Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 4th Feb 2010 20:48 UTC
Microsoft Now this is something you don't read every day. Dick Brass, vice president at Microsoft from 1997 to 2004, has written an article for The New York Times' Op-Ed section, detailing the flaws in Microsoft's corporate culture, and how they've severely affected the company in a negative way. Telling, and painful. And, in a way, very sad. Update: Microsoft responds. "For Microsoft, it is not sufficient to simply have a good idea, or a great idea, or even a cool idea. We measure our work by its broad impact."
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Sounds like a disgruntled ex-employee
by Zoidberg on Thu 4th Feb 2010 20:59 UTC
Zoidberg
Member since:
2006-02-11

Cleartype has been in Windows since XP, but it was not enabled by default and for very good reason. Most people at the time still had CRT displays which do not work well with Cleartype at all. Tablet PCs were not very common ten years ago either. I know Microsoft has made mistakes but it's easy to be a Monday morning quarterback. This guy is just spouting a bunch of rubbish.

Edited 2010-02-04 20:59 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Shakey Member since:
2005-10-11

I really have to agree.

His tone sounds very professional but coated in resentment. Although, he makes some convincing points, I am left considering the source.

Do we know why he is not with Microsoft anymore?

Reply Score: 0

ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

While he does have some very good examples and valid points, I would also take strong consideration in the response. A company this large simply can not maneuver like a speed boat. Then again, in rough seas would you rather be on a speed boat or a battleship? While this may not be as satisfying to geeks who have an addiction to having the latest greatest cool new tech at their fingertips, it also is simply not the proper way to run a business of this size. Zoidberg actually makes a better or precise counter argument, that involving Cleartype. I would simply add how many out there had LCD monitors prior to XP?

Well anyways, since this is a topic regarding Microsoft, I guess it's time to sit back, grab some popcorn, and enjoy the wave of emotional responses.

Reply Score: 2

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

I read an excerpt of this guy's piece at another web site and he complained that the Office team didn't make stylus-friendly versions of Office in order to take advantage of TabletPC's features. But the Office apps support Ink and and hand writing recognition. In particular, Word and especially OneNote do wonders with stylus input. What more does he want? iWork for iPad looks like it sucks, I hope that's not what he's looking for in a Tabletized version of Office.

Anyway, this guy's clearly disgruntled and hasn't been with the company since 6 years ago. He doesn't know what's going on at Microsoft now. Microsoft has innovative stuff like Sync (which is a highly praised feature of Ford cars), Natal, Xbox live, Surface, Photosync, Silverlight adaptive video streaming, .NET, F#, C# 4.0, advanced voice recognition, Media Center, etc.

OK, fine, Apple has the iPad (which I gather was the impetus of this article). But the online buzz is negative, and it has a whiff of AppleTV about it. We'll see what happens with it, but I think it could be a bust just as easily as a success.

Reply Score: 2

MORB Member since:
2005-07-06

Thanks, captain obvious.

He is obviously an ex-employee, and a disgruntled one, and I think his story explains why.

Reply Score: 4

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Cleartype has been in Windows since XP, but it was not enabled by default and for very good reason. Most people at the time still had CRT displays which do not work well with Cleartype at all. Tablet PCs were not very common ten years ago either. I know Microsoft has made mistakes but it's easy to be a Monday morning quarterback. This guy is just spouting a bunch of rubbish.


His post is not about technology, but about management. And there is/was a lot of rivalry between divisions at Microsoft. In fact, a lot of multinationals that have clear cut divisions have those "rivalries".
Why I am confident about my statements? I have a good friend that was working for some time at Microsoft, in management. Also a lot of manager friends at other big guys of corporate IT: Oracle, Cisco, IBM ...
Not to mention that I work for a big multinational.

Reply Score: 1

10 years of stagnation.
by SReilly on Thu 4th Feb 2010 21:11 UTC
SReilly
Member since:
2006-12-28

Disclaimer: The following is not intended to start a flame war so please take any potentially inflammatory remarks with either a pinch of salt or ignore them all together.

This story reminds me of conversations I've had with several ex-MS developers and employees who have stated that, in their opinion, MS have hindered the development of the IT industry over the last ten years. One even pointed out exactly that remark about tablets and Office not working properly with touch screens, something that he personally felt was unforgivable.

I have to say that I agree. If you've that much control over the industry, yet you're sabotaging your own efforts to advance technology, then you've nobody but yourself to blame when your empire starts to crumble.

MS have had an amazing quarter but it's still all based on two products: Office and Windows. Neal Stephenson wrote an article about information dissipation and how that relates to software. In his view, software goes from being a specialized product, to a commodity, to being free over it's lifetime. To me, he successfully argued that not only is that the case for individual products, but for that type of product as a whole, i.e. operating systems and office suits. We are seeing exactly that happen with the Linux and OpenOffice/KOffice. Frankly, I believe that MS has some hard times ahead if they can't start to leverage their resource advances and create compelling and new products to they actually bring to market without hamstringing them.

Reply Score: 8

RE: 10 years of stagnation.
by jwwf on Thu 4th Feb 2010 21:49 UTC in reply to "10 years of stagnation."
jwwf Member since:
2006-01-19

In his view, software goes from being a specialized product, to a commodity, to being free over it's lifetime. To me, he successfully argued that not only is that the case for individual products, but for that type of product as a whole, i.e. operating systems and office suits.


Oh man, if office suits become free, and any office can have an unlimited number of them running around, I'm going to go live in a cave.

But seriously folks, I think this view is very logical. However, if it's not true, and if an acceptable operating system and an acceptable office suite are all it takes for MS to be extremely profitable for a generation, then there is little incentive for MS to innovate. I feel like I see some evidence for this ;)

But maybe innovation doesn't pay anyway: I like the example of backup compression in SQL Server 2008. It is an enterprise edition only feature. If MS had learned from their own Xenix back in the 1980s, and picked up a robust system of pipes on the command line (just crazy!), then they wouldn't be able to get that 5X price increase for enterprise edition, should you desire compression ;)

Richard Gabriel's book "Patterns of Software" has some discussion near the end of how or why innovators often don't survive. I don't know if he is right, but I wish I could write as well as he does.

http://www.dreamsongs.com/NewFiles/PatternsOfSoftware.pdf

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: 10 years of stagnation.
by Laurence on Thu 4th Feb 2010 23:17 UTC in reply to "RE: 10 years of stagnation."
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

But maybe innovation doesn't pay anyway: I like the example of backup compression in SQL Server 2008. It is an enterprise edition only feature. If MS had learned from their own Xenix back in the 1980s, and picked up a robust system of pipes on the command line (just crazy!), then they wouldn't be able to get that 5X price increase for enterprise edition, should you desire compression


But Windows command prompt does support pipes.
It's just not many apps are built to take advantage of them as Windows is a GUI driven OS.

Reply Score: 2

RE: 10 years of stagnation.
by isaba on Thu 4th Feb 2010 22:17 UTC in reply to "10 years of stagnation."
isaba Member since:
2006-12-30

In his view, software goes from being a specialized product, to a commodity, to being free over it's lifetime. To me, he successfully argued that not only is that the case for individual products, but for that type of product as a whole, i.e. operating systems and office suit[e]s.


That's it. That's the big big problem ahead for MS.

Or they might wake up and shape up... either way.
My suspicion is they are shaping up. They already have built a lot of hardware. They're heavily investing in hosted solutions...


Surely they're trying, but here their problem with hosted solutions is something they did not have with OS and Office: competition.

In short, from a strategical point of view, as a business they face two formidable forces they -mostly- didn't have for decades: open source and competition. The future looks much more interesting than the past...

Edited 2010-02-04 22:18 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Office didn't have competition?
by MollyC on Fri 5th Feb 2010 02:35 UTC in reply to "RE: 10 years of stagnation."
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

I seem to remember WordPerfect, Lotus, and Ashton Tate/Borland dominating the word processor, spreadsheet, and database markets, respectively. And I recall WordPerfect and Lotus selling Wordperfect and 123 for the same price that Microsoft began selling entire integrated suites. And yet, according to reviews, Microsoft's spreadsheet and word processor were best of breed, despite being at a much lower price. Microsoft out-competed Lotus and WordPerfect, fair and square, and it's sour grapes to pretend that no competition ever existed.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Office didn't have competition?
by isaba on Fri 5th Feb 2010 11:56 UTC in reply to "Office didn't have competition?"
isaba Member since:
2006-12-30

Sorry, no sour grapes here. And yes of course they did have competition at first, and MS did very well indeed. I remember the coexistence of Lotus 123 and Excel in my Mac and my PC, same with WP and Word...but it did not last long IMO. They had great products and they do have great products now, but that does not change the fact that they have remained alone at the top for many many years, that is a de facto 'no competition'(monopoly), right?

Edited 2010-02-05 12:04 UTC

Reply Score: 1

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

I seem to remember WordPerfect, Lotus, and Ashton Tate/Borland dominating the word processor, spreadsheet, and database markets, respectively. And I recall WordPerfect and Lotus selling Wordperfect and 123 for the same price that Microsoft began selling entire integrated suites. And yet, according to reviews, Microsoft's spreadsheet and word processor were best of breed, despite being at a much lower price. Microsoft out-competed Lotus and WordPerfect, fair and square, and it's sour grapes to pretend that no competition ever existed.


People at companies change and companies change. When they had real competition they worried about, Microsoft Corp was a different beast.
I quote(translated) one of the sales guys at my local Microsoft Office: "We don't care what software you use, as long as it is being runs on Windows."

Reply Score: 1

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

I seem to remember WordPerfect, Lotus, and Ashton Tate/Borland dominating the word processor, spreadsheet, and database markets, respectively. And I recall WordPerfect and Lotus selling Wordperfect and 123 for the same price that Microsoft began selling entire integrated suites. And yet, according to reviews, Microsoft's spreadsheet and word processor were best of breed, despite being at a much lower price. Microsoft out-competed Lotus and WordPerfect, fair and square, and it's sour grapes to pretend that no competition ever existed.


MS Word and MS Excel were never "best of breed", and have always lacked in functionality compared to WordPerfect, Lotus WordPro, Quattro Pro, and Lotus 1-2-3.

The only thing that MS Word/Excel did better than the rest was to have a 32-bit Windows 95 version available first. Lotus and WordPerfect dropped the ball, there, not having true 32-bit versions available almost until XP was released.

WordPerfect 2000 (9) is still miles ahead of MS Word 2007. Lotus WordPro (forget the version number, I think it was part of SmartSuite 97), being a 16-bit Windows 3.x app, is still miles ahead of MS Word 2007.

The only thing that gives Office an edge over the competitors is file format lock-in that happened back in the Windows 3.1/Windows 95/Windows 98 era.

Maybe for simple documents, Word is okay. But go beyond 10 pages, add in styles, sections, ToC, footnotes, and so forth, and Word becomes an unusable mess.

Same for spreadsheets over a couple of hunder rows in length, with dozens of links between sheets and tabs.

Office may have "won", but it most definitely was not due to better implementations, better features, or being "best of breed".

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: 10 years of stagnation.
by gustl on Fri 5th Feb 2010 21:01 UTC in reply to "RE: 10 years of stagnation."
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

Microsoft lives with it's Office Product, because of two reasons:

1) It is a good product, fast, reliable and useful.

2) The main competitor, OpenOffice is not as fast and equaly reliable, with a slightly smaller feature set. It is also not as well known.

Microsoft will get into troubles, once OpenOffice gets installed onto every PC in the industry.
Small companies will start using OpenOffice, and carry it towards bigger and bigger sizes with their growth. And Microsoft has only two ways to hinder this development: Stay ahead on features, speed and reliability to justify a higher price, and try keeping the files from getting 100% convertability into OpenOffice.

We will see Microsoft making several changes to the Macro languages and to the file formats in the future, to make sure OpenOffice will have to lag behind in format conversion perfection.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: 10 years of stagnation.
by morglum666 on Fri 5th Feb 2010 21:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: 10 years of stagnation."
morglum666 Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm a little confused by your logic.

>> Microsoft lives with it's Office Product, because of two reasons:

1) It is a good product, fast, reliable and useful.

2) The main competitor, OpenOffice is not as fast and equaly reliable, with a slightly smaller feature set. It is also not as well known.

Microsoft will get into troubles, once OpenOffice gets installed onto every PC in the industry.

<<


So every PC in the industry is going to be installed with the slower, less reliable, less featured office package?

That doesn't make sense at all. Its stunning the divide between people with IT experience and those who get their news from the Internet and assume that it's all real.


Morglum

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: 10 years of stagnation.
by bnolsen on Sun 7th Feb 2010 21:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: 10 years of stagnation."
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

Price?
Hard to compete with *free*, especially considering the full retail price of ms office.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: 10 years of stagnation.
by JAlexoid on Sat 6th Feb 2010 01:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: 10 years of stagnation."
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Microsoft lives with it's Office Product, because of two reasons:

1) It is a good product, fast, reliable and useful.

2) The main competitor, OpenOffice is not as fast and equaly reliable, with a slightly smaller feature set. It is also not as well known.


In my experience MS Office is much less reliable than OpenOffice*. And usefulness is a deeply subjective definition. Though Excel is the only tool that is worth to people that use it as a database.

* OpenOffice crashes less. In fact, since I write a lot of documents, I had to move to OpenOffice, because MS Word crashes just too often.

Reply Score: 1

RE: 10 years of stagnation.
by rockwell on Fri 5th Feb 2010 02:41 UTC in reply to "10 years of stagnation."
rockwell Member since:
2005-09-13

// To me, he successfully argued that not only is that the case for individual products, but for that type of product as a whole, i.e. operating systems and office suits. We are seeing exactly that happen with the Linux and OpenOffice/KOffice. //

Um, hello? Since when did anyone ever PAY for Linux or OOo or Kough-ice?

Those are free because, by and large, the IT world wouldn't pay a wooden nickel for them.

Edited 2010-02-05 02:42 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

When by Linux you mean Red Hat, yes, IT will pay for Linux.

When stuff gets sideways, IT better know how to get it vertical again or know someone who does. We could debug every line of code ourselves, but who has the time to do that. It's much easier to call the vendor, and get them to drop some knowledge.

Now OOo, is different. If it wasn't part of the bundle, I don't think it would be a player. It's still pretty far behind MS Office. Maybe someday Wordperfect will be open sourced, or it will be moved to a OOo base, and MS can finally start to loose some sleep about it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: 10 years of stagnation.
by Slambert666 on Fri 5th Feb 2010 08:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: 10 years of stagnation."
Slambert666 Member since:
2008-10-30

When by Linux you mean Red Hat, yes, IT will pay for Linux.


You are confusing the matter here. You don't actually pay for linux you pay for the support.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

The last several servers we've bought all offered Red Hat or Suse as options along with Windows, VMware and a no-OS option. Both Red Hat and Suse options added to the cost of the server. In addition to that, one could purchase service contract levels.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: 10 years of stagnation.
by boldingd on Fri 5th Feb 2010 17:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: 10 years of stagnation."
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

In this context, that's a distinction without a difference. Linux adds value, enough that, in certain circumstances, companies are willing to pay to acquire that value. More than a wooden nickel.

Edited 2010-02-05 17:57 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: 10 years of stagnation.
by JAlexoid on Sat 6th Feb 2010 01:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: 10 years of stagnation."
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

You are confusing the matter here. You don't actually pay for linux you pay for the support.


Would you buy any software without support? I mean non personal use. You expect Microsoft to provide some support, in forms of tested patches, at least.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: 10 years of stagnation.
by boldingd on Fri 5th Feb 2010 18:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: 10 years of stagnation."
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

Now OOo, is different. If it wasn't part of the bundle, I don't think it would be a player. It's still pretty far behind MS Office. Maybe someday Wordperfect will be open sourced, or it will be moved to a OOo base, and MS can finally start to loose some sleep about it.


I don't get why nobody ever mentions AbiWord. Sure, it's just a document editor, and not a complete office sweet. But it's a pretty nice document editor. I think, anyway.

And of course, for some of us, there's always LaTeX, GnuPlot, shell, Perl and Makefiles. ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: 10 years of stagnation.
by TechGeek on Fri 5th Feb 2010 04:19 UTC in reply to "RE: 10 years of stagnation."
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

right. Thats why hundreds of companies use Linux for everything from super computers to tivo's to the kindle. Because no one would ever pay for them. Stop being a troll.

Reply Score: 4

v RE[3]: 10 years of stagnation.
by rockwell on Fri 5th Feb 2010 14:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: 10 years of stagnation."
RE[4]: 10 years of stagnation.
by SReilly on Fri 5th Feb 2010 17:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: 10 years of stagnation."
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Ok, dimwit, let's spell it out for you: he was talking about OS's and OFFICE SOFTWARE in the same breath.

So that automatically leads you to this:

He was inferring DESKTOP USAGE, for which very few pay for Linux and Office suites therein.

Clear?

[sarcasm]Really? Well I'm glad you where there to tell everyone what I was thinking.[/sarcasm]

If I had been talking specifically about desktop usage, I would have pointed that out.

If you're going to be such an ass about something, please don't do it in my name. Frankly, your disrespectful and obnoxious attitude is out of line and not welcome here.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: 10 years of stagnation.
by boldingd on Fri 5th Feb 2010 18:06 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: 10 years of stagnation."
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

Frankly, your disrespectful and obnoxious attitude is out of line and not welcome here.


Which has never slowed him down before, and may, in fact, actually be the point.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: 10 years of stagnation.
by rockwell on Fri 5th Feb 2010 20:43 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: 10 years of stagnation."
rockwell Member since:
2005-09-13

You're such an idiot it's painful to respond, but I will.

So ... you mention that OS's and Office apps are moving towards being free, and you pull up the example of OpenOffice and Linux.

I respond by saying nobody pays for Linux/Linux-based Office apps, and nobody ever has.

Then, another dumbass jumps in and spouts off about RedHat Enterprise Linux on the Server! NOT free!

I reply and say, "no shit, but he was obviously talking about desktop Linux OS, since he was also talking about using Office apps."

Now, you come back and say you weren't talking about desktop linux and Office apps .... so ... you were instead talking about Linux on the server, and Linux Office apps on the server? Is that your stance, now?

If so, you're even dumber than the dumbest freetard, which is a pretty good feat.

Reply Score: 0

RE[6]: 10 years of stagnation.
by SReilly on Sat 6th Feb 2010 04:32 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: 10 years of stagnation."
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

You're such an idiot it's painful to respond, but I will.

Oh! OK! cause I'm the one who doesn't know my own minde...

Then, another dumbass jumps in and spouts off about RedHat Enterprise Linux on the Server! NOT free!

Right! Because nobody has ever requested a Linux desktop environment and I haven't spent two weeks installing SLED.

I reply and say, "no shit, but he was obviously talking about desktop Linux OS, since he was also talking about using Office apps."

I totally see where you're coming from there, because I obviously don't know the difference between a desktop OS and a server OS, even though I design and implement systems of such complexity you couldn't even dream of.

Now, you come back and say you weren't talking about desktop linux and Office apps .... so ... you were instead talking about Linux on the server, and Linux Office apps on the server? Is that your stance, now?

I come back? I think not! Your inability to understand another persons posts is not that persons fault, son. It's yours. Would you like a bigger shovel to help dig yourself out of that hole?

If so, you're even dumber than the dumbest freetard, which is a pretty good feat.

Coming from you, that is a particularly poignant statement.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: 10 years of stagnation.
by rockwell on Sat 6th Feb 2010 06:13 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: 10 years of stagnation."
rockwell Member since:
2005-09-13

Like all freetards, you're an expert at MovingTheGoalposts(TM)

This site was built with you in mind: http://tmrepository.com/fudtracker/

I'll let you go back to your "awesome Linux systems" that you build in your mother's basement. I have 10 RHEL Tikanga servers to work on at Rackspace for a client, getting mod_jk setup for load balancing.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: 10 years of stagnation.
by JAlexoid on Sat 6th Feb 2010 01:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: 10 years of stagnation."
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Wrong post. Cleared

Edited 2010-02-06 01:34 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Warning! Do not feed the troll!
by SReilly on Fri 5th Feb 2010 06:35 UTC in reply to "RE: 10 years of stagnation."
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

That is all ;-)

Reply Score: 3

v Comment by Netfun81
by Netfun81 on Thu 4th Feb 2010 21:27 UTC
Tighter Anti-Trust Rules Are Needed
by kragil on Thu 4th Feb 2010 21:29 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

If MS had been split into Office, Windows and Rest innovation could have been archived.

Standards and interoperability would rule. Good times.

But Washington lobbyists will make sure big companies will never be split up again. It is no wonder that a american food super market has about 35000 products and only 4 to 5 producers of those products.

Reply Score: 1

jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

It is no wonder that a american food super market has about 35000 products and only 4 to 5 producers of those products.

Not true.

Worse yet, easily checked.

http://www.gmaonline.org/membership/general/generalmemlist.cfm

Edited 2010-02-04 21:53 UTC

Reply Score: 3

David Member since:
1997-10-01

Yes, there are many specialty manufacturers, but you'd have a hard time refuting the fact that between Kraft, General Mills, Proctor and Gamble, Nestle, Unilever, Smithfield, Tyson, Dole, Chiquita, Sunkist, and a handful of others are responsible for the lion's share of what's on the supermarket shelves in the developed world.

Reply Score: 2

jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

Kraft, General Mills, Proctor and Gamble, Nestle, Unilever, Smithfield, Tyson, Dole, Chiquita, Sunkist, and a handful of others...


(1) There's a world of difference between at most 5 manufacturers and at least 15, specialty manufacturers or no.

(2) Looking at the Wikipedia website on Food, Inc. I find that Monsanto, Tyson, Smithfield, and Perdue were all invited to reply to the documentary (and declined). You didn't name them, and I can name a few more off the top of my head, so even 15 is looking like a really poor count.

(3) But never mind the big names. Are you guys really unaware that many generics and store brands manufacture their own products? [Not all, no, but many do.] That alone brings the count way up.

Edited 2010-02-07 07:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2

kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

I remembered those numbers from the Food Inc. documentary. And I didn't look them up, so I was kinda wrong.

Right is this:

The modern supermarket now has, on average, 47,000 products, the majority of which is being produced by only a handful of food companies

Reply Score: 2

JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

Easily solved - buy from organic, local sources. The selection of which is steadily increasing, both in mainstream supermarkets, and alternative stores, or even direct distributors (we buy direct from a local organic grower called "Farm Fresh to You").

You'll pay more, but you'll get a much better product - healthier, and tastes better.

That's also part of an overall health care solution. Back in the earlier part of the 20th century, Americans spent on average 17% of their incomes on food, and about 8% on health care. Nowadays, those numbers are reversed - about 8% on food, but about 17% on health care. There is a correlation. Food, mainstream food that is, is much more cheaply produced and distributed due to being heavily processed - chemicials, sodium, artificial sweeteners, etc - or laced with chemicals - steroids, anti-biotics, insecticides, etc. Those are things that make it cheap. But all that crap is very very unhealthy.

Anyway, it can also be good to buy local/small when it comes to tech. Then you don't have to deal with all the crap that comes with the big lumbering monoliths like Microsoft.

Reply Score: 2

boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

Indeed. While they still get most of their food at Food Lion, my parents do get in-season vegetables from a local stand on the way to the interstate, and they get their honey from a local bee-keeper.

It really shouldn't be surprising that a small number (if ten-ish is really small number when talking about such things) of providers produce lots of cheap, mass-market goods that are the majority of what's sold, with a large "long tail" of smaller-scale, niche providers producing specialty/alternative/premium goods. There's not even anything particularly wrong with that situation, that I can see.

Reply Score: 3

bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

EXCEPT--

Normal farmers spray during the day, organic famers spray at night. At least that's what farmers will tell you (the ones not growing organics but who's neighbors do).

Straw men suck guys, keep on topic about MS.

Anti-trust rules being tighter probably wouldn't hurt anything. Government is pretty incompetent at prosecuting these rules and the results are generally high incompetent themselves.

MS should have been disallowed from making any contracts with OEMs since that was the root of their market abuse...strong arming OEMs which they still continue to do.

Reply Score: 2

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

The reason why Microsoft was not split up could have been taxes. Bill Gates walked into the UK's Prime Minister's office and asked them about relocating Microsoft to the UK. All the UK had to do was leave them alone. We weren't about to let MS walk away with all those tax dollars. So we wussed out on a crappy settlement.

Reply Score: 2

kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

MS does not pay taxes. They report their earnings in Delaware or somewhere where they don't have to pay.

Only their employees pay.

Reply Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

The reason why Microsoft was not split up could have been taxes. Bill Gates walked into the UK's Prime Minister's office and asked them about relocating Microsoft to the UK. All the UK had to do was leave them alone. We weren't about to let MS walk away with all those tax dollars. So we wussed out on a crappy settlement.


And yet, a company is not just the name, it's the collection of it's staff and knowledge.

Reply Score: 1

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

So you support breaking up big companies even if they follow the laws? How big is too big? When people like you *feel* that they are?

In the US we've never been thrilled about collectivist melding that punishes success. Governments can encourage competition without the crude socialist method of taking away private property. Governments are after all the largest enterprise customers. I always thought it was funny how so many government sites were IE only in the days when Clinton's cabinet wanted to take down Microsoft. Governments condemn MS with one hand and then hand them cash with the other.

Reply Score: 1

This affects all organizations
by Yamin on Thu 4th Feb 2010 21:50 UTC
Yamin
Member since:
2006-01-10

All organization over time develop into fiefdoms more interested in their own well being and control than the 'greater good' (in the case of companies...the greater good of the company).

This includes companies as well as government or any institution for that matter.

It's one of the beauties of a free society... the ability for institutions to fail. It's just sad we didn't let the bad banks fail.

If this is indeed true of MS, then they will lose market share and die a slow death, while companies with better products/management win out.

Or they might wake up and shape up... either way.
My suspicion is they are shaping up. They already have built a lot of hardware. They're heavily investing in hosted solutions...

Reply Score: 3

boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

Microsoft are sufficiently entrenched that they can't really "slowly die off unless they innovate." If they do nothing and never innovate again... they'll probably still hold 90% of the Desktop market-share for the foreseeable future. They'll have to royally screw something up and make something that actively repulses customers to actually shrink and die.

Reply Score: 3

PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

That may be true in some parts of the business world, but I'm pretty convinced that consumers are too fickle to stay with Microsoft if there were something substantially better out there in terms of ease of use and price. Maybe parity is not enough to beat Windows due to inertia, but people aren't that tied down to the OS anymore.

Reply Score: 2

SamAskani
Member since:
2006-01-03

Nobody is happy when someone expose with details the plausible reasons of "why, after all the invested millions and considerable human assets, are we unable to drive innovation?". S Ballmer could say "Nah, D Brass is just upset we kicked him out" but you have then to offer another plausible reason to the continuous incapacity to drive the industry beyond their two historic products. S Ballmer can't just say "ey, they are simply better than us".

This can be a call for an opportunity to take an official corporative position that says "You are not supposed to play down new ideas, your work is to integrate them". At end, new features may be cut out of a final version, but at least the different big teams should do an honest effort to put ideas coming from other groups. Every big team in MS should budget certain amount for the integration with "far" groups.

As people in science says, in general it is scientifically more difficult to defend "That can't be done" than "it may work" (always to a certain extend, but definitively it "always" may work).

Edit: typo

Edited 2010-02-04 21:58 UTC

Reply Score: 2

The "Accidental Monopolist"
by FurryOne on Thu 4th Feb 2010 23:53 UTC
FurryOne
Member since:
2006-01-23

At worst, you can say it’s a highly repentant, largely accidental monopolist.

Talk about blowing smoke out your a$$! Tell that to Stac, or any of the other Companies that found their code inside Microsoft's programs. Tell it to people that ran OS/2, or BeOS, that MS crushed with their Monopoly power.

And tell it to Novell & Digital Research, and on and on and on...

Their latest trick was to stuff the International Standards Groups with their flunky partners to get their "non-standard" listed as a standard.

Reply Score: 2

RE: The "Accidental Monopolist"
by malxau on Fri 5th Feb 2010 06:52 UTC in reply to "The "Accidental Monopolist""
malxau Member since:
2005-12-04

At worst, you can say it’s a highly repentant, largely accidental monopolist.

Talk about blowing smoke out your a$$! Tell that to Stac, or any of the other Companies that found their code inside Microsoft's programs.


There was no allegation of direct appropriation of code with Stac. There was allegation of patent infringment, and the court found non-willful patent infringement from MS in favor of Stac and trade secret infringement from Stac in favor of MS. Software patents continue to be problematic for all market participants to this day.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stac_Electronics

Tell it to people that ran OS/2, or BeOS, that MS crushed with their Monopoly power.


I ran OS/2 and loved it, but I can't blame Microsoft for its demise. It was out competed - MS had a platform with better app support, largely due to IBM's incompetence at getting a serious developer story. I always wanted to develop for OS/2, but getting development tools from IBM for a decent cost was like pulling teeth. Visual C++ was in stores in town. How do you see Microsoft having a (sinister) hand in OS/2's demise?

And tell it to Novell & Digital Research, and on and on and on...


If you're referring to the DR-DOS & Windows 3.1 thing, note that all released versions of Windows 3.1 worked fine with DR-DOS.

Seriously, I'm an outed Microsoft employee, but I agree with the Op-Ed piece on this. Microsoft has a terrible reputation for anticompetitive practices, but I've never actually seen them in this company. It bends over backwards for interoperability when issues arise. It works with competitors to improve all Windows software. I've never seen anyone here be 'evil', ever.

As an employee, it's frustrating when double-standards are applied against MS. Like one vendor who allowed any browser on its platform being required to have a browser ballot to enforce choice; another vendor will not approve any competing browser on its platform. One of these companies has a reputation of being anti-competitive.

Their latest trick was to stuff the International Standards Groups with their flunky partners to get their "non-standard" listed as a standard.


I honestly don't know any more on this than anyone else on OSnews. I don't work in Office.

However, it doesn't seem strange to me that MS was not about to adopt a file format controlled by its competitors (ODF), and many MS customers wanted the Office format to be an open standard. There is a positive angle here, which is now Office uses a human readable format by default which is well specified and documented. That's goodness.

Reply Score: 4

FurryOne Member since:
2006-01-23

Tell that to Stac, or any of the other Companies that found their code inside Microsoft's programs.


There was no allegation of direct appropriation of code with Stac.

You might have been born yesterday, but I wasn't. I watched it unfold, and reports specifically stated that Stac found their code (including comments) inside Double-Space. Just because Wikipedia says something doesn't change history.

Tell it to people that ran OS/2, or BeOS, that MS crushed with their Monopoly power.


I ran OS/2 and loved it, but I can't blame Microsoft for its demise.

Another BS story. Microsoft threatened to withdraw advertising $ to any company that even displayed the OS/2 logo in their ad. They also, as a last straw, withheld W'95 licensing from IBM right up to the day before launch until IBM agreed to de-emphasize OS/2. As for BeOS - MS threatened Hitachi with canceling their contracts if they loaded BeOS on any machines

And tell it to Novell & Digital Research, and on and on and on...


If you're referring to the DR-DOS & Windows 3.1 thing, note that all released versions of Windows 3.1 worked fine with DR-DOS.

Wow, I guess all that fuss over the betas of Windows that "warned about incompatibilities" when they saw DRDos instead of MSDos had nothing to do with it, eh?

Microsoft has a terrible reputation for anticompetitive practices, but I've never actually seen them in this company.

I've never seen anyone here be 'evil', ever.

Hear no evil, see no evil.

Their latest trick was to stuff the International Standards Groups with their flunky partners to get their "non-standard" listed as a standard.


I honestly don't know any more on this than anyone else on OSnews. I don't work in Office.

Try Groklaw.

However, it doesn't seem strange to me that MS was not about to adopt a file format controlled by its competitors (ODF).

ODF is an Open Standard - unlike MS's cryptic, 65K page submission.

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Try Groklaw.


*cough*

Reply Score: 2

malxau Member since:
2005-12-04

There was no allegation of direct appropriation of code with Stac.

You might have been born yesterday, but I wasn't. I watched it unfold, and reports specifically stated that Stac found their code (including comments) inside Double-Space. Just because Wikipedia says something doesn't change history.

I assure you I am no spring chicken. If an allegation of copyright infringement was made, it wasn't from Stac; here's their complaint:

http://vaxxine.com/lawyers/articles/stac.html
Microsoft threatened to withdraw advertising $ to any company that even displayed the OS/2 logo in their ad.

Should MS pay for competing ads?
They also, as a last straw, withheld W'95 licensing from IBM right up to the day before launch until IBM agreed to de-emphasize OS/2.

I wasn't there and can't speak to detail. But I would note that one high-profile case recently established that another OS vendor was under no compulsion to license their OS to any OEM under any conditions at all. Superficially, it seems to me that a company licensing its OS to a range of hardware vendors is more pro-competitive than a company which acts to fix the number of hardware vendors at exactly one.
Wow, I guess all that fuss over the betas of Windows that "warned about incompatibilities" when they saw DRDos instead of MSDos had nothing to do with it, eh?

Betas have problems, sometimes documented limitations. It didn't ship that way.

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

So your contention is that MS is pro-competitive because another company delivers even more closed products? Isn't that the same spin as saying "MS is anti-competitive because another organization exists which operates with transparency and offers all it's products at no cost"?

Reply Score: 2

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

You should read some of the exhibits from the Comes case. Emails from Bill Gates about making ACPI work only with Windows but not with Linux. Calling the battle against Linux a Jihad. Or maybe you should read the email exhibits from the i4i case, where Microsoft employees admit they are about to destroy i4i's business after they steal the technology. OR maybe you should talk to the company Microsoft bought IE from on condition of sharing the revenue, and then MIcrosoft gave it away for FREE. Yeah, they're not evil at all.

Reply Score: 6

FurryOne Member since:
2006-01-23

You should read some of the exhibits from the Comes case.... Yeah, they're not evil at all.


He doesn't want to. If he did, he'd realize what a sleazy company he really works for. That's why Microsoft tried to get the Comes emails removed asap. (Too late, they were saved and are available at Groklaw.)

Reply Score: 4

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Where those last two comments direct at me or add-on comments directed at the MS employee I responded too?

(Even Mr Gates court transcript makes a good read but demonstrates a level self-entitlement and lack of respect for the court that anyone with a lesser legal budget wouldn't have gotten away with.)

Reply Score: 2

FurryOne Member since:
2006-01-23

I assure you I am no spring chicken. If an allegation of copyright infringement was made, it wasn't from Stac; here's their complaint:


I've read their official complaint. I was also around to read the news that broke when they actually found their code in there. Just because the complaint doesn't say it verbatim...

Microsoft threatened to withdraw advertising $ to any company that even displayed the OS/2 logo in their ad.
Should MS pay for competing ads?


Let me clarify that - MS threatened vendors with loss of matching revenue if the "Made for OS/2" logo appeared in the same ad as the "Windows" logo did. So vendors dropped mention of OS/2 in their ads even when they still supported it.

They also, as a last straw, withheld W'95 licensing from IBM right up to the day before launch until IBM agreed to de-emphasize OS/2.

I wasn't there and can't speak to detail.


The man at the business end of OS/2 was, and that's what he said.

But I would note that one high-profile case recently established that another OS vendor was under no compulsion to license their OS to any OEM under any conditions at all.


It borders on "extortion". I noticed you didn't mention BeOS... maybe because MS was found guilty, because Be pursued the issue.

Wow, I guess all that fuss over the betas of Windows that "warned about incompatibilities" when they saw DRDos instead of MSDos had nothing to do with it, eh?
Betas have problems, sometimes documented limitations. It didn't ship that way.


It didn't ship that way because MS didn't want to get sued over it, and the damage required (to DRDos) was already accomplished.

Reply Score: 3

malxau Member since:
2005-12-04

I've read their official complaint. I was also around to read the news that broke when they actually found their code in there. Just because the complaint doesn't say it verbatim...


I guess my point is, journalists frequently do not understand such distinctions and there is considerable misinformation in reporting of almost everything. It seems unbelievable to me that Stac would allege copyright infringement to the press and not in court. Their version of events do not include things such as access to source code, which would have strengthened the case even for patent infringement. I completely believe that you read something that claimed verbatim copying, but that's not what happened.

"They also, as a last straw, withheld W'95 licensing from IBM right up to the day before launch until IBM agreed to de-emphasize OS/2.

I wasn't there and can't speak to detail.


The man at the business end of OS/2 was, and that's what he said.
"

Do we know what the other side of the negotiation said? Do we know what timeframe other OEMs signed onto licenses? Do we know on what terms? The one article I found on this (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/368660.stm) seemed to suggest that the issues were more subtle - the cause for licensing delay was IBM not paying MS royalties for OS/2, which MS wanted sorted about before entering into additional licenses.

I noticed you didn't mention BeOS... maybe because MS was found guilty, because Be pursued the issue.


It's because this is the first I'd heard of it, and have nothing meaningful to contribute.

Reply Score: 1

JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

Tell that to Stac, or any of the other Companies that found their code inside Microsoft's programs.

There was no allegation of direct appropriation of code with Stac.

You might have been born yesterday, but I wasn't. I watched it unfold, and reports specifically stated that Stac found their code (including comments) inside Double-Space. Just because Wikipedia says something doesn't change history.

Tell it to people that ran OS/2, or BeOS, that MS crushed with their Monopoly power.

I ran OS/2 and loved it, but I can't blame Microsoft for its demise.

Another BS story. Microsoft threatened to withdraw advertising $ to any company that even displayed the OS/2 logo in their ad. They also, as a last straw, withheld W'95 licensing from IBM right up to the day before launch until IBM agreed to de-emphasize OS/2. As for BeOS - MS threatened Hitachi with canceling their contracts if they loaded BeOS on any machines

And tell it to Novell & Digital Research, and on and on and on...

If you're referring to the DR-DOS & Windows 3.1 thing, note that all released versions of Windows 3.1 worked fine with DR-DOS.

Wow, I guess all that fuss over the betas of Windows that "warned about incompatibilities" when they saw DRDos instead of MSDos had nothing to do with it, eh?

Microsoft has a terrible reputation for anticompetitive practices, but I've never actually seen them in this company.

I've never seen anyone here be 'evil', ever.

Hear no evil, see no evil.

Their latest trick was to stuff the International Standards Groups with their flunky partners to get their "non-standard" listed as a standard.

I honestly don't know any more on this than anyone else on OSnews. I don't work in Office.

Try Groklaw.

However, it doesn't seem strange to me that MS was not about to adopt a file format controlled by its competitors (ODF).

ODF is an Open Standard - unlike MS's cryptic, 65K page submission.


QFT - something MS fanbois don't like. Every word is true, no matter how much the MS shills try to rewrite history.

EDIT: Edited for formatting

Edited 2010-02-05 22:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20

Every word is true, no matter how much the MS shills try to rewrite history.


There it is.

I was actually waiting for this. Congratulations.

Go back to Groklaw or Boycott Novell or whatever place you came from.

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


Another BS story. Microsoft threatened to withdraw advertising $ to any company that even displayed the OS/2 logo in their ad. They also, as a last straw, withheld W'95 licensing from IBM right up to the day before launch until IBM agreed to de-emphasize OS/2. As for BeOS - MS threatened Hitachi with canceling their contracts if they loaded BeOS on any machines


IBM had tough competition from Microsoft but they were ultimately responsible for the failure of OS2. I was an OS2 user and loved it but the price was high and so were the hardware requirements. Even though Windows was buggier it was also a lot cheaper. The weird part was when OS2 was clearly in trouble IBM insisted upon keeping the price high. Instead of providing a cheap consumer version they decided to focus on servers and yet again keep the price high compared to Microsoft's offering. They completely refused to using the same strategy of Microsoft which was to sell cheap in order to build an install base. It was if they thought they were above making an affordable product. They could have also given it out for free before canning the entire project.

Edited 2010-02-05 23:50 UTC

Reply Score: 3

FurryOne Member since:
2006-01-23

IBM had tough competition from Microsoft but they were ultimately responsible for the failure of OS2.


OS/2 failed due to lack of apps - due to Developers who were forced to choose between MS and IBM, and MS had more $$ for them.

I was an OS2 user and loved it but the price was high and so were the hardware requirements. Even though Windows was buggier it was also a lot cheaper. The weird part was when OS2 was clearly in trouble IBM insisted upon keeping the price high.


As in NOT FREE? I had every version from 1.1, and all the betas and all the TCPIP betas. OS/2 was cheap compared to the hardware of the day.

Instead of providing a cheap consumer version they decided to focus on servers and yet again keep the price high compared to Microsoft's offering. They completely refused to using the same strategy of Microsoft which was to sell cheap in order to build an install base. It was if they thought they were above making an affordable product. They could have also given it out for free before canning the entire project.


If you bought a PS/2, they DID give it to you for free. You seem to be confused about something - there was a license fee to MS for every copy of OS/2 IBM "sold". Show me where MS gave away Windows if you DIDN'T get it with a computer.

Reply Score: 1

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


If you bought a PS/2, they DID give it to you for free. You seem to be confused about something - there was a license fee to MS for every copy of OS/2 IBM "sold". Show me where MS gave away Windows if you DIDN'T get it with a computer.


I'm not confused about anything. OS/2 was overpriced and there are plenty of old reviews that show this:
http://books.google.com/books?id=QVAEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA33&lpg=PA33&dq=i...

There was a period where it really would have made a good server OS but they kept the price too high.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

When can we expect documented interoperability specs for the new ActiveDomain LDAP? I'd love to easily connect all my *nix client stations into the domain without having to rebuild them all using Suse.

Are they bending over backwards to include a native SSH service? They still have Telnet in there (disabled thankfully) so there is some precedence set. SSH protocol support can be included for free based on the OpenBSD license. They've also used BSD code before so again it's not new.. just an "interoperability" they lack. CIFS just doesn't cut as long as I can suck login credentials out of the unencrypted network traffic.

yes, within the MS product line things are very inter-operable but with non-MS products, it still feels like it's all about maintaining barriers to competition which ultimately harm the customers in favor of short term vision.

Reply Score: 4

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

"Are they bending over backwards to include a native SSH service?"

Why should they include it? That makes no sense. Microsoft's interoperability should be about making sure Microsoft technologies can be interoperated with - it should not be about Microsoft including foreign technology specifically to interoperate with others.

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

From a business strategy stand point, I'd agree. The point I was responding too was not "Microsoft bends over backwards to maintain interoperability between Microsoft products" though, it was:

"Microsoft has a terrible reputation for anticompetitive practices, but I've never actually seen them in this company. It bends over backwards for interoperability when issues arise."

This suggests interoperability with things outside the product portfolio. It suggests that if Windows has interoperability problems with another system, MS puts much effort into fixing that. Yet, here I am still using band-aid solutions to connect machines with strong encryption and being forced to make use of a leaky insecure protocol.

Replacing the included Telnet service with freely implementable SSHd would greatly improve windows and bring it's interoperability inline with pretty much every other major platform available. In mixed networks, this would increase Windows relevance rather than impose it's weaknesses on the rest.

Reply Score: 3

malxau Member since:
2005-12-04


This suggests interoperability with things outside the product portfolio. It suggests that if Windows has interoperability problems with another system, MS puts much effort into fixing that. Yet, here I am still using band-aid solutions to connect machines with strong encryption and being forced to make use of a leaky insecure protocol.


Again, I'm not part of the group that made this decision. However, I don't think this is a sinister attempt to derail interoperability. It's a reflection of the (somewhat sad) state of CMD, where command line support in general is not as strong as on other operating systems. This becomes chicken and egg ("why add ssh if you can't do simple things from the command line? why add new command line support when it doesn't provide a remote administration story?" etc.)

Remote administration for Windows ends up being RDP/rdesktop. RDP provides support for quite strong encryption.

Actually, I wonder if this is getting back the points raised in the op-ed piece about why MS struggles to move its products forward.

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Though it'll confuse most who've come to recognize my posts, the Windows command line is far more powerful than most give credit for. It's not Bash by a long shot but it's years ahead of a basic cd/copy/move/del limited entry prompt. In NT we're talking start and stop services, run many programs with command switches, change user privileges, and so on.. and so on.. Exchange has a rather powerful shell console available now and produces some nice reporting dumps to text. Some potentially powerful administration without the overhead of GUI applications.

Actually SSH goes far beyond just a remote shell tool. We're talking scp, sftp, tunneling, port forwarding. Add a little Fuse in there and you've got sshfs mounting. That last one isn't just about replacing CIFS with properly encrypted network shares which may threaten some egos in that development team. Consider it going out though, suddenly one could mount an sshfs share from another machine; Windows becomes more inter-operable by gaining natural connectivity with everything else out there that does provide SSH.

At home, the reasons for my grief are selfish. My ongoing research hobby is to remove all cleartext from my own network that I can (http likely to be the last as time goes on). I want to be able to dump CIFS without blocking my Windows machine from the rest of the network.

The current solution is using leaky CIFS when reaching into the Windows box and Putty/winSCP when reaching out from it. Band-aids for what should be naturally available in a modern networked OS.

At home, the reasons are security related. We have users who work with sensitive information which we want to keep centralized. If SSH where native with internal sshfs mounting support or with Fuse/sshfs reliable from third party developers then we simply keep the data on the secure *nix server and give the fiew authorized users a mounted drive letter for it.

This would be far better than leaky CIFS share hosted truecrypt blob files and the added complexity of mounting them to a drive letter.

(ideally, I'd also like to see drive letters go away. I know NT can do it but they continue to remain for legacy apps gone stale or alive but poorly maintained. This doesn't really relate to secure network connectivity between nodes though.)

I'd also suggest that requiring a GUI on a server and using RDP to admin it is part of the problem not a benefit of some sort. If it had to be GUI, I'd much rather see the admin console updated with an encrypted protocol. Leave the GUI resource wasting crap on my workstation and I'll connect in with console and snappins. There's really no reason for a GUI on Windows Server. The resulting stability and resource use between my Windows and *nix servers isn't even close and much of it is the bloated over-engineering of Windows Server. (I am looking forward to the rumored modular server version in development.)

There are third party SSHd builds available but they're not quite up to snuff with what should be there already as an optional service install.

Reply Score: 2

boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

And there is software available to me on my Linux box that does a wonderful job of being interoperable with the Exchange servers we have at work. Believe me, Exchange is just so open and interoperable, nobody ever has trouble using its services from other platforms, and it's certainly not a major reason that numerous corporate Desktop machines basically have to run Windows.

Reply Score: 2

The1stImmortal Member since:
2005-10-20

Are they bending over backwards to include a native SSH service? They still have Telnet in there (disabled thankfully) so there is some precedence set. SSH protocol support can be included for free based on the OpenBSD license. They've also used BSD code before so again it's not new.. just an "interoperability" they lack. CIFS just doesn't cut as long as I can suck login credentials out of the unencrypted network traffic.

To be fair - SUA/SFU/Interix (whichever they're choosing to call it at a given point) has been free since 3.5 (in 2004), and later versions integrated with Windows (v2003, v2008, Vista and 7) - and it includes an SSH server and client in the applications bundle. (I'm not sure if that's what you were referencing above but yeah)

Admittedly, it's not Win32, but it is native in the sense that it sits on top of a native subsystem on top of the kernel. I would suspect they've considered a Win32 SSH service/client and decided that the whole SSH on Win32 is always going to be a hack. cmd.exe doesn't do remoting well. Heck, they're even trying to deprecate cmd.exe so what's the point of SSH to it? Powershell is designed to do remoting natively, but once again, ssh doesn't make much sense here because it doesn't match the feature set.

I think one of the results of the patchwork political internals of Microsoft is the way one part of the company can seriously be working on interoperability and doing some cool, good stuff, while simultaneously another part of the company sabotages both that effort and the target(s) of that effort. So MS is both evil and not evil at the same time, depending on who, what and when you're looking at ;)

-The1stImmortal

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Sweet. I'm on the suacommunity site now. I love when my venting leads to learning new stuff.

I would still argue that this should not be a third party addon. It should be an optional service listed on the install media along with the others. It's not hard enough to implement for it not to be there.

I'll be doing some reading today though. Thank you for pointing me towards SUA.

(edit): that site is fantastic. I used to have a dos/win98 build of various *nix programs like grep, ls and such but have been unable to find them again. The site has a ton more listed there.

For work, I already know what our support contractor will say; probably a non-starter as a result.

Edited 2010-02-06 14:50 UTC

Reply Score: 2

The1stImmortal Member since:
2005-10-20

I would still argue that this should not be a third party addon. It should be an optional service listed on the install media along with the others. It's not hard enough to implement for it not to be there.


It's not third party - MS bought the company that made it in the early 2000s. Google SFU 3.5 and you'll see the download for the version for XP. If you're running 2003, Vista/7 Pro or Ultimate, or 2008, you can add/remove it as a windows feature (the apps bundle requires a download from MS but I think they just wanted to avoid putting it on the DVD).

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: The "Accidental Monopolist"
by gustl on Fri 5th Feb 2010 21:36 UTC in reply to "RE: The "Accidental Monopolist""
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

I honestly don't know any more on this than anyone else on OSnews. I don't work in Office.

However, it doesn't seem strange to me that MS was not about to adopt a file format controlled by its competitors (ODF), and many MS customers wanted the Office format to be an open standard. There is a positive angle here, which is now Office uses a human readable format by default which is well specified and documented. That's goodness.


The reason for Microsoft wanting their file format to be an ISO standard was ODF already being an ISO standard, and Microsoft wanting to balkanize the ISO office format standards.

If Microsoft just wanted to give other programmers access to their file format, why not just publish it? Why corrupting a (easily corruptable) standarization process, if ODF being the only ISO office format did not matter to Microsoft? Microsoft has not been keen on giving anybody information about it's file formats and protocols, why then this attempt to confuse people about office file formats?

Really, look at the easily confusable Names: OpenDocumentFormat (an XML format) is the standard document format of OpenOffice. Along comes Microsoft and names it's new file format "OfficeOpenXML".

Nobody will be able to convince anyone with half a brain, that this was not deliberate.

By the way, that Microsoft does not want interoperability at all was proven by - yes - Microsoft. Their Microsoft Excel ODF export filter writes formulas in a way that is not interoperable with any other spreadsheet application that can read ODF spreadsheets. Why? Because they can. ODF 1.0 does not specify how formulas should be written. And Microsoft already announced, that they would not support the openformula format, but rather stay with their crippled version of ODF 1.0.

And it is completely clear to me why Microsoft does not want interoperability: They want to lock-in their customers a little longer into their MS Office ecosystem. Makes sense, doesn't it?

The company I work for (very small company) has switched from MS Office to OpenOffice, because we still could (no Macros yet). But it was not completely without trouble due to Microsoft's lock-in strategy.

Reply Score: 1

PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

How well do ODF apps interoperate with each other? At the time of the whole formula spat, a couple of folks did a few interoperability tests between gnumeric, ooo, and koffice and found that things were not quite peachy and interoperable over there.

ODF as standardized by the ISO isn't a particularly useful standard for spreadsheets. It was standardized too soon, likely because certain industry players wanted to try using standardization as a means of selling their products through legislation.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

On the other hand, doesn't OfficeOpenXML provide an open framework that can't get full Office compatability without also including patented closed format bits inside the wrapper? Was that issue eventually resolved or are we still talking an open wrapper to zip closed blobs inside?

Reply Score: 2

It's Been Brewing for Some Time
by segedunum on Fri 5th Feb 2010 01:04 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

Joel Spolsky and others have also had a regular dig at Microsoft's ribs over stuff like this, so this guy isn't the only ex-Microsoft employee who sees something wrong:

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2009/12/30.html

I mean, read that:

"If you’re looking for a new role where you’ll focus on one of the biggest issues that is top of mind for KT and Steve B in ‘Compete’, build a complete left to right understanding of the subsidiary, have a large amount of executive exposure, build and manage the activities of a v-team of 13 district Linux& Open Office Compete Leads, and develop a broad set of marketing skills and report to a management team committed to development and recognized for high WHI this is the position for you!"

Who the hell talks like that and how is anyone outside Microsoft, or even in it, supposed to know what the hell that means?

As another example, something was wrong with WinFS to me. It seemed like a decent concept and should have been completely achievable, but it is now nowhere to be seen in any version of Windows, now or planned. Given that all of the features that it was going to have are being rolled into SQL Server it seems clear what has happened. The SQL Server group whinged because it encroached on their turf, they withdrew any technical backing and expertise and forced the whole concept to be rolled into SQL Server, never to be seen again.

Not buying YouTube was a big strategic mistake. Had they done that we wouldn't be talking about HTML5, h.264 or Theora - we simply wouldn't have had a choice - and yet, Microsoft still seems to be completely oblivious to that fact. Apparently, they had a strategic focus meeting or something and decided against it because they really wanted to chase the iPod with that crappy Zune and thought it more cost effective to come up with their own video site. Core strategic thinking and thoroughly understanding the technology seems to have totally died out.

The less said about the mobile market the better. Microsoft's failures there and their inability to be relevant at all would take a whole essay. Where the hell are they when people are flicking around with their iPhones, people are gorping at Android phones like the Nexus One, Nokia and Symbian still account for most of the market and Blackberry has cornered the enterprise market? Blackberry almost completely relies on Exchange for heaven's sake.

Oh, and what the hell has happened to Internet Explorer? Does no one work on it now? Oh right, it's not cost effective and not part of their core business.

Microsoft is all about product groups, with Windows and Office obviously being the main ones, all fighting for their own turf and budgets. They're stuck in a cycle where absolutely nothing can possibly threaten the Windows and Office cash cows, not new business models, companies or even new business opportunities, and even worse, internal product groups compete against each other for budgets and survival to the detriment of the whole. This quote all but confirms that state of affairs and sums it up:

"For Microsoft, it is not sufficient to simply have a good idea, or a great idea, or even a cool idea. We measure our work by its broad impact."

In other words, if your idea doesn't fit in to what we already have and our business model, and especially if it threatens a powerful product group, then you've got absolutely no chance.

Microsoft's only saving grace is that no one has yet produced viable alternatives to Office or Windows and the development systems around them. The other products matter little because they depend on the Windows and Office pillars staying up. When that happens, and it's a question of when not if, they just won't be equipped to handle it and no, they won't be able to reinvent themselves as IBM just about managed to.

Culturally speaking, they're a mentally ill company in a world of their own - and at the moment they can afford it.

Edited 2010-02-05 01:10 UTC

Reply Score: 7

malxau Member since:
2005-12-04

As another example, something was wrong with WinFS to me. It seemed like a decent concept and should have been completely achievable, but it is now nowhere to be seen in any version of Windows, now or planned. Given that all of the features that it was going to have are being rolled into SQL Server it seems clear what has happened. The SQL Server group whinged because it encroached on their turf, they withdrew any technical backing and expertise and forced the whole concept to be rolled into SQL Server, never to be seen again.


Except that WinFS was part of SQL even when it was being developed for inclusion in Windows.

The problem with WinFS was that it doesn't make sense in terms of IO patterns. You want to index every piece of content in a zillion ways for searchability? Great, that just needs a zillion index updates every time anything changes.

WinFS did not die due to internal politics. WinFS was BillG's baby and was kept alive via internal politics, until he announced he was leaving, at which point it died its long overdue death.

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love WinFS, and those who used it.

Reply Score: 1

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Except that WinFS was part of SQL even when it was being developed for inclusion in Windows.

Yer....... See the problem there?

The problem with WinFS was that it doesn't make sense in terms of IO patterns.

Errrrrrr, no. That's just a damn bizarre thing to try and defend this with.

You want to index every piece of content in a zillion ways for searchability? Great, that just needs a zillion index updates every time anything changes.

Errrrr, no. A user does not change a zillion files every minute, and certainly not the ones he or she wants to search anyway. There are also more efficient ways of being notified when a file has changed. It's a very poor excuse.

There is a lot of other very similar desktop search software, both on Windows and elsewhere on desktops on other platforms working towards what WinFS was supposed to be.

WinFS did not die due to internal politics. WinFS was BillG's baby and was kept alive via internal politics, until he announced he was leaving, at which point it died its long overdue death.

Nope. Bill Gates (Bill G? Hmmmmmmmm) kept it alive and once he was out of the picture internal politics killed the idea off - whereupon much of the development reappeared in successive SQL Server versions.

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love WinFS, and those who used it.

Yes, because Microsoft's initial implementation was crap. Meanwhile, the world moved on and we have other desktop search solutions. That's the point.

Reply Score: 2

malxau Member since:
2005-12-04

"Except that WinFS was part of SQL even when it was being developed for inclusion in Windows.

Yer....... See the problem there?
"

Start with wikipedia...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WinFS

The design should give away why this was a SQL problem, rather than a Windows problem.

"The problem with WinFS was that it doesn't make sense in terms of IO patterns.

Errrrrrr, no. That's just a damn bizarre thing to try and defend this with.
"

Again, back to wikipedia. Want to decompose that resume into individual attribute tuples of defined types? It's no longer written in one place anymore; it's written across tons of tables and tons of indexes. People bitch about fragmentation in Windows, but it doesn't come close to WinFS.

"You want to index every piece of content in a zillion ways for searchability? Great, that just needs a zillion index updates every time anything changes.

Errrrr, no. A user does not change a zillion files every minute, and certainly not the ones he or she wants to search anyway. There are also more efficient ways of being notified when a file has changed. It's a very poor excuse.
"

The user doesn't change a zillion files. Each file creates a zillion IOs (where zillion is a function of the number of attributes being maintained and indexes on those attributes.)

There is a lot of other very similar desktop search software, both on Windows and elsewhere on desktops on other platforms working towards what WinFS was supposed to be...Meanwhile, the world moved on and we have other desktop search solutions. That's the point.


Exactly. Windows Desktop Search (or Spotlight or Google Desktop Search) provides many of the advantages of WinFS with a lot less IO overhead, does not require rewriting applications, and involves much less user setup.

Reply Score: 1

WinFS = Sharepoint
by contextfree on Sat 6th Feb 2010 00:09 UTC in reply to "It's Been Brewing for Some Time"
contextfree Member since:
2009-06-01

WinFS has essentially been incorporated into Sharepoint (especially 2010), via various other MSFT server and framework components (e.g. WCF Data Services). Pretty much every aspect of WinFS is in there, actually, except for the "integrated into Windows" bit. But it makes a lot more sense on the server than the client, anyway.

MSFT is working on the Semantic Engine which looks like the next generation of the WinFS concept: http://microsoftpdc.com/Sessions/SVR32

Reply Score: 1

what I have heard at MS
by TechGeek on Fri 5th Feb 2010 04:34 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

Being in academia, I have friends who have ended up at Microsoft. From what I have heard, you are either on your way up the ladder, or stuck at the bottom. People are groomed for upper level positions, and if they turn them down or mess up, then they get put on the crap teams, like maintaining old code instead of working on the new networking stack. There is no sense of "Hey, I like what I'm doing, leave me alone to do it". I would have a problem with that. While I have a Master's and good leadership/management abilities, I prefer to work in the trenches with the gear. My friend ended up taking the promotion even though it meant moving away after he and his wife just got done building a new house. They really don't like where they moved to, but he didnt have much of a choice.

Edited 2010-02-05 04:35 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: what I have heard at MS
by google_ninja on Fri 5th Feb 2010 05:19 UTC in reply to "what I have heard at MS"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

One thing about microsoft (or any company with over 90, 000 employees) is that you can't really pideon hole the whole thing in any real way. Depending on where you are, the company can be dramatically different

Reply Score: 4

RE: what I have heard at MS
by l3v1 on Fri 5th Feb 2010 07:19 UTC in reply to "what I have heard at MS"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

you are either on your way up the ladder, or stuck at the bottom

I'd say that's true for a lot of companies.

Reply Score: 3

employee
by l3v1 on Fri 5th Feb 2010 07:18 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

In the MS response: Former Microsoft employee Dick Brass

When they refer to one of their former VPs as "employee", that means something. For me, it means the op-ed's truth content is fairly high.

Reply Score: 6

What a stupid article
by nt_jerkface on Fri 5th Feb 2010 23:12 UTC
nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

Most software companies dream of failing like Microsoft. Top selling products with few competitors, high profit margins, a massive pile of cash on hand and a highly skilled workforce.

Let me know when MS can no longer sell Office at $300. When it is down to ~50 like most software products I'll consider the idea that they are in trouble.

Until then I'm throwing this is on the giant stack of Microsoft is doomed! articles that come out every year. I could probably find one from 1998 that would just need to be updated with their latest products.

Reply Score: 2

Cleartype and headaches
by marafaka on Tue 9th Feb 2010 11:14 UTC
marafaka
Member since:
2006-01-03

"The head of Office products said it was fuzzy and gave him headaches."

But it is true! Only half-blind people can fully appreciate this technology.

Reply Score: 2