Microsoft mails about java and the fear to cross-platform

When I read the slashdot post about internal emails from Microsoft, I did not realize of the content of this email until it was posted in javalobby.

The content is scary. The mail thread comes from 1997, so after reading this emails, you can interpret the history of Java, .NET and Microsoft-Sun trial upon a several clear facts:

  • Microsoft did not ever want to suport Java.
  • Microsoft does not care about cross-platform.
  • Microsoft wanted to ‘steal Java’, so they liked Java.
  • Microsoft commitment with open standards is ‘a politically charged topic’.
  • Microsoft did want to screw Sun.

Well, I have been working 13 years in the Technology Market, and when I hear expressions like ‘screw somebody/someone’, I know there is something very wrong with that person. And if that person is an engineer, then it is a bad engineer. A good engineer is always thinking on how to improve things, how to solve problems. NEVER on how to ‘screw’ something. If this email is the ‘Microsoft way’, then I understand why they are losing all good engineers in favour of Google.

But what I have never, ever heard is the expression ‘let’s steal the technology to this guys’. Not even to business (evil…) people. I have words to explain my feelings about these kind of people, but I cannot use it in my blog. The pride of this expression is enormous and really scares me.

Everybody knows what happened after 1997: Microsoft put all their strengths to defeat Java… cloning Java. They created .NET, a rip off of Java to compete with Sun’s technology. Meanwhile, they forced Sun to take legal actions against them. Why? Because legal actions usually exhaust corporations. Microsoft knew they had more (financial) muscle, and that’s always a big advantage. Microsoft started to push some standards, and they even supported some cross-platform initiatives (Mono).

After last agreement with Novell, Microsoft put the cards on the table: Microsoft failed to defeat Java, .NET is complete failure -only Vb6 programmers are the only developers that have migrated-, and their hated cross-platform CAN work. It’s not surprise that Microsoft and Novell signed and agreement to avoid legal actions because patent infringement. Microsoft have catch Novell by its testicles, and who knows, may be SAMBA is not the only reason why they will not tighten them: may be it’s mono.

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