A change of heart at MS?

a) http://antitrust.slated.org/www.iowaconsumercase.org/011607/2000/PX02991.pdf – “December 5, 1998: BGates: One thing we have got to change in our strategy – allowing Office documents to be rendered very well by other peoples browsers is one of the most destructive things we could do to the company. We have to stop putting any effort into this and make sure that Office documents very well depends on PROPRIETARY IE capabilities. Anything else is suicide for our platform. This is a case where Office has to avoid doing something to destroy Windows. I would be glad to explain at greater length. Likewise this love of DAV in Office/Exchange is a huge problem. I would like to make sure people understand this as well.”
b) http://antitrust.slated.org/www.iowaconsumercase.org/011607/3000/PX03078.pdf – “August 5, 1999: BGates: Why would the Office group be giving out the Office 200 formats to competitors? To me this is crazy.”
c) http://antitrust.slated.org/www.iowaconsumercase.org/011607/3000/PX03040.pdf

documents are interesting if nothing else, shows how the thinking at MS has been driven by a case where they have provided under NDA format specifications of .doc, .xls and .ppt but when “discovered” by Gates, it was deemed by him to be suicidal. The “turn around” in putting out ooxml is therefore a clever but flawed, means to manage his concern.

[appropriate intro]
Ballmer: Bill, your concerns are well understood by the team. Why do you think we have placed enough engineering effort to subvert the entire ISO process? All of our lobbying at the various national standards bodies is part of the grand scheme to subvert the need to have anyone use ODF and instead use ooxml with the attendant benefit that we have placed in it a bunch of binary blobs that we will hold the world to hostage.
Gates: Steve, I think that is probably a good thing, but we should never have published the formats in the first place. Your Windows Live will kill our mainstay business. You don’t seem to understand. Yes, you have opened up the Passport, no? Sorry, it is called Windows Live ID, now right? I think we have to have a special code in it that will keep the Windows franchise forever. Don’t destroy my company.

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