Well, actually, it's mostly about the lack thereof. People have speculated on one thing or another actually being something that Microsoft invented; very few things have turned out to have not involved prior art elsewhere...
[ Stanford.edu LAN "Upgrade" Goes Awry]
The Stanford University School of Business did a network "Upgrade" that destroyed the Ph.D. dissertations of numerous students, as well as database, files, and research, representing many years of effort.
Only Windows users were adversely affected; Unix and MacOS servers were not affected by the problem.
The primary problem is really that they did not do competent system backups. But it does indicate the common problem; a "Microsoft environment" is a rather fragile thing, and despite the fragility of OS and file systems and the heavy dependance of systems on files that are not generally maintainable, there has not been a growth of correspondingly highly robust backup tools to make up for these weaknesses. And LAN administrators and their bosses evidently have foolish levels of faith in these fragile systems.
Where do you not want to go today?
With the delay of NT v.5, we expect Microsoft to aggressively push other revenue-generating products. Enterprises should: ignore hype from Microsoft that an upgrade to NT v.4 positions an organization for an easier upgrade to NT v.5, whether at the desktop or server; delay deployment of NT v.4 to take advantage of expected pricing discounts and promotions from Microsoft; and ignore Microsoft's pressure to upgrade desktops to Windows 98 if Windows 95 Gold Release or OSR2 has been deployed (see PC Research Note T-230-1490, 20 November 1997).
Bottom Line: Organizations should not consider deployment of NT v.5.0 prior to 2001. We believe organizations are better-served in the interim by evaluating the costs and benefits of using alternative products and not waiting on NT v.5.0 to emerge from "vaporware" status. Organizations looking for alternative functionality to that promised with NT Server v.5 will find many options that are viable and safely deployable, including ...
|--Gartner Group, on NT 5.0|
Trying to generalize from the Toshiba experience...
... enterprises should be aware of Microsoft's reliance on maintenance, longer-term deals and BackOffice revenue to sustain its current growth levels and stock price ...
"Where would you like to wait to go someday Real Soon Now if they ever release the product they promised?"
Table 2. Product Dates
Note that there has not been any tradeoff of actually getting:
If you have it handy, open your Microsoft Windows NTv4.0 manual, and skip along the license agreement section to the second page (not page labeled 2.), where it says "CUSTOMER REMEDIES." Everything that follows falls under Microsoft Limited Warranty under the EULA.
Microsoft's and its suppliers' entire liability and your exclusive remedy shall be, at Microsoft's option, either
return of the price paid, or
repair or replacement of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT or hardware that does not meet Microsoft's Limited Warranty and that is returned to Microsoft with a copy of your receipt.
This Limited Warranty is void if failure of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT or hardware has resulted from accident, abuse, or misapplication.
Any replacement SOFTWARE PRODUCT or hardware will be warranted for the remainder of the original warranty period or thirty (30) days, whichever is longer.
NO OTHER WARRANTIES. To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, Microsoft, and its suppliers disclaim all other warranties, either express, or implied, including but not limited to, implied warranties of mechantability and fitness for a pariticular purpose, with regard to the software product, and any accompanying hardware. This Limited Warranty gives you specific legal rights. You may have others, which vary from State/Jurisdiction to State/Jurisdiction.
NO LIABILITY FOR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES.
To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, in no event shall Microsoft or its suppliers be liable for any special, incidental, indirect, or consequential damages whatsoever (including, without limitation, damages for loss of business profits, business interruption, loss of business information, or any other pecuniary loss) arising our ot the use of or inability to use the software product, even if Microsoft has been advised of the possibility of such damages.
Because some States and Jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages, the above limitation may not apply to you.
Note that some versions of EULA add the following: "Limitations on Certain Testing Methods. You may not use the SOFTWARE PRODUCT for benchmarking or performance testing."
Bill Gates Claims "Microsoft Code has No Bugs" (At least, there are none that Microsoft cares to fix.)
"You don't really think buying into a closed proprietary solution available from only one vendor and not particularly compatible with any alternative systems is a good business strategy, do you?"
Eric S. Raymond comments on what certainly appears to be an internal Microsoft document on "Open Source."
The document presents an analysis of various strengths and weaknesses of "Open Source" software releases, particularly in the context of how this ought to relate to Microsoft strategy.
The document definitely does not read like either a spoof or a hoax; it seems not unreasonable to believe that it is what it is claimed to be.
The obvious principle that is of no value whatsoever to the typical observer is that you need to be born into as rich a family as possible. The easiest way to become a fabulously wealthy white guy is to be born as the nth generation with a series of ancestors who are wealthy white guys.
Having your dad be a lawyer, so that laws and contracts permeate your brain, is also something that is difficult to choose to accomplish.
On the other hand, the article does point to some interesting principles on the "care and feeding" of venture capitalists (short answer: if you let them control your business, you have lost), and suggests that it is wise to groom managers for a number of years before putting them in charge. Gates "groomed" Steve Ballmer for around 20 years before relinquishing managerial control.
Proudly Serving My Corporate Masters - on why Microsoft has succeeded, what it does well, and what it does badly
Companies that buy Microsoft's BackOffice products better check the fine print on their licensing contracts before they find themselves shelling out millions more to the software titan than originally intended.
A conference organized partly by Ralph Nader to appraise the effects of Microsoft within the computer marketplace.
On a less serious note, some conspiracy theorists think Microsoft is part of the classical "Illuminati" conspiracies. This would also relate Microsoft to the Templars, Masons, FBI, Vatican Bankers, Rosicrucians, Discordians, just to name a few likely relationships...
The prolific Rex Ballard presents, on Usenet, lots of "Linux advocacy" and "Microsoft de-advocacy." Some is of somewhat questionable value, in my view. He commonly combines fairly useful insights with claims that I tend to think don't closely correspond to reality.
The following is pretty typical; draw your own conclusions:
From now until the end of the year, Microsoft (company profile) has slashed the cost of Windows NT 4.0 Workstation. The move represents a bid to get customers to upgrade to Windows NT 5.0, which is currently in beta and due out next year.
The Department of Justice should have a field day with this. Effectively they are attempting to "Lock In" customers for NT 5.0 by making them pay for NT 5.0 now, in exchange for a discount on NT 4.0.
This might be an interesting case for the Securities Exchange Commission and the IRS as well. By selling the product in advance, they are creating a legal debt. They will have to report the sales as income and and as a liability. Furthermore, if they attempt to use these numbers to inflate market share, the FTC might need to get involved.
A successor to Windows98 not based on Windows NT.
A recent attempt at comparative benchmarking leaves some egg on face...
Microsoft paid Mindcraft to do a comparison of Windows NT versus Linux for performance of a web/file server; Web and File Server Comparison: Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 and Red Hat Linux 5.2 Updated.
Mindcraft are apparently extremely competent at tuning Windows NT. They are apparently not quite as good at tuning the systems that they compare NT to. Indeed, when they did a comparison between NT and Linux, there were several bits of "tuning" that they did with the Linux systems that seemed to represent the worst possible tuning choices to diminish performance of the Linux-based system.
Novell had similar complaints with the way they configured Netware 5 in a similar situation...
(Or so Microsoft would have you believe...)
Mindcraft continue to react to criticisms that have been raised about their benchmarking of "NT versus Linux."
The thesis of this essay that stock options should be treated as expenses, and that the essential effect of stock options is that of a "pyramid scheme."
... Due to a ludicrously stupid choice in encryption algorithms ...
State of the Handheld - WindowsCE may not be doing so well; vendors appear to be abandoning it.
... With $150M payment to Caldera, it appears...
The defect prohibits administrators from adding more than 51 IP addresses to a Windows 2000 server configured as a domain controller. Doing so stops the server from authenticating users and prevents the administrative tools from working. Oops.
Cookies stored by IE for Windows can be read by any Web site
On David Korn criticizing Microsoft's choice of Korn shell implementations...
A federal judge found that Microsoft Corp. engaged in "wanton, reckless" and deceptive business practices against Bristol.
What if Microsoft made a Linux Distribution ? Well, here's what it might look like...
Some thoughts on why Microsoft bought a chunk of Corel...
The underwriter Wurzler provides insurance against hacking activities, and charges more for Windows NT-based systems.
The Microsoft-English Dictionary 1.0 (What Microsoft Really Means To Say)
It is possible that the oversimplification of matters that resulted from using PowerPoint to filter data contributed to the Columbia space shuttle disaster.
Essay on the problems of "security by obscurity." Note that Microsoft seems to be averaging more than two system patches per week to deal with observed security flaws.
Microsoft has recently released a gaming console which (if you never get out) you'll have noticed is called XBox.
It's basically a Pentium III PC, with 64MB of RAM, an Ethernet port, a bunch of disk, and no keyboard. It appears that Microsoft would like for it to be purely used for gaming. Some people have other ideas...
Red Hat's proposal to provide free software if Microsoft gives computers to schools
The man who built the suite of tools to determine if Windows NT was worthy of C2 Certification. He died of a stress-induced stroke after a shabby set of treatment...
Presenting how some school boards are considering moving away from Microsoft products due to serious licensing concerns...
Some Microsoft products are particularly "holey."
An account of how Dave Cutler brought the remains of Prism to Microsoft to build Windows NT...
An extensive opinionated analysis of upcoming trends in the computing industry, including many things they speculate Microsoft will try to do.
You'd think that it would be a better idea to write software that wasn't rife with errors...
Security experts have been saying for years that the security of the Windows family of products is hopelessly inadequate. Now there is a rigorous government certification confirming this.
Apparently to start up a Dell machine, you are required to lie and claim you have read licenses that you cannot have read, and to agree to legal agreements that it is impossible to have read. Ridiculous, but true.
"Microsoft certainly carries an unpleasant reputation these days. Is it justified? Well, I'm of the opinion that they haven't had half the kicking they deserve."
This sheet summarises all the things I do to make my Win2k machine more useful to me. I've summarised it here partly for my own benefit (I have to repeat the process on each new machine) and partly in the hope that it may be be of use to others.