Subject: Re: Merger
To: None <,>
From: Peter Brewer <>
List: macbsd-general
Date: 09/03/1994 00:39:53
>As far as I know, Microsoft has not tried to restrict the freedom of
>programmers.  Microsoft has been attacked with both look and feel
>lawsuits and patent lawsuits, and has fought back when attacked, but
>has never started such hostilities with anyone else.

That is ancient history. Apple has lost most of the critical 
'look and feel' lawsuits to Microsoft. Microsoft was given the
legal right to use any and all Apple technology against them
because of an earlier agreement the two made making Microsoft
the major applications programmer for the Macintosh. Apple like
so many creative, "ahead of their time" companies such as 
Thinking Machines is on the verge of either Bankruptcy or 
being gobbled up by a larger entity like IBM or HP. In the
end it may be Microsoft who will own all of the "look and feel"
copyrights and patents if the PowerMac doesn't pan out.

>If you believe you know of a specific case where they have done so,
>please send me details.  It may be true.  Or it may be a false rumor.

>It may be that you are failing to distinguish between a direct attack
>on your freedom, and market situations which make certain work more
>or less profitable.  There are big differences between those two things.

>You are also exaggerating.  Even if MS Windows becomes 95% of the
>market, that does not mean you are forced to work with it if you
>really don't want to.  You could join the other 5% and make it

>There is a potential danger that Microsoft will start trying to
>prohibit us from writing various programs.  One can never trust a
>corporation not to attack.  This is one more reason why no one should
>be given the power to do that.  But so far they haven't tried.

Microsoft's goal is total domination of the computer industry. As
Guy Kawasaki would say, "I prefer a fragmented, entrepreneurial,
eclectic, and scatterbrained computer industry.

>>    Notice how they succeeded
>>    in forcing Apple to cancel Mac Basic as a product and almost
>>    make HyperCard an orphan.

>I don't follow news about Macintosh software; I don't know what

>What do you mean by "forced"?  Did Microsoft sue Apple and say they
>have a monopoly on writing programs like Mac Basic?  That would be
>analogous to what Apple has done.  Or did they do some other sort of

In 1985 Bill Gates threatened to revoke Apple's license to Basic for
the AppleII "Unless Mr. Scully killed MacBasic and signed over to
Microsoft the rights to the MacBasic name". Scully was forced to comply
and several excellent software engineers at Apple resigned in 
disgust. Apple later attempted to 'throw off' the yoke of Microsoft
by convincing Gates to nullify an agreement to ship programs like
Multiplan, Chart, and File with the Mac as it was 'unwise'. Later
Apple decided to ship MacPaint and MacWrite with Mac making Mr.
Gates furious. Further, a 'better BASIC' was developed by Atkinson
& company called Hypercard meant to 'destroy' Microsoft BASIC for
the Mac. Instead Microsoft won this battle as well by putting 
Windows on the market and keeping the Mac versions of Microsoft's
best products at least even with Apple/Claris products for the Mac.
As one can surmise from this, one of the reasons for the so called
'look and feel' litigations was to throw off the choke hold Microsoft
had and still has to a certain extent on the smaller, more creative

I respectfully suggest that you read "The MacIntosh Reader" by Doug
Clapp and "The Making of Microsoft". It may enlighten you as to the
true history of these two corporations, certainly it would seem
a fair thing to do before continuing your boycott. Neither author
is 'pro' Apple or Macintosh and both can be particularly scathing.
In terms of our world or the 'Unix' world you have a great deal
of influence and as the Net evolves into its final 'Connections'
stage that power can only grow. Please try to be more fair handed
with your 'Jovian bolts'.

>    These are the forces which brought about the cancellation of the
>    DARPA project which funded Berkeley Unix.

>I have never heard Microsoft mentioned together with the BSD project.
>What specifically do you mean--and who are the primary sources for the

In 1988-1989 time frame I had occasion to approach two of the principal
engineers or project engineers in charge of the Berkeley project in an
attempt to find out if the research organization I was with could get
involved with their efforts. During these discussions it came out that
their DARPA contract officer had told them that BSD4.4 would be the
absolute BSD release as AT&T, Microsoft, and some others had made 
very strong protests to a 'Big Business' oriented white house about
the government 'competing with private industry' with Berkeley as the
prime example. This obviously falls under the 'rumor' heading as I
cannot name names but at least it is a 'first hand' rumor. 

TMC is gone. Apple may be going soon. The real 'mover and shaker' remains
Microsoft with Sun and IBM somewhere behind.    

-- Peter