The Architects of Halloween. (Updated)
Nov 06, 1998, 13:00 (68 Talkback[s])
Here's an in-depth look at the personalities behind the
By Dave Whitinger
Many people have written in with new information (isn't
cooperative development great?), hence I have updated this page
with the latest word.
Vinod Valloppillil, a
Microsoft employee, has recently become famous for writing an
internal Microsoft memorandum outlining (in incredible detail)
Linux, Perl, Apache, Sendmail, and other Open Source projects.
Vinod is obviously versed in the open HTTP protocol, as
evidenced by his various posts to the ircache
HTTP-wg lists. He is also known to lurk on other lists,
including the NETSYS
Vinod received a BSEcon Degree and a BS Systems Engineering
Degree from the University of Pennsylvania before accepting his
position with Microsoft. He originally started work at Microsoft as
an intern working on the MS
SNA Server and is currently on the Microsoft Proxy Server team.
It appears that he is known internally as an expert in Open
Standards and protocols.
He has authored the following Internet Drafts:
This in-depth knowledge of protocols could by useful to a
company interested in embracing and extending (read:
de-commoditizing) Internet protocols.
But what of the incredible insight into Linux and other Open
Source projects? How involved is Vinod in all of this? Who else is
Dawson (Texan--CS degree from UT Austin) and Randy Chapman
(rumoured to have worked on the original port of Java to Linux)
have been involved? (With their exposure to Linux dating back to
1993, I'm surprised to see that they are not mentioned in the
Among the people listed at the bottom of the document:
Brown: (MS Lead Program Mgr--OLE/COM) has given a presentation
to the W3 organization.. He is also considered a CORBA expert,
as evidenced by
this Usenix Windows NT Workshop. He has also defended
Microsoft's ActiveX in this posting to the
advanced-java mailing list. In 1996, he spoke at ISPCon about
and Internet Protocols.
- Josh Cohen: Has
posted an encouraging note to the linux-kernel list. Rumor has
it that he was previously a Netscape employee, regularly attends
IETF meetings and is active in the HTTP and web-related
- George Spix: An Altavista search shows
this page describing an internal Microsoft page, but the link
is dead. From this we know that at one point, there was an internal
MS page that mentioned Linux and this fellow's name together.
- Michael Nelson: Altavista finds
67 webpages, many leading to posts made to linux-kernel and
Big-Linux. In addition there are several web pages that suggest he
is involved with Windows NT, OLE, BSD UNIX, and Linux Development.
His name is common, however, so the possibility exists that there
are different Michael Nelsons.
- David Treadwell: Has co-authored the book
Windows Sockets: An Open Interface for Network Programming
under Microsoft Windows, January 1993. (Link)
- Oshoma Momoh: A graduate
in mathematics at the University of Waterloo, is now a Program
Manager with Microsoft.
- David Gunter: Appears to have written the QUE
Edition: Using Linux. He appears to have once been an
enormous advocate of Linux.
- Bernard Aboba: Appears to be interested in the
list, has written the FAQ for the
comp.protocols.tcp-ip.ibmpc newsgroup, and previously held an
MS position of shepherding the porting of various products to OS/2.
Used to be an active member of BMUG (Berkeley Macintosh Users
Group) and thus was a serious Macintosh advocate for many
- Jim Allchin: Microsoft's "Senior Vice
President, Personal and Business Systems Group". He's the executive
responsible for all the various flavors of Windows, including
- Ben Slivka: According to a deposition
in late 1997, he is "Project Leader at Microsoft with
responsibility for designing the next-generation user interfaces
for Windows... employed by Microsoft as a software developer since
June 1985. From the summer of 1994 until August 1996,... Project
Leader in Microsoft's development of the Internet Explorer feature
of Windows 95. "
- Stephanie Ferguson: Previously a Product
Manager for the Proxy Server, was promoted to NT 5.0, and is now in
a position with the Server Systems group. She's a manager, rather
than an engineer.
- Charlie Kindel: Co-authored the DCOM
specification and makes frequent posts to
- Dwight Krossa: Internet product manager in the
desktop and business systems division at Microsoft Corp. Was quoted
as saying, "By using ISAPI, WebMaster is providing our customers
with a NNTP solution which is tightly integrated with Internet
Information Server, enabling customers to seamlessly access news
The memo makes mention of "Printed copies for PaulMa review".
PaulMa would be Paul Maritz, one of the eight members of the
Microsoft Executive Committee, along with Gates, Ballmer, Herbold,
Higgins, Myhrvold, Allchin, and Raikes.
Thanks to all for the feedback we've received to help make this
research more complete. We feel that in competing with Microsoft,
we must be knowledgable of their talent.