Halloween Documents

What Does Halloween Documents Mean?

In the IT world, the Halloween documents are a set of Microsoft confidential internal releases intercepted by outsiders and published in late October of various years. The documents talk about the threat of open-source platforms like Linux, and how Microsoft could maintain its digital hegemony.


Techopedia Explains Halloween Documents

The first Halloween document was leaked by Eric Raymond in 1998. Additional Halloween documents were published in 1999, 2002, 2003 and 2004. The documents include internal Microsoft strategies, statements from press and public relations people, survey results and memos from top managers at Microsoft. The documents outline various types of Microsoft market responses – for instance, the use of “FUD” or “fear, uncertainty and doubt” which Microsoft critics argue was used to obscure the contrast between Microsoft-licensed operating systems and Linux open-source operating systems.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.