Home Messages Index
[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
Author IndexDate IndexThread Index

Re: What does Donald Knuth and Microsoft have in common?

Verily I say unto thee, that Greg Cox spake thusly:

> Because reality is not a black and white, us vs. them world.  Reality
> consists of shades of grey.

What colour would you describe this as, Greg ... black, white or grey?

In the 1998-1999 timeframe, ready to prime the pump with their desktop
offering, Be offered BeOS for free to any major computer manufacturer
willing to pre-install BeOS on machines alongside Windows. Although few
in the Be community ever knew about the discussions, Gassée says that Be
was engaged in enthusiastic discussions with Dell, Compaq, Micron, and
Hitachi. Taken together, pre-installation arrangements with vendors of
this magnitude could have had a major impact on the future of Be and
BeOS. But of the four, only Hitachi actually shipped a machine with BeOS
pre-installed. The rest apparently backed off after a closer reading of
the fine print in their Microsoft Windows License agreements. Hitachi
did ship a line of machines (the Flora Prius) with BeOS pre-installed,
but made changes to the bootloader -- rendering BeOS invisible to the
consumer -- before shipping. Apparently, Hitachi received a little visit
from Microsoft just before shipping the Flora Prius, and were reminded
of the terms of the license.


And how about this one?

David Cole and Phil Barrett exchanged emails on 30 September 1991: "
"It's pretty clear we need to make sure Windows 3.1 only runs on top of
MS DOS or an OEM version of it," and "The approach we will take is to
detect dr 6 and refuse to load. The error message should be something
like 'Invalid device driver interface.'" Microsoft had several methods
of detecting and sabotaging the use of DR-DOS with Windows, one
incorporated into "Bambi", the code name that Microsoft used for its
disk cache utility (SMARTDRV) that detected DR-DOS and refused to load
it for Windows 3.1. The AARD code trickery is well-known, but Caldera is
now pursuing four other deliberate incompatibilities. One of them was a
version check in XMS in the Windows 3.1 setup program which produced the
message: "The XMS driver you have installed is not compatible with
Windows. You must remove it before setup can successfully install
Windows." Of course there was no reason for this.

And how "grey" does /this/ look to you?

Our mission is to establish Microsoft's platforms as the de facto
standards throughout the computer industry.... Working behind the scenes
to orchestrate "independent" praise of our technology, and damnation of
the enemy's, is a key evangelism function during the Slog. "Independent"
analyst's report should be issued, praising your technology and damning
the competitors (or ignoring them). "Independent" consultants should
write columns and articles, give conference presentations and moderate
stacked panels, all on our behalf (and setting them up as experts in the
new technology, available for just $200/hour). "Independent" academic
sources should be cultivated and quoted (and research money granted).
"Independent" courseware providers should start profiting from their
early involvement in our technology. Every possible source of leverage
should be sought and turned to our advantage.


And /this/?

We recently closed a deal with the Nigerian Government. Maybe you heard
about it, Steve. They were looking for an affordable hardware+software
solution for their schools. The initial batch was 17,000 machines. We
had a good deal to respond to their need: the Classmate PC from Intel,
with a customized Mandriva Linux solution. We presented the solution to
the local government, they liked the machine, they liked our system,
they liked what we offered them, especially the fact that it was open,
and that we could customize it for their country and so on.

Then, your people get in the game and the deal got more competitive. I
would not say it got dirty, but someone could have said that. Your team
fought and fought again the deal, but still the customer was happy with
the CMPC and Mandriva.

We actually closed the deal, we took the order, we qualified the
software, we got the machine shipped. To conclude, we did our job. And,
the machine are being delivered right now.

Now, we hear a different story from the customer : "we shall pay for the
Mandriva Software as agreed, but we shall replace it by Windows afterward."

Wow! I’m impressed, Steve! What have you done to these guys to make them
change their mind like this?



Mba-Uzoukwu wrote that Microsoft is still negotiating an agreement that
would give TSC US$400,000 (£190,323) for marketing activities around the
Classmate PCs when those computers are converted to Windows.


I'm also having trouble finding any shades of grey in /this/:

Intel has already sabotaged the OLPC market by contracting hundreds of
thousands Classmate units in countries as Nigeria, Libya and Pakistan -
the original markets for Negroponte's laptops. Moreover, Bill Gates
announced that Microsoft would give a discounted $3 package, including
Windows, Microsoft XP student edition and other educational software,
which also was meant to sabotage Negroponte's XO laptop.

It was meant to be the other way around: industry giants should have
been shaking hands and work together for the benefit of hundreds of
millions of children - their possible future targeted market. Instead,
they have made out of poverty another battlefield in search for profit.


> When you simplify your outlook of the world

Microsoft is "the world" now? To you, perhaps.

> to this extreme, you have to ignore or discard 99% of the truth.

Yes, I'm sure /you/ do, Greg, but then it must be easy to ignore when
you're wearing grey-tinted glasses. Try taking them off now and then,
and actually /read/ the vast litany of evidence against the vile company
you evangelise for.

> This is why extremist groups

An ex-Microsoft employee talking about /others/ being extremists ...
hilarious. I suppose there is nothing at all extremist about a company
which threatens to "knife [Apple's] baby", "cut off Netscape's air
supply", and "tilt Lotus into the death spiral", whilst it sabotages
/charities/ for profit, claims that "Linux is a cancer", gatecrashes
competitors' product launches, spies on its own customer, and forms
protection rackets with OEMs and commercial Linux vendors - based on
unfounded allegations of "235 patent infringements".

You're delusional.


| "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It
|  is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." ~ William
|  Pitt the Younger

Fedora release 8 (Werewolf) on sky, running kernel
 19:10:25 up 89 days,  2:53,  4 users,  load average: 0.25, 0.09, 0.02

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
Author IndexDate IndexThread Index