Microsoft, Microsoft, Microsoft!

Imagine the above in a whiny, Jan Brady voice and maybe you'll get it. I hate when I have to explain my headlines.

Microsoft is just all over the news at the moment, and while the individual stories themselves aren't necessarily worthy of a news post, I figured rolling 'em all together might generate some interesting discussion.

First off, here's a article discussing how Microsoft has recently published a document that explains their CIFS (Common Internet File Sharing) protocol. Wasn't that nice of 'em? Sure, except to get it, you have to sign an agreement stating you won't use the knowledge for evil. And to Microsoft, evil means "open source," specifically the GPL.

The irony here is that this document was apparently released as part of the settlement in the antitrust trial; so here's MS taking a settlement requirement that's designed to lessen their monopoly, and using it in an attempt to hamstring what they acknowledge as one of their main competitors. Perhaps if their message isn't understood, they can have the document printed on a giant middle finger.

In related news, another story reports on the latest drama from the trial. The dissenting states have canceled plans to show a desktop version of Windows based on Windows XP Embedded. In case you're unaware, Microsoft has been stating emphatically that a modular version of Windows (which would in theory enable system builders to pick and choose which parts they wanted) is impossible; the states countered with the contention that they could demonstrate just such a thing to the court using a version of XP designed for embedded devices.

The states have since backed off the idea, however, after Microsoft claimed they'd need a long time (longer than a few days, according to the article) to prepare a proper response to the demonstration. I'm sure the states' attorneys getting yelled at by the judge for springing this so late in the proceedings probably had something to do with it, too.

Meanwhile, outside the courtroom, things keep on truckin'. This ZDNet article describes how Microsoft's .NET server products are currently being tested at customer sites, with release candidates expected sometime this summer. I did enjoy this quote:

The upgrade could feed the perception that Microsoft has yet to define just what .Net means internally and for customers. "I think Microsoft has a real problem ahead of itself explaining what (the upgrade) means," [analyst Dwight] Davis said. "What difference does it make to have the .Net framework built in? I don't know, frankly."
Of course, it could be that I find that funny simply because I'm tired and thus cranky and overly cynical.
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