Bill Gates Called To Testify In Antitrust Trial Over Windows 95; No This Isn't An Old Post

from the the-wheels-of-justice-turn-slowly dept

Thought that Microsoft’s antitrust troubles from a decade plus ago were all settled and over with, beyond a little monitoring? Think again. The case involving Novell is continuing onward… and lined up on the docket to testify is Bill Gates, who’s being called to explain some questionable emails he sent all the way back in 1994, which seem to suggest plans to use Windows to limit competing office productivity software offerings. Of course, perhaps if Novell hadn’t been spending so much time and money fighting Microsoft, it could have spent more time actually building products people want.

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Companies: microsoft, novell

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Comments on “Bill Gates Called To Testify In Antitrust Trial Over Windows 95; No This Isn't An Old Post”

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Psychic Octopus says:

Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Oct 18th, 2011 @ 3:48pm

If lengths are debatable in audio and visual media (though 95 is still excessive), they are the epitome of absurdity in software. When software becomes public domain, chances are there won’t even be any machine in the world capable of running it. (though I guess museums or universities might have some made just for the purpose of running old software)

RobShaver (profile) says:

Re: Apple?

Having developed software to work with Novell Netware, I don’t think they have ever been a very savvy technology company.

I agree that once people start suing each other, everybody looses a bit, but I don’t quite know how to take Mike’s position that they should just roll over and take a screwing from MS (I mean move on, forgive and forget). If you don’t stand up then its going to happen again and again and again.

Mike, do you think IBM should have just rolled over for SCO or am I misconstruing your comment?

out_of_the_blue says:

You imply that Microsoft didn't violate antitrust to monopolize OS market.

“Of course, perhaps if Novell hadn’t been spending so much time and money fighting Microsoft, it could have spent more time actually building products people want.”

Since Microsoft was convicted of antitrust, as you mention at the start, how was Novell to effectively compete against ongoing unfair practices and exercise of monopoly? Neither IBM nor Digital Research could, either. You’re simply saying let the behemoth use illegal means without contest. The resources that you suggest were mis-directed were in fact a part of Microsoft strategy to force Novell to use up its far more limited resources that way: double hammering.

I note a “winner takes all” tone here: libertarians have a tautology that gaining a monopoly proves that the monopolist is best, therefore there’s no monopoly. Mike has several times implied approval of “natural” monopolies and disparaged breaking up monopoly merely because large. He’s a corporatist at heart, outside of some mild disapproval.

By the way, it seems certain that Justice Dept got secret concessions from Microsoft to put in backdoors and various monitoring in return for a de facto monopoly. The gov’t has turned into a massive surveillance state, Microsoft being a key part, and as Mike detailed just this week, even courts no longer consider judgments a matter for public view.

Gordon (profile) says:

Re: You imply that Microsoft didn't violate antitrust to monopolize OS market.


Your comment above is a very well put together and I even say well thought out post.
If you posted in this manner every time or even most of the time you might not catch so much hell from the other posters here on TD, myself included sometimes.

I find it refreshing to see you post this way. please keep it up and maybe we here can have some actual thoughtful discussions that don’t fall to petty 3rd grade name calling and other such bullshit.

My 2 cents.

bigpicture says:

"building products people want"

Do you know anything about this issue at all? Like doing some real journalism.

This is what the whole “Anti Trust” thing is about. There were products that people wanted like Word Perfect, Lotus, Quatro, remember any of these. Then there was the MS mottos, like “Windows is not done until Lotus won’t run” or “cut off their air supply” What the hell do you think is in Bill’s e-mails? (1) Lets build a better product than theirs so the customer will get better value, or (2) lets sabotage their products so they can’t sell them and MS has a monopoly.

Now which one do you think was in the e-mails? Why would Bill be testifying if it was (1)? If you can’t do any real journalism, then try some reasonable deduction.

Cowardly Anon says:

Re: "building products people want"

Without seeing the emails, you’re hypothesizing and could very well be making a mountain out of an ant hill.

Perhaps the emails were written from a CEO that wanted to dominate the market, but that isn’t an antitrust…that’s how CEO’s think and work. Deal with it.

If you could think back to the Windows 95 days, do you remember what a flaming pile of shit Word was? Word Perfect ran perfectly fine on my Windows 95 box, better than Word did actually.

In this case no one has to wonder what will happen in the future if this is let go….b/c we already life in that future. Did M$ kill those products? No, they didn’t. All of them are still being offered today. So, where is the antitrust?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

And both are complete crap. Unusable when you need to share documents with users that have the latest version of MS Office. I know we deal with it everyday at work. Even our die-hard linux desktop users hate both Open and Libre. What joke those products really are, compromise all the way around.

Chargone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

i think the issue with incompatibility might have more to do with Microsoft, seeing as how seems to go out of it’s way to handle Microsoft’s file formats.

especially as Microsoft has a habit of attempting to sabotage any standardization that would let other people’s stuff work when they want people using their own.

(IE’s incompatability with the standards everyone else used, for example.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Not claiming MS Office is good or that I love MS. In my experience and in the experience of those around me (on PCs, Macs and Linux) I get the most consistent experience with MS Office.

MS does not believe in ‘do no evil’ and if you read my post above you’ll see that I say that it still matters if MS was being unfair in the marketplace.

walterbyrd (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4

MS always seeks to lock users into their proprietary format. Once you are locked into MS’s format, you are owned by MS – you are vendor-locked. Also, since MS formats are completely closed, there is no assurance that documents you create today, will be readable years from now.

Using MS office products can also lock you into an OS platform.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

If I cannot find a better tool then I don’t really care if I’m ‘vendor locked’.

“there is no assurance that documents you create today, will be readable years from now”

Not sure how many years you mean but I can still open my docs from Word 2.0 years later.

“Using MS office products can also lock you into an OS platform.”

Various forms of virtualization make that untrue.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“WordPerfect was the defacto standard”

WP was a DOS product then, with no mouse support. Meanwhile, Word for DOS had mouse support. WP was on life support, with customers looking for an alternative. Word for DOS would have won eventually.

When Word for Windows came out, WP had nothing. That was when WP lost the game. Customers saw the new Word and decided, “At last, WYSIWYG.”

WP for Windows was a horrible buggy mess, which shipped late. They found out the hard way that reliability is something you design in from the start, not bolt on later when you suddenly realize you have a problem. Customers do not forgive software which crashes and loses hours of work. Look at how good document recovery is in Word and Libre Office.

WP’s loss of market share was almost entirely caused by management mistakes at WP. They thought they were going to get away with shoddy, but they faced a competitor who was just that crucial bit better.

Robert Freetard says:

Novell wasn’t out-teched it was out marketed.

When the CFO’s only exposure to networking was microsoft in college he expects the server to need rebooting weekly and patches (that also require reboots) twice or more a month.

I have a Novell 4.11 server at a client that has literally been running since 1997 with only every couple of year swap-outs of hard drives in the (hardware) mirror _ever_.
It gets rebooted perhaps once a year.
It supports groupwise which they won’t replace and one app that they aren’t ready to re-write.

Novell’s tech is far superior to Microsoft’s but their marketing sucks as compared to Microsoft’s

Allomancer (profile) says:

I don’t have any problem with Microsoft being investigated for antitrust issues, but why in the world is this case still going? Does Novell even exist anymore? And if they do win, what then? I guess Microsoft will have to pay some money to the company that’s already been destroyed, for whatever good that’ll do.

Of course, the reason it’s gone on so long is probably due to Microsoft dragging it out anyway (just a guess), but the whole thing is ridiculous.

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