Embrace, extend and extinguish


Embrace, extend and extinguish

"Embrace, extend and extinguish," [cite news|url=http://www.economist.com/displayStory.cfm?Story_ID=298112|title=Deadly embrace|publisher=The Economist|date=2000-03-30|accessdate=2006-03-31] also known as "Embrace, extend, and exterminate," [cite web|url=http://news.zdnet.com/2100-3513_22-996528.html|title=Microsoft limits XML in Office 2003|accessdate=2006-03-31] is a phrase that the U.S. Department of Justice alleged [cite web |url=http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f2600/v-a.pdf |title=US Department of Justice Proposed Findings of Fact - Revised] was used internally by Microsoft [cite web |url=http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f2600/2613.htm |title=US Department of Justice Proposed Findings of Fact] to describe their strategy for entering product categories involving widely used standards, extending those standards with proprietary capabilities, and then using those differences to disadvantage its competitors.

Origin

The strategy and phrase "embrace and extend" were first described outside Microsoft in a 1996 "New York Times" article entitled "Microsoft Trying to Dominate the Internet," [cite news|date=July 16, 1996|author=John Markoff|publisher=New York Times|title=Microsoft Trying to Dominate the Internet] in which John Markoff said, "Rather than merely embrace and extend the Internet, the company's critics now fear, Microsoft intends to engulf it." The phrase "embrace and extend" also appears in a facetious motivational song by Microsoft employee Dean Ballard, [cite news|url=http://www.businessweek.com/1996/29/b34841.htm|title=INSIDE MICROSOFT (Part 1)|first=Kathy|last=Rebello|date=1996-07-15|accessdate=2006-03-31|publisher=Business Week] and in an interview of Steve Ballmer by the "New York Times". [Steve Lohr, "Preaching from the Ballmer Pulpit." "New York Times", Sunday, January 28, 2007. pp. 3-1, 3-8, 3-9. ]

The more widely used variation, "embrace, extend and extinguish," was first introduced in the United States v. Microsoft antitrust trial when the vice president of Intel, Steven McGeady, testified [cite web|url=http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/msdoj/transcripts/1110a.doc|title=Steven McGeady court testimony|accessdate=2006-03-31 (DOC format)] that Microsoft vice president Paul Maritz used the phrase in a 1995 meeting with Intel to describe Microsoft's strategy toward Netscape, Java, and the Internet. [cite web|url=http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/msdoj/transcript/summaries2.html|title=United States v. Microsoft: Trial Summaries (page 2)|accessdate=2006-03-31] [cite web|url=http://reactor-core.org/in-microsoft-we-trust.html|title=IN MICROSOFT WE TRUST|accessdate=2006-03-31] In this context, the phrase means to highlight the final phase of Microsoft's strategy as raised by McGeady, which was to drive customers away from smaller competitors.

An older variant of the phrase is "embrace, extend then innovate" in J Allard's 1994 memo " [http://www.microsoft.com/about/companyinformation/timeline/timeline/docs/di_killerapp_InternetMemo.rtf Windows: The Next Killer Application on the Internet] " to Paul Maritz and other executives at Microsoft. The memo starts with a backgrounder on the Internet in general, and then proposes a strategy on how to turn Windows into the next "killer app" for the Internet:

:"In order to build the necessary respect and win the mindshare of the Internet community, I recommend a recipe not unlike the one we've used with our TCP/IP efforts: embrace, extend, then innovate. Phase 1 (Embrace): all participants need to establish a solid understanding of the infostructure and the community - determine the needs and the trends of the user base. Only then can we effectively enable Microsoft system products to be great Internet systems. Phase 2 (Extend): establish relationships with the appropriate organizations and corporations with goals similar to ours. Offer well-integrated tools and services compatible with established and popular standards that have been developed in the Internet community. Phase 3 (Innovate): move into a leadership role with new Internet standards as appropriate, enable standard off-the-shelf titles with Internet awareness. "Change the rules: Windows become the next-generation Internet tool of the future."

The strategy

The alleged strategy's three phases are [cite web|url=http://www.hr.com/servlets/sfs?&t=/Default/gateway&i=1116423256281&b=1116423256281&application=story&active=no&ParentID=1119278102301&StoryID=1119649742078|title=Embrace, Extend, Extinguish (IT Vendor Strategies)|accessdate=2007-10-14]
# Embrace: Development of software substantially compatible with a competing product, or implementing a public standard.
# Extend: Addition and promotion of features not supported by the competing product or part of the standard, creating interoperability problems for customers who try to use the 'simple' standard.
# Extinguish: When extensions become a "de facto" standard because of their dominant market share, they marginalize competitors that do not or cannot support the new extensions.

The U.S. Department of Justice, Microsoft critics, and computer-industry journalists [cite web|url=http://www.economist.com/displayStory.cfm?Story_ID=298112|title=Deadly embrace|accessdate=2006-03-31] [cite web|url=http://news.com.com/Microsoft+messaging+tactics+recall+browser+wars/2009-1023_3-267971.html|title=Microsoft messaging tactics recall browser wars|accessdate=2006-03-31] [cite web|url=http://www.ddj.com/documents/s=882/ddj0008q/|title=Embrace, Extend, Extinguish: Three Strikes And You're Out|accessdate=2006-03-31] claim that the goal of the strategy is to monopolize a product category. Such a strategy differs from J. Allard's originally proposed strategy of embrace, extend then innovate both in content and phases. Microsoft claims that the original strategy is not anti-competitive, but rather an exercise of its discretion to implement features it believes customers want. [cite web|url=http://openacademy.mindef.gov.sg/openacademy/Learning%20Resources/Microsoft/words/words_4.htm|title=U.S. v. Microsoft: We're Defending Our Right to Innovate|accessdate=2006-03-31]

Examples

* Browser incompatibilies: The plaintiffs in the antitrust case claimed that Microsoft had added support for ActiveX controls in the Internet Explorer web browser to break compatibility with Netscape Navigator, which used components based on Java and Netscape's own plugin system.

* Breaking Java's portability: The antitrust case's plaintiffs also accused Microsoft of using an "embrace and extend" strategy with regard to the Java platform, which was designed explicitly with the goal of developing programs that could run on any operating system, be it Windows, Mac, or Linux. They claimed that, by omitting the Java Native Interface from its implementation and providing J/Direct for a similar purpose, Microsoft deliberately tied Windows Java programs to its platform, making them unusable on Linux and Mac systems. According to an internal communication, Microsoft sought to downplay Java's cross-platform capability and make it "just the latest, best way to write Windows applications." [cite news
author = Matt Richtel
title = Memos Released in Sun-Microsoft Suit
url = http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C02EEDE103DF931A15753C1A96E958260&sec=&spon=&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink
work = The New York Times
date = 1998-10-22
accessdate = 2008-02-22
quote = The court documents state that in April 1997, Ben Slivka, the Microsoft manager responsible for executing the Java strategy, sent an E-mail to Microsoft's chairman, William H. Gates, noting "When I met with you last, you had a lot of pretty pointed questions about Java, so I want to make sure I understand your issues and concerns." Mr. Slivka goes on to ask if Mr. Gates's concerns included "How do we wrest control of Java away from Sun?" and "How we turn Java into just the latest, best way to write Windows applications?"
] Microsoft paid Sun US$20 million in January 2001 to settle the resulting legal implications of their breach of contract. [cite web|url=http://news.com.com/2100-1001-251401.html|title=Sun, Microsoft settle Java suit|accessdate=2001-01-23]

* Networking: In 2000, an extension to the Kerberos networking protocol (an Internet standard) was included in Windows 2000, effectively denying all products except those made by Microsoft access to a Windows 2000 Server using Kerberos. [cite web | url=http://www.networkworld.com/news/2000/0511kerberos.html|date=2000-05-11|title=Microsoft's Kerberos shuck and jive] The extension was published through an executable, whose running required agreeing to an NDA, disallowing third party implementation (especially open source). To allow developers to implement the new features, without having to agree to the license, users on Slashdot posted the document (disregarding the NDA), effectively allowing third party developers to access the documentation without having agreed to the NDA. Microsoft responded by asking Slashdot to remove the content. [cite web| url=http://features.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=00/05/11/0153247&mode=thread | title=Microsoft Asks Slashdot To Remove Readers' Posts]

* Instant Messaging: In 2001, CNet's News.com described an instance of "embrace, extend, extinguish" concerning Microsoft's instant messaging program. [cite web | url=http://news.com.com/Microsoft+messaging+tactics+recall+browser+wars/2009-1023_3-267971.html|author=Jim Hu|publisher=CNet News.com|date=2001-06-07|title=Microsoft messaging tactics recall browser wars]

* Adobe fears: Adobe Systems refused to let Microsoft implement built-in PDF support due to fears of EEE. [ [http://www.cio.com/article/22058/Adobe_Speaks_Out_on_Microsoft_PDF_Battle CIO: Adobe Speaks Out on Microsoft PDF Battle] ]

* Employee testimony: In 2007, Ronald Alepin gave sworn expert testimony for the plaintiffs in "Comes v. Microsoft" in which he cited internal Microsoft emails to justify the claim that the company intentionally employed this practice. [ [http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20070108020408557 Expert Testimony of Ronald Alepin in Comes v. Microsoft - Embrace, Extend, Extinguish] , "Groklaw", January 8, 2007.]

* More Browser Incompatibilities (CSS, , etc.): A decade after the original Netscape-related antitrust suit, the web browser company Opera Software has filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft with the European Union saying it "calls on Microsoft to adhere to its own public pronouncements to support these standards, instead of stifling them with its notorious 'Embrace, Extend and Extinguish' strategy. [ [http://www.opera.com/pressreleases/en/2007/12/13/ Opera files antitrust complaint with the EU ] ]

* OpenDocument: In an interview Tom Robertson at Microsoft said that if OpenDocument would be a requirement then Microsoft would implement it, but extend it. [ [http://www.idg.se/2.1085/1.140686 IDG: Microsoft försvarar Open XML-arbetet] ]

* Sender_ID: In the experimental Sender ID standard, Microsoft deliberately puts [http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4406#section-3.4 restrictions on SPF records] (PRA), thereby breaking existing technology in favour of their own extended version. [ [http://www.openspf.org/SPF_vs_Sender_ID#0.1.6 OpenSPF: Microsoft expects the situation to resolve itself] ]

Companies other than Microsoft

During the browser wars, other companies besides Microsoft introduced proprietary, non-standards-compliant extensions. For example, in 1995, Netscape implemented the "font" tag, among other HTML extensions, without seeking review from a standards body. With the rise of Internet Explorer, the two companies became locked in a dead heat to out-implement each other with non-standards-compliant features. [cite web|url=http://www.webmonkey.com/webmonkey/98/43/index0a_page2.html?tw=archive|title=The Problem with Standards|accessdate=2006-11-07]

In 2004, to prevent a repeat of the "browser wars," and the resulting morass of conflicting standards, Apple (makers of Safari), Mozilla (makers of Firefox), and Opera (makers of the Opera browser) formed the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group to create open standards to complement those of the World Wide Web Consortium. [cite web|url=http://blog.whatwg.org/faq/#whattf|title=What is the WHATWG and why did it form?|accessdate=2007-08-25] Microsoft has so far refused to join, citing the group's lack of a patent policy as the reason. [http://channel9.msdn.com/podcasts/MSConversations_wilson_ch9.mp3 at approximately 00:39:30]

ee also

*Halloween documents
*Criticism of Microsoft
*Fear, uncertainty and doubt
*Network effect
*Vendor lock-in
*Path dependence

Footnotes

External links

* [http://zdnet.com.com/2100-11-512681.html?legacy=zdnn Report on Steven McGeady's testimony]


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