Why I was wrong about Microsoft

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I have been reporting on Microsoft all my journalistic life, and believe me, that's quite some time. To give you an idea how far I go back with Microsoft, let's just say I remember the occasion when I was given a personal demo of a hot new product that Microsoft was about to launch – a graphical spreadsheet for the Macintosh, later known as Excel.

I was particularly impressed by the evident passion of the person demonstrating the beta code – he clearly really enjoyed his job. But perhaps that wasn't so surprising, since his name was Bill Gates.

Of course, my relationship with Microsoft changed somewhat when I discovered free software, which was in 1995. At that time, Microsoft was totally oblivious of its existence, or at least completely indifferent; it certainly perceived no threat whatsoever that I could detect when I quizzed them on it in 1996.

Things probably began to change with the infamous 1999 Mindcraft benchmarks, which Microsoft paid for.

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