Oh, Microsoft and the DOJ

I was just reading TechMeme, saw that Microsoft and others want us (the government is us, remember) to look into Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick.

That made me remember back to 2000 when Microsoft would send MVPs like me constant pleas to help out in its fight against the government. “Keep innovation free” the pleas used to say. Microsoft was under attack by the DOJ and wanted us to write letters to editors, tell our friends all about how Microsoft was being persecuted. Etc etc etc.

I was sympathetic to Microsoft back then. I thought it was under attack from competitors who had sour grapes cause they had — to put it politely — had their asses kicked in the marketplace by a smarter, stronger, faster, competitor.

OK, OK, I can hear some of you calling “shill, shill” right now, but sit down and wait for a second before you throw more tomatoes at my screen.

Isn’t it funny how there’s been a total turnaround at Microsoft in just six years? Instead of asking us to help poor old persecuted Microsoft out now we’re being asked to have the government look into the business of Google.

Now, you might not agree with me about either case, but I’ll be consistent at least. I was in Microsoft’s side against the government last time (they asked nicely). But I’m in Google’s side this time. Sounds a lot like Microsoft is now the company who had its ass kicked in the marketplace and is running to government regulators to get some relief.

How ironic.

Comments

  1. Finally… MS’s pathetic plea that really smacks of their knowing they are becoming less and less relevant as every year passes. This is good news.

    I do, agree, however, that Google is becoming the next MS as far as monopolies go. When any single company controls as much as Google and MS do, one needs to start worrying.

    If Linux as to be as dominant, that’s OK since Linux is not owned by any one entity and the GPL ensures your freedom. Not so with proprietary software and services. Something to think about…

  2. Finally… MS’s pathetic plea that really smacks of their knowing they are becoming less and less relevant as every year passes. This is good news.

    I do, agree, however, that Google is becoming the next MS as far as monopolies go. When any single company controls as much as Google and MS do, one needs to start worrying.

    If Linux as to be as dominant, that’s OK since Linux is not owned by any one entity and the GPL ensures your freedom. Not so with proprietary software and services. Something to think about…

  3. If that weren’t so typical of Microsoft under Ballmer’s Vision, I’d be amused. But it’s boring, just like Microsoft. No kidding they want someone else to solve the Google problem for them, lord knows they can’t.

    But then again, they don’t understand the problem to begin with, because they’re still in “All or Nothing” – land.

  4. If that weren’t so typical of Microsoft under Ballmer’s Vision, I’d be amused. But it’s boring, just like Microsoft. No kidding they want someone else to solve the Google problem for them, lord knows they can’t.

    But then again, they don’t understand the problem to begin with, because they’re still in “All or Nothing” – land.

  5. Call yourself a shill sir. I became a MVP in 2000 and never got such requests from Microsoft, nor repeatedly got any pressure in fact.

    I help people. That’s my goal here. Always has been.

    Quite frankly there’s a few Security mvps quite glad that Microsoft didn’t get Doubleclick and are concerned that Google will be the new evil empire. Doubleclick has spyware and adware overtones that are not good and carry lots of baggage.

    Google can have them.

  6. Call yourself a shill sir. I became a MVP in 2000 and never got such requests from Microsoft, nor repeatedly got any pressure in fact.

    I help people. That’s my goal here. Always has been.

    Quite frankly there’s a few Security mvps quite glad that Microsoft didn’t get Doubleclick and are concerned that Google will be the new evil empire. Doubleclick has spyware and adware overtones that are not good and carry lots of baggage.

    Google can have them.

  7. Susan: well, I certainly got lots of requests from Microsoft to help out in the PR. Maybe it wasn’t tied to being an MVP. I don’t have my email anymore from that era, but Jonathan Zuck even started the Association for Competitive Technology to help Microsoft out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_for_Competitive_Technology

    I am trying to remember if he was an MVP. Certainly was an influential developer who spoke at many of our conferences back in the 1990s.

    Oh, and I guess you never got the Freedom to Innovate newsletters from Microsoft. http://www.microsoft.com/freedomtoinnovate/

  8. Susan: well, I certainly got lots of requests from Microsoft to help out in the PR. Maybe it wasn’t tied to being an MVP. I don’t have my email anymore from that era, but Jonathan Zuck even started the Association for Competitive Technology to help Microsoft out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_for_Competitive_Technology

    I am trying to remember if he was an MVP. Certainly was an influential developer who spoke at many of our conferences back in the 1990s.

    Oh, and I guess you never got the Freedom to Innovate newsletters from Microsoft. http://www.microsoft.com/freedomtoinnovate/

  9. Susan: Ahhh the dream of Microsoft to have someone else be the bad guy. It won’t happen. Microsoft has, and always will, have the smell of evil all over it.

  10. Susan: Ahhh the dream of Microsoft to have someone else be the bad guy. It won’t happen. Microsoft has, and always will, have the smell of evil all over it.

  11. If Google wants to overpay for YouTube and DoubleClick, so be it, free market, you know. Rather darned hypocritical for Microsoft to go Commie, and sic the Feds on Google.

  12. If Google wants to overpay for YouTube and DoubleClick, so be it, free market, you know. Rather darned hypocritical for Microsoft to go Commie, and sic the Feds on Google.

  13. i like messing with blogs exept for mine! lololololololololololololololololololloololololololololollolllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooollllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

  14. i like messing with blogs exept for mine! lololololololololololololololololololloololololololololollolllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooollllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

  15. Oh, Microsoft are and always be those bastards. Take the MS Office XML format battle for instance, they are running a huge global campaign right now in order to destroy the open standard ISO ODF file format. Believe it or not, they are doing that, quote, “for freedom of choice”.

    As for Google being a monopoly, those guys are not forcing 90% of PC users to use Windows I think. Google services are always opt-in.

  16. Oh, Microsoft are and always be those bastards. Take the MS Office XML format battle for instance, they are running a huge global campaign right now in order to destroy the open standard ISO ODF file format. Believe it or not, they are doing that, quote, “for freedom of choice”.

    As for Google being a monopoly, those guys are not forcing 90% of PC users to use Windows I think. Google services are always opt-in.

  17. “Sounds a lot like Microsoft is now the company who had its ass kicked in the marketplace and is running to government regulators to get some relief.

    How ironic.”

    Not really ironic. This happens all the time in business as companies try to gain monopolistic power. If you can’t lick ‘em, sic ‘em.

  18. “Sounds a lot like Microsoft is now the company who had its ass kicked in the marketplace and is running to government regulators to get some relief.

    How ironic.”

    Not really ironic. This happens all the time in business as companies try to gain monopolistic power. If you can’t lick ‘em, sic ‘em.

  19. Since MS has not been given the freedom to innovate (as is evident from Vista, etc) – they are asking us (the government) to use the same yardstick to measure Google’s evilness.
    Sounds reasonable? :)

  20. Since MS has not been given the freedom to innovate (as is evident from Vista, etc) – they are asking us (the government) to use the same yardstick to measure Google’s evilness.
    Sounds reasonable? :)

  21. Robert, some days you seem to make noise just for the sake of making noise,all companies do this in one form or another, Google,IBM and oricle, the list goes on and on.

    Big Freakin Deal.

  22. Robert, some days you seem to make noise just for the sake of making noise,all companies do this in one form or another, Google,IBM and oricle, the list goes on and on.

    Big Freakin Deal.

  23. I think MR. Scoble needs to move away from the Valley,his Vision is now as distorted as when he lived near Redmond.

    He’s just become a cheerleader for another team.

  24. I think MR. Scoble needs to move away from the Valley,his Vision is now as distorted as when he lived near Redmond.

    He’s just become a cheerleader for another team.

  25. Robert,

    While government’s role is to provide a legal framework for the free market in which to operate, the governent shouldn’t be picking winners and loosers arbitrarily if one company becomes very successful.

    So, you’re on the same side in both instances. You’re on the side of the free market.

    Unfortunately, many companies at some point take advantage of the government this way. I can imagine Google doing this to another company if the situation was different. The solution is to discourage this type of behavior.

    Ed

  26. Robert,

    While government’s role is to provide a legal framework for the free market in which to operate, the governent shouldn’t be picking winners and loosers arbitrarily if one company becomes very successful.

    So, you’re on the same side in both instances. You’re on the side of the free market.

    Unfortunately, many companies at some point take advantage of the government this way. I can imagine Google doing this to another company if the situation was different. The solution is to discourage this type of behavior.

    Ed

  27. Good for Microsoft… The Government was out of line to go after them but they did anyway. Why not demand a little consistency. Smart too… If the government could be shamed into being consistent with whom they go after that’ll be less resources available to hound Microsoft.

    The government was 100% in the wrong when they went after Microsoft and they will be 100% in the wrong if they went after a company like Google.

    The more companies that the Gov’t goes after the more people who will realize this government is out of control and the more likely it is that people push back and ends the madness.

  28. Good for Microsoft… The Government was out of line to go after them but they did anyway. Why not demand a little consistency. Smart too… If the government could be shamed into being consistent with whom they go after that’ll be less resources available to hound Microsoft.

    The government was 100% in the wrong when they went after Microsoft and they will be 100% in the wrong if they went after a company like Google.

    The more companies that the Gov’t goes after the more people who will realize this government is out of control and the more likely it is that people push back and ends the madness.

  29. This is just the beginning. I predict that MS will soon create a “class action” suit where it accuses users of conspiring to not purchase Vista.

    Notification to over 250 million happy XP users will go out through Windows Update, and become the default desktop image. Upon login, users will be asked “Where Do You Want To Be Served, Today?” and they will have to select a courthouse near them.

    Large, dancing pitchers of Kool-Aid will be seen across the world. A 200′ tall inflatable Steve Balmer will shower perspiration down in Times Square, as it chants “Lawsuits! Lawsuits! Lawsuits!”

    Oh my.

  30. This is just the beginning. I predict that MS will soon create a “class action” suit where it accuses users of conspiring to not purchase Vista.

    Notification to over 250 million happy XP users will go out through Windows Update, and become the default desktop image. Upon login, users will be asked “Where Do You Want To Be Served, Today?” and they will have to select a courthouse near them.

    Large, dancing pitchers of Kool-Aid will be seen across the world. A 200′ tall inflatable Steve Balmer will shower perspiration down in Times Square, as it chants “Lawsuits! Lawsuits! Lawsuits!”

    Oh my.

  31. It seems that Google isn’t the only focus for Microsoft’s whining. From http://australianit.news.com.au/articles/0,7204,21568176%5E15322%5Enbv%5E,00.html:

    MICROSOFT’S top lawyer has warned Apple not to complain too loudly to record labels about music copyright restrictions, saying the computer giant was already selling plenty of iPod music players.

    “I’m not a big believer in just blaming the music industry for Apple’s inability to sell every conceivable iPod,” said Brad Smith, senior vice-president and general counsel at the US software giant.
    “I think they’re (Apple) doing pretty well from what I can tell. In fact, I think the music companies are the ones who right now are doing a little less well.”

    Man…that’s um…da fuck?

  32. It seems that Google isn’t the only focus for Microsoft’s whining. From http://australianit.news.com.au/articles/0,7204,21568176%5E15322%5Enbv%5E,00.html:

    MICROSOFT’S top lawyer has warned Apple not to complain too loudly to record labels about music copyright restrictions, saying the computer giant was already selling plenty of iPod music players.

    “I’m not a big believer in just blaming the music industry for Apple’s inability to sell every conceivable iPod,” said Brad Smith, senior vice-president and general counsel at the US software giant.
    “I think they’re (Apple) doing pretty well from what I can tell. In fact, I think the music companies are the ones who right now are doing a little less well.”

    Man…that’s um…da fuck?

  33. IMO, Government should stay out of business like this.
    However, the DOJ did block the deal for Microsoft to buy Intuit, because the govt claimed that it would reduce competition too much (Intuit would become a monopoly if MS Money were removed from the arena).

    Now, we have Google buying up properties for way more than they are worth, for no reason other than to eliminate competition. Google, with this purchase, will control 90% of internet advertising. Scoble talks about MS getting its balls kicked (or whatever he said), but what about the rest of those that would like to compete? Google controlling 90% of the space, not through better tech, but through huge buyouts, crushes the smaller players.

    I’d prefer govt to stay out, but they’re already in (as shown in the MS/Intuit case). So they’d better be consistent.

  34. IMO, Government should stay out of business like this.
    However, the DOJ did block the deal for Microsoft to buy Intuit, because the govt claimed that it would reduce competition too much (Intuit would become a monopoly if MS Money were removed from the arena).

    Now, we have Google buying up properties for way more than they are worth, for no reason other than to eliminate competition. Google, with this purchase, will control 90% of internet advertising. Scoble talks about MS getting its balls kicked (or whatever he said), but what about the rest of those that would like to compete? Google controlling 90% of the space, not through better tech, but through huge buyouts, crushes the smaller players.

    I’d prefer govt to stay out, but they’re already in (as shown in the MS/Intuit case). So they’d better be consistent.

  35. I have also been an MVP since 1999 and have never received “constant pleas to help out in its fight against the government” or “write letters to editors, tell our friends all about how Microsoft was being persecuted”.

    I for one am quite happy for Google to have Doubleclick. Doubleclick were directly implicated in the Winfixer malware outbreak on the AOL advertising network that I tracked down (their distribution network was used as a conduit for displaying the dangerous creatives on computers).

    My personal belief is that the ongoing, growing, problem of malware/spyware/hijackware being distributed via online advertisements such as flash and banner ads via rogue affiliates makes investment in online advertising risky – not only because of the steps more and more people are taking to avoid advertising but also because of the steps that may be taken by the authorities to stop the highjacking of ad networks, not to mention the legal responsibility that will eventually be laid at the feet of companies like doubleclick for allowing their networks to be used as malware conduits.

  36. I have also been an MVP since 1999 and have never received “constant pleas to help out in its fight against the government” or “write letters to editors, tell our friends all about how Microsoft was being persecuted”.

    I for one am quite happy for Google to have Doubleclick. Doubleclick were directly implicated in the Winfixer malware outbreak on the AOL advertising network that I tracked down (their distribution network was used as a conduit for displaying the dangerous creatives on computers).

    My personal belief is that the ongoing, growing, problem of malware/spyware/hijackware being distributed via online advertisements such as flash and banner ads via rogue affiliates makes investment in online advertising risky – not only because of the steps more and more people are taking to avoid advertising but also because of the steps that may be taken by the authorities to stop the highjacking of ad networks, not to mention the legal responsibility that will eventually be laid at the feet of companies like doubleclick for allowing their networks to be used as malware conduits.

  37. Scoble,

    You know full well that any emails sent to you by Microsoft about “Freedom to Innovate” were completely unrelated to your being an MVP.

    MS pumped out that crap to the millions on their mailing lists.

    Why are you trying to mislead your readers?
    Why are you trying to spin it that way?
    What is in it for you?

    You not stupid, so I must assume your doing this for some other reason.

    Regards
    Mark

  38. Scoble,

    You know full well that any emails sent to you by Microsoft about “Freedom to Innovate” were completely unrelated to your being an MVP.

    MS pumped out that crap to the millions on their mailing lists.

    Why are you trying to mislead your readers?
    Why are you trying to spin it that way?
    What is in it for you?

    You not stupid, so I must assume your doing this for some other reason.

    Regards
    Mark

  39. The faster MS become less relevant, the better for all of us. MS is the bully that is now getting someone who fights back and is running to the teacher. *whine*

    I’m hoping MS gets slammed by multiple governments over time, and realizes they need to play fair and use nothing but open standards.

    Some people disagree with me about open source winning this war slowly, but it’s inevitable. You cannot compete with open standards and hope to survive. Not anymore.

    Europe is starting to realize this, as are individual countries. I’m really looking forward to seeing Europe topple the software patent thing.

  40. The faster MS become less relevant, the better for all of us. MS is the bully that is now getting someone who fights back and is running to the teacher. *whine*

    I’m hoping MS gets slammed by multiple governments over time, and realizes they need to play fair and use nothing but open standards.

    Some people disagree with me about open source winning this war slowly, but it’s inevitable. You cannot compete with open standards and hope to survive. Not anymore.

    Europe is starting to realize this, as are individual countries. I’m really looking forward to seeing Europe topple the software patent thing.

  41. Mark: I seem to remember that MVPs were personally asked too. I might have that wrong. We were getting asked from so many different directions. It might have simply been other members asking us to kick in and help out too. I wish I had my old email readily available to check.

  42. Mark: I seem to remember that MVPs were personally asked too. I might have that wrong. We were getting asked from so many different directions. It might have simply been other members asking us to kick in and help out too. I wish I had my old email readily available to check.

  43. Mark: I seem to remember that MVPs were personally asked too. I might have that wrong. We were getting asked from so many different directions. It might have simply been other members asking us to kick in and help out too. I wish I had my old email readily available to check.

  44. Scoble,

    You know full well that any emails sent to you by Microsoft about “Freedom to Innovate” were completely unrelated to your being an MVP.

    MS pumped out that crap to the millions on their mailing lists.

    Why are you trying to mislead your readers?
    Why are you trying to spin it that way?
    What is in it for you?

    You not stupid, so I must assume your doing this for some other reason.

    Regards
    Mark

  45. Scoble,

    You know full well that any emails sent to you by Microsoft about “Freedom to Innovate” were completely unrelated to your being an MVP.

    MS pumped out that crap to the millions on their mailing lists.

    Why are you trying to mislead your readers?
    Why are you trying to spin it that way?
    What is in it for you?

    You not stupid, so I must assume your doing this for some other reason.

    Regards
    Mark

  46. Scoble,
    I have been an MVP for a few years and I have never gotten requests to support Microsoft in any ways. You are trying to tie up the “freedom to innovate” newsletter to the MVP program for no good reason.

    The sooner you realize that this kind of noise that you spew makes you lose your credibility to your loyal readers, the better it is for you.

  47. Scoble,
    I have been an MVP for a few years and I have never gotten requests to support Microsoft in any ways. You are trying to tie up the “freedom to innovate” newsletter to the MVP program for no good reason.

    The sooner you realize that this kind of noise that you spew makes you lose your credibility to your loyal readers, the better it is for you.

  48. A minor point that I know people will ignore, but it’s important.

    There is nothing, absolutely nothing wrong, illegal, or immoral in being a monopoly. There are times it just happens. Natural monopolies.

    What is illegal in the US is for a monopoly to use the power that a monopoly has to create artificially high barriers to competition so as to preserve or increase their monopoly status.

    Had Microsoft not been such a bunch of bastards about everyone else in the computer industry, they’d have not gotten hammered TWICE for being a bad monopoly.

    They aren’t alone here. IBM and AT&T made Microsoft look like the friggin’ Smurf Village when it came to being evil.

    Being a monopoly = okay
    Abusing monopoly status = not okay.

  49. A minor point that I know people will ignore, but it’s important.

    There is nothing, absolutely nothing wrong, illegal, or immoral in being a monopoly. There are times it just happens. Natural monopolies.

    What is illegal in the US is for a monopoly to use the power that a monopoly has to create artificially high barriers to competition so as to preserve or increase their monopoly status.

    Had Microsoft not been such a bunch of bastards about everyone else in the computer industry, they’d have not gotten hammered TWICE for being a bad monopoly.

    They aren’t alone here. IBM and AT&T made Microsoft look like the friggin’ Smurf Village when it came to being evil.

    Being a monopoly = okay
    Abusing monopoly status = not okay.

  50. When you say MVP’s you imply all of us.

    Maybe you could try painting with a smaller brush. Your experience is your own, not all of a subsets.

    You may have been personally asked but that probably speaks more to your career as a marketer or your personal connections with MS.

    In 7 years as an MVP I have never been asked to campaign about anything. I’d tell them to shove the award up their … the moment they tried that sort of crap, I am surprised you didn’t tell them the same. Maybe you did.

    I checked in with about 25 other MVP’s and they say the same, they have never been asked to write letters or spruik to their friends.

    Cheers

  51. When you say MVP’s you imply all of us.

    Maybe you could try painting with a smaller brush. Your experience is your own, not all of a subsets.

    You may have been personally asked but that probably speaks more to your career as a marketer or your personal connections with MS.

    In 7 years as an MVP I have never been asked to campaign about anything. I’d tell them to shove the award up their … the moment they tried that sort of crap, I am surprised you didn’t tell them the same. Maybe you did.

    I checked in with about 25 other MVP’s and they say the same, they have never been asked to write letters or spruik to their friends.

    Cheers

  52. @ Mark Dormner

    This is what I see. I see what used to be a very pro MS Evangelist (Robert Scoble) hitting the other extreme. It was Rob wearing those ridiculous cow horns and mooooooo’ing in the early days of Longhorn, not MVPs (although I admit an MVP stole his horns, but that was a *prank*, not pro Longhorn evangelism.

    As Robert says “I was sympathetic to Microsoft back then.” I suppose that’s the biggest difference between Robert and MVPs – sympathy for MS just isn’t on our radar screen of a real MS MVP – it never has been and never will be – our primary focus is what is best for the users, and we don’t let our “sympathy” for any one corporation influence our words or actions… nor do we allow our words or actions to be influenced when we have a falling out with said employer or corporation.

    Heck, while Rob was busy tossing the horns and moooooing, I was advertising DeepNet Explorer on my Web site (despite being an Internet Explorer MVP) because I believed that for some it was a better choice, just like I recommended Opera to users who needed a decent Download Manager.

    Robert was employed by MS. Now he’s not. And since he has parted ways with MS his attitude to all things MS has changed. It makes you wonder how much of his current soapbox is “flavour of the month” and knowing which side his pay-packet is buttered on.

    Google *will* fall out of favour – it is inevitable as they become more and more powerful. Robert *will* change jobs again eventually. Only time will tell if history will repeat itself when he has another parting of the ways with an employer and goes on to different things. Will he become as anti-current current employer as he is MS now?

  53. @ Mark Dormner

    This is what I see. I see what used to be a very pro MS Evangelist (Robert Scoble) hitting the other extreme. It was Rob wearing those ridiculous cow horns and mooooooo’ing in the early days of Longhorn, not MVPs (although I admit an MVP stole his horns, but that was a *prank*, not pro Longhorn evangelism.

    As Robert says “I was sympathetic to Microsoft back then.” I suppose that’s the biggest difference between Robert and MVPs – sympathy for MS just isn’t on our radar screen of a real MS MVP – it never has been and never will be – our primary focus is what is best for the users, and we don’t let our “sympathy” for any one corporation influence our words or actions… nor do we allow our words or actions to be influenced when we have a falling out with said employer or corporation.

    Heck, while Rob was busy tossing the horns and moooooing, I was advertising DeepNet Explorer on my Web site (despite being an Internet Explorer MVP) because I believed that for some it was a better choice, just like I recommended Opera to users who needed a decent Download Manager.

    Robert was employed by MS. Now he’s not. And since he has parted ways with MS his attitude to all things MS has changed. It makes you wonder how much of his current soapbox is “flavour of the month” and knowing which side his pay-packet is buttered on.

    Google *will* fall out of favour – it is inevitable as they become more and more powerful. Robert *will* change jobs again eventually. Only time will tell if history will repeat itself when he has another parting of the ways with an employer and goes on to different things. Will he become as anti-current current employer as he is MS now?

  54. Sandi: it’s interesting the revisionism thats going on here. You’re attacking as hard as you are perceiving being attacked. Why is so much of your identity tied up with being an MVP?

    Before I was a Microsoft employee I regularly told Microsoft what I thought it was doing wrong. Just like you. I was quoted in Time Magazine telling Bill Gates to split the company up. That was BEFORE I was an employee. They still hired me. I told Steve Ballmer to get a more human face — in front of all the MVPs and got a signed dollar for doing that. Did you tell Ballmer something? Did you get a signed dollar for putting forth an interesting idea or criticism of the company? I don’t remember.

    The problem with my being an MVP is I can’t remove that from everything Microsoft did or does. Microsoft sent a lot of email and asked us to do a lot of things. Maybe it wasn’t on behalf of the MVP program. Who the hell really cares? Why is so much of your identity wrapped up in a program? Is it cause you want to get a free copy of MSDN Universal next year again?

    I told people about Firefox WHEN I was working at Microsoft. And told them I liked Google and other companies better WHEN I was getting a paycheck too.

    Interesting that you’re trying to forget all that and are getting in the same gutter you claim I’m in.

  55. Sandi: it’s interesting the revisionism thats going on here. You’re attacking as hard as you are perceiving being attacked. Why is so much of your identity tied up with being an MVP?

    Before I was a Microsoft employee I regularly told Microsoft what I thought it was doing wrong. Just like you. I was quoted in Time Magazine telling Bill Gates to split the company up. That was BEFORE I was an employee. They still hired me. I told Steve Ballmer to get a more human face — in front of all the MVPs and got a signed dollar for doing that. Did you tell Ballmer something? Did you get a signed dollar for putting forth an interesting idea or criticism of the company? I don’t remember.

    The problem with my being an MVP is I can’t remove that from everything Microsoft did or does. Microsoft sent a lot of email and asked us to do a lot of things. Maybe it wasn’t on behalf of the MVP program. Who the hell really cares? Why is so much of your identity wrapped up in a program? Is it cause you want to get a free copy of MSDN Universal next year again?

    I told people about Firefox WHEN I was working at Microsoft. And told them I liked Google and other companies better WHEN I was getting a paycheck too.

    Interesting that you’re trying to forget all that and are getting in the same gutter you claim I’m in.

  56. It is called Aikido. Use the enemy’s force against him. In the past, MS’s competitors used anti-trust crap again MS. Now it is payback time.

    Nothing ironic about it.

  57. It is called Aikido. Use the enemy’s force against him. In the past, MS’s competitors used anti-trust crap again MS. Now it is payback time.

    Nothing ironic about it.

  58. Sandi: it’s interesting the revisionism thats going on here. You’re attacking as hard as you are perceiving being attacked. Why is so much of your identity tied up with being an MVP?

    Swag, status, and a bigger tech-dick than non-MVPs.

  59. Sandi: it’s interesting the revisionism thats going on here. You’re attacking as hard as you are perceiving being attacked. Why is so much of your identity tied up with being an MVP?

    Swag, status, and a bigger tech-dick than non-MVPs.

  60. “Being a monopoly = okay
    Abusing monopoly status = not okay.”

    Welch, the DOJ blocks buyouts/mergers if they feel that competition would be harmed, *before* there has been any “abuse”. This happens all the time. And there was no “abuse” in the MS/Intuit deal, and the DOJ still blocked it. You despise Microsoft, but that’s not relevant to Google’s case. If Google/DoubleClick merger would harm competition too much, then the DOJ can block it. Your hatred of Microsoft is not relevant to that.

  61. “Being a monopoly = okay
    Abusing monopoly status = not okay.”

    Welch, the DOJ blocks buyouts/mergers if they feel that competition would be harmed, *before* there has been any “abuse”. This happens all the time. And there was no “abuse” in the MS/Intuit deal, and the DOJ still blocked it. You despise Microsoft, but that’s not relevant to Google’s case. If Google/DoubleClick merger would harm competition too much, then the DOJ can block it. Your hatred of Microsoft is not relevant to that.

  62. Scoble, NOBODY GIVES A DAMN ABOUT YOUR PAST MVP STATUS. Good grief. Why did this thread devolve into your obsessing over MVPs? Totally irrelevant to Google/DoubleClick.

  63. Scoble, NOBODY GIVES A DAMN ABOUT YOUR PAST MVP STATUS. Good grief. Why did this thread devolve into your obsessing over MVPs? Totally irrelevant to Google/DoubleClick.

  64. @39,

    Agreed. MVPs tend to think they are so much better than anyone else, which is patently false. I’ve been into computers since the early 80s, and I can tell you for a fact that the ones who are not certified or have alphabet soup after their names are by far the more knowledgeable of the two species.

    I remember in the late 90s early 00s, when MCSE came to be know an “Must Consult Someone Experienced”, or “Microsoft Certified Solitaire Engineer”.

    The best developers I know are title-free and are self-taught. The best techs I know are the same way. They are driven by personal satisfaction and could care less about the titles.

    I knew one man who was very quiet, had to be Mensa material, who simply refused to use business cards and loathed titles. He described himself simply as a “techie” even though we suspected he had a Ph.D. in computer science. These are the kinds of people I like to surround myself with.

    Title and alphabet soup only impress those who worship at the same alter. Real tech just want to get the job done.

    Piotr

  65. @39,

    Agreed. MVPs tend to think they are so much better than anyone else, which is patently false. I’ve been into computers since the early 80s, and I can tell you for a fact that the ones who are not certified or have alphabet soup after their names are by far the more knowledgeable of the two species.

    I remember in the late 90s early 00s, when MCSE came to be know an “Must Consult Someone Experienced”, or “Microsoft Certified Solitaire Engineer”.

    The best developers I know are title-free and are self-taught. The best techs I know are the same way. They are driven by personal satisfaction and could care less about the titles.

    I knew one man who was very quiet, had to be Mensa material, who simply refused to use business cards and loathed titles. He described himself simply as a “techie” even though we suspected he had a Ph.D. in computer science. These are the kinds of people I like to surround myself with.

    Title and alphabet soup only impress those who worship at the same alter. Real tech just want to get the job done.

    Piotr

  66. Attack of the MVPs, nothing worse than rabid fanboys on a mission from “God”…

    Give someone a tad of fame, toss in some freebies, set the groundwork for external Consultancy work, you got a small army of 24/7 workers for nearly free. But it creates an Entitlement mentality that will be impossible to kill or reform, and eventually oversight costs and handouts can make it a royal (and eternal) headache. Good on paper, but as with all such programs, they all look good in theory.

  67. Attack of the MVPs, nothing worse than rabid fanboys on a mission from “God”…

    Give someone a tad of fame, toss in some freebies, set the groundwork for external Consultancy work, you got a small army of 24/7 workers for nearly free. But it creates an Entitlement mentality that will be impossible to kill or reform, and eventually oversight costs and handouts can make it a royal (and eternal) headache. Good on paper, but as with all such programs, they all look good in theory.

  68. @38 “Before I was a Microsoft employee I regularly told Microsoft what I thought it was doing wrong. Just like you. I was quoted in Time Magazine telling Bill Gates to split the company up. That was BEFORE I was an employee. They still hired me. I told Steve Ballmer to get a more human face — in front of all the MVPs and got a signed dollar for doing that. Did you tell Ballmer something? Did you get a signed dollar for putting forth an interesting idea or criticism of the company? I don’t remember.”

    Again with the narcissim? No one cares!!! And even more important, it apparently is hasn’t mattered.

  69. @38 “Before I was a Microsoft employee I regularly told Microsoft what I thought it was doing wrong. Just like you. I was quoted in Time Magazine telling Bill Gates to split the company up. That was BEFORE I was an employee. They still hired me. I told Steve Ballmer to get a more human face — in front of all the MVPs and got a signed dollar for doing that. Did you tell Ballmer something? Did you get a signed dollar for putting forth an interesting idea or criticism of the company? I don’t remember.”

    Again with the narcissim? No one cares!!! And even more important, it apparently is hasn’t mattered.

  70. @38 “Why is so much of your identity wrapped up in a program?”

    Good question. Here’s another. Why is so much of your internet identity still wrapped up in being a “former Microsoft blogger”?

  71. @38 “Why is so much of your identity wrapped up in a program?”

    Good question. Here’s another. Why is so much of your internet identity still wrapped up in being a “former Microsoft blogger”?

  72. “Being a monopoly = okay
    Abusing monopoly status = not okay.”

    Welch, the DOJ blocks buyouts/mergers if they feel that competition would be harmed, *before* there has been any “abuse”. This happens all the time. And there was no “abuse” in the MS/Intuit deal, and the DOJ still blocked it. You despise Microsoft, but that’s not relevant to Google’s case. If Google/DoubleClick merger would harm competition too much, then the DOJ can block it. Your hatred of Microsoft is not relevant to that.

    Actually, I wasn’t speaking of the Intuit deal. I was speaking of the first consent decree from the first antitrust action against Microsoft, PRIOR to the one Judge Jackson oversaw, where you had Microsoft agree that they couldn’t make hardware OEMs pay them for a Windows license on every machine sold, *whether it had Windows installed on it or not*, as a condition of being able to get a Windows OEM license. That was, correctly I would add, seen as a barrier to other OS vendors being able to have their OS shipped on various PCs.

    Aww, I’m sorry, did I bring up a mean old fact that cast a shadow on your shrine to BallmerGates?

  73. “Being a monopoly = okay
    Abusing monopoly status = not okay.”

    Welch, the DOJ blocks buyouts/mergers if they feel that competition would be harmed, *before* there has been any “abuse”. This happens all the time. And there was no “abuse” in the MS/Intuit deal, and the DOJ still blocked it. You despise Microsoft, but that’s not relevant to Google’s case. If Google/DoubleClick merger would harm competition too much, then the DOJ can block it. Your hatred of Microsoft is not relevant to that.

    Actually, I wasn’t speaking of the Intuit deal. I was speaking of the first consent decree from the first antitrust action against Microsoft, PRIOR to the one Judge Jackson oversaw, where you had Microsoft agree that they couldn’t make hardware OEMs pay them for a Windows license on every machine sold, *whether it had Windows installed on it or not*, as a condition of being able to get a Windows OEM license. That was, correctly I would add, seen as a barrier to other OS vendors being able to have their OS shipped on various PCs.

    Aww, I’m sorry, did I bring up a mean old fact that cast a shadow on your shrine to BallmerGates?

  74. You got it all wrong again, Scoble. Microsoft’s “competitors” didn’t go whining to the government because they couldn’t win. They brought complaints of Microsoft’s illegal activity to the government and the government prosecuted. Microsoft was found guilty of felony violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

    That’s not at all the case with what Microsoft is doing here. It’s just plain whining. Doesn’t Microsoft have $billions? It can buy doubleclick many times over. Why is it not doing so?

    If I were a lawyer at Google, I’d file a complaint against Microsoft for bidding up the price on doubleclick without having any intention to buy it.

  75. You got it all wrong again, Scoble. Microsoft’s “competitors” didn’t go whining to the government because they couldn’t win. They brought complaints of Microsoft’s illegal activity to the government and the government prosecuted. Microsoft was found guilty of felony violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

    That’s not at all the case with what Microsoft is doing here. It’s just plain whining. Doesn’t Microsoft have $billions? It can buy doubleclick many times over. Why is it not doing so?

    If I were a lawyer at Google, I’d file a complaint against Microsoft for bidding up the price on doubleclick without having any intention to buy it.

  76. @Piotr: the majority of people working in the tech industry are charlatans. They have no hands-on experience with developing technology and are merely consumers of products. They form large groups via blogs and aggregators like techmeme and techcrunch, then apply a culture of “consensus by committee” and consequently, through a potent combination of political activity, incompetence, ignorance and plain lack of understanding select the worse possible product or solution to a problem by popular or unanimous vote. Not only do they think they are qualified to select a solution on behalf of other people, but oftentimes they do to the detriment of the people they are to represent.

    It’s not democracy.

    It’s the rule of mediocrity, by which a product that is “good enough for everybody” because it is “easy to use” or “pretty” is never actually good enough for any single person. And that is the essence of the software world, in a nutshell.

  77. @Piotr: the majority of people working in the tech industry are charlatans. They have no hands-on experience with developing technology and are merely consumers of products. They form large groups via blogs and aggregators like techmeme and techcrunch, then apply a culture of “consensus by committee” and consequently, through a potent combination of political activity, incompetence, ignorance and plain lack of understanding select the worse possible product or solution to a problem by popular or unanimous vote. Not only do they think they are qualified to select a solution on behalf of other people, but oftentimes they do to the detriment of the people they are to represent.

    It’s not democracy.

    It’s the rule of mediocrity, by which a product that is “good enough for everybody” because it is “easy to use” or “pretty” is never actually good enough for any single person. And that is the essence of the software world, in a nutshell.

  78. “Microsoft sent a lot of email and asked us to do a lot of things. Maybe it wasn’t on behalf of the MVP program. Who the hell really cares? Why is so much of your identity wrapped up in a program? Is it cause you want to get a free copy of MSDN Universal next year again?”

    Who the hell really cares whether it was or wasn’t on behalf of the MVP Programme? I do!! And so do every other person who expects you to publish corrections appropriately. Its called telling the truth. To bury your backpeddling and “maybe it wasn’t” statements in your comments, where half the world won’t see it, instead of editing your original post, which the world *does* see, is simply wrong.

    It’s got nothing to do with what my identity is wrapped up in. It’s got everything to do with your posting first and thinking later, and not bothering to fess up properly .. you do the strike through and update with other blog posts, why not with this?

  79. “Microsoft sent a lot of email and asked us to do a lot of things. Maybe it wasn’t on behalf of the MVP program. Who the hell really cares? Why is so much of your identity wrapped up in a program? Is it cause you want to get a free copy of MSDN Universal next year again?”

    Who the hell really cares whether it was or wasn’t on behalf of the MVP Programme? I do!! And so do every other person who expects you to publish corrections appropriately. Its called telling the truth. To bury your backpeddling and “maybe it wasn’t” statements in your comments, where half the world won’t see it, instead of editing your original post, which the world *does* see, is simply wrong.

    It’s got nothing to do with what my identity is wrapped up in. It’s got everything to do with your posting first and thinking later, and not bothering to fess up properly .. you do the strike through and update with other blog posts, why not with this?

  80. Sandi, your indignation is hilarious. Microsoft lobbied governments to “lay off” Microsoft shortly after the antitrust verdict using form letters sent with the names of dead people.
    http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=microlob23&date=20010823

    In 2001, Microsoft employees banded together to throw off the results of a zdnet poll on .net services.
    http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000000121,2102244,00.htm

    Most recently, Microsoft used lobbyists to pressure members of the Senate Committee on Governmental Operations (COGO) to remove the words they didn’t like from a Senate bill requiring open standards in government computing. http://trends.newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=07/04/16/2020210&from=rss

    And here you are, spending time you should be working for your employer attacking Scoble on his blog for suggesting Microsoft used the MVP program to write on its behalf during the antitrust trial. History paints a different picture of Microsoft employee roles than you describe.

    Just what percentage of time do Microsoft employees spend on the net, in blogs, chat rooms, messageboards attacking its competitors or providing false testimonials of the quality of Microsoft’s products? Is it 10%? 20%? Is it part of the average Microsoft employee’s job description?

    Microsoft’s passion is squashing other companies’ potential. Your efforts are misplaced. Office 2007 and Windows Vista don’t look like $8 billion+ worth of improvements. Get back to work or it will all come crashing down no matter how many debates you win on the internet.

  81. Sandi, your indignation is hilarious. Microsoft lobbied governments to “lay off” Microsoft shortly after the antitrust verdict using form letters sent with the names of dead people.
    http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=microlob23&date=20010823

    In 2001, Microsoft employees banded together to throw off the results of a zdnet poll on .net services.
    http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000000121,2102244,00.htm

    Most recently, Microsoft used lobbyists to pressure members of the Senate Committee on Governmental Operations (COGO) to remove the words they didn’t like from a Senate bill requiring open standards in government computing. http://trends.newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=07/04/16/2020210&from=rss

    And here you are, spending time you should be working for your employer attacking Scoble on his blog for suggesting Microsoft used the MVP program to write on its behalf during the antitrust trial. History paints a different picture of Microsoft employee roles than you describe.

    Just what percentage of time do Microsoft employees spend on the net, in blogs, chat rooms, messageboards attacking its competitors or providing false testimonials of the quality of Microsoft’s products? Is it 10%? 20%? Is it part of the average Microsoft employee’s job description?

    Microsoft’s passion is squashing other companies’ potential. Your efforts are misplaced. Office 2007 and Windows Vista don’t look like $8 billion+ worth of improvements. Get back to work or it will all come crashing down no matter how many debates you win on the internet.

  82. >you do the strike through and update with other blog posts, why not with this?

    Because I think the post is still factually correct. Microsoft asked many many groups and people to defend it in various ways. I remember getting many emails and other information both from Microsoft and other MVP members. It might not have been specifically THROUGH the MVP program, but they definitely asked me to help out.

  83. >you do the strike through and update with other blog posts, why not with this?

    Because I think the post is still factually correct. Microsoft asked many many groups and people to defend it in various ways. I remember getting many emails and other information both from Microsoft and other MVP members. It might not have been specifically THROUGH the MVP program, but they definitely asked me to help out.

  84. Hey “Anon” @52.

    I suspect you do not know that Sandi does not work for Microsoft and MVPs are not Microsoft employees.

  85. Hey “Anon” @52.

    I suspect you do not know that Sandi does not work for Microsoft and MVPs are not Microsoft employees.

  86. @52 “Most recently, Microsoft used lobbyists to pressure members of the Senate Committee on Governmental Operations (COGO) to remove the words they didn’t like from a Senate bill requiring open standards in government computing.”

    Hey! Wait a minute! Since when did businesses start using lobbyists to gain an advantage?

    And I wonder what possible motive Google would have had in hiring lobbying firm PodestaMattoon.

  87. @52 “Most recently, Microsoft used lobbyists to pressure members of the Senate Committee on Governmental Operations (COGO) to remove the words they didn’t like from a Senate bill requiring open standards in government computing.”

    Hey! Wait a minute! Since when did businesses start using lobbyists to gain an advantage?

    And I wonder what possible motive Google would have had in hiring lobbying firm PodestaMattoon.

  88. I don’t want to dive into the posts and the spin that is placed on this though I actually read each and every one – even the ones that were completely absurd.

    What I will say is that there seems to be some mistakes in the belief that we are the government. We, assuming you speak of the United States of America, are not the government. We are not *gasp* a democracy. We are a republic. (Recent spin-doctors have turned the term into “constitutional-republic.”)

    Either a dictionary or a good history book will reveal the differences. They aren’t exactly subtle differences either. But, I digress…

    Oh, yes, I am an MVP but frankly I could care less about your debate other than to say, “Good luck with that.”

  89. I don’t want to dive into the posts and the spin that is placed on this though I actually read each and every one – even the ones that were completely absurd.

    What I will say is that there seems to be some mistakes in the belief that we are the government. We, assuming you speak of the United States of America, are not the government. We are not *gasp* a democracy. We are a republic. (Recent spin-doctors have turned the term into “constitutional-republic.”)

    Either a dictionary or a good history book will reveal the differences. They aren’t exactly subtle differences either. But, I digress…

    Oh, yes, I am an MVP but frankly I could care less about your debate other than to say, “Good luck with that.”

  90. Google ran whining to the DOJ because Microsoft added a serach box to IE7, that was fully customizable, allowing the user to set the default search engine and multiple secondary search engines, and upon installation, retained the settings of IE6′s old (but little used) search pane. (When I upgraded to IE7, the default search engine was Yahoo, not MSN/Live, because IE6′s search pane default had been set to Yahoo from when I installed Yahoo toolbar at some point).

    Google whined about this, while the default browser on OSX, the browser that 95% of Mac users use (i.e, the browser that enjoys monopoly share on OSX), has its search box LOCKED IN TO GOOGLE, with no option of changing the default search box, or even an option for adding secondary search engines.

    Of course, the DOJ laughed and told Google to go screw themselves, but its not like Google is above running to the DOJ like hypcritical cry babies.

  91. Google ran whining to the DOJ because Microsoft added a serach box to IE7, that was fully customizable, allowing the user to set the default search engine and multiple secondary search engines, and upon installation, retained the settings of IE6′s old (but little used) search pane. (When I upgraded to IE7, the default search engine was Yahoo, not MSN/Live, because IE6′s search pane default had been set to Yahoo from when I installed Yahoo toolbar at some point).

    Google whined about this, while the default browser on OSX, the browser that 95% of Mac users use (i.e, the browser that enjoys monopoly share on OSX), has its search box LOCKED IN TO GOOGLE, with no option of changing the default search box, or even an option for adding secondary search engines.

    Of course, the DOJ laughed and told Google to go screw themselves, but its not like Google is above running to the DOJ like hypcritical cry babies.

  92. As much as I dislike Microsoft (why did the US Government chicken out of breaking them up a few years ago?), I have to agree with them on this one. Not so much in terms of the market share/antitrust issue – any business that seeks to pollute my screen with ads deserves any price gouging it suffers – but from a user privacy point of view combining Doubleclick’s tracking cookies with Google’s user database is something approaching ‘evil’.

  93. As much as I dislike Microsoft (why did the US Government chicken out of breaking them up a few years ago?), I have to agree with them on this one. Not so much in terms of the market share/antitrust issue – any business that seeks to pollute my screen with ads deserves any price gouging it suffers – but from a user privacy point of view combining Doubleclick’s tracking cookies with Google’s user database is something approaching ‘evil’.