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Bill Brown

A complicated man.

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I’ve long documented the slimy and stupid things that Microsoft does from time to time. Add two more actions to the laundry list: implementing a feature that Apple’s already patented and firing someone for taking pictures of a pallet of dual G5s at a Microsoft campus.

The first is Microsoft’s innovative new feature that sounds an awful lot like Piles, Apple’s patented, innovative UI feature. I mean, Apple Legal isn’t exactly a lazy bunch of do-nothings and the patent is pretty old with no prior art. Is Microsoft just begging to be sued? Do they maybe think that this might get them some more publicity? Or will they say that it’s yet another feature that a competitor has stolen? The hubris is amazing.

The second occurred when a temporary worker who was also a blogger snapped a picture of a pallet of dual G5s outside of a Microsoft office and then blogged about it. Somehow someone at Microsoft saw the entry and fired him for it. It wouldn’t be the first time that a blogger has been fired over entries in his blog, but it would be a very stupid action since Microsoft publicly develops software for the Mac. One would expect that they would need the newest hardware in order to fully test their software out. If they were trying to avoid any negative publicity engendered by using a competitor’s products, they certainly botched it in classic Microsoft fashion since there’s been a maelstrom of negative publicity already. Slashdot picked up the story right away and Slashdot is often the vanguard of big news items in the computer industry. This’ll probably rank up there with the fake endorsements.

Shame on you, Microsoft.