Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Man In The Right Place

A new company bgC3 LLC (www.bgc3.com/) was formed last year by billionaire Bill Gates. The firm's placard, bgC3, is thought to probably stand for Bill Gates Company 3--and the new firm has been touted by some writers as another possible Microsoft. Please get a grasp on reality. That Gates is some kind of genius who propelled the globe and all of its lemmings to the information age is incredibly naïve. Most any 1977-era technologist engaged in developing small computing devices centered around the 8-bit microprocessors was conversant with and actively using Digital Research's CP/M operating system (see www.digitalresearch.biz/CPM.HTM).

Simply put, what Gates did was to engage capable technologists and slick negotiators, some of these holding unscrupulous business skills, to eventually acquire unconditional rights to the unauthorized cloned upgrade of CP/M operating system produced by Seattle Computer Products (SCP). SCP's operating system, named SCP-DOS as later upgraded to 86-DOS, sports a virtual copy of CP/M user commands and a strikingly similar applications programming interface. To the user, that makes 86-DOS, PC-DOS and MS-DOS "look and feel" essentially identical to CP/M (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Kildall).

The CP/M & clone 86-DOS operating system combination were the essential products developed completely outside Microsoft that became the baseline for Microsoft DOS (see www.digitalresearch.biz/GATES41.HTM). Without the acquisition of this fiddled clone of the CP/M operating system, the Gates led Microsoft would likely be just another capable group of software development tool providers. Gates is an aggressive and sometimes predatory procurement artist, whose leadership style smacks of strong antitrust tendencies. He fortuitously surrounded himself with superior technical, business, and legal personnel in a collection of talent that cultivated a successful Microsoft. It was this team of working engineers, technologists and technical management business people who made Microsoft successful. But there is a point where predatory behavior becomes dangerous even to the predator.

To deny that Bill Gates is just another smart and very lucky man, a forceful marauder in the right place at the right time, is simply amazing. Gates is a man with important connections, who sometimes used marginal or downright unethical and illegal business practices to acquire technology and smother competition. Presiding Judge Jackson in the 1998-2000 antitrust case United States v. Microsoft states that Microsoft executives had "...proved, time and time again, to be inaccurate, misleading, evasive, and transparently false. ...Microsoft is a company with an institutional disdain for both the truth and for rules of law that lesser entities must respect. It is also a company whose senior management is not averse to offering specious testimony to support spurious defenses to claims of its wrongdoing." Solid business ethics are important in a company's formative years...and executive leadership in a younger Microsoft firm apparently had no firm foundation in business ethics. Bill Gates' technical business history for distorting the truth, even while under oath, is a matter of official judicial system record...

"bgC3"--another Microsoft for the “genius” Bill Gates? Right! There is a bridge for sale in Brooklyn for anyone who might actually believe that story.

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