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Microsoft intentions revealed in internal emails

Today I ran into a very interesting news site that has a section which contains a number of emails that were revealed in court. The message is clear as day. We don’t change, and, Open Source has to go.

A few excerpts from Bill Gates emails. You will see his inclination towards using patent as an anti competitive move. And how he completely distorts how the GPL works.

“This anti-trust thing will blow over. We haven’t changed our business practices at all. [May change e-mail retention policies]
– 1995

“One thing we have got to change in our strategy – allowing Office documents to be rendered very well by other peoples browsers in one of the most destructive things we could do to the company.

“We have to stop putting any effort into this and make sure that Office documents very well depends on PROPRIETARY IE capabilities.
Anything else is suicide for our platform.
– 1998 “Highly Confidental” Email

[On being told of the free Star Office]
“An interesting development…
At some point we will have to consider the patents they violate.
– 1998 Email

“One thing I find myself wondering about is whether we shouldn’t try to make the “ACPI” extensions somehow Windows specific.

“It seems unfortunate if we do this work and get our partners to do the work and the result is that Linux works great without having to do the work.

“Maybe there is no way to avoid this problem but it does bother me.
Maybe we could define the APIs so that they work well with NT and not the others even if they are open.

“Or maybe we could patent something related to this
– 1999 “Highly Confidental” Email

“Software written in universities should be free software. But it shouldn’t be GPL software. GPL software is like this thing called Linux, where you can never commercialize anything around it; that is, it always has to be free.
– Government Leader’s Conference, Seattle, 2002

A good selection of emails are listed here.

It is sad that an industry leader Like Microsoft does not have what it takes to operate with integrity and feel it has to be above the law.

Make no mistake about it, Gates knows exactly how the GPL works, but chooses to distort it to compete with us. Of course most of us never had any desire to compete with him, we just want to have a reliable product. One that one can rely on to be upgraded timely, have effective bug fixing that does not break other things and above all interoperability.

Had Microsoft pursued a track where they made their O/S’s and applications work well with any other, had open standards as to how one can interact with them and so on, Linux might not have grown up to be this monster in their minds.

As it is, it is only going to get worse. Microsoft is “embracing” Open Source in one sentence and then out of the side of it’s mouth, directing it’s troops to infiltrate and cut down our popularity with imaginary patents. I say imaginary because they claim that we are in violation of a couple of hundred patents, but are yet to show a single one.

They know we will replace anything that is violating anyones intellectual property. There for it is a better scare tactic to just say we are in violation than actually getting anything resolved. See the court case involving SCO, and the license deal with Novell.

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