The purpose of this post is to remind my readers of Microsoft’s thuggish history, as described by the NYT. Will Microsoft be a repeat offender in the emerging field of quantum computing? IMHO, there are some ominous signs that it has started to move full-steam in that direction.
Check out this great article:
MICROSOFT’S WORLD: A special report.; How Software’s Giant Played Hardball Game,By Steve Lohr and John Markoff, New York Times, Oct 8, 1998
Next I will quote the beginning of the article. I recommend that you read the whole thing. The article doesn’t tell the half of it. For example, it doesn’t describe Microsoft’s vigorous attempts to destoy Linux OS and the open software movement. And any company that posed the smallest threat to its Office suite of apps.
In the summer of 1995, a whiff of revolution was in the air in Silicon Valley. The Internet offered a new deal in computing, a fresh opportunity for entrepreneurs to try to break the Microsoft Corporation’s firm grip on the personal computer software business. Leading the challenge was the Netscape Communications Corporation, whose software for browsing the World Wide Web had ignited the Internet boom.
James H. Clark, Netscape’s chairman, spoke boldly of attacking Microsoft head-on. He borrowed imagery from the movie ”Star Wars,” referring to Microsoft as the Death Star and Netscape as the leader of a rebel alliance.
Microsoft answered with a vengeance. It dispatched hundreds of programmers to work on a competing browser and poured many millions of dollars into marketing it. It prodded computer makers and others to distribute its browser, folded the browser into its industry-dominant Windows operating system and gave the browser away free — a campaign intended to ”cut off their air supply,” as a senior Microsoft executive described it.
But it’s not only competitors like Netscape that have encountered Microsoft’s force. Microsoft’s partners, its corporate customers and professional investors who finance new ventures have all collided with it.
A close look at Microsoft’s no-holds-barred push into the Internet software business offers a window into the ways the company uses its market muscle to influence the behavior of virtually every player in the industry.
Some of the cases recounted here figure prominently in the suit brought by the Justice Department and 20 states, scheduled to go to trial later this month, charging that Microsoft at times went too far — and violated antitrust laws.
Regardless of the legal outcome, previously unreported details about incidents in the suit and the other examples provide a more complete picture of Microsoft in action.
*When the Compaq Computer Corporation considered loading Netscape’s browser instead of Microsoft’s on its machines, Microsoft threatened to stop selling its Windows operating system to the big personal computer maker. Compaq, Microsoft’s largest customer in the industry, quickly changed its mind.
*After Spyglass Inc. began supplying Microsoft with its early browser technology, Microsoft announced that it would give away its browser free. The timing came as a rude surprise to its partner Spyglass. The company lost most of its revenues almost overnight, as the technology, which it had also been licensing to companies besides Microsoft, suddenly became available free.