Catfight Thursday

By on September 2, 2004

Why is it Catfight Thursday you ask? Well, for one, Apple’s taking swipes at Microsoft’s new MSN Music Service:

“It’s biggest problem may be that its downloaded songs can not play on the iPod,” said Eddie Cue, Apple’s vice president of applications.

Gates fires back regarding Microsoft’s focus on portable video:

“Ask kids in the back of a car on a two-hour trip, ‘Hey, would you like to have your videos there?’ My kids would,” Gates said. “I guess Steve’s kids just listen to Bach and Mozart. But mine, they want to watch ‘Finding Nemo.’ I don’t know who made that, but it’s really a neat movie.”

Zing! (FYI, Steve Jobs is part owner of Pixar, producers of your kids’ favorite fish movie) To get the fight really going, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer fired off a few rounds at Linux:

Finally, Ballmer argued that companies should be wary of the lack of indemnity from lawsuits, such as the suit filed by The SCO Group Inc. against DaimlerChrysler AG, IBM, Novell Inc. and others over parts of the Linux operating system that SCO claims infringe on elements of the Unix operating system that it owns.

“In the Linux world, nobody stands behind patent claims,” he said, noting that Microsoft could be forced to swallow a $550 million judgement if it loses its ongoing case with Eolas Technologies Inc., but that its customers would be protected.

“I’m not trying to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt,” Ballmer said. “I just think people should go out and research this for themselves.”

In other words, “I’m not telling you not to use Linux, but for the love of God, don’t do it”. Stepping in on behalf of Linux, the SlashDot crowd covered both the high road:

It’s interesting to note the arguments on groklaw that an OS strategy might actually have *less* to fear than a closed-source one, compared to Mr Balmer’s “It’s not really FUD, honest” intellectual property FUD.

and (of course) the low road:

Linux to Ballmer:
“Please get off, you’re crushing me, you sweaty bastard!”

I was hoping to complete the Griping Circle Of Life by finding a vitriolic rant on Apple co-opting open source for OSX, but that’s a pretty fringe crowd, and they seem to have taken the day off. (I would have settled for a ‘lack of Linux support with the iPod’, but no dice there either) Bummer.



  1. I had no idea that a PMC could play a DVD. I can’t believe MS will provide it’s users with an EASY way to rip Nemo and other movies the MPAA wants so badly to protect. And seriously, who wants to watch a movie on a 3″ screen. MS may have carved itself a new niche, but I can’t see these things flying off the shelf anytime soon.

    Ballmer’s comments are interesting considering the rumors that MS money has been used to fund a number of SCO’s lawsuits.

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