more M$ theft

From: Timothy Covell (
Date: Thu Jan 03 2002 - 17:07:13 EST

MS didn't give IE away they just made it part of the windows tax.
That's NOT what they said under oath in court: For those of you doing the
Internet long enough to remember, you may recall that MS wasn't up to writing
a browser of their own to challenge Netscape: So instead, they decided to
buy one (or actually, steal one, as you'll see in a moment.)
The only thing that was even close to being a Netscape competitor in those
days was the original NCSA Mosaic code, which was spun off for
commercialization by UIUC(.edu) as a company called Spyglass. Spyglass tried
unsuccessfully for a while to land big buyers in hopes of competing with
Netscape, but their code wasn't nearly so good as the Mozilla crowds' (back
before Mozillla meant open source...) Finally, they landed the biggest fish
of them all, Microsoft: They struck a deal with Microsoft to be the
Microsoft browser: with backing and volume like that, they couldn't lose!
Spyglass poured millions into develpoment and features that Microsoft wanted
in the product - they knew they'd get their money back because the contract
with Microsoft guaranteed them a percentage cut of every copy sold.
But Microsoft NEVER SOLD A BROWSER! Instead, it simply became "part of the
operating system" (avoiding having to pay Spyglass was one of the biggest
reasons BillG wanted to claim this.)
There was, of course, a law suit about this, which Microsoft won by swearing
that since IE was an integral part of the OS, and not something that was even
possible to buy separately, they owed Spyglass nothing for the millions of
copies of their code that they distributed: Since they had'nt sold any IE
they owed no royalties! Microsoft won leaving Spyglass with nothing for all
its hard work and destitute to the point that they finally had to sell out to
OpenTV in the hopes of becoming a niche browser for set-top boxes...

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Jan 07 2002 - 21:00:23 EST