MS Attempts to Grok OSS

Monday November 2nd, 1998

This news has trickled down from various readers, who came across it through a link on Slashdot.

In the words of reader Cameron Mulder, "[An] interesting memo from M$ talks about Open Source Software and how it will affect them. Mostly about Linux, but it has some interesting information about how they view Mozilla."

#1 Re:MS Attempts to Grok OSS

by arielb

Monday November 2nd, 1998 9:31 AM

If Microsoft really thinks that 80% of every possible browser idea is done already then it is MSIE that will fail-not Mozilla. Another thing-with the work on NGLayout, implementing it as an ActiveX control and the work on Activedesktop (see, Microsoft will have to find a new strategy.

#2 Re: spelling nitpick

by sabat

Monday November 2nd, 1998 1:46 PM

Uh, that's "affect" them, not "effect" them.

#3 Re:MS Attempts to Grok OSS

by george

Monday November 2nd, 1998 2:24 PM

I don't feel like reading the whole thing, so how do they view Mozilla?

#4 Re:MS Attempts to Grok OSS

by Aleks Zawisza

Monday November 2nd, 1998 2:55 PM

Whatever cool new features NGLayout comes up with, Microsoft will copy them as fast as you can say "innovate".

Microsoft never loses. They have consistantly gained market share in every area that matters, and they have so much cash in the bank that they could be unprofitable for the next 10 years and still have some left to buy the Vatican.

I think the OSS (to borrow their term) community, hell, the whole computer industry needs to watch Microsoft. Hijacking internet standards is the one sure way they can cut off everyone else from the net, and this is obviously what they'll try to do.

I'm just glad that documents like that are starting to come out. I hope the government will have enough sense to drop for a second the pure capitalist ideals and not let a ruthless company destroy all competition just because it's the American Way.

Linux might become as popular as Windows if only Linux programmers would _want_ to at least try making it as easy to use as Windows. RedHat is sort of doing that. However, this is taking a long time, and MS moves very fast. By the time the average joe can install Linux, might already be using MSHTTP and Linux will have lost its chance.

Oh well, as long as people know what's going on in Redmond, maybe we'll hear less ignorant talk from Microsoft zelots, and see more action taken to stop MS from enslaving (even more) the computer industry.

#5 Re:MS Attempts to Grok OSS

by george

Monday November 2nd, 1998 4:09 PM

>By the time the average joe can >install Linux, might >already be using MSHTTP and Linux >will have lost its chance.

i have thought of this, and M$ probably wants to do this....but right now 80% of the hits on the web are web sites made from Macs. Second, those web master are going to want Macs to be able to view the web sites and we are seeing linux and the MacOS growing...

I say in 3 years, Microsoft market share won't be as big, but they will still have 90%+

Matter of fact, Microsoft already tried to make MSHTML, and i think it was called "blackbird"

#6 Re:Microsoft never loses?

by arielb

Monday November 2nd, 1998 4:20 PM

I should point out that Palm Pilot slaughters Win CE PDA's by about 2:1. That means all the various PDA's combined can't beat Palm. The home user market is also a vast unexplored frontier with over half of US households still not owning a PC. Eventually they will and they will not be owned by Microsoft IMHO.

#7 Re:MS Attempts to Grok OSS

by Brian Tiemann

Tuesday November 3rd, 1998 2:08 AM

Oh, here's how to make a Microsoft employee mad: Refer to Windows CE as "Wince". :)

#8 Re:MS Attempts to Grok OSS

by Charles Ginzel

Tuesday November 3rd, 1998 11:11 AM

How does everyone here feel about the comments relating to Netscape and Mozilla?

"'Netscape's commercial interests shrink the effect of Noosphere contributions.

Linus Torvalds' management of the Linux codebase is arguably directed towards the goal of creating the best Linux. Netscape, by contrast, expressly reserves the right to make code management decisions on the basis of Netscape's commercial / business interests. Instead of creating an important product, the developer's code is being subjugated to Netscape's stock price."



The contention therefore, is that unlike the Apache and Linux projects which, for now, are quite successful, Netscape's Mozilla effort will:

Produce the dominant browser on Linux and some UNIX's

Continue to slip behind IE in the long run"

#9 Re:MS Attempts to Grok OSS

by george

Tuesday November 3rd, 1998 2:24 PM

once, N5 ships and lets people make their own interface for Communicator it will get more people excited, and second the browser is an important peace of software for linux.

I see more linux programmer helping with Communicator, because they want a better browser to go with their favorite OS (linux)

I see IE slipping behind, because now M$ is focusing on killing Linux, while Netscape is working on a better layout engine and other cool features, like chrome, ect..

that's my 2 cents...

#10 Am I just a conspiracy theorist?

by Dan Kirkpatrick

Tuesday November 3rd, 1998 4:23 PM

It seems to me that the timing of this "leak" is suspect. This document was "leaked" only 2 days before the video of Billy G's testimony was released in court. What better way to demonstrate that microsoft doesn't hold a monoply than to declare in an "internal" memo that OSS, between Linux and Apache, is winning the battle (or at least a few battles where MS is accused of anti-trust violations).

I haven't seen this viewpoint anywhere else (except where I have expressed it myself). Am I just a conspiracy theorist?

#11 Re:MS Attempts to Grok OSS

by Cameron Mulder

Tuesday November 3rd, 1998 9:17 PM

I also think that this memo was leaked with a reason. But it also does give us some good information about how the OSS projects are viewed by M$. This could be a very usefull document in the longrun.

#12 Re:

by Eaton Messner

Tuesday November 3rd, 1998 10:57 PM

> I see IE slipping behind, because > now M$ is focusing on killing > Linux,

M$ is a big company. I doubt that M$ is going to assign the IE team to killing Linux...

> while Netscape is working on a > better layout engine and other > cool features, like chrome, ect..

M$ might be off wasting their time with something like Javagator, but I doubt it. They probably are working on their layout engine....

#13 Re:MS Attempts to Grok OSS

by arielb

Wednesday November 4th, 1998 7:21 AM

I think the way to win is to make w3 standards compliance _the_ feature instead of taking features from the w3 recommendations. If MS can't rely on proprietary features then we have a chance.

#14 Re:MS Attempts to Grok OSS

by John Gesang

Wednesday November 4th, 1998 9:57 PM

A very interesting piece of virtual-paper indeed . . . I'm responding both to the article and also to some of the previous responses: ANY dismissive/defensive public statements re the "Halloween Document" made by Microsoft representatives or executives cannot legally even be considered as evidence or given any weight or credence in any court, except that of public opinion, until a formal submission of such has been made by Microsoft's lawyers, and then only if the document is indeed first brought in as evidence--in other words any out-of-court statements regarding the document from Microsoft reps vis-a-vis Microsoft company policy or even the document's authenticity are legally worthless; the document considered in and of itself might indeed be useful in supporting the DOJ's case against Microsoft, should the DOJ choose to submit it as evidence, regardless of whether it was "leaked" or not--and leaking a document containing the statements that this one does at this particular time would be incredibly stupid, if you ask me. Consider this simile: If I get caught driving a hundred mph down Sunset Blvd. one night, all my protests that I don't as a rule drive so fast aren't going to keep the cops from arresting me and dragging me into court for reckless driving; and what's more maintaining such a defense on my part might lead the court to conclude that my mental judgement was seriously impaired . . . . Any evidence (re Microsoft's policies concerning competitive products and companies) in the document itself, considered pro or con, lies not in any internal admission that the OSS movement is winning the OS (server) "battle," but in what is outlined and delineated in the document for a strategy aimed at defeating and preempting OSS's market success.

Sorry for this treatise.

There was life before Windows;there will be life after it.

Happy navigating!

#15 Re:MS Attempts to Grok OSS

by Alex Chudnovsky

Thursday November 5th, 1998 1:10 PM

> There was life before Windows;there will be life after it.

Let's me rephrase: Is there any life possible AFTER windows???

#16 Re:MS Attempts to Grok OSS

by Aleks Zawisza

Friday November 6th, 1998 7:37 AM

Not if Microsoft gets its way. Remember how they want to make Windows run your house and your car? "Crashing" your computer might actually become fatal!