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No. of Recommendations: 16
I think this illuminates one of the root causes.
http://www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/business/story/0,3604,421095,00.html

Although Bill Gates barely noticed, Microsoft's approach was isolating it from many of the corporate leaders gathered in Davos. At an annual Sun Valley retreat put on by Allen & Company, News Corporation's Rupert Murdoch, NBC's Robert Wright, Sony's Nobuyuki Idei - among others - were shocked during a Gates presentation when he boasted: "I'm going to destroy three companies: Sun Microsystems, Oracle, and Netscape."

Everyone in this audience wanted to beat the competition - but destroy them? Gates seemed so, well, immature. To these executives, business was business; it wasn't personal.


This kind of language filled the email the DOJ got. Even emails that were composed after Microsoft knew it was under investigation, knew that the DOJ would be reading them. It clearly establishes intent that is illegal under antitrust law, that Gates can't seem to understand that even to this day is very disturbing.
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No. of Recommendations: 2


I read the article--very cogent, thanks for posting it here.

Let's hope that the article's snapshot view was just that--a transient event reflecting Gates' deep personal feelings over the antitrust suit. In recent memory, he's been fairly relaxed and composed during presentations. Perhaps the suit has tempered him?

It's always interesting to me to see how much companies' personalities mimic their chiefs'; I'm watching Oracle like a hawk to see how Ellison derails it with his latest egomaniacal escapade.

The contrast at MSFT between Gates' cerebral focus and Ballmer's gregariousness make for quite a mix. How will the two personalities be reflected by the company as a whole?
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No. of Recommendations: 10
"Beat" and "Kill" and "Destroy" are just words that indicate that one company is going to compete in the marketplace. It does not indicate any nefarious intentions or actions. Arrogance is not a crime; in fact it can be a virtue in a leader. Corporate leaders who whine about the competition and run to big brother government for help, should move to a safe socialist economy, not try to turn our's into one.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
Why is it that "The Art of War" is such a popular book in the business community? I bought it on the recommendation of a friend who read it because the CEO of his company wanted all of his executives to read it.

No, it wasn't Microsoft.

Randall
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No. of Recommendations: 9
> Corporate leaders who whine about the competition and run to big brother government for help, should move to a safe socialist economy, not try to turn our's into one.

Agreed. And it's a darn shame Microsoft had to go whining to the government to block the AOL Time Warner merger just because Microsoft couldn't compete in the internet messenging market.
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rehowes:

Why is it that "The Art of War" is such a popular book in the business community? I bought it on the recommendation of a friend who read it because the CEO of his company wanted all of his executives to read it.

No, it wasn't Microsoft.

I would expect Microsoft to be more partial to Clausewitz, or more likely Nietzsche.

Stopping just short of Godwin's Law here...
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No. of Recommendations: 4
techno51:

Unfortunately, Gates and Co have established a climate akin to corporate sociopathy. Frankly, I don't understand it. A 40+% profit rate (almost 3 times industry average) is not enough? With the monopoly position this company enjoys, one would have to have the brain of a retarded clam to pursue the policies Microsoft management has. I can only attribute it to unparalleled ego combined with complete arrogance for the law and therefore the country that has provided them the opportunity to succeed as they have. It really is the cliche that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Unfortunately, those who have brought ruin here will remain multi-billionaires while the small time individual investor who is inextricably tied to MS via 401k and other mutual funds are the ones who are going to be affected to most.
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dbaohio writes:

"A 40+% profit rate (almost 3 times industry average) is not enough?"





Wasn't it Rockefeller who, when asked how much money is enough, answered "one more dollar"?

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No. of Recommendations: 4
["Beat" and "Kill" and "Destroy" are just words]

Literally true but professionally wrong.

[Arrogance is not a crime; in fact it can be a virtue in a leader]

A virtue?? When you, at the VERY least, are walking on the very edge of legal?? That's about as smart as someone with a super fast car bragging (arrogance) that he will "Destroy" his competition (the police).

He apparently doesn't have the good of his company and company employees at heart because, by this arrogance he has now put THEM in danger. But does he care one would ask. Of course not! My God he has billions give or take a few hundred million. His apparent attitude? "Screw them all, you can't hurt ME."

It's an adolencent attitude one normally sees in inmature young school children. How old is he now? I must have forgot. Sorry.

BC
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No. of Recommendations: 6
"Beat" and "Kill" and "Destroy" are just words that indicate that one company is going to compete in the marketplace. It does not indicate any nefarious intentions or actions.

Combined with Microsoft's actions, past and discussed, it does. Example of past action: cf. http://www.ddj.com/articles/1993/9309/9309d/9309d.htm
The tactic of adding code that would detect a non-MS DOS and generate error messages was discussed in Microsoft emails that came to light during the antitirust trial. The citation is an article from Dr. Dobbs Journal, discussing the code found in Windows 3.1 beta. In Win 3.1 final, the code was disarmed (by branching around it) but not removed.
If you were one of the thousands of Windows 3.1 beta testers, and if you happened to be using DR DOS rather than MS-DOS, you probably butted heads with a seemingly innocuous, yet odd, error message like that in Figure 1. As you'll see, this message is a visible manifestation of a chunk of code whose implementation is technically slippery and evasive.

While it's impossible to gauge intent, the apparent purpose of this code is to lay down arbitrary technical obstacles for DOS-workalike programs. The message appears with the release labeled "final beta release (build 61)" (dated December 20, 1991), and with "pre-release build 3.10.068" (January 21, 1992). Similar messages (with different error numbers) are produced in builds 61 and 68 by MN.COM, SETUP.EXE, and by the versions of HIMEM.SYS, SMARTDRV.EXE, and MSD.EXE (Microsoft diagnostics) packaged with Windows.

Although the error is non-fatal--that is, the program can continue running--WIN.COM's default behavior is to terminate the program, rather than continue.

...The first step in discovering why the error message appeared under DR DOS but not MS-DOS was to examine the relevant WIN.COM code. However, the WIN.COM code that produced this message turned out to be XOR encrypted, self-modifying, and deliberately obfuscated--all in an apparent attempt to thwart disassembly.

The code also tries to defeat attempts for a debugger to step through it. For example, Figure 2 shows a code fragment in which the INT 1 single-step interrupt is pointed at invalid code (the two bytes FFh FFh), which disables DEBUG. The same is done with INT 2 (nonmaskable interrupt) and INT 3 (debug breakpoint). However, since modern debuggers (I used Nu-Mega's Soft-ICE) run the debugger and debuggee in separate address spaces, the AARD code's revectoring of INTs 1-3 has no affect on the Soft-ICE debugger. In any case, these attempts to throw examination off-track are in themselves revealing.

For whatever reasons, while much of it is XOR encrypted, the code contains, as plain-text, a Microsoft copyright notice and the initials "AARD" and "RSAA," perhaps the programmer's initials.
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No. of Recommendations: 3
[With the monopoly position this company enjoys, one would have to have the brain of a retarded clam]

Not just a poor clam but, a retarted one at that. I like your style.

[I can only attribute it to unparalleled ego combined with complete arrogance for the law and therefore the country]

And you would be 110% right! Enjoyed your post.

BC

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No. of Recommendations: 5
Why MSFT got in trouble goes back to the days when MSFT and several other companies, decided to fund SETA after the feds rushed to stop all funding. The reason the feds stopped funding is a mystery. But people with a thirst for discovery and large pocket books stepped up to the plate to fund the continuation of SETA. This pissed off all the right people in the government. Since that day their has been a target on Bill Gates and others. All this mumbo jumbo about encoded programs and monopoly to access the internet is nothing more than a guise to hide payback. The Europeans and Japanes think our government is crazy for trying to destroy what they consider to be standard business practice in their country. Why aren't companies like Coca Cola required to put their secret ingredients on each can so that the competition can figure out how to make the same product? I give Bill Gates a lot of credit for keeping his business in the US. I would have moved across the border to Canada a long time ago. Those people would accept his business with open arms, not harrassment lawsuits. The amount of revenue this company generates and distributes throughout the world is staggering and we live in a country with a corrupt justice dept. bent on destroying a goose that lays lots of golden eggs. I can't wait until a moral Attorney General is appointed so as to help put an end to the MSFT hit.
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I'm sure that Gate's probably understands... Arrogance is the key word. He probably feels beyond reproach.
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No. of Recommendations: 6
Why did MSFT get into trouble? H'mmmm. Probably it was in large part due to the Reno Justice Department's inability to understand 21st century capitalism, economics, and finance.

IOW, she and her cronies know nothing about contemporary business practices and she obviously thinks she's living in the Stone Age. God bless her; Reno and America need all the blessing(s) they can get.
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No. of Recommendations: 4
Inductive:

Why did MSFT get into trouble? H'mmmm. Probably it was in large part due to the Reno Justice Department's inability to understand 21st century capitalism, economics, and finance.

I see this one crop up from time to time. Maybe I should give it a name.

I know. I'll call it the But You Don't Understand whine. BYDU for short.
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No. of Recommendations: 8

I would expect Microsoft to be more partial to Clausewitz, or more likely Nietzsche.

Stopping just short of Godwin's Law here...


I would quote Nietzsche,

"That which doesn't kill you, makes you stronger"

I think the government will end up making Microsoft stronger in the end for it has forced the company to operate as Bill Gates says "In constant fear". I am sure the company is now working as a team and will come out stronger once the governments case is thrown out by Bush.

TMF MYCROFT
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I see this one crop up from time to time. Maybe I should give it a name.

I know. I'll call it the But You Don't Understand whine. BYDU for short.


Obviously, you just don't understand. ;-)
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No. of Recommendations: 3
Inductive:

I also see this reason crop up frequently. You underscore the reason why MS must be broken up - sociopathic corporate behavior. Sociopaths simply just don't understand the difference between right and wrong. You and those like you just don't get it. That's why there is law enforcement. The criminal is FORCED to do what the majority wants irrespective if the sociopath understands or not. The simple truth is that criminal and antisocial behavior is not a function of time. It all boils down to simple basic human nature. Theft, assault, murder will always be illegal. Here in America, the majority of people believe in fair competition. It has proven to be a tremendously successful and providential philosophy. Microsoft has irrationally gone out of its way to thwart this system, ignoring the fact that their success is entirely due to the advantages afforded them by this very philosophy. Despite the nearly insurmountable advantages of a bank account in the tens of billions, brand recognition, and a MONOPOLY on the desktop operating system, they continue to find it necessary to actively pursue policies of preventing competitors from entering the PC software arena in those areas they deem to be theirs and theirs alone. For some inexplicable reason they apparently feel incapable of competing on the basis of product quality and price alone. One would think that the huge advantages of which they are obviously vested would provide them the measure of assurance any sane individual or corporation would need to conduct themselves in a non-extra legal manner. Again this is apparently and unfortunately not the case. Their defacto standard of operation includes changing APIs on so called partners, bundling software to starve competitors, strong arming hardware vendors to use their software and theirs alone. Their infamy is legion in the software industry. This has stifled software innovation and quality throughout the entire industry. Development money for any product that competes with MS is nearly non-existent. Even the quality of MS products themselves has suffered from the lack of competition. The only beneficiaries in this are the monopolists. Everyone else loses in the long run. I can think of no other product in which those who cry foul for Microsoft would actually advocate the application of these monopolistic practices. Nearly everyone would agree that it would be detrimental if one manufacturer of TVs or cars or stereos had 95% of the market, had profit margins three times other members of the same industry and ACTIVELY PREVENTED other manufacturers from entering the competition - all except the people at the helm of Microsoft and those, such as yourself, who just don't get it. Fortunately the rest of us do.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
drgroup writes: The amount of revenue this company generates and distributes throughout the world is staggering and we live in a country with a corrupt justice dept. bent on destroying a goose that lays lots of golden eggs. I can't wait until a moral Attorney General is appointed so as to help put an end to the MSFT hit.

Not only is the wait over, the former Attorney Generals for Presidents Johnson and Carter and legal counsel for Presidents Bush(Sr) and Clinton filed a legal brief stating a break up is bad for consumers and will hurt innovation and competition in the I.T industry. i.e the punishment does not fit the crime. Does anybody remember Orlando Cepeda?
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drgroup writes: The amount of revenue this company generates and distributes throughout the world is staggering and we live in a country with a corrupt justice dept. bent on destroying a goose that lays lots of golden eggs.

Some goose. More like the Crocodile that lays golden eggs who would continue to feeling free to raid others' nests with impunity hasd not the croc-handlers put this predator run rampant and eating other 'free-market' cattle so the rancher either has to sign a contract agreeing to "feed the beast',get starved into oblivion if not submission, or get eaten outright.
There's a reason to keep predators a bay so other species, with better ideas for thriving, can evolve.
Golden goose yer arse,T-rex running rampant only to serve itself is hardly sound financial ecology.
That is, ofcourse, unless you believe "Big Corporate Gov't" is no breader of corruption including its own.

> I can't wait until a moral Attorney General is
>appointed

Oh Puh-leeeease. Moral constitutional conservative like Judge Robert Bork and Ken Starr. Happily the equally corrupt M$FT-toady and suck-up supreme, Ex-Seantor from
Washington;Slade-soon to be openly overpaid M$FT lobbyist-Gorton got the axe thanks to the good residents of Washington state.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
taliesn4 wrote:
Oh Puh-leeeease. Moral constitutional conservative like Judge Robert Bork and Ken Starr. Happily the equally corrupt M$FT-toady and suck-up supreme, Ex-Seantor from Washington;Slade-soon to be openly overpaid M$FT lobbyist-Gorton got the axe thanks to the good residents of Washington state.

Don't hold back, tell us what you REALLY think. That Florida issue must have driven you bonkers.....
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