Feeds

Microsoft execs jilted by an unfaithful Dell

'We should whack them'

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Microsoft executives - having been unceremoniously dressed down for, among other things, plotting to cut off rival Netscape's supply of life-giving air - discussed bludgeoning Dell over the true-blue ally's embrace of Linux.

The online musings came to light this week in the antitrust case being tried in Iowa state court. In an email thread exchanged in November, 2002 - less than a week after Microsoft promised a federal judge it would mend its ways - top executives brainstormed on ways to get Dell to come to its senses and end its torrid affair with Linux.

"We should whack them, we should make sure they understand our value, we should do all of the things you and Brian suggest," Paul Flessner, Microsoft's senior VP of server apps, wrote to Bill Veghte, a corporate VP.

The Brian is Brian Valentine, most recently a senior vice president who left Microsoft last year. He was one of a dozen top brass included in deliberations over how to respond to comments from a Dell exec that signaled a growing infatuation with Linux in the enterprise. The comments, which were part of a panel discussion, came from Russell Holt, at the time VP of Dell's enterprise system group.

"I can't imagine he would be this blatant against us if he knew you were there," wrote Valentine, who previously thought Holt only had eyes for Redmond. "If he knew and he is really doing this, then we have some serious thinking to do around this relationship."

If Microsoft execs felt jilted, it's understandable. Dell dumped Linux on the desktop almost a year earlier, so word that Microsoft's most fervent of mistresses was once again bedding with a rival was particularly hard on Valentine and Flessner.

Still, at other points executives argued that perhaps it was time to accept that Dell may want to see other people. "I don't have all the answer [sic] here but Dell's behavior is predictable and it won't change," Flessner wrote in one email. Microsoft spokesman Jack Evans seized on that comment - and others he said were not entered into evidence - in arguing that Iowa attorneys were making too much out of the exchange.

"While this may sound provocative, what counts at the end of the day is what actually happened," Evans wrote. "Looking at subsequent portions of this email thread, which the plaintiffs chose to exclude from their exhibits, it’s evident that we didn’t take any retaliatory action against Dell." ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
Turnbull should spare us all airline-magazine-grade cloud hype
Box-hugger is not a dirty word, Minister. Box-huggers make the cloud WORK
SanDisk vows: We'll have a 16TB SSD WHOPPER by 2016
Flash WORM has a serious use for archived photos and videos
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
Do you spend ages wasting time because of a bulging rack?
No more cloud-latency tea breaks for you, users! Get a load of THIS
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.