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Microsoft spin-doctors ‘refute’ DoJ case

But there seems to be a lot more spinning than red meat in this here document...

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Microsoft released late yesterday a paper entitled "Setting the record straight: Microsoft's statement on government lawsuit". Even those with neutral feelings about the case will find it hard to accept the disingenuousness of Microsoft's arguments. There's not much new in the document, despite claims by quite a few cub reporters unfamiliar with the documentation of the case. What is interesting is the level of low quality of rhetoric. It reads like the reviewers' guides that Microsoft produces for idle software reviewers, in the hope that they will not bother to examine the product, but just write what Microsoft wishes them to write. This document is a pre-trial propaganda piece aimed at the media, and it merely presents the current Microspin. Is it really true that Microsoft was "seeking ways to increase the distribution and promotion of [IE], in order to increase competition in the marketplace"? Were there really "choices made by consumers in a free market"? Discussing the June 1995 meeting with Netscape at which Microsoft wanted to carve up the browser market, Microsoft says: "the purpose of this routine [sic] meeting… was to explore the possibility of forging a strategic partnership in some areas of the two companies' businesses, while understanding the areas in which they would continue to compete. Such co-opetition' relationships are pervasive in the industry." Ray Noorda, the former Novell CEO who invented the term co-opetition' (the FT on Saturday didn't know the source, and got it wrong), will be appalled at Microsoft's claim that its relationship with Netscape was co-opetition, and that Microsoft was motivated by any notion of ethics in its business practices. Microsoft keeps suggesting that the DoJ is selecting snippets out-of-context in its briefs. It will be interesting to see the actual evidence from Intel and Intuit and Sun witnesses, rather than Microsoft's attempt to neutralise the evidence in advance. In the paper, Microsoft has introduced an interesting error that shows simultaneously its paranoia and the propaganda line it would like to convey. In discussing the "very low" cost of market entry for a new operating system to compete with Windows, Microsoft writes about "Linux, a new version of Unix developed by a single individual". We rest our case. ® Click for more stories

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