Microsoft responds to Netscape letter.

I Find Karma (
Sat, 24 Aug 96 03:18:31 PDT wrote:

This document has some great lines. I'd like to point out a few.

> By working with many partners and customers and delivering superior
> products to the marketplace, Microsoft hopes to bring tens or even
> hundreds of millions of new computer users onto the Internet and
> contribute to making the Web much richer, more dynamic and more useful.

"Delivering superior products"!?! Here, we have to refer to the words
of The Prophet. We'll have a responsive reading from the Book of Jobs,
Canon 12, Verse 10:

| The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste; they have
| absolutely no taste. And what that means is--I don't mean that in a
| small way, I mean that in a big way--in the sense that they don't think
| of original ideas and they don't bring much culture into their
| product. And you say "Why is that important?" Well, you know,
| proportionally spaced fonts come from typesetting and beautiful books,
| that's where one gets the idea. If it weren't for the Mac, they would
| never have that in their products. And so I guess I am saddened, not
| by Microsoft's success--I have no problem with their success, they've
| earned their success, for the most part--I have a problem with the fact
| that they just make really third-rate products."
| -- Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Computer, Inc. from the PBS
| documentary, "Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental
| Empires in Silicon Valley"

Continuing with the Microsoft document...

> We believe we took a great step forward with the August 12 release of
> Internet Explorer 3.0, our full-featured Web browser, which has
> received an enthusiastic consumer response (more than 1,000,000 people
> downloaded Internet Explorer 3.0 in the first week that it was
> available)

Yes, but that million includes lots of people like our very own Tim
Byars (applause), who downloaded it just so he could look into the face
of mediocrity and laugh.

> Netscapes August 12 letter to the Department of Justice--and its
> decision to release the supposedly "confidential" letter to the media
> earlier this week is a transparent attempt to divert attention from
> our progress.

Exactly (microsoft) which (microsoft) software (microsoft) company
(microsoft) does (microsoft) Microsoft (microsoft) think (microsoft)
Netscape (microsoft) leanred (microsoft) this (microsoft) from?

> Netscapes letter consists of a series of wild and irresponsible
> allegations that have no basis in law or fact.

Who cares? It makes for better reading when you ignore trivial details
like facts.

> Netscape trumpets the claim that every day another 150,000 copies of
> Navigator are downloaded from its Web site.

Yeah, only because my stupid educational license runs out every 4.3
days, and I have to go get another hit from the Netscape dealer.

> Microsofts progress is the result of hard work, product improvement,
> mutually beneficial partnerships, and creative marketing.

Note again that "commitment to a quality product" doesn't make the list...

> The vigorous competition between Netscape and Microsoft has led to the
> availability of better browsers, attractive promotions for consumers
> and improvements in the Web experience at a dizzying pace with no let
> up in sight.

And far be it for them to wait for the W3C before making decisions.

> But now Netscape is seeking government aid to protect it from the
> competitive challenge that Microsoft poses to its position in Web
> browsers. That is exactly the opposite of what the antitrust laws
> are all about.

Do you think Microsoft really believes the fertilizer that they're
shovelling, or are they just taking the high road because it looks
good in public? I read Jerry Kaplan's _Startup_, so I know the
nasty competition-stomping practices Microsoft takes by letting its
Internet, language, OS, and application divisions all talk with each

> Netscape claims that Microsoft offers OEMs a $3.00 discount on Windows
> 95 if the OEM agrees to make competing browsers "far less accessible
> to users." This is false. OEMs who license Windows 95 for installation
> on new PCs are entirely free to ship any other software they like on
> those machines, without any effect on their Windows 95 royalties to
> Microsoft.

Translation: It won't affect their Windows 95 royalties, but it will
affect their royalties on something else like Microsoft Office which is
bundled with Windows 95 by most OEMs.

> There is not and has never been any $3.00 discount for making
> competing browsers "less accessible."

Translation: It's not a discount. It's a BRIBE. And it's not "less
accessible." It's "more unaccessible."

> OEMs are free to place icons for other software products on the
> Windows 95 "desktop" or on the Windows 95 programs menu, where they
> will be easily accessible to computer users.

Translation: OEMs are free to do anything they want to get on our bad
side, and Microsoft never forgets.

> Also false is Netscapes claim that some PC makers are prohibited from
> carrying Netscape Navigator under their license agreements with
> Microsoft. Hitachi has publicly denied Netscapes allegations
> concerning the company.

Translation: We were able to use Machiavellian intimidation techniques
to coerce Hitachi into making a public statement on our behalf.

> Hitachi has explained that it has never "refused" to ship Navigator or
> any other software product due to any provision in a Microsoft license
> and that Hitachi is always free to choose the best software available
> to meets its vision for computer users.

Translation: "Refused" is such a harsh word; we prefer to use the term

> Hitachi has confirmed that, in fact, it ships both Netscape Navigator
> and Microsofts Internet Explorer with its notebook computers today.

Translation: Its notebook computers include a copy of IE 3.0 and
Netscape Navigator 0.85alpha. The user is free to choose whichever
browser he or she finds most compelling.

> Microsoft is working hard to compete with Netscape in the distribution
> of Web browser software through Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
> Although Netscape still has a significant lead, we are making progress
> because of the widely-recognized quality of Internet Explorer 3.0

"Widely-recognized quality"!?! Here, we have to refer to the words
of The Profit. We'll have a responsive reading from the Book of Byars,
Canon 12, Verse 10:

| I take a shower.
| I fix a snack.
| I watch some TV.
| I fix another snack.
| It arrives. I install it.
| Ok, first off. It has a REAL SLICK interface. Lets say it again,
| REAL SLICK. If you haven't seen it I can't really describe it other
| than to say it looks like something that a highly paid Portagese
| designer would do.
| So I look around. Hmm.. it brought my Netscape bookmarks into it.
| It called them bookmark$. Childish Lets see what it does,
| bookmark$/computer/, hmm.... not their, even
| though I put a leading space in front of it to force it to
| the top of the list in Netscape. Ok, More Bookmarks.
| Now I get a open folder at the "Finder" level of Win'95 filled with
| shortcuts (aliases) there it is, I double click
| on it...
| Guess what?
| It launches Netscape!!!!!!!! ROFL, LOL, SMNILSO (slapping my knee
| I'm laughing so hard)
| ooops..
| At this point the test was over. On Monday I'll install Netscape 3.0
| with NeXTscape mail and deleate IE 3.0.

Back to the book of Gates...

> To make it easy for computer users to get hooked up to the Internet,
> Windows 95 will soon include a feature that offers computer users the
> opportunity to sign up with various ISPs who service their geographic
> area. The ISP will pay Microsoft a small fee for each customer who
> signs up for Internet service via this arrangement. Although the terms
> of the agreement vary, the ISP generally also agrees to distribute
> Microsofts Internet Explorer as its preferred browser to customers who
> come to it through the Microsoft connection. In other words, if
> Microsoft helps an ISP secure a customer, the ISP will generally do
> likewise for Microsoft.

Ginsberg's Theorem:
1. You can't win.
2. You can't break even.
3. You can't even quit the game...

> Significantly, however, these agreements do not obligate ISPs to
> distribute Internet Explorer exclusively

Translation: We'll let them ship lynx, too.

> There are literally thousands of ISPs in the world.

How long will this last? 1 year more? Maybe 2?

> Certainly Netscape does not lack vehicles to promote its products
> with 85 million hits per day, Netscape claims that its Web site is the
> most widely visited in the world.

Of course, they neglect to mention that these 85 million hits are all by
the same three clueless newbies...

> For customers seeking an operating systems on which to run server
> software, Microsoft offers Windows NT Server, which is designed and
> tested for use as a server platform. For customers seeking an
> interactive workstation operating system that will also support
> limited peer services (such as file and print sharing and peer
> Web services), Microsoft offers Windows NT Workstation with these
> capabilities under a limited use license at a lower price point.

Amazing how even in an opinion piece, Microsoft Marketing Mode (TM) is
turned on. Let's turn it off:

M-x microsoft-marketing-mode-off

> Microsoft has not used "secret" APIs in Windows NT Server, and
> Netscape knows it. Netscape is apparently referring to the AcceptEx
> API, a matter which was discussed in recent correspondence between
> Netscape and Microsoft.

Translation: Microsoft didn't do it, nobody saw Microsoft do it, you
can't prove anything.

> As shown in Microsofts reply to Netscape (email dated August 15 from
> Microsofts Paul Maritz to Rick Schell of Netscape), Netscape is
> mistaken as to the timing of the development of the AcceptEx API.

Since when is email admissible as evidence in a court of law?

> A representative of Microsoft telephoned Marc Andreeseen personally to
> advise him of new functionality in Service Pack 3.0 that Netscape
> might want to utilize, and Microsoft delivered Service Pack 3.0 to
> Netscape by overnight courier.

Ah, the Pony Express. When it absolutely positively has to be there in
3 or 4 months or so.

Just so happens FoRK's team of spies got ahold of the letter that was
send that fateful night.

| Dear Mrs, Mr, Miss, or Mr and Mrs Andreeesseeeen: Words cannot
| express the deep personal grief I experienced when your husband,
| son, father, brother, or software was killed, wounded, or reported
| missing in action.

Back to Bill...

> Microsoft develops and documents APIs for its operating systems
> products to make those products more attractive to software vendors as
> platforms for applications development---not because of any legal
> considerations.

Translation: We're no longer afraid of the law. We ARE the law.

> Antitrust rules do not require companies to share technology with
> their competitors (and we note that Netscape has refused to provide
> much basic information about Navigator that would enable other software
> vendors to build Netscape-compatible Internet products).

Ha! That's where Microsoft is wrong. Basic information about Navigator
is the only kind of information that exists!

And if Microsoft doesn't like it they can go wallow in the Mozilla

In fact, let's refer Microsoft to the words of The Troglodyte.
We'll have a responsive reading from the Book of Mozilla,
Canon 12, Verse 10:

| And the beast shall come forth surrounded by a roiling cloud of
| vengeance. The house of the unbelievers shall be razed and they
| shall be scorched to the earth. Their tags shall blink until the
| end of days.

And if you don't like it, Netscape's prepared to give you a swirl...

Back to Microflaccid...

> Microsofts free distribution of Internet Explorer is not in any way
> "predatory."

Translation: The word "predatory" would imply that there's actually
some kind of "prey" here worth eating.

paradigm shifting without a clutch,