What do You Know About Microsoft, From The Inside?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Bill Parish : One Thread

Compelling and externally verifiable information regarding Microsoft's questionable business practices would be helpful to build my arguments. Of particular interest would be information from people reponsible for compiling financial results, preparing statements, billing practices, etc. This would include those in the internal auditing area.

If you have any such information, please share it. Given that most leading reporters are now being muzzled by their advertising departments, I am confident they will also appreciate your comments. Please do not, however, note unsubstantiated rumors. It is essential to be fair to Microsoft in order to maintain credibility.

-- Bill Parish (bill@billparish.com), April 20, 2001


Most of this information is public knowledge, but nobody does anything about it. It's most technical stuff, but shows Microsoft's propensity for industrial sabotage.

In 1994, Microsoft was convicted in California civil court of stealing software code from Stac, Inc. to make MS-DOS 6.0 DoubleSpace.

In 1995, Microsoft misled Quarterdeck (small Santa Monica based S/W company, now owned by Symantec). MS told them to make a GUI add-on for Windows95. However, MS was simultaneously writing into its OEM preload contract that no such software could be bundled with Windows95. Fortunately Quarterdeck didn't believe them.

In January 1996, I believe, Bob Mack of *Details* magazine wrote an excellent inside expose' on his temp job at MS.

On another note, in 1992, a company called Go Corp. had a pen-based computing software system. Microsoft sent "marketing" reps to look it over for 3 days, then went back to MS. About 6 months later, MS announced its own pen-based software using the same source code. The marketing reps had actually been top coders. This is based on a personal interview with the former head of Go Corp. in Pasadena, CA.

In 1994/1995 period, a Microsoft corporate credit card was used to pay for a fake Compuserve account in the name of "Steve Barkto." This account was used to verbally abuse supporters of IBM's OS/2 operating system, then in a heated battle with MS. "Barkto" means "shadow" or "ghost" in Serbo-Croatian. Steve Ballmer's parents are believed to be from that part of Europe.

In fall 1995, a prominent PC magazine published a sales graph of IBM OS/2, showing a decrease from 400,000 copies per month, downward to the x-axis in August (the month of the Windows95 release). However, a close look at the graph showed that the x-axis was at 200,000 units per month, NOT zero. Furthermore, OS/2 sales went through the roof over the next 5 months, but no updated graphs were published.

In February 1995, OS/2 Warp 3.0 became the top-selling retail software in the U.S., but nearly all computer magazines censored their monthly reports that month and refused to publish any top-ten sales lists.

In 1992 Digital Research released DR-DOS 6.0. This product was at least 2 full years ahead of Microsoft's DOS. So Microsoft rigged Windows 3.1 beta version to abort installation on a DR-DOS PC. Microsoft also encrypted the source code for this message, so that only a sophisticated hacker could discover the cause of the error message. This appears to be a violation of the Magnuson-Moss Antitrust Act.

Around 1992/1993 time frame, Quarterdeck provided a superior memory manager for DOS called QEMM. Microsoft rigged Windows so that it failed regularly due to memory errors if a directory called "QEMM" was used. Simply changing the directory name to "QEMM386" fixed the problems. In fact, Quarterdeck's next version used the default directory name "QEMM386" and was recognized as being "more reliable."

-- Tom Nadeau (pcassembler@mindspring.com), April 23, 2001.

Thanks Tom. Probably of more interest would be things onthe financial side from 1995-current. For example, experiences involving Mike Brown and Greg Maffei, two previous CFO's. Bob Herbold's activities would also be of interest.

-- Bill Parish (bill@billparish.com), April 24, 2001.

In around 1995, a number of NASDAQ traders were reprimanded by the SEC for rigging trading values by a quarter to a half a point in their favor on each trade. Some news articles in L.A. claimed that certain stocks were also being "price-fixed," but the SEC refused to divulge which stocks those were. Shortly thereafter, the head of NASDAQ quit. One article claimed this person was a top Microsoft financial exec. Is there a connection here??

-- Tom Nadeau (pcassembler@mindspring.com), April 26, 2001.

Yes. There was a period in which Microsoft CFO Mike Brown was also simultaneously Chairman of the Board of the Nasdaq, in addition to boasting about being aggressive in setting accounting standards, that is, pressuring the Financial Accounting Standards Board or FASB. It is hard to imagine a more clear conflict of interest that has been completely unreported in the press. This was highlighted in my original Microsoft report.

-- Bill Parish (bill@billparish.com), April 26, 2001.

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