordPerfect and QuattroPro can now move forward. The Supreme Court denied certiorari to Microsoft's appeal of an appeals court ruling, which is the fancy legal way of saying they ignored Microsoft's appeal and let the previous ruling stand. Novell's complaint is an interesting read, because some of this sounds quite familiar, given how Microsoft is now forcing the standardization of OOXML. Statements like, 'As Microsoft knew, a truly standard file format that was open to all ISVs would have enhanced competition in the market for word processing applications, because such a standard allows the exchange of text files between different word processing applications used by different customers,' and 'Microsoft made other inferior features de facto industry standards,' sound a lot more recent."

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A nice interview (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22778732)

A thought provoking interview [bmevideo.com] with Bill caught my attention lately.

Re:A nice interview (4, Informative)

Lingerance (1117761) | more than 6 years ago | (#22778744)

Mod parent down. Images of amputations that should not be.

mod parent down (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779020)

Informative? Maybe if you are 13 and this is your first day on Slashdot.

Re:A nice interview (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22778746)

Shock images need to be bigger.

Fuckin' amateurs.

Re:A nice interview (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22778850)

Looks like I picked a bad week to quit /b/.

Re:A nice interview (2, Funny)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779034)

And it looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue

Sorry to say... (3, Insightful)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 6 years ago | (#22778758)

But why does MS have to adopt to the standard?

The problem is, matter of factly, that nothing competes with Office as it stands. Nothing. Not OpenOffice, not Apple's Keynote/Pages, or anything else.

Microsoft has to have its hand forced. Look at Internet Explorer. Firefox came out, was a BETTER browser, and now Microsoft is finally promising standards compliance in IE8. It may, or may not be the case that it will happen, but enough to realize that they have to beat Firefox on its own turf, since it is now the superior browser.

All I am saying is, that if you can beat the MS Office suite of products, then you can win against Microsoft. But that's a product that is really, really good.... and I don't see it as MS taking the fight lying down either.

Re:Sorry to say... (5, Insightful)

Drogo007 (923906) | more than 6 years ago | (#22778788)

Back in the Day, Word Perfect WAS better. But because you couldn't import files from MS's solutions, and MS used it's well-documented anti-competitive practices to push their productivity offerings, the net result was harm to Word Perfect's viability.

Whether or not Word Perfect could have continued to compete based on merit is a moot point because Microsoft's practices DIDN'T GIVE THEM A CHANCE TO DO SO

Re:Sorry to say... (5, Interesting)

Sheriff Fatman (602092) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779084)

I was working in tech support at a building engineering company in 1997 - lots of big contracts, lots of specification documents, lots of complex calculation sheets - and I was there during the migration from WordPerfect 6.1 & Quattro Pro 6.0 to Microsoft Office 97.

We migrated because our clients started putting clauses in their contracts that all documents and calculation sheets had to be supplied electronically as Microsoft Office documents. There was absolutely no other justification for the migration. Our customers basically forced us to buy Office 97 or they were going to take their business elsewhere. I have no idea why they did this, but I'm guessing Microsoft's 'corporate awareness' strategies must have had something to do with it...

MS Office was more expensive, and required more powerful (i.e. expensive) PCs. It was technically inferior - users would waste hours tracking down formatting bugs in Word that would have succumbed to WordPerfect's "Reveal Codes" feature in a few seconds; Excel didn't support some fairly obvious features (e.g. copy/paste of '3D' blocks of cells across multiple worksheets) that our Quattro users used daily. We had invested heavily in development of macros and templates for WordPerfect and Quattro Pro, most of which ended up being scrapped because there was no way to migrate them.

You have no idea how frustrating it was explaining to engineers - technically literate, intelligent, capable users - that they were no longer allowed to use the tools they'd spend time familiarising themselves with because Microsoft had somehow persuaded our customers to insist that we used an inferior product.

Sure, ten years later, MS Office has overtaken them, and any company trying to compete with Microsoft in the desktop office market have their work cut out for them to say the least - but I honestly believe that Office 95 and 97 killed WordPerfect, and I don't believe they did it by being cheaper, faster or more powerful.

1) Microsoft allowed piracy. 2) WP owners quit. (5, Informative)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779390)

More of the story about why the competitors lost market share:

1) Microsoft apparently was deliberately allowing piracy of Microsoft Office and other Microsoft products. I know this because I called the Microsoft legal department, accused them of allowing piracy, and forced them to stop some of the local pirate outlets. In response, Microsoft brought one court case. But the other pirates continued. Later Microsoft made it impossible to contact their legal department.

Legitimate suppliers of alternative products could not compete because computer customers were being offered pirated copies of Microsoft Office for $50 when bought with a computer -- or less.

2) The people who owned most of the WordPerfect stock did not WANT to compete. You can read the book about this written by the COO of WordPerfect, Almost Perfect, available online [fitnesoft.com] .

My opinion is that Microsoft allowed piracy, and that was the biggest contributing factor toward the failure of competitors.

Re:1) Microsoft allowed piracy. 2) WP owners quit. (5, Interesting)

The-Ixian (168184) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779630)

This makes a lot of sense to me now.

I seem to recall that you could just put in all 1's for the cd-key for the '97 products in order to install them.

I think also counting up from 1 and then back down worked as well.

Re:1) Microsoft allowed piracy. 2) WP owners quit. (1)

dgarbett (833374) | more than 6 years ago | (#22780084)

Yeah but you would have to take your shoes and socks off to do that. Yes - I am drunk.

Re:Sorry to say... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779634)

I personally used to use Quattro Pro back in the day. Then Excel for Windows came out and blew it away. Excel was better and I switched. This is at home, on my own machine with me buying the software myself.

As far as the "reveal codes", sure that was nice in a sick way (I mean with a sane word processor - which neither WordPerfect nor Word were back then - you wouldn't NEED a feature like that). However, WordPerfect blew it in the business world when they couldn't figure out how to work correctly with standard Windows print drivers and their print dialogs that would take minutes to come up and then throw errors. That blunder cost them a whole lot of switchers. Bottom line may have been that text entry was better in WordPerfect. I'll never know, I didn't use it. But I sure had to support users who did and they liked Word better because it was able to print without barfing.

Re:Sorry to say... (1)

$random_var (919061) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779848)

As recently at 2006, a US nuclear plant was still using WordPerfect for its procedures because they had invested huge amounts of time and money into advanced macros that were specific to the needs of procedure writers managing tens of thousands of pages of active documents. All of their procedure writers were current or ex reactor operators, and when your workforce is largely over 40 and very difficult to hire off the street, it's very hard to change software. I asked a few of them why they never changed, and the response was an impassioned defense of the superiority of the product. By all indications, they're probably still using WP today (but I wouldn't be surprised if they're the only ones). The procedures are managed internally, the NRC is the only "customer" and they of course require it in hardcopy. In that little island, WP managed to hold its own against the incursion of Office.

Re:Sorry to say... (1)

dgarbett (833374) | more than 6 years ago | (#22780042)

So why not continue using the superior products? Couldn't go save to MS format when you needed to supply docs to your customers?

Re:Sorry to say... (3, Interesting)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779188)

Back in the Day, Word Perfect WAS better. But because you couldn't import files from MS's solutions, and MS used it's well-documented anti-competitive practices to push their productivity offerings, the net result was harm to Word Perfect's viability.

Whether or not Word Perfect could have continued to compete based on merit is a moot point because Microsoft's practices DIDN'T GIVE THEM A CHANCE TO DO SO

As I pointed out in another thread, Microsoft did use predatory pricing to make Word the market leader. However, WordPerfect also had a number of other problems.

But because you couldn't import files from MS's solutions

This was, in fact, a failing of WordPerfect, because Microsoft made sure you could import them the other way around.

The question is, how long did it take the WordPerfect Corporation* and/or Novell to add this to WordPerfect?

As I recall, Novell was also slow about producing a GUI version of WordPerfect. When they did make a GUI version, they ran into the problem where "WordPerfect's function-key-centered user interface did not adapt well to the new paradigm of mouse and pull-down menus, especially with many of WordPerfect's standard key combinations pre-empted by incompatible keyboard shortcuts that Windows itself used (e.g. Alt-F4 became Exit Program as opposed to WordPerfect's Block Text)." -- Wikipedia, WordPerfect [wikipedia.org]

As far as I can tell from Wikipedia's Microsoft Office Word [wikipedia.org] article, early versions of Word used menus rather than direct keyboard shortcuts, meaning that they had a much easier time moving to a GUI. Although, Microsoft did later steal a number of keyboard shortcuts from Apple.

*They sold WordPerfect to Novell.

Re:Sorry to say... (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779306)

> This was, in fact, a failing of WordPerfect, because Microsoft made sure you could import them the other way around.

Microsoft made people reverse engineer things then changed it under them. WordPerfect, IIRC, had a specification available.

If you've seen the 'application defined' tags in OOXML, you may understand the crap Novell had to deal with.

Re:Sorry to say... (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779358)

But because you couldn't import files from MS's solutions

This was, in fact, a failing of WordPerfect, because Microsoft made sure you could import them the other way around.

The question is, how long did it take the WordPerfect Corporation* and/or Novell to add this to WordPerfect?
It occurs to me that this is *still* a problem since the file format needs to be reverse engineered. Am I wrong that this is the case, or is it that this wasn't the case back then?

I seems that WordPerfect's file format was more easily obtained, no?

Re:Sorry to say... (4, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779898)

This was, in fact, a failing of WordPerfect, because Microsoft made sure you could import them the other way around. The question is, how long did it take the WordPerfect Corporation* and/or Novell to add this to WordPerfect?

WordPerfect used marked up text that was easily readable, and provided the specification. MS Word used an intentionally obscured binary format that actually included random data from the hard disk (sometimes including "deleted" files that were recoverable using third party tools). Worse, MS Word also read and wrote Rich Text Files, which they made the standard for file transfers on the Windows OS. They intentionally changed both of these formats constantly to keep third parties from accurately reverse engineering them for compatibility.

Your assertion that this was a problem with WordPerfect is true, but it was an artificial problem Microsoft created using their desktop OS monopoly, which is one of the reasons why MS has been losing their absurdly drawn out case.

As I recall, Novell was also slow about producing a GUI version of WordPerfect.

They were only a year and a half behind Word for GUI (WYSIWYG) but they were another year behind in bringing it to Windows.

When they did make a GUI version, they ran into the problem where "WordPerfect's function-key-centered user interface did not adapt well to the new paradigm of mouse and pull-down menus, especially with many of WordPerfect's standard key combinations pre-empted by incompatible keyboard shortcuts that Windows itself used

Actually, WordPerfect switched to a tool palette menu that was very highly reviewed and pretty much universally considered superior to Word's later toolbar format, but MS redefined the UI guidelines for Windows such that WordPerfect had to scrap their existing GUI and quickly implement a toolbar. That is, in fact, one of the antitrust complaints.

I think it is pretty easy to see that MS was unfairly creating artificial problems with WordPerfect that were not problems in Word, using their Windows monopoly. They used secret APIs, constantly changed their formats, and repeatedly made changes to Windows that disadvantaged WordPerfect. In short, they are guilty as hell, but such a ruling comes so late that the market is utterly destroyed and there is no real competition. The biggest competitors left for MS Office are WordPerfect (leftover stronghold niches and alternate platforms), OpenOffice (run as a communal copyleft, nonprofit project to exclude it from traditional market pressures), and iWork (only available on a niche platform that has an entire vertical chain of hardware: OS: end-user apps to bypass MS's desktop monopoly influence). It is pretty clear there is no capitalist free market at work for office suites and any monetary compensation may make Novell shareholders a little happier, but is far too late to help consumers. Hopefully the EU courts will prove to be more efficient, faster, and actually do something to make MS create the best product at the lowest price if they actually want to make sales.

Re:Sorry to say... (2, Informative)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779310)

You must have forgotten Word Perfect 6.0. Terrible printer support, couldn't support high resolution monitors without specific WP drivers that noone wrote. It was super slow, a memory pig, and didn't support Truetype fonts (Or any kind of fonts). Everyone hated it. That's what called WP.

And that was WP's solution to Microsoft Word, where you could drag and drop pictures, screenshots, etc and move them around the document with ease. Sorry, but for anyone trying to do layout at the time WP was a DOG. Word worked. That's when my office switched, it had nothing to do with what came on the computer, or literature from Microsoft. Word was just 200% better than WP.

Re:Sorry to say... (1)

jbengt (874751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779770)

I never used WP 6.0, but WP 5.2, 6.1, and 8.0 were each much better than the concurrent MS Word versions, in my experience.

Re:Sorry to say... (3, Funny)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779540)

Back in the Day, Word Perfect WAS better.

You really have no clue. The early versions of WordPerfect for Windows were some of the hugest pieces of shit ever shat.

Re:Sorry to say... (3, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779622)

Yup.

WP5.1 for DOS? Probably the best DOS-based word processor ever. Clear market dominance. In those days people mostly laughed at Word.

WP6 for Windows? Steaming pile of crap. They completely did not get the user interface shift that was happening and the new possibilities that a GUI provided until it was much, much too late.

It's up to the courts to ultimately decide if Microsoft played fair or not, but what's not in question is that, at best, they were fighting dirty (kind of pathetic now that I think about it) to beat a competitor who was already doing a great job of beating themselves. Kind of like kicking WordPerfect in the groin once after WordPerfect inexplicably chugged a bottle of hull cleaner and repeatedly fell on its sword.

Re:Sorry to say... (1)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779642)

Back in the Day, Word Perfect WAS better. But because you couldn't import files from MS's solutions, and MS used it's well-documented anti-competitive practices to push their productivity offerings, the net result was harm to Word Perfect's viability.

Whether or not Word Perfect could have continued to compete based on merit is a moot point because Microsoft's practices DIDN'T GIVE THEM A CHANCE TO DO SO
I'm here to tell you that Wordperfect still works just fine, and yes, it is better than Word. Our law office uses Wordperfect 10, and nobody wants to switch any time soon. I expect we'll upgrade to Wordperfect X3 (yes, Corel is still making new versions of Wordperfect) before we ever switch to Office. I know that our office, though in the minority, is far from singular in continuing to support Wordperfect over Word, despite the fact that Microsoft Office formats dominate electronic Court filings in my neck of the woods. Ironically, the Courts probably use Word in part because an unusually large number of law firms run Macs, with Microsoft Orifice loaded on them.

Re:Sorry to say... (5, Informative)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22778806)

Think back to the early 90s, WordPerfect ruled the land. Then Sweet William emailed his minions instructing them to deliberately withhold the knowledge of Windows' inner workings, so that Novell would be left out in the cold. The relevant quote from Ars Technica's front page story-

"I have decided that we should not publish these extensions," wrote Gates. "We should wait until we have away to do a high level of integration that will be harder for likes of Notes, WordPerfect to achieve, and which will give Office a real advantage... We can't compete with Lotus and WordPerfect/Novell without this."
Kinda damning.

Re:Sorry to say... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779086)

Sure, you take the quote out of context like Novel is, it certainly looks damning.

But if you read the email as a whole, you'll realize that they're talking about making the IShellBrowser api public -- not exactly a useful api to writing a browser. In fact, if you read it as a whole you'll see that they're talking about pulling resources that would be used to make the interface public and put those resources on making Office better.

Re:Sorry to say... (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779224)

But due to its OS monopoly, 'Microsoft windows' isn't allowed to do any favors for 'Microsoft office'.
Thats simple competition law, bill knew it, novel know it and anybody else running a company that interacts with itself, know it. Take for example British gas, 'British gas (suppliers)' arn't allowed to cut any deals with the 'British gas (resellers)', this is the same.

Re:Sorry to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779498)

> But due to its OS monopoly, 'Microsoft windows' isn't allowed to do any favors for 'Microsoft office'.

There's never been a US court ruling that said that, and certainly not back in 1994.

Re:Sorry to say... (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779606)

Before the 1st murder, was it legal?
Before somebody explicitly tells me im not allowed to kill you, is it legal?
The law is the law, from the moment it is passed, and anti-monopoly laws ahd been in place for a while in 1994.

Re:Sorry to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779828)

Yes, but your body odor is certainly really heinous.

Re:Sorry to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779298)

With IShellBrowser you can view and parse any sort of html file you want.

Most help files these days are actually compressed html files.

Re:Sorry to say... (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779338)

Yes, kinda damning. It's delightful to finally see the bully genius' own words come back to damn him and his actions.

But didn't the (unwise suits) at Novell sign a deal with MS recently...it seems that doesn't effect this case, as that had to do with patents MS wanted to use or abuse...

And, to be fair, Novell, when it bought WP, the first thing they did was remove the lifetime free 800 number tech support. I recall this pissed off many customers. But absolutely, WP continued to be superior for a long time afterwards.

Re:Sorry to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779420)

Spooking is the term where the slightest incompatibility will scare away market/competition. To be fair, it happens on Wall St too. Consumenrs are ignorant/unreasonable still, just look at Intel Vs AMD chipset issues, yet the 'buyer' does not care about ram or power supply quality. IBM may have invented it, with DASD controllers, and VSAM and other OS things which saw Amdahl, Fujitsu and Siemens market shares fall. They did a deal with HDS, and HDS did well. A little difference in DOS hurt Digital. Dumping NT support with Alpha processors. And then you have the fear factor in Lotus, and all the other WORD sytle importers/filters, to the extent that OpenOffice is still not liked. Never mind the fact that each version of word, has created big headaches with corporate macros, yet they persist after being burnt.

Vista, Ironically, has also been spooked and labeled as 'incompatible' by the mob. Rather than open up 3rd party fixes and patches, their fix, is to withdraw XP support, to say 'you are now out on a limb', as worked so well with 98SE. The differences between PC and APPLE WORD versions also had a measurable impact.

If Monopoly laws are to be given fair interpretation, punishing monopolies even if they have done no wrong should occur. Even if MS were to put everthing out as open source, one doubts long term growth would be impacted. There are reasonable defences, but because market share is the way it is, it looks like not enough has been done to mitigate reality.

   

Re:Sorry to say... (2, Interesting)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22778826)

Many office product worked just fine before the day of MS Office. Microsoft used the 800 pound gorilla standard as a means of purging the market of all but their own. That is not technical elegance wins the day, that is not ease of use wins the day, that is not fair competition of features, abilities and ideas. and that is certainly not sticking to or even creating a new standard.
Novell had perfectly good Apps what crushed the certainly was not a superior product.
    And here we go again ..

I think that is a pretty poor analogy (1)

patiodragon (920102) | more than 6 years ago | (#22778900)

Comparing proprietary document files, which can ONLY be read by the proprietary software when it first comes out, to HTML files, which might be rendered *somewhat* poorly on a different software, but most can be read just fine. HTML is pretty open already. I think THAT is the point. Apples and grapefruit.

Re:I think that is a pretty poor analogy (2, Funny)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779006)

Where is badanalogyguy when you really need him?

Transporter_ii

Re:I think that is a pretty poor analogy (4, Informative)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779056)

You misunderstand: WordPerfect stored its files in a proprietary markup language. (It wasn't exactly hard to get the specifications; all you had to do was ask.) There was a special key combination (Alt-F3, if memory serves) that toggled Reveal Codes mode. In that mode, the screen was split into to halves. In the upper, you had the regular display. In the lower, you could see all the markup and edit it. That way, if you'd accidentally entered (let's say) a new margin by accident, you could see exactly were it was and remove it. I've known people who learned the program by having Reveal Codes on at all times so that they could see the effects of what they were doing and learn how the program worked.

Re:I think that is a pretty poor analogy (3, Interesting)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779588)

I've known people who learned the program by having Reveal Codes on at all times so that they could see the effects of what they were doing and learn how the program worked.

There were legions of middle-aged secretaries who did the very same day in and day out. The rest of their time, when they weren't yakking on the phone or doing their nails, they managed a directory structure to store their work, formatted floppies, filled in time sheets, printed out mailing labels, and generally maintained their systems ... all from the command-line.

Those were the days. ;-)

Re:I think that is a pretty poor analogy (2, Interesting)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779790)

I think your memories are overly idealized. Most of those secretaries saved all of their files in the C:\WP51\ directory, and the only way they could find anything was using the fullscreen file browser program that came with WordPerfect. If they used the command line at all, they had a cheatsheet taped to their monitor.

But it doesn't really matter because businesses got rid of most of their secretaries after GUI word processing became popular.

Re:I think that is a pretty poor analogy (1)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779674)

You misunderstand: WordPerfect stored its files in a proprietary markup language. (It wasn't exactly hard to get the specifications; all you had to do was ask.) There was a special key combination (Alt-F3, if memory serves) that toggled Reveal Codes mode. In that mode, the screen was split into to halves. In the upper, you had the regular display. In the lower, you could see all the markup and edit it. That way, if you'd accidentally entered (let's say) a new margin by accident, you could see exactly were it was and remove it. I've known people who learned the program by having Reveal Codes on at all times so that they could see the effects of what they were doing and learn how the program worked.
Why do you speak in the past tense? Reveal Codes is awesome (it's the only thing that makes importing Word documents tolerable), and you can take it away when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. Wordperfect FTW

Re:Sorry to say... (4, Informative)

NullProg (70833) | more than 6 years ago | (#22778924)

The problem is, matter of factly, that nothing competes with Office as it stands. Nothing. Not OpenOffice, not Apple's Keynote/Pages, or anything else.
OK, this case isn't about OpenOffice or anything else currently available for you to buy. This case isn't about standard file formats. This case is about Microsoft using their Windows Monopoly to kill off competing products.

Back in the day. they didn't bundle computers with Word Perfect/dBase/Quatro Pro (Which was better than Excel at one point). Microsoft forced Windows Licensees (computer makers) to carry Microsoft Works, which was in fact, Microsoft Office starter edition. Computer makers could not sign deals with software vendors (bundling) such as Borland, Word Perfect Corp. or any other without having their Windows License fees raised.

If there was any innovations in Spread Sheet/Word Processing technology to make, we will never know. Microsoft killed off all the commercial competition using the Windows License Fee of Death (LFoD?). To see that Google Desktop Search is bundled with a new Dell XP/Vista computer shows you how much Microsoft has been neutered by the DOJ.

Enjoy,

Re:Sorry to say... (2, Interesting)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779372)

Microsoft forced Windows Licensees (computer makers) to carry Microsoft Works, which was in fact, Microsoft Office starter edition.

In fact, the bundled version of Works would allow you to install the Upgrade version of Office 95 or 97 instead of the full version.

The first hit is always free....

Re:Sorry to say... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779382)

All I am saying is, that if you can beat the MS Office suite of products, then you can win against Microsoft. But that's a product that is really, really good....

Wow, sounds like a classic case of Stockholm syndrome [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Sorry to say... (4, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779388)

But why does MS have to adopt to the standard?

Two reasons. First many very large customers want them to do so. Second, because it provides a level playing field with everyone competing based upon the merits of their offerings.

The problem is, matter of factly, that nothing competes with Office as it stands. Nothing. Not OpenOffice, not Apple's Keynote/Pages, or anything else.

Then what is the harm of implementing ODF natively in MS Office? If MS's offerings are better based upon real merits, then implementing ODF natively improves their offering and should get them more sales. Why would they fight so hard against it?

The truth is, MS word is a very poor choice for a lot of people. People who want to to home publishing of a newsletter on their Mac, are probably better off using Pages, especially given how much cheaper it is. Schools who have limited budgets are probably better off using OpenOffice because it is free and they can run it on Linux based labs as well as Windows and Macs and both in the school and at home, all with the same versions and all without any format incompatibilities. It just isn't practical for a school to provide students with a "standard" version of Word that will run on all the machines in the school and in the home (even old ones). For people who are itinerant minstrels traveling from town to town and writing in public libraries, it is a lot easier to use Google Documents via a Web browser than it is to have a copy of MS Office and try to get it installed by the administrators of the library.

The above are just a few examples. Microsoft has intentionally avoided ODF and are, in fact trying to kill it off as a standard because they want all those people and everyone else to either buy and use MS Office, or use a product that is always going to be second rate as it tries to reverse engineer whatever half-assed format MS is using. They don't want their to be fir competition or for it to be easy for users to buy a product better suited to their needs (which may be inferior in many ways for many uses, but not for that user).

Microsoft has to have its hand forced. Look at Internet Explorer. Firefox came out, was a BETTER browser, and now Microsoft is finally promising standards compliance in IE8.

Firefox has been a better browser for many years and MS has been promising "better" standards compliance forever. That doesn't mean they will actually do it. They haven;'t even made promises to do better for most Web standards, just "better" for a small subset. Both IE and MS Office are examples of the free, capitalism market being undermined and consumers suffering retarded innovation, high prices, and inferior products as a result.

All I am saying is, that if you can beat the MS Office suite of products, then you can win against Microsoft.

Okay, say you're an investor. You have a few hundred million in capital to invest. You can invest in piezoelectrics or office suites. The former maker s not monopolized so if you invest in it, the return is likely to be proportional. The latter market is monopolized and you'll be going up against a competitor who can introduce artificial problems with your product by breaking compatibility. Worse yet, they have a related monopoly and can use hidden APIs to get better performance on pretty much all computers, while they can introduce "bugs" with every service pack that will slow down or break your product. Sure you can invest in that, but it will take a lot more capital to get a lot smaller return, and ost companies that have tried have died (some who even had superior offerings at the time). Where do you put your investment capital?

The courts need to act against MS and provide investors and competitors with some faith that antitrust laws will be effectively enforced and competition will be fair. Right now, investors do not have that opinion because the courts have largely ignored MS's abuses and the settlements S has paid out have been fairly small compared to the capital they take in. Products don' just pop into existence in a vacuum. They are created by smart people with a business plan. The problem is smart business people won't invest in the mainstream Office suite market because it is a stupid and risky move given how bribable the US courts are.

But that's a product that is really, really good.... and I don't see it as MS taking the fight lying down either.

The whole point of fair competition is that MS should not take anything lying down. The courts requiring MS to use ODF as a native format isn't a way to punish MS or make MS Office worse. It is a way to make sure that if MS Office is worse for a given set of users, MS suffer financially, so that they (and everyone else) has motivation to make the best product possible so consumers will buy it. MS prefers to use a lock in strategy where even if their product is worse, most people have no choice but to pay them anyway. It is unfair and it hurts everyone and the industry.

Re:Sorry to say... (1)

MeNeXT (200840) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779644)

I'm sorry to say there's nothing in Office that most business needs to compete with....Never had a need for it. As a matter of fact I've never had a need for proprietary formats. Once you get that out of the way there is nothing that office offers that can't be achieved by other programs. If Office is your tool fine by you but Office in no way can meet my expectations just by the simple fact that it's limited to one platform (please don't say it's available for the Mac,Word may be somewhat compatible, Excel also but Office just stops there). I don't want to get into this argument because MS fan boys just don't get it. There is more than one way to skin a cat. I would hate to drive the same car everyone else is driving. I would prefer to use the tool that best suits the task. When dealing with mixed environments, standards work best. And by mixed I'm including different versions of windows.

Re:Sorry to say... (1)

MBC1977 (978793) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779744)

See I look at it like this: If I am a little fish (Microsoft, circa 1989) and want to win marketshare, I create a standard and promote it. That may be hard for some to accept, but Microsoft acted smartly -- develop your own standard and get people to jump on the bandwagon. I remember Wordperfect it was great up to version 5.1 and then Microsoft bought Ami (a little French word processing company) shortly after releasing windows and tweaked it to make MS Word. While some may claim that Wordperfect was the best, the moment I touched Ms Word, I never touched Wordperfect again (even convinced many people to switch, which is easy when your 15 and computer savvy). It was a better product.

On a different note, creating a standard is nice, but if I don't like your standard, then I'll switch and promote one I do like. Whether its open or closed is irrelevant to most people, since most people truly don't want to get their hands dirty (so to speak) on arcane and seemingly (real or not) geek-appearing stuff (my apologies to all geeks). Crying foul, so many years later seems like a ploy to destroy a competitor who beat them with a proverbial better hand.

Re:Sorry to say... (1)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779840)

You're confused. WinWord was developed inhouse. Ami was bought by Lotus and became IBM Word Pro.

Re:Sorry to say... (1)

neonsignal (890658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779782)

> nothing competes with Office as it stands... It's just I, little billy goat gruff.

OOo better than Office 2007 (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779872)

I have quite a few clients who bought PCs with Office 2007 installed and the ones that didn't have Office 2003 CDs, are all over the moon with OpenOffice.org.

Re:OOo better than Office 2007 (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 6 years ago | (#22780044)

No Shit!! Office 2007 is a piece of fucking dog shit. then again guess what all the current college students are learning to use right now?

Re:Sorry to say... (1)

blind monkey 3 (773904) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779902)

There is a big difference in that if you want to interact with other businesses (who all have years of investment in word /excel format) you will need to have Office installed - even if you don't need all the features of Office - note that because it is "the best" doesn't mean you need to have it, I think Ferraris are "the best", guess what I don't drive?.
With the internet there were problems - lots of sites with IE only features, even sites with the broken Front Page scripting of back slash instead of forward slash (it was mighty handy that IE could render it). I used Linux and some sites I could not view at all.... but luckily the net is still at least close to compliant (thanks I suspect to LAMP and a lot of hard work by the open source community).

However, even in victory... (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22778790)

If you find yourself striding through courtrooms with the judge on your side, do not be triumphant; for you aren't in Ellysium. Your market's already dead.

Re:However, even in victory... (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 6 years ago | (#22778878)

If your market is already dead, then aren't you already in Elysium? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elysium [wikipedia.org]

Re:However, even in victory... (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779044)

Nope.
I was thinking Tartarus [wikipedia.org] more like.

WordPerfect rocked (4, Informative)

Laebshade (643478) | more than 6 years ago | (#22778792)

I remember using it in high school ('99?) and how the format you saved in, by default, was simply a type of marked up text; in the editor, you could go to a certain mode that would allow you to edit out the markup code itself (a lot like a wysiwyg editor for html, but... well, html isn't really known for any kind of real word processing). This was so powerful, and when I had a class on Word, I hated it didn't have that feature.

If WordPerfect could read/write ODF, I would go out and buy a legitimate copy (no, I don't even have a pirate copy - it's useless unless you don't need to share your document with others).

WordPerfect made sense. I'm glad justice is (possibly) on it's way to be served.

Re:WordPerfect rocked (1)

ekgringo (693136) | more than 6 years ago | (#22778840)

I briefly used the first Windows-based version of Word Perfect which had that feature. IIRC, it was confusing when you didn't have that mode turned on. You could be backspacing through text and delete invisible codes rather than characters. It didn't do so hot a job removing codes that were no longer being used, so you could click in the middle of a paragraph and start typing only to have the text show up underlined or bold or in a different font because you clicked on a section with old codes still in it.

Re:WordPerfect rocked (1)

sjwest (948274) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779138)

Wordperfect was good, it worked on a lot of platforms, then got multiple owner syndrome.

We used wordperfect until recently but after giving the company several chances including buying the wordperfect for linux box and when that crashed, tried a windows release (demo, not novell but wordperfect office) that crashed windows with an alarming regularity it meant one thing - open office.

Document migration was not that bad (a lot of work) use gnumeric for spreadsheets (hint hint) and things where done.

I have to question Novells longevity since there deal with Microsoft and I am sure Steve will be having words with Ron about this case.

Competition is good, but i think wordperfect's days are over.

Re:WordPerfect rocked (4, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779688)

If WordPerfect could read/write ODF, I would go out and buy a legitimate copy

Actually, the beta version of WordPerfect does support ODF. You can sign up for the beta test here [corel.com] .

just one leetle thing (0, Troll)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22778804)

If their software was so superior, why did WordPerfect die?

They, just like Microsoft, were more interested in making money then they ever were in providing consumer choice, or making it easier for us to transfer information. There was nothing stopping them keeping their product active.

I used to use WordPerfect. It was great. Then Microsoft outmaneuvered them, and they lost. Boohoo, get over it. Care to try and convince me that they wouldn't have done exactly the same thing to microsoft, given half a chance?

Don't bother, I wouldn't believe you anyway.

People were shifting between companies all the time back then. Microsoft weren't some alien group, they were people with exactly the same goals and level of experience as the competition. They just had the superior business model for the day. Back then things were nasty, but they were nasty all round, it's just fashionable to only remember microsofts bad deeds.

Re:just one leetle thing (4, Informative)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 6 years ago | (#22778870)

Part of the reason WordPerfect lost favor was because Microsoft was dumping [wikipedia.org] Office at a price WordPerfect couldn't compete at. It wasn't until after Microsoft established a majority presence that they raised Office's price to the prices we see today.

At that point, most businesses had already retrained their staff on Word and started saving files in .doc format.

Before you ask, no, I personally don't have any references to back this up other than my memory.

Re:just one leetle thing (3, Insightful)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#22778966)

Part of the reason WordPerfect lost favor was because Microsoft was dumping Office at a price WordPerfect couldn't compete at. It wasn't until after Microsoft established a majority presence that they raised Office's price to the prices we see today.

I remember those days and I don't remember MS dumping. Yes, they were cheaper at the time IIRC, but dumping? No. Wordperfect back then was the king of the word processors.

Sorry, I think MS won that battle fair and square.

No wonder they modded you 'funny' ... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779126)

> Yes, they were cheaper at the time IIRC, but dumping? No. Wordperfect back then was the king of the word processors.

Yes, dumping. They forced OEMs to license Works (stripped-down Office), made parts of Word into components of Windows, and made sure that Word's file formats were known to no one else.

Ironically, this should be a technical case the judges can understand. Many law offices STILL use WordPerfect, because it was better.

> Sorry, I think MS won that battle fair and square.

You're mistaken, and the rulings thus far seem to back me up on that :)

Re:No wonder they modded you 'funny' ... (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22780082)

Ironically, this should be a technical case the judges can understand. Many law offices STILL use WordPerfect, because it was better.

WordPerfect was better... in 1991.

Hell, even for several years thereafter I was using WP5.1. WP6+ was trash, but there was no reason I couldn't keep using 5.1.

Eventually, the world moved on. Word became way-ass better than WordPerfect.

You can try to blame Microsoft, but really, they didn't force WordPerfect to start releasing crap that couldn't successfully compete with their own last version. When WordPerfect lost its market dominance, mostly that was market suicide. You might be able to get Microsoft on charges of molesting the corpse thereafter, but they didn't kill WordPerfect.

Re:just one leetle thing (3, Insightful)

Rombuu (22914) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779164)

Dumping? What do you think the marginal cost of a copy of Word is? If its $5, I'd be shocked.

The High Cost of Word. (2, Informative)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779740)

What do you think the marginal cost of a copy of Word is? If its $5, I'd be shocked.

The marginal cost to M$ is next to zero, the cost of the electricity required to make the copy. It would be a rip off for half that price because it costs you your liberty.

It was dumping Just the same. When there's a market of fixed size and your competitor needs to sell their product at D to make it's operating cost and you offer your competing product at anything from D- to zero, you have dumped your product. If you are able to do this because of some monopoly in another product, you have used something called monopoly rent and you have subsidized the destruction of your competitor. Then, when your competitor is out of business, you raise the price of your competing product to $400, the purpose of your dumping has been revealed.

There's more than dumping that happened here. M$ engaged in OS level anti-competitive practices unique to software, FUD unique to M$ and selective marketing/bribery that's all too common. It will be interesting to see exactly what kind of filth this new trial will prove.

How to advocate free software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779874)

twitter [slashdot.org] , please read this carefully. Following this advice will make Slashdot a better place for everyone, including yourself.

  • As a representative of the Linux community, participate in mailing list and newsgroup discussions in a professional manner. Refrain from name-calling and use of vulgar language. Consider yourself a member of a virtual corporation with Mr. Torvalds as your Chief Executive Officer. Your words will either enhance or degrade the image the reader has of the Linux community.
  • Avoid hyperbole and unsubstantiated claims at all costs. It's unprofessional and will result in unproductive discussions.
  • A thoughtful, well-reasoned response to a posting will not only provide insight for your readers, but will also increase their respect for your knowledge and abilities.
  • Always remember that if you insult or are disrespectful to someone, their negative experience may be shared with many others. If you do offend someone, please try to make amends.
  • Focus on what Linux has to offer. There is no need to bash the competition. Linux is a good, solid product that stands on its own.
  • Respect the use of other operating systems. While Linux is a wonderful platform, it does not meet everyone's needs.
  • Refer to another product by its proper name. There's nothing to be gained by attempting to ridicule a company or its products by using "creative spelling". If we expect respect for Linux, we must respect other products.
  • Give credit where credit is due. Linux is just the kernel. Without the efforts of people involved with the GNU project , MIT, Berkeley and others too numerous to mention, the Linux kernel would not be very useful to most people.
  • Don't insist that Linux is the only answer for a particular application. Just as the Linux community cherishes the freedom that Linux provides them, Linux only solutions would deprive others of their freedom.
  • There will be cases where Linux is not the answer. Be the first to recognize this and offer another solution.

From http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/docs/HOWTO/Advocacy [ibiblio.org]

Re:The High Cost of Word. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779984)

Posting at -1 for trolling [slashdot.org] .

Re:just one leetle thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22778982)

If their software was so superior, why did WordPerfect die?

It's clearly documented in the court records on Groklaw. Why should anyone bother repeating all of that?

Re:just one leetle thing (5, Informative)

cmacb (547347) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779026)

"People were shifting between companies all the time back then. Microsoft weren't some alien group, they were people with exactly the same goals and level of experience as the competition. They just had the superior business model for the day. Back then things were nasty, but they were nasty all round, it's just fashionable to only remember microsofts bad deeds."

Business model has nothing to do with it. Talking key decision makers within the Federal government to standardize on Windows and Office has everything to do with it. Nobody I worked with at the time was gung-ho to switch to Windows or Office, we did so because our customers (the Feds) mandated that all future submissions had to be in Word or Excel format.

Microsoft as much as anything is a US Government created monopoly, and the Feds (using taxpayer money) funded a whole new round of spending on PCs and related software for which the existing infrastructure was ill prepared (and still hasn't recovered; witness continuing loss of e-mail and other documents due to conflicting or non-existent internal document standards).

Hopefully wide adoption of something like ODF (and not OOXML) by Europe and other countries will cause US decision makers to finally get a clue (I'm only cautiously optimistic though as they are a fairly clueless bunch). I remain concerned that some people mistakenly see support of Microsoft as the patriotic thing to do when in fact it has hastened the dumbing down of most of the people exposed to it. I know, you won't believe me anyway.

Re:just one leetle thing (2, Insightful)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779288)

I remain concerned that some people mistakenly see support of Microsoft as the patriotic thing to do when in fact it has hastened the dumbing down of most of the people exposed to it.
The current fashion is that dumbing yourself down is considered patriotic, so there's no conflict there.

Re:just one leetle thing (1)

Maestro485 (1166937) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779592)

You pretty much nailed it. This might (should?) be modded off-topic, but Ron Paul was on the Daily Show a few months back and one of his talking points was "A company like Microsoft makes a useful product that we buy" referring to American economic hegemony. The Microsoft influence is incredibly strong in the United States and any kind of ruling against it is a win for the rest of us (in the US anyway).

Re:just one leetle thing (1)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779078)

I refer the right honourable gentleman to the answer I gave [slashdot.org] , some moments ago...

Re:just one leetle thing (5, Insightful)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779114)

"...they lost. Boohoo, get over it."

It would appear that the fat lady hasn't yet sung.

It wasn't a fair contest, so they didn't lose in the way a tennis player loses. They lost in the way a mugging victim loses. What you refer to as a business model is what I call organized crime.

Fashion has nothing to do with why we remember microsoft's bad deeds. With so many M$ fanboys running around, it's quite unfashionable. We remember them because as professionals and as consumers, *we* are still being punished by what they have done and *they* have yet to pay for it.

Re:just one leetle thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779128)

They just had the superior business model for the day.

MS business plan:

1) Control the OS
2) Keep competitors' software from running

That's a pretty kick-ass plan, all right. Works in today's market, too!

Re:just one leetle thing (2, Funny)

sp2340 (1138515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779144)

it's just fashionable to only remember microsofts bad deeds. Remember their bad deeds? When did they have a good one? Microsoft has been doing bad deeds for so long now they even have the public believing what they do is correct. Microsoft knows only 2 rules: 1. Buy up the competition. 2. If #1 doesn't work, change the code so they cannot compete.

Re:just one leetle thing (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779938)

Well, didn't they spur the adoption of Linux by Bill Gates hometown? Wasn't Windows up to the task of dealing with the load the growth and construction of Bill's house put on the local government?

Re:just one leetle thing (1)

Paiev (1233954) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779146)

If their software was so superior, why did WordPerfect die?
Because Microsoft Windows happened to have an overwhelming majority in the OS market? If your company can make sure that OEMs put your office suite (or trial versions, a.k.a. MS Works) on computers, I imagine that that's going to make people more familiar with Word than with WordPerfect. And since people use what they're familiar with (generally speaking), Word pulls ahead. Once people start using Word and its format more, WordPerfect is in trouble unless it can provide compatibility, which it can't. Hence the lawsuit. The superior product doesn't always win. GNU/Linux is, in my opinion, superior to Microsoft Windows for a great many things, but that isn't going to be enough to give it a majority in the home OS market.

Re:just one leetle thing (5, Insightful)

NullProg (70833) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779334)

If their software was so superior, why did WordPerfect die?

Like I responded to an earlier poster,
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=490544&cid=22778924 [slashdot.org]

Microsoft effectively killed it with the Windows Monopoly.

They, just like Microsoft, were more interested in making money then they ever were in providing consumer choice,

Your argument is wrong on so many levels...

Word Perfect made its product available on the MacIntosh, Amiga, Apple ][gs, Atari ST, DOS, Windows, Solaris, and VAX systems. What platforms did Microsoft write Office for? What Windows fees did Microsoft charge computer makers for not bundling Microsoft Office/Works versus the ones who did?

Did Microsoft offer matching Marketing funds (paid by you for your non choice of an Operating System when purchasing a PC) to computer makers who bundled PFS Windows Works with their Windows based computers instead of computer makers who chose to bundle Office/Works? No, they didn't.

Is Microsoft evil? No. Are they greedy? Yes. Is there any room for competition within the Microsoft Windows sphere of influence? That remains to be seen. Am I running Linux? Yes. Am I biased? Yes. I haven't had to pay for upgrades or reinstall any Windows machines in my house since switching to Ubuntu. Zero downtime.

Enjoy,

Microsoft shouldnt of played with itself. (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779378)

playing with yourself is the easiest way to be exposed to a judge. If you have a monopoly in a market, you cant use it to give yourself the edge in another market (without allowing other competitors in the second market to do the same). This is simple competition law, IANAL so this competition law isn't quite that simple, but the ignorance of some people here, probably the fan boys, is shocking.

I can believe that novel wouldn't have done the same thing, in exactly the same way British gas didnt and sun didnt force its JVM monopoly on OpenOffice. Pushing the limits of competition law is normal, but blatantly crossing the line is something few companies do!

Re:just one leetle thing (4, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779554)

If their software was so superior, why did WordPerfect die?

RTFA!!!

I mean are you trolling or what? The article lists about a dozen anticompetitive actions MS took, including intentionally breaking compatibility with their own formats and breaking APIs Wordperfect used while using secret APIs only MS knew about in Word for better performance than any third party application could attain.

They, just like Microsoft, were more interested in making money then they ever were in providing consumer choice, or making it easier for us to transfer information. There was nothing stopping them keeping their product active.

Wordperfect is still an active product. The point of the lawsuit was MS using the fact that they were also developers of Windows to artificially create problems with WordPerfect so it was in consumers' best interests to use Word instead.

I used to use WordPerfect. It was great. Then Microsoft outmaneuvered them, and they lost. Boohoo, get over it.

And the fact that they way they did this was through criminal actions should be ignored? Sorry but it used to be that when you commit a crime for profit, you don't get to keep the profits.

Care to try and convince me that they wouldn't have done exactly the same thing to microsoft, given half a chance?

Yeah and if a cow had a chance it would eat you and your whole family. Whether Novell or Corel would have broken the law if they thought they could get away with it is immaterial. Microsoft did break the law and so the courts are acting against them.

People were shifting between companies all the time back then. Microsoft weren't some alien group, they were people with exactly the same goals and level of experience as the competition. They just had the superior business model for the day.

They still do. It is called "break the law to profit, then bribe politicians so that the fines and settlements are less than what they made by breaking the law in the first place." It works really well in our crooked system. Paying Novel fines is just part of MS's business plan, so I'm not too broken up about them having to actually return a small portion of what they made through their crimes.

[OT] Groklaw down? (0, Offtopic)

knarf (34928) | more than 6 years ago | (#22778830)

OK, offtopic but still related to this posting: Groklaw has been unreachable for me for a few days now. Google's last cached page is from saturday march 15. Trying to reach groklaw.net through coral (groklaw.net.nyud.net) cache does not work. Using netcraft to test for reachability results in a timeout. In other words, what happened and how come you seem to be able to reach the site? Are you able to reach the site at all? Are you able to reach ibiblio.org which hosts Groklaw? I am not. My location is Sweden, connected to the net through Telia. Am I up sh*t creek, did the servers burn down, did someone with a backhoe do something nasty, did Microsoft DDoS ibiblio to keep them from reporting on OhnOXML? Inquiring minds want to know...

Re:[OT] Groklaw down? (1)

Plaid Phantom (818438) | more than 6 years ago | (#22778892)

Works for me.

Re:[OT] Groklaw down? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 6 years ago | (#22778938)

Same here.

As a side note, Groklaw's IP is 152.46.7.105 in case the GP needs to add it to /etc/hosts

Re:[OT] Groklaw down? (3, Informative)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22778928)

Link [gigaom.com]

Translation: It's money.

Re:[OT] Groklaw down? (1)

knarf (34928) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779106)

OK, that explains a lot. Wonder why Telia did not notify its customers (me amongst them) as stated in that article? Also wonder what - apart from expensive multihoming - could be done to thwart these divide-and-conquer tactics by Cogent con sorte? Using a non-Telia-hosted proxy for now...

Re:[OT] Groklaw down? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22778936)

Groklaw works fine for me. Unless you are a finnish user of Soner ISP ( in which case read the - finnish - resource: http://www.tietokone.fi/uutta/uutinen.asp?news_id=33177 [tietokone.fi] ) I have no idea.

Re:[OT] Groklaw down? (1)

NullProg (70833) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779108)

From Groklaw....
Supreme Court rejects Microsoft appeal: Novell v. Microsoft can go forward - Update
Monday, March 17 2008 @ 12:57 PM EDT


Maybe its some weird Bush/Rove/Cheney conspiracy to deny Swedes access to American legal websites :)

What do you get when you do the following:

host www.groklaw.net
www.groklaw.net CNAME groklaw.ibiblio.org
groklaw.ibiblio.org A 152.46.7.105

Can you ping 152.46.7.105 ?

Enjoy,

Re:[OT] Groklaw down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779148)

Using netcraft to test for reachability results in a timeout.
Necraft confirms - Groklaw is dead!

I Had High Blood Pressure (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22778992)

Now it's down to 120/75. Find out how I did it without drugs.

Sysadmins (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779172)

As an 'expert' system administrator (albeit unpaid) I have four servers. One is running Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003, one is running Microsoft Window Server 2003, one is running Ubuntu Linux 5.10 (Server), and the other is running Apple OS X Server (10.4).

I can tell you now that when I first started my company, although I was a major advocate of Linux, I soon found that I did not have the time to maintain a then Gentoo [gentoo.org] or custom LFS [linuxfromscratch.org] distribution, Debian [debian.org] was far too heavy to pick up, and Slackware [slackware.org] felt a little dated. So I took a look at Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003, liked what I saw, and bought a Dell PowerEdge 400SC [dell.co.uk] with an OEM install.

At first Small Business Server was a breath of fresh air. It was easy to maintain, with a full complement of features, having been bundled with Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server, and Window Sharepoint Services. I actually enjoyed - yes, enjoyed - using it.

Until backup stated to fail. Until my tape drive disappeared. Until the sharepoint website database got corrupted. Until exchange monitoring failed. Until the POP connector started to thrash the CPU. Until the Windows Update website failed to check for updates.

These things happened. I'm not saying that they wouldn't happed with another system, but that is not the point, since they happened to me, and that caused me grief, and time, and money to resolve. I ended up trying to build a new system based on Microsoft Windows Server 2003, since I already had Microsoft specific data (files and tables), but this proved even more difficult to maintain.

I struggled for eighteen months, and then decided to build an Ubuntu 5.10 server. I use Ubuntu on one of my laptop, and had gently learnt the apt- way, and liked it. I set up a server with similar features to the Small Business Server, using Postfix [postfix.org] , MySQL [mysql.org] , and Plone [plone.org] , and even went some ways to transferring my sharepoint data. It works. It hasn't failed yet.

I bet the guys who took part in the survey only set up a server, installed some applications, and patched it. I bet they didn't try running a business for 18-months, just to see what it was really like.

I must say that we recently purchased an Apple PowerMac, and were so impressed we are now looking at completely switching, hence the OS X Server. It is a dream to install and configure, but we are going to run it for several months until we are satisfied that it can do the job.

duh (0, Troll)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779252)

I think the behemoth is definitely in the right on this one, as always. They are always doing the right thing. Like running this multi-zillion dollar advertising campaign for Apple Macs, which is codenamed Vista or something like that.

It's really ingenious. Want to advertise something cool? Make a competing product that really sucks, and then people will buy the cool product. By leveraging innovative technologies, content providers streamline compelling enterprise solutions.

Threadjack: wikipedia unreachable? (-1, Troll)

firefly4f4 (1233902) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779258)

Sorry for the threadjack, but is anyone else having problems accessing wikipedia? I'm on Markham, ON, but someone from England on another forum confirmed that they can't reach it either.

Re:Threadjack: wikipedia unreachable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779348)

If wikipedia is unreachable, then how about you do some actual research and try a different site?

And it works fine here.

Re:Threadjack: wikipedia unreachable? (0, Offtopic)

firefly4f4 (1233902) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779834)

Wasn't a troll... I really couldn't reach it for about an hour from 8:30 - 9:30 or so. FYI to the other poster: I wasn't doing research; I wanted some quick info on an anime series, and thought I could actually count on /.ers to actually confirm if it was down or not.

Almost Perfect (4, Informative)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779412)

W.E. Peterson joined WordPerfect in 1980 as a part time office manager and left as Executive V.P of Sales in 1992. Almost Perfect [amazon.com]

"Listen" would be the theme for 1990.

In January Microsoft offered to make us a beta test site for Windows 3.0. We accepted their generous offer, but did little more than look Windows over. In hindsight, it is easy to see we should have done much more right away.

Some of us were ready to postpone OS/2 in favor of Windows, but the programmers in the OS/2 group, who had also been given the assignment of eventually creating the Windows version, were not ready to give up on OS/2. They were making good progress and hated the idea of starting over... They wanted to believe in IBM, as did the rest of us. The failure of OS/2 meant having to play on a field owned and operated by Microsoft, with Microsoft making the rules.

In May Microsoft shipped Windows 3.0, and our worst fears became a reality. Just at the time we were decisively winning in the DOS word processing market, the personal computing world wanted Windows, bugs and all. To make matters worse, Microsoft Word for Windows was already on dealer shelves and had received good reviews. That little cloud on the horizon, which had looked so harmless in 1986, was all around us, looking ominous and threatening. IBM's strength and size were no protection. Not even an elephant could ignore the impending storm.

WordPerfect Office was turning into a big problem. The program was useful, but it had a few weaknesses. The directory services, which listed all the people on the mail system with their electronic addresses, could not hold more than one or two thousand people. The schedular, which could be used to put together a meeting, was slow and sometimes unreliable. Installing the program was a very difficult process.

1991...was our year to "think."

Our biggest [problem] was the continued delay in the shipment of WordPerfect for Windows. Just one week after Fall COMDEX in 1990, the Windows programmers informed us that the dates we had given...would be impossible to meet. ... We were in deep trouble.

We...took too long to make our experienced DOS programmers get involved. They could have helped a little more, but we had a hard time convincing them that the Windows project was more important than anything else. With sales still going up, many thought things were going too well to be concerned.

One big problem was getting all the different Office development groups to work together. By now we had teams for PC networks, for the Macintosh, and for UNIX, DG, and DEC machines. Unfortunately, none of the groups seemed to be willing to work out their differences.

Our long term success was, I thought, dependent on diversity. If the world was filled only with Windows machines, then Microsoft would have a tremendous advantage. If instead the world was filled with DOS, Windows, OS/2, Macintosh, and UNIX machines, we could maintain our advantage in the personal computer word processing market.

Our theme for 1992 was "focus."

We were...disappointed by the lukewarm WPwin reviews. The reviewers complained that the product was a little slow and a little buggy, and they were right. Long gone were the days when I could take a WordPerfect review home and be certain I would enjoy reading it.

We needed to get a cleaner and faster version of WPwin out the door, but it would take some time. Microsoft was heavily promoting DDE (dynamic data exchange)... In theory, if we wrote our program to support Microsoft's specifications, a WPwin document could give and receive information to and from other programs. Instead of releasing another version of WPwin right away, the programmers wanted to delay the release so the new feature could be included..

We were in a battle to the death with Microsoft, and we were hurt...

Bruce had gone to a software store in the local mall and left upset, because the shelf space devoted to our products was much less than the space reserved for Microsoft and Lotus products. He asked if our marketing was as good as we thought it was. ... I mentioned that some of our problems might have more to do with our products than our marketing.

May 1, 2002

In a recent e-mail I was asked the following questions. Here are the questions with my answers.

What, in your opinion, were the critical marketing mistakes made by WordPerfect from your departure up until the acquisition by Novell?

WPCorp spent themselves to death. The last full year I was there (1991) sales were approximately $600 million and pre-tax profit was $200 million. In 1992, sales fell to about $570 million, but expenses grew to equal sales. 1993 sales were about $700 million (if that number can be believed), but expenses grew to more than $700 million. The employee count from early 1992 to the end of 1993 grew from about 3,300 to 5,500, and the company was bleeding cash.

WPCorp needed better products to compete, and they needed a suite of products. The products didn't get better, and selling a Borland Office (rather than a WordPerfect Office) was silly. By spending away all their cash, the company had no chance of recovering. By not developing better products in a productive and efficient way, the company had no chance of recovering. Given Microsoft's strength, perhaps WordPerfect Corp never would have been able to reclaim their number one position in the word processing market, but they could have survived if they would have kept their expenses in check.

Almost Perfect by W.E. Pete Peterson [wordplace.com]

As the Joke goes (5, Funny)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779478)

How many Microsoft software engineers does it take to screw in a light bulb ?

Non, Microsoft defines darkness at the new standard.

Re:As the Joke goes (1)

dmbrun (907271) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779690)

I'm sorry but that's a copyright violation.

Joseph Lucas - aka as the "Prince of Darkness" - has the rights to this standard. Typically http://www.kitcar.com/articles-kitcar/humordept/lucas-prince.html [kitcar.com] and other Internet sites will explain more.

How will this impact... (1)

thered2001 (1257950) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779568)

...the new cozy agreements occurring on the partnering front between these two? By this I mean the whole SCO death, Novell = UNIX, MS-and-Novell-are-buddies-for-big-business thing.

Funny how the big players can be foes on one front and friends on another. Reminds me of Apple v. MS, IBM v. MS, IBM v. Apple, Novell v. MS (oops...again?), Apple v. Apple (now the Beatles catalog is on iTunes), and who knows how many more combos exist once Intel & Motorola are brought up.

Suits are like...well...suits, one can change them every day but they normally hang in the closet (if you're lucky.)

Proudly written on my new Mac,

- e

Voice of Experience (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779906)

As someone who used Word Perfect, then Word Perfect Suite, for many years, I will tell you straight-up and without any question that it blew the doors off Word and Office. I've still got original editions of WP Suite 7 and Office Professional 9, though I've long-since been forced to put them on the shelf.

The triumph of Microsoft Office was a triumph of mediocrity and bloat over quality.

di3k (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22780090)

conversations wher3 consider tha7 right
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