Feeds

Microsoft's dirty tricks archive vanishes

What don't they want us to see?

Boost IT visibility and business value

Last week Microsoft settled its only outstanding anti-trust case, a class action lawsuit brought in Iowa.

Comes vs Microsoft was resolved seven weeks into trial, and the terms of the settlement will not be revealed until April.

However, the settlement has already had one fortunate outcome for Redmond. The plaintiffs' evidence, which constitutes the largest and most comprehensive archive of Microsoft's dirty tricks ever amassed, has disappeared from the web.

Plaintiffs maintained a website at iowaconsumercase.org, which included daily media updates, full transcripts of the previous day's proceedings, and an archive of some 2,000 exhibits of alleged misdeeds going back to the 1980s.

The website is now password-protected. Microsoft's own archive of exhibits and transcripts has similarly disappeared. Microsoft maintains a comprehensive record of its antitrust proceedings, making Comes a notable absence.

One of the centerpieces of the Iowa class action lawsuit is Microsoft's anti-competitive tactics against DR-DOS and Novell. Caldera, which acquired the rights to DR-DOS in lawsuit in 1996 and filed suit against Microsoft the same year, and settled in early 2000 before trial began.

Readers will recall how 937 boxes of material from the Caldera lawsuit were destroyed in 2003 - apparently at the request of SCO.

Neither of the press contacts for the Iowa Case had returned our calls at time of writing; the office number for media enquiries in the case has been delisted.

Parts of the evidence are still available via Google's cache, however the crawler reached only a small fraction, around 10 per cent, of the exhibits in the Iowa archive, and Google's notoriously sloppy OCR software is so poor that the HTML version is barely comprehensible, as this sample illustrates:

From bmdsl Fd Jul 26 17:03:21 1991

To: Subj.:

Re: : rller rs n d tinbg

Dam: Ffi, 26 Jul 91 17::18 PDT

¯ e d 5 upgde at for 34 of the yo le 11 ugh d you ’t d ti on e agen for it? weird. we’w alry pruc dumenat discuo compitive sidoa th ibm d dfi. d your ple have alrody n v iL eye.one ows tt fa fa wor ber th -

> From OUO Fd lul 15:49:26 1991

To: b Da: Ffi lul 26 15:49:24

ID1 o ag1 jam pack.

I have Mth or wiout sion. at w n is a wMte paper at expls gong agait th M DOS d DR DOS.

If w, fred time at e NSM, I would happy m get you the agent.

Not very useful to scholars, lawyers or anyone else. ®

Bootnote:  Microsoft's eagerness to destroy evidence in the Burst case, suggests Mark ("Robert X Cringely") Stephens, [pt1 - pt2] could lead to perjury prosecutions. As he recounts here, while Redmond lawyers were protesting that they couldn't find deleted emails requested by the court, the emails were sitting in boxes on campus. Oops. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?