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Windows 7: Microsoft mysterious press communiqué

ZDNet.co.uk received a press release from Microsoft. It’s titled “Windows 7 Information”, but of the 1,500 or so words in it, barely a couple of sentences would fully qualify as that.

Microsoft has long been a key innovator in touch technology. The launch of its touch platform in the next version of Windows is a sign of Microsoft’s continued commitment to investing in this technology. Microsoft has been incorporating touch features into its operating systems since the Tablet PC was introduced over five years ago, and is charting new paths not just in touch but in natural user interface broadly, as evidenced by Surface, Tellme and the TouchWall demo at CEO Summit. Microsoft has always had a very healthy attitude toward competition, knowing that it is good for customers. It spends a lot of time talking to its OEM and hardware partners, its retail partners and analysts on a regular basis and is confident that Windows Vista is the platform to enhance the individual digital lives of people around the world.

Jerry Kaplan might disagree with this. As the founder of Go Corporation, he produced one of the first pen-based operating systems, and signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with Microsoft in 1988. According to page 93 of The Microsoft File, by Wendy Goldman Rohm: “About two years later, Microsoft showed its own version of a pen operating system in the marketplace, having copied from Go everything it could.”

And, said John Markoff in The New York Times during his reporting of the 1994 Microsoft antitrust trial, emails revealed that Bill Gates wasn’t shy about talking to Andy Grove at Intel about a potential investment in Go Corp: “‘I guess I’ve made it very clear that we view an Intel investment in Go as an anti-Microsoft move, both because Go competes with our systems software and because we think it will weaken the 386 PC standard,’ Mr Gates wrote. Shortly after the letter was written, according to Mr Kaplan, Intel reduced its planned investment in Go from $10m to $2m, and stipulated the investment be kept a secret.”

Full Press Release

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