Barney's Blog

Blog archive

Microsoft Fesses to Stolen Code

I regularly get accused of two things: being a Microsoft shill and being a nattering nabob of Microsoft negatism. I'm either, depending on the day, though lately I've been kinder to Redmond than I ever have before.

I covered the investigations by the FTC and Justice Department; I saw some pretty cool companies put six feet under by Microsoft's ruthless and efficient shovels. But now I see a somewhat different Microsoft. Steve Ballmer is less ruthless than Bill Gates, and there are legitimate alternatives to Redmond's various and sundry monopolies such as Office, IE and Windows.

All of this is a prelude to me letting Microsoft off the hook for an egregious violation of ethics. Canadian Web site Plurk found that some Microsoft employees stole complete elements of the Plurk site. There are screenshots that show just how similar the two sites are.

In the past, I believe Microsoft has purposely co-opted design and even code. The Stacker lawsuit is a brilliant example where Microsoft used code from a hard drive compression it rather forcibly licensed from a third party.

But in this case, I think Microsoft employees pulled a Sarah Palin -- they went rogue. The copying was so idiotic and obvious that I can't see it being approved by anyone short of Vanilla Ice. And Microsoft copped to the mistake tout de suite.

I'm letting Microsoft off the hook on this one. Am I a bleeding heart, soft-on-crime judge? Let me know at [email protected]

Posted by Doug Barney on 12/16/2009 at 1:17 PM


Featured

  • Spaceflight Training in the Middle of a Pandemic

    Surprisingly, the worldwide COVID-19 lockdown has hardly slowed down the space training process for Brien. In fact, it has accelerated it.

  • Surface and ARM: Why Microsoft Shouldn't Follow Apple's Lead and Dump Intel

    Microsoft's current Surface flagship, the Surface Pro X, already runs on ARM. But as the ill-fated Surface RT showed, going all-in on ARM never did Microsoft many favors.

  • IT Security Isn't Supposed To Be Easy

    Joey explains why it's worth it to endure a little inconvenience for the long-term benefits of a password manager and multifactor authentication.

  • Microsoft Makes It Easier To Self-Provision PCs via Windows Autopilot When VPNs Are Used

    Microsoft announced this week that the Windows Autopilot service used with Microsoft Intune now supports enrolling devices, even in cases where virtual private networks (VPNs) might get in the way.

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.