MS Soyring Testimony : LUSENET : MS-DOJ : One Thread

MS Soyring Testimony

from Greg Harris (

John Soyring is IBMs Director of Network Computing Software Services, and testified on behalf of IBM--both as an OS developer and as a PC distributor.

Demeanor: Soyring was a great witness. His answers were thorough, articulate and largely consistent. He was not combative, and even found a few opportunities to launch humorous, if biting, jabs at Microsoft in the form of self-deprecating remarks about OS/2s failure. For example, when asked about difficulties in cloning the OS/2 APIs: Yes. If someone wanted to clone it--I wish there was someone--that has made it more difficult. (17pm95) The following exchanges, at 18am40-1 and 18am24 respectively, also emphasize his attempt to win sympathy for IBM:

Goodwill: IBM didnt have much to harm. Observer Soyrings self-depricating manner:

Q. But if I go out to buy this box of OS/2 Warp 4, which I did, I pay one price for everything in it, correct? A. Well, first, thank you for buying it. Q. Microsoft paid for it, you will be glad to know. A. Well, thank Microsoft then.

Mr. Holley: I would be happy to give the box [of OS/2 Warp] to Mr. Houk, your honor, when Im finished. Mr. Houk: No objection. Witness: It would help increase our shipments. Q: Excuse me, Mr. Soyring. You choked me up there.

Beyond this verbal sparring, however, Soyring provided a convenient opportunity for Microsoft support the everyone else is doing it defense it often relies upon, and to reinforce its other arguments regarding consumer preference and the inability of its competitors (IBM, Netscape) to meet consumer needs and deliver the best product.

Industry Practice (Everyone Else is Doing It!)

Microsofts arguments here were the highlight of the cross. 1) Licensing Agreements: Here, MS ground Soyring down by confronting him with a series of restrictive IBM licenses OEMs. At first, Soyring was able to argue that each restrictive license was excused by a particular circumstance, but he finally admitted that he didnt understand why certain of the restrictions were in place. These restrictions were very similar to the oft-maligned MS licenses, and this supported MSs contention that this is standard industry practice. 2) Integration of Features and Applications into the OS/2 System - Regardless of Consumer Desires - At the expense of third parties (Adobe) or separate IBM applications (ViaVoice) 3) Integration of Applications (word processor, etc.) 2-45, (on desktop) 3-22 4) Integration of Browser - inability to buy browser without the OS - no separate marketing - Integration language is not just marketing hype, but appears in internal IBM documents as well! - And this was smart, logical business!! 5) Customizing Java to IBM OSs 2-78 6) Adding Applications to the Desktop or Workplace Shell

Problems with OS/2 (Its your own fault!)

Microsoft asserts, as it did against Netscape, that OS/2s problems were home-grown and cannot be attributed to MSs sharp business practices. 1) OS/2 was targeted at business, not broadly. It required too much RAM (two to three times as much), which was prohibitively expensive for home-users. 17pm66-7, 81 2) To make things easier for its own programmers, IBM incorporated non-standard graphics plotting, which complicated porting from other OS. 17pm69 3) IBM targeted backwards compatibility at the expense of OS/2 native aps. Since it advertised that OS/2 would run Windows programs better than Windows did, Developers had little incentive to port or to write OS/2-native programs.17pm80-1 4) IBM was not prohibited by contract/law from cloning Win32 APIs. In fact, Apple has done this with MSs support. 17pm84-5 5) IBM lied about, or at least mischaracterized the ease of Win-OS/2 porting. When they wished to encourage developers to port, IBM called it easy. Now they maintain that it was too difficult. 17pm89-90 6) Finally, MS showed that WinNT had similar problems when it first came out, including that IBM bugaboo of too few applications. But MS stayed the course, worked with developers, and fixed these problems in subsequent releases. 17pm101-2 7) Nobody needed to go to MS in order to write OS/2 programs. 18am11. 8) Even Lotus and IBMs PC division dropped OS/2 due to lack of consumer demand, and not due to MS contractual misconduct. 17pm105, 18am13-4. 9) As a side note, however, OS/2 does enjoy success in Europe and in certain markets (banking, insurance, etc.), and has beaten WinNT in these markets.

Threats to Microsoft (Theyre out to screw us!)

This is related to the everyone is doing it argument, in that everyone else teams up, too. 1) NOISE coalition teaming up to compete with MS. - NOISE = Netscape, Oracle, IBM, Sun and Everyone else (Novell, Apple). 18pm40 - Reminiscent of the MS/AOL how much do we have to pay you to screw Netscape? meeting. 2) The Future is Open to Innovation (If someone has a better idea...) - IBM network computers, which Sun and IBM seems to think are the future, have no MS software in them! 17pm52-3 - Despite lack of applications for Linux, IBM ported DB2 to this OS. 18am7-8.

Final Admissions

MS made a few more miscellaneous points through its questioning of Soyring. 1) Networks. It is natural for OS markets to tip. (Actually, this was in Soyrings direct.) 2) Soyring doesnt really know about MSs contracts with OEMs, other than what hes heard in the paper. 18pm6,16-7 3) Also, there are many different MS Operating Systems, with varying degrees of monopoly. 17pm64-5, 17pm103-4 4) MS is good

-- Anonymous, January 12, 1999

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