Originally Posted by chronster
excuse my ignorance, can you explain what they did with these situations? I'm curious... Perhaps a link explaining?
I don't really want to go looking for links right now. But this is all well known.
MS was accused of, and was found guilty of, hiding information from these companies about Windows (they were originally DOS programs) that they needed to, in a timely fashion, re-write their programs for proper, and enhanced use under Windows 3.0 and up.
It was also found that MS's own developers were using advance information about the OS, which violated the wall they must maintain. They were also found to have been using API's that were not available to third party developers that were crucial to the operation of those apps. As a result all those apps were well behind MS's own on the 3.1 platform, and ended up in their demise to the benefit of MS's own apps, now known as Office.
If that had not occurred, its very possible that Office would just be one suite among several. It also could have hindered MS's growth and profits, as well as their subsequent power in the industry.
Being more recent, you should be familiar with the Netscape case. One of the main problems Netscape had was MS bullying the computer manufacturers with a lack of early release information for their OS if they installed Netscape on their machines.
Computer manufacturers need this pre-release info in order to come out with computers with the proper specs. MS was saying that if a company cooperated, they would get the info, and those that did not, wouldn't. This would have put the non-cooperating companies at a severe disadvantage, so they cooperated.
That was just one of their tactics. They also used their monopoly profits to give IE away for free when Netscape needed to charge.
It's a complex situation, but you get the point.
They also threatened Apple about Quicktime. They said they would stop producing Office for the Mac, a required program for Apple, if Apple continued to produce Quicktime. They came to arrangements when Apple caught them using Apple's code in their own video playback software that ended in the five year commitment to produce new versions of Office and the $150 million non voting investment in Apple. Before MS stole that code, videos in Windows would just play jerkily. Many people noticed the sudden improvement, and now you know why it happened.
Over the years, MS has stolen code from more than a few "partners". You may not like that this is being said, but it's true.
A long time sentiment in the MS world of partners is that MS will eventually steal your code if they want it. You even sign agreements stating that they can see your code. It's a tough business.