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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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 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 Parent 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 Parent Score: 3

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 Parent Score: 4

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 Parent Score: 1