Feeds

Microsoft's dirty tricks archive vanishes

What don't they want us to see?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.