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Updated: 02/13/2005

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The Microsoft Collection

An Educational Resource For All Computer Users

This site consists of researched, compiled and edited quotes and links which address Microsoft's role in respect to monopoly activities, consumer rights & privacy, legal issues, internet, web standards, labor issues, systems interoperability, corporate ethics, strategies, culture and more.

This info was collected from primarily mainstream media sources.

For the most part the editor has deliberately avoided rabid, shrill, outlandish sites and has opted to include sites that contain reasoned and civil discourse.

If a particular quote piques your interest, be sure to visit the accompanying link. You may wish to open a new window so you can continue reading while the new page loads.

There are nav bars with colored dots you can use to go within this page to the area of your interest. Please keep in mind that many quotes could be categorized one way or another, or overlap into other categories. I recommend you start at the beginning and scroll down.

If, by reading this material, you feel compelled to express your sentiments, please visit the addresses link.

Why should I care about the Microsoft antitrust lawsuits?

  1. Cultivate consumer advocacy and protection
  2. Promote innovation
  3. Ensure personal privacy
  4. Encourage investment capital in tech industry
  5. Create a level playing field
  6. Advance open web standards
  7. Increase entrepreneurs in tech industry
  8. Stimulate competition based on merit, not technical subterfuge
  9. Improve open API's
  10. Allow the freedom to choose the computer platform of one's choice
  11. Enhance Systems Interoperability
  12. Eliminate the stifling of competition

Legal Technical Privacy Consumer Tactics Public Relations Legend Labor Humor


DOJ Press Release dated July 16, 1994

"The settlement is effective immediately and will be in effect for six and a half years."

Microsoft Agrees to End Unfair Monopolistic Practices

(ed note: This offers historical perspective. Do the math.)

Findings of Fact

"412. Most harmful of all is the message that Microsoft's actions have conveyed to every enterprise with the potential to innovate in the computer industry. Through its conduct toward Netscape, IBM, Compaq, Intel, and others, Microsoft has demonstrated that it will use its prodigious market power and immense profits to harm any firm that insists on pursuing initiatives that could intensify competition against one of Microsoft's core products. Microsoft's past success in hurting such companies and stifling innovation deters investment in technologies and businesses that exhibit the potential to threaten Microsoft. The ultimate result is that some innovations that would truly benefit consumers never occur for the sole reason that they do not coincide with Microsoft's self-interest."

Thomas Penfield Jackson U.S. District Judge

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia - U.S. v. Microsoft


"The court concludes that Microsoft maintained its monopoly power by means and attempted to monopolize the Web browser market," U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson wrote in a "conclusions of law" ruling released today."

Joe Wilcox Staff Writer, CNET

Judge rules Microsoft violated antitrust laws - Tech News -


"It's worth being clear: the Appeals Court affirmed almost every finding of fact by the lower court that Microsoft used coercion, intimidation, lying and other anti-competitive actions to prevent any challenge to its Windows operating system monopoly."

Nathan Newman Common Dreams

How Microsoft Lost Big at the Appeals Court

Credibility Gap-When did that open in the mall?

(Judge Thomas Penfield) "Jackson told reporters that Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates' "testimony is inherently without credibility" and told a college crowd that "Gates is an ingenious engineer, but I don't think he is that adept at business ethics. He has not yet come to realize things he did (when Microsoft was smaller) he should not have done when he became a monopoly."

P-I reporter Charles Pope

Appellate judges excoriate trial judge

Monopoly anyone? No thanks, I'm into b/ds/sm.

"The Department of Justice settlement with Microsoft will have a devastating effect on innovation in any segment of the technology marketplace that Microsoft, the monopolist unbound, decides to enter."

James L. Barksdale Washington Post

A Monopoly Unbound (

Anyone tried a twelve step program?

"They're all dependent," McNealy said in an interview. "It's kind of like the mob -- you can't speak out.

Associated Press

Few criticize Microsoft deal


"And, more important, it would actually help extend Microsoft's illegal monopoly to a major market it does not yet dominate - schools."

dead link - 'Remedy' for Microsoft Overcharge Worsens the Disease

But I like to crack my bones

"Microsoft is not just a monopolist; it's a contortionist, able to escape any fix with barely a scrape -- or mark on its bottom line."

The Mercury News Editorial

dead link Microsoft's schools deal is self-serving (11/28/2001)

From Caldera chief executive and president Ransom Love:

"Caldera is deeply disappointed by the U.S. government's overt disregard for the law in its dealings with Microsoft. This is analogous to what happened in the 1920s in Chicago, when a notorious criminal was allowed to walk free numerous times because of his special civic dealings. It's like saying, 'Well -- Al Capone contributes greatly to Chicago's economic well being, so we'd better not arrest him, because the economy would be in dire straits. We'd better let him go back to doing his thing. And, oh yeah, we'll send someone along to watch him.' Each tenet of the government's decision regarding Microsoft reflects that same betrayal of overlooked broken law.

From Sun Microsystems senior vice president of corporate strategy Jonathan Schwartz:

"I think the settlement represents the biggest threat to Internet-based business that I've seen in the evolution of the Internet.

"I think the American economy lost today. I think consumers lost.

"I think it's a misguided settlement from people who view themselves as conservatives. They just got snookered. Dick Armey said the settlement was pro-consumer, and yet there is not a single consumer out there saying it's pro-consumer. It's revealed them to be truly naive."

From RealNetworks General Counsel KellyJo MacArthur:

"This agreement allows a declared illegal monopolist to determine, at its sole discretion, what goes into the monopoly operating system in the future. This is a reward, not a remedy.

"We support the work of the States Attorneys General to ensure that any settlement actually protects consumer rights and competition in the industry."

From Liberate Technologies chief executive Mitchell Kertzman:

"My guess is that all Bill Gates could do was to suppress a big grin when he held his press conference this morning. This settlement doesn't come close to matching the scope of the violations of antitrust law that Microsoft has been convicted of.

"It was an inexplicably bad deal for the government."

From Palm chief competitive officer Michael Mace:

"We're quite disappointed. We believe there are a lot of issues that haven't been addressed." "

Seattle Times staff reporters Tricia Duryee, Monica Soto and Catherine Tarpley contributed to this report. The Associated Press also contributed to this report.

MA says, "No!"

"Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly said yesterday that Massachusetts will refuse to sign on to the government's proposed settlement of the Microsoft Corp. antitrust suit, calling it an ineffectual deal that will let Microsoft ''continue to crush all its competition.''

Peter J. Howe

Boston Globe Online / Nation | World / Bay State won't join accord on Microsoft

Not so fast!

"...that they would pursue "strong and effective relief that will promote competition and consumer choice in the marketplace."

Peter Galli, eWEEK

California to Microsoft: Not So Fast!

Can't get no...statisfaction

``There's a pretty high level of dissatisfaction about (the settlement) among the (state attorneys general),'' said one source familiar with the case."


W. Virginia Files Suit Against Microsoft

Pilgrim's Progress

``The settlement reflects good progress but not good enough,''


Conn. Won't Sign Microsoft Settlement

All alone...naturally

"We certainly don't think that it will come to that, but if we have to, we would pursue that case alone, if need be."

Tom Miller

Microsoft trial: A view from the states' side - Tech News -

Don't know much about algebra...

"We're baffled that a settlement imposed against Microsoft for breaking the law should allow, even encourage, them to unfairly make inroads into education -- one of the few markets left where they don't have monopoly power," Mr. Jobs said in a statement last week."

The New York Times (free registration required)

Steve Jobs Rejects Microsoft Plan

You talkin' to me?

"And Microsoft often doesn't appear to understand that the phrase "abuse of monopoly power" isn't a compliment."

Robert Pegoraro

U.S. Settlement Leaves Microsoft More Entrenched (

Billy the Kid

Bill Gates first saw courtroom action way back in 1977, when he found himself in a legal scuffle over the rights to a version of the prgramming language BASIC created by Gates and fellow Microsoft founder Paul Allen for the world's first PC, the Altair. At the time, Altair creator Ed Roberts was in the process of selling his company, MITS, to another firm called Pertec, and he wanted to give Pertec the rights to BASIC as well.

But Gates defended his rights to the language, and the judge sided with the 21-year-old computer whiz, letting him maintain control over BASIC, and opening the door to Microsoft's domination of the software industry.

Code in hand, Gates was careful in crafting later deals, ensuring that he retained power over the software in later negotiations with companies including IBM.

Lisa M. Bowman ZDNet News

News: Microsoft's long legal saga

Sherman and the wayback machine

"The desire to innovate in software systems hasn't changed since I started programming in 1954. The concept of developing new versions of software systems, including operating systems like DOS, VMS and Windows, with new features and functions has been with us for at least 40 years. When IBM unbundled its software in 1970 and created a competitive environment, innovation became more important, because adding features to a software system improved its marketability. Tie-ins have been illegal since the end of the 19th century, when the Sherman Act antitrust laws were written. The question of the legality of software tie-ins was raised back in the 1960s in several suits against IBM, which included lawsuits filed by the Justice Department and Applied Data Research.

Microsoft apparently wants to change the antitrust tie-in laws by convincing the world that the ability of its staffers to innovate would be limited if they couldn't integrate freely and without restraint.

What nonsense."

MARTIN GOETZ Computerworld

Unmasking Microsoft's innovation scam | Computerworld News & Features Story

We're caught in a trap...we can't get out...

"But Judge Janet C. Hall, who was permitted to award punitive damages under last year's verdict, ruled Thursday that the deceptive conduct in which Microsoft had engaged "rises to the level of reckless and wanton indifference to the harm it caused Bristol and others."

Microsoft Told to Pay Million to Small Rival

Legal Technical Privacy Consumer Tactics Public Relations Legend Labor Humor


MS's internal email revealing

"The third item is more disturbing, since it potentially shows that Microsoft plotted to intentionally subvert a competitor by technical, not marketing, means."

Rob O'Regan

PC WEEK: Microsoft's internal e-mail: More ammo for the DOJ

It's so hard

Microsoft uses an anticompetitive strategy called "embrace and extend". This means they start with the technology others are using, add a minor wrinkle which is secret so that nobody else can imitate it, then use that secret wrinkle so that only Microsoft software can communicate with other Microsoft software. In some cases, this makes it hard for you to use a non-Microsoft program when others you work with use a Microsoft program. In other cases, this makes it hard for you to use a non-Microsoft program for job A if you use a Microsoft program for job B. Either way, "embrace and extend" magnifies the effect of Microsoft's market power.

Richard Stallman

The GNU GPL and the American Way - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF) offa my...

"In addition, Microsoft can provide access to and change its operating code as it wishes. Such an alteration can instantly render the software of a Microsoft competitor unusable. These facts ensure Microsoft's future dominance of the software market."

Ronald Katz San Francisco Business Times

Microsoft's unfair cry: Get out of my interface - 1997-10-13 - San Francisco Business Times

Rip It Up

Gates (was) tripped up... by his company's e-mail system,which recorded his thuggish efforts to smash companies many times smaller than his. The facts show that Gates thinks he's above ethics and the law:

Eric M. Johnson National Review


Mata Hari

"Stefanie Reichel, a former Microsoft account manager in Germany, testified under oath that Microsoft intentionally deleted email to hide evidence from the Dept. of Justice."

Brian Dellert

Microsoft Plays Hardball - Eat the State! (October 21, 1998)

I'm free!...I'm free!...and I'm waiting for you to follow me...

"Today's hearings included testimony by Bob Glaser, CEO of Real Networks, creator, innovator, and maker of the Real Audio/Video streaming products. He claims that Real Audio is disabled by the Microsoft Windows Media Player bundled with Windows software. Others -- including myself -- claim similar issues with non-Microsoft Internet browsers and e-mail packages being "subverted" by Microsoft products. However, Microsoft claims that its products do not disable third-party software and that "users are free to chose any products they want to use" on their systems. As a systems administrator, I found this particularly frustrating, especially in the legislative environment I was working in at the time. In fact, one incident involved a Microsoft product replacing all file associations with files created by a competitor's product with its own. Imagine my surprise when I ran my product and got error messages!"

Richard Forno

An Open Letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee and Other Interested Parties:


"Tevanian said Microsoft created misleading error messages when people tried to use QuickTime and introduced technical changes or bugs so that QuickTime software sometimes didn't work properly."


Apple: MS 'Sabotaged' QuickTime

Goin' outta my head...

"After declaring the Java threat a "top priority," Microsoft sought to acquire, invest in, or close deals with several companies to "take mindshare away from Sun," according to internal Microsoft documents."

DanGoodin C/NET

Microsoft's holy war on Java - Tech News -


"Sun publicly accused Microsoft of adjusting Sun's "Java" to cause its version to be the only one usable on "Wintel" machines, but advertising as if Sun's original "Java" was incorporated within, thus preventing anyone from straying from "Wintel" in their future use of the real "Java". Sun has exposed the "Wintel" group's attempt to use its power and deceit to prevent the public from being able to use any other platform options."

Bill Dueease

The "Wintel" Campaign to Eradicate the Competition

What? No tunes, man?

"Being an OS monopolist has its privileges, and making the competition look bad on your ubiquitous desktop has to be one of the sweetest. So it comes as no surprise that the Redmond Beast has apparently decided to equip Windows XP with second-rate MP3 software, thereby limiting the recording and playback quality of MP3 files which compete with its Windows Media Audio."

Thomas C Greene The Register

The Register

Let me into your heart

"Last week, people who tried to visit with a non-Microsoft browser found themselves locked out. Although Microsoft's own Internet Explorer easily accessed the popular site, other browsers--such as Opera, Mozilla, Amaya and some versions of Netscape--received error messages and recommended that people "upgrade" to Internet Explorer."

Rachel Konrad and Sandeep Junnarkar Staff Writers, CNET

Rival browsers benefiting from MSN gaffe - Tech News -


"After downloading Media Player and installing it on a system already equipped with the RealNetworks' RealPlayer, attempts to use RealPlayer failed and an error message was displayed. The error message is fairly brief, and just reads "Can not play back file. The format is not supported." This fails to give users any information about how to remedy the situation and make RealPlayer function again, Glaser said.

Glaser, who spent 10 years at Microsoft as a vice president for multimedia and consumer systems but left five years ago, said he was extremely reluctant to testify before the committee, but that unless the actions taken by Microsoft are remedied, the computing world will be "less friendly, less useful to customers, and will slow down technical innovation.""

Margret Johnston IDG News Service

RealNetworks: Microsoft playing unfair, 7/24/98

Hey...lonely girl

"Why would Microsoft want to prevent electronic greeting cards from being delivered? It turns out that after an unsuccessful attempt to purchase Blue Mountain Arts, Microsoft started its own electronic greeting card service. The "bug" in Outlook Express appeared at about the same time that Microsoft's greeting card service began."

Moral Highground Productions

Dirty Tricks Department

My hot rod Lincoln

"Linux supporters have reacted violently to the Microsoft SA release ... published on ITWeb yesterday, saying "the study was paid for by Microsoft" and that "a very highly-tuned NT server was pitted against a very poorly tuned Linux server".

In response, Ian Hatton, Windows platform manager at Microsoft SA, says these comments are valid. "Microsoft did sponsor the benchmark testing and the NT server was better tuned than the Linux one.""


Outrage at Microsoft's independent, yet sponsored NT 4.0/Linux research


Why is it that Microsoft's products keep mushrooming in size with each new release always requiring significantly more disk space and more processing power than the last time? They might claim it's because of all the new features they add each time, but that's only half the story. The new features and the increased processing requirements are designed to fuel the process of perpetual upgrades. This is Microsoft's way of rubbing Intel's back so that Intel will give Microsoft preferential treatment when it comes out with new chip specs. It's also Microsoft's way of convincing consumers that their newer product versions are better because they are so much bigger. Their new features are often superfluous but users must still deal with the overhead required by the features even though most will never use the features.

Timothy W Macinta

What's So Bad About Microsoft?

Let me in!

"Across the Internet, questions have been raised about Microsoft's motives for suddenly shutting out other browsers..."

Shelley Souza

Yahoo - OUTSIDE THE BOX: Microsoft Fails to Fool the Experts, Shelley Souza

About Halloween memo

"By folding extended functionality (e.g. Storage+ in file systems, DAV/POD for networking) into today's commodity services, we raise the bar & change the rules of the game."

Mary Jo Foley

News: Microsoft tricks exposed in Halloween memo

Truman Capote would be proud

"What is not quite so routine is to see the discussion imply a cold-blooded acceptance of methods including FUD tactics and dirty tricks such as ``de-commoditizing'' open standards into monopolistic lock-in devices."

The Open Source Initiative: Halloween Document 3

Runaround Sue

"Netscape isn't the only "Middleware" vendor that suffered at Microsoft's hand. Read the Findings of Fact (p39) to see how Microsoft went after other software vendors:


Richard's "WHY I Hate Microsoft" Page

You talk too much...

"Microsoft refuses to fix bugs in Word for Windows despite years of nagging by customers."

James Glieck The New York Times Magazine

Chasing Bugs In the Electronic Village by James Gleick

Legal Technical Privacy Consumer Tactics Public Relations Legend Labor Humor


How to Avoid 1984 Through Our Computers

"Now that we can clearly see the evils Big Brother employed, we should look at how people today are trying to create technology to keep track of what we do every day of our lives. Right now, cryptographers are finding out that Microsoft has placed a key that allows the NSA into a person's computer without that person's knowledge. With this key they could watch every step a person made. As we become increasingly a computer-based society, we might eventually be a society where Bill Gates "Is Watching You". Even if Microsoft does not watch us all the time, the government could. FBI Agents might turn into a kind of thought police. These software keys are serious threats that may lead us down the path to a 1984 society."

Jacob Gerber OS Opinion

osOpinion: Tech Opinion Commentary For the People, By the People

The Whole Earth Monopoly

"This gets to the heart of why I'm really starting to worry. Microsoft is encroaching on the consumer side, increasingly using its position between us and every computer to make sure that it has the data to know who we are and what we're buying. Microsoft is also encroaching on the industry side, as it expands the functionality of its software to such a degree that there are fewer and fewer areas of the software business that it does not control, even if it doesn't excel in those areas."

Stewart Alsop Fortune magazine

We want it all...and we want is the end

"In the consumer world, the danger is that Microsoft will leverage its Windows monopoly to control future markets, including: instant messaging; centralized authentication and Web services (Passport and Hailstorm); audio/video formats; and Web/desktop content integration."

Richard Karpinski Internetweek

InternetWeek > Transformation Today> Microsoft's Stranglehold on the Desktop> June 29, 2001

Here's my number. Don't give it out to anyone.

"With HailStorm, though, it wouldn't be the individual sites collecting your information. What you do at Hotmail, say, wouldn't stay just with Hotmail. That info would be combined in a central database with what you read at Slate, what tickets you buy at Expedia, and -- if it takes off -- what you buy at an antique cookbook store, flower shops, and other retailers. It would subvert the way cookies work in order to share information about you."

Jane Black Businessweek

BW Online | April 12, 2001 | Watch Out for This HailStorm

Don't make me over...

"When people learned this week that the terms of service for Microsoft's Passport site granted the company ownership to users' personal data, there was a bit of outrage on the Web"

Farhad Manjoo Wired News

Fine Print Not Necessarily in Ink

Stormy weather

With Microsoft's HailStorm .NET initiative hinging on the company's very own PassPort service, you'd think Redmond would be bending over backwards to stress the confidentially of user information.

Well, if that's the case, it hasn't started yet.

The current Passport Terms of Use agreement not only fails to guarantee confidentially, but actually gives Microsoft and its business partners the right to own your information, and do pretty much what they want with it. That encompasses all your Hotmail and MSN Messenger communications today.

Andrew Orlowski in San Francisco The Register

The Register

Workin' in a coal mine...down...down...down...down...

"Am I the only one who is terrified about Microsoft Passport? It seems to me like a fairly blatant attempt to build the world's largest, richest consumer database, and then make fabulous profits mining it. It's a terrifying threat to everyone's personal privacy and it will make today's "cookies" seem positively tame by comparison. The scariest thing is that Microsoft is advertising Passport as if it were a benefit to consumers, and people seem to be falling for it! By the time you've read this article, I can guarantee that I'll scare you into turning off your Hotmail account and staying away from MSN web sites."

Joel Spolsky

Joel on Software - Does Issuing Passports Make Microsoft a Country?

Who's watching where you're going today?

The most interesting thing about all this is that it accomplishes cross-domain exchange of cookie information. Cookies ordinarily don't get sent back to any but the originating domain. This mechanism of redirects allows cookie data to be carried invisibly from one domain to another, and for matching cookies to be created. It is a very clever technique.

An important aspect of this is its invisibility. Any ordinary web browser follows the trail it's forced to follow by the redirections, displaying nothing, while the user is none the wiser.

A user who's merely checking the HTML source of the pages he's visiting will see no indication of this exchange. Furthermore, caching is disabled by meta tags and by http headers at strategic points, so the user's browser cache doesn't retain any evidence of what was done. Only the matching cookies remain to attest to the data exchange. Who checks their cookies for matching data across domains?

(editor's note-couldn't identify writer)

MSN Cookie Data Crosses Domains

Surfin' U.S.A.

Microsoft said it redirects its various Web properties' visitors to a single server that assigns them a unique identifier. That identifier, an "MSID," lets Microsoft chart a single person's visits and activities over the company's Web sites, which include and dozens of affiliated sites like Hotmail, CarPoint, Expedia, bCentral and LinkExchange.

Paul Festa Staff Writer, CNET

Microsoft quietly shadows Web surfers across MSN sites - Tech News -


"If the deal goes down, Microsoft will be making it tough on a lot of companies in the years ahead."

Hiawatha Bray

Boston Globe Online / Business / Nothing but .net

Windows XP Bad for Consumers and Bad for Privacy

"Microsoft XP/Passport Unfair and Deceptive? U.S. PIRG on 26 July joined the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and 10 other groups in filing a Section 5 complaint to the Federal Trade Commission alleging that the product is marketed in an unfair and deceptive manner that invades privacy."

Consumer Protection Pages
(ed note: look for "Microsoft")

Silhouettes on the shade

"Microsoft has acknowledged that a feature in its Windows 98 operating system can be used to collect information on authors of electronic documents without their knowledge..."

Mike Ricciuti Staff Writer, CNET

Microsoft admits privacy problem, plans fix - Tech News -


"More than 10 organizations, including privacy group Junkbusters and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a public-interest group, are asking the FTC to prevent the launch of Windows XP because of potential privacy problems arising from the operating system and the company's Passport software.

The group plans to file the complaint later Thursday.

The complaint charges Microsoft with engaging in "unfair and deceptive trade practices intended to profile, track and monitor millions of Internet users. Central to the scheme is a system of services, known collectively as '.Net'...that is designed to obtain personal information from consumers in the United States unfairly and deceptively.""

Erich Luening Staff Writer, CNET

Privacy group details complaints against XP - Tech News -

Reading - it's FUNdamental

"Well, to use the program, you need an account with Microsoft Passport, so I created one. In five minutes, I was back to Reader Activation, and I made that single click.

This brought up what looked like a Reader page but was really a browser window, and then downloaded a "Secure Repository" and an encrypted Activation Certificate that "certifies your copy of Microsoft Reader as being enabled for viewing protected content."

Microsoft then loads information about your system, including a computer hardware identification code. Microsoft says this "respects the privacy of information about your computer hardware" while still giving "access to many premium eBook titles that have been copy protected."

That seemed to be innocent enough. Then I saw this question: "How many computers can I activate Reader on?" Just two, it turns out; if you want more than that, you need additional Passport accounts. Now, with the gloves off, the iron fist is exposed: "However, if you purchase an eBook on a computer where you activated the Reader with your first Passport, you won't be able to read that title on a computer where the Reader was activated using your second Passport.""

RUSSELL KAY Computerworld

Copy Protection: Just Say No | Computerworld News & Features Story

DeBeers did it first

"What if you could put ad links on every single web page on the Internet? What if you could sell those links to other companies, creating links back to their sites so they could sell their products? Best of all, what if you didn't have to pay a single dime to any of the webmasters carrying your ads? That's what Microsoft can do with the new Smart Tags technology that they're building into Windows XP products."

Baron Earl

Pigdog Journal (Treachery) -- Microsoft Figures Out How to Corner the Market on Net Advertising


Some of this might seem familiar. You may remember that Microsoft recently backed away from plans to become the world's biggest purveyor of scumware. It yanked its own version of fake scumware hyperlinks, called Smart Tags, from the newest versions of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office. Microsoft said it might change its mind and use them at another time, however.

Al Fasoldt The Post-Standard

Scumware, Part 1: Sneaky software hits a new low

Rockerfeller would be proud

Q: What would you be doing if Microsoft made gasoline?

A: Driving a Microsoft car.

Paul S. Reed, J.D.

Microsoft, Antitrust, and Owning Access to Cyberspace

Drivin' my life away...

"A day before a national meeting convenes to discuss Microsoft's business practices, a consumer rights group has released a scathing report that accuses the software giant of spending at least $4 billion in an attempt to dominate the Internet. Microsoft called the study "biased."

According to a white paper released today by NetAction, Microsoft is attempting to extend its PC operating system monopoly to software and content that will drive the Internet.

"Microsoft is using both its control of the desktop and its inroads into the server market to leverage control of emerging Internet standards and commerce," the report stated. "If unchecked, there is a very real possibility of Microsoft becoming an unprecedented financial and technological colossus bestriding more markets and industries than any monopolist has ever aspired to dominate." "

Dan Goodin Staff Writer, CNET

NetAction report takes MS to task - Tech News -

Legal Technical Privacy Consumer Tactics Public Relations Legend Labor Humor


Consumers will win with end of monopoly

"Consumers should follow this lawsuit with keen interest because they will be the big winners or the big losers," said Mitchell Pettit, executive director of ProComp. "If the court makes Microsoft obey the law and play by the rules of fair competition, consumers will get more new products, more control and fairer prices."

"Microsoft uses its power to drive competitors out of business and to stop rivals from making breakthrough new products," Pettit added. "In the end, consumers pay the price. And the price will go even higher if Bill Gates fulfills his goal of dominating the Internet and muscling or buying his way into other computer markets."


ProCompetition Headlines

Call on "Diamond Tooth" Mary

"But it failed to have enough "bite" said James Love, director of The Consumer Project on Technology, which track consumer rights in the technology markets.

"We aren't thrilled by any means," Love said. "It doesn't punish Microsoft for past behaviour, it just tells them to quit doing what they shouldn't have been doing, which made the company a lot of money and gave it more dominance than it should've had."

Hindustan Times

Consumer groups, others decry Microsoft antitrust settlement - - New Economy

Alley Oop hits the big time

"A structure that gives one company that much control over its competitors is unfair, and the only sure remedy is to remove the profit incentive for maintaining a monopoly on OSs. You simply cannot provide one competitor with a club to pummel the opposition into changing product plans and limiting the customer's options."

Michael Finneran Business Communications Review

Business Communications Review - Why Microsoft Must Divest Windows

Trick or treat

"That claim is made by Microsoft for no purpose other than to trick and deceive the consumer into buying IE or to discourage consumers from rejecting the idea of being forced to buy IE."

Lewis A. Mettler, Esq.


Frodo trembles

"...One OS to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them..." While parodying Tolkien may not really be appropriate, the similarities between the Rings and the various Microsoft products are striking. You can't get involved with one without having to fight its attempts to take control of you."

Why I Hate Microsoft

Disposable income

"Under this new system, your obligation to Microsoft doesn't end when you purchase the software, that merely begins it. Not included in the activation dialog is the information that trivial system changes may invalidate your activation, you will be required to contact Microsoft each and every time you need to re-activate the software for whatever reason, or if you try to sell or give away the software (Microsoft only allows this to happen once), or if you try to exercise your right to install the software on two systems used by one person. Also, the total number of activations is always less than 12, after which you must throw the software away and start over."

P. Lutus

* Boycott Microsoft!

And behold, I saw four horsemen...

"The antitrust remedies that ultimately bring the marauding Microsoft to heel will have far-reaching consequences on future software design and choices, on consumer prices, on the competitiveness of e-commerce, on the very structure of the Internet and hence our culture.

The factual case against Microsoft has been made devastatingly clear. If Microsoft's long record of deception and untrustworthiness is to be ended, the public remedies must be as bold, sweeping, and effective as the company's private power."

Ralph Nader San Francisco Bay Guardian

Ralph Nader/In the Public Interest

It's the meat...not the motion

NetAction's Microsoft Archives

And it go, BOOM!

1. Consumers are harmed by the Microsoft monopoly and Microsoft anti-competitive practices. Prices for Microsoft Windows and Microsoft applications are too high, particularly when one considers the "forced upgrade" issue, the quality is poor, particularly in terms of stability, and there is too little choice.

2. Structural remedies, such as breaking up the company, will benefit consumers. One need only look at the explosion of innovation in Internet based applications, where there is no single firm setting standards, and where competition is intense, for evidence that private monopolies are not necessary for standard setting and interoperability.

3. In the Halloween Document, MS indicated it saw the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in particular, and the Internet in general, as a threat to Microsoft control over relevant APIs. Microsoft is using its monopoly power in the PC OS and PC Office suite markets to undermine applications based upon open standards.

James Love, Director, CPT

April 28, 2000 CPT Statement on the Microsoft Case

What you got...freedom of choice... What you want...freedom from choice...

"A recent study by NetAction, a non-profit watchdog group for technology consumers, concludes Microsoft's strong-armed marketing activities have robbed consumers of their freedom of choice. Surveying the top 20 U.S. ISPs, NetAction discovered only two of the top 12 ISPs give consumers a choice by including Netscape Navigator with the start-up software. In fact, the top three consumer ISPs -- America Online, CompuServe and Internet MCI -- have agreed to supply customers only with Internet Explorer. And just one of the three bothers to inform consumers they have the option of downloading an alternative browser."

Annette Hamilton ZDNet

Story: Study Uncovers Ruthless Microsoft Marketing. Do Its Tactics Prevent Freedom of Choice?

These boots are made for walking...

"A federal judge ruled Monday that Microsoft violated US antitrust law by monopolizing the market for PC operating system software and using its dominance against competitors.

Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, in a stinging 43-page conclusion of law, said that Microsoft "maintained its monopoly power by anticompetitive means and attempted to monopolize the Web browser market." "

ScreamingMedia, Agence France-Presse

Microsoft maintained illegal monopoly, "trammeled" competitors: judge

Stop in the name of love... before you break my heart...

"We want Microsoft's anti-competitive behavior stopped for two reasons. The first is obvious: such behavior ultimately deprives consumers of choice, and this is blatantly detrimental to product quality and future innovation. Also, we continue to feel that Microsoft's offerings are technically and aesthetically inferior, and we don't want to see these products win in the marketplace by unfair means."

Thomas Pletcher Writeside Review

Writeside Review: The Microsoft Case

Rebel with a cause

"What Microsoft is doing is patently illegal. Think about it. If you want to build computers, you've got to ask Bill's permission," Ellison said. "If Bill wanted to triple the price on Windows, what would you do? You'd pay; you wouldn't have any choice."

Nancy Weil IDG News Service

Ellison blasts Microsoft, Gates, 5/27/98

From MSWord to MSWorld:

How Microsoft is Building a Global Monopoly

A NetAction White Paper

Nathan Newman
Project Director, NetAction

(Editor's note: This is an amazingly cogent presentation, though a bit dated, it illustrates a frightening tableau of what might be in store for the rest of us in the future.)

From MSWord to MSWorld: A NetAction Whitepaper

Godzilla, look out

"Consumer advocates were even more distraught, because the Article II revision had been the focus of much of their lobbying efforts. Opponents, including an imposing list of influential manufacturing associations, felt the revised Article II draft was too consumer-friendly. But the list of UCITA opponents -- which included attorneys general of half the states, was an even more imposing one."

Ed Foster

How the monster called UCITA was first hatched, ignoring consumer rights

Consumer Group Coalition Warns Feds on Microsoft

"Even as the original antitrust case against Microsoft moves forward into the punishment phase, consumer groups fear that Windows XP follows the same monopolistic pattern.

A coalition of four highly respected consumer groups on Wednesday formally accused Microsoft Corporation of continuing its historic pattern of anti-competitive behavior. The coalition said Microsoft's new operating system, Windows XP, " advances the company's illegal anti-competitive practices and harms the nation's consumers." "

Tim McDonald

Computer News: Consumer Group Coalition Warns Feds on Microsoft

Ain't got no Seoul

"By bundling so many features into Windows XP, Microsoft will "strip domestic consumers of their chance to select the services they want" and amounts to an unfair business practice, said Daum.

The court filing from Daum, which has 20% of South Korea's market for instant messaging, highlighted Microsoft's decision to package a similar service as part of Windows XP.

Consumers privacy could also be breached by the amount of information Microsoft demands during installation of the software, Daum added."

BBC News

BBC News | BUSINESS | Korean firms seek ban on Windows XP

Legal Technical Privacy Consumer Tactics Public Relations Legend Labor Humor


Step by step...I'm gonna getcha...

"So How does Microsoft do It?

Actually it is quite simple. Their club is access to the operating system code and distribution. Couple this with the lack of market development or innovation . . . and you cannot lose.

The Microsoft Steps:

  1. Let someone else develop a new product.
  2. Let someone else establish a commercial market.
  3. Give away a free often inferior product.
  4. Use your access to the operating system to enhance the product.
  5. Incorporate the product into the operating system and include it in the distribution.
  6. Eliminate the competition and control the standard."

John Kostura

Microsoft Innovation? - Editorial

Crying over spilt milk

"Microsoft pressured IBM to drop competing software from its personal computers or lose vital quick access to Microsoft's Windows 95 operating system, an IBM executive testified at the software maker's antitrust trial."

CNET Staff - News - Enterprise Computing - IBM exec testifies of Microsoft pressure

Nick of time

"He suggested IBM not bundle Lotus SmartSuite on our system for a minimum of six months to one year." ...

IBM refused to stop shipping its own product. Microsoft responded by not supplying the Windows 95 code.

IBM was unable to sign an agreement to receive Windows 95 until 15 minutes before the new operating system was released in late August.

"We were impacted measurably," testified Mr Norris."

BBC online

BBC News | The Company File | IBM exec tells of Microsoft tactics

My boyfriend's back...

"Clearly, Microsoft has been a bully and a clumsy one at that."

Jesse Berst

Story: Microsoft's Secret Strategy for Winning the Antitrust Case

Whose JAVA is it anyway?

Microsoft got a license to use the JVM (ed note: JAVA), then modified it illegally to make it work better with Windows AND to make it a separate product from Sun's, one which MS could control. That has always been MS's modus operandi. I'm sure the changes to the JVM did make it work better with Windows, but those changes were still a violation of the licensing agreement. Geek News - MS and Sun battle over XP Java

FUD stands for Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt.

What is FUD

Shifting Standards

SS tactics

Am I blue?...

"Stewart Nelson, chief operating officer at Novell, said: "These questions and statements are completely false and misleading. Microsoft has tried to create a fictitious end-of-life for NetWare to create fear and uncertainty within Novell's customer base and to discourage future customers from doing business with Novell."

Ian Lynch, Novell sues 'cereal killer' Microsoft

Elmer Fud

"The Microsoft FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) campaign against Linux officially began when Microsoft Group Product Manager Ed Muth recently made some unflattering remarks about the OS."

Nicholas Petreley

CNN - Opinion: Why is Microsoft worrying about Linux? - March 24, 1999

Where is that wascally wabbit?

"Creating even more resentment is the fact that, according to some corporate IT watchers, much Microsoft software in businesses has appeared in businesses through "creep" - through pressure from users, rather than through the corporate IT departments."

The Guardian

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Uproar as MS wields its power

It's got a four on the floor...

"For instance, with Windows XP Microsoft now intends to shift its monopoly to the internet," it said.

BBC online

BBC News | BUSINESS | Microsoft rivals blast 'toothless' deal

Good to the last drop

"There is no doubt that Microsoft has come to the same conclusion as everyone else in the industry: The Java platform is an excellent technology that enjoys tremendous success. Rather than embracing the cross-platform, vendor neutral solution which is the Java platform, like most of the industry, Microsoft is still pushing a single platform, vendor-specific solution. The .NET platform is an improvement for Visual C++ and Visual Basic programmers, but it is yet another proprietary Microsoft platform which will tie the developer to Windows, albeit possibly a .NET-ized notion of Windows."

Madhu Siddalingaiah

An Analysis of .NET

Omaha stakes

"McNealy... said Microsoft was leveraging its dominance into Microsoft Network, its server business, set-top boxes, content, and computer games and taking large stakes in AT&T, Nextel Communications, and possibly DirecTV."

Sun's McNealy again rails against Microsoft

And your point?

"We are astonished that rather than use the results of our independent analysis to better their product offering, Microsoft would choose to attack The Standish Group." "All the thirty users interviewed complained of NT availability concerns, stating the system often crashed for no apparent reason and required a reboot. When Standish asked Microsoft why NT had these availability problems, they responded stating they recently completed a new feature: the system will now reboot 50% faster." "Our report stated what is widely known in the industry today - NT is just not ready for mission-critical applications."

Sun Microsystems

Sun Microsystems-Reality Check

Leave it to Beaver

"Microsoft, in other words, behaved like a surly kid who, resenting some parental order, throws a tantrum by obeying too well: "Throw out my comic books? I'll show you!" and Dad finds the encyclopedia in the trash can, too."


Salon | 21st: Microsoft to world: Remove our browser and your system will crash.

Give me's what I want...

"Microsoft has been reported to the DTI by an IT trade body over licensing changes which it believes will cost its members £880m over four years.

Members of The Infrastructure Forum have said price hikes should be investigated as a potential abuse of monopoly power. Tif has 98 corporate members with a combined IT budget of £18bn a year, including 22 of the UK's 50 biggest companies.

The group told the DTI that Microsoft's changes, which will be phased in from 1 October, will mean 94% cost increases for their members."

Ian Lynch,

Is that a banana in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Microsoft is wielding its monopoly power in a third crucial market, in its attack on the popular Palm Pilot handheld computer with its own pocket-size version of Windows, the government said in another court filing. It cited a July 11, 1999, e-mail to senior executives from Microsoft's chairman, Bill Gates, that "indicated a willingness to change the details of its Office applications to favor devices that run on Windows, even if doing so disadvantages other customers who now rely on the Palm Pilot," officials said. The Gates e-mail was placed under court seal at Microsoft's request, officials said.

"Let's face facts," said the e-mail, according to the government filing, which didn't identify the message's author, "innovation has never been Microsoft's strong suit. We're much better at ripping off our competitors." The message, which remains under court seal, cites examples -- including the basic Internet Explorer technology -- that were bought by Microsoft from smaller companies rather than developed internally.

John R. Wilke and Ted Bridis The Wall Street Journal Online

News: New evidence triggered DOJ action

What? Me worry?

"Given this prospect, Microsoft seems "to have no reluctance in employing the same strategy that won the desktop wars and the browser wars and is now winning the instant messaging war," Wasch said. "Microsoft is pursuing a strategy in which they believe they will never be broken up and they will never be subject to any meaningful business restrictions."

Trustbusters look at Microsoft's Web push - Tech News -

Mother's milk

"Both national parties benefited from Microsoft's donations to their respective conventions. The software giant provided about $1 million in services, equipment, and software to each political party."

The Microsoft Playbook

Turn up the volume

"Since May, Microsoft has been trying to muscle licensees into upgrading sooner than they might have otherwise. The company is threatening that subsequent volume licenses would cost far more unless a company has licenses for current versions by February 28, 2002. The effort was crude, complete with harassing letters and tough-talking telemarketing scripts used on confused customers who called the company for clarification."

Jim Seymour PC Magazine

News: Get out of the MS licensing forest


"The tech bills spring from a proposal with an arcane name, the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act, or UCITA. If states pass this legislation, the impact on consumers would be dramatic:

If customers fall behind on fees or software lease payments, sellers would have the right to reach into customers' computers and remotely shut off programs.

The bills include a provision that e-mail could serve as formal legal notice of everything from a change in terms of the contract to a warning that service will be cut off, all without any evidence that the e-mail ever reached an individual.

The fine print of nondisclosure clauses in software packages could be used by software makers to block the publishing of reviews of their product.

Most software sales would be redefined as licensing agreements, giving software makers the power to set terms forbidding the future sale or even donation of the material.

"It might even mean I can't donate my old computer to my kid's school without taking off all the software," said Gail Hillebrand, senior attorney of Consumers Union. Hillebrand said the tech legislation would drastically weaken the most basic consumer-protection laws."

Joseph Menn Los Angeles Times

Seattle Times: Software firms lobby to erode consumer rights

Mr. Big Stuff...

Forget Windows 2000. As far as I can tell, the single most lucrative product Microsoft sells is its own stock. Microsoft receives almost as much cash inflow from the stock market as it does by selling goods and services.

Rob Landley (TMF Oak) Why Microsoft's Stock Options Scare Me [Rule Maker] February 17, 2000


"And from the outside, Microsoft has long been harshly criticized for taking advantage of other companies, including some who thought they were Microsoft's partners. Mike Maples says the Microsoft ethic was as simple as the law of the jungle."

Elizabeth Corcoran Washington Post Staff Writer WashTech -- U.S. v. Microsoft Special Report

Under pressure

Several PC makers allege Microsoft Corp. has wielded its operating system dominance unfairly in an attempt to push Internet Explorer to the top of the browser market."

Lisa DiCarlo and Michael Moeller PC Week Online

PC WEEK: PC makers: Microsoft used pressure tactics

Official reportedly told Intel that Microsoft "owned software to the metal."

"Steve McGeady, the Intel executive who on Monday said Microsoft was out to stop his company's software development efforts, reiterated many of those charges before concluding his testimony in the antitrust trial against Microsoft late Tuesday morning."

Patrick Thibodeau, IDG News Service - Government Explores Microsoft Pressure on Intel

Gimme three steps mister...

"At the meeting, Gates made "vague threats" about supporting Intel competitors,..."


Did Microsoft Pressure Intel?

Citizen Microsoft

Citizen Microsoft describes the carnage on the road behind Microsoft, assesses Microsoft's anti-competitiveness, and presents a future scenario.

Citizen Microsoft

need a slow hand...

By insisting that Intel slow its rate of innovation, Doherty said, Gates was not precisely blocking innovation -- a frequent charge made by Microsoft accusers -- but was instead "changing the rate of the clock a little bit to (better) match the Microsoft pace of information rollout."

"Some would say (Microsoft) was throttling Intel back to delivering the pace to others. Others would say it was in the interests of Microsoft to make sure it (Intel) worked with their software upgrade plan."


Gov't investigating Microsoft, Intel meeting - Aug. 26, 1998

Orange Crush anyone?

"Soon after that, Microsoft began giving away 3D technology licenses. That's right: The software was absolutely free to anyone who asked (except us). Free is a very hard price to beat--especially since the software previously had cost $50,000 or more per license."

Rich Seidner C/NET


See the pyramids along the Nile...You belong to me...

"Sadly, many of these brilliant people have been blinded by the stock price and unable to see that Microsoft is also the key architect of the greatest financial pyramid scheme this century."

Bill Parish

Microsoft Financial Fraud Update

Gates "on the warpath"

"Microsoft's chairman Bill Gates in a seething email threatened to destroy @Home, a cable venture offering high-speed Internet access, because of its "anti- Microsoft" stance, according to documents released in the Microsoft antitrust trial."

Bloomberg News

Gates "on the warpath" - Tech News -

(editor's note: Written in 1998, events in late 2001 affirm Gate's success)

None dare call it blackmail

"Edward Black, head of the Computer and Communications Industry Association, said Microsoft, whose operating system is used on 90 percent of personal computers, was telling computer makers they must use its Web brower "or else."

"It has elements of extortion," Black told reporters at a news conference."


Group says Microsoft uses 'elements of extortion'

Just got my license today

"Details are emerging about how Microsoft forced some of the biggest OEMs to bundle its Internet Explorer browser with Windows 95. Compaq, Gateway 2000 and Micron are among the PC makers that told the Justice Department how Microsoft threatened to revoke their Win 95 licenses if they removed IE or the IE icon from the operating system.

The DOJ is asking the courts to find Microsoft in contempt of a 1995 antitrust agreement and to fine the company a $1 million a day (nonretroactively) for each day it remains in noncompliance."

ZDNet special report

Special Report: The people vs. Microsoft

If you can't beat 'em, buy 'em

Before long, a power point will be the ownership of the standards for streaming audio and video data at high speeds across the Internet. A hodgepodge of companies have been working to create these standards -- but Microsoft, proudly defending its right to "innovate," has had its checkbook out and now owns all or part of each of these companies.

James Gleick New York Times

Control Freaks: Justice Department Frets Over Microsoft's 'Power Points'

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh...lookin' out my back door...

(Quoting CCIA) "The threat of Microsoft gaining server dominance by leveraging their desktop monopoly is real. By designing technological tie-ins, driving IT managers toward homogenous Windows environments, blocking competitive server operating systems through Microsoft proprietary interoperability, and requiring the installation of Windows 2000 servers to gain full use of the Windows 2000 desktop, Microsoft is replicating the tactics used to bring IE to dominance in the browser market," the report said."

Mary Mosquera, TechWeb News

Pooh, Pooh-ing Quicken-ly

"Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates mandated that if companies such as Walt Disney and Intuit wanted "top-level" marketing agreements, they "would be promoting Microsoft's Internet Explorer preferentially to Netscape Navigator and any other leading browser," Will Poole testified at the company's antitrust trial."

Bloomberg News

Microsoft's browser tactics revealed - Tech News -


"Microsoft is not only giving away NetMeeting with every copy of Internet Explorer 4.0 and every new installation of the Windows operating system, it is also providing the default gathering place for NetMeeting users anxious to fire up their software and gain entree into the world of Internet videoconferencing.... one amazed NetMeeting experimenter discovered, "a 24-hour international sex orgy is being hosted by Microsoft." If you're looking for a cybersex "show," Microsoft is where you want to go today."


Salon 21st | Microsoft.orgy


"One of the most powerful factors of Microsoft's market dominance these past 10 years, is the view that the company wins every marketing battle it enters. This is regardless of the quality of its products on offer within any particular market segment. This has the following tangible and intangible effects:

1) Consumers know that Microsoft will win through marketing flummery or competitor acquisition, so they often delay acquiring products within a technological segment until Microsoft has made its move. Everyone loathes technology evolutionary dead-ends.

2) Competitors hold back on competing, as many of them are single-product enterprises, and never have the marketing muscle and anti-competitive product leverage options that Microsoft has. Risking all would mean annihilation.

3) Venture capitalists are warned off from pumping money into any company which may potentially produce products or services which directly compete with Microsoft, thus starving the economic engine for innovative products and services. This is bad."


NewsFactor Message Boards

Save time AND money

"The Microsoft Corporation is so eager to sell to colleges that it's making deals, giving software away, and luring campus computing experts with rich stipends -- all in the hope of persuading college officials that making Microsoft products the campus standard will save money and time."

Information Technology

The Chronicle: Information Technology: 04/24/98

And the truth shall set you free

"Microsoft's reference products present themselves as objective repositories of information and are used as such by millions of people all over the world...

...what Encarta says is what children and many, many adults take to be God's truth.

Yet in their own small ways, Bookshelf and Encarta are also exhibit A for the worrying trend .... As Microsoft's hand in the creation and distribution of content continues to grow -- via overt projects like MSNBC and the Microsoft Network, along with the subtler influences the company wields through Windows itself -- it's instructive to look at how the company tells its own story in its reference works. What kind of self-benefiting spin do we find in its ostensibly objective "information products"? How does Microsoft write about Microsoft?"


Salon 21st | Microsoft on Microsoft

That's why they're lawyers

"What's incredibly frustrating for everybody covering this is that when these guys go on background they still bullshit you. I've had one of Microsoft's top legal people tell me a bald-faced lie -- a bald-faced legal lie. Not like something he would not have known or understood; it was flat-out bullshit. I said, 'Do you want to go off the record here?' He said, 'I wouldn't tell you anything different.' It was insane, and I was able to get another lawyer to say that this guy is full of it in print."


Salon 21st | Fortress Microsoft

Legal Technical Privacy Consumer Tactics Public Relations Legend Labor Humor

Public Relations

Go where ya wanna watcha wanna do

"Besides, praising Microsoft is the job of its four (that I know of) PR agencies, which crank out pro-company propaganda, forum postings, and letters to the editor. I'm baffled by writers who parrot the Microsoft corporate litany as spewed by the PR agencies. Can't these people think for themselves? Apparently not, as I see the dreaded word "innovation" creep into articles and columns as if Microsoft actually were an innovative company. I seem to be the only one who cares about the never-ending propagandistic use of this word by Microsoft."

John Dvorak

News: Microsoft's Real Problem: No Innovation

Hilariously shocking

"The details of this covert PR campaign are hilariously shocking. Microsoft planned to commission news articles, letters to the editor, and op-ed testimonials, written by Microsoft's own spinmeisters, but signed and submitted by local businesspeople who would be paid for their efforts. All this chicanery to create the appearance of a vast grassroots groundswell of public affection for Microsoft."

Brooke Shelby Biggs

<nettime> [NETINSIDER] Microsoft's Propaganda Campaign

Who do you want writing your letters today?

"According to the article in The Journal, the commission contended that Microsoft falsely presented 34 letters from companies purporting to support its case. In many cases the letters had been written by Microsoft or the companies were not aware they were to be used as evidence in the case, the commission said, according to the report."

The New York Times (free registration required)

Microsoft Denies It Tried to Hinder Inquiry

Isn't that kinda like pool?

The revelations reported in the Los Angeles Times last week regarding an elaborate Microsoft plan--to snooker both the government and the public with a fake "grass roots" campaign orchestrated by dozens of large and powerful public-relations agencies--sickened me."

John C. Dvorak

Caught in the act!


"Oracle spokeswoman Jennifer Glass told CNNfn, "As a result Oracle discovered both the Independent Institute and the National Taxpayer's Union were misrepresenting themselves as independent advocacy groups when in fact they were funded by Microsoft for the express purpose to influence public opinion in favor of Microsoft in the antitrust trial.""


ORCL - Jun. 28, 2000

What would Hormel say?

(Quoting a reader) "Microsoft is now resorting to spam as a call to action in its fight for the freedom to inundate (oops 'innovate')," Mr. Smith wrote. "I was spammed by Microsoft, and then told that by reading the message I agreed to a EULA -- I am stunned by the arrogance."

Ed Foster

Don't look now, Microsoft might be spamming you

Spontaneous human combustion

Stung by the public relations fallout from antitrust investigations of its business practices, Microsoft Corp. has secretly been planning a massive media campaign designed to influence state investigators by creating the appearance of a groundswell of public support for the company.

The elaborate plan, outlined in confidential documents obtained by The Times, hinges on a number of unusual--and some say unethical--tactics, including the planting of articles, letters to the editor and opinion pieces to be commissioned by Microsoft's top media handlers but presented by local firms as spontaneous testimonials.

GREG MILLER, LESLIE HELM, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

Microsoft Plans Stealth Media Blitz

I like playing on real grass anyway

The biggest surprise about the astroturf documents isn't that Microsoft would resort to deception. Rather, it's what the campaign said about Microsoft's view of its own position. Companies that use astroturf concede that the public would be less inclined to believe their side if it knew who was pulling the strings. That tells you that Microsoft, which has enjoyed substantial public support, believes the public's trust has wavered."

DAN GILLMOR Computerworld

'Astroturf' PR campaign exposes Microsoft goals | Computerworld News & Features Story

Beats taking a cab

``He should have told us,'' Simon Hakim, an economist at Temple University, said yesterday when told of the financing. ``I would not have participated if I had known. It's not right to use people as a vehicle for special interests.''

San Francisco Chronicle

Microsoft Admits Deception/Firm paid for Institute's ads backing its antitrust position

The Marx Brothers they ain't

So, not only did Microsoft try to enter false evidence into the trial (the false and doctored tape) they also barred for two hours the government officials from entering the room where the computers were being set up. And we're supposed to trust Microsoft wasn't up to any funny business? The ironic thing here is that Microsoft was still unable to produce the results they desired, thus making the DOJ's case that much stronger.

Tim Robertson

My Mac Online: The Archives: March 1999: My Turn

E-U, something smells funny

"The European Commission (EC) has accused Microsoft Corp. of trying to obstruct an investigation into the company's alleged antitrust behavior, and of misleading investigators by falsely presenting supporting evidence, according to published reports."

Tim McDonald

Computer News: European Commission Accuses Microsoft of Deceit

Lookin' for love in all the wrong places

"The LA Times carried an article on October 15, 1999 regarding how many of Microsoft's "allies" have lobbied to cut federal funding for the Department of Justice's anti-trust division "after an all-expenses-paid trip to Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash., where they were entertained and briefed on an array of issues facing the company." Microsoft can't win their trial on their own, so they have to wine and dine other companies to bat their eyelashes at the government asking that the DoJ's budget be cut. Quite sad."

The 13th Floor - Why I Won't Run Windows on My PC

Microsoft's long history of deceit regarding OS/2

Several examples of MS changing, even reversing, definitions and statements to fit their predicament.

About (Editor's note: several relevant links on this page.)

History of Microsoft Deception re OS/2

Legal Technical Privacy Consumer Tactics Public Relations Legend Labor Humor


The Six Serendipities of Microsoft

"It has become a matter of conventional wisdom to place the credit for Microsoft's success squarely on the shoulders of Bill Gates, by leaps and bounds the most brilliant, innovative competitor in an industry packed with talented operators. But on what basis has Gates and his company earned the right to be placed on such a lofty pedestal?"

Mitch Stone

The Six Serendipities of Microsoft

As seen on TV

"How did Microsoft and its executives get so rich so fast? It wasn't through "innovation" (even Microsoft execs can't come up with a genuine Microsoft innovation). It wasn't by giving credit where credit was due. It wasn't by giving others the best deal, or giving them the best product.

A few hundred million a year well spent on PR has most of the world believing it was exactly these things that made them rich. In reality, it was an intense, single minded determination to make the most possible money by marketing and popularizing innovations, without regard, or compensation, to those who originated or who owned these innovations."

Andrew Grygus - Automation Access

Microsoft the Company

Resistance is futile

"Microsoft is the Borg of the high-tech industry," said Mr Black referring to the rapacious race from Star Trek that tries to assimilate every culture it encounters. The history of computers shows that it has cherry picked technologies that have proved popular.

Mr Black said that in all the areas where Microsoft is not dominant, such as the internet, innovation is rampant."

BBC News Online internet reporter Mark Ward

BBC News | BUSINESS | Has Microsoft stifled innovation?

Horatio Alger would be proud

"When some people hear that the U.S. government is pushing for severe penalties -- including a possible breakup -- against Microsoft Corporation, they are shocked and dismayed. They believe that there is a true "free market" at work in America, and that any government intervention in the current marketplace is misguided and dangerous. They believe that all success springs from innovation and hard work (but never from corruption), and that the current economic conditions are the robust result of this "free market" at work. In other words, they believe Microsoft."

Tom Nadeau

OS/2 Headquarters

Mao's little red book

This is the way Microsoft works: they have a product team for each product, and every year or two, that team ships a new version of their software. That's all. What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is a pure marketing team that looked around at all the upcoming releases, decided they need a "theme" to make Microsoft look like Big Revolutionary Innovators, and ordering everyone to call their next thing ".NET".

Joel Spolsky

Joel on Software - Microsoft Goes Bonkers

Imitation of life

Microsoft surely would like to have the benefit of our code without the responsibilities. But it has another, more specific purpose in attacking the GNU GPL. Microsoft is known generally for imitation rather than innovation. When Microsoft does something new, its purpose is strategic--not to improve computing for its users, but to close off alternatives for them.

Richard Stallman

The GNU GPL and the American Way - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF)

It's the real thing

"It's pretty clear that if for the last five years customers had real operating systems and real application choices, everything would be better, faster, cleaner, more reliable, and cheaper," Gassee said."

Chris Oakes

MS: Innovator or Integrator?

la mode

(Quoting Larry Ellison) "Microsoft has innovated nothing. The thing I find most contemptible is Bill's lying, this thing about innovating. It makes me want to puke. That's innovation a la Rockefeller, not innovation a la Edison," the database tycoon said in an exclusive interview with PC Week Online."

John Dodge

Oracle's Ellison derides Microsoft's 'innovation a la Rockefeller'

prefer Wisk

"Perhaps you thought that software was frozen thought, or the highest form of artifact or even the nervous system of the modern enterprise? Wrong. It's a packaged good, sold like soap flakes, shaping -- and limiting -- the buyer's expectations."

Peter Coffee eWeek

Microsoft Eases 'Manual' Labor

Give it to Mikey

A bunch of geeks got interested in computers because they were fun, and they didn't have much of a social life. Many of these people were sharp -- but not THAT sharp. They geeked around and played with electronics and computer BECAUSE THEY LIKED IT! Now some of these people happened to be in the right place at the right time, and had the wisdom to take advantage of it -- but lets not pretend these guys were that insightful! They were doing what they enjoyed, and it just happened to be in an industry that took off (like cars in the 20's and 30's), and they rode the tide upwards to success.

Bill Gates was one of these. He was lucky, had connections (and wealthy parents), and happened to be in the right place at the right time. Oh, yeah, and he wasn't stupid either.

David K. Every


Legal Technical Privacy Consumer Tactics Public Relations Legend Labor Humor


Shell game

"In a January 1996 article in Details magazine, a temp worker revealed that Microsoft has a sinister dual-track employment system. Under this regime, much of the real work at the company was accomplished by a lower caste of "orange badge" workers -- perma-temps who were denied access to the company cafeteria, refused stock option discounts, and banned from company picnics.

It is widely believed that Microsoft has been using third-party employment agencies for many years as a shell-game to attempt to avoid paying medical and unemployment benefits to these underlings, claiming that they were not really Microsoft employees."

Tom Nadeau

Computer News: Microsoft's Weak Way With Workers


"Just days after Microsoft's Chief Financial Officer Greg Maffei characterized American judges as "nutty," a federal appeals court has denied Microsoft's request to appeal a major decision in the ongoing Vizcaino v. Microsoft class-action lawsuit."

WashTech News

WashTech, CWA

High Court Rules

"In another victory for temporary workers at Microsoft, the Supreme Court today let stand a ruling that greatly expanded the number of employees who could sue the software giant to purchase stock options and get other benefits."

James V. Grimaldi The Seattle Times Washington bureau

Seattle Times: High court rules 15,000 Microsoft temps can sue

Cosmetic Change

"Blain said that the added benefits amounted to a cosmetic change designed to boost Microsoft's image. "They still hire people for years on end and call them temps," he said. Blain's union wants Redmond to offer contractors the same benefits as permanent employees."

Chris Stamper

Better Times for MS Temps?

Headache for them too

"In the opinion, issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals' Ninth Circuit, Microsoft was found to have denied benefits to workers who had been misclassified as independent contractors during the late 1980s. The court's decision, involving hundreds of former and current employees, is expected to have little financial impact on the world's biggest software maker."

Dennis Berman


Legal Technical Privacy Consumer Tactics Public Relations Legend Labor Humor


Comedic Relief

"Is Bill Gates a Satanist!"

J. P. Essene

Bill Gates is a SATANIC worshiper who uses Microsoft to gain SATANIC control of the WORLD. The proof is in his program names! William Gates worships SATAN?

(ed note: I've never actually visited this site. Just couldn't get past the link language;-)

Big Time

Featured on CBS's "60 Minutes II" on June 6, 2000 in a segment about Bill Gates and Microsoft.

Bill Gates & the Nefarious Crew at Microsoft

If you feel moved to express your concerns to people who are in a position to effect any outcome, here are some addresses

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