Oh, THAT’S What That Button Does?

deleteIn “That Was Convenient” news this week, a government committee says Microsoft deleted federally required documents that competing companies might need to develop Windows software.

The seemingly deleted files are part of a series of so-called interoperability documents — basically, manuals designed to give third-party programmers insight into Windows’ operations. The idea, of course, is to keep Microsoft from having full reign over what kinds of products you can use with its operating system. The investigating committee said Microsoft neglected to mention the deletion to authorities — another apparent violation of its antitrust agreement.

“I do mess around,” Bill Gates said (in a completely unrelated speech from 11 years ago, now being quoted out of context). “We had dreams about the impact it could have,” he added (in another unrelated speech, this one in 2006, also with absolutely no relation to this story).

The committee said the worst part is that Microsoft neglected to document what exactly it deleted, so there’s no way to tell what’s changed or what’s missing.

“We have a very sexy industry,” Gates noted (in 1998).