Saturday, August 16, 2008

Microsoft's auto-lobotomy

In a longish article that seems designed to put Cringely on the witness stand, he outlines Microsoft's more recent alleged crimes.

It's an impressive list. Reading it I again wonder about the deal Gates made with Rove to drop the justice department suit against Microsoft. I wonder if we'll ever hear the details.

The part that really caught my attention though, was a small bit about Microsoft's policy on archived email:
I, Cringely . The Pulpit . What Goes Around Comes Around | PBS

... Months after the Microsoft/Burst settlement I received e-mail from a former Microsoft contractor:

“Now that Burst v. MS has moved out of the courts, I thought that I might add a little to what you know about this case. Back about two years ago when the judge told MS to cough up the rest of the emails that was supposed to have floated around between MS execs that discussed the Burst relationship, the team that I was on (Corporate tape backups) was asked to gather all together all of the tapes that were used during that time. Even though there was a corporate policy in place that any *.pst was to be excluded from backup capture, the effort failed. Not only did the Backup Exec software fail to filter out those pst files, but some of the involved blue badges (Microsoft employees) intentionally disguised their mail files so that they would not be recognized and included in the nightly backups. This last effort was even prohibited by policy from the VP level. As I was the one tasked to gather the tapes together from Arcus/Iron Mountain, I know exactly how many tapes were recalled for the involved servers. They filled several 240 tape trunks and were stored in the Building 11 tape vault....

I recently did an internal lecture on using Windows Search to enhance the value of email archives, to make them a part of working memory. Microsoft, as a part of a guilt-induced policy, excludes these files from backup.

The price of crime is an auto-lobotomy.

No comments: