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Re: Microsoft Dares to Appel EU Antitrust Ruling

DFS wrote:
> Rex Ballard wrote:
> > Look at the USA case.  Microsoft play cat-and-mouse with the DOJ over
> > disclosures, and then said, "OK, let's get an extension on that, just
> > to show our good faith".  Meanwhile, Microsoft rejects any OEM
> > attempts to even mention Linux in advertizing on the same ads that
> > display Microsoft logo and trademarks.  Microsoft still refuses to
> > allow OEMs to preinstall Linux in any form, even though it is
> > well-known that it is now possible to run Linux and Windows
> > concurrently under a number of different packaging options.
> How do you know what MS refuses to do?  You don't.  So why do you blab your
> idiotic claims?  I get it: you're a Linux "advocate" and "visionary" and
> this is what you consider "advocacy" and "vision".
These issues are all documented in transcripts of hearings.  Not all
the of these hearings make front page news, and not all of the coverage
is the most complete, but you can follow the links provided to the
really dry, legaleze documents which describe how Microsoft has not
exactly been terribly coopertive with the rulings  of the courts.

Microsoft defends itself by arguing the LETTER of the law, nullifying
the SPIRIT and INTENT of the law.  For example, when challenged for
it's practice of insisting that OEMs say "<OEM > reccomends Windows XP
Professional", and not allowing any mention of Linux, Microsoft
completely ignored the issue of not allowing Linux, arguing that it
only wanted to make sure that OEMs reccomended Windows XP instead of
Windows 98 or Windows 2000.

Microsoft has never formally published a statement or document stating
"if it says Linux anywhere in the copy, reject the ad", but this is the
"de-facto" practice.  Dell and HP do advertize Linux separately, in
separate ads (which make no mention of Windows) and even mention Linux
explicitly in their server ads.  But if you notice carefully, they
never put Microsoft trademarks and Linux in the same ads.

The Lennovo T60p is a top-of-the-line computer, and one of it's biggest
features is that it can run Linux "right out of the box".  Lennovo has
announced this publicly at Linux Expo, and even started to offer
machines with Linux preinstalled.  Within less than 24 hours, Lennovo
withdrew that offer, publicly.  Yet nobody seemed to be interested in

The nondisclosure agreements included in the OEM licenses prevent
Lennovo from speaking to the press, but they ARE allowed to speak
freely with law enforcement officers and officers of the courts.
Lennovo was waving a distress signal, almost screaming "Send the FBI,
we have something to say", but no one seems to be willing to even
bother to ask the questions.

Last year, HP offered to ship it's AMD-64 Laptop and desktop machines
with SUSE Linux preinstalled.  Within 48 hours, this offer was
withdrawn publicly.  Again, no public statement to the press other than
"We won't be shipping Linux preinstalled".  No investigation by the
compliance officers, the FBI, or anyone else to determine whether or
not Microsoft directly threatened them, or the nature of the threat.

Dell ships machines with FreeDOS, but does not ship Linux on any of
their desktop or laptop machines, even the ones that are "Linux Ready".

You would think that if Dell, HP, Lennovo, and others have invested as
much as 30% more cost and increased the price of the machines by as
much as 80%, just to make sure that Linux can be installed in less than
1 hour, that this would be a selling point.  You'd think they might
want to get some cross-plug going with the Linux vendors who could fuel
additional sales.  All it would take is adding a ", Linux Ready" as one
of the features, next to the graphics card, drive size, and chip type.

Again, did Microsoft directly challenge Dell, HP, and Lennovo and say
"Keep it up and we'll revoke all of your Windows licenses", the way
they did with Compaq?  Did they just remind them that all published
content which includes the Microsoft trademark must be given prior
approval by Microsoft, then start rejecting most of their ad content?

In the original decree, Judge Kollar-Kontelly made it clear that
Microsoft was not to take any action against OEMs who wanted to
distribute Linux.  Yet Microsoft has managed to keep OEMs from even
mentioning Linux for machines that were specifically designed to run

But nobody even bothers to ask a few questions?
Nobody, even in this group thinks that this isn't a bit wierd?

> > Microsoft has made it very clear that they will sabotage any VMWare,
> > Xen, or similar configuration in which Windows Vista is not the SOLE
> > and PRIMARY operating system.
> Where have they made it clear?  Instead of running away, support your bogus
> claims for once in your ridiculous, lying life.
Windows Genuine Advantage - seems to be refusing to run Vista when
installed into a VM, unless the End User forfeits his privacy, calls
Microsoft, and provides information which will make him an easy target
for Microsoft's "hit squad".  Tell the employer's sales rep that they
should specifically mention that person by name, as they discuss the
possible need for a full License audit of all software on all
computers, along with proof of license compliance.

It's amazing how quickly there is a "reorg" when someone publicly
challenges Microsoft in an open forum or sales event, pointing out
holes, vulnerabilities, errors in benchmarks quoted from "Fast Facts",
and so on.  Ask the wrong questions often enough and long enough, and
you will find yourself moved to an office INSIDE the computer rooom,
working 18 hours a day, and suddenly you won't be getting invited to
meetings, and people won't be attending your meetings.

Coincidence?  Sure.

But when you see a whole series of "Coincidences" that all have the net
effect of benefiting Microsoft, there is a very good chance that there
is a bit of covert conspiracy beneath those coincidences.

In more than a few encounters with representatives of Microsoft, I've
been asked if I was wearing a wire, because they had just made a
patently illegal statement to me, and I asked them to repeat that, and
give me just a little more clarification.

One time I offered to turn on the voicemail on my cell phone so that I
COULD get a recording, but they were not terribly amused.

> > Microsoft has defied court rulings stating that it is not allowed to
> > use it's monopoly power to exclude competitors, as it locks out
> > multimedia, security, and OSS applications.
> Who is locked out?

Remember, the issue here is the control of the OEM distribution
channel, specifically the "Top 5" OEMs, including Dell, HP, Lennovo,
Gateway, Sony, and Toshiba.

None of these OEMs include RealMedia, QuickTime, Adobe Acrobat, or even
WordPerfect, StarOffice, or FireFox in their "Standard Configuration".
Some of the smaller OEMs offer products, in CDs included for
aftermarket installation, but since they aren't actually installed when
shipped, they can't be counted as deployments.

Novell has attempted, on at least 2 occaisions, to license SUSE Linux
to the OEMs directly.  They are even flexible in their terms.  All they
have requested is that the installation DVD be included with the
machine as shipped, that their trademark be used, and that their
Chameleon logo appear somewhere on the box (possibly even just as a
sticker).  Not much to ask for when you are offering a superior
product, at 1/10th the price (I don't even think Novell was charging,
their revenue opportunity was in the support contract if Linux was

Do I know the exact details of the offers made by Novell?  No
Do I know the exact details of the actions taken by Microsoft agianst
Linux? No
Do I have recordings of Microsoft making statements that were illegal?

Have I actually witnessed Microsoft representatives making direct
reference to their OS monopoly in an attempt to use this "feature" to
get sales away from a competitor - YES!

Unfortunately, my direct observations were during the Jackson ruling,
not during the Kotelly ruling, but it's pretty common to hear Microsoft
representatives openly engaging in illegal marketing and
anticompetition practices.  Are they acting on their own, in which case
they should be fired?  Or are they acting on direct orders from Steve
Ballmer and other top Microsoft executives who seem to think that court
orders are "amusing".

> Truth is, Windows is the most popular platform for OSS products - far
> surpassing Linux.

How do you know this?  Microsoft prevents the distribution of
competitor products, and yet something like 50 million new Linux
desktop/Laptop systems were deployed this year.  That is roughly the
equivalent of 1/2 the number of PCs sold in the world.

Almost 25% of the machines sold world-wide were "White Boxes", Linux
was installed after-market.  Another 25% were AMD-64 based systems,
with no practical advantage for Windows XP, but getting substantial
advantages with Linux.  And about 10% of the machines were Intel Duos,
which have the primary selling "feature" of being able to run Linux/Xen
and then run Windows XP as a Xen "client"

You assume that just because Microsoft strong-arms OEMs into
preinstalling Linux on 99% of the machines sold by the Top 5 OEMs, that
this makes it "Popular".  People have hated Windows since version 1.0.
By Windows 3.1, they could tolerate it, but it was still notorious for
productivity hits due to crashes, GPFs, and deadlocks.

Windows 2000 was pretty stable, and ran pretty well.

Windows XP loses "popularity points" for it's "Activation Code Lockout"
feature.  It also loses points for the disrtuptive software upgrades
and security fixes that seem to break 3rd party applications for 2-3
days at a time, usually when the next "Security Fix" comes out.

Does anybody from the Compliance Officer's department review these
updates?  Does the technical committee review them?

Does Judge Kollar-Kotelly really think that 3 people and one part-time
compliance officer, who also works for the marketing department, can
effectively monitor the compliance activities of 25,000 employees?

How many people are actually assigned to the "Complaince" organization?

The EU is fining Microsoft something like $2 million/day and Microsoft
simply delays the date that the payment needs to be made, so that they
can pay the penalties with interest on the penalties acrued.  Microsoft
has $40 billion in "cash or equivalents", and even at 1%/month, that
would be $400 million/month in interest, just over $10 million/day.  $2
million per day would only be $60 million/month, which would only be
$720 million per year, less than 2% per YEAR in interest on those "cash
or equivalents".

> > Bill Gates even admits his crimes in open court, bragging about how
> > it's "common business practice" to engage in fraud, extortion,
> > blackmail, embezzlement, sabotage, and obstruction of justice, all as
> > part of his copyright "License" scheme.
> Prove this stupid lie.

FTC vs Microsoft - 1987 - Gates admits that multitasking in MS-DOS 4.0
was fraud - settles
IBM vs Microsoft - 1991 - Gates admits embezzling funds from OS/2 to
Windows. - settles.
DOJ vs Microsoft - 1992 - Gates admits that NT is Vaportware - fraud -
DOJ vs Microsoft - 1993 - Gates admits to bundling scheme/extortion
over Office - settles
Stack vs Microsoft - 1993 - Gates admits to sabotage of Stacker -
IBM vs Microsoft - 1997 - Gates admits sabotaging Cyrix chips -
DOJ vs Microsoft - 1998 - Gates admits to bundling - presents own
version of facts on appeal
DOJ vs Microsoft - 1999 - Gates admits to extortion and blackmail over
OS/2 - settles
Caldera vs Microsoft 1999 - Gates admits to sabotage of DR-DOS/Windows
Interface - settles

There is a bit of a pattern here.
Go into the court-room, testify under protest, confess to felonies
under oath, include immunity as part of the settlement terms, use 5th
amendment as justification for immunity, then seal the court records so
that testimony can't be used against you later in court.

This makes the "Teflon Don" look like a sticky bun.

Keep in mind that each of these criminal acts, disclosed in federal
hearings or federal court, involved $billions in revenue for Microsoft,
and $hundreds of millions in settlements, most of it going to the
plaintiff's lawyers.

> At 50 years old and shrieking hysterical absurdities like a 3rd grader,
> aren't you ashamed of yourself?
Not a bit.
You have made it very clear that you support Microsoft in every action
they have ever taken, no matter how illegal, whether it was admitted in
court or not.

In your eyes, if there isn't a criminal conviction, it didn't happen
and it wasn't illegal.

In my eyes, if the testomony was given in open court, it happened.  How
the case was settled, and how Microsoft paid the bill for these
criminal acts is simply an alternative to criminal conviction.  If
Microsoft is willing to pay $1 billion/year in settlements and legal
fees to protect Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, that is their option.  I
suppose that if you Chairman and your CEO were in federal prison and
decided to "cash out" their stock holdings, that would be very painful
for the mutual funds and equity funds and pensions that are heavily
invested in Microsoft stock.

I can understand WHY the plaintifs and federal litigators would be
willing to accept a settlement rather than risk this type of economic
collapse, but this doesn't mean that their claims weren't valid.

> > In those cases where the
> > judge doesn't think that a copyright license does not mean a "license
> > to commit felonies", Microsoft settles, very quickly, and the
> > plaintiff's lawyers make lots of bucks while the plaintiffs and the
> > class members get nothing but even more harassment and eventually end
> > up being driven into bankruptcy for their "disloyalty".
> >
> > Al Capone once killed a Capo, with a baseball bat, in front of all his
> > other Dons, just to show them how he would deal with "disloyalty".
> >
> > The reason Gates and Ballmer admit to these felonies isn't because
> > they want to "clear the air", it's to demonstrate, beyond any
> > reasonable doubt, that they are above the law.
> >
> > Oh, it's even worse than that.  If Microsoft can drive competitors out
> > of the market, into total bankruptcy, as the courts are looking right
> > over the shoulder, trying to enforce the most irrelevant part of a
> > judgement, it sends a clear message to suppliers, OEMs, corporate
> > customers, and even End Users.  It says, "we can do anything we want
> > to, hurt you as much as we want, and NOBODY, not EVEN the GOVERNMENTS
> > OF THE WORLD, can lift a finger to do anything meaningful about it!".
> MS doesn't drive competitors out of business; the market does.
That's not what the FTC, DOJ, EU, and about 35 lawsuits have said.

Microsoft uses it's copyright license to limit the access of other
vendors into the marketplace.  If Novell were to PAY Dell $2/machine,
to install SUSE Linux into their machines, but insisted as part of
THEIR License, that branding and trademark promotional information
would be provided and included, Dell couldn't accept the offer, due to
the terms of the Microsoft OEM license.

> > What better way to say "I RULE THE WORLD" than to thumb your nose at
> > the 4 biggest governments in the world, the EU, the United States, and
> > Asia, and tell them, "You clowns can't touch me, I OWN YOUR ASSES".
> >
> > Congratulations Billy.
> "Look at me, Mr Gates!  Please look!  Over here!  I'm Rex Ballard,
> self-appointed Linux advocate and visionary.

Thank you. :D

> I have a pathetic need for attention so I'm going to shriek like a child and call you
> and Microsoft names, and lie as much as possible.

>  giggle!  My goal is to
> become a "martyr" for the open source movement that I claim to be important
> to (though nobody else recognizes me -

> hope they don't find out I actually
> advocate and sell proprietary, closed source systems for IBM).

I don't sell software for IBM.  I implement business solutions for the
financial services industry, which include both proprietary and OSS in
nearly every engagement.  I'm an Architect, not a sales person.

> Anyway, Mr. Gates... are you looking at me?  Please look at me!  Mr.
> Gates!!!!  Please!!!"
My guess is that Bill knows who I am.  After all, Microsoft did call me
up and flew me to Belleview for an "interview".  I think they were more
interested in my ideas than my potential as a Microsoft employee.  They
did put me in a nice hotel in Bellview, right off Lake Washington.  We
talked for about 18 hours, and I flew to another commitment in Boston.

They even made a generous offer, a 20% pay cut, stock options at nearly
4x today's price, and a nice office.  When I got home, they called and
said, "your brilliant, we like you, we just don't think you have the

Oops, did I just violate a nondisclosure agreement I signed 9 years
How long was I supposed to keep the secret?
Oh well.

> > If they said, "You can ONLY SHIP 1/2 your machines with Microsoft
> > Software", they could really do some damage to Microsoft.  But they
> > won't.  Keep in mind that Microsoft has funded the overthrow of
> > Germany, France, and has almost succeeded in toppling England.  They
> > have overthrown the USA, Afghanistan, Pakhistan, Iraq, and Japan.
> >
> > What's left - Putin could be blown away?  Overthrow China?  Wipe out
> > South Korea and give control to Kim Jung Il?
> >
> > He could do it.  He has done it.
> >
> > And nobody seems to care.
> Take your medication, Rex.  Stay away from sharp objects.  And call your
> psychiatrist and make an appointment for this evening.

Been there, done that.  I am probably in better mental health than most
people, because I am willing to face reality, even when it's not
terribly wonderful (in my opinion).

What's so is that Microsoft has been able to convince at least 5 of the
biggest OEMs in the industry to package and sell ONLY Windows XP, even
though their hardware will run better on Linux than it does with XP.
They have eliminated Compaq (punishment for their disloyalty of selling
Netscape), IBM is out of the Desktop/Laptop business entirely as an
OEM, HP has changed executives (possibly in retaliation for offering
AMD-64 machines before Microsoft was "ready"), Gateway has been losing
money hand-over-fist (but they are loyal to Microsoft), and Dell has
had to subsidize their Windows-Only PC business with consumer

All of this while under a court order intended to create a "level
playing ground" for competitors like Linux, Solaris,

Of course, with 26 years drug and alcohol free, 15 years of Landmark
Education, and various other spiritual and professional training
programs, it's very easy to look at it from Microsoft's point of view.
I can see why they want to do what they are doing.  I can even
understand why Bill Gates considers his actions to be "justified" as
"corporate self defense".  It's a novel concept.  If someone were
walking into Bill's $30 million house, holding two guns, and shooting
into the house, he would be justified in shooting the perpetrator in

To a CEO, the welfare of employees, and their children is often as
important, in some ways more important, than the welfare of their own
children.  If a preditory company threatens to take away busines,
forcing Microsoft to take cost-cutting measures such as cutting staff,
leaving workers unemployed, putting their kids at risk of misfortune,
does this mean that Bill is justified in taking certain criminal
actions, that would otherwise be considered felonies, to defend those
workers and their children?  I could certainly see it.  But the Judge
didn't see it that way.  In fact most of the judges have pretty much
indicated that Microsoft should seriously consider a settlement
(telegraphing their intent to rule against Microsoft).

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