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"In adopting Internet standards such as XML as part of its .Net initiative, Microsoft will continue to protect any intellectual property that it embeds as objects in XML wrappers. 'We will have proprietary formats to protect our intellectual property,' [Ballmer] said. At the same time, Microsoft is committed to 'a certain level of interoperability,' and it is committed to standard protocols."

Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft

So they are going to be proprietary and open at the same time? This I have to see ...

"Normally, in the semiconductor industry, standards drive costs down. Standards enable volume which drives the learning curve and continuous improvement cost reductions. Only open standards do that. In the absence of open standards and competition, consumers will pay a monopolists tax."

Jerry Sanders, CEO of AMD

Sanders was not referring to Microsoft at all, but instead about standards in the x86 arena in areas such as MMX, and the progress made with the formation of a technology partnership between Motorola, Intel and AMD to study the future of fabrication process technology using ultraviolet light.

But his words stand on their own merit even outside the semiconductor industry and so clearly points out what is wrong with the PC software industry.

"It's not a business where anybody has a guaranteed position even Microsoft, with all its success," Gates said. "Unless we teach Windows how to understand speech, how to have vision and do all these new things there's plenty of people standing by to replace us very quickly."

Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft

So if we take this statement and the fact the the DOJ says that bundling IE and Windows together is illegal to its logical conclusion, what Gates is saying is that he wants to guarantee his position, and he feels he must do illegal things in order to achieve this.

Sorry Bill, but being a cry baby doesn't get you out of playing by the rules.

Wired Magazine interviewed Jon von Tetzchner, president and developer at Opera software. He had this to say:

One of the biggest reasons for code bloat and slowness in other browsers, he insisted, is their use of Microsoft Foundation Class (MFC) C++ libraries. However, the decision to forgo MFC when building Opera was not technical savvy but support strategy. "The main reason we didn't use MFC in the beginning was that we started with the Borland compiler," von Tetzner admitted. "We didn't want to use Borland libraries, either, because if Borland or Microsoft would lose out [in the compiler market], we didn't want to be on the losing side." Although von Tetzchner didn't foresee that MFC would be a safe long-term choice, he maintained "we were right in not using MFC, because the code became faster."

MFC may be a standard (a standard way to slow down your code that is) but even coders inside of Microsoft know that MFC is a bad thing. That doesn't keep them from pushing it as a programming standard for everyone else.

We have no intention of shipping another bloated OS and shoving it down the throats of our users.

Paul Maritz, Microsoft group vice president

Oh fun, here's Mr. Martiz (1) admitting that Microsoft used to ship bloated OSes and shoved them down user's throats in the past and (2) not admitting that Microsoft is continuing to ship bloated OSes and shoving them down user's throats (and even more so than ever before.)

"Our goal is to meet the needs of our customers, not to benefit the community at large."

Craig Mundie, Senior Vice President of Microsoft speaking on "shared source vs open source" 05/03/01

The tongue twisting Craig Mundie needs to do to pretend that their model is every bit as good as Open Source probably caused him to say this involuntarily ...

I used to be interested in Windows NT, but the more I see of it the more it looks like traditional Windows with a stabler kernel. I don't find anything technically interesting there. In my opinion MS is a lot better at making money than it is at making good operating systems.

Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux

Now you can't say this is just a dime a dozen opinion.  Linus Torvalds  definitely knows operating systems.

boot: What's do you hate about Windows 95?

Torvalds: What's fundamentally wrong is that nobody ever had any taste when they did it. Microsoft has been very much into making the user interface look good, but internally it's just a complete mess. And even people who program for Microsoft and who have had years of experience, just don't know how it works internally. Worse, nobody dares change it. Nobody dares to fix bugs because it's such a mess that fixing one bug might just break a hundred programs that depend on that bug. And Microsoft isn't interested in anyone fixing bugs—they're interested in making money. They don't have anybody who takes pride in Windows 95 as an operating system.

People inside Microsoft know it's a bad operating system and they still continue obviously working on it because they want to get the next version out because they want to have all these new features to sell more copies of the system.

The problem with that is that over time, when you have this kind of approach, and because nobody understands it, because nobody REALLY fixes bugs (other than when they're really obvious), the end result is really messy. You can't trust it because under certain circumstances it just spontaneously reboots or just halts in the middle of something that shouldn't be strange. Normally it works fine and then once in a blue moon for some completely unknown reason, it's dead, and nobody knows why. Not Microsoft, not the experienced user and certainly not the completely clueless user who probably sits there shivering thinking "What did I do wrong?" when they didn't do anything wrong at all.

That's whats really irritating to me.

Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux

Speaks for itself.

Marc Andreessen: "You know, I put a CD-ROM in my computer, and it doesn't work, I don't know why. My printer doesn't work right now - I'm getting weird error messages, and then it stops printing after a while. It freezes all the time. It crashes. [...] This isn't complicated stuff; this is a Dell Pentium PC running Windows 95, running standard applications like Word and Excel. It's just far too complicated to actually try to understand. Many people who work in the PC industry have technical-support staffs that come in and fix things so they run properly, so these people don't notice this. But for most people, it's just a nightmare."

From the Rolling Stone interview with Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen (May 1, 1997)

That pretty much speaks for itself. And in case you are wondering just what the attitudes of Microsoft's top developers are, one need not go further than ask the man responsible for MS Word and what is now called "hungarian notation":

It is often more important to make timely decisions than it is to make correct ones.

Charles Simonyi, chief architect of Microsoft Word.

Maybe its just me, but looking back at my own bad decisions, I am never  comforted by their timeliness. 

From the Halloween memos:

Recent case studies (the Internet) provide very dramatic evidence in customer's eyes that commercial quality can be achieved / exceeded by OSS projects. At this time, however there is no strong evidence of OSS code quality aside from anecdotal.
to understand how to compete against OSS, we must target a process rather than a company.
Loosely applied to the vernacular of the software industry, a product/process is long-term credible if FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) tactics can not be used to combat it.
Future innovations which require changes to the core architecture / integration model are going to be incredibly hard for the OSS team to absorb because it simultaneously devalues their precedents and skillsets.
One thing that development groups at MSFT have learned time and time again is that ease of use, UI intuitiveness, etc. must be built from the ground up into a product and can not be pasted on at a later time.

Vinod Valloppillil, industry analyst and engineer at Microsoft.

Well, its good to see that Microsoft takes Linux seriously, but as can be seen in this memo, the attitude and direction of thought for Microsofties is disturbing.

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