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Why Microsoft Suddenly Wanted to Be More Interoperable - Comes v. MS Exh. 7068 Tells Us
Sunday, January 24 2010 @ 01:42 PM EST

Guess why Microsoft suddenly decided it wanted to be more interoperable? It's so it can get customers to quit using Linux and switch to Windows & .NET.

Exhibit 7068 [PDF] in the Comes v. Microsoft antitrust litigation exhibits list tells us what happened with Intel. It is a 4-page email thread with Bill Gates and others at Microsoft all about trying to get Intel to switch from Linux/Unix to Windows for their development environment. Gates calls it a jihad. What stood in the way, according to the email report on what Intel was telling them: "Linux apparently meets over 90% of their current EDA needs." Intel said Linux interoperability was better, they could port code more easily, EDA ISVs "got burnt with poor experiences with Windows NT" and so were "wary of taking steps in this direction".

Remember when Microsoft told us it was interested in greater interoperability with Linux because their customers were demanding it? That part is true, as I'll show you. But the purpose of developing greater interoperability at the request of Intel, according to this exhibit, was so that Microsoft could get Intel to switch its development environment from Linux to Windows. Intel's Paul Otellini had reportedly asked his people to figure out how to do that. But in 1999, Microsoft and Intel had cooperatively done a comparison test project, testing Windows and Linux against each other, and Linux performed better. Way better. And so after identifying 100 or so Microsoft work items, Intel decided to go with Linux. The email thread is about whether Intel could now switch back.

1999. Think about what that means in the SCO v. IBM context, where SCO alleges that it wasn't until IBM got involved in Linux -- years after 1999 -- that Linux suddenly worked well in the enterprise. Seems they are, at best, mistaken.

The email thread begins with a report on a telephone conference with some Intel and Windows folks, to see what could be done to get Intel off of Linux and back on Windows.

By the way, are two monopolies allowed to work together to figure out how to gang up on one of the monopoly's competitors? Just asking.

Trust me, though, you won't find this exhibit on any Microsoft Get the Facts-style websites.

There are so many gems we are finding by transcribing the exhibits in the Comes collection. I thought they were all ancient history, but not at all, particularly on the final page of the collection, page 4. So if you are in the mood to help us with transcribing, that's a great place to start.

This exhibit, for example, is from early 2002, and if you recall Darl McBride joined Caldera, now calling itself SCO, in the summer of 2002, and at the end of the year, it was gearing up to attack Linux. That is the context. Microsoft by 2002, after losing to Linux in 1999, was still not able to persuade Intel developers to come back to Windows.

As you read the exhibit, then, please imagine you are Microsoft when Darl McBride comes calling with a plan to litigate Linux into the ground, force Linux to remove code SCOfolk thought Linux couldn't function without in the enterprise, or place a SCO tax on every Linux server, all of which would make it easier for Microsoft to compete against an operating system that was preferred already at Intel. Imagine you are not the type to stay awake nights, worrying about business ethics or fine points like that.

Microsoft asked Intel what it should do. Some suggestions from Intel: improve interoperability between Windows and Linux/UNIX, improve "stability of environment, OS, shell environment, scripts, etc.", find "a unique value prop that will convince EDA ISVs about the advantage of supporting Windows & .NET." Intel reportedly offered to help Microsoft with developing that, "since they're familiar with the terrain." In short, if Microsoft could improve in interoperability, it would enable Intel to switch from Linux to Windows and .NET.

So all you folks helping Microsoft become more interoperable, are you working with a "new" Microsoft that has now seen the light? Or, are you enabling Microsoft to replace Linux, after you help them write the code and share with them the way to fix their stupid software? What are you thinking? You are doing their coding for them with a goal on their part you won't enjoy. In short, the conclusion I reach after reading this exhibit is that if Microsoft can't interoperate well with Linux, it will decline faster.

Here's the entire text, but as always, for anything that matters, go by the PDF:

************************************

From: Brian Valentine
Sent: Saturday, February 02, 2002 11:45 PM
To: Mike Porter; Bill Gates
Cc: Jim Allchin; Ann Marie McLeod
Subject: RE: Intel's design engineers and Windows

We are all over them on this and will keep trying to get them to move. Attached is the whole thread that is currently running on this.

-- Original Message --
From: Mike Porter
Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2002 12:34 PM
To: Bill Gates
Cc: Jim Allchin; Brian Valentine
Subject: RE: Intel's design engineers and Windows

Sorry it's taken so much time to investigate. BrianV put a team together to nail this and in our opinion we did everything possible and had a pretty solid solution. Intel said they felt we didn't meet every need, although I've been pushing for the list of "how we failed them" for over 2 weeks now. Bottom line, IMHO, Intel doesn't want to deal with their internal politics and "sell" this transition internally. Think about our development org. bright, extremely talented and opinionated folks... and at Intel, the developer crowd was raised on Unix/Linux. They just don't WANT to move. Also, this was originally being driven by Albert, and that changed to Gelsinger for a while. I'm not sure given their recent changes internally who owns this. This may be an area that Otellini could help.

Given that you are meeting with Paul on the 14th of this month (and we have a prep meeting on the 6th), is there any data I can get you to aid in your discussion with Paul?

--Original Message--
From: Bill Gates
Sent: Monday, January 14, 2002 1:41 PM
To: Mike Porter
Cc: Jim Allchin; Brian Valentine
Subject: Intel's design engineers and Windows

Where are we on this Jihad?

Do I need to be calling and emailing Ottelini to get this back on tract??

Every day that goes by is a bad one for us on this. Despite the difficulty we need to draw thw line in the sand on this one for a lot of reasons.

From: Brian Valentine
Sent: Saturday, February 02, 2002 5:23 PM
To: Srini Koppolu; S. Somasegar, Bill Veghte; Vinod Anantharaman; Doug Miller, Chris Ray; Eric RUdder; Anne Marie McLeod
Cc: Jim Allchin;
Subject: RE: Intel EDA migration

Please make sure Anne Marie is on these threads -- I have added her here.

As far as going after them -- they are important from the perspective of getting Intel to dogfood Windows. This would be a big thing we could both talk about, etc. We want to them on Windows We do need to look at the all the ISVs, etc and make sure that we have good programs in place to move them.

-- Original Message --
From: Srini Koppolu
Sent: Saturday, February 02, 2002 6:46 AM
To: S. Somasegar; Bill Veghte; Vinod Anantharaman; Doug Miller; Chris Ray; Brian Valentine; Eric Rudder
Subject: RE: Intel EDA migration

It would have been worse if we haven't got the CAD ISV apps working on Windows. Atleast no one can make an argument that the Windows is not ready for high end apps

Let's engage with Intel for some more time and do some research on EDA space. But if it is a no go, we better cut our losses soon and not get into a rat hole with Intel for months/years like in previous cases.

--Original Message--
From S. Somasegar
Sent: Friday, February 01, 2002 4:35 PM
To: Bill Veghte; Vinod Anantharaman; Doug Miller; Chris Ray; Srini Koppolu; Brian Valentine; Eric Rudder
Subject: RE: Intel EDA migration

I agree on ROI, etc.
With Intel though, it is a crime that these guys are running Linux and it is a shame that we can't get them to move to Windows for their core development systems. I also think that unless it is a top-down initiative at Intel to "just make this happen", this will not get traction no matter how much we try.

--Original Message--
From: Bill Veghte
Sent: Friday, February 01, 2002 4:31 PM
To: Vinod Anantharaman; S. Somasegar; Doug Miller; Chris Ray; Srini Koppulu; Brian Valentine; Eric Rudder
Subject: RE: Intel EDA migration

Of all the different Unix migration targets, I am pretty skeptical that EDA is the most leveraged for us to go after where

Levered = (we can win with reasonable investment) + (large economic return for MS relative to investment) + (big credibility boost).

I am much, much concerned about all the different corporate LOB apps on wall street, insurance, etc. those are the targets where we want to win and get the PR around.

--Original Message --
From: Vinod Anantharaman
Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2002 5:49 PM
To: S. Somasegar; Doug Miller; Chris Ray; Srini Koppolu; Brian Valentine; Bill Veghte
Subject: Intel EDA migration

Summary of a conf call Doug and I had with Intel today, re: migrating their ECAD/EDA environment from Linux/UNIX to Windows.

Background

  • Intel President Paul Ottellini asked his team to work with MS, figure out what it took to move their EDA environment to Windows. Some & Renee James at Intel had a recent discussion on this.
  • Intel ran a EDA migration project back in early 99, to move to NT4 -- they got badly burned on this due to stability & software migration issues, and recommended going with Linux instead.
  • MS got involved around mid 99, did a joint project where Intel evaluated Win2k + SFU vs. Linux, and a list of about 100 or so MS work-items were identified. In the end, after 18 months of engagement or so, this didn't pan out -- some of the reasons are listed in the first email attached above. Intel went ahead w/ the Linux route.

Attendees

  • MS: DougMil, VinodA
  • Intel: Greg Spirakis (VP, ECAD Design Tools), Elwood Coslett & Kevin Wheeler (program managers in Engg, Computing/IT), Mike Webb (don't have his designation, he facilitated this conf)

Meeting Summary

  • Intel summarized their migration requirements thus:
      Primary order bit is that MS must convince the top EDA players to move over to Windows. Intel firmly believes this is what it takes for them to consider moving to Windows. They were very crisp / upfront on this point.
    • They use about 100 odd tools from 8-10 different vendors, will share the list with us (will include the usual cast of characters: Cadence, Synopsis, Unigraphics, ..)
    • Additionally, there's a big ecosystem of tools & scripts they've developed around the major ISV apps, so all of these things have to be migrated as well. Once the ISV apps become available on Windows, they would need to find resources for the Windows migration, and as they said "take the risk associated with such a switch-over"
  • Intel's perspective on what's changed since we last engaged with them:
    • EDA ISVs got burnt with poor experiences with Windows NT, are wary of taking steps in this direction
    • ISVs have been able to move to Linux easily -- ported their code more easily, able to share code b/w UNIX /Linux, interop story is good. So they've been able to get cost benefits of IA hw w/Linux as a viable alternative OS
    • Chicken & egg problem that ISVs still see no customer demand for Windows versions
    • ISVs are trying to reduce the total # of platforms they support -- cuts their R & D, support etc. costs. Ideal scenario for them is that UNIX disappears and they support only Linux.
  • Intel's perspective on what's not changed since the last time
    • Continued need for interop (b/w UNIX and Windows, in our case)
    • Continued need for stability of environment, OS, shell environment, scripts, etc.
  • Linux apparently meets over 90% of their current EDA needs. They indicated a few aspects where Windows does better (but qualified these as being "less critical" requirements)
    • Intel developers prefer using Windows /VS as their dev environment for all their ANSI C, C++ apps
    • IT would prefer to support a single OS platform, and they clearly need their Windows desktops
    • Better integration with Windows desktop / Office, although they said they are able to do this OK with their current X based solution
  • When asked to put themselves in our shoes, here's what they said they'd do (nothing earth shattering here...)
    • Find a unique value prop that will convince EDA ISVs about the advantage of supporting Windows & .NET. They said they're happy to help us with develop this, since they're familiar with the terrain.
    • Point out MS successes in related spaces like mechanical CAD etc. & how we created value in those ecosystems
Next Steps
  • We'll get the list of key EDA ISVs that Intel depends on
  • We'll get feedback from Intel & their customers on Windows-UNIX interop issues, feature ideaas, etc (some of their customers mentioned some issues here, note that Intel is currently on SFU 3.0 beta program)
  • In light of Intel's position wrt to EDA ISVs, the right folks at MS (EPG?) should revisit the issue of whether we want to go after that business again
    Clearly this is a long term / uphill battle, if we want to go after it. I've attached a second mail thread where this topic was raised in March 2001, no decision was made back then to pursue this market aggressively. There was also an associated PPT Chris Ray and co. put together regarding the EDA space, I'm happy to fwd to anybody who's interested.

    -Vinod


  


Why Microsoft Suddenly Wanted to Be More Interoperable - Comes v. MS Exh. 7068 Tells Us | 282 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Interesting.
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 24 2010 @ 02:12 PM EST
How can we use it to our best advantage?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why Microsoft Suddenly Wanted to Be More Interoperable - Comes v. MS Exh. 7068 Tells Us
Authored by: Peter H. Salus on Sunday, January 24 2010 @ 02:17 PM EST
I just love Vinod's 2002 [!] comment:

"Chicken & egg problem that ISVs still see no customer demand for
Windows
versions"

Yep. Still don't.

---
Peter H. Salus

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections thread
Authored by: hardmath on Sunday, January 24 2010 @ 02:20 PM EST
Please telegraph the nature of the correction in the title/subject line.

--hm


---
There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home. (Ken Olson,
president Digital Equipment, 1977)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off-topic threads here
Authored by: hardmath on Sunday, January 24 2010 @ 02:21 PM EST
On-topic trespassers will be violated!

--hm


---
There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home. (Ken Olson,
president Digital Equipment, 1977)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Newspick discussions
Authored by: hardmath on Sunday, January 24 2010 @ 02:24 PM EST
Replies should use the article title in the subject line so others' comments on
the same can be assimilated.

Resistence is futile!

--hm


---
There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home. (Ken Olson,
president Digital Equipment, 1977)

[ Reply to This | # ]

EDA = Electronic Design Automation?
Authored by: hardmath on Sunday, January 24 2010 @ 02:35 PM EST

I'm probably not the only one uncertain of this acronym, but we can probably rule out Eating Disorders Anonymous.

--hm

---
There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home. (Ken Olson, president Digital Equipment, 1977)

[ Reply to This | # ]

"It is a crime that these guys are running Linux"
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 24 2010 @ 02:41 PM EST
Quote from one of the emails:

From S. Somasegar
Sent: Friday, February 01, 2002 4:35 PM

[...]
With Intel though, it is a crime that these guys are running Linux
[...]

[ Reply to This | # ]

Interest in PR
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 24 2010 @ 03:02 PM EST
I think Microsoft needs a good, long look at itself and some there need to worry
more about quality than PR. One of the things that's been turning me off more
and more about Windows is it's so-called security and, I guess you would call
them, prevention features. Once I wrapped my mind around the way Windows System
Restore "worked", I became really disgusted. The oh-so-useful
"Security Center", thanks, I know I don't have Anti-virus software
installed. And UAC, where to start? It's a good idea, but Windows needed it
integrated not slapped on top of the slop. If MS wants to see what they're
attempting to really work, look at one of the BSDs or Linux. Then there's that
file protection BS that won't let you delete things that you know are garbage.
Windows needed a new version written from the ground up. The situation wasn't
great in the Windows 2000 and days prior, but I feel as though it's really gone
downhill since. I think that MS has alienated a whole class of its users
(perhaps you could call them power users)in an ***attempt*** to ensure that any
simpleton can get his/her email.

[ Reply to This | # ]

How to make SCO's day...
Authored by: Zarkov on Sunday, January 24 2010 @ 04:27 PM EST
ISV's to Microsoft: "...Ideal scenario for them is that UNIX disappears and they support only Linux...."

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why oh why....
Authored by: bigbert on Sunday, January 24 2010 @ 05:23 PM EST
Can't Microsoft simply focus on building good products and stop these
underhanded tactics to compete? They seem to be extraordinarily scared of Linux
while at the same time pooh-poohing the poor "market penetration" of
Linux. I suspect they are not able to wrap their heads around FLOSS, and
therefore reacting out of fear all the time.

---
--------------------------
Computo, ergo sum.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why Microsoft Suddenly Wanted to Be More Interoperable - Comes v. MS Exh. 7068 Tells Us
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 24 2010 @ 05:24 PM EST
I'm not seeing a problem here. Most companies do this. Fortunately, IBM cannot
be simply bought, so if Microsoft wants to play, they gotta fix their game. I
see this as a win for us. Sometimes it takes someone as big as Big Blue to make
another big player want to change their ways. So what if Microsoft is only
doing it for the money...most companies are. At least the trickle down helps us
all.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I am trying to remember...
Authored by: dacii on Sunday, January 24 2010 @ 06:37 PM EST
Didn't SCOG drag Intel into the SCOG vs IBM case? I think it was something
about the Itanium. Maybe... can't remember and I lack the concentration to do a
search here. I tried several searches, but I time out. Maybe we should look
back and see if SCOG was trying to drag Intel into this or if they were asked by
IBM. If SCOG did drag Intel into this it may be a MS payback/warning for saying
that Windows was junk and caused problems for Intel. Kind of a back hand way to
get at Intel.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I design hardware on Linux
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 24 2010 @ 06:53 PM EST
I design hardware for a living. Our main software is Unix/Linux only. No
windows. We have a farm of linux machines for our CAD design work and
simulations.

I have been doing this on Unix workstations since the mid 1980s. Using pretty
much the same tools from the same vendors. So there is a lot of history there in
the binding of the tools to UNIX.

See the Cadence Platform Support Roadmap here
http://www.cadence.com/support/computing/Pages/default.aspx
Microsoft is included but "not all tools available". See the second
docuemnt "Supported Platforms" less than 10% of tools are windows.

Here is the Mentor Platform Support Page
http://supportnet.mentor.com/systemreqs/calibre.cfm
Sorry no windows. Lots of Linux.

Synopsys Roadmaps are here
http://www.synopsys.com/Support/LI/SupportPlatform/Pages/PlatformsRoadmap.aspx
"All Synopsys products are not available on all compute platforms."
Windows is there but the specifics page is not public.

[ Reply to This | # ]

An Insider's perspective
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 24 2010 @ 07:16 PM EST
As someone who supported Intel's CAD at the time, I can verify that the comment
about it needing to be a top-down initiative is true.

For perspective, Intel designing new Intel chips using current Intel chips was a
goal that Linux enabled. Previously, Intel had largely relied on HP and IBM
RISC workstations. The contest was indeed between Intel architecture (IA) Linux
or IA/Windows NT. Management pressure was clearly to make IA/NT work. IA/Linux
didn't need to be made to work--it just plain worked. Like all the rest of you
who've moved from AIX, HP-UX, or Solaris to Linux know, it's a pretty easy
transition.

It was rumored at one point that when then-Senior VP Albert Yu had been told
that it would cost an extra $30 million to purchase enough AIX RS/6000's to
design a program, he was seriously considering that as an alternative to going
with IA/Linux. That never happened, of course. Intel did the data-driven thing
and used IA/Linux.

One thing not mentioned in the emails (and understandably so, since it was a
pretty low level concern) is that there appered to be Windows NT DLLs which were
non-reentrant. That is, two similar processes running on a dual-processor
machine, could end up clobbering each other.

[ Reply to This | # ]

incorrect conclusion
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 24 2010 @ 10:06 PM EST

By the way, are two monopolies allowed to work together to figure out how to gang up on one of the monopoly's competitors? Just asking.

Sorry PJ. That's not what's going on. This is Microsoft trying to get Intel to stay away from Linux usage for chip design because of their "Jihad" (what better word for it: thanks for the quote, Bill, you jackass).

The fact that some Intel very high up executives were trying to force what was obviously an inferior solution on the people in Intel who actually do the work has doesn't mean Intel was helping Microsoft "gang up" on Linux. Those executives weren't trying to force everyone ELSE to use Linux.

That said, it is very dissapointing that Otellini tried to kowtow to Bill Gates' insane "Jihad."

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft wants Linux users to switch to Windows & dot net?
Authored by: wvhillbilly on Monday, January 25 2010 @ 12:18 AM EST
M$ thinks they're going to stop Linux?

BWAHAHAHAHAA!

Hey, Stevie boy! Try stopping a herd of stampeding elephants barehanded for a
taste of what kind of success you're going to have with that.

---
Trusted computing:
It's not about, "Can you trust your computer?"
It's all about, "Can your computer trust you?"

[ Reply to This | # ]

Heh, heh, dogfood
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 25 2010 @ 01:17 AM EST
As far as going after them -- they are important from the perspective of getting Intel to dogfood Windows.
In the remake of Pirates of Silicon Valley Rodney Dangerfield as Brian Valentine. "Tell the chief programmer is code is low grade dogfood."

[ Reply to This | # ]

Early Jihad Battle Won By Microsoft
Authored by: Ian Al on Monday, January 25 2010 @ 02:48 AM EST
It would have been worse if we haven't got the CAD ISV apps working on Windows. At least no one can make an argument that the Windows is not ready for high end apps
So, that's how it works. 'They will never get real software like Autocad to work on Windows 3.1.1. It is just too unstable and lacking in power.'

Microsoft had to get real software on to their Windows GUI manager to give it any credibility at all as a professional foundation for computing work. Windows was only a window manager on top of the Microsoft Disk Operating System and it was a pretty rubbishy one, at that. Once Microsoft got key professional software migrated to Windows, they obviously salted the ground behind the manufacturers for Unix and Linux. How did they get the manufacturers to drop other operating systems? Let me count the Comes ways.

I will not make a difference. I will, however, redouble my effort to only use programs available on Linux. I don't mind if they also run on Windows, but only running on Windows is a reason not to purchase. Well, other than antivirus programs, of course.

I was thinking it was immoral of Microsoft, but not illegal.

If you enter a trade agreement with manufacturers for their products only to work with your product and not with your competitors' products, is that 'Restraint of Trade'? If you have a legal monopoly on your product, does that also constitute abuse of monopoly?

It is time to raise the level of positive discrimination, once more. I notice that the UK PCPRO magazine, which is a good guide on Windows PCs and networking, continues to pour scorn on things we say. I don't mind. With the depth of commitment and immersion in the Windows environment, our views would seem rather kaftan and sandals. However, in the latest issue, I notice that one contributor said that Microsoft will encourage PC and laptop manufacturers to bundle Office Starter on their PCs rather than the previous limited Microsoft Office trial. He said 'by "encourage", you can imagine pretty much anything you want'. It's a clear acknowledgement of Microsoft's methods.

Another contributor who has often castigated Microsoft to their face for their shortcomings reported that Microsoft's 2009 Professional Developers Conference did not have the 'buzz and vibe' of previous years. He thought it might have been because of the recession or because it was too close to the previous conference. I like to think that the excitement of working with the bad boy of IT has been overtaken by the ennui and despair of suppressing what they know of the company's activities. Being friends with a bully grows old.

On the other hand, so do I, so perhaps that is just me getting even more grumpy.

---
Regards
Ian Al

Happy new year, miserable old lies.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Remember Blender in 2008!
Authored by: IMANAL_TOO on Monday, January 25 2010 @ 03:53 AM EST
Remember Blender in 2008! Read the article and the comments at Groklaw at http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080511115151164 :

Microsoft has just approached the Blender guys, and I would assume have or will approach other FOSS projects since we learn that Microsoft has assigned a guy to work with Open Source projects, with a request for information on how to make Blender run better on Windows.

as well as the comments at Slashdot, http://tech.slashdot.org/story/08/05/13/1713246/Microsoft-Reaches-Out-To -Blender.

I do not know what has happened lately in the www.blender.org camp, but,one of initial reactions was (at http://lists.blender.org/pipermail/bf-committers/2008-May/021037.html ):

I would not touch that with a barge pole. MS XML is an example that they are not moving on that issue, or they would support ODF, not using dirty tactics to force an half-backed non open standard.

They have an history to use one OSS group against another too.

Blender is in a position where we do not depend on any MS backed format, so I think we should be very carefull to stay neutral in those areas.

Anyone with an updated view of what happened over at Blender.org?



---
______
IMANAL


.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why Microsoft Suddenly Wanted to Be More Interoperable - Comes v. MS Exh. 7068 Tells Us
Authored by: lukep on Monday, January 25 2010 @ 04:01 AM EST
The most baffling of all this is the dellusion at micro$oft management.

How can they even think about making a major player switch when :

- this is core&mission critical stuff, and intel would bet its future on it
- high complexity software needs high reliability, which MS oses cant provide,
- this particular player has a sane path of evolution (from Unix to linux).

The sane approach in any other company would have been to ask themselves what
they needed to change in their OS to suit the needs of the customer, but I dont
see any move this way.

[ Reply to This | # ]

PX00288
Authored by: Steve Martin on Monday, January 25 2010 @ 09:01 AM EST
<p>To: Hank Vigil<br>
From: Susanna Foels<br>
Date: May 18, 1990<br>
Re: Microsoft Excel Product Marketing Challenges in Next 6 Months
</p>
<p><b>A. <u>Regain Technology
Leadership</u></b></p>
<p>we need to identify and market our competitive advantages by
communicating
aggressively with the press and directly with influencers corporate accounts via
MSTC.</p>
<ul>
<li>Take advantage of being a true Windows app</li>
<li>Leverage MS Windows family of Apps</li>
<li>For Mac Excel, leverage the case of use, design &amp; reliability
advantages</li>
<li>Comarket with 3rd parties that provide tools we are lacking in our
current product</li>
</ul>
<p><b>B. <u>Leverage MS Sales Force and Windows
Emphasis</u></b></p>
<p>We need to empower our Microsoft sales force. They need our help -
tools and
communication to combat the current Lotus momentum. All of us need to be in
closer
contact with this group to get them knowledgeable and excited to sell against
Lotus.</p>
<p>To take advantage of Windows 3.0 - specifically, produce a WinExcel,
Windows 3.0 and
Winword bundle at a very reasonable price.</p>
<p><b>C. <u>Remain active in Excel 3.0 Product
Development</u></b></p>
<p>The way to win in the long run is to deliver the product our customers
need. We need to
work more closely with program management and development to make sure that we
are
satisfied with the tradeoffs which are being made for Excel 3.0 in terms of
implementation
of features. Specifically, some decisions will need to be made regarding System
7.0
support and we need to make sure the right tradeoffs are made, since System 7
and Apple
support are critical to Excel's success.</p>
<p><b>D. <u>Plan for Excel 3.0
Launch</u></b></p>
<p>Develop a plan and execute with strength and momentum. We should create
hype and
anticipation for our product - and leverage the fact that on the Windows
platform we
willhave 2nd generation GUI. Let's take full advantage of this competitive
advantage and
thereby regain technology leadership. To the extent we are able, we should stall
the sales
of Lotus because people are waiting for/evaluating Excel and Microsoft's
Windows
products as a strategic choice. This is not advocating preannouncing, but I do
advocate
building anticipation where possible.</p>
<p>Retail Channel</p>
<p>Our objective is to sustain Excel's leadership position through the
slow period after DataAccess
(CL/1 support) is old news and before Excel 3.0 is launched. With the
introduction of Excel 3.0
our emphasis will change to educating Microsoft reps and RSPs on new features,
promoting our
new position <i>vis a vis</i> the competition, and assuring our
continuing sales as the Macintosh
spreadsheet leader. A strong effort in the retail channel early in FY '91 will
help to create a
barrier to prospective entrants (such as Lotus) expected later in the fiscal
year.</p>
<p>While Excel dominates the <i>existing</i> Macintosh market,
the retail channel is changing, and we
must take advantage of these changes in order to maintain and solidify our
market dominance.
We will strive to achieve our objective by addressing three major
changes:</p>
<ol>
<li>Resellers have targeted small and medium businesses because margins
are better than
those in the corporate account market. By providing resellers with
solutions-oriented
programs and materials we can convince resellers to recommend Excel to their
small and
medium business customers.</li>
<li>Resellers are focusing increasingly on outbound sales. According to
our ASR Advisory
Council, "80% of our resellers prioritize outbound selling as a selling
practice and only
20% engage in 'pushing boxes'". To take advantage of this we must deliver
reseller
materials that are tailored for resellers' outbound focus.</li>
<li>Wingz seems to be gaining momentum and credibility, particularly in
retail storefronts.
RSP's steer customers to Excel and Wingz, but recommend Wingz if the customer
will be
charting and/or giving presentations; this costs Excel many sales. We need to
succinctly
communicate the advantages of Excel to RSPs.</li>
</ol>
<p>Specific programs planned to address these areas are:</p>
<ul>
<li>Develop and promote vertical market reseller seminars (i.e.
"Excel in a real estate firm")
to take advantage of reseller focus on small and medium businesses. (Trial
program
first; full-scale if successful.)</li>
<li>Include in Excel 3.0 Intro Kit materials relevant to outbound and
solutions selling.</li>
<li>Develop and distribute "Why Excel?" piece outlining
advantages of selling and
supporting Excel rather than Wingz.</li>
<li>Seed top channel accounts with free or nearly-free
software.</li>
</ul>
<p>Apple Computer Relationship</p>
<p>Our objective is to increase Excel sales by increasing our involvement
in Apple's marketing
promotions. The key issue is that while Microsoft is the largest and
most-experienced
Macintosh software developer, we receive little marketing cooperation from
Apple.</p>
<p>Our plan to improve the relationship is straightforward: we will spend
lots of time at Apple.
develop contacts with key marketing people, and attempt to fit into some of
Apple's
promotions. This will require trips to Apple corporate in Cupertino
approximately twice a
month. The first step is to meet with the Product Marketing, Large
Business/Government
Marketing, Small Business/Productivity Marketing, and Channel Marketing groups.
Then we
will attempt to fit into Apple's marketing promotions by focusing on areas where
we can add
real value to Apple (ie. save them time, differentiate the Mac, sell to
businesses, etc.) and
where we already have plans to do something. Preliminary research suggests such
opportunities may exist with: Apple's Market Development Program (providing
training and
materials to resellers on vertical-market solutions); Apple's General
Productivity Competitive
Advantage forums (reseller seminars to take place in the calendar third and
fourth quarters of
1990); and Apple's renewed emphasis on small and medium businesses (under the
guidance of
Tom Virden).</p>
<p>We will also explore the feasibility of working directly with Apple's
five regional field
organizations. It is possible that a working relationship can be more easily
established with
the regional organizations than with Apple corporate.</p>


---
"When I say something, I put my name next to it." -- Isaac Jaffe, "Sports Night"

[ Reply to This | # ]

Interoperability Has Long Been MS Foot In The Door
Authored by: mcinsand on Monday, January 25 2010 @ 10:09 AM EST
Interoperability was MS' primary tool to trash WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3. In
the early '90's, Word handled WP files better than WP, and Excel handled 1-2-3
files better than 1-2-3. From what I understand, WP did get to be better with
the Win version, but, by that time, Word was gaining traction to build a
critical mass for stability.

Interoperability has been an integral step in the MS embrace/extend/extinguish
MO. I have no doubt that this is why MS fights interoperability when it has the
upper hand; MS knows how effective cross functionality is for the underdog.
When I started using Word in the late '80's, I tried it because I was sick of
the way WP expected me to play Twister with my fingers to use special functions,
and Word was definitely the newcomer. Excel was almost unknown on the PC when I
started, but it ran better under Win 3.x on a 286 than 1-2-3 for DOS did under
DOS. If interoperability can work for MS, then it can also work for some other
underdog... Bwah-hah-hah!

Maybe I'm an exception, but I've had excellent results with WINE. My Olympus
camera software for Windows runs better under WINE than the XP it was written
for. There are several other specialty apps, and I am happier to use them on my
Kubuntu PC than on the family XP computer.

In fact, both interoperability and a lack of interoperability played a major
role in me ditching XP for Fedora back in 2004. When XP refused to play some of
my favorite games even with the legacy compatibility turned on, then I had
nothing to lose by switching... and much to gain! At that time,
interoperability might have kept me from making the jump, but my standards are a
bit higher now ;>)

mc

[ Reply to This | # ]

If this information could help...
Authored by: laitcg on Monday, January 25 2010 @ 10:58 AM EST
I really wish this type of information was widely disseminated for the masses to see (Stability, Speed, etc...).

I really don't know if it would help w/the only types of programs that I need to be ported to Linux right now... MIG Bank Trading Station, MetaTrader, and other MQL Forex trading platforms.

I currently have to run them in a Virtual environment on a Linux platform. If there were a Linux port, I'm sure a lot of investors would use that platform on Linux and I could be Windows free!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why Microsoft Suddenly Wanted to Be More Interoperable - Comes v. MS Exh. 7068 Tells Us
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 25 2010 @ 03:31 PM EST
The fact that this is after 9/11, yet Bill Gates is still
using the word jihad to describe campaigns against competitors
is a bit disturbing IMHO.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Comes exhibit 5705
Authored by: brindafella on Monday, January 25 2010 @ 04:50 PM EST

THIS IS BIG!

Comes Exhibit 5705

IDENTIFIERS:
Plaintiff’s Exhibit 5705 Comes V. Microsoft
Government Exhibit 391
MS98 010719 (to 204)
M 1028251 (to 257)
MS-PCA 1541708 (to 714)
Pages 643 to 649

SUMMARY:
A seven (7) page internal Microsoft email, concerning the subject "Internet strategy", seemingly printed out by Bill Gates, from Nathan Mytuvold (spelling uncertain for two/three letters between y and v) to Gates et al, Tuesday, April 16, 1995 4.57 PM.

Plaintiff’s Exhibit 5705 Comes V. Microsoft

Bill Gates --------------

From: Nathan Mytuvold
Sent: Tuesday, April 16,1995 457PM -
To: Bill Cater, Russ Siegelman; Craig Mundie (craigmu); Dan Rosen (drosen); Pat Petrel (patfer); Paul Maritz (paulma); Peter Neupert (petern)
Subject: internet strategy

There has been a flury of email about Netscape and our general Internet development strategy. This email is my contribution to this topic.

My assumptions going into this, as discussed in my previous Internet memo, are that:

- "Internet standard" in the sense of the current public domain committee driven standards are a red herring and are not a competitive threat. One reason is that most of the key people behind the public domain projects are busy writing business plans so they can cash in. This is true of the Netscape team, but also the many other rapidly commercializing services. The big issue to be concerned about is the same issue that we have faced in the past - proprietary standards coming from competing software companies. Netscape is certainly one of the many companies who will try to promote their proprietary extensions (and entirely new protocols) on the world.

- Cross platform data only protocols like HTML are very important at the moment. I do not expect this to continue with the same degree of emphasis. Custom protocols, downloaded front end code and platform specific development are bound to occur. Some content (particularly that with low value) will continue in genetic, cross platform tools, but a lot of compelling things will start to dip into custom code and platform specific features. This trend has always occurred in similar situations in the past, when you get two competitors making a product, and you have some platforms that are more popular than others, then one of the competitors is going to succumb to the temptation to abandon cross platform approaches, limit themselves to the most popular platform, but be able to do things that can’t be done in a cross platform manner.

- The world of the Internet is rapidly becoming Windows centric because Windows will be the most popular client operating system by a wide margin. This is a 180 degree shift from the historical traditions of the internet which happened to grow up in one of the few communities which is platform-diverse - namely academic computing.

I expect that there may a lot of common agreement with these points at one level, but I have seen a lot of email that implicitly seems to have a different set of assumptions, so I wanted to make my assumptions explicit.

Given this, our natural strategy is to try achieve a number of goals:

- Superset internet protocols and standards with our own value added extensions. As platform specific work is done on the internet, we want it to be done on our platform. As proprietary technology and protocols are used, we want them to be ours - in as many broad mainstream areas as is reasonably possible. We don’t need to own every protocol in every area, but we want to be an important player. There certainly is a danger that Netscape, or another company, could establish enough APIs and proprietary protocol extensions that they would wind up owning the "Windows Internet platform". PaulMa is quite correct in comparing this situation to Novell, which sucessfully (sic) established a “sub-platform” (for a set of network services) within the context of our client operating system. This does not mean that Nescape needs to be a direct competitor - I am optimistic that we can have a positive relationship with them - but out of the many possible future directions for them and us, if we are not careful they will evolve toward being a direct competitor in this manner.

- The natural way for us to do this supersetting is using our current technological agenda in PC computing. This means using monickers, OLE objects, Forms3 forms and every other Windows technology that is applicable as part of the (sic) our extensions to the current Internet world. In addition we also have to look at

Page 643

[PAGE BREAK]

developing some new things that have no equivalents in the PC world, such as security and billing, so it is not all about reworking existing stuff.

- We need to have technology at both ends of the system to make this work - i.e. both front end and server, and have them be very popular.

Again, I don’t think that there Is a lot of disagreement with this. Here is the part which is more controversial.

One key technology to accomplish this is Blackbird. One confusing fact is that the term "Blackbird" includes both front end and server components, as well as having an authoring environment. Blackbird uses an HTML superset and is extending it with OLE, Forms3 and other Windows assets. It also includes security and billing.

Ideally, the Blackbird front end would include a great Web browser, and it would seamlessly integrate access to service on the Internet using a plain vanilla HTMIJHTTP as well as Blackbird servers. This is our current strategy, but tactically we are not there yet. Blackbird technology will not be generally available for a few months after MSN 1,0 ships. So our current plan has been to integrate the O'hare Web browser with Blackbird and the rest of the MSN front end. I view this as step to the fully integrated front end.

There is a great deal of confusion generated by the fact that Blackbird is not something that we currently plan on selling as a standalone tool. In the past week I have had some conversations with people who thought that this means that Blackbird is “not an internet authoring tool” and that it's “proprietary to MSN”. I’ve had people tell me that the O’hare people either are (or should be) working on their own plan to superset internet protocols. I'm not sure that anything is actually happening in this direction already, but this sort of duplication is an ENORMOUS danger. We should be working toward a single integrated front end, which supports ONE set of extensions to internet protocols.

- A diversity of projects in this area is also death to our ISV and IP message. We really need to be consistent, and I am very afraid that we are going down a path where we will be anything but consistent.

Another confusing issue is how to think of MSN versus various information services on the internet. I regard MSN as yet another internet service - no different in principle than any other information service on the internet. It happens to be one which ALSO can access customers who don’t have access to the internet, via X.25, but that is a nit [CHECK PDF]. MSN is an internet service.

Given the current state of the internet, and given our size and resource level, we are going to bootstrap our internet service by leapfrogging the current front end technology and distributing our own front end. This is unusual, since most internet services just accept the constraints of the existing protocols and software. Given our size, and our software skill there is no mason to accept these constraints, and in fact every reason for us to break the mold by doing something really different for the bootstrap. Over time (like within 3 months) we will be using more of the internet infrastructure.

This may seem seem an odd way to view things, but in fact it is completely consistent our model and what we have been saying for quite a while now. The key things which make this it a valid way to position ourselves are:

- We will move to using TCP/IP, and thus will benefit from the ever cheaper connectivity which is a central part ofthe internet.

- We will allow access to any internet service.

- Our position is to superset both in terms of technology (with Blackbird and Windows-centric extensions) and content/service (providing great browsing, indexing, navigational content)

The Front End Strategy
----------------------------------

The front end which supports these services is basically the union of the MSN front end with Blackbird and

Page 644

[PAGE BREAK]

O’hare. At some point this is very smoothly integrated, but at first they are separate pieces of code stuck together at the end user level.

This front end should be given away as widely as possible, including:

- Put into Windows. I agree with PauIMa’s comment that we should distribute the front ;nd very broadly by having it Windows, at least at some point down the line.

- Distributed free on the internet.

- Distributed free with MSN.

The front end should have a variety of connectivity options:

Case I. You’re already on the internet (i.e. your company has a T1 line etc., or you choose to use a Non-MS third party dial up provider), and don’t want to subscribe to MSN. In this case (sic) do not see MSN content, and you do not need to pay a monthly fee. In this case the front end is (in effect) going to be the greatest web browser for existing internet protocols. MSN would have a free home page that advertises MSN. We would also enable some other free services which use the full Blackbird technology to show people how cool it is.

Case 2. If you are a case 1 person with your own way onto the internet, we will allow you to subscribe to MSN very cheaply. Ideally this is priced so as not to a barrier so that most people will go ahead and subscribe. In this case you get everything on MSN and internet.

Case 3. We will offer dial internet connectivity (via UUNET). MSN access is included for one low fee, so again you get everything on MSN and internet. Our goal is to price this to be very competitive and become the most attractive dial up internet provider. One way to view MSN content is that it is the a lot of value added services you get to aid and suppliment internet access. Other users will view the managed community of MSN as the central thing, and they get access to the internet as a bonus.

Case 4. In some geographies, and for some users, X.25 access may be cheaper (i.e. them is a local POP so they have a local phone call) and be sufficient. We will have some internet content mirrored for these users, but not everything. Overtime we expect to migrate more and more people to TCP/IP connections rather than X.25, because it is cheaper, more scalable and. (sic)

In all cases the difference between services offering Blackbird and services created with plain vanilla HTML is transparent to the user. Some servers and services are just very cool.

There is a question as to what business model allowed a service provider to create a Blackbird service, but this is discussed below.

The difference between several of these cases will go away if we can price the MSN base content at zero. We would still ask for an account relationship for billing and security, and in case 3 or 4 them would still be access charges, but we could make the price of MSN content zero incremental over access (eliminating the difference between case 1 and case 2). One way to justify this would be if we can get sufficient advertising and related revenue this is certainly possible. We have some very interesting work on advertising, but it is too early to say how significant this will be. There is an alternative view that charging for the MSN base will allow us to invest enough in content to keep this a strong asset, which we would not be able to do if it was free. This entire area is so new and so dynamic that we will have to be very quick on our feet to adapt to the market. We won’t change anything for MSN 1.0, but within the next 18 months we will have to monitor this issue.

Initially we give away the front end, but over time I want to have features in the front end be a continued reason for people to pay us a subscription charge. The free aspects of the front end would be kept competitive, but once you get into content that uses the extended stuff it should be a lot more cool.

One way to view this which is how l have looked at it in some previous email, is that people “rent" the front end from us. We have the world’s coolest front end, and to get access to it people will subscribe to MSN, or equivalently will use our internet dial up access. This is the software-centric view. You could equally say Page 645

[PAGE BREAK]

that the front end is a give away, and the subscription is there to pay for great content.

In truth, we want to use BOTH sources of value - we should have the best software and try to have the best service and content. We can have our cake and eat it too. Far fewer competitors will be able to match us on both counts than if we separate and sell the front end service separately. -

The Business Model
-------------------------------

Netscape gives clients away, and charges a flat fee for server software. This is certainly a possible model for Blackbird technology in the future. In fact, my original memos on the online service strategy were PRECISELY this model. I called this the server kit. In the case of individuals or small businesses, I believed then, and I believe now, that selling a kit which allows people a “do it yourself’ way to connect is a very effective means to collect revenue from a large class of service providers.

Of course, Netscape has little choice but to take this business model today. Their competition is public domain code that the principles of the company wrote themselves a short time ago. There is no billing or security infrastructure which would let them charge for servers in another fashion. It is possible to impute great wisdom to their choice, however it also happens to the only thing possible for them at the moment.

I predict that if they are successful, that down the line they will introduce high end products that are more expensive (for large users), they will make version changes quickly to get more revenue from upgrades, and they will use every bit of cleverness to get additional revenue. This can include “navigational content" (in the sense of the term we use in MSN), and transactional or other service revenue. You can see the start of this trend in what they are doing, and in what various internet dial up providers are doing.

Everybody in this business is going to wind up trying to leverage three different sources of value:

- Software features (in front end and back end).
- Content and (particularly navigational content like index, directory, yellow pages, browsing)
- Service relationship (including basic access and other services).

Over time anybody who starts in one place will try to add others incrementally to create an integrated value proposition. The Netscape server kit approach is very strongly biased today towards the first issue - creating a server.

Although I believe in the server kit approach, our MSN strategy has put a higher priority on deploying the service component, and attracting a set of information and service providers who are willing to get online via a different model - annual fee and/or % of revenue. One wayto look at this is that we have a very different model for pricing the server - we charge the user a subscription and charge IPs by the space and % of revenue. There is a set of IPs for whom this is a perfectly viable proposition, today in 1995.

Another way to look at this is that we are going to prioritize pushing momentum in the service and content areas versus a pure software approach.

Many pieces of email and many conversations speculate into the future end ask whether we will be able to maintain the service model for pricing. Won’t we lose out to Netscape charging a flat fee? I'm even asked why haven't (sic) we already lost.

The answer is that many IPs really DO want what we are offering. The combination of us doing billing, promotion of the service, ease of connectivity, and getting lots of content in the base is very attractive to companies. Over time there are a very specific set of things we have to accomplish to keep this proposition alive - keep customer interest high, have a great set or “navigational content" and base content, have a strong brand presence etc.. We also have to keep the software features in the front end and back end best of breed. In short, we have to provide a value proposition that makes it worthwhile for somebody to access services via our front end.

I think that we have an excellent chance of keeping the service model going. Nevertheless I am certain that at some point we will add the "server kit” so that IN ADDITION t our service based approach we have

Page 646

[PAGE BREAK]

something like a Netscape business model, to capture revenue from a set of IPs who will not find our current offer attractive. There are two kinds of these IPs - very big companies who think they have sufficient presence without us, and very small ones that are logistically hard for us to market to. The server kit is ideal for the small ones.

Right now, in the spring of 1995, I think that the key priority is to make our MSN launch successful and focus our priorities on the IPs in the middle who are very interested in the offering that we are putting together. As a result, we currently have focused Blackbird on being an MSN tool, and we will not be selling it as a general server kit by itself. Doing so at the moment would be a big distraction from the goal of shipping MSN.

This means that we are taking a risk that Netscape or others can get established in the interim with their different model. So be it - we have finite resources and thus we cannot hedge every possible alternative. Given where we are with MSN, we are best putting our energy there, then coming after the remainder of the market second. l am not sympathetic to the notion that we have to try to be all things to all people all at once. Overtime - yes - but not instantly.

One example of the “do it all now” approach above would be having the O’hare people working in a competitive way to our MSN/Blackbird strategy rather than aligning the two. This also play (sic) very well with the strong cultural trait at Microsoft in having each group be masters of their own fate, but if we succumb to this temptation it will KILL US in this area. We cannot afford to be divided and dissipate momentum in how we approach the internet. l would rather have one strong strategy, rather than two weak ones which have no synergy.

The Server
---------------

Initially our server strategy is constrained to be in the MSN data center. This is an expedient thing for a variety of reasons, but we have to move quickly away from it. Once we are able to use TCP/IP and the internet, with its low cost communications, it is much easier to distribute things.

Some services do not make a lot of sense to distribute, or at any rate the issues are different. We will make intelligent choices on a case by case basis. Mail has a very different set of issues around distributing it than Blackbird or other services.

The first step in distribution is to o (sic) have the capability to have a Blackbird server kit which has a billing connection which we can manage. This kit would allow us to deploy Blackbird servers anywhere on the internet, and it would even allow people to buy their own machine, put the server on the internet yet still be able to get billing and subscription services via the MSN infrastructure. The server would be technically capable of supplying full Blackbird with extensions, or simply the plain vanilla HTML via TCP/IP to arbitrary front ends.

We would have to decide how much functionality to expose and what the business model is. This product would beat Netscape as a server because Blackbird is far more sophisticated for authoring and in the extensions. My current thinking is that we would not simply offer this on the current Netscape model to all comers, because it woutd leave value on the table. However, if we do decide to panic about Netscape, we would have the option of selling on that model.

My expectation is that we would enable individuals and small scale servers (perhaps with a capacity limit) to be sold for a flat fee, or an annual fee. Large scale commercial servers should be strongly incented to have an annual fee and % of revenue model to be consistent with our current MSN model. We would still offer the option of having the server managed in our data center (here or new data centers abroad), and I expect that this will still be a necessary component of the service for many IPs

I would like to have this available at some point next year, and I think this is technically possible given the progress being made in the Blackbird group. This would solve the single biggest problem in distributed servers, and it would also have a big advantage over Netscape and others that are unable to offer the billing aspect and authoring environment as part of their product offering.

Page 641

[PAGE BREAK]

Blackbird servers are only one part of this. Another key component is the Exchange integration, MSN on a Lan work, and the Catapult work be part of this strategy as well. Once again, I view the sensible thing to do is to put these components together as part of ONE strategy, not have the (sic) separate.

A corporation should be able to get ONE product offering which gives them:

- Firewall safe access to the internet, including MSN.
- A way to exchange email from their local Exchange servers to other orgs with Exchange.
- Access to navigational content to help them use the internet.
- Admin tools to disallow access to some areas of the internet, or some protocols.
- An attractive way to allow group purchasing of MSN subscriptions for every desktop.
- Publishing suite for internal docs and tools (authored with Blackbird tools).

Once again the three key sources of value - software features, content and services have an interesting interplay. A company which wants to offer internet to all employees needs the Catapult firewall, but they may also want to be able to block sexually explicit stuff or entertainment The “no-no” list of what is blocked can be positioned as a service that they subscribe to. They also might like to have local indexes downloaded, and get MSN content for local redistribution. Our product offering in this area should make use of all three sorts of value by combining them.

Although Catapult, Exchange, etc are "server" pieces in one sense, in many ways the issues around them are more closely related to front ends. Logically speaking they go at the END of the internet, between it and the LAN. -

The use of Blackbird for internal documents is an interesting issue. This has come up in multiple contexts notably SteveB always asks why we can’t do this. Why not? The immediate priority for Blackbird is, as stated above, the MSN 1.0 goals but very soon I can imagine making it available for internal use in a company. This is just some work in the front end and the server kit to allow it to happen. In particular, it should be possible to allow this without undercutting Blackbird as a more general publishing tool on MSN and internet.

Netscape Relationship
-------------------------------

Finally, I would like to comment on how we work with or against Netscape. The internet is a powerful phenomenon, and it is (sic) the potential to make Netscape a formidible competitor. On the other hand, I hate the notion that every up and coming dynamic company must be our blood enemy. Our own paranoia sometimes makes this happen more acutely then it would have to otherwise.

Given the right scenario, they could really hurt us, and in that case we are direct competitors. I have not met with them and don’t know the degree to which they are committed to that path. If there is a chance that we could co-opt their energy to be as positive or neutral as possible towards MS that would be very good.

In other scenarios they could be a successful company that has some conflicting strategies, but is not a virulent direct competitor. I am naive (sic) enough at the moment to think that the die is not totally cast and that we might be able to influence them toward a degree of mutual cooperation.

I have seen conflicting mail on this topic - some suggests that they are willing to do things like license us technology and have us license them some. Even if we ultimately are competitors. I see some value in us doing this and trying to cultivate them as quasi-partners. We and they can each get some technical initiatives accomplished. The market is big enough at the moment that it is not zero sum. AOL, Prodigy, AT&T, Notes and many others are not friends of ether us or Netscape so there may be a lot of room for rational cooperation, even if we agree to disagree on some points and wind up being competitors.

I have seen other mail that is more along the lines that they are already enemy number one. l think that we should try to be creative to see if there is (sic) way we can moderate this. This is not everything about internet strategy, but it is enough for now.

Page 648

[PAGE BREAK]

Nathan

MS98 0107204
CONFIDENTIAL

Page 649

M 1028257
CONFIDENTIAL

MS-PCA1541714

[ Reply to This | # ]

One day later ...
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 26 2010 @ 03:02 AM EST
... the Inquirer has a story of the London Stock Exchange switching back to Linux for its trading platform, becaise of performance issues: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1588339/london-stock-excha nge-switches-linux. The LSE is still on the "Get the Facts" propaganda list: http://www.microsoft.com /uk/getthefacts/lse.mspx. Get better facts from Computerworld.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Silverlight - Moblin - Why Microsoft Suddenly Wanted to Be More Interoperable - ...
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 27 2010 @ 11:06 AM EST
Wonder if this ties in with Microsoft working with Intel to port Silverlight to
Moblin.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Top posting/replying
Authored by: Rhialto on Wednesday, January 27 2010 @ 11:15 AM EST
These mails illustrate exactly why top-posting/top-replying is bad. To read them
in an understandable order, you need to start reading "somewhere near"
the bottom, then go up and read down in a weird zig-zag manner.
Proper threading and quoting is so superior.

---
I have not "authored" this, I have written it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

6690 is under analysis n/t
Authored by: webster on Saturday, February 06 2010 @ 04:09 PM EST
.

[ Reply to This | # ]

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