Re: Why Microsoft is a Threat to Freedom

Harvey Newstrom (
Wed, 12 Nov 1997 13:46:29 -0500

Michael Lorrey wrote:
> there's a route to take for personal choice....Or you could buy a Mac,
> pay twice as much for the same performance you get in your PC. There's
> another choice.

Actually, price/performance ratios for Macs are the same or better than
Intel PCs. Keep in mind that Macs come with built in ethernet, stereo
sound, video capability, music synthesizers, voice recognition, and
other items that aren't included in some PC prices.

It's also hard to compare prices on the fastest Motorola or Alpha chips
with Intel chips because Intel can't go that fast yet. If you need the
fastest machines, the price of Intels become infinity (= not available).

At 21:23 3-11-97 Lee Daniel Crocker <> wrote:
> > Anbody that tries to make a M$ competing product will be aquired by MS or
> > will be cut of with technical incompatibility tricks. That failing, the

This has been my experience with Microsoft products. I am currently
trying to build web pages that are standard HTML and compatible with
every browser. I downloaded Microsoft Internet Explorer to my Macintosh
and installed it. In the "README.TXT" file it explained that it changed
the data format of my "Internet Config" control panel, which is used by
all TCP/IP programs on my Mac. It them explained that other programs
may not be compatible with the "newer" version. Basically, they
reformatted another product's data files in such a way to make it
MS-compatible only, and broke it for other products.

Another example just occurred at IBM where I work, also involving
Microsoft and Web Pages. The Microsoft servers wouldn't feed graphics
correctly to Netscape browsers. They claimed that the Netscape browser
can't view the file, but that Internet Explorer can. Upon
investigation, it turns out that the files are readable by Netscape, but
that the Microsoft Server refuses to serve to Netscape clients. When
one of our engineers tried to retaliate by making his webserver refuse
to serve to Microsoft Internet Explorer, we discovered that the
Microsoft browser will misrepresent itself to gain access. It first
claims to be Microsoft Internet Explorer. If access is denied, it then
claims to be Netscape Mozilla to gain access.

There also are many examples of Microsoft products opening back doors on
machines to allow their servers to gain access, or for their anti-piracy
software to check for stolen products on your machine. Some of these I
have discovered will open listening sockets on the network, even when
networking appears to be disabled and all access permissions are denied.
This latter example occurred with a wordprocessor program on a
"non-networked" machine that was causing network problems for other
machines. There was no way to open a document file without the machine
turning on the network and communicating data about the local machine to
other Microsoft products on the network.

As a Network Security consultant, I recommend that my clients do not use
products that deliberately sabatage other products, lie to security
filters to gain access to other machines, or open back doors to the
network that are neither documented or part of the product's normal

Harvey Newstrom  (