Just as many of us have suspected for years, Microsoft executives do not seem to have a very high opinion of anyone outside their Redmond-tinted elite echelons. 

This would appear to have been confirmed by testimony led in a class-action lawsuit in Iowa against the software behemoth.
According to a report in Computerworld, a Microsoft technical evangelist, James Plamondon, referred to independent software developers as "pawns" and compared wooing them to a one-night-stand.
"If you've ever tried to play chess with only the pieces in the back row, you've experienced losing, OK, because you've got to have those pawns," Plamondon says in a transcript from a January 16 1996 speech to members of Microsoft's developer relations group.
"They're essential," the transcript continues. "So you can't win without them, and you have to take good care of them. You can't let them feel like they're pawns in the struggle."
In the speech, entitled "Power evangelism and relationship evangelism", Plamondon continues: " I mean, all through this presentation previously, I talked about how you're using the pawns and you're going to screw them if they don't do what you want, and dah-dah-dah. You can't let them feel like that. If they feel like that, you've lost from the beginning … So you can't let them feel like pawns, no matter how much they really are."
In other comments, says the report, Plamondon – who was a technical evangelist at Microsoft for eight years – compared working with developers to taking someone out on a first date.
"It's like you're going out with a girl; forgive me, it goes the other way also. You're going out with a girl, what you really want to do is have a deep, close and intimate relationship, at least for one night. And, you know, you just can't let her feel like that, because if you do, it ain't going to happen, right. So you have to talk long-term and white picket fence and all these other wonderful things, or else you're never going to get what you're really looking for."