Gates smoking email asks how to break rival's software

After a quiet period, the other trial is perking up again...

MS on Trial Oops - just when they thought it was safe to go back into the mail system, Caldera has unleashed a stack of nasties relating to the period when, the company claims, Microsoft was deliberately making sure DR-DOS wouldn't run Windows. And quote of the week comes from Jim "Videotape" Allchin, now running Microsoft's multiple OS rollouts but then pithily observing of Redmond's Utah competition: "I hate them." That's a lot easier to read than your deposition transcript, Jim. But more importantly, the email trail leads to Bill Gates again: "You never sent me a response on the question of what things an [application] would do that would make it run with MS-DOS and not run with DR-DOS," writes Bill. One must presume this is only healthy curiosity, rather than evidence of a Gates-inspired plot to sabotage DR-DOS. Microsoft did include a routine that tested for non-MS-DOS operating systems, but only included this in pre-release versions of MS-DOS. But other emails suggest that something was going on. Said Rich Abel: "I hate this whole thing. I think it's totally rude, reinforces the image that users have of us as the evil ones." The emails also show that Microsoft did identify ways to identify whether the OS was DR-DOS or MS-DOS, but found that applications "have no business making [these] calls." Caldera is currently suing Microsoft over claimed destabilisation and anti-competitive behaviour in a period which now seems largely ancient history, but the appearance of more skeletons after the DoJ ones have largely worked their way through the system must be unwelcome news for Microsoft. ® Complete Register trial coverage

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