Feeds

Microsoft execs jilted by an unfaithful Dell

'We should whack them'

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

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." ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd
There's an Atom-powered offering, too
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.