(entry last updated: 2003-05-15 12:34:12)
Going to be a light day for me; I’m in Washington today for an NSF review panel. Maybe I’ll get some time later but, as this is my first time to do this, I think I’m going to be pretty busy today.
A chilling tale: How Microsoft Warded Off Rival – discounting to keep Linux out of government and companies, and the legal complexities in the EU.
Last summer, Orlando Ayala, then in charge of worldwide sales at Microsoft, sent an e-mail message titled Microsoft Confidential to senior managers laying out a company strategy to dissuade governments across the globe from choosing cheaper alternatives to the ubiquitous Windows computer software systems.
Mr. Ayala’s message told executives that if a deal involving governments or large institutions looked doomed, they were authorized to draw from a special fund to offer the software at a steep discount or even free if necessary. Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, was sent a copy of the e-mail message.
The memo on protecting sales of Windows and other desktop software mentioned Linux, a still small but emerging software competitor that is not owned by any specific company. “Under NO circumstances lose against Linux,” Mr. Ayala wrote.