END GAME: Microsoft, Cereal Killer & Fair trading legislation

END GAME: Microsoft, Cereal Killer & Fair trading legislation

Post by David Mohri » Wed, 03 Oct 2001 22:10:04



This is a long post, but if you have any concerns about Microsoft
"marketing" practices then it is well worth considering.  

Novell claims Microsoft's out to get it
"""http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/
businesstechnology/134348566_novell020.html"""
+PROVO, Utah -- Novell, a maker of operating-system software, is suing
+Microsoft over an advertising campaign it said makes false and misleading
+statements about Novell's NetWare products.
...
+Novell said Microsoft sent marketing materials shaped like cereal boxes to
+Novell customers calling into question whether Novell will continue to
+support its NetWare software.
+
+The boxes, "Microsoft Server Crunch," contained software for moving to a
+Microsoft operating system from a Novell system, said Joe LaSala, Novell's
+general counsel.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/21974.html
+Novell is not amused: "These questions and statements are completely false
+and misleading," said Stewart Nelson, Novell COO. "Microsoft has tried to
+create a fictitious end of life for NetWare to create fear and uncertainty
+within Novell's customer base and to discourage future customers from doing
+business with Novell."
+
+Instead, a press release put out by Novell reads: "There is no expiration
+date for NetWare. NetWare has been and continues to be Novell's flagship
+software offering. In fact, development of NetWare 6.1 and future releases
+of NetWare has been underway for more than a year. Far from becoming
+obsolete, NetWare is a state-of-the-art networking platform, and it has
+Novell's full support both for currently shipping versions and versions yet
+to be announced."
+
+Novell wants "corrective advertising", the pulling of the current
+advertising and damages, currently unannounced.

Microsoft's employees have a very long history of posting lies
and FUD ( Fear Uncertainty Doubt ) under aliases and it has
put Microsoft in trouble with the US DOJ before.

The Barkto Incident, also against Novell and OS/2
http://lists.essential.org/1998/am-info/msg01529.html
+The Barkto Incident did not escape the attention of the
+Department of Justice who was winding up their five-year investigation
+of MS when it occured. They flew a special team to Redmond to take
+depositions on the matter just weeks before Microsoft agreed to the
+Consent Decree designed to stop their predatory and anti-competitive
+business practices.

Such negative advertising is very destructive. Even when the
content can be easily disproved, the people making the
purchasing choices do not always have the knowledge or time
to follow the arguments in public forums to there conclusions.

Is the rest of the open source and free licence community, like myself
also sick and tired of refuting the lies propagated by Microsoft
about open source software and GPL licencing?

( Another recent Anti-Apache example
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/35/21967.html
and one other De-FUDed by myself a couple of months before
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=slrn9md58p.7kp.here...@heretic.ihug.co.nz
)

Maybe it's time to take more "affirmative" action.

Should the commercial companies who provide open source distributions
and support services join Novell in a Class Action Suite against
Microsoft for *years* of similar FUD tactics?

But would that end the lies being spread in usenet and other
public forums?

Maybe we should start complaining to the various local Commerce
Commissions or equivalent agencies concerning the "negative
advertising" in this and other public forums.

IANAL ( I am not a lawyer ) but in New Zealand we have the
Fair Trading Act 1986 , which is based on very simliar legistation
from Australia. I believe that there is other simliar legistation
covering the advertising of goods and services in a lot of other
countries as well.

A quick introduction, in respects to advertising is available online
from the NZ Commerce Commission ...

A Guide for Advertisers and Traders 1997
http://www.comcom.govt.nz/acts/fairact/

Note this covers media advertising and direct sales pitches, but
more importantly it also covers actions in public forums.

Public forums such as the local and comp.* usenet newsgroups
and the comments posted to technical websites are where the
public go to seek opinions which affect their choice of
purchase, therefore they can constitute "a place of trade".

A copy of the NZ act itself is avalable from  
"Fair Trading Act 1986"
http://rangi.knowledge-basket.co.nz/gpacts/public/text/1986/an/121.html

It include the following section
"Section I: Misleading and Deceptive Conduct, False Representations, and
           Unfair Practices
 Misleading and Deceptive Conduct
 9   Misleading and deceptive conduct generally"
http://rangi.knowledge-basket.co.nz/gpacts/public/text/1986/se/121se9...
+PART I
+   MISLEADING AND DECEPTIVE CONDUCT, FALSE REPRESENTATIONS, AND UNFAIR
+                                PRACTICES
+
+
+                     Misleading and Deceptive Conduct
+
+   9. Misleading and deceptive conduct generally---No person shall, in
+ trade, engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or is likely to
+ mislead or deceive.
+     Cf. Trade Practices Act 1974 (Aust.), s. 52
+

This includes making of false or deciptive declarations, but it also
includes "engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive"

Most generally accepted professional codes of ethics covering business
practices such as ethical guidelines of the New Zealand Computer Society
Inc ...

http://www.nzcs.org.nz/documents/code_of_ethics.pdf
+
+"In relation to the public, the member...
+
+shall declare any personal financial interest in making any statement,
+criticism or argument concerning information processing."

Microsoft (NZ) has signed up to that agreement.
http://www.nzcs.org.nz/partners/pie_list.htm
Which requires of its members
http://www.nzcs.org.nz/partners/benefits.htm
+
+'Partners In Excellence" are organisations (small, medium or large,
+commercial or non-commercial) that are involved in the supply or use of
+information systems and/or technology in some way, and visibly support
+NZCS in its ongoing challenge to achieve improvement in the professional
+standards, ethics and skill levels of those involved in these industries.'

Therefore, any Microsoft employee or agent who makes a critical comment
over any other vendors product, without disclosing their financial
relationship to Microsoft is in breech of the above code of ethics and
also the Fair Trading Act 1986.

One more very important part of the act covers the definition and
"Conduct by servants or agent"

"Section V: Enforcement and Remedies
 Civil Proceedings
 45   Conduct by servants or agents
http://rangi.knowledge-basket.co.nz/gpacts/public/text/1986/se/121se4...

This means that under the act not only for the actions of direct
employees but also those who have been
+   (b) By any other person at the direction or with the consent or
+         agreement (whether express or implied) of a director, servant,
+         or agent of the body corporate, given within the scope of the
+         actual or apparent authority of the director, servant or
+         agent---
+
+ shall be deemed, for the purposes of this Act, to have been engaged in
+ also by the body corporate.

IMO Microsoft is also legally liable for the claims made by those who
have been directly "provoked" into doing so or provide with the content
by a Microsoft employee.

The posts made by a lot of the WinTrolls in this and other newsgroups
often share very simliar content. Is this because it comes from a common
source?

Note under the same section it is not the individuals who are liable
but the "body corporate", only Microsoft itself would face the legal
charge.

The powers available to your local Commerce Commision or Office of Fair
Trading etc should be very similar to that of the NZ Commerce Commision.
http://www.comcom.govt.nz/acts/fairact/enforcement.cfm
+Investigative powers
+
+Section 47 of the Fair Trading Act gives the Commission the power to obtain
+and execute search warrants. Commission officers can, with such a warrant,
+search premises and seize and remove goods, documents, computer records and
+other items.

It is well within the ability of the NZ Commerce Commission to request
the employment/contract details from Microsoft of all its employees
to match ISP accounts, email addresses, usenet aliases and any remaining
copies of emails. More than enough IMO to track down quite a few
"astroturfers". ( I have evidence of at least one who has posted in
the local nz.comp usenet group)

It is very apparent that Microsoft have breached the "Consent Decree"
many times over.

In New Zealand anyone can make a direct complaint to the NZ Commerce
Commission, but it is at the Commissions own discretion whether to
investgate the complaint. A large number of complaints and a bit
of publicity would likely improve the chances.

Alternately a company, group or individual can take a more direct route...
http://www.comcom.govt.nz/acts/fairact/enforcement.cfm
+Anyone can apply to the High Court for an injunction to stop the Act being
+breached. The court can grant injunctions to stop activities that traders
+are currently engaged in, or are likely to engage in. Where prompt
+intervention is necessary to minimise damage caused by unlawful conduct, the
+court may order an interim injunction pending a full hearing of the case.

Getting acceptance of open source solutions in my last place of work
was an uphill battle. Not because of the sutabilty of the product
but because of the negative FUD generated by Microsoft, on occasion
directly from some of their local sales staff.

I am seriously considering laying a complaint or getting together
with a group to take direct action if Microsoft continues with
similar marketing tactics.

Maybe it is finally time for the open source and free licence communities
and businesses to consider doing the same in every country with ...

read more »

 
 
 

END GAME: Microsoft, Cereal Killer & Fair trading legislation

Post by Sundial Service » Thu, 04 Oct 2001 01:08:39


[...]
Quote:> +Novell said Microsoft sent marketing materials shaped like cereal boxes to
> +Novell customers calling into question whether Novell will continue to
> +support its NetWare software.
> +
> +The boxes, "Microsoft Server Crunch," contained software for moving to a
> +Microsoft operating system from a Novell system, said Joe LaSala, Novell's
> +general counsel.

[...]

I dunno, I see a lot of whimsy in it.  I'd like to get a few dozen of
those boxes and stuff Red Hat CD's into them, however...  Give 'em
something worth eating.  ;-)

 
 
 

END GAME: Microsoft, Cereal Killer & Fair trading legislation

Post by David Mohri » Thu, 04 Oct 2001 01:43:29


On Tue, 02 Oct 2001 09:08:39 -0700,

Quote:>[...]
>> +Novell said Microsoft sent marketing materials shaped like cereal boxes to
>> +Novell customers calling into question whether Novell will continue to
>> +support its NetWare software.
>> +
>> +The boxes, "Microsoft Server Crunch," contained software for moving to a
>> +Microsoft operating system from a Novell system, said Joe LaSala, Novell's
>> +general counsel.
>[...]

>I dunno, I see a lot of whimsy in it.

I hope not when you read some of statements made on the box.

http://www.novell.com/news/press/archive/2001/10/pr01093.html
+ Microsoft's campaign of disparagement and falsehoods appears to be its
+response to Novell's recent introduction of NetWare? 6, the latest version
+of the network operating system widely regarded in the industry as the most
+reliable and secure platform on the market. NetWare is Novell's premier
+platform for delivering Net services across all types of computer networks,
+storage systems and client desktops.
+
+Microsoft's false statements were contained in a marketing piece shaped like
+a breakfast cereal box that it recently distributed to a large number of
+Novell? customers across the country. The box was headlined "Microsoft
+Server Crunch," and on it were printed a number of false and misleading
+statements, including:
+       "What's the expiration date on that NetWare platform?"
+       "As a result of the recent Cambridge Technology Partners
+        merger, Novell is shifting its focus from software development to
+        consultancy services."
+       "You're left with a server platform without the full support of its
+        manufacturer. Which means increasing costs as it rapidly becomes
+        obsolete, forcing you to implement time-consuming retrofits."
+
+"These questions and statements are completely false and misleading," said
+Stewart Nelson, Novell executive vice president and chief operating officer.
+"Microsoft has tried to create a fictitious end of life for NetWare to
+create fear and uncertainty within Novell's customer base and to discourage
+future customers from doing business with Novell. While corporate America
+has long grown used to Microsoft's bullying business tactics, with this
+campaign Microsoft has crossed well over the line. These misrepresentations
+about Novell, its products and product support go far beyond comparative
+advertising and we believe are clear violations of state and federal law."

Quote:>I'd like to get a few dozen of
>those boxes and stuff Red Hat CD's into them, however...  Give 'em
>something worth eating.  ;-)

It might be more appropriate to send a few Linux CD's direct to the
upper Management and the Marketing department of Microsoft baring
the lable "Hemorrhoid suppository".

David Mohring - Linux, the cure for all that ails you

 
 
 

END GAME: Microsoft, Cereal Killer & Fair trading legislation

Post by Craig Kelle » Thu, 04 Oct 2001 02:10:50



> [...]
> > +Novell said Microsoft sent marketing materials shaped like cereal boxes to
> > +Novell customers calling into question whether Novell will continue to
> > +support its NetWare software.
> > +
> > +The boxes, "Microsoft Server Crunch," contained software for moving to a
> > +Microsoft operating system from a Novell system, said Joe LaSala, Novell's
> > +general counsel.
> [...]

> I dunno, I see a lot of whimsy in it.  I'd like to get a few dozen of
> those boxes and stuff Red Hat CD's into them, however...  Give 'em
> something worth eating.  ;-)

What?  You don't like Microsoft Sugar-Frosted Choco-Puffs?

--
It is financially more expensive to go to prison than to attend Harvard.


 
 
 

END GAME: Microsoft, Cereal Killer & Fair trading legislation

Post by Jesse Plumm » Thu, 04 Oct 2001 03:44:39


I just went to Red Hat Linux and I love it. Why did I leave the MS
Monopoly and go to something free? Not becuase it was free, not
becuase you can get a host of free software for it, not because it is
the most powerful OS second only to Unix(barely) but because it is
stable.

God Bless America and God Keep America Free

here...@heretic.ihug.co.nz (David Mohring) wrote in message <news:slrn9rjev8.tb7.heretic@heretic.ihug.co.nz>...
> This is a long post, but if you have any concerns about Microsoft
> "marketing" practices then it is well worth considering.  

> Novell claims Microsoft's out to get it
> """http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/
> businesstechnology/134348566_novell020.html"""
> +PROVO, Utah -- Novell, a maker of operating-system software, is suing
> +Microsoft over an advertising campaign it said makes false and misleading
> +statements about Novell's NetWare products.
> ...
> +Novell said Microsoft sent marketing materials shaped like cereal boxes to
> +Novell customers calling into question whether Novell will continue to
> +support its NetWare software.
> +
> +The boxes, "Microsoft Server Crunch," contained software for moving to a
> +Microsoft operating system from a Novell system, said Joe LaSala, Novell's
> +general counsel.

> http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/21974.html
> +Novell is not amused: "These questions and statements are completely false
> +and misleading," said Stewart Nelson, Novell COO. "Microsoft has tried to
> +create a fictitious end of life for NetWare to create fear and uncertainty
> +within Novell's customer base and to discourage future customers from doing
> +business with Novell."
> +
> +Instead, a press release put out by Novell reads: "There is no expiration
> +date for NetWare. NetWare has been and continues to be Novell's flagship
> +software offering. In fact, development of NetWare 6.1 and future releases
> +of NetWare has been underway for more than a year. Far from becoming
> +obsolete, NetWare is a state-of-the-art networking platform, and it has
> +Novell's full support both for currently shipping versions and versions yet
> +to be announced."
> +
> +Novell wants "corrective advertising", the pulling of the current
> +advertising and damages, currently unannounced.

> Microsoft's employees have a very long history of posting lies
> and FUD ( Fear Uncertainty Doubt ) under aliases and it has
> put Microsoft in trouble with the US DOJ before.

> The Barkto Incident, also against Novell and OS/2
> http://lists.essential.org/1998/am-info/msg01529.html
> +The Barkto Incident did not escape the attention of the
> +Department of Justice who was winding up their five-year investigation
> +of MS when it occured. They flew a special team to Redmond to take
> +depositions on the matter just weeks before Microsoft agreed to the
> +Consent Decree designed to stop their predatory and anti-competitive
> +business practices.

> Such negative advertising is very destructive. Even when the
> content can be easily disproved, the people making the
> purchasing choices do not always have the knowledge or time
> to follow the arguments in public forums to there conclusions.

> Is the rest of the open source and free licence community, like myself
> also sick and tired of refuting the lies propagated by Microsoft
> about open source software and GPL licencing?

> ( Another recent Anti-Apache example
> http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/35/21967.html
> and one other De-FUDed by myself a couple of months before
> http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=slrn9md58p.7kp.here...@heretic.ihug.co.nz
> )

> Maybe it's time to take more "affirmative" action.

> Should the commercial companies who provide open source distributions
> and support services join Novell in a Class Action Suite against
> Microsoft for *years* of similar FUD tactics?

> But would that end the lies being spread in usenet and other
> public forums?

> Maybe we should start complaining to the various local Commerce
> Commissions or equivalent agencies concerning the "negative
> advertising" in this and other public forums.

> IANAL ( I am not a lawyer ) but in New Zealand we have the
> Fair Trading Act 1986 , which is based on very simliar legistation
> from Australia. I believe that there is other simliar legistation
> covering the advertising of goods and services in a lot of other
> countries as well.

> A quick introduction, in respects to advertising is available online
> from the NZ Commerce Commission ...

> A Guide for Advertisers and Traders 1997
> http://www.comcom.govt.nz/acts/fairact/

> Note this covers media advertising and direct sales pitches, but
> more importantly it also covers actions in public forums.

> Public forums such as the local and comp.* usenet newsgroups
> and the comments posted to technical websites are where the
> public go to seek opinions which affect their choice of
> purchase, therefore they can constitute "a place of trade".

> A copy of the NZ act itself is avalable from  
> "Fair Trading Act 1986"
> http://rangi.knowledge-basket.co.nz/gpacts/public/text/1986/an/121.html

> It include the following section
> "Section I: Misleading and Deceptive Conduct, False Representations, and
>            Unfair Practices
>  Misleading and Deceptive Conduct
>  9   Misleading and deceptive conduct generally"
> http://rangi.knowledge-basket.co.nz/gpacts/public/text/1986/se/121se9...
> +PART I
> +   MISLEADING AND DECEPTIVE CONDUCT, FALSE REPRESENTATIONS, AND UNFAIR
> +                                PRACTICES
> +
> +
> +                     Misleading and Deceptive Conduct
> +
> +   9. Misleading and deceptive conduct generally---No person shall, in
> + trade, engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or is likely to
> + mislead or deceive.
> +     Cf. Trade Practices Act 1974 (Aust.), s. 52
> +

> This includes making of false or deciptive declarations, but it also
> includes "engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive"

> Most generally accepted professional codes of ethics covering business
> practices such as ethical guidelines of the New Zealand Computer Society
> Inc ...

> http://www.nzcs.org.nz/documents/code_of_ethics.pdf
> +
> +"In relation to the public, the member...
> +
> +shall declare any personal financial interest in making any statement,
> +criticism or argument concerning information processing."

> Microsoft (NZ) has signed up to that agreement.
> http://www.nzcs.org.nz/partners/pie_list.htm
> Which requires of its members
> http://www.nzcs.org.nz/partners/benefits.htm
> +
> +'Partners In Excellence" are organisations (small, medium or large,
> +commercial or non-commercial) that are involved in the supply or use of
> +information systems and/or technology in some way, and visibly support
> +NZCS in its ongoing challenge to achieve improvement in the professional
> +standards, ethics and skill levels of those involved in these industries.'

> Therefore, any Microsoft employee or agent who makes a critical comment
> over any other vendors product, without disclosing their financial
> relationship to Microsoft is in breech of the above code of ethics and
> also the Fair Trading Act 1986.

> One more very important part of the act covers the definition and
> "Conduct by servants or agent"

> "Section V: Enforcement and Remedies
>  Civil Proceedings
>  45   Conduct by servants or agents
> http://rangi.knowledge-basket.co.nz/gpacts/public/text/1986/se/121se4...

> This means that under the act not only for the actions of direct
> employees but also those who have been
> +   (b) By any other person at the direction or with the consent or
> +         agreement (whether express or implied) of a director, servant,
> +         or agent of the body corporate, given within the scope of the
> +         actual or apparent authority of the director, servant or
> +         agent---
> +
> + shall be deemed, for the purposes of this Act, to have been engaged in
> + also by the body corporate.

> IMO Microsoft is also legally liable for the claims made by those who
> have been directly "provoked" into doing so or provide with the content
> by a Microsoft employee.

> The posts made by a lot of the WinTrolls in this and other newsgroups
> often share very simliar content. Is this because it comes from a common
> source?

> Note under the same section it is not the individuals who are liable
> but the "body corporate", only Microsoft itself would face the legal
> charge.

> The powers available to your local Commerce Commision or Office of Fair
> Trading etc should be very similar to that of the NZ Commerce Commision.
> http://www.comcom.govt.nz/acts/fairact/enforcement.cfm
> +Investigative powers
> +
> +Section 47 of the Fair Trading Act gives the Commission the power to obtain
> +and execute search warrants. Commission officers can, with such a warrant,
> +search premises and seize and remove goods, documents, computer records and
> +other items.

> It is well within the ability of the NZ Commerce Commission to request
> the employment/contract details from Microsoft of all its employees
> to match ISP accounts, email addresses, usenet aliases and any remaining
> copies of emails. More than enough IMO to track down quite a few
> "astroturfers". ( I have evidence of at least one who has posted in
> the local nz.comp usenet group)

> It is very apparent that Microsoft have breached the "Consent Decree"
> many times over.

> In New Zealand anyone can make a direct complaint to the NZ Commerce
> Commission, but it is at the Commissions own discretion whether to
> investgate the complaint. A large number of complaints and a bit
> of publicity would likely improve the chances.

> Alternately a company, group or individual can take a more direct route...
> http://www.comcom.govt.nz/acts/fairact/enforcement.cfm
> +Anyone can apply to the High Court for an injunction to stop the Act

...

read more »

 
 
 

END GAME: Microsoft, Cereal Killer & Fair trading legislation

Post by Mark Ber » Thu, 04 Oct 2001 03:55:18




>I just went to Red Hat Linux and I love it. Why did I leave the MS
>Monopoly and go to something free? Not becuase it was free, not
>becuase you can get a host of free software for it, not because it is
>the most powerful OS second only to Unix(barely) but because it is
>stable.

;-) UNIX is more stable?  What do you mean by that?  The Solaris
kernel?  The AIX JFS file system?  IRIX GRIO?

The linux kernel is good, but aren't most modern kernels?  Hell, even
windows 2000 is pretty damn stable these days.  Any problems I have
with win2k is 1'st usually a hardware problem (because intel/amd
targets cost/performance.. not stability/redundancy & quality...)
which I accept.  If I have a computer thats unstable with Windows,
it's most likely to be unstable with Linux.

What I find great about 'Linux' is the tools that run on top of it.  I
love the GNU tools.  (GCC, wget, bash, etc etc etc...) those babies I
use every day.  Python is great running under linux for scripting and
prototyping my C++ code... but it's not really 'linux' that makes it
great.. it's the slew of little programs.

One scarry thing , now that I have cygwin on my workstation (win2k) at
home.. I find less and less need to run linux for my main box.  I have
one in the closet and use cygwin for the rest of the stuff.. things
hum along pretty welll without problems.

I have 1 old SGI machine and a Sun Blade workstation I use for toys,
frankly I find myself more productive on my linux machine for doing
just about anything.  

bit off topic of your post...  

but in wrapping I wouldn't say that UNIX is more stable than Linux,
but maybe that the hardware that UNIX venders sell tends to be more
reliable.

cheers

Quote:

>God Bless America and God Keep America Free

amen
 
 
 

END GAME: Microsoft, Cereal Killer & Fair trading legislation

Post by Mark Ke » Thu, 04 Oct 2001 06:01:22



>This is a long post, but if you have any concerns about Microsoft
>"marketing" practices then it is well worth considering.  

<bit cut>

Quote:

>I am seriously considering laying a complaint or getting together
>with a group to take direct action if Microsoft continues with
>similar marketing tactics.

>Maybe it is finally time for the open source and free licence communities
>and businesses to consider doing the same in every country with similar
>legislation.

>David Mohring - Open source and free licence advocate and developer.

David - an excellent and well researched article.  I would suggest
you consider submitting it to eg., Linux Today as an opinion piece.
In all honesty, I think it's too good for us advocacy folk here...

--
Mark Kent
                                               Take out the ham to mail me.

 
 
 

END GAME: Microsoft, Cereal Killer & Fair trading legislation

Post by Paolo Ciambott » Thu, 04 Oct 2001 10:46:42




> I dunno, I see a lot of whimsy in it.  I'd like to get a few dozen of
> those boxes and stuff Red Hat CD's into them, however...  Give 'em
> something worth eating.  ;-)

Maybe I could wash the cereal down with a cup of my MSFT coffee, then
follow it up with my MSFT candies, then hit the back nine with my MSFT
golf balls (actual branded shit they've given out at seminars).

I'm still waiting for them to give away MSFT prophylactics and MSFT
Astroglide.  Likely I'll get those at an upcoming IIS presentation....

 
 
 

1. END GAME: Time to stand up to Microsoft & Zdnet Tech Poll

Time to stand up to Microsoft
By Rupert Goodwins
 ZDNet (UK)
http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/comment/0,5859,2815189,00.html
+There are alternatives, which in a healthy capitalistic marketplace deserve
+exploration. A consortium of companies who pay most to Microsoft could fund
+an open-source development project to take Linux and turn it and its
+applications into a true replacement for Windows and Office. They know what
+they want, it would cost less to make such a package than it does to
+subscribe to Uncle Bill's club, and they'd end up having control of their
+own business-critical software for a change. The lock-in factor, where the
+pain of changing software is greater than the pain of paying the Microsoft
+ransom, would be reduced because the people writing the alternative would
+have the migration uppermost from design day one.

What make you think that it's not already happening? ;).

Carl Howe from Forrester Research, gives some good advice
http://techupdate.zdnet.com/techupdate/stories/main/0,14179,2820250-3...
+Start diversifying desktops to manage Windows costs. IT budgets at large
+companies are getting even more scrutiny now after the events of September
+11, and Microsoft's new volume licensing policies will raise OS costs for
+many firms. The only way to keep a cap on Microsoft costs will be to develop
+desktop alternatives where they make sense. Accepting Macs on the desktops
+in the art department and Linux on the desks of engineers will allow firms
+to contain the growing costs of Microsoft's platforms--and reduce the
+vulnerability of the firm's infrastructure to the next Nimda worm in the
+bargain.

ALSO

Informal poll ...
http://cgi.zdnet.com/zdpoll/question.html?pollid=24102&action=a
Do you plan on buying Windows XP?
+Yes--I've already got it.                     20 (18%)
+Yes--once the bugs have been fixed.          408 (10%)
+Maybe--I'll wait and see if it's worth it.   797 (20%)
+No--not unless I really need to.             927 (23%)
+No way, Jose.                               1101 (28%)

David Mohring - Do you plan on paying Microsoft for Dot Net Services?

2. Firewall

3. END GAME: EU may fine Microsoft & seek Windows revision

4. Ghostdrive after repartitionning

5. Please stop: You trade, I trade....he trades, she trades !!!!

6. my Pine settings...

7. END-GAME : Microsoft forced to appeal to the US Supreme Court

8. Windoze 95 ( Want a Mac Interface..?..get a Mac...! I Did..!!! )

9. Almost END GAME: Antitrust data on Microsoft to be allowed in [CA] suit

10. END GAME: EU Commission initiates additional proceedings against Microsoft

11. END GAME: UK Government urged to defend Microsoft users

12. END GAME: Antitrust experts kibitz on Microsoft

13. open-source program & trading cards games