Gates/Ozzie challenge Microsoft to “alter its business”

Well, the Ray Ozzie and Bill Gates series of memos that were sent around here are now breaking in the news (Dave Winer is linking to the important ones and has a picture of Bill Gates up on his blog to boot). Around here we call the Gates one “the birthday memo.” In honor of BillG’s 50th birthday.

They are important memos. I’m still reeling from their significance. I don’t want to be the first one to break wind in public about them, but they are long memos. The longest I’ve received since becoming a Microsoft employee. They show clear understanding of how the world has changed. They answer a lot of the points I’ve been talking about here on my blog (and, in fact, have been influencing my thinking a lot).

Yes, the guys at top are now yelling “turn, turn, turn.”

Like I said: this disruption game is fun!

Update: Dave Winer just posted the memos.

Comments

  1. I’m enjoying it from afar. portable object oriented internet connected components – gosh it would be nice to have an API which can place ICC’s into object classes and manage their interactions/UI…

  2. I’m enjoying it from afar. portable object oriented internet connected components – gosh it would be nice to have an API which can place ICC’s into object classes and manage their interactions/UI…

  3. Christopher: it’s ironic you say that given your other post you just made where you argue with me about listening to college kids. The companies who are doing best in the services space are run by college kids.

  4. Christopher: it’s ironic you say that given your other post you just made where you argue with me about listening to college kids. The companies who are doing best in the services space are run by college kids.

  5. The companies who are doing best in the services space are run by college kids.

    Spare me your Web 2.0 mashups, social software, and other assorted search-engineish rot. I am talking Enterprise/ERP, mission-critical service software, not something you know much about. Reminds me of all the dot.com straight out of college ‘click vs. brick’ hype. Or the ‘college daytraders’ taking on Wall Street. History repeating itself.

  6. The companies who are doing best in the services space are run by college kids.

    Spare me your Web 2.0 mashups, social software, and other assorted search-engineish rot. I am talking Enterprise/ERP, mission-critical service software, not something you know much about. Reminds me of all the dot.com straight out of college ‘click vs. brick’ hype. Or the ‘college daytraders’ taking on Wall Street. History repeating itself.

  7. Let’s see: Market Cap of Google: $108 billion.
    Market Cap of SAP: $13.24 billion.
    Market Cap of Oracle: $65 billion.

    So, those little college kids are kicking ass over the Enterprise Plays. You might look into why.

  8. Let’s see: Market Cap of Google: $108 billion.
    Market Cap of SAP: $13.24 billion.
    Market Cap of Oracle: $65 billion.

    So, those little college kids are kicking ass over the Enterprise Plays. You might look into why.

  9. Well RIP if they can make it work, which they won’t, so that will become an ironic saving grace. But the fast-growth turned into mature company, mature company turned into insecure angst, with eternal ranting blogger armies. And to really make Services work, you will need a whole new company, so RIP again. Buy out SAP, SAS, slew of ERP, and clunk in some Unix base…and maybe yes, but that’s a whole new company. So RIP.

  10. Well RIP if they can make it work, which they won’t, so that will become an ironic saving grace. But the fast-growth turned into mature company, mature company turned into insecure angst, with eternal ranting blogger armies. And to really make Services work, you will need a whole new company, so RIP again. Buy out SAP, SAS, slew of ERP, and clunk in some Unix base…and maybe yes, but that’s a whole new company. So RIP.

  11. Gawd, your understanding of Economics is flawed, market cap is not a good plank to stand on, have you not learnt a thing from Bubble 1.0? And Google is not a SERVICES company, they are an ADVERTISING company.

  12. Gawd, your understanding of Economics is flawed, market cap is not a good plank to stand on, have you not learnt a thing from Bubble 1.0? And Google is not a SERVICES company, they are an ADVERTISING company.

  13. Disruption? You Scoble must be talking about partner disruption because I wonder how they are going to make money now that Microsoft has moved to higher grounds.

    Not that Microsoft has solved that problem either with their server .NET thing.

    It’s a good time to be in this industry.

  14. Disruption? You Scoble must be talking about partner disruption because I wonder how they are going to make money now that Microsoft has moved to higher grounds.

    Not that Microsoft has solved that problem either with their server .NET thing.

    It’s a good time to be in this industry.

  15. I’m getting serious deja vu here. Looks like Google is the new Netscape, but with better management and smarter people. Windows is looking kind of obsolete at this point – certainly not core to the new strategy.

    Lots to see here but MS will require a huge shift in thinking and will have to find the courage to launch itself into space from the top of its current revenue model and try to learn to fly without the support of the old business.

    Its a long way down but others have crashed attempting lesser feats from similarly lofty heights.

  16. I’m getting serious deja vu here. Looks like Google is the new Netscape, but with better management and smarter people. Windows is looking kind of obsolete at this point – certainly not core to the new strategy.

    Lots to see here but MS will require a huge shift in thinking and will have to find the courage to launch itself into space from the top of its current revenue model and try to learn to fly without the support of the old business.

    Its a long way down but others have crashed attempting lesser feats from similarly lofty heights.

  17. The memos are an interesting read. Unlike other companies, what helped MS stay relevant for the past 30 years is due to memos like this where the top management understand the problems and try to rally everyone to change course :)

  18. The memos are an interesting read. Unlike other companies, what helped MS stay relevant for the past 30 years is due to memos like this where the top management understand the problems and try to rally everyone to change course :)

  19. Chris – so you’re saying RIP to Microsoft because it’s going to be replaced by a new, better Microsoft?

    That’s how Microsoft got where it is today… by adapting to meet the needs of its customers.

  20. Chris – so you’re saying RIP to Microsoft because it’s going to be replaced by a new, better Microsoft?

    That’s how Microsoft got where it is today… by adapting to meet the needs of its customers.

  21. Bill Gates’ memo to key Microsoft employees

    In an email dated Oct. 30 sent to top Microsoft executives and engineers, Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates said the “This coming ‘services wave’ will be very disruptive” and they are now facing competitors who will seize on these approaches and …

  22. The fragmentation of the market continues to accelerate. Microsoft has to make this play or the sifting sands will run through their fingers.

    Please tell me what is the value prop for Partners? Clark saw the future again — MS is going vertical and may take the ISV deck out to boot.

    Does evolutionary economics kind of dictate that we have a Wal-Mart thing going on here too?

  23. The fragmentation of the market continues to accelerate. Microsoft has to make this play or the sifting sands will run through their fingers.

    Please tell me what is the value prop for Partners? Clark saw the future again — MS is going vertical and may take the ISV deck out to boot.

    Does evolutionary economics kind of dictate that we have a Wal-Mart thing going on here too?

  24. [...] What does all of this mean for those of us who just use the products? If nothing else, it means that we are in for an interesting time of change in which even big companies like Microsoft realize that the landscape is changing and to remain viable, they must change too. It means that Google, for one, has illustrated by its own success that “an advertising company that uses services as bait,” as Robert Scoble calls them in one of his own comments to his post about this subject, has created an upheaval in the technological landscape to which everyone must respond. [...]

  25. Brandon…do you really think anyone’s going to care until it’s in code and working correctly?

    No.

    Live.com didn’t matter until it worked in Firefox. Period. Now, I look, and I see nothing that I can’t get from other products like Liferay, which not only gives me widgets, but lets me run it on the server setup of *my* choice, and, even better, is licensed under an MIT license, which is tons more open than the GPL, so I can use it in commercial code and the decision to release the new source is mine, not made by the barrel of a gun.

    You don’t get it at all. you’re too new to realize that MS has no credibility in this industry whatsoever beyond what you can buy *NOW*. If it’s not available *NOW* it’s bullshit. You know why we have that attitude? Because we spent the 90s and early 2000s trusting Microsoft, and came away screwed, used, and tattooed, and what was Microsoft’s thank you for that? Licensing 6.0.

    MS, can you see the finger? Good.

    Your company is still run by greedy, insecure kids who cannot comprehend sharing for a second. They have to own ALL the balls, or they own NONE of the balls. Even in Ray Ozzie’s memo, it’s there, he’s already been indoctrinated.

    But MS is a fascinating historical case…watching it make the IBM mistake of the Akers years, careening from product to product, strategy to strategy, doing well only because its sheer size has such inertia. MS still clings to CALS, because it’s what BallmerGates wants. You just can’t stop screwing over your customers, it’s in your company DNA, and will be until BallmerGates is gone.

    Like I said, you cannot even write a complete mission statement for MS in less than a page unless its:

    “To be the only company left selling computer software, the only company selling game consoles, and to control the Internet.”

    That’s not a company mission statement, that’s a megalomaniacal guideline. I still see no evidence of MS making “Plays well with others” a core philosophy. It’s still, with one exception, all about forcing you to use Windows and IE.

  26. Brandon…do you really think anyone’s going to care until it’s in code and working correctly?

    No.

    Live.com didn’t matter until it worked in Firefox. Period. Now, I look, and I see nothing that I can’t get from other products like Liferay, which not only gives me widgets, but lets me run it on the server setup of *my* choice, and, even better, is licensed under an MIT license, which is tons more open than the GPL, so I can use it in commercial code and the decision to release the new source is mine, not made by the barrel of a gun.

    You don’t get it at all. you’re too new to realize that MS has no credibility in this industry whatsoever beyond what you can buy *NOW*. If it’s not available *NOW* it’s bullshit. You know why we have that attitude? Because we spent the 90s and early 2000s trusting Microsoft, and came away screwed, used, and tattooed, and what was Microsoft’s thank you for that? Licensing 6.0.

    MS, can you see the finger? Good.

    Your company is still run by greedy, insecure kids who cannot comprehend sharing for a second. They have to own ALL the balls, or they own NONE of the balls. Even in Ray Ozzie’s memo, it’s there, he’s already been indoctrinated.

    But MS is a fascinating historical case…watching it make the IBM mistake of the Akers years, careening from product to product, strategy to strategy, doing well only because its sheer size has such inertia. MS still clings to CALS, because it’s what BallmerGates wants. You just can’t stop screwing over your customers, it’s in your company DNA, and will be until BallmerGates is gone.

    Like I said, you cannot even write a complete mission statement for MS in less than a page unless its:

    “To be the only company left selling computer software, the only company selling game consoles, and to control the Internet.”

    That’s not a company mission statement, that’s a megalomaniacal guideline. I still see no evidence of MS making “Plays well with others” a core philosophy. It’s still, with one exception, all about forcing you to use Windows and IE.

  27. I can’t understand your enthusiasm, Scoble. This is classic propaganda. .Net is in _% of Fortune 500 businesses? So? Make vba vba.net and it would be 100%! This is a meaningless number and you should know it – like pages indexed vs. actual audience. You can run .Net for free, you can run a single page on an intranet, and it would come up in this number.

    I want a serious statement about how M$ proposes competing with their own customers without losing them. All your developer tools and APIs are going to look bad if you can’t get ahead of Google and you can’t sell tools to online competitors. So far, Live.com is just a duded up my.yahoo.com

    This is all about .Net. You can’t play both sides successfully. Look at Kodak, who now competes with camera manufacturers – you fit their situation exactly. Their market share and profits will never return. Neither will yours. You are as late in technology time as Kodak was in the 90′s, and you have the same dilemma. The new technology destroys the old vertical integration. You’re aligned with IBM more than Intel now.

    And how can investors have confidence you understand advertising? This memo isn’t automatically a good thing just because of press coverage and it’s seeming agreement with your outlook on life.

  28. I can’t understand your enthusiasm, Scoble. This is classic propaganda. .Net is in _% of Fortune 500 businesses? So? Make vba vba.net and it would be 100%! This is a meaningless number and you should know it – like pages indexed vs. actual audience. You can run .Net for free, you can run a single page on an intranet, and it would come up in this number.

    I want a serious statement about how M$ proposes competing with their own customers without losing them. All your developer tools and APIs are going to look bad if you can’t get ahead of Google and you can’t sell tools to online competitors. So far, Live.com is just a duded up my.yahoo.com

    This is all about .Net. You can’t play both sides successfully. Look at Kodak, who now competes with camera manufacturers – you fit their situation exactly. Their market share and profits will never return. Neither will yours. You are as late in technology time as Kodak was in the 90′s, and you have the same dilemma. The new technology destroys the old vertical integration. You’re aligned with IBM more than Intel now.

    And how can investors have confidence you understand advertising? This memo isn’t automatically a good thing just because of press coverage and it’s seeming agreement with your outlook on life.

  29. Gates

    Microsoft reinvents itself every 5 years in an effort to adapt to an ever changing software world. Last month Bill and Ray Ozzie wrote internal memos directing the company to focus on Internet Software Services. Those internal memos have been made publ…

  30. Microsoft reinvents itself every 5 years – if Don means a upgrade cycle between OS releases – then he is right ;-)

    I just don’t know if Don’s today post is a joke or he is serious.

  31. Microsoft reinvents itself every 5 years – if Don means a upgrade cycle between OS releases – then he is right ;-)

    I just don’t know if Don’s today post is a joke or he is serious.

  32. Bill tries to rally the troops — again

    The hot topic on various tech websites and blogs is Microsoft’s attempt to rally its troops and attack the new Web services market — an attempt that comes 10 years almost to the day after Microsoft tried to turn its giant ship around and g…

  33. When was the last time a memo paid the bills?

    I remember another famous Microsoft memo where security became “top priority”. It now takes 12 minutes for a windows computer to become infected (http://www.realtechnews.com/posts/1511).

    Memos aren’t shipping products. Memos are strictly PR tools, just like this blog. Making a generic version of a copied product is not innovation and does not inspire passion, no matter how many memos you intentionally leak.

  34. When was the last time a memo paid the bills?

    I remember another famous Microsoft memo where security became “top priority”. It now takes 12 minutes for a windows computer to become infected (http://www.realtechnews.com/posts/1511).

    Memos aren’t shipping products. Memos are strictly PR tools, just like this blog. Making a generic version of a copied product is not innovation and does not inspire passion, no matter how many memos you intentionally leak.

  35. Ray hit the nail on the head – because you can’t have true portability/modularity of services without a services platform to support it.

    Big question for me: will Microsoft treat this new “services platform” like an OS and embrace competitors’ APIs?

  36. Ray hit the nail on the head – because you can’t have true portability/modularity of services without a services platform to support it.

    Big question for me: will Microsoft treat this new “services platform” like an OS and embrace competitors’ APIs?

  37. 20. That hypertension is going to kill you. Yes, Microsoft does present .NET adoption statistics that reflect as positive a scenario as possible. Yes, most big corporations with a profit motive do the same thing. Yes, unlike yourself, most adults can see the forest for the trees and parse the data as such.

    Just from my personal experience, it’s used in actual, real-world meaningful ways at places like Morgan Stanley, Lehman Bros, Bloomberg, Citicorp, AIG, etc. (Guess what industry I work in…)

    So don’t let yourself go around spouting zealous dogma that doesn’t really link back to the facts. I would say J2EE and good old C++ still power more of the world’s financial markets by far. At the same time, if you think .NET is only being used like php to power a few trivial-ish web sites here and there, then you’re as dumb as you sound. (And yes, php like .NET powers some significant web sites, we’re simplifying things for young rex.)

    I’m a developer. The API looks fine to me just like it did 5 years ago. The rest of your statements strike me as sophist handwaving. Yes, anyone can make statements laden with bombast and fury, but the world assigns more value to well-reasoned words that don’t have a lot to lose or gain.

    The memos are interesting, they don’t change anything. The blogosphere hates Microsoft, yet the majority of the world still uses their products. The buzz around these memos speaks more to the collective concerns of the be-PowerBooked bloggerati wincing at the 800,000-lb. ostrich pulling its head out of the sand.

    This comment was written on a PowerBook by a .NET architect too jaded for hype and religion.

  38. 20. That hypertension is going to kill you. Yes, Microsoft does present .NET adoption statistics that reflect as positive a scenario as possible. Yes, most big corporations with a profit motive do the same thing. Yes, unlike yourself, most adults can see the forest for the trees and parse the data as such.

    Just from my personal experience, it’s used in actual, real-world meaningful ways at places like Morgan Stanley, Lehman Bros, Bloomberg, Citicorp, AIG, etc. (Guess what industry I work in…)

    So don’t let yourself go around spouting zealous dogma that doesn’t really link back to the facts. I would say J2EE and good old C++ still power more of the world’s financial markets by far. At the same time, if you think .NET is only being used like php to power a few trivial-ish web sites here and there, then you’re as dumb as you sound. (And yes, php like .NET powers some significant web sites, we’re simplifying things for young rex.)

    I’m a developer. The API looks fine to me just like it did 5 years ago. The rest of your statements strike me as sophist handwaving. Yes, anyone can make statements laden with bombast and fury, but the world assigns more value to well-reasoned words that don’t have a lot to lose or gain.

    The memos are interesting, they don’t change anything. The blogosphere hates Microsoft, yet the majority of the world still uses their products. The buzz around these memos speaks more to the collective concerns of the be-PowerBooked bloggerati wincing at the 800,000-lb. ostrich pulling its head out of the sand.

    This comment was written on a PowerBook by a .NET architect too jaded for hype and religion.

  39. 24. “Making a generic version of a copied product is not innovation and does not inspire passion”

    Unless, of course, it’s a linux distro or openoffice– then I am so empassioned about it I could just shit my drawers with a quickness!

    If all this means is nothing and Microsof is as moribund as everyone has claimed for the past 10 years, then why the self-flagellating indignation?

  40. 24. “Making a generic version of a copied product is not innovation and does not inspire passion”

    Unless, of course, it’s a linux distro or openoffice– then I am so empassioned about it I could just shit my drawers with a quickness!

    If all this means is nothing and Microsof is as moribund as everyone has claimed for the past 10 years, then why the self-flagellating indignation?

  41. “Scenario owners” and then a kick to a blog. Oh
    pluuuze. Co-opting advertising as a model? These guys
    on planet Earth? Those memos are channeling a jet-lagged bad photocopy of Esther Dyson. Blogging really has damaged their brains.

    But wow was SQL, VS and Biztalk like total mum.
    Real stuff and they ruined the press and marketing cycle with the Live.com and these obviously intentionally-leaked fluff-piece memos.

  42. “Scenario owners” and then a kick to a blog. Oh
    pluuuze. Co-opting advertising as a model? These guys
    on planet Earth? Those memos are channeling a jet-lagged bad photocopy of Esther Dyson. Blogging really has damaged their brains.

    But wow was SQL, VS and Biztalk like total mum.
    Real stuff and they ruined the press and marketing cycle with the Live.com and these obviously intentionally-leaked fluff-piece memos.

  43. >It now takes 12 minutes for a windows computer to become infected

    That’s bull. Plug Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP SP2 (which comes on all new computers I’ve used recently) in and it doesn’t get owned. But, why let facts get in the way of a good argument?

  44. >It now takes 12 minutes for a windows computer to become infected

    That’s bull. Plug Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP SP2 (which comes on all new computers I’ve used recently) in and it doesn’t get owned. But, why let facts get in the way of a good argument?

  45. Robert, if you bought a computer prior to SP2, and you got one from a company that isn’t ALLOWED to give you the real OS CDs, and you have to reformat the drive, how do you get SP2?

    On the internet.

    Where you’re getting owned.

    There are millions upon millions of people getting hosed by this, and it’s all MS’s fault.

  46. Robert, if you bought a computer prior to SP2, and you got one from a company that isn’t ALLOWED to give you the real OS CDs, and you have to reformat the drive, how do you get SP2?

    On the internet.

    Where you’re getting owned.

    There are millions upon millions of people getting hosed by this, and it’s all MS’s fault.

  47. I was especially interested in the Responsible Competition paragraph in Ozzie’s e-mail. He says they are going to have documented interfaces, open licenses, and so on. In other words, he is saying that Microsoft is going to give up its traditional proprietary monopoly lock-in tactics, and instead play fair.

    Cringely, on the other hand, says that Microsoft is going to use its unethcal tactics. “Microsoft WILL claim to open its APIs to promote competition and play nicer with the world. But they WON’T actually do it. They will claim to have an open standard, but there will be proprietary extensions.” and “The big question for Microsoft is whether they can compete in this new market without having to cheat? I don’t think they can. Putting it simpler, since all cheating isn’t illegal, can Microsoft really implement Windows Live and Office Live without breaking the law? I think they CAN, but I doubt if they WILL. I think that in Redmond the stakes will ultimately be perceived as too high not to cheat. Or maybe they simply don’t know how to pay fair. Either way, expect trouble.”

    http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20051103.html

    My guess is that Cringely is right, but I’m not really sure.

  48. I was especially interested in the Responsible Competition paragraph in Ozzie’s e-mail. He says they are going to have documented interfaces, open licenses, and so on. In other words, he is saying that Microsoft is going to give up its traditional proprietary monopoly lock-in tactics, and instead play fair.

    Cringely, on the other hand, says that Microsoft is going to use its unethcal tactics. “Microsoft WILL claim to open its APIs to promote competition and play nicer with the world. But they WON’T actually do it. They will claim to have an open standard, but there will be proprietary extensions.” and “The big question for Microsoft is whether they can compete in this new market without having to cheat? I don’t think they can. Putting it simpler, since all cheating isn’t illegal, can Microsoft really implement Windows Live and Office Live without breaking the law? I think they CAN, but I doubt if they WILL. I think that in Redmond the stakes will ultimately be perceived as too high not to cheat. Or maybe they simply don’t know how to pay fair. Either way, expect trouble.”

    http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20051103.html

    My guess is that Cringely is right, but I’m not really sure.

  49. John -

    How many people plug machines into an internet connection without a router/firewall and with no software firewall turned on?

    Actually, I don’t know the answer to that question. I would like to think it’s very small (especially since most Cable/DSL providers are integrating NAT firewalls into their modems these days).

    But the truth is that no matter what OS you’re running, connecting to the internet without a firewall is a BAD idea. SP2 enables a very solid software firewall by default, and that’s the number 1 reason it’s more secure (number 2 is that it really pushes you into Automatic Updates).

    Should the firewall have been turned on by default in SP1? Probably. In the RTM version back in 2001? Maybe, but that’s a harder argument to make. The world has changed a lot since then. Also, you have to remember that Microsoft has to live with the realities of a consent decree. Does protecting customers by including an on-by-default Firewall service mean that Microsoft will get sued by Firewall companies or the DOJ? What about anti-virus? Anti-spyware? Things aren’t as simple as they may seem.

    From my perspective, Windows has one remaining security-related design flaw. And that’s the user privilege model, which is a complicated issue in of itself. But it’s being fixed in Vista, so there’s not really much more I can ask.

  50. John -

    How many people plug machines into an internet connection without a router/firewall and with no software firewall turned on?

    Actually, I don’t know the answer to that question. I would like to think it’s very small (especially since most Cable/DSL providers are integrating NAT firewalls into their modems these days).

    But the truth is that no matter what OS you’re running, connecting to the internet without a firewall is a BAD idea. SP2 enables a very solid software firewall by default, and that’s the number 1 reason it’s more secure (number 2 is that it really pushes you into Automatic Updates).

    Should the firewall have been turned on by default in SP1? Probably. In the RTM version back in 2001? Maybe, but that’s a harder argument to make. The world has changed a lot since then. Also, you have to remember that Microsoft has to live with the realities of a consent decree. Does protecting customers by including an on-by-default Firewall service mean that Microsoft will get sued by Firewall companies or the DOJ? What about anti-virus? Anti-spyware? Things aren’t as simple as they may seem.

    From my perspective, Windows has one remaining security-related design flaw. And that’s the user privilege model, which is a complicated issue in of itself. But it’s being fixed in Vista, so there’s not really much more I can ask.

  51. Brandon, you didn’t listen. I’m talking about people who bought a computer pre-SP2, turned it on and tried to work on the intarweb. you know how they deal with problems? They burn data to a CD or even a floppy, nuke and pave. You need to get out in the non-tech world a little more. Unless the stuff they get has the firewall turned on by default, most folks will never do it.

    Had MS not *crippled* interprocess security in Windows and shipped XP to NOT EVEN ASK FOR A PASSWORD by default initially, then a lot of this would have not been a problem. For ten years MS made deliberately stupid decisions, and now you want some kind of bye on that.

    As well, don’t whine to me about the consent decree. It was *MICROSOFT’S* behavior that *got* them that decree…”Oh it’s the consent decree’s fault we couldn’t build security into our OS”. Are you SERIOUS? Get lucid man, that’s a lame justification, even for a Microsoftie. Here’s one…DON’T BREAK THE DAMNED LAW AND YOU DON’T GET IN TROUBLE.

    Windows has a ton of security design issues that may or may not be fixed in a product that is only in beta and still almost 18 months from release. If you are under some silly impression that anyone other than home users buying new machines will immediately upgrade, let me tell you, that’s a fantasy. The User Privilege model is only one of the stupider ones. The Registry is by far the best thing that ever happened to malware. Lame and lamer. All the services it turns on by default. Hmm…OS X doesn’t have its firewall turned on by default, and it doesn’t seem to have anything close to the problems XP had prior to SP 2 and the what, 20? additional patches it’s had since?

    But here’s a test. You take a stock system with an original load of XP as it shipped on day one, and I’ll take whatever version of OS X was shipping that day. We’ll load the OS, take all defaults, set up the first user, and see whose machine gets pwn3d first. No firewall. Nothing.

  52. Brandon, you didn’t listen. I’m talking about people who bought a computer pre-SP2, turned it on and tried to work on the intarweb. you know how they deal with problems? They burn data to a CD or even a floppy, nuke and pave. You need to get out in the non-tech world a little more. Unless the stuff they get has the firewall turned on by default, most folks will never do it.

    Had MS not *crippled* interprocess security in Windows and shipped XP to NOT EVEN ASK FOR A PASSWORD by default initially, then a lot of this would have not been a problem. For ten years MS made deliberately stupid decisions, and now you want some kind of bye on that.

    As well, don’t whine to me about the consent decree. It was *MICROSOFT’S* behavior that *got* them that decree…”Oh it’s the consent decree’s fault we couldn’t build security into our OS”. Are you SERIOUS? Get lucid man, that’s a lame justification, even for a Microsoftie. Here’s one…DON’T BREAK THE DAMNED LAW AND YOU DON’T GET IN TROUBLE.

    Windows has a ton of security design issues that may or may not be fixed in a product that is only in beta and still almost 18 months from release. If you are under some silly impression that anyone other than home users buying new machines will immediately upgrade, let me tell you, that’s a fantasy. The User Privilege model is only one of the stupider ones. The Registry is by far the best thing that ever happened to malware. Lame and lamer. All the services it turns on by default. Hmm…OS X doesn’t have its firewall turned on by default, and it doesn’t seem to have anything close to the problems XP had prior to SP 2 and the what, 20? additional patches it’s had since?

    But here’s a test. You take a stock system with an original load of XP as it shipped on day one, and I’ll take whatever version of OS X was shipping that day. We’ll load the OS, take all defaults, set up the first user, and see whose machine gets pwn3d first. No firewall. Nothing.

  53. “For ten years MS made deliberately stupid decisions, and now you want some kind of bye on that.”

    John, I don’t understand your point. Everyone agrees that MS made stupid security decisions in the past. Then Bill Gates’ famous security memo came. Then we got SP2 and Vista because the entire company shifted to concentrate on security. The fact is, Microsoft does care about security NOW. It is built into the fabric of every decision making process NOW. SP2, even though a radical change in the OS, was made available to all users for FREE. What do you suggest, Micrsoft magically roll back time to 1999 and retroactively give everyone SP2? Sure, you can try to insinuate the microsoft ‘deliberately’ made bad security decisions. Really? Do you really think they really enjoy the fact that most users are getting infected with viruses and malware? What makes you think that their early security mistakes were deliberate. Seems illogical to me.

  54. “For ten years MS made deliberately stupid decisions, and now you want some kind of bye on that.”

    John, I don’t understand your point. Everyone agrees that MS made stupid security decisions in the past. Then Bill Gates’ famous security memo came. Then we got SP2 and Vista because the entire company shifted to concentrate on security. The fact is, Microsoft does care about security NOW. It is built into the fabric of every decision making process NOW. SP2, even though a radical change in the OS, was made available to all users for FREE. What do you suggest, Micrsoft magically roll back time to 1999 and retroactively give everyone SP2? Sure, you can try to insinuate the microsoft ‘deliberately’ made bad security decisions. Really? Do you really think they really enjoy the fact that most users are getting infected with viruses and malware? What makes you think that their early security mistakes were deliberate. Seems illogical to me.

  55. John – btw, I’m curious where you got 18 months from. From everything I’ve heard, Vista will be released by holdiay 2006. Do you know something everyone else doesn’t know or are you purposely spreading incorrect information?

  56. John – btw, I’m curious where you got 18 months from. From everything I’ve heard, Vista will be released by holdiay 2006. Do you know something everyone else doesn’t know or are you purposely spreading incorrect information?

  57. Brandon: “That’s how Microsoft got where it is today… by adapting to meet the needs of its customers.”

    You mean customers repeatedly asked MSFT to abuse its monopoly and lock them in? Imagine that.

  58. Brandon: “That’s how Microsoft got where it is today… by adapting to meet the needs of its customers.”

    You mean customers repeatedly asked MSFT to abuse its monopoly and lock them in? Imagine that.

  59. Maneesh: “Do you really think they really enjoy the fact that most users are getting infected with viruses and malware?”

    Wouldn’t you if you were in the security software business like MSFT?

    “What makes you think that their early security mistakes were deliberate.”

    A mistake by definition is not deliberate. Who says those architectural decisions to favor features and sales over security were not deliberate? Those who think that MSFT has long harbored a desire to lock-down its OS and apps at a low-level do. One way to sell that notion is to not fix the problem so the selling the new “trusted” platform becomes easier.

  60. Maneesh: “Do you really think they really enjoy the fact that most users are getting infected with viruses and malware?”

    Wouldn’t you if you were in the security software business like MSFT?

    “What makes you think that their early security mistakes were deliberate.”

    A mistake by definition is not deliberate. Who says those architectural decisions to favor features and sales over security were not deliberate? Those who think that MSFT has long harbored a desire to lock-down its OS and apps at a low-level do. One way to sell that notion is to not fix the problem so the selling the new “trusted” platform becomes easier.

  61. Well, Microsoft’s security failing before SP2 were pretty sad, and completely unnecessary–every CS major with half a brain knew what needed to be done back in the mid 90s.

    But Microsoft has since done decent work on this issue. Forcing firewalls, virus protection and automatic updates were all good moves.

    The biggest remaining problem is spyware, which leaves many end-user machines completely compromised and badly broken. Until this is addressed, Microsoft still hasn’t taken the necessary steps for real-world security.

  62. Well, Microsoft’s security failing before SP2 were pretty sad, and completely unnecessary–every CS major with half a brain knew what needed to be done back in the mid 90s.

    But Microsoft has since done decent work on this issue. Forcing firewalls, virus protection and automatic updates were all good moves.

    The biggest remaining problem is spyware, which leaves many end-user machines completely compromised and badly broken. Until this is addressed, Microsoft still hasn’t taken the necessary steps for real-world security.

  63. #26, as a developer you completely read my post wrong. The point is not .Net’s current success, I’m sure it’s doing better than Java did in it’s own timeframe, and I don’t care that it’s a proprietary copy. Let the market decide if it’s better. I wasn’t writing about programming languages.

    My point is that if Microsoft wants to get into the Google business, they are going to start competing with companies purchasing their software. That’s trouble. They’ve never done well with online businesses, so they need a more persuasive argument than BG makes here.

    Let me try to make this clearer, Microsoft should deliver the backend programming tools or deliver the media. Once they compete with Yahoo, Google, AOL – which they already do, I know – they lose some power in selling their other tools. This is partly why they have little traction online. Their plan to be an advertising source like Google fundamentally changes their business. The existence of the Xbox fundamentally changes their business.

    How many customers can you compete with until it hurts your bottomline? With a huge cash hoard and virtually limitless ambition, I think Microsoft is going to find out. Bringing .Net up as a success in the way Gates did demonstrates that he doesn’t get it. .Net is a hindrance to the new strategy, not an indicator of success. Microsoft will have to lose advertising business defending Windows, Office and .Net. How many customers/developers will they lose as they insist on proprietary technology? How many idiotic bundling decisions and hamstrung implementations like MSN search? This is an economics argument, not some moralistic jihad, as if I like Apple or Linux. I use Windows XP.

  64. #26, as a developer you completely read my post wrong. The point is not .Net’s current success, I’m sure it’s doing better than Java did in it’s own timeframe, and I don’t care that it’s a proprietary copy. Let the market decide if it’s better. I wasn’t writing about programming languages.

    My point is that if Microsoft wants to get into the Google business, they are going to start competing with companies purchasing their software. That’s trouble. They’ve never done well with online businesses, so they need a more persuasive argument than BG makes here.

    Let me try to make this clearer, Microsoft should deliver the backend programming tools or deliver the media. Once they compete with Yahoo, Google, AOL – which they already do, I know – they lose some power in selling their other tools. This is partly why they have little traction online. Their plan to be an advertising source like Google fundamentally changes their business. The existence of the Xbox fundamentally changes their business.

    How many customers can you compete with until it hurts your bottomline? With a huge cash hoard and virtually limitless ambition, I think Microsoft is going to find out. Bringing .Net up as a success in the way Gates did demonstrates that he doesn’t get it. .Net is a hindrance to the new strategy, not an indicator of success. Microsoft will have to lose advertising business defending Windows, Office and .Net. How many customers/developers will they lose as they insist on proprietary technology? How many idiotic bundling decisions and hamstrung implementations like MSN search? This is an economics argument, not some moralistic jihad, as if I like Apple or Linux. I use Windows XP.

  65. John, I don’t understand your point. Everyone agrees that MS made stupid security decisions in the past. Then Bill Gates’ famous security memo came. Then we got SP2

    Dude, SP2 came what a year or so after that? Even after Gates’ memo, XP still, BY DEFAULT didn’t even ask for a password on the default account. What, you thought Memo==magic spell?

    and Vista because the entire company shifted to concentrate on security.

    Bullshit, we don’t have Vista at all. It doesn’t exist outside of a beta program. Doesn’t count.

    The fact is, Microsoft does care about security NOW. It is built into the fabric of every decision making process NOW. SP2, even though a radical change in the OS, was made available to all users for FREE.

    Oh good, so now that XP SP2 is out, we just magically forget that without massive complaints, they had built security holes into the OS, and wouldn’t have changed squat if it hadn’t started messing with their bottom line.

    What do you suggest, Micrsoft magically roll back time to 1999 and retroactively give everyone SP2? Sure, you can try to insinuate the microsoft ‘deliberately’ made bad security decisions. Really? Do you really think they really enjoy the fact that most users are getting infected with viruses and malware? What makes you think that their early security mistakes were deliberate. Seems illogical to me.

    Um…you’re very young, or very ignorant. MS deliberately ignored proven concepts of privilege separation in making administrator accounts the default AND the equivalent of Unix ‘root’. Even OS X’s administrator accounts are NOT ‘root’ level accounts. Even WITH SP2, that hasn’t changed.

    Even worse, versions of windows that you can ACTUALLY BUY today are pretty much unusable without administrator level access. Want to add a printer? Not an administrator? you have to give that user the ability to add device drivers to the system. Of course, once you do that, it happens silently FOREVER. This includes cases where the driver is already in the OS. You enable that add device driver priv in local security policies, you’ve just given away the keys to the kingdom.

    That still exists in SP2 by the way.

    IE’s popup blocker, (and firefox’s is not much better) is so braindead that it cannot, by default, differentiate between popups enabled by humans and every other popup. If *I* manually click on the link, DON’T BLOCK THE POPUP. Safari gets this perfect. I had to punch holes in IE’s popup blocker to use friggin’ OWA. it’s such a pain in the ass to use that you end up punching domain-sized holes in it.

    Thanks to the administrator – level access equaling root, registry perversions are child’s play on XP, and thanks to the registry being so craptacular to work with, once something gets in your registry, you may as well reformat. The registry is still a raging shitpile of bad idea and worse implementation. The Sony rootkit shows just how incredibly awful this is.

    If you think SP2 makes windows secure, and overcomes the massive issues, you’re fooling yourself.

    John – btw, I’m curious where you got 18 months from. From everything I’ve heard, Vista will be released by holdiay 2006. Do you know something everyone else doesn’t know or are you purposely spreading incorrect information?

    Actually Maneesh, i said “almost”. Since there’s no date, “holiday” puts Vista at anything from 13 to 14 months out. Okay, so it’s a stretch for even almost 18 months. it’s still over a year before it’s not a future product. Like I said, until its in code and out of beta, I believe nothing from the MS windows side of the house. Actually, if it’s not coming from the Mac BU, and it’s not in code and out of beta and available, everything from MS is bullshit. The Mac BU has done the work to earn my trust. The rest of the company has not.

    When the rest of MS can show me the kind of relationship I get from the Mac BU, i’ll change my opinion. Not until. Note that it took the Mac BU *years* to get that way.

  66. John, I don’t understand your point. Everyone agrees that MS made stupid security decisions in the past. Then Bill Gates’ famous security memo came. Then we got SP2

    Dude, SP2 came what a year or so after that? Even after Gates’ memo, XP still, BY DEFAULT didn’t even ask for a password on the default account. What, you thought Memo==magic spell?

    and Vista because the entire company shifted to concentrate on security.

    Bullshit, we don’t have Vista at all. It doesn’t exist outside of a beta program. Doesn’t count.

    The fact is, Microsoft does care about security NOW. It is built into the fabric of every decision making process NOW. SP2, even though a radical change in the OS, was made available to all users for FREE.

    Oh good, so now that XP SP2 is out, we just magically forget that without massive complaints, they had built security holes into the OS, and wouldn’t have changed squat if it hadn’t started messing with their bottom line.

    What do you suggest, Micrsoft magically roll back time to 1999 and retroactively give everyone SP2? Sure, you can try to insinuate the microsoft ‘deliberately’ made bad security decisions. Really? Do you really think they really enjoy the fact that most users are getting infected with viruses and malware? What makes you think that their early security mistakes were deliberate. Seems illogical to me.

    Um…you’re very young, or very ignorant. MS deliberately ignored proven concepts of privilege separation in making administrator accounts the default AND the equivalent of Unix ‘root’. Even OS X’s administrator accounts are NOT ‘root’ level accounts. Even WITH SP2, that hasn’t changed.

    Even worse, versions of windows that you can ACTUALLY BUY today are pretty much unusable without administrator level access. Want to add a printer? Not an administrator? you have to give that user the ability to add device drivers to the system. Of course, once you do that, it happens silently FOREVER. This includes cases where the driver is already in the OS. You enable that add device driver priv in local security policies, you’ve just given away the keys to the kingdom.

    That still exists in SP2 by the way.

    IE’s popup blocker, (and firefox’s is not much better) is so braindead that it cannot, by default, differentiate between popups enabled by humans and every other popup. If *I* manually click on the link, DON’T BLOCK THE POPUP. Safari gets this perfect. I had to punch holes in IE’s popup blocker to use friggin’ OWA. it’s such a pain in the ass to use that you end up punching domain-sized holes in it.

    Thanks to the administrator – level access equaling root, registry perversions are child’s play on XP, and thanks to the registry being so craptacular to work with, once something gets in your registry, you may as well reformat. The registry is still a raging shitpile of bad idea and worse implementation. The Sony rootkit shows just how incredibly awful this is.

    If you think SP2 makes windows secure, and overcomes the massive issues, you’re fooling yourself.

    John – btw, I’m curious where you got 18 months from. From everything I’ve heard, Vista will be released by holdiay 2006. Do you know something everyone else doesn’t know or are you purposely spreading incorrect information?

    Actually Maneesh, i said “almost”. Since there’s no date, “holiday” puts Vista at anything from 13 to 14 months out. Okay, so it’s a stretch for even almost 18 months. it’s still over a year before it’s not a future product. Like I said, until its in code and out of beta, I believe nothing from the MS windows side of the house. Actually, if it’s not coming from the Mac BU, and it’s not in code and out of beta and available, everything from MS is bullshit. The Mac BU has done the work to earn my trust. The rest of the company has not.

    When the rest of MS can show me the kind of relationship I get from the Mac BU, i’ll change my opinion. Not until. Note that it took the Mac BU *years* to get that way.

  67. Welch needs to grow up, nobody want’s to hear his crap about his macintosh.

    Hey Welch, that Sony rootkit is also causing problems on macintosh computers.

    Instead of putting your life in the mac, how about you get outside and help other people and do something with your sad existance of a life.

    What is the macintosh going to do when some people are dying in the gulf coast. Get a clue!

    Some people shouldn’t have computers let alone have a mac. I mean why bother when you are so useless for anything in real life that really affects real people with real lives.

    For godsake, get off the computer and do something that will help somebody. Arguing about what is superior is just redneck stupid and nobody wins.

  68. Welch needs to grow up, nobody want’s to hear his crap about his macintosh.

    Hey Welch, that Sony rootkit is also causing problems on macintosh computers.

    Instead of putting your life in the mac, how about you get outside and help other people and do something with your sad existance of a life.

    What is the macintosh going to do when some people are dying in the gulf coast. Get a clue!

    Some people shouldn’t have computers let alone have a mac. I mean why bother when you are so useless for anything in real life that really affects real people with real lives.

    For godsake, get off the computer and do something that will help somebody. Arguing about what is superior is just redneck stupid and nobody wins.