From the article linked above it seems like people at Sony were exploiting the security budget, they had eight managers for three analysts: ”documents leaked after the recent attack show the company had just 11 people assigned to its information security team: ‘Three information security analysts are overseen by three managers, three directors, one executive director and one senior-vice president.’”
Companies have reputations just like people do (that's why we call them 'incorporated') and just like you can lose your trust in a person you can lose your trust in a corporation.
This is not about Microsoft just doing 'stupid stuff sometimes' it is about institutionalized criminal behavior sanctioned at the highest level of one of the largest software companies in the world. Your silly linked blog post by a Microsoft employee tries to wipe all that under the carpet. For the record, I'm not exactly 25, used to be a MS developer and user and have decided that their ethics are not fit for my taste, feel free to disagree.
Much like countries, it doesn't necessarily make sense to treat companies like people when it comes to reputation. You shouldn't hold a grudge against a country forever, many of the people inside of it may have disagreed with its actions and more importantly the leadership could be completely different now. Similalrly, if most of the employees at Microsoft today are different than in the 90s and the leadership is completely different, then what really has the reputation, their article of incorporation? Mind you, for all I know most of Microsoft is still "old Microsoft", I'm just saying it can't really be as simple as attributing actions of the past to whatever happens to be there today.
Right, but would own an Apple product? That's terrible, they exploit horrible treatment of rightless Chinese wage-slaves.
Would you use a google product? They are double-faced went in come to net neutrality, only putting their weight on points that promote their own benefit. They also buy up tons of extremely innovative start-ups, then suffocate them under the weight of their glacial bureaucracy and pedantic squabbling.
I'm sure you could go on all day but this thread is about microsoft. Apple's products are not welcome here because of their walled garden approach and Google has done far worse than making a faux-pas in the net neutrality debate. Agreed on the buying up innovative start-ups and then killing them off, that's really bad and acqui-hires are hurting all start-ups.
Im curious, can you really get by without MS, Google and Apple? No LLVM based products for you? No Webkit? No CUPS? No V8? If you do use some of these projects, where's the difference from an Open Sourced .NET?
I get by without MS and Apple just fine (as I wrote elsewhere, I do still have an elderly Mac here that is sometimes used for compatibility testing but I don't even remember when I started it up last and it currently isn't even plugged in).
As for Google, that's the hard one to avoid. Adsense/Adwords is easy, youtube is hard (plenty of video content is only available on youtube), google search is still better than duckduckgo (and I'm really sorry about that, but I'm rooting for Gabriel to achieve parity some day even if that's an uphill battle), and I use Google docs for a few spreadsheets that I need to be able to access remotely.
My mail is on my own server, web stuff is classical 'LAMP', I don't use webkit, don't use V8 and I don't think I have an instance of CUPS here that is actually configured to do real work but it's possible that I'm missing a machine clever enough to auto-configue.
Other hardware is Dell, Synology (which has CUPS on board but it's not in use) and a variety of smaller fry.
It's really not all that hard to keep the big companies out of your life, one of these days I'll find a way to get rid of google completely. The most frequently used closed source product I have is Varicad (but they have a nasty little gotcha that I recently found out about so they're on the way out) and another is adobe acrobat reader (the linux version). Oh, and the Nvidia binary drivers for the graphics card in this box.
> Oh, and the Nvidia binary drivers for the graphics card in this box.
With NVIDIA drivers you probably have at least some LLVM compiled components (or will have, once their transition has been completed in future generations), but I give you that one. As a GPGPU developer for example, you probably soon can't get around LLVM anymore and I expect its influence to grow in the Linux world, as it has become the default choice to build new OSS compiler / language projects around.
I'm using DDG myself btw. - Google is the main one I'd like to get away from, but as you wrote it's very hard. At least DDG with "g!" prefix makes me anonymous to them.
What I still find very hard to replace is Skype and/or Hangout - I'm not aware of an OSS solution that works on all platforms and that I can easily set up with all kinds of peers (including non computer literate). Even Hangout is way too complicated, even for aged computer scientists I've found. And I'm really using all of it - VoIP, video conferencing, Skype-Out, screen sharing, messaging. This is the main thing I'd like to replace since we're handing out so much control to this tool.
I don't know much about OpenGL and can't confirm it from a quick google , but I could well imagine it if that JIT was either recently introduced by NVIDIA or ported over already - LLVM seems to be their company policy for anything compiler related now.
Also, do you only use older CUPS versions because Apple pays its development for a while now?
1. Regarding the 1st link - Speaking from experience, if you do business in certain (primarily third-world) countries, bribery is the norm. It's as natural there as lobbying is in the US.
2. Regarding the 2nd link - MS has no control over IV's business, unless you have evidence otherwise. And that too, it's "unclean" only to the extent that you believe patents are evil, which is unfortunately an all-too-common view around here.
> Much like countries, it doesn't necessarily make sense to treat companies like people when it comes to reputation. You shouldn't hold a grudge against a country forever, many of the people inside of it may have disagreed with its actions and more importantly the leadership could be completely different now.
Sure, but it really depends on what and how much. Microsoft made their fortune by being ethically bankrupt and breaking the law. If the Mafia decided to reform today and go legit, it would be a long hard slough before anybody would actually trust them. And if they kept extortion as a side business, it would make it very hard to believe anything they have to say, regardless of the amount of money they give to charity.
Even with a complete changing of personnel, factors (eg. business model) could necessitate certain behaviours. For example, every person inside present day Google could be replaced, but the behaviour of learning more about their users in order to more precisely target them with advertising wouldn't change unless they actively tried to reinvent the company. That said, I do think Microsoft are actively trying to reinvent themselves.
I recognise the sense in what you're saying, but I tend towards treating corporations much like I treat people with regard to reputation. The reason for that is that I want companies to have to think seriously about how it will hurt them long-term before they trade off that reputation.
I don't want it to be an optimal business strategy to be evil to maximise growth, and then become nice once evil no longer pays off. Holding a grudge longer than might seem strictly logical is my way of pushing in that direction :-).
I'm just a low level drone here at MS, and I obviously am not involved in any important decisions, but I'd like to add that all the above things happened back when the current generation that works here was growing up. We were all on Slashdot, being outraged and angry 13 year olds. Except now my generation works here, and I think the changes (such as all the ones announced today!) are a good sign of that.
At least since after I went through puberty (I'm not that young!) Microsoft has been acting pretty damn chill.
I guess my main complaint is that people yell at us for sins that were committed by, quite literally, a previous generation.
@com2kid Microsoft defined what computers are capable of. Let me clarify: most people heard Microsoft's version of reality first--and they were amazed!
We all were. Computers have changed life for all of us. But computers aren't what they could have been...
Microsoft's version of computers is a pale and sickly thing, it's engineered for--that is, optimized for--profit rather than productivity.
Some people use computers to save lives, right? How many more lives might have been saved over the past couple of decades if MS hadn't held features--ideas! concepts!--back again and again to enforce planned obsolescence? How many times did they obfuscate a communication protocol to maintain market dominance?
I appreciate that some current MS employees aren't responsible for what happened before they were hired on.
I hope you appreciate the magnitude of those past sins. There are reasons people yell!
> Microsoft's version of computers is a pale and sickly thing, it's engineered for--that is, optimized for--profit rather than productivity.
I think you have it backwards. It's the new vision of computers (walled gardens, all the interesting logic hidden away in data centers, content consumption appliances instead of real computers) that is pale and sickly.
> How many more lives might have been saved over the past couple of decades if MS hadn't held features--ideas! concepts!--back again and again to enforce planned obsolescence?
Please enlighten me on the ideas! concepts! Microsoft held back again and again that were not available on free software systems?
> Please enlighten me on the ideas! concepts! Microsoft held back again and again that were not available on free software systems?
Are you joking? I'll just give you one example: IE 6 and its complete disregard for open standards, end-user security and its lack of change put the web in stasis for years. At first, it didn't make much difference that we had Firefox because developers still made their pages only compatible with Microsoft's non-compliant browser, which was understandable as most people used it. Since IE lost ground the web has become a much more open and welcoming space for experimentation and advancement of its technologies. And that's undeniable.
1. Letting IE stagnate is different from holding back "ideas! concepts!" because Firefox (free software) and Opera were still around to pick up the slack. Sure, it caused (and still does) a lot of pain to web developers to make cross-browser compatible webpages, but that's not the same as "holding back ideas".
2. Note also that vendor prefixes always were and are still a thing, so it's not just IE that had "non-compliant" features. Adding non-compliant features and then working them into the standards seems to be the natural way web technologies advance.
Especially with Opera in mind, I recall many new features being added to browsers regardless of IE's stagnation. Sure, they were not widely used because the then-dominant IE didn't have them, but that didn't prevent Opera and Firefox from adding them. So, unless you conflate "experimentation and advancement" with "widespread adoption", I would disagree that IE held back experimentation and advancement of web technologies.
> Please enlighten me on the ideas! concepts! Microsoft held back again and again that were not available on free software systems?
1. It's not just that the held back. It's not even primarily that they held back. It is that they taught countless CEOs that Excel was the state of the art way to think.
I don't believe that the best tools are widgets. I believe that the best tools are programming environments. When I really need to get some facts straight, I turn to my trusty shell and unix family of processing tools. When my boss has the same need, she turns to Excel. WTF? Sure, you can do some reasoning with that tool... "But for BETTER reasoning, upgrade to Excel 95!"
2. Even if some old ideas were never completely lost, they were unknown to most people. If it hadn't been for some crotchety old neck beards, we wouldn't be having this conversation... And some of them had to completely dedicate their lives to preserving the idea that computers are not a product, they are a gift to humanity.
> I think you have it backwards. It's the new vision of computers (walled gardens, all the interesting logic hidden away in data centers, content consumption appliances instead of real computers) that is pale and sickly.
Yes, these new trends are worrisome. But it's not the first time!
To this day, Microsoft is putting computers in schools--but not LOGO, not free software, not unix, not lisp, not crates of disposable m68ks and bread boards... Nope, they are putting products in front of new generations eyeballs.
Data can trump anecdotes, and it should when a culture believes they are doing the right thing but things are still going poorly and nobody understands why--at those times, by all means, collect some data and analyze it!
But when "everybody knows" we're doing something wrong, and things are going poorly, then for the love of god use some common sense and stop doing it!
The whole planet got 0wned by MS before many of us here were born--certainly before most of us were competent. So this is what we've got, this is where we are.
Big picture: Where do we go from here? Immediate situation: don't become part of a new generation of MS fanboys. We don't need that.
The first link is an interesting tale of technical gamesmanship, but I don't see much bad about Microsoft in there. Other than the author's manager's empty threat to sue him, which is more of an individual case. I haven't heard of Microsoft suing employees are frequently as, say, Amazon actually does.
As for the Halloween documents, come on, 1) you're going to cite ESR, really? and 2) that boils down to "they said something bad about my religion / OS of choice". Marketing strategy commonly involves belittling your competitors. I laughed along at the Mac vs PC ads, even though I knew most of them were simply hyperbole.
> But when "everybody knows" we're doing something wrong, and things are going poorly, then for the love of god use some common sense and stop doing it!
1) Just like "everyone knew" the earth is flat?
2) "Everyone knows" Microsoft is "doing something wrong" only if you don't step out of the HN / Silicon Valley bubble. You and PG and thousands others might think MS is "irrelevant" and "dead" and "evil" and "produces crappy software", but it's trivially disproved by noting that it has consistently been in the top-5 brands worldwide by many different rankings (google it) for many years.
We may not need MS fanboys, but we sure has hell don't need MS haters who base their beliefs on incorrect information.
I know this opens a whole distracting side debate, but I incude Microsoft's campaign of sueing Android OEMs using [what I consider to be] a secret list of dodgy patents to be a continuation of their past evil behavior. I know there are a bunch of ways that can be debated and it's not my intention to start that debate, I just want to make the point that this view that it's all in the past that you are airing is something a significant number of people would dispute.
Frankly speaking when it comes to corruption, MS cannot beat HP and IBM here. The IBM case is a big one, investigated currently by most elitary anticorruption Police unit in Poland. See articles below.
I would not hold it against you that you make a living with MS, that said in the present they do plenty of stuff that they really shouldn't. So it's not just the previous generation, the current one is also anything but clean.
Patent threats and lawsuits against Android OEMs.
Sabotaging the office document standard process at ISO.
Corruption in cases where governments explored switching to alternative operating systems.
Locking down computers using UEFI Secure Boot and taking control away from the owners of the machine.
It's not the "what" they did to Netscape (releasing a free browser), it's the illegal "why" they did it (to break the cross-platform web).
As the government wrote in a trial brief:
"In short, Microsoft feared and sought to impede the development of network effects that cross-platform technology like Netscape Navigator and Java might enjoy and use to challenge Microsoft's monopoly. Another internal Microsoft document indicates that the plan was not simply to blunt Java/browser cross-platform momentum, but to destroy the cross-platform threat entirely, with the 'Strategic Objective' described as to 'Kill cross-platform Java by grow[ing] the polluted Java market.'"
The "embrace" part is particularly gross. IIRC, the court found that Microsoft deliberately misled developers to make them think that apps developed with MS-JVM would work cross-platform, when really it was designed to prevent that. They lied to developers to trick us into wasting our time, to destroy cross-platform technologies that threatened their monopoly.
Want to make it practical? There are thousands of us here who have each spent hundreds of hours struggling with IE compatibility when we could have been building cool stuff. We're building the future as fast as we can, but you and I and Bill Gates will all get to see less of that future before we die, because Microsoft set out to break the web and it took a whole lot of time to fix it.
Of course that was going on 20 years ago now. Microsoft probably has interns now who were born after IE came out. I realized recently that I'm not mad about this stuff anymore. But it's not a history we should forget or repeat.
I was just thinking of "embrace, extend, extinguish" when reading through the class-action about Apple routing texts over its own network, so people switching away from Apple would think that Android's texts were broken.
> There are thousands of us here who have each spent hundreds of hours struggling with IE compatibility when we could have been building cool stuff.
This is the issue that pisses me off more than anything. There must be hundreds of man-years of development effort wasted on stupid things Microsoft did. Not because they didn't know better, that's forgivable, but they did to screw over the competition. It goes back to MS-DOS intentionally trying to screw over DR-DOS and continues up to now with document format standards.
This is actually the greatest fumble in the history of Antitrust in my opinion.
Yes, it's become clear that a web browser should be bundled in the OS, and even as I said at the time, when I was a teenager, you need a shitty web browser to download a good one, or at least it's a big help.
What Microsoft did, and is admitted in a book, is to leverage the Windows monopoly to strengthen the Office monopoly, which had impact on every educational institution, law firm, local, state, and national legislature and locked up a ton of public domain work in a file format that only an expensive program that doesn't run on all computers can read.
Eventually that was steamrolled over by Congress demanding an open format, though interoperability is still pretty piss poor.
Of course, all of the DOJ's resources to show Microsoft who's boss were wasted on a silly fight over whether you can bundle a web browser. If you read Ben Horowitz' "The hard thing about hard things", it's not even the browser that sunk Netscape, it's IIS - their bread and butter was the server.
In light of the fact that our phones and televisions now ship with web browsers, and likely most of us are not paying for web servers, it seems clear that Netscape's business model was not going to last.
> I'm curious whether, with the fullness of technological hindsight, you still deplore what they did to Netscape.
Absolutely. I dislike tied sales, I dislike having to buy a Microsoft operating system with my hardware just as much as I dislike getting IE (or chrome or any other browser) forcefully rammed down my throat when I buy an operating system.
I'm pretty sure you can guess what browser I'm using to type this comment.
> It now seems clear that an OS needs a browser included
I see the browser as an application, not as part of the OS. And I feel that as a user of an operating system you should have a choice what browser you run and what browser gets installed on top of the OS after that has finished installing. All these cross-layer links are good for nothing.
Same logic presumably applies to any kind of non-system application, then. Your OS shouldn't come with any particular choice of network client tool - wget (hey! Some of us prefer curl!), ssh, dig. Microsoft's inclusion of notepad.exe in windows is obviously unfair to open source and commercial competitors in the text editing space - and the fact that basically any windows standard text editor control is an instance of the notepad editing UI below the surface is precisely the kind of cross-layer mixing you object to.
I think the line starts to blur as soon as your software uses API calls that are only known to you, the OS vendor, when you use your market muscle in the OS field to attempt to dominate or crowd out competitors in established fields and so on. I don't think anybody would read what I wrote as an objection to the presence of notepad.exe with the windows distribution and I note that that presence never stopped anybody from releasing more capable text editors, in fact I believe microsoft ships such a product themselves at a premium.
You say you want choice, but if you didn't have a browser how would you download the browser of your choice? Osmosis? Or, more importantly how would your average user download their browser?
Every OS since then (OSS or not) has shipped with a browser and has made it the default for any API rendering that needs to occur (e.g. Ubuntu, Android, OS X, Windows, iOS, Firefox OS, etc).
Netscape's business model would have held the internet back significantly. If Microsoft was forced to provide IE on a CD and sell that CD for $40 then frankly it could have held the internet back at least five years.
FTP? Wget? Xmodem? Does it even matter? It's not as if downloading a piece of software without a browser is an impossibility. About 99% of the software on the machine I write this on has been downloaded using something called a package manager and the boot CD that started the process was downloaded as a torrent. No browser required.
> Netscape's business model would have held the internet back significantly. If Microsoft was forced to provide IE on a CD and sell that CD for $40 then frankly it could have held the internet back at least five years.
You can't make statements like that. This is the reality we live in, there is no undo/redo/replay so we only have data about this reality. What would or could have happened if things had not gone the way they did is immaterial, for all you know we'd have moved faster rather than slower. We just do not know. What we do know is that Microsoft engaged in illegal anti-competitive behavior, and that they continued this for quite a while after they were already convicted using their lobbying power to get-out-of-jail free.
People were downloading files long before browsers were commonplace.
I think the world is probably a worse place if every computer user was given a command prompt and asked to use wget over FTP to get themselves a web browser. Or worse, if they had to go to Best Buy to buy one on DVD. Like, I can and will make a joke about having to try and put the DVD into the smartphone, but seriously, that sounds worse for pretty much everybody.
Yes, there are people that probably would have preferred Peter Tattam's company to be bought by MS. (It was shareware, see thread here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2282875). But it definitely wasn't an obligation.
Very few would argue that an OS has to have a browser to be functional. Just like very few would argue that all networking should be done in a user space process not part of the operating system.
An OS doesn't have to have a file browser either, yet no one cried antitrust when Windows 95 bundled Windows Explorer instead of forcing people to buy Norton Commander.
This whole argument is kind of silly anyways since it's leaving out intent, which is a very important contextual part of evaluating the action of a person or entity. Seeing emails showing MS trying to deliberately get web developers hooked on a "more standards-compliant" IE and then locking those same devs in is a much different thing than MS honestly wanting people to have a decent default software base to go with Windows, even if both strategies end up in practice with "IE 4 preinstalled".
The problem with them including IE with windows was that IE wasn't following standards. The idea was to force the server market to tend towards IIS instead of other servers. Netscape cared because they made their real money from server software.
And this is really important to remember. For a good time in the 2000s I worked on software that only worked in IE because the "tech people" thought that "Windows Integrated Authentication", where you would just automatically be logged into a web app if you used IE + IIS as the server, was more secure.
It was a nightmare of coupling, and it's one of the reasons that IE was so hard to get rid of in the enterprise.
Releasing IE for free did not kill Netscape, because Netscape was negotiating with computer OEM manufacturers for them to buy bulk licenses and factory-install Netscape.
This is exactly how Windows is sold through OEMs, and like Windows, the effect is that the consumer gets the software "for free" (since it is included in the total price of the computer). So: Netscape and IE would have both come with every new computer.
Microsoft told OEMs that, in effect, they could not buy Windows if they intended to install Netscape on it. That is illegal tying, and is what killed Netscape, as it cut off a major potential source of new revenue.
If you are referring to Microsoft's bundling of IE, that did not kill Netscape. It just buried the rotting corpse.
Before IE was bundled with Windows, it was sold in stores as a boxed product, right next to Netscape's boxed product. Going head to head in retail software stores (Egghead, CompUSA), IE massively outsold Netscape. This is what killed Netscape.
The reason IE outsold Netscape at retail was simple--it was a much better browser. Netscape introduced a lot of proprietary tags, which Microsoft included in IE. Microsoft also introduced proprietary tags, which Netscape often ignored. For the end user, the result was simple: IE correctly rendered more pages than Netscape. It was also better on resource usage, if I remember correctly, which was a much bigger deal then than it is now.
Computer manufacturers were told that they could not buy Windows for their computers if they intended to factory-install Netscape. That's not consumer choice, that is the definition of criminally leveraging a monopoly in one market to dominate another.
True, but companies change. I was, too, a MS fan turned hater, but I'm willing to give them another chance -- look how far Bill Gates has come. I certainly prefer them over Big Brother Google.
EDIT: In fact, I prefer the old-guard companies like MS and Oracle to Google's and Facebook's new guard. The old guard is easy to figure out: they're out for profit. The new guard is a lot tricker: sure they're out for profit, too, but usually in a roundabout way that involves subterfuge, baiting people with "free" stuff, spying on their customers and their acquaintances, and various propaganda made to convince people they're working in their best interest.
That's not why we call them incorporated. 'Body' or 'corpus' are synonyms for 'organization'. They are called corporations because the embody some coordinated effort, not because someone realized "hey, this organization seems to have a personality. I'll call it a corporation."
No, 'incorporated' is another way of saying something is a legal entity independent of those that create it.
But since corporations tend to assume a lot of the traits of the people that run them and are given significant subsets of the rights normally afforded to real-life human beings the line between corporate identities and persons can blur to the point where we are allowed to ascribe (some) personal traits to corporations.
The reason they are called corporations is language and vocabulary. The word is like body, as in the body politic. The etymology of corporation is Latin compare "combine in one body" or "persons united in a body for some purpose". That is why we have the word. Everything you added is modern and irrelevant to the question of why we use this word.
"The modern joint-stock corporation has many sources in medieval Europe. First among these was corporate law itself. Although the era is commonly referred to as "feudalism," for the hierarchy of individually owned "fiefs" of land and control of serfs as fixtures of that land, large amounts of wealth in Europe were actually controlled by corporate entities. Chief among these were church lands, the corporate entities being dioceses, religious orders and the Roman Church itself. These entities controlled a substantial fraction of the land in Western Europe. Furthermore cities (with varying degrees of political independence), merchant guilds, craft guilds, and many charitable entities (such as hospitals) were legal "corporations," i.e. artificial and perpetual legal persons under law. Some basic issues in corporate law (for example, when are officers individually liable for acts of the corporation, and when the corporation is liable for acts of its agents) had already been solved in canon law and urban law long before the joint-stock corporation."
and more on the "Origins of the Joint-Stock Company"
Companies don't have agencies or personalities. People do. You're aware that a huge portion of the people responsible for the shenanigans of previous decades have left the company, right? Give the current crew credit.
You're way out of line. I dislike Google and Apple right about as much as I dislike Microsoft, the only difference there is that they seem to have a lesser string of convictions behind their names (for now, give them some time).
If you really took the time to go through my posting history you'd see that I'm pretty evenhanded.
Of the big companies I use google where I can't avoid it, don't have a facebook account, there is one apple product in this house (a 2007 issue iMac which I keep running for testing purposes), my phone is an ancient (and indestructible) Nokia and I have an active twitter handle. That's about it.
So no, my M.O. is not exactly to just shit on anything Microsoft, it's just that Microsoft was - and is - worse than most. See: patents, intellectual ventures (you didn't really believe that MS didn't have a hand in that?), subversion of various legal proceedings against MS and even after being convicted using their lobbying power and business muscle to avoid their punishment.
That's probably a record for any tech company, feel free to list examples of worse behavior in the software world if you're aware of any.
>This is not about Microsoft just doing 'stupid stuff sometimes' it is about institutionalized criminal behavior sanctioned at the highest level of one of the largest software companies in the world.
Welcome to American corporate culture :)
You have to keep in mind that Microsoft had a monopoly for a very long time. While their actions may, in your world view, be "criminal", as a corporation Microsoft was acting completely rationally. As a public corporation, they have an obligation to maximize value for shareholders. You also have to keep in mind the historical context: back then, there was no such thing as "social responsibility".
Perhaps obligation is a poor word choice. I meant it more in the sense of the invisible hand and rationality. As a rational actor, Microsoft was maximizing their utility, given whatever their utility function/curve is.
By that reason we should all go into the drugs trade. I don't buy that for a second. Rational actors are not normally driven to illegal behavior unless someone makes a decision to that effect saying 'damn the consequences, let's commit this crime'. That's a very dangerous line to cross. It came within a whisker of getting Microsoft to be broken up and I can't believe that they would have taken that risk if they knew that was a possible consequence. And I firmly believe they should have been broken up, that would have sent a strong signal that anti-competitive behavior is not acceptable. Instead, now we have a bigger mess.
Maximizing shareholder value would also include, I suppose, keeping the company reputation good enough so that talented people would still want to work with them and their products. That's not what happened here. I too was a Microsoft enthusiast once, but their bad behavior made me turn my back on them. Jacques and myself are certainly not alone in that decision.
In theory, yes, and these days reputation plays an extremely important role because of the massive amounts of network effects social media and the like provide. I was never a fan of Microsoft because they historically shipped substandard products. (I remember the days of windows 3.1 on my p2)
My post was merely trying to indicate that what Microsoft did in a monopoly position is not in any way unique or special. Every monopoly will behave in this manner, because corporations are rational actors.
If you aren't allowed to criticize a company because "as a public corporation, they have an obligation to maximize value for shareholders," then that means their profitability calculation no longer has to include bad PR, because nothing will be bad PR once someone like you points out that the corporation had to do it--it's all very circular.
I've also been pretty unforgiving about things that Microsoft did in the past to crush competing web browsers, competing standards like OpenGL or ODF, Linux or open-source in general. And sorry, but I do not agree with that article by Hanselman.
Thing is, I treat companies like I treat people. Legally speaking, isn't that what they want, in the US anyway? So if you violate my trust, it's goodbye until I see serious amends being made.
However I must say that with this move I'm finally ready to forgive Microsoft. I've always seen .NET as a platform created for achieving lock-in with Windows, the ECMA standard (while better than Java's JCP, which is a farce) I've seen as an attempt to paint a turd and Mono, while a wonderful effort, I've never seen as good enough. Open-sourcing .NET is a wonderful move, because now we've got a credible alternative to the JVM and this move couldn't come with better timing, given the dickish moves by Sun/Oracle against Apache Harmony and Android's Dalvik / ART.
And don't get me wrong, compared to other people I do not have double standards in this regard. I've been a Google fanboy for years, but my eyes are wide open now and I'm making moves to escape their lock-in ;-)
I would say this is a really bad strategy. According to unwritten HN rules, I should now start explaining why I think there are differences between a company and a person, and why they should be treated differently thereof.
Why? Do you disagree with the concept of voting with your wallet?
How else can you get companies to listen to your needs? And my needs as a developer and a user are simple - I need my privacy, an open web and a healthy open-source ecosystem. And I'll vote with my wallet and I'll bitch against any company that has a problem with that - and I'll also encourage alternatives that cater to my needs.
The world would be a much better place if all people behaved like this IMHO - oh, so are the shareholders a company's top priority? Not my problem.
>...things that Microsoft did in the past to crush competing web browsers, competing standards like OpenGL or ODF, Linux or open-source in general.
>I must say that with this move I'm finally ready to forgive Microsoft.
Well, it's not a single event thing, but a series of events.
Upgrading IExplorer to something that can be called a modern browser and helping to estinguish IExplorer 6 is another event. Replacing Balmer was another event. Partnering with Xamarin (instead of crushing them with patents) was another event. Releasing Office Mobile for Android and iOS was another event. Etc...
As to why they are doing this, I don't really care as long as they are aligned with my needs. Plus I'm allowed to change my mind, depending on my mood :-)
I like Hanselman's blog a lot, but I found that post pretty disappointing. The reason there are a lot of people running around saying "Microsoft killed my pappy!" is because Microsoft actually did kill a lot of people's pappies, back in the day.
When someone comes into town and shoots your pappy, it's not something you forget or forgive easily. The burden is on Microsoft to prove that they're not the same company as they were back then, not on the people they wronged to get over it.
At this point there is literally nothing Microsoft can do to win these people over. They've done everything they could do short of porting the Windows UI to Linux (and even then... this and Powershell brings it pretty close). They're a huge contributor to open source, they support Linux pretty heavily on Azure, they open sourced their .NET as seen here, they listened to their customers on Windows 10, they're doing great things in mobile, putting out great hardware in the Surface line, pushing IE forward to match their competitors and the changing web, and that's just getting started.
So no, at this point it is on the Microsoft haters to get over it. And if you can't get over it, then just ignore it. As someone who works partially in the Windows world and thus is interested in Microsoft news, I'm tired of Microsoft news being flagged off the front page constantly. I'm tired of seeing something about Windows and the comments being filled with people hating on Windows 8 for bullshit rather than good discussion about the article. I'm tired of seeing great news like this and have people say "yeah but in 1994 they...". That was 20 years ago. Fucking get over it. Microsoft sure has.
If Microsoft is still doing things wrong, it's completely overshadowed by their detractors constantly shutting down legitimate discussions with their insane rambling about the past.
>"a bribery scandal involving distributors selling Microsoft products"
I'm not sure Best Buy reflects that poorly on Microsoft.
>"They reportedly have raised over $5.5 billion from many large companies including Microsoft, Intel, Sony, Nokia, Apple, Google, Yahoo, American Express, Adobe, SAP, Nvidia, and eBay, plus investment firms such as Stanford, Hewlett Foundation, Mayo Clinic, and Charles River Ventures."
Again, doesn't reflect that poorly on Microsoft.
>Munich reverses course, may ditch Linux for Microsoft
Is a software sales company supposed to not sell software? That's what they do. How does that reflect poorly on them?
You're hating a corporation for doing what corporations do, and hating a tech company for things tech companies do. Like I said, it's time to get over it or just shut the hell up and ignore it. I understand that your religion tells you to hate Microsoft. But some of us don't subscribe to that line of thinking, and you're ruining it for the rest of us by controlling conversations and shutting down discussions.
> I'm not sure Best Buy reflects that poorly on Microsoft.
Best buy didn't enter into it, you probably did not fully read the link. This was about Romania, not about the USA.
> Again, doesn't reflect that poorly on Microsoft.
It does, because IV is best described as a patent troll in a nice suit.
> Is a software sales company supposed to not sell software? That's what they do. How does that reflect poorly on them?
Because they struck a deal to relocate their headquarters to Munich if and only if the government would ditch linux.
I don't have any religion, I'm just against companies that engage in illegal acts. That 'some of us don't subscribe to that line of thinking' is a pity, I'm not shutting anybody down, nor am I controlling the conversation. In fact, I'm happy that MS open sourced this code.
I agree Intellectual Ventures is a patent troll, but are they that involved with Microsoft? Their founder Nathan Myhrvold is the former CTO of Microsoft (he left in 2000), but I don't see any other connections.
Ah ok, that explains it. 'Nutjob', 'Asshole', when arguments fail resort to namecalling. I've got nothing against you, but I have my personal reasons for disliking Microsoft, I don't know what it is you want from me but you seem to be taking this a bit too personal. Try not to associate too much with your favorite brands, lest someone would start to think you have a stake in this.
Note that I'm here with my full name and rep out in the open whereas you're the HN equivalent of an anonymous coward.
For the record, jacquesm has been civil while detailing his criticisms of Microsoft. The irony of your post is that you are behaving like an asshole, but you don't see it that way because you are blinded by your loyalty to a singular entity or opinion/viewpoint. It's ok to disagree with someone (though I disagree with pg's stance on down voting b/c you disagree), but it's not ok to resort to name calling just to prove your point.
I'm sorry, I don't see jacquesm being all that civil. It started off well enough, but they have been spreading FUD ever since. The links they're posting about how "evil" Microsoft has been this year have been argued against, but jacquesm never bothered acknowledging that. They just continued repeating "Microsoft is evil", which is exactly what has me so pissed.
If you don't try to follow Microsoft news, you might not see how frustrating it is. Everywhere on the Internet (save for Paul Thurrott's site) shuts down any Microsoft news immediately, drowning out any legitimate conversation with complaints about how evil Microsoft is. And if you challenge that by saying they work just like any other company, the troll says "yeah but I hate them all" followed with "this article is about Microsoft, not about Apple". Yet only a certain few companies manage to draw such ridiculous levels of trolling. Hell, look at the Amazon Echo announcement the other day. Two articles made it to the front page, and both were filled with "but NSA lol it's a trap".
If I'm an asshole, it's only because I bothered to call out jacquesm. I'm not going to apologize for anything I said. jacquesm is trolling this article with deception and bad intentions, ignoring any arguments they don't like or doesn't fit their worldview, and most certainly is not civilly defending their criticisms.
I really cannot stress my frustration enough, and I see it in others as well. If you don't use Microsoft products, it's easy to think you're just having fun and not doing anything wrong when you come into a thread and begin a discussion about everything Microsoft has done wrong. For some reason, Microsoft is one of the few companies where this is socially acceptable on the Internet, and people like me are shut down or, like you are doing, called a shill. I'm not loyal to Microsoft. I'm running Windows 7 in a RHEL 6 VM, using Firefox to post this. But guess what, my livelihood depends partially on supporting Microsoft products, so I follow them in the news.
All I want to do is make the point that coming into Microsoft threads and saying "Microsoft is evil" is not being a good citizen, not being productive, and not being civil. And if that's all you have to contribute to the thread, you're being an asshole.
I think it's hilarious that jacquesm can get away with focusing on the word "asshole" in my last comment, though, and ignoring the one point I've been repeating since the beginning:
Ignore it. Just move on. Go comment on articles that are interesting to you, involving companies or people or organizations you don't despise. Just stop fucking dragging down legitimate discussions with the line "they're evil", and stop pulling the defense "I just don't like evil companies, that's all". You're not innocent.
On the IBM front I think you need to reconsider. http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-02/ibm-says-justice... (apologies for mobile link). I've read your comments throughout this thread, and am curious, what will MS have to do to get back in your good books? As far as I'm concerned, they're far less shady than google, oracle, yet your own views seem to be against giving them a chance.
Well as your parent post indicates MS did a lot of bad shit. "oh I screwed you mommy over again and again, no worries, no foul, now we are chums, lets be all buddy buddy and sing Kumbaya in a circle" doesnt work all that well in practice and neither should it. That is what learning from past experiences is about.
When a behavior gets institutionalized, it is likely to repeat more often than not. It requires exceptional evidence and time before for trust to be regained.
A person rises up in a typical institution by following and embracing its institutional patterns. When they have their back to the wall how unlikely are they to fall back on their old patterns, heck they neednt even have their back on the wall.
Now if someone gets get screwed over by them, no ones more to blame than themselves. As they say, "fool me once ..."
It is entirely possible that someone else does similar damage to your business in an unethical way, but if one goes to a repeat offender and gets treated that way, the shame is on him / her.
Yes, but as my post indicates, they've done a lot of good stuff since the bad stuff they did 20 years ago. They've had exceptional evidence and time, but hating Microsoft is just the thing to do in some IT circles. It doesn't matter what MS does, the cool kids will still hate them.
And that's fine. I just don't want to hear about it. You're mad. We get it. You don't have to like them, all we ask is that you stop bringing it up in every thread. See also: bringing up Google Reader in every Google thread or bringing up the NSA in every thread about cloud providers. We know bad things happened. But you're still dragging the thread off-topic.
... and therefore people should curtail their speech ? stop talking about relevant things that transpired ? May be you are a tad shaky on the concept, lets burn all the existing history books and those about to be written.
> They've had exceptional evidence and time
That is your opinion. The way it works is that you dont get to decide for someone else who has lost the trust whether MS has done enough, its the prerogative of the person who has lost the trust. The waiter at a restaurant chews on the serving and says this food is perfectly fine and you must push it down your throat isnt a very solid defense of the food. The buck stops at the desk of the restaurant patron.
And who said 'hate' ? That seems like your construct. Its a question of choice, should one buy into the MS ecosystem or not. Every person makes his / her own choice. I for one am now more willing to invest time in learning F#, but quite queasy about being dependent on that ecosystem financially.
> But you're still dragging the thread off-topic.
Oh really ? what exactly was off-topic in the thread and why. As I said, perhaps you are a little slow on the concepts.
> the bad stuff they did 20 years ago
False, and this has been amply demonstrated on this thread. But the time is not relevant. What is the relevant is the confidence / assurance that it wont happen again and the wisdom or the lack of patronizing a repeat offender. Why did those bad things happen, and why wont those things happen again. Whoever wants to use their products need answers that satisfy them. Different consumers will have different standards.
Perhaps it is good teachable moment for corporations. Deliberate and repeat actions can continue to affect them long after. If those in charge were so concerned, they perhaps should have thought it through. After all you make the bed you lie in.
A parting thought, those bad shit, they were far from an impetuous one off.
IMHO the long list of items you added to the restaurant analogy does not make the analogy a more accurrate representation of the relationship of Microsoft to the users of their products.
In fact (again IMHO) your description is laughable if it is intended to accurately represent Microsofts's efforts to reconcile with users it has wronged in the past.
Microsoft simply hasn't put in anything like that kind of effort to instill confindence in their good will toward their customers. Obviously srean probably agrees with me on that point.
> So please just go away.
Telling srean to go away is just not in the spirit of this site. He/she (I honestly don't know which it is) has been reasonably civil, and did not attack you personally. You simply don't agree with him/her. He/she has contributed reasonably to the conversation, so you have no valid reason to ask him/her to stop commenting on the topic.
And lastly (again, IMHO) your comments appear to be much more troll-like than his/hers. You have been much less civil in this conversation than srean.
Many people who hate Microsoft do it as a pavlonian response to years upon years of fighting against crappy Microsoft products. People who'd like to spend 90% of their time creating instead spend 25% creating, 30% watering it down enough to be easily "cross platform", and 45% of their time figuring out why-the-fuck-it-doesn't-work-in-Internet-Explorer. This is the same browser where merely calling console.log threw an error until surprisingly recently.
I met a bunch of the IE folks at CES 2012, and I honestly believe their trying to be better web citizens. They are still slower than I'd like, but IE isn't quite terrible anymore. I have friends who work at various browser vendors, and I don't sense any lingering ill-will towards IE.
That said, I certainly understand why some people are slow to get excited about Microsoft. You don't have to be middle-aged to have personally experienced the bad side of Microsoft.
The problem with this argument is that even if there were multible open source platforms you have "cross platform" problems. Any deversity will result in extra work. So you can either have the one thing to rule them all, or you will have to spend time on doing it for everything.
I admit that IE was shit and it did cost a lot of time. But how about we get over it? They admitied that IE was shitty and now they are doing much better.
There are products from other company that used to be shit, now they are better and people dont still hate on that.
Also, dont think im a idialist who does not remember the past, I was optimizing for IE6 not all that long ago.
Sometimes is justified, never say never, but it will take short of a miracle for me to trust Internet Explorer in any way, shape or form after setting back the Open Web for years (I know that IE 11 is way better, but to little, to late)
Now saying that, I think that an Open Source .NET stack is a wonderful thing! I like C# a lot.
It's not mainly that free software threats their bottom line, it's rather that mobile and cloud is the future, and traditionally their bottom line was of course server and desktop.
So they are being very aggressive in the cloud and mobile area which is understandable. But where does this leave .NET, visual studio etc? Those are no longer the tools with which megacorps make their intranets, or where Photoshop and Call Of Duty is made. Cloud and mobile is about scale. They want thousands of cloud apps and mobile apps to be made. They can give their tools away and make money on tablets and azure. Azure runs Linux!
So making the tools free is a natural step in becoming a service company. Making them cross platform is natural since Microsoft now sells cross platform services.
No one thinks Microsoft isn't only concerned with their bottom line. It's not a charity. But that's not to say this is some kind of greedy trap. It's probably a good move for both devs and microsoft.
>But where does this leave .NET, visual studio etc? Those are no longer the tools with
>which megacorps make their intranets, or where Photoshop and Call Of Duty is made
.NET was never the tool where Photoshop and Call of Duty was made, but a significant amount of mobile apps and games nowadays are made using Xamarin and Unity, tools that run on top of Mono, a cross-platform implementation of .NET. If anything the Microsoft announcement brings Mono and .NET closer together. And I think you will find that a significant (if not majority) proportion of megacorps do run their intranets on SharePoint. SharePoint is and has been customisable using .NET libraries and tools.
Sorry with the CoD/PS remark I was referring to their decision of making Visual Studio community edition, not the open sourcing of .NET.
VS will of course still be used by megacorps to make those huge apps, and ms will still charge them for it.
The free VS + open .NET just means single devs and startups have fewer reasons left to pick e.g node, jvm or Python as their platform. unlike before, these small players are very interesting since one of them is making the next minecraft and will host it on Azure.
The post says Microsoft was convicted of anti-trust for "for bundling a browser in the operating system that couldn't be uninstalled or easily replaced."
That is not true. Microsoft was convicted because they told 3rd party computer manufacturers that they could not purchase Windows if they intended to install any additional browsers. Not only is that illegal, but it demonstrably harmed innovation in web browsers for years.
I don't believe Microsoft killed my pappy, and I use MS software every single day. But I also don't believe in minimizing or misrepresenting the facts of the past.
Also, wasn't there a remote root exploit for samba4 patched just days ago?
However, there's really no reason to expose samba shares to the Internet. There are much better and more secure methods. As to the unfortunate victim, there's most likely no way anyone will be able to retrieve what has been locked by the remote attacker - except the remote attacker.
I host my own Fever service on nearlyfreespeech.net. Fever has a UI to access feeds and some apps, like Reeder on iOS, can pull from Fever accounts. I've had my Fever service running a few weeks before Google announced Reader was going away. I haven't had any problems with Fever.It costs me a total of $2 to $1 per month to host. Setting it up was very easy and the instructions are very detailed.
I rely on wiziwig to watch Football/Soccer streams. The quality for Flash video streams is not great but it's enough for me to know what's going on.
There are additional sites mentioned on this post .