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Windows development chief 'would buy a Mac'


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SpliCer261

 
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Editor's note: This story was reprinted from Computerworld. For more of Computerworld's coverage of the Mac, visit its Mac Knowledge Center.


Longtime Windows development chief James Allchin wrote in a January 2004 e-mail to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and company co-founder Bill Gates that the software vendor had “lost sight” of customers’ needs and said he would buy a Mac if he wasn’t working for Microsoft.

“In my view, we lost our way,” Allchin, the co-president of Microsoft’s platform and services division, wrote in an e-mail dated Jan. 7, 2004. The e-mail was presented as evidence late last week in the Iowa antitrust trial, Comes v. Microsoft.

“I think our teams lost sight of what bug-free means, what resilience means, what full scenarios mean, what security means, what performance means, how important current applications are, and really understanding what the most important problems our customers face are. I see lots of random features and some great vision, but that does not translate into great products.”

Allchin, who has headed various aspects of Windows development since the mid-1990s but plans to retire at the end of this year with the shipping of Windows Vista, later wrote in the same e-mail that he would buy a Mac if he was not a Microsoft employee, according to transcripts from proceedings Thursday and Friday in the class-action case obtained and posted by Groklaw.net, an open-source legal Web site.

Jim Hibbs, a spokesman for Wixted Pope Nora Thompson & Associates, a Des Moines public relations firm employed by the law firm prosecuting the case, confirmed that Allchin’s quotes were read directly from his e-mails by the plaintiffs’ lawyers.

The case, filed in February 2000, charges that Microsoft used its monopoly position to overcharge Iowans for its software. Held in the Polk County District Court in Des Moines, it is one of two remaining antitrust cases — the state of Mississippi’s case is the other — brought by the U.S. government and multiple states against Microsoft starting in the late 1990s.

In 2004, Microsoft settled a class-action lawsuit accusing it of overcharging customers in California for $1.1 billion. That same year, it was also hit by a $613 million fine by the European Commission for monopolistic behavior for its free bundling of Windows Media Player with Windows. Microsoft, which has appealed the ruling, was hit by a further $356 million fine in October for failing to comply with the ruling.

Microsoft, through its public relations firm, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, was unable to comment on the Allchin e-mail immediately. Allchin has said in the past that Vista’s delayed arrival — it shipped five years after Windows XP was released — was the result of a desire to improve its security and make it perform bug-free from the get-go.

As in past antitrust trials against Microsoft, much of the evidence came in the form of e-mails from Allchin and other Microsoft executives. Ironically, Allchin himself is quoted in two internal memos directing employees to get rid of all e-mails after 30 days.

“This is not something you get to decide,” he wrote on Jan. 23, 2000. “This is company policy. Do not think this is something that only applies to a few people. Do not think it will be okay if I do this, it hasn’t caused any problems so far. Do not archive your mail. Do not be foolish. 30 days.”

Iowa’s counsel also presented evidence designed to show that an ostensibly charitable program from Microsoft for developing countries and schools was actually designed to ensure that Windows remained preinstalled on PCs to discourage competition from the open-source Linux operating system.

The so-called Education Government Incentive (or Edgi) program, appears “to be based on Microsoft generosity, but in fact the program is intended only for use where Linux is a threat,” according to Roxanne Conlin, co-counsel for Iowa.

Conlin also presented evidence of a job description for Bill Gates’ technical assistant, whose primary duty was to make sure no permanent record of Gates’ e-mail existed, Conlin said, according to transcripts.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/macworld/200...llchin20061212

You can't avoid the truth..

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ByzantineRemnant

 
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Hmm, somewhat interesting article. I think it has less to do with the man buying a Mac, and more to do with some legal issues that Microsoft is dealing with.
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I had forgotten that there were still 2 AT cases pending against MS in the states. That will change if the White House changes hands in 08


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wrote in the same e-mail that he would buy a Mac if he was not a Microsoft employee,
I don't understand why they didn't quote that part of the email. I would like to read it. Sometimes that means it's being taken out of context or manipulated. It's funny to see a cheif of development complain about the product he's responsible for developing. What else is going on there??

I wonder why there's a case against MS bundling MWP with Windows. Would they make a lawsuit against Apple for bundling iTunes with OSX??

Every company does at least some strategic manuvering in order to keep their product on top. Some just get more press than others; typically the guy on top.

Everyone knows coach Bobby Knight for his mean spirit due to all the press. But as a Purdue grad, I know Gene Keady was just as mean, but his team wasn't on top and he didn't get much press. (I suppose not throwing chairs helped also)

Apple is definitely not innocent. But I forgive Bill Gates a little since he gives away truckloads of money to charity and runs the largest charitable organization in the world. How many other money-grubbing CEO's are going to those lengths?
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The case with WMP had to do with it not allowing other players to be set as the default and/or interfering with their proper functionality. You can take or leave iTunes, and there are other alternative out there unless you're on a Mac, but that is more market driven than anything else. Either way, Apple is not blocking any other Apps from running on Mac, were their any to compete with iTunes, whereas M$ actually WAS doing that.

Apple is not innocent per-se, but Steve Jobs outlook on running a business, and life in general, is far and away out of the norm for most Fortune 500 companies. The guy used to be a hippie and has retained much of that outlook. His favorite saying is that "Apple is a company that still has it's soul".


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What is Steve Job's outlook exactly? And what is the outlook of other CEO's? The top of the list of all of CEOs is do what's good for the company and stockholders (aka make money), guaranteed.

If it came down to a personality match alone, I would definitely have to take Gates over Jobs. Blue jeans and a black turtle neck do not make a person a laid-bakc hipster. From what I've seen of interviews of former and current employees is Jobs runs his people like cattle and is relentless, never easy going or letting up. Gates I'm sure can be hard and mean too, I mean, he is a CEO, but he can also be easy and give people a pat on the back. Back when Jobs and Gates worked together , they interviewed employees who said Jobs was bascially a monster and they constantly in fear of any encounter with him.
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Well with Macs now running boot camp and gaining market share Microsoft now has a new market to "explore". If your household has a Mac and a PC they can now sell you 2 copies of Windows
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Originally Posted by fleurya View Post
What is Steve Job's outlook exactly? And what is the outlook of other CEO's? The top of the list of all of CEOs is do what's good for the company and stockholders (aka make money), guaranteed.

If it came down to a personality match alone, I would definitely have to take Gates over Jobs. Blue jeans and a black turtle neck do not make a person a laid-bakc hipster. From what I've seen of interviews of former and current employees is Jobs runs his people like cattle and is relentless, never easy going or letting up. Gates I'm sure can be hard and mean too, I mean, he is a CEO, but he can also be easy and give people a pat on the back. Back when Jobs and Gates worked together , they interviewed employees who said Jobs was bascially a monster and they constantly in fear of any encounter with him.
Your description of Jobs is accurate from what I have read. His outlook has always been somewhat beyond the buck though. Sure Apple wants to make money and will gladly take all that you will give them, but Steve has always been the kind that believes that Apples products should be works of art. Hence the striving for perfection and the sheer beauty of products like the iPod and the iMac. Where most companies live by the motto "It's good enough" Steve has never really allowed that at Apple and his drive for perfection is what brought them back from the brink. I'd hate to work for the guy, but he's made Apple into a leading innovator in the industry again, something that once seemed impossible.

As for Gates, while he might be a nicer guy, he also played a lot of backdoor and even illegal games in the 90s to get M$ to where it is today. From an ethical standpoint I have an extremely low opinion of Mr. Gates and I would submit that his philanthropy may come from some need to make up for all the dirty dealing he had to do to get there. Jobs may be a screamer, but Gates will tell you what you want to hear as he stabs you in the back.

There are any number of books on the history of Apple that will explain a lot of this and will make you look at the company, and Jobs, in a whole new light. For a list of the better ones, PM me.


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