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Re: Some relevant web pages

  Norm:  You raise an interesting point.  -Is- Objectsoft a Microsoft Business
  Scott K. McGrath
  Norm wrote:
  > On Mon, 10 Nov 1997 04:59:16 -0500 (EST), Dave Sieber wrote:
  > >Another very interesting text was something I came across on USENET,
  > >entitled "The Microsoft Method". It talks about MS and Auto-By-Tel,
  > >online travel, Citrix, Stac, Go Corp., Micrographx, and Sidewalk, with a
  > >complete list of media sources. I hadn't seen it anywhere before, and
  > >the author/source was uncredited. I saved a copy on my personal home
  > >page, until I could find the author and source. My copy is located at:
  > >
  > >http://www.datadepot.com/~dsieber/msmethod.html
  > >
  > >If anyone knows where this came from, I'm sure we'd all appreciate a
  > >post here on the list.
  > >
  > >And last, if you missed the details of Borland's Unfair Competition
  > >lawsuit, their legal complaint was posted briefly on their web site, and
  > >then removed. However, the page is still there, there just aren't any
  > >links to it. You can read it by doing a search in Alta Vista on
  > >"+borland +microsoft +legal +complaint", about the fourth item in the
  > >search results entitled "FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE", or you can just browse
  > >to:
  > >
  > >http://www.borland.com/about/mssuit.html
  >      Thanks for the great links Dave.  All those sites included info
  > about many things I already knew about, but there were even a few
  > examples that were news to me.
  >      There was one tidbit on one of the sites that I found most
  > interesting, and it made me wonder just how close David's (ObjectSoft)
  > company actually is with M$ (ie. is his company a partner with M$) or
  > were they naive enough to allow M$ to see too much of what they're doing
  > and he's about to see what many of us have been talking about first hand.
  >  Although I seriously doubt we'll hear anything much different than
  > "we'll welcome the competition" I'd really love to see if he still feels
  > the same way about M$ in about a year.  Below is part of something I got
  > from one of the above web sites
  > (http://www.datadepot.com/~dsieber/msmethod.html).  Although the focus of
  > the post is about what M$ might do with data gathered from these 'Kiosks'
  > the market sure looks exactly like what ObjectSoft is doing.
  > --------------------------------------------
  > Sidewalk and Data Mining
  >      "Microsoft and/or its affiliates may gather, process, and use
  >      (and allow others to use) the information which you provide
  >      directly (e.g., name, physical address, email address), as well
  >      as information regarding the manner in which you use this Web
  >      site.
  >      "From time to time, Microsoft may allow others to offer products
  >      and services to you."
  >      -- Microsoft Corp.'s Seattle Sidewalk Web Site, "Terms of Use",
  >      April 1997
  >      Once MSFDC gets its hands on bill payment data, "The key question
  >      is what they will do with it," said Alexandria, Va., banking
  >      consultant James G. Hamrick.
  >      -- American Banker, September 29, 1997
  > The Microsoft stance on transactions has clearly changed, as its ventures
  > into electronic commerce show. Analysts believe that the company's
  > patience
  > and deep pockets will enable it to sustain these projects during the time
  > it takes for them to become profitable.
  > Microsoft acknowledges that it will lose money on its Web endeavors in
  > 1997, but it will invest $300 million to $400 million per year for five
  > years to prop up all of its content sites, including Expedia, CarPoint,
  > Investor, Sidewalk, and other upcoming projects.
  > There are well-defined, market-share hopes for these sites. Lewis Levin,
  > vice president of the company's desktop finance division, declared
  > recently
  > that the desired percentage of online investors moving through the
  > Microsoft Investor site is "greater than 50 percent."
  > Microsoft's change of heart about electronic commerce can be traced to a
  > revenue source other than just processing fees, according to the
  > September
  > 1997 issue of Institutional Investor.
  > "In addition to fees from billers for processing the checks, there's a
  > gold
  > mine in the information about consumer spending contained in those
  > bills,"
  > the magazine says. "That makes MSFDC potentially a lucrative business for
  > Microsoft."
  > On April 3, 1997, Microsoft launched a Web site called Sidewalk, a local
  > arts and entertainment guide. Sidewalk first appeared in Seattle, and has
  > been followed by four more sites, New York, Boston, Minneapolis/St. Paul
  > and San Francisco. Microsoft announced that five more cities would be
  > added
  > to the list by the end of the year.
  > The Sidewalk service contains a powerful database on restaurants, movies
  > and events in the cities it serves. It offers a free-of-charge, custom
  > service tailored to users' preferences in entertainment, arts and other
  > fields. This custom service only works if the user provides his/her name,
  > address and other personal data.
  > Whether they know it or not, Sidewalk users give Microsoft implicit
  > authorization to sell their name, address and uses of Sidewalk to third
  > parties. Nothing in the customizing setup discloses this fact; users
  > discover the policy only by clicking on a "Terms of Use" button and
  > scrolling through the legalese. Here is what appears under the "Use of
  > Information" section, found halfway through the "Terms of Use" page:
  >      "Microsoft and/or its affiliates may gather, process, and use
  >      (and allow others to use) the information which you provide
  >      directly (e.g., name, physical address, email address), as well
  >      as information regarding the manner in which you use this Web
  >      site. From time to time, Microsoft may allow others to offer
  >      products and services to you.
  >      "If you wish to discontinue receiving such offers, you may notify
  >      Microsoft by sending email to sideterm@microsoft.com. In order to
  >      permit us to make this change, you must include your email name
  >      and first and last name in the text of your message."
  > When consulted by the media about this portion of the Sidewalk site,
  > Microsoft Sidewalk General Manager Frank Schott says the company has "no
  > plans" to sell names of individual customers.
  >      "Bill [Gates] is not just in the business of publishing on-line
  >      City Guides. He is also in the data-mining business. And when
  >      he's determined from your virtual visits which cities most
  >      interest you, no doubt his virtual travel agent will give you a
  >      call.
  >      "It was said of the Chicago meat-packing companies that they used
  >      every part of the hog except the grunt. By Microsoft standards,
  >      they were rank amateurs."
  >      -- John Naughton, The Observer, June 22, 1997
  > -----------------------------------------
  >      I really don't like the idea of trusting M$ with people's personal
  > information but that's not why I posted this.  My guess is that unless
  > David's company is helping M$ (which would explain why he's been their
  > apologist so far) I don't think he's going to be too thrilled to see M$
  > plunge into his own company's market.  I personally hate to see that type
  > of thing happen to any company, but that said I can't help but wonder how
  > pro-M$ he'll be in a year or two if M$ is allowed to keep conducting
  > business as he now says they should be.
  >  ...Cheers,
  >  ...Norm
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