[EAS]Microsoft Antitrust Story

pjk peter.kindlmann at yale.edu
Wed Jan 31 01:57:00 EST 2001

Subject:   Microsoft Antitrust Story

Dear Colleagues -

I let me subscription to WIRED run out quite a while ago, the
garish colors and typography made my eyes hurt. But that doesn't
mean there aren't some good articles published there. E.g.


by John Heilemann about the Microsoft antitrust case. 

If you enjoy the writing of Po Bronson ("The First 20 Million is
Always the Hardest", a funny, barely disguised, treatment of the
origins of Java) or Michael Lewis ("The New New Thing: A Silican
Valley Story", a splendidly surreal non-fiction account about Jim
Clark and his founding of Silicon Graphics and Netscape), then
you'll also like this nonfiction "untold story of the Microsoft
antitrust case and what it means for the future of Bill Gates and
his company" by John Heilemann. He had access throughout the
proceedings to the principals of the case, both in the Department
of Justice (DOJ) and Silicon Valley (less so at Redmond), with
details of course only publishable after the case was over. It
makes great reading. Do print it out (some 50 pages) in a format
visually comfortable for you. Bronson, Lewis and Heilemann are to
my mind the finest exponents of the atmosphere of High-Tech and
Silicon Valley.

A few quotes:

> Nathan Myhrvold attributed the government's crusade to the impulses
> of "very successful people whose deepest regret is that they're not
> as rich as Bill."

> Handing Gates an email he'd written, Boies [DOJ lead counsel]
> offhandedly remarked that at the top of the message Gates had typed
> "Importance: High." 
> "No," Gates said curtly. 
> "No?" 
> "No, I didn't type that." 
> Then who did? 
> "A computer." 

> [Judge} Jackson's disdain for Microsoft's defense became more and
> more evident. "The code of tribal wisdom," he said, "says that when
> you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to
> dismount." 

> By the end of the second day, his testimony had taken on the flavor
> of a software-world 'Scenes from a Marriage'. The Intel-Microsoft
> coupling had always seemed a union of equals. But in the picture
> McGeady [of Intel] painted, it was Microsoft that clearly wore the
> pants in the family, while Intel played the part of the
> long-suffering spouse, sticking with the relationship because, as
> one Intel memo put it, "divorce will be bad for the kids." ("The
> kids," McGeady explained, were the OEMs and other industry
> players.)

All best,  --Peter Kindlmann

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