OEM sales report shows how MS squeezed Netscape out
And Bill wanted everybody to laugh at "100 per cent pure Java"
The Microsoft OEM sales figures the Department of Justice had so much trouble getting access to last year are finally making it into court. Yesterday the DoJ released a Browser Report Card, a single page from one of the company's OEM sales reviews. The rest of the document, all 680 pages of it, is intended to be given to the court on Monday, but as it includes that troublesome Microsoft confidential pricing data, it will be under seal - at least for the moment. The part of the document released so far shows the extent to which Microsoft had muscled Netscape out of the OEM market by early last year. The review covers 15 major PC companies, and found that only five either did offer or intended to offer Navigator as an option, and only on some models. Close observation of court discussion surrounding the full document over the next few weeks may pay dividends, but given the sensitivity (and relatively recent nature) of the data it contains, it probably won't be unsealed in the immediate future. The DoJ also released two emails, one from Ben Slivka ramming home the Java message: "Don't encourage new, cross-platform Java classes, especially don't help get great Win 32 implementations written/deployed." He added: "Do encourage fragmentation of the Java classlib space." Meanwhile Eric Engstrom says Microsoft should get Intel "to stop helping Sun create Java multimedia APIs, especially ones that run well… on Windows." Both of these are part of the Microsoft internal discussion of how Java could be fragmented, and how cross-platform Java can be stopped. The Intel one is interesting though, as it suggests a (justified) fear that Intel will write good Windows code that can then be used by Sun to undermine Microsoft's ownership of the Windows Java platform. And here's another one from his Billness to Jim Allchin, came up in the DoJ trial exhibit treasure trove earlier this week, and boy, is he mad: "Cross-platform demand is not coming from statistics [so he does pay attention to the stats, aha!]. It is coming from the free-lunch syndrome we have allowed to develop. All of a sudden people think that there is no drawback to being cross-platform. No drawback in size, speed, interface, richness, testability… We should have people laughing at the idea of 100 per cent pure Java whether they write in Java or not… we are not in there driving a positive agenda for Windows." So Bill, who at the time (February 1997) is at least theoretically signed-up to 100 per cent pure Java, is suggesting mounting a marketing programme to get everybody to laugh at it. ® Complete Register trial coverage