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Microsoft writes a law for Oklahoma

04/18/06 It's supposed to protect you from predators spying on your computer habits, but a bill Microsoft Corp. helped write for Oklahoma will open your personal information to warrantless searches, according to a computer privacy expert and a state representative.

Microsoft Vista feature presentation

04/18/06 Get a sneak peak of the upcoming Windows Vista from the link below.

When Think Tanks Attack

06/23/04 Tim Lambert has done an analysis of anti-Open Source think tanks and has found some disturbing ties between them and our favorite proprietary software vendor.

Corporate clean-up forces Microsoft to come clean

11/17/02 According to a recent SEC filing Microsoft makes plenty of money from Windows and Office -- and basically loses its shirt everywhere else. That means that in every other market they are playing in, they are basically dumping product. (How highly unamerican of them -- we ought to do something about this terrorist company.)

Microsoft has started their own switch campaign

10/14/02 In response to Apple's recent "switch" campaign, Microsoft is actually running one of their own (focussing on Mac users switching to Windows.) Now of course, there appears to be some controversy on the validity of the testimonials given ... I can't even do this story justice with the amount of bald faced lying Microsoft has perpetrated on this one. Go read the slashdot thread below, where the whole issue is dissected.

.NET virus in laboratories

03/04/02 A .NET based virus has been discovered by anti-virus companies. This is with .NET barely deployed. They. will. not. learn.

DOJ under Ashcroft agree to joke settlement

11/02/01 Much like the last court ruling that they violated, in a settlement reached this friday, Microsoft has been forced to promise not to be anti-competitive. Probably the only possible light at the end of the tunnel is that there will be three government appointed people overseeing all of Microsoft's activities for the next 5 years to make sure they don't step out of line. But in this Republican administration it seems unlikely that they will take their job too seriously.

Gartner Group recommends IIS be replaced by alternatives

09/24/01 Due to the spread of the Nimba virus, Gartner Group recommends IIS be replaced by an alternative such as iPlanet or Apache. Apache has about the same install base as IIS, but a far better record with respect to viruses.

Microsoft's astroturfing is confirmed

08/23/01 Citizen's letters presumably written in support of Microsoft as part of a "grass roots" effort to defend Microsoft has turned out to be manifactured by a Microsoft lobbying group. Fraudulant letters written by dead people writting identical sentences seemed to have given them away.

The story reported on goes on to say that they were surprised to find such a shoddy forgery attempt by such a technologically capable company. But they don't take into account the fact that Microsoft would not want to bring this kind of effort "in house". I.e., they learned their lesson from the Halloween letters.

Appellate court ruling

06/28/01 The appellate court rules that Jackson was biased during the penalty phase of the trial, thus vacating this portion of the ruling. However, the findings of fact were upheld, and the result is that there must be a retry for the penalties phase in the lower court.

Well at least the appellate court didn't side with Microsoft because they misuderstood the anti-trust law like they did last time. I can't blame them for finding Jackson to be biased. That stunt with the interviews during the trial was pretty ridiculous.

Anti-Open Source Campaign Backfire

06/18/01 As is well known, Microsoft has been on an anti-Open Source campaign -- but wait! Aren't they using Open Source themselves? For those in the know, its well known that Microsoft has been using some FreeBSD code in its OS. This is perfectly legal due to the extremely lax BSD license (you want to use it? Go ahead, just don't claim credit for it.) Of course for the mainstream press, the difference between the FSF's GPL and the BSD license is too subtle, and the story frame up for Microsoft's hypocracy is easy to set up.

Now, just to be clear here. Microsoft has done nothing wrong. In fact those like Eric Raymond don't have a leg to stand on as far as Microsoft's use of BSD code and folks like Richard Stallman are unaffected, since Microsoft does not appear to have violated the GPL. But they are getting what they deserve. They started this campaign against Open Source (when really they just mean to go after GPL) and have been playing typical dirty FUD tactics, now its time they deal with FUD being thrown back their way.

Insurer Considers Microsoft NT High-Risk

05/29/01 Based upon usage reports, insurance company J.S. Wurzler Underwriting Managers has decided that its "hacker insurance" will cost Windows NT users 5 to 15 percent more.

MS tries to demonize open source

05/05/01 Craig Mundie, MS senior vice president, gave a speech at the New York University Stern School of Business in which he basically say Open Source is bad for business, and that their "Shared Source" solution (which is their attempt to sound like they are sort of open source -- yeah whatever) is better. So MS continues to crank their FUD machine. Linux kernel hacker Alan Cox and creator Linus Torvalds wasted no time in responding.

Interestingly, one might compare Apple's pseudo-adoption of "open source" as being closer to Microsoft's "shared source" except that it doesn't cost anything to see the Darwin source except agreeing to a potentially disagreeable NDA. (Update: Apple has corrected the most offending parts of their Open Source license, so this comparison no longer applies.)

Update: It now occurrs to me why Microsoft is doing this. They don't care to truly FUD Linux in this way (that is clearly hopeless, and could not possibly be seen as anything else other than what it is.) This is really probably a response to the NSA's recent involvement in trying to secure Linux. Microsoft needs to create the impression that Windows has had some kind of peer review to be taken seriously from a security point of view. (Of course, in terms of real security efforts they aren't trying very hard.) Neither the NSA nor anyone else is going to even listen to Microsoft on the subject of security if this is not the case. We'll see how this plays out.

Microsoft: Prizes for Rat Finks

04/25/01 Under the pretense of preventing piracy, Microsoft has set up a "rewards" program for people who fink out PC resellers for ordering PC's without MS Windows pre-installed. In an email sent to system builders, among other things, Microsoft says: "Therefore, we strongly advise that each new PC that will be running a Microsoft Operating System be pre-installed with an OEM version of the Operating System. The alternative would be to purchase retail product, at greater cost and inconvenience to your customers." (in other words, pre-installing Linux or any other operating system is not an alternative.) The email then goes into this twisted "You may be eligible to win prizes!" rewards program.

Microsoft suppresses benchmark results from independent testers

03/05/01 The tests show the Microsoft's SQL server runs significantly slower when running on Windows 2000, than on Windows NT. But Microsoft doesn't want anyone to know about it. Gee, it makes you wonder if they had Mindcraft do a similar study with Microsoft exercising the "don't disclose the results" clause. Well, this is not going to help Bill Gates in his million dollar bet with Larry Ellison (Larry Ellison challenged Bill Gates to make a database that was equal or better in performance to Oracle's database, wagering $1 million that he couldn't do it -- Ellison has since taken the challenge public: anyone that can match Oracle's performance will be given $1 million in cash.)

MS Passport goes on a rough ride

04/26/01 MS passport, which is just some wallet service, has faced serious scrutiny this month. The terms of use have gone from basically authorizing MS to do what they want with your personal to being incompatible with the state of Maryland. How hard is it for Microsoft to approach a problem with the attitude of just doing it right?

MS Still hasn't correctly fixed its buffer overflow problems

04/17/01 Yet another buffer overflow problem has been discovered -- although this time rather than executing the random code the MS Internet Security Accelerator just disables the Windows server its try to protect. Anyways ...

Overcharging class action suit given go ahead

04/05/01 A Minnesota state judge ruled that a consumer antitrust suit accusing Microsoft of overcharging customers who bought the Windows operating system through middlemen can move forward as a class-action case. This is probably the most directly calculable harm that Microsoft has caused consumers.

MS Passport's unacceptable terms of service agreement exposed

04/05/01 Microsoft tries to pull a fast on end users with a ridiculous terms of service agreement.

MS patch for security problem, becomes a problem itself

04/03/01 There are conflicting reports about a defective patch that Microsoft released for a dangerous browser hole. Versionitis as well as claims about general unworkability have contradicted MS's claims about the patch working on "supported versions" of IE.

Another day another MS security flaw; same old, same old

03/30/01 There is an exploit for forcing MS IE 5.01/5.5 to execute author specific code as a side effect of interpreting MIME. I'm not even going to bother commenting ...

Microsoft cannot be trusted

03/22/01 Microsoft's VeriSign digital signature has been compromised. Apparently someone (not a representive from Microsoft) posing as a Microsoft has managed to obtain a digital certificate from VeriSign that authenticates them as Microsoft Corporation. In short a digital certificate from "Microsoft" should not be trusted (i.e., not much has changed.)

Winmag pans WinMe

03/09/01 WinMag (a magazine that you'd expect to tow MS's party line) has ended a 6 month long review of MS Windows ME, and has concluded that we should: "Give Windows ME a miss".

  • story on   Update: Removed by TechWeb!

Microsoft and Bristol settle

02/21/01 The terms are non-disclosed, but comments from Bristol indicate that they are back in business (i.e., they probably have access to the source again, and probably got a cash appeasement as well.) Good work; I hope you don't fall into obscurity as Stac electronics did.

Government wants to open a probe into Microsoft Office in light of their recent investment in Corel

02/14/01 The headline says it all.

Microsoft's Jim Alchin calls GPL "unamerican"

02/14/01 It appears as though Jim Alchin (head Windoze dude at Microsoft) has been caught saying things like "Open source is an intellectual-property destroyer" and "I worry if the government encourages open source, and I don't think we've done enough education of policy makers to understand the threat."

In an article clarifying their position that appeared on yahoo, Microsofts clarified their statements to: "anyone who adds or innovates under the GPL agrees to make the resulting code, in its entirety, available for all to use ... [which] might constrain innovating stemming from taxpayer-funded software development." which is indicative that Microsoft believes the government might have the "wool pulled over their eyes" if a government agency publishes software under GPL. Microsoft representative went on to say that "There are other kinds of open-source licenses that encourage third-party development but without the same constraints, including the BSD license".

It should be pointed out that governmental organizations like NIST (the official office representing the pseudo-clandestine NSA) has published software under amenable licenses. In particular I am thinking of the scripting language "EXPECT" which is distributed in source form under an open license seperate from GPL, or any sort of open-source agreement (i.e., its a lot closer to public domain.) So important governmental agencies that might be at risk of siding one way or another have already done what they have deemed as best (I.e., Microsoft could take EXPECT code, use it and modify it and even ship binaries in their products without revealing their source if they want to -- alternatively the open source community or the free software foundation could also take EXPECT and incorporate it into their licenses as well. Another obvious example is the recently proposed AES encryption standard (RIJNDAEL) which is simply public domain.

I think Microsoft is barking way up on the wrong tree on this one. The government appears to be officially neutral on this. Perhaps Microsoft knows this and was just trying to fizzle this controversy down, since Jim Alchin may have just been irresponsible in revealing Microsoft's internal mantra in a public forum. Perhaps what Jim really was trying to say is "INS: Don't let Linus Torvalds get his American citizenship!"

Sun and Microsoft settle Java dispute

01/23/01 Microsoft has been beaten back from the Java front, in what was Sun's first serious direct confrontation with Microsoft. Microsoft can't use the Java trademark (it means they can't publically claim to support Java and paid Sun $20 million. Of course this does not mean that Microsoft's .NET strategy might not ultimately beat Sun back, but at least Sun (and the rest of us) will get to fight another day.

Microsoft screws over Visual Basic users

01/18/01 As part of its .NET strategy, Microsoft has decided to change Visual Basic to something incompatible. Users of the language have been up in arms about the whole thing, as vast libraries of source code are destined to become obsolete. Not surprisingly, Microsoft makes no apologies about it.

Microsoft flexes its lawyer's muscles

01/17/01 Startup CrossGrain has been coerced into firing 20 of its 80 employees at the behest of Microsoft. Apparently these ex-Microsofties signed a no-compete clause with Microsoft upon leaving Microsoft. Many companies have such a policy (I have signed a few such agreements), but this is the first time I've ever seen it enforced.

Government Defends Jackson's ruling

01/12/01 The government is doing what it can to make sure that Microsoft does not slither away this time at the Court of Appeals.

Test version of Whistler uses big brother tactics

01/08/01 In an effort to curb cracking, Microsoft has released a test version of the next version of Whistler (the next version of Windows NT) which synchronized an installation with a particular hardware platform signature and authenticates the registration key online.

As you can imagine, this has privacy advocates and people who just not want to subscribe to Microsoft's pay as you go strategy up in arms. If ever there was a time to consider alternatives, this is is probably it.

Microsoft's buys Great Plains

12/28/00 Microsoft has announced plans to purchase Great Plains Software. C|Net writes "Microsoft made a move Thursday that some considered inevitable and others considered a reversal of a longtime commitment not to compete with its software partners" Clearly this writer has only just heard of Microsoft. In any event, at least one software developer is rather miffed by this and intends to seek anti-trust relief.

Linux developers beat Microsoft to supporting Intel's Itanium

12/21/00 While Itanium has been delayed, this has not slowed the Linux developers. At the last Intel Developer Forum that I attended it was obvious that the Linux developers were far ahead of Microsoft here.

Microsoft removes consumer pricing for Windows 2K

12/15/00 In a further display of their monopoly power, Microsoft is taking away the consumer pricing for Windows 2K. While in an ordinary high volume competitive environment this would lead to customer outrage (for example, notice that CPU prices for a particular speed grade never goes up), Microsoft's monopoly power lets them do whatever they want.

Microsoft forced to deal with its slave labor

12/12/00 Microsoft had been hiring temporary workers for significantly extended work stays without benefits or stock options. However in a class action suit filed against them, they have been forced to compensate them to the tune of $97 million.

Microsoft set a new temp policy disallow such a worker for working there more than a year without at least a 10 month leave in between.

On the bright side for them, the more permanent employees they have to hire, the more stock they have to give out. And that means that their IRS tax shelter will continue to hold out for years.

I repeat: Microsoft does NOT take security seriously

12/08/00 Microsoft has been accused of abusing the Bugtraq security mailing lists. Apparently Microsoft is simply sending spam-like emails that are advertisements for Microsoft's web site. In retaliation the mailing list maintainers has decided to ban Microsoft from further posting to this mailing list.

Yet another security problem in Microsoft's products

11/20/00 Yet another Outlock/IE bug that allow surreptitous remote execution has been discovered.

Microsoft stuck with Bristol legal bill

11/07/00 Bristol, makers of Windows NT translation software for UNIX, has been awarded court fees of $3.7 million and can get a new trial against Microsoft if they want.

Supreme court delays Microsoft case

09/26/00 After a lengthy delay, the Supreme Court has decided to let  this case drag on even longer by letting the appellate court look at it first. The Microsoft case is of national significance: Microsoft is the largest  company in the world and the remedy of splitting them in half would be bound  to have a large impact on the industry.  By this criteria, they should have  taken the case while the evidence is still relevant.  By the time the Supreme Court gets to hear the case, Microsoft will probably release the Whistler OS which will be two operating systems after what the evidence in this case  refers to.  Perhaps, in a sense the Supreme Court is showing bias in that they know this will happen and thus it will be easier for them to rule that the  case has no bearing on the contemporary reality by the time they hear it.

The thing is that an appeal of whatever the appellate court decides is  inevitable.  So its not as if the Supreme Court is serving any public good by calling for this delay.

Microsoft lobbying exposed

09/25/00 The site has put together a comprehensive booklet on Microsoft's recent lobbying efforts and their affects on the current political system in Washington state.

Microsoft no better than Double Click

09/14/00 It turns out that Microsoft is using their browser in conjunction with MSN and other Microsoft sites to set cookies that cannot be turned off. Talk about a blatant case of using their monopoly power to forceusers to be a victim of their undocumented and proprietary APIs.

Bristol Awarded $1 million

09/07/00 In their suit against Microsoft, Bristol, while originally being awarded a $1 token sum, got their compensation adjusted to $1 million. There are suggestions that the judge was being political (given the current anti-Microsoft climate in the industry these days.)  But in any event it  serves the larger goals here of making Microsoft think twice before employing intimidation tactics, armies of lawyers and disingenuous marketing strategies against honest companies like Bristol.

Microsoft's money making web ventures based on UNIX

08/28/00 Robert X. Cringely has apparently gotten info from Microsoft insiders that Microsoft's successful UNIX based internet acquisitions remained most successful when they left their UNIX underpinnings intact. Not surprising, but nevertheless a little embarrassing for a company trying to sell a server operating system.

IE 5.5 breaks Open Standards

07/13/00 It should surprise nobody to learn that Microsoft has decided to "modify" the DHTML standards in a way that creates incompatibilities with its competitors.

Linux turns in a fantastic SPECweb99 benchmark score

07/05/00 Unlike the mindcraft, which was paid by Microsoft and designed a test to show superior IIS performance on a very narrow set of criteria, the SPEC benchmark group (which only charges nominal fees for the benchmark itself, fairly distributes the test openly to anyone who wants it, and which takes input from a large number of industry experts in the design of its tests) has posted results submitted by DELL which shows the soon to be released TUX webserver architecture implemented on Linux to be roughly between 2 and 3 times faster than Microsoft back office (depending on configuration.)

Update: Recent SPECweb99 results (lookup the latest here) shows that Zeus (another UNIX based web server solution) is closing the gap on TUX, while IIS remains woefully behind. (When comparing, remember to consider the number of processors used in each solution.)

Appeals court makes a disturbingly convenient move to hear the Microsoft case

06/13/00 In a move that can only signal sympathy for Microsoft on the  part of the appellate court, before even waiting for the DOJ's request to have  the case expedited to the Supreme Court to even be heard, they have agreed to hear the case.  This does not bode well.  The last time this happened, the court of appeals misunderstood the letter of the law and simply let Microsoft get off scott free.

Let's hope that the DOJ has better luck this time -- or at the very least, that they can zip through this as quickly as possible so that they can get Microsoft into the Supreme Court if they have to.

Jackson says Split

06/09/00 Here it is:

Microsoft submits final comments on ruling

06/01/00 Here it is:

  I have no gone through it completely yet, but it appears to be a combination of reasonable comments (some of the deadlines set by the DOJ are indeed  arbitrary and possibly unrealistic) creation of loopholes ("we don't want to split in our foreign subsidiaries") and an attempt to complicate issues to create an artificial justification for an appeal ("Do we include MSHTML.DLL in our browserless version of windows or not?" -- obviously you supply a  version which is sufficient for the OS, while not adversely affecting any  other browser than might be installed in the system, nor enabling the  activation of Internet Explorer without a required installation from scratch  step; i.e., its probably just fine to include the version that exists as is.) 

Update: 06/05/00 DOJ doesn't think much of Microsoft's proposed changes(C|Net)
Update: 06/06/00 MS strikes back at ruling(C|Net)

Microsoft Attacks Kerberos

03/15/00 (Just noticed this) Microsoft has found a new standard that they are embracing, extending and extinguishing.  Its called Kerberos.  Its a cryptographic security protocol and its been implemented in various flavors of UNIX -- correctly.  Now Microsoft has implemented a superset which, of  course, creates compatibility problems with Windows clients.

DOJ submits revised proposed ruling

05/26/00 Here it is:

Jackson wants a split -- maybe a 3 way split(!)

05/25/00 It seems the judge decided not to find middle ground between the government's proposal and Microsoft's counter-proposal. Instead Jackson seemed to think that the government's 2-way proposal was not sufficient, and in fact preferred a 3-way split as proposed by the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA).

Clearly many people (including myself) felt that a three way split would be more appropriate given the current market geometry.

Unfortunately, as I suspected, by not allowing Microsoft some time to consider a better thought out response to a break up scenario, this gives them strong grounds on which to appeal whatever remedy Jackson decides on.

Gates targets Palm Pilot

05/25/00 Old habits die hard with Gates. As revealed in email documents, even as his company was being investigated for anti-trust, Gates knows of no other way to compete with rivals except to attack them illegally.

Steve Case on Charlie Rose

05/18/00 Steve Case, former CEO of AOL and soon to be chairman of AOL-Time-Warner was interviewed by Charlie Rose last night. The interview didn't have much to do with Microsoft but I would like to bring attention to one comment that was made:

Charlie Rose: "So after AOL bought netscape, you still bundled AOL with  Internet Explorer.  You broke the hearts of a lot of people by doing that"  (Charlie is so diplomatic isn't he?)

Steve Case: "Well yes, we still wanted to be bundled with Windows. If Microsoft allowed us, we would prefer to use Netscape, which we think is a much better browser."

IE exposes user local cookies

05/11/00 Internet Explorer has yet another security hole. As usual, Microsoft has not taken the high road, nor taken the bug very seriously. This time its a cookie exposer. Cookies typically hold data that is pertinent to the local user such as subscription/access passwords, your email address, or other personal information that a site needs to associate to you in order to deliver a service (though apparently no site seems to hide your credit card numbers here.) Anyhow, Microsoft has not issued a work around for the problem, even though there are a couple of obvious ones (turn of Javascript or use another browser such as Netscape).

Microsoft responds to breakup proposal

05/10/00 Microsoft responds with a proposal of its own remedies. From the news stories I've heard, the text of the counter-proposal says that Microsoft instead feels that it should merely stop doing deals with OEMs, hide Internet Explorer from the desktop, and promises to present APIs in a timely manner to competitors.

Too little too late, IMHO. Had Microsoft done this all along they would never have gotten into this trouble in the first place. But this isn't just about making Microsoft a law abiding company any more. They have unlawfully inflicted serious damage to their competitors. That is why this is called the remediesphase.

As the DOJ officials rightfully point out, of course, the exact counter  remedies spelled out are also a crock, as they have loopholes and could  easily be worked around.

My prediction from the 28th, however, does not seem to have held true. Microsoft's lawyer have apparently started earning their pay, and have rightfully pointed out that a response to corporate break up is not something they could reasonably prepare in a few weeks. If nothing else, if Judge Jackson agrees (though 6 months is a bit much) this should buy Microsoft some time to figure out what they should reallybe responding with.

The lying never stops

05/06/00  In what is obviously a flaw in Microsoft's (let browsers and email packages run scripts with full access to a client side machines) security strategy,  they have decided to blame Netscape for installing files to known locations on a hard drive.  Keep in mind that most applications have known files locations for all, or almost all files installed. 

  Its amazing how Microsoft believe it can get away with saying anything they want.  They didn't even decide to take the slightly higher ground here and  blame it on the exploiter -- instead deciding to point the finger straight at Netscape.  That's not what I would call "taking security very seriously". 

Melissa Lives on

05/05/00 The real reason why Melissa was such a devastating virus has reared its head. There is a new variant of the virus spreading called the ILOVEYOU virus. Like the former, it uses Visual Basic script which is supported by one and only one email product in the industry: Outlook. But that's not the worst part. There appear to be several mutations. The common theme of them seems to be sent with subject headings that are meant to pique the curiosity of the recipient. The latest incarnation purports to be a curefor the ILOVEYOU virus!

Of course, Microsoft, the worlds most arrogant company of all time, will not do anything to help you. Well, that's not true, they will probably belittle everyone by telling them they aren't using outlook properly, and insist its not their fault because there is some switch you can turn on which prevents these viruses while also making their product useless. Yeah, that's what I call taking security seriously.

Microsoft expects shareholders to defend them

05/03/00   Perhaps its not such a bad strategy.  Microsoft sent a notice to their  shareholders pleading with them to propagate the deluded idea that the DOJ is trying to hurt innovation, by breaking them up.  The only people who will defend them at this point are people who still own their stock which is in its most abysmal slump in its entire history.

On the other hand, given who they are catering to, I suspect government officials are less likely to pay attention to raving stock holders.  Why does it not surprise me that Microsoft is trying to play this like a political  issue by trying to create an artificial sense that "the voters" don't like  what the government is doing to Microsoft?

The funniest part of the letter (linked to below) is the claim that thousands of americans care deeply about this issue (presumably in their favor -- i.e., they are worried about their Microsoft stock.) The truth is probably more like the tens of millions of americans care deeply about this issue (mostly not in their favor.)

DOJ recommends a break up of Microsoft into 2 companies

04/28/00 The two companies would be OS and Applications (which includes IE and MSN.) Personally, I don't think that's the most ideal break up. The primary problem the remedy should be trying to solve is the "tying" of multiple software products to leverage the monopoly in an illegal way. Because IE and MSN live with Office, that means that rather than tying IE to Windows, they can just tie it to Office with nearly the same effect.

If instead MS was broken into 3 companies, namely: (1) OS + devices + languages (Windows, Direct X, MSVC++, Pocket PC, X-Box, MS-Mouse, MS-Keyboard), (2) Applications (Office, MS games), and (3) Internet (IE, Backoffice, MSN, Frontpage), then in every case, MS would have a competitor in roughly the same competitive position.

For example, the OS's and languages, typically all UNIX vendors sell or include similar possible application development packages. In the application space, Symantec, Corel, and StarDivision all have multiple software suites that can go head to head with MS-Office and anything they might try to bundle with it (from the Application space). In the Internet arena, tying MSN + IE has the obvious competitor: AOL + Netscape.

Unfortunately since the trial did not focus strongly enough on the leveraging of MS Office, a three-way break up remedy may not seem justified. Oh well.

So Microsoft gets until May 10th to respond. I think what we have to look forward to is a good chance that MS's lawyers will screw up again and be unable to speak to the real issues in the case and thus leave Judge Jackson to have no other choice but to take the DOJ's recommendation as it stands. That would lead to an escalation to the court of appeals where Microsoft seems to have some allies. Lets hope that Judge Jackson doesn't leave much breathing room, and lets hope the Appeals court will make a more concerted effort to apply the law correctly this time (as you recall in their overturning of the IE + Win98 browser tying case, the appeals court heavily relied on an anti-trust book written by Harvard law professor Einer Elhaig; yet when asked about it the professor himself said that the appeal court has misunderstood his book on several points and in fact probably ruled incorrectly.)

Even if the proposal does not stand, there is plenty of other conditions in the proposal which are likely to stand. The no-tying and no-exclusionaries deals clauses are exactly what caused this whole anti-trust trial in the first place. But there is clearly justification for more punishment since Microsoft has already been to court about these sorts of violations before, and has continued to break them.

Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's ruling against Microsoft

04/03/00 After a long wait, after being completely destroyed in the the trial, and after an unsuccessful attempt to reach a settlement, the Judge has ruled that Microsoft abused its monopoly power.

C|Net links:

Of course we can expect an appeal from Microsoft. Not surprisingly, Microsoft considers this to be a complex case, and wants to take the long route through the appeals court; the Judge would prefer an appeal go straight to the Supreme Court. Clearly, Microsoft realizes that they will inevitably lose the case and are trying to buy as much time as possible to "reinvent themselves" in an effort to make the final remedy to seem as irrelevant as possible. (This is essentially the same tactic IBM used to deal with their anti-trust case.)

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