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Microsoft

Senator Seeks Injuction Against WinXP 379

Posted by Hemos
from the stopping-it-at-the-starting-gate dept.
Hiro_Later writes "Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee has asked state prosecutors to seek an injunction blocking the launch of Windows XP. His reasoning? "Without 'significant changes,' new technologies might never get the opportunity to compete." Microsoft of course disagrees arguing instead that XP will bring more choices and content to consumers not less. What I find interesting is Schumer was formerly a skeptic of the government's antitrust case against Microsoft, perhaps he has seen the light. Judge for yourselves here." Update: 07/25 01:41 AM by H :So, based on the e-mail I've been getting, evidently people have forgotten that what submittors type is in italics. Like this. Notice how when I type here that is in normal type - if you've got other questions, please check out the FAQ. There's lots of fun information in there. We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming.
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Senator Seeks Injuction Against WinXP

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Actually the check did come in. Only it was $52,000 from [now AOL] Time Warner. [opensecrets.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @05:30PM (#63262)
    As I sit here and read most of this, I am stunned at the complete lack of care or thought for the impact of what you are all suggesting. Do you not understand the implications?

    So, because MSFT sold a piece of SW they will not support, everything should be released under the GPL if it's "old". Well, shoot, then every product ever released in the history of the world should be required to be released under the GPL.

    Hey, even if it's not technology it should apply. Shoot, every restaurant I walk into should have the recipe, with full preparation instructions, for EVERY single dish they offer, posted right in the lobby. Coca Cola should provide complete preparation instructions so I can make my own coke products how I want them - just ingredients isn't enough.

    I'm sure you have some reason to claim it's not the same, but it is. You are saying there should be no privately owned information. Fine, stop buying anything from anywhere you didn't get complete specifications, instructions, and tools from today. I'm sure you'll save a lot of money to spend on nothing.

    What you fail to realize, is that MSFT is a business that spent billions of dollars on that product. I don't care if you like that or not. The kernel itself is still used today in Win2K and XP, and it is THEIR property.

    The last thing I want is government that steps in at every chance to bully companies and people. As a matter of fact, I'm for a much smaller government, and sadly, we're going the opposite way. Beat MSFT by being better - don't look for someone else to solve your problems.

    Linux will not beat MSFT in a consumer market because it has NO consumer strategy right now. Change that. You think innovation is a "MSFT joke"? Fine, hopefully someone who cares about innovation will push you aside and do it themselves.

    People like Linus didn't whine and look for the government to shutdown MSFT before trying to make a difference. I'm saddened by the whining - I hear how MSFT whines, but it sounds the same on this end to, and it's SAD. Make a difference, don't bitch about it.

    For every person here who says that the government should force this or the government should force that - go and start a company that DOES what you are saying. Don't try to alter the future by lobbying, because it has a serious impact in the future that is very scary. The reality is I could go buy Maces today - I have a Mac at home. I can run Linux. It's not like I don't HAVE choices. Yes, I understand MSFT is evil, bad bad, and they did bad things, they did this and they did that. Fine compete against them. It takes people to make a difference and innovate.
  • by davidu (18) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @04:28PM (#63265) Homepage Journal

    Hi,


    I have boycottxp.com [boycottxp.com] but I don't have the time to run it or set it up. If any one here is interested in helping me get it running, that'd be great.

    I don't want it to be a flame site or Anti-microsoft site but rather a clear and concise set of reasons and articles on why WindowsXP is bad for consumers, developers, businesses. I have all the hosting and everything all setup. :-)

    Hit me up at davidu@everydns.net [mailto] if interested.


  • The timing is too tight for this to be a coincidence.

    Today we learned (here on slashdot) [slashdot.org] that AOL is opening up its instant messaging software to third parties. Then we hear Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee has asked state prosecutors to seek an injunction blocking the launch of Windows XP

    The article linked from the top of the slashdot presents this comment (among others) from Microsoft: Microsoft also took aim at AOL Time Warner, saying the company has steadfastly refused to open its instant messaging systems to interoperate with other systems.

    It's plausible that the AOL news were a preemptive strike since they knew that Sen. Schumer was going to make the news later in the day, perhaps at the behest of lobbyists paid for by one or more corporations based in NY state.

    I don't believe that the government should have a say in how companies go about doing their business. While I don't agree with several Microsoft practices, it sickens me to think that publicly elected officials may be acting on behalf of corporations. Ayn Rand warned us about this at length (see Atlas Shrugged). I believe that Microsoft should be able to release its software as they see fit. It's up to us software developers and vendors (free software, open software, commercial, whatever) to stop their hegemony. People forget that Microsoft managed to break IBM's stronghold of computer technology by offering better products and being smarter about business than the larger company.

    Think of IBM's TopView and compare it to Windows 1.0. They came out at roughly the same time. Neither one worked. IBM dropped the product. Microsoft improved the product over the years to the point where we see it today. OS/2? Good software implementation, but lousy business strategy. The current Linux revolution proves that radically different software is adopted if it (a) satisfies the user's requirements and (b) it's available. Finally, if you aren't old enough to have witnessed the fall of IBM and the rise of Microsoft (or to know what TopView was), please abstain from flaming.

    It's our turn to be smarter about distributing our wares and creating better products. We don't need government intervention to win.

    Cheers!

    E
  • MS-DOS was an inferior product supported by a superior marketing strategy. If Gary Kildal hadn't been flying his airplane or whatever, we'd be running CP/M + GEM based computers today instead of MS-DOS/Windoze systems. Remember that MS-DOS wasn't even a Microsoft product to begin with; Gates's talent was to seize the business opportunity and then execute on the technology.

    The point is really that you must have both the superior product and the marketing strategy. Microsoft uses both. Some companies have tried to survive on only one and didn't make it or made it only marginally.

    Cheers!

    E
  • XP is just Windows 2000 with themes and a few other insignificant changes, mostly cosmetic. There are a few bugfixes and more game compatibility is there, as well.

    Not true. Besides cosmetic changes there are a few very significant ones, including but not limited to:

    • - Mandatory registration (it's been broken recently but it's still there).
    • - Secure audio path (makes sound encrypted from the moment it's read from HD or CD until it gets to the speakers.
    • - Bundled "free" software (using the same tactics they used to "cut Netscape's air supply").
    • - A lobotomized MP3 encoder and a full quality WMA encoder (see WMA sounds better! and it's uhhm secure).
    • - etc.

    All in all, MS is arrogantly continuing to use exact same tactics they were sued for. Now that they already own the browser market, they can give a token consession to remove IE from the desktop. Now they have set their greedy eyes on the music distribution market. Unless something is done to stop them, they'll own that as well, so you'll have to pay Microsoft tax not only on new computers but also every time you listen to a song or watch a movie or print a picture with your digital camera [slashdot.org] (Gates claims everything will be pay-per-view in not too distant future). So yeah, blocking XP is a good idea. Even more so since the punishment fits the crime.
    ___

  • The other side is I have seen what happened to poor netscape. If netscape didn't die off I bet the internet would be a little bit different then today. The internets innovation accerlated when netscape was in control. Netscape was develoiping its own api's and way of internet centric programming.

    Bad choice there -- If you'll recall the mid-90s, Netscape was running roughshod over every browser available at the time. Remember Netscape-specific tags? <BLINK> anyone?

    Netscape was just as bad (if not worse) than Microsoft. When MS got their head and ass wired together and bought the Spyglass browser and turned it into IE, they were competing with Netscape. Netscape decided to implode through insane management decisions and unmaintainable growth, and got trounced technically. Boo hoo. It was not that rascally Bill Gates who destroyed Netscape -- they managed quite nicely on their own, and the Open Standards of the Web were saved (for the moment). Now if Microsoft does the same thing, then they'll be in the wrong.

  • They see a "My Pictures" folder with thumbnails and stuff, and they think "Wow! I can keep digital pictures in here. Windows XP lets me manage pictures!"
    Actually, I can just imagine some of the amusing tech support that might come from this:


    Clueless user: Hello, MS tech support? What's with this bogus product you sold me?

    MS tech support: Huh? What do you mean?

    Clueless user: My computer. It says it can hold my pictures for me. Says so right here on the screen.

    MS tech support: I don't follow.

    Clueless user: It says "My Pictures" on the screen. That's where my pictures are supposed to go, right?

    MS tech support: Yes, that's right.

    Clueless user: But my computer won't take my pictures! I keep giving it my pictures but it doesn't put them in "My Pictures".

    MS tech support: Umm ... how are you giving it your pictures?

    Clueless user: I'm putting them in the slot in the computer. Isn't that where they're supposed to go?

    You hear a loud crash and laughing. Apparently the MS tech support person fell out of their chair...

    Clueless user: And why didn't they make the slot bigger? I have to fold my pictures to put them into the computer!


    Yeah, okay, so perhaps that's not all that original. But you get the idea...


    --
  • by Grave (8234)
    For the love of God, think about what you're saying. I hate Microsoft with a passion, but stopping them from shipping a product because it might hurt innovation? How the hell do you come to THAT conclusion? Besides, the economic impact would be severe. The computer industry NEEDS WinXP to be launched in October to help fuel consumer and business buying, thus giving the tech companies a much-needed boost. If XP were blocked, the computer industry might not recover at all this year. Economy aside, blocking XP just makes absolutely no sense.
  • > They illegally attacked Java, fragmented it, and now refuse to support in XP

    I'm not even going to beat the dead horse of Java partisanship that's so obvious here, but the reason they don't support it in XP is that Sun prohibits them from shipping a JVM in XP.
    --
  • by rnturn (11092)

    Oh, and you know for a fact that Schumer's receiving payments from Microsoft? Uh, OK. Anything you say. (I was unaware that the Branch Davidians were big Microsoft apologists.)

    Actually if I was worried about unfair competition and made a comment like:

    ``he feared that without "significant changes," new technologies might never get the opportunity to compete.''

    and the response from the Microsoft spokesperson (Vivek Varma) was:

    ``(Windows XP) ... is designed to bring more choice and options to consumers, not fewer''

    I'd sure be a little miffed and wanting to drag their sorry behinds in front of Congress to get an answer to my concerns. Just note how Microsoft didn't answer the question at all. Bundling more crap into XP might (perhaps) benefit some consumers but does not (in ant way) address the issue of competition. And Microsoft knows it.

    Perhaps the reason some senators are now raising concerns about Microsoft is that they're afraid that they'll be seen by their constituents as having part in propping up a known and increasingly arrogant monopoly abuser by having taken all those campaign contributions from the Gang from Redmond and their cronies and making apologetic statements regarding Microsoft business activities during the past few years. Whatever the reason, if it results in more hearings, like those proposed, taking place and the public hearing more about Microsoft's shenanigans, then that's fine with me.

    Actually, I'm looking forward to these Congressional hearings. It almost makes me wish I still had cable so I could tape CSPAN. Microsoft's spokespeople are such bad liars and the transcripts should make for some amusing reading. Let's just hope the press finds the hearings newsworthy enough to cover them and that a few more senators and representatives can keep their zippers up for the next few months.

    Cheers...
    --

  • I don't see why you think forcing companies who orphan software (and forced upgrades to incompatible systems is certainly a form of orphanage) to GPL the product is so bad.

    The original intent of copyright was that it be for a limited time. Only an ethically corrupt and morally bankrupt lawyer would interpret "life plus seventy five years" or "ninety years" (both significantly longer than the average human lifespan) to be 'limited' in any real sense of the word beyond the most technical (and in that technical sense a billion years would be a limited time, and clearly out of bounds of what the constitution was intended to allow).

    Originally copyrights were 17 years in length, at which time the copyrighted material became public domain. Forcing Microsoft and other makers of proprietary software to GPL their products after they've been orphaned would actually be kinder (from their point of view) than returning copyright limits to their original length (which, IMnsHO is exactly what should be done) as GPLed software couldn't be used in a competing proprietary product the way public domain (or FreeBSD Licensed) code can.

    Such a resolution would certainly be in the spirit of what was intended with copyright law when the constitution was written, and would do a lot to restore the shattered balance of the consumers' rights versus those of the copyright holder. Having said that, I'd much prefer the entire morass of Windows code remain proprietary and disappear into that proprietary black hole that has swallowed so many unreleased copyrighted material, never to see the light of day even after the copyright has expired and it would have entered the public domain. Losing that code could only be a service to humankind, but I digress ...
  • Perhaps Coke wasn't the best example [guerrillanews.com] you could have chosen.
  • If Chucky Schumer is for it, I am against it.

    Every time I see him speak on TV, my blood pressure goes up 40 points. He never lets inconvenient things like facts, logic or principles get in the way of a good rant.

  • Actually Redhat 7.1 + Ximian 1.4 is functionally identical to XP.

    The changes in the UI will amount to the same amount of training, and if you pre-load the software for them you just solved everything.

    I've had my mother running the above combination for 3 months now... and havent heard a peep otrher than the steady stream of emails from her, and questions on how to open these emails attachments from people that want her advice on something... (My mom is now virus proof! That in it's self is worth it)

    Nope, XP is not the only choice, Linux is a viable one.... but only for those that are willing to put forth a tiny bit of effort in the beginning.
  • Well, Time-Warner was Schumer's 13th highest contributor during the 1995-2000 election cycle (he was elected in 1998 and won't be up again until 2004). So it would make sense that he agreed with Microsoft's position before, but now that Time-Warner has merged with AOL, it looks like he's been kept safely within Time-Warner's pocket.


    Cheers,

  • I believe that Sun prohibits them from shipping their non-standards compliant JVM with XP. I don't believe that Sun would prohibit them from shipping, e.g., the Sun JVM. They could certainly include, e.g., a Kafe Install CD. IBM would certainly be glad to sell them the right to distribute Jikes cheaply.

    Sorry. I don't buy the "They'd like to but they can't" argument. Of course, if you had a URL at a creditable source to point me to, that might be another matter. (P.S.: I don't consider M.S. to be a creditable source.)

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • davidu typed: I have boycottxp.com but I don't have the time to run it or set it up. If any one here is interested in helping me get it running, that'd be great.

    I already have more Web site than I can handle, but if you'd like some pointers, mail me. Or redirect your domain to my site, if no one else is interested...

  • by sharkey (16670)
    True. IIRC, he is one of the members of our government who takes a firm stand against the rights and freedoms of the individual, preferring instead a more imperial government. There has to be more to this sudden change of heart than altruism. What's in it for Schumer?

    --
  • by dlb (17444) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @07:34PM (#63297)
    Are you kidding me? Linux is one giant beta test.
  • by Soko (17987) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @04:49PM (#63298) Homepage
    OK, so we have more "wah wah, Microsoft's being a bully" from a prominent US citizen. Good for him, good for us, they're as guilty as sin, ad nauseium, ad infenitem.

    The main problem we have here is that Microsoft keeps on "innovating" on Windows to the point of sucking money from people and businesses addicted to thier OS and main stay applications. Fair enough - let them have thier "innovations" - but only those developed over the last 5 years.

    IIRC, support for NT will be pulled in 2002. So, the Government should force Micorsoft to release the source code for NT 4.0 SP6a under the GPL after the support is pulled. The whole steaming pile of it. It's 2 versions behind, so should be berift of thier "innovations" and no problem at all to GPL. If thier new products are truly innovative, they'll still sell millions of copies, right?

    On the consumer side, it would allow interested parties to maintain thier current environment, the more industrious (some would say insane) to improve on what's there, others could develop competeing products *cough*SAMBA*cough* on other architectures and others still to develop really competive apps for Windows and/or other platforms under WIN32.

    IMHO, no one is better able to compete with Microsoft than themselves.

  • the goal of a corporation is to dissolve a market status, exploit the environment, tax the free and undermine democratic choices, and employ slave labour.

    Wow! What country do you live in that your corporations do that to you! It can't be Canada, as your email implies. It sounds more like Somalia or Indonesia!

    In my country (mostly south of Canada), the goal of corporations are to make a profit for their shareholders. They do not have the legal authority to tax. And we abolished slavery 150 years ago.

    There's a hell of a lot wrong with the concept of "corporation" but your list of abuses are not among them.

    The goals of the constituents of the market are then not the same as the goals of a free people.

    Producers are people. Consumers are people. When these people are free, the market is free.
  • I am not denying that a few corporations do these things. But the original post was directing his list of abuses against all corporations, that all corporations had the goal of undermining democracy and employing slave labor.

    A few individual people commit murder, rape, arson and theft. But that doesn't make the goal of people to murder, rape, burn and steal. Individuals can commit criminal acts, and so can corporations. To accuse all corporations of employing slave labor just because Nike does is as ridiculous as accusing all human beings of being cannibals just because Daumer was a cannibal. Get real!
  • Of course, Microsoft gave him $3,500.

    But that only buys a few copies of WinXP. You can see why Schumer is peeved.

    -gleam
  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @05:03PM (#63302)
    > when I read the following paragraph from the article:

    "Windows has always been designed as an open platform that creates new business opportunities for many third parties, including some of our toughest competitors"


    It does create new business opportunities... as in "find another line of work".

    --
  • by GroundBounce (20126) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @10:41PM (#63303)
    The whole bundling issue comes from the fact that the Antitrust Act says that you can't use a legally obtained monopoly in one market to leverage a monopoly (unfairly, without competition) in another market. This is why, back in the '70s or there about, the government wouldn't let Kodak bundle processing (a market in which they did not have a huge presence) with their film (which was a monopoly at the time).

    The fact is that the rules are different for monopolies than for non-monopolies. Monopolies have to be careful what they bundle so as to not leverage one monopoly, which may have been legally obtained through competition, to unfairly gain another. Non-monopolies don't have this concern.

    Moves by Apple to bundle extra software would probably not be seen as anticompetitive because they only have 5% of the market. The same goes for Linux which has even less (of the desktop market anyway).
  • No, it'll be MUCH better to have one company that will tell you everything you can or can't buy for your computer.

    Oh, wait...

    (Yes, I am ignoring the Free Software movement. Microsoft has destroyed the business of creating and selling many classes of PC software...and that's bad.)
  • So you've never bought a name-brand PC? Good for you. Here's your sticker proclaiming your membership in a most exclusive fraternity. For everybody else, not being able to get a PC without paying Microsoft is sort of a pain.

    Your point about Sklyarov is well taken...but don't you see that the kind of power Adobe is wielding could be used by any large (like Microsoft) company? Wouldn't it be a good idea to put some strictures on these juggernauts' behaviour?
  • by Ledge (24267)
    Chuck Schumer is just a gas bag looking for a little press. Apparently the check from Microsoft didn't come in this month. It's amazing how he has suddenly started caring a great deal more for the public then he did during the Waco hearings.
  • First, and foremost, impossible. Too much underlying technology in NT that is NOT owned by Microsoft

    But in case this were to happen, and microsoft was forced to give away unencumbered previous copies of their OS, it would NOT, be under the GPL.

    Reference implementations, that are done so others can look and implement, are beter licensed Under a BSD-Like or Public Domain license. Why you ask?

    Well, do you think most companies would use the code if it was GPL'ed and they were *forced* to have to release their enhancements to said code base?

    Not likely.

    Even RMS agrees with this. ( see the Orgg Vorbis commentary by RMS, in which he agress with it's BSD-Like license).


    Yet another case of GPL/Linux fanatics, thinking their way is the only way.

    Kinda reminds you of the way MS thinks...
  • Hey, automobile manufacturers should not be allowed to bundle stereos with their products because it put a huge crimp on the after-market stereo sales. The only people who are going to bother are the hard-core nerds who want a real high-end system that most people wouldn't care about.

    Now replace "automobile manufacturers" with "Microsoft", "stereos" with "Internet browser", "high-end system" with "Mozilla" or "Opera", etc, and you have the government's argument in a nutshell.
  • The real question is :"When is some brave soul going to insist that the United States government cease subsidizing Microsoft through the buying of their software?"


    Finally, a voice of reason. What percent of M$ sales are to goverments? How many to the very governments now embroiled in the lawsuit? I wouldn't be surprised if it is 10-15%. Dropping those sales would cure M$ pretty freakin' quick.

    Then take into account the additional 10-15% when contractors aren't reimbursed for M$ software, and/or when they are required to use the native StarOffice file format (for example) when submitting gov't bids, reports, etc.

    Then eliminate the French and German government sales. It'll happen sooner or later. There goes another couple of points.

    While the 10-15% from the initial government backoff wouldn't do a great deal, the ripple (or multiplier, for those of you who passed macroecon) effect would be large.

    Heck, I'm not even sure that they need to go this far. Mandate a certain xml dtd (I think dtd is what I'm looking for) as the preferred document type for government information exchange, and get on with it. Who gives a rat's patootie about M$ if someone can make a Jabber plug-in that will create government standard output logs of chats?

  • I suppose that since you noticed, it's too late to point out? :)

    Seriously though, I was thinking about that after I posted, and I remember what I read (O'Reilly book?) saying how voluminous the gov't spec for SGML was, and that it was nearly unusable.

  • by debrain (29228) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @05:45PM (#63318) Journal
    The computer industry NEEDS WinXP to be launched in October to help fuel consumer and business buying, thus giving the tech companies a much-needed boost.
    Begging your pardon, but wouldn't the same dollars that go to Windows XP be better put into available competitive products in the tech industry? I believe that money would do good to go into the tech industry, but as many wall streeter's have noticed, Microsoft isn't suffering like the rest of the tech industry, and I'm hardly inclined to believe that the money to go into the floundering tech industry is related to money going into a Win XP tax destined for a stable monopolistic party. (Am I missing something here? :) )
  • At least XP actually informs you. On Linux you have to read 6000 man pages or maybe read half a million news group messages before you realise you can do something with it.

    How many people have installed Linux and then gone..."ok, now what?". I know I had to ask 50 questions just to find out that you type "startx".

  • I don't want to beta test. I use linux.

    Isn't that an oxymoron?

    Simon
  • Once XP is released you can say good bye to any non MS technology running on windows

    Sorry, but I have to call bullshit here.

    My app runs *fine* on XP, and it's not written by Microsoft. So do several hundred thousand *other* apps.

    So what is this technology you're speaking of that will miraculously drop dead?

    Simon
  • Synching with atomic clocks - MacOS 8 had this. ClearType - For fucks sake, the Apple ][ had this one! Technologist Steve Gibson, a software developer and consultant whose claim to fame was inventing the light pen more than a decade ago, says he recognizes the technique as one used in the Apple II. He confirmed his suspicion by comparing notes with Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak, who developed a font-smoothing technique for the Apple II

    Yes, and he's fucking wrong, but won't admit it.

    Simon
  • Your app probaly doesn't do anything important enough to be imitated, or programmed against. I have no doubt there is anti lotus, netscape, realplayer, etc code lurking in the dark heart of that source code they desperately won't let you see.

    Nah, there's enough shit code in RealPlayer (hey! It installs all this crap I asked it not to...) and Netscape (wow! look at it crash. AGAIN) without MS having to write any.

    The technology he means is probably: email servers, cd burners, internet browsers, media players, database servers, email programs, and everything else important that MS HAS to control or they'll have a fuckin fit.

    Nero works fine. Opera works fine. Realplayer works fine. Quicktime works fine. Eudora works fine. Netscape works fine. As for the DB servers, etc... well, I don't have them. Sorry.

    So let's see... out of all your examples... I can testify over 60% of them working great. Would you care to give some examples? Or drop the FUD crusade?

    Pick one.

    Simon
  • Yup, he has seen the light, he has to protect home businesses. What do you think the probability that these companies lobbied this senator and convinced him to take action?
    Very low, actually. I personally know Senator Schumer (he is a member of my Synagogue in Brooklyn), and have known him for quite some time. His daughter goes to my former high school. With this in mind, I can tell you that he is a very principled and intelligent man, and doesn't pursue actions unless he truly believes in them. He is passionate about his work.

    I also have a friend who was an intern for Schumer while he was still in the House. New York is full of businesses which constantly lobby their Representatives and Senators. Schumer is not known for taking action simply on the whims of lobbyists.

    You do have a point, one of these companies may have opened his eyes to the issue, but I assure you that he did not follow through because of the lobbying, but instead because of the results of his research.

    ---

  • by AtariDatacenter (31657) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @09:01PM (#63330)
    I think out of all the following:
    Microsoft Legal, Microsoft Applications, Microsoft Hardware, Microsoft Marketing, Microsoft Operating system

    The two I'd be most afraid of are: Microsoft Legal and Microsoft Marketing.

    They are the only two departments in Microsoft that have enough chutzpah to kill their own parents, and then beg for mercy because they have recently become orphans.
  • As another posted has already stated:
    Antitrust laws are there to foster COMPETITION and -ETHICAL- Innovation. Those who violate those ethics (ie: abusive monopolies such Standard Oil, AT&T and Microsoft) have their legal -privelege- to continue to innovate in un-ethical manners -yanked-.

    I wish they'd get busted up, but it ain't gonna happen. Instead, we're probably going to see something akin to what IBM had to deal with in the 1980's. It's taken them a -decade- to recover, and they've -truly- had to innovate to do it.

    Besides, MS doesn't innovate, they Borg.
  • by gorilla (36491) on Wednesday July 25, 2001 @04:22AM (#63336)
    It's not Windows which is reducing the price of Intel based hardware, it's the people buying the hardware. No-one needs a joystick, yet the funcionality has increased so that for 1/2 the price you used to pay for a 4 direction/1 button square box, you can now get a force feedback controller with 17 controls.

    It's entirely possible that windows is increasing the cost of our hardware, because it all has to be compatable with the original IBM. If you can redesign the hardware to take advantage of new technology, you can use cheaper/better/faster components.

  • Boycott?
    Most of the users on Slashdot I thought use Linux, so either you guys run some form of Windows (like me), or you are going to buy/warez Windows XP just so you can complain that it pops up it's own software and you don't want to hit the X in the corner. I plan to use XP because it mixes the 2K and ME code base into one product. If some people are upset that Microsoft makes software that is so easy to use that people must buy it because they want to work not hack, then let them use Linux. I could care less about seeing the source for Windows. If I wanted to write for it, I would work for Microsoft. They are a business, not a hobby.

    If you guys are so "freedom of choice" why must I choose the same as you? I want my XP!
  • every restaurant I walk into should have the recipe, with full preparation instructions, for EVERY single dish they offer, posted right in the lobby.

    As a matter of fact a number of good restaurants do offer this. The hard part is in the preparation, not in the sheet of paper...

  • ...and learn to use the new system (which still isn't as easy as Windows)

    My younger sister prefers KDE2 to Windows on her p120. It does what she needs a computer to do, and does it consistently w/out locking up or melting for no reason. Windows is not easy, Windows is familiar. KDE2 is not easier or harder to use than Windows, it's just different. Don't put down a perfectly good system because you don't understand the difference between familiarity and ease of use.

    As an unrelated side note...The only innovation in Windows since the 3.x series was the task bar. Until Microsoft moves to something more intuative than what's fundamentally program manager poping up when you hit the start button, Windows will not get any easier.

  • Who cares how hard it is to decide what the punishment should be. The point is while they are deciding MS should not be allowed to continue committing crimes. Criminals are usually in jail while they are awaiting sentensing. MS is a soul-less immortal being so it can not be jailed but it should not be allowed to whatever it wants in the meantime.
  • Apple does not have a monopoly. Monopolies have restrictions on them that other businesses don't.

    Not only is MS a monopoly they have been judged by a federal judge to criminally abused their monopoly to choke off competition. This came after they had already been reprimanded by the federal govt for their previous behaviours. Not only that but the appeals court upheld the guilty verdict of the first judge.

    In this case there is no line to draw.
    If you are a monopoly and you have been judged to be a criminal three times then you ought have some
    restrictions put on you. They are so far over the line there is no question about it.

    Criminals don't enjoy the same rights as everybody else.
  • Neverthe less they have been judged to be guilty of crimes. The appeals court upheld that verdict. They are criminals and should be treated as such.
  • Your sister installed windows? She is able to open up her box and install hardware and then install the drivers? She seems pretty advanced to me I am sure she could handle Linux. If she can't there is always a MAC. Even my 72 year old dad can use a mac.
  • Why do you keep insisting that the choice is only between linux and windows. Mac is a great choice for inexperienced people. Much better usability then windows and controlled hardware makes incompatibilities a thing of the past.
  • Chances are very good that he will have to upgrade his sytems. If not now then in a few months or so. Why not hold off until then and get a mac. Also if he is willing to fork over $500.00 for licenses of XP then it almost pays for a mac.
  • "Surely, by the same logic, Apple has a monopoly on the "Motorola-based consumer desktop market"???? "

    Not until a judge says so. That's the way our system works.
  • It's not illegal to have a monopoly as long as you don't abuse it. MS criminally abused their monopoly. Big difference there dontcha think?
  • You seem to be confused about our legal system (do you live in America?). First somebody has to press charges, some party has to be wronged enough to take the offending party to court. So far apparently Apple has not effended anybody enough to actually warrant a charge being filed.

    Also It is not illegal to actually have a monopoly it's illegal to abuse that monopoly. Even if apple has the monopoly the management at apple are apparently more ethical amd moral people then the management at MS (not surprising given the slimyness of the MS executives).

    MS could press charges against apple but I would doubt they would win.

    "the judge was illogical."

    A panel of judges on the appeals court upheld the judge so I guess he was not illogical. Maybe you are unable to grasp the complexities of our legal system and are reaaching for overly simplistic answers to your own overly simplistic questions.
  • Such an injunction would actually give some credence to MicroSquish's standard "wah! They don't want us to INNOVATE" bullshit.

    Let them go ahead and ship XP, and then break them up. They were found GUILTY of the antitrust charges, after all.

    -jcr
  • >You have to remember Microsoft is NOT going to be broken up. The appellate court has made that decision, and it's doubtful the Supreme Court would overturn it.

    The appellate court did *not* decide that MicroSquish isn't going to be broken up, they decided that Judge Jackson's ruling would be set aside, and that another judge will decide what the penalty should be. There is nothing to prohibit another judge from also deciding that a breakup is necessary.

    -jcr
  • I haven't bought anything from that outfit since some time around 1983, so nothing I do now will reduce their revenues by even one dollar.

    -jcr
  • >Never mind that any e-mail client on the planet can send attatchments, the idea never occured to them before to send files.

    yeah, but they do click on each and every attached file they receive.. maybe they got the idea from I_LOVE_YOU and/or Sircam..

    //rdj
  • The problem for me is, XP does include a couple of features that make it better for home use by my family than Win 98, the biggest one being stability

    Every MS WINDOWS package is touted as being "more stable" than its predecessor...since Windows 3.1 (I know, it was a GUI that sat on top of DOS...) Why did this not compel you to upgrade to WinME?

    Don't kid yourself. If it's not an application, it may be a driver incompatability, but WinXP will either die or show incompatabilities with one or more devicies or applications you own.

    I'm tired of telling my mom that the computer crashed because "Windows is stupid" (which has become my default explanation for computer problems).

    Soon, you'll be able to tell your mom that the computer crashed because "Windows XP is stupid" (which will become your new, improved default explanation for computer problems).

    I like Linux as much as the next guy, but I'm not sure Linux is ready for my family to use.
    Granted. It would be difficult to teach your parents a new OS with a new paradigm if they didn't want to take the time to learn it.

    Windows is the only viable solution right now, and Windows XP is the best Windows there is.

    Granted, Windows may be the best solution for you right now, but why must you upgrade? 98SE is a pretty good OS, as far as MS-OS's go, and you don't have the benefit of having seen XP in the field (at least not exposed to millions of end - users) so if stability is really your goal, give XP a year to release a few service packs, then consider upgrading. You can still participate in the boycott until XP has proven itself.
  • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @04:47PM (#63365) Journal
    Apparently [Schumer's] check from Microsoft didn't come in this month.

    It might have more to do with AOL and Eastman Kodak being New York corporations.

    It was one thing when California corporations (i.e. Netscape) are having their apps squeezed out by Microsoft. But when it's New York corporations that's a whole different matter. B-)
  • Thanks to your "law", taxpayer-funded agencies will be forced to buy Microsoft OSes for half their machines

    That is not what I am proposing. I propose "less than" not "exactly equal to" half non-MS OS's. I commend you for your ability to identify the slight ambiguity in my comment and jump out the window with unfounded conclusions. I really got a good laugh at your expense.

    Congratulations, you've just overturned the most basic tenets of contract law.

    Contract law does not limit a judicial remedy for a proven violation of the Sherman Act. You might as well argue that getting a traffic fine violates basic tenents of property rights. Courts have great power to enforce remedies against law breakers. What are you, stupid?

    Also, Coca-Cola must include one can of Pepsi in every six-pack it sells, and optionally a can of Mountain Dew if Pepsico desires.

    I am aware of no antitrust claim against Coca-Cola, let alone one that unanimously survived appellate review. Due process of law prevents the Courts from applying a remedy before a Court upholds the cause of action. You really should get a clue.

    And Mozilla and Lynx32 and Grail and Amaya and Cello and Winamp's mini-browser...
    I was thinking of Winamp's whole package. What is your point? If it's that someone has to draw a line, then you are really boring. Judges draw lines all the time. To get your browser included, you would have to go to the judge and show that the proven MS anticompetitive practices damaged you specifically in some way.

  • by bwt (68845) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @06:43PM (#63369) Homepage
    Congress should pass a law that half of all future taxpayer funded PC purchases will come with a non Microsoft OS.

    The Court should do several remedial steps, each tailored directly at undoing the harm caused by the specific anticompetive practices Microsoft has done:

    1. OS Monopoly countermeasure: uniform licencing. MS may offer one version of its OS at one price. No sale may be refused. OEMs may make any noninfringing value added modification they choose. The Court should reassess every two years if this measure is still needed.

    2. Java countermeasure: MS must bundle Sun's version of Java and any java related extras desired by Sun. Reassess every two years

    3. Comingling of code: Mandate full disclosure of API's found to be involved. If Browser bundling is found to be anticompetitive on remand, force MS to distrubute Netscape and Opera. Similarly with other media programs. Reassess every two years.

    Simple.
  • I think you fail to miss the context of the post you were replying to.

    That fellow suggested a punishment for Microsoft severely abusing its monopoly. If Microsoft had been a good business, working within the law, such a suggestion would, indeed, be absurd. However, they have *NOT* worked within the law.

    All the other possible examples you cited used companies that are not currently considered illegal monopolies - so damnit, yes, there IS a difference.

    If Coca Cola went and gunned down all the employees of all their competitors, I think fair punishment would be for them to be forced to release their recipe; at that point, all they have is manufacturing ability. Anybody can reproduce their product, so they are no longer a monopoly. The punishment fits, since their crime was to become a monopoly(looking past the murders in this example :).

    That is what the suggested punishment is for; they are not suggesting that "since Microsoft is a successful business, they should have all their code forced open", they are suggesting that "since Microsoft has repeatedly abused its monopoly in such a manner as to cause serious financial and personal damage, they should make amends by making the code for unsupported products available"

    Personally, I think if such a thing were to happen, the code should be public domain, not GPL'd. That way anybody can do whatever they want with it.

    Dave

    Barclay family motto:
    Aut agere aut mori.
    (Either action or death.)
  • However, KDE is not as consistently easy to use as Windows. Some of the apps have horrible UIs or were written by people who don't speak English as a first language (KPackage comes to mind...). The Control Center, while powerful, is intimidating to users (so many panels!), and can't handle many things that Windows's can (like hardware setup - almost always requires command-line jockeying).

    AMEN! I hate KDE, and I hate GNome, and I hate all of the others. I hate XWindows period. Really, I hate GUIs to begin with... but...

    Even with pretty themes, it's still not nearly as usable as a well set-up Windows desktop. I even beg to differ on KDE being "more stable" than Windows, for that matter, since I see applications go down all the time (and --MY-- Windows ME machine almost NEVER crashes...)

    I use KDE2, though, because of the many choices it's one of the better ones. Still, I hate how new windows open and force themselves into one of the four corners, or they stagger, or they want to dock themselves, or they're picky about where they want to be, and even applications which should obviously remember where you want windows to pop up don't seem to remmber it from session to session (and those that do randomly decide to forget.) Generally speaking, the look and feel just plain sucks. Compared to everything I've used spanning Amiga Workbench, MAC OS, Windows, OS/2, BeOS, and countless others -- the offerings on Unix blow.

    The fact is - KDE could be called a Kludge, and while that might offend a lot of people, esspecially the people who are die hard Linux Lovers, they always fall back to pretty stupid defenses for their favorite desktops. The worst part about it is, I know a lot of RELIGIOUSLY FANATICAL Linux lovers who loath Windows, but then after watching them for about 10 minutes it's obvious they really don't even know how to USE Windows! (I guess what they say is true. Those who hate Windows run Linux. Those who love Unix run FreeBSD.)

    I'm not defending Windows by far. I'd never run a server on it. NEVER. EVER. EVER. I wouldn't even DREAM of it. I'm a Unix lover. I think Unix is wonderful. It makes a great computing platform and it's an awesome server.

    A desktop OS it is not. It nver has been, and it's got a whilte to go before it ever will be. Get over it. Deal with it. Some of us are cut out for Unix, the rest of the world shouldn't be using computers, much less the Internet, and definately not Unix.

    Every "my little sister this" or "my mother that" story I hear makes me want to vomit. So what? You found a rare individual who "gets it" and wants to use a computer for more than browsing the web. Or maybe they just don't care about general interfaces. Functionality over Form, Purpose over Proposal. If that's the case, wonderful. Fine. Keen-O. Brill. I'm glad you've found users who are happier with Unix than Windows. Thrilled even. I hope they are productive. I hope they accomplish many great things. I hope they find the golden peanut in their feces.

    Me personally? I'd prefer not even run XWindows at all because I prefer the command line. But then, I'd say that Mice have only been mainstream for about HALF of the time that I've been using computers, and my first Mouse came with my first Amiga and I hated using it even then. The only reason I use KDE at all is because it would be a little difficult to use LICQ or GAIM without a GUI... perhaps not entirely impossible, but certainly not a pain I want to put myself through just to discovered how difficult it actually is.

    For everything else graphics I need, I actually do prefer using Windows. I have a few stable set-ups, they do what I need, and for my desktop (and gaming) usage, Windows is simply a better platform. Yes. Windows is better at some things. Get over it.

    For my web-server, coding, poking around, and generally beeing a geek -- Windows doesn't touch my FreeBSD machine.
  • You have to remember Microsoft is NOT going to be broken up. The appellate court has made that decision, and it's doubtful the Supreme Court would overturn it. Now, if Microsoft remains a single entity, what's the best solution? Sanctions. And that's what this would be. I know you guys think antitrust laws are supposed to promote innovation, but what do you think the solution is when unethical innovation is produced? (Please remember that innovation is an ethical issue, not a technological one.) You prevent that "innovation" from taking place. No one really believes Windows XP is innovative. We all know this. I think we can all agree on 3 important points:
    • The current versions of Windows are in violation of the appellate court's decision against Microsoft and its anticompetive practices.
    • The courts do not know how to punish Microsoft for its actions.
    • The issue at present is whether Microsoft can release a major OS upgrade that violates the court's decision in the same way the current versions do.
    Why should the government let Microsoft do this? They shouldn't, and that's what this senator is trying to prevent.
  • You seem to forget/ignore that even free markets need regulation and cannot be completely free. History has shown for centuries that 100% free market without regulation leads to monopolies, syndicates and very damaging structures that in the end make the economy collapse.

    MSFT has grown to the point where free market alone won't fix the problem anymore. Whether it is just or not, the problem needs to be fixed by the authorities or doom is upon us.

    Your solution "do something yourself" is naive and doesn't work because of the nature of software and the need for compatability (for most people/companies) with the 'de facto' standard. Some exceptions (like you and myself, running Linux or FreeBSD) don't influence the major market consisting of people who hardly have a realistic alternative to MS-Windows at the moment. Unless the government interferes, this can hardly change. Especially if MSFT is allowed to go to new levels of customer-lock-in practices with new stuff such as .NET.

  • Most open source luminaries (Torvalds, Perens, Redhat) disagree, and think that linux has more than a fighting chance on its own. That said, it wouldn't hurt to have a nice breakup (Preferably into 3 or more pieces. the 2 piece breakup is a sham, really).
  • by szcx (81006)
    So here we have a senator who is sabotaging one company on behalf of two others, but that's a good thing because you perceive the company being affected as The Great Satan(TM). Yay double standards.

    When videogames are banned by Senator X and crypto is outlawed, make sure you've got this article bookmarked so you know who to blame.

    Microsoft definitely needs to be taken down a notch or two, but this way? Do the ends really justify the means, or is it just this one time?

  • I think the Senator is talking about stuff like this
    No, he's talking about stuff like this [opensecrets.org]. See that $52,000 worth of contributions from AOL/Time-Warner? I'm sure it's just a coincidence...

    All this is is one corporation buying a politician to attack another corporation. Is this behavior acceptable this time simply because it's against The Great Satan?

    Say Microsoft is taken down because AOL and Sun buy all of the politicians... then what? You thought Bill Gates was bad, imagine Steve Case and Scott McNealy with half of DC in their pockets. Yes Microsoft needs to be cut down a peg or three, but not like this. Do it with boycotts and public education. The enemy of your enemy is not your friend.

  • Nice idea, too bad it won't work. Windows NT, in all likelihood, included patented code that's licensed from 3rd parties. Like most big companies, MS has broad cross-licensing deals for patents, so even FINDING the patented code would be difficult.
    --
    Lord Nimon
  • Yeah, and Ford has a monopoly on all cars made with a "Ford" logo.

    If Apple ever gets 95% of the computer market, then you can call them a monopoly, and we'll debate if they're abusing it.

    But expanding the definition of monopoly to include any company that builds something unique is to render the word "monopoly" a useless word. A monopoly is defined as a commodity that is controlled by one party characterized such that the demand for the product is generally inflexible compared to price. As Apple-watchers know, the inexpensive iMac is why Apple is still making computers today. If they had stuck with their deal of making insanely expensive computers, everyone would have switched to PCs. The fact that Apple is constrained -- that is, cannot double the price of their computers and still maintain the same volume -- shows they don't have a monopoly.

    It's been already been determined by legal experts that Microsoft has a monopoly, so I don't think that's up for discussion any longer.


  • No, replace "automobile manufacturers" with "an automobile manufacturer with 95% market share and almost-exclusive bundling agreements with cities that any roads that are built can only have their cars driving on them", ad then you've got a pretty good analogy.

    Throw in that this "automobile manufacturer" won't let you buy a car; you have to lease it from them on a yearly basis. Plus, they recently made it so that the radio in the car will only play radio stations that they own. To play others' radio stations, you can go to AutoZone and install a device in your car to play others radio stations, but studies have shown that most people who know nothing about cars won't bother to do this.

    Make those changes, and then you've got a pretty good analogy.


  • I for one am happy that Senator Schumer is seeking an injunction. When the lawsuit was originally brought up, Microsoft was allowed to ship Windows 98 with Internet Explorer an "integral part" of the OS. Of course, now that Netscape is no longer a threat, they're willing to say that PC manufacturers can now "disable" IE, as CNN reported earlier [cnn.com]. Microsoft is doing it again, but with Messenger, Windows Media Player, Photo printing services, and other technologies in XP. It's important for the government to act before Microsoft subsumes other technologies into Windows in the quest for "innovation". Steve Balmer has said before that anything can be bundled into Windows:
    "Is there any limit to what you think you can put into the operating system at all?" [Steve Balmer] was asked.

    "If you asked me as a matter of law, no, I don't think so," Ballmer replied after a little hemming and hawing. The only restriction he mentioned was that everything Microsoft integrates into its operating system should make good business sense and not be "frivolous."

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/washtech/tech thursday/columns/dotcom/A55090-2001Jun27.html [washingtonpost.com]

    And to the troll who suggested that Microsoft should be able to do anything they want: Microsoft has a monopoly. They can, on a whim, force companies [cnn.com] to pay them money, even it means laying off employees: like when they tried to raise fees earlier this year but charitably gave a 6-month stay so companies could rebudget. They illegally attacked Java, fragmented it, and now refuse to support in XP. They forced Apple, a third company, to use their web browser or they would kill a completely unrelated product. This is not a company that you want to leave alone because they promise to be good.

    It's time the US got as tough on them as they would on anyone who engages on illegal behavior.


  • by Alpha State (89105) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @04:57PM (#63391) Homepage
    That said, it wouldn't hurt to have a nice breakup (Preferably into 3 or more pieces.

    I think they should split off hardware, legal and marketing. We can call them MS-good, MS-bad and MS-ugly.

  • I read somewhere that people are afraid to buy new boxen because they feel they will lose half their data and capabilities in the transition.

    I say it's time for people who want new computers to insist on their choice of operating system. Dell and Gateway allow you to select the OS you want to run (for now, at least). For those more technically savvy, we can have a shop build the PC and not install an OS.

    I am aware of the pressure M$ puts on PC resellers to inform them when a customer requests a PC with no OS pre-installed, in fact I am counting on it! I want to get a call from Microsoft about potential licensing problems since I refused to have their OS installed on my shiny new system. Then I can explain that I run Linux and *BSD instead of their crap.

  • Wait a second! One of the complaints I used to see leveled against Linux was that you had to login to use it, and that consumers didn't want to have to deal with that.

    Now that it's going to be in WinXP, it's a "compelling" feature. Guess this is another point for Petreley ("Nothing's been invented until MS implements it.")

  • This doesn't make any sense. If MS has stopped supporting it, I'm assuming they've stopped distributing it. If they've stopped distributing it, then still no one would get the source code. The GPL doesn't mean that the source must be made public, just that it must be made available to those you distribute to. So, MS stops distribution, GPLs it, and never has to give out a byte of source.
  • by ASM (101804) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @06:22PM (#63408) Homepage
    after spending $$$millions on usability testing...

    don't you mean making millions on usability testing? the way I see it, I've been paying to beta test for M$ since win3.1.

    I don't want to beta test. I use linux.

  • ..so I don't see why they can't be just as effective against them.

    I sent out an email a while ago to my family explaining why MS XP was bad news. I got several email replies from them thanking me, saying they'll think twice before bothering to upgrade. Then my brother emailed me and asked me to resend it so that he could forward the information on to some of his friends.

    Do I think that my efforts alone will have any effect? No, of course not. But if a bunch of people get another bunch of people thinking about the issues that they can relate to on a level they understand, i.e. you may not have access to your computer applications and information you have stored on your computer if you use MS XP, and point to reputable sources that explain the issue, people will think twice. I believe that most people will act conservatively and not want to change what already works for them.

    A court order may carry more weight when issued but they are also slowly determined and implemented and more often that not, too late to have any real effect. Grass-roots word-of-mouth can have a profound effect very quickly. Not saying it will or that it will have an effect overnight, just that it has the ability to do so.

    Corporations can hire lawyers to keep the government or courts tied up until a product is released and then once it gains market share, the government or court order is too late; however, if consumers won't buy the product, there is nothing the corporation can do.

    - tokengeekgrrl

  • Sure. All of the links reference Walt Mossberg's Wall Street Journal tech column. He writes in clear terms that most consumers can understand. He even makes the point that an upgrade really isn't necessary if your current system is working just fine. Don't fix what isn't broke.

    The email I sent:

    Dear family and friends,

    Just in case any of you are considering upgrading your computers operating system to Microsoft Windows XP, I highly recommend you consider *not* doing it due to the underhanded tactics Microsoft has incorporated into its purchase.

    Please read the following articles for more information:

    OfficeXP:
    http://ptech.wsj.com/archive/ptech-20010517.html [wsj.com]

    XP Upgrade Cost:
    http://ptech.wsj.com/archive/mailbox-20010628.html [wsj.com]

    MS Controlling the "activation" of XP
    http://ptech.wsj.com/archive/ptech-20010705.html [wsj.com]
    http://ptech.wsj.com/archive/mailbox-20010712.html [wsj.com]

    - tokengeekgrrl

  • by tokengeekgrrl (105602) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @04:44PM (#63416)
    I agree. I have already told all my family and friends to carefully consider the consequences of upgrading to XP and have sent them links to the tech articles that explain why.

    I even bought my dad Neal Stephenson's In the beginning was the command line... so that he could better understand the open source vs proprietary debate.

    I think if people are informed as to what they are getting into by people they know, they will not fall prey to MS's marketing machine and want to upgrade or purchase XP.

    - tokengeekgrrl

  • Please oh please, with so many tech enthusiats here on /., please tell me *someone* knows where I can download a crusty old copy of Microsoft Bob. It is undeniably the greatest flop in the history of operating systems/environments, and I've been looking for a copy to situate on a VMware file or a partition right next to Windows 1.01, MS OS/2 Server 1.3, AT&T System V, and all the rest I've collected.

    What can I say--I'm an ancient OS and old game enthusiast. So, with all the vast resources here, can anyone point me to the fabled Microsoft Bob? And no, a Google search yielded nada in the downloads department. Bob was too useless a program even for the Abandonware people to keep... ;-)

    But to get back on topic, WinXP won't be a failure--it will bring the moderate stability of WinNT (which is more than enough for Joe and Jane Average) to the gaming compatibility of Win9x/DOS. It is bound to be a success, particularly since OEMs will start shipping most new PCs with it. Like it or not, XP will ship on time and it will have enough new features to get Joe Average jazzed. Remember that just because geeks like us can run cd burning apps, image managers, etc., doesn't mean that the average guy or gal can figure them out or wants to spend the time finding and configuring them--but if it comes with the OS and is dumbed down for the typical consumer, that's a different story. That's why both Apple and MS are integrating functions that traditionally belonged to external apps, into the OS.

    And with all the OSes I have to choose from, I use Win98SE modified by 98lite. Not because it's better than anything else--it isn't--but because it runs more games. :-( Crappy reason, but that's how it goes. I just use what does the most, and since I love gaming, Win98SE currently does the most.

    The same will be true of WinXP when it comes out, and therefore it will be a success, like it or not. Pragmatism usually wins in the end, although idealism looks prettier.

  • when I read the following paragraph from the article:

    "Windows has always been designed as an open platform that creates new business opportunities for many third parties, including some of our toughest competitors," Krumholtz wrote.

    I suppose that explains their open api, their open standard for COM, their open file formats, etc. And here I guess I had them figure wrong all along.
  • Mandate a certain xml dtd (I think dtd is what I'm looking for) as the preferred document type for government information exchange, and get on with it.

    Funny you should mention that... XML is directly descended from SGML (as is HTML), which was created as just such an information exchange device for the U.S. government. I'm just amused by the full-circle aspect of your point...


    --Fesh

  • by un4given (114183) <bvoltz&gmail,com> on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @05:34PM (#63426)
    Great! I have a Web server running IIS that I would be happy to donate...
  • by gilroy (155262) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @05:57PM (#63454) Homepage Journal
    Blockquoth the poster:
    If this were the foundation of a successful economy and market then the soviet experiment would have turned out to be a wonderful utopia instead of the dismal failure it is.
    I believe this is called a "straw man" argument: The Soviet model was based on State control of the economy. The Soviet model failed. This action implies some state influence on the economy. Therefore it is the Soviet model. Therefore it is doomed to fail.

    It might play well in Peoria, but it is of course complete and utter nonsense. It simply isn't true that our only choices are restricted to "Workers unite!" Sovietism and "Greasing the wheels of industry with the blood of the proletariat" capitalism.

    Much of the American experiment has dealt with searching for that third way.

  • The boycott, involving a simple refusal to upgrade to Windows XP, would probably have a great effect on what really bothers me, and that is MS foray into .NET. I think the Senator is talking about stuff like this [microsoft.com], Windows Media Player 8, Windows Movie Maker, and Digital Photo Support...

    Here [zdnet.com] is some good "white-hat" FUD from zdnet (whom I always thought was somewhat of a lackey for MS, being descended from PC Magazine, but yay for them for speaking truth). A quote: Among the new features: an Internet firewall, an integrated media player with CD-burning and DVD-playback features, remote access tools, moviemaking and photo-editing software, wireless capabilities, broadband networking and Internet messaging.

    The long list of new features potentially puts an even longer list of companies in Microsoft's crosshairs, including Adobe Systems, Apple Computer, AOL Time Warner, Corel, InterVideo, MGI, Netopia, Network Ice, RealNetworks, Roxio, Ulead, Zone Labs, Symantec and as many as 20 other companies.


    Oh, and the article reminded me that XP seeks to reduce the quality of MP3's in half (how do they do that? I mean, isn't Winamp Winamp?), and that DVD's won't work with MS Media Player alone.

    So, yah, boycott by not upgrading. I read somewhere that people are afraid to buy new boxen because they feel they will lose half their data and capabilities in the transition. Maybe they should be afraid to lose half their identity, their privacy, their rights, and quite possibly their mind (er, BSOD reference here) by upgrading themselves into the .NET empire.
  • by spongman (182339) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @06:28PM (#63482)
    hang on, if winXP doesn't introduce any useful new features then how can it adversely affect microsoft's competitors?
  • From the article...

    AOL Time Warner (AOL: news, chart, profile) and Eastman Kodak (EK: news, chart, profile) are both based in New York.

    Yup, he has seen the light, he has to protect home businesses. What do you think the probability that these companies lobbied this senator and convinced him to take action?

  • by FatOldGoth (207461) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @11:37PM (#63500) Homepage

    Great! I have a Web server running IIS that I would be happy to donate...

    Very kind of you, but I think you'll find that thanks to the advanced remote administration features in IIS, you don't have to actively donate it. :)


    --
  • Since we've already established that XP provides no useful new features and that Microsoft is a maniacal, criminal monopolist, then perhaps we should all do the obvious??

    Steve Magruder

  • If XP were blocked, the computer industry might not recover at all this year.

    It's not the duty of consumers to prop up criminal monopolies or support a business sector that isn't innovating and providing products that are actually useful. Period.

    Heck, we need a break from "Upgrade-itis" anyway. :)

    Steve Magruder

  • by hillct (230132) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @06:18PM (#63518) Homepage Journal
    Maybe... I'm not sure. So far, Microsoft has expertly manipulated the system by exploiting the shifting sands of the technology world. First, they fight tooth and nail to keep IE integrated with windows because they's the only way they can win the browser war [slashdot.org], then they seperate the two products because the browser war has become irelevent since web inspired technology integrated with such clients as media players [slashdot.org] and Instant Messaging [slashdot.org] clients (as well as set top boxes [zdnet.com]) allows for marketing channels which didn't previously exist [slashdot.org].

    Then when they come under fire for inappropriately restrictive OEM licensing, they shift their strategy [slashdot.org] from selling desktop space, to selling marketing links inside applications - a far more insideous advertising mechanism.

    Recently microsoft has been charged with price gouging [zdnet.com] with regard to it's office applications. Interesting that this was shortly before Microsoft introduced Smart Tags [slashdot.org] for OfficeXP. At some point users will object to paying $89 every two years to upgrade their OS, and Microsoft will have to give it away for free - and they know this. At that point though, there will be so much insideous built-in advertising in the OS, it won't matter because Microsoft will have a residual revenue stream greater than the revenue stream from user purchases of the OS.

    For these reasons, it's great to see that politicians are finally becoming aware of the issues surrounding this company's manipulation of an entire industry. As for weather or not an injunction against the sale of WindowsXP is the proper remedy, I really couldn't say. It's just good to see recognission of the issues by legislators that might be able to do something about the problem.

    --CTH

    --
  • by egommer (303441) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @04:35PM (#63553) Homepage
    Microsoft is guilty. Why should they be allowed to morph thier guilty product during an appeal?
    It's like the justic department is saying'I know your are guilty of making a product to enhance your monopoly but it's okay to keep selling it and improving your monopoly position while we decice how punish you." HELLO! "Yes, are a mass murderer and are guilty. You may still practice and improving your murdering skills while we decide what to do with you." Am I off base here?
  • by Spy Hunter (317220) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @05:28PM (#63569) Journal
    . I have already told all my family and friends to carefully consider the consequences of upgrading to XP

    The problem for me is, XP does include a couple of features that make it better for home use by my family than Win 98, the biggest one being stability. I'm tired of telling my mom that the computer crashed because "Windows is stupid" (which has become my default explanation for computer problems). Also, the user account features and much improved ease-of-use seem compelling for a family computer. MS really does know what people want (after spending $$$millions on usability testing), and they give it to them (with several features tacked onto the side to extend their monopoly). If I recommended that my family stick with Win98, I'd be kicking myself the next week when some program takes down the whole computer and my family is frustrated.

    I like Linux as much as the next guy, but I'm not sure Linux is ready for my family to use. First of all, any software they've bought at the store in the past or will want to buy in the future won't work on it (this is a big issue that never seems to be brought up). Also, they use CompuServe (one of those locked-in for 4 yrs deals), which got swallowed up by AOL a while back and is now almost a direct clone w/ different graphics. It won't work on Linux. They'd have to sign up for and switch to a different e-mail and learn to use the new system (which still isn't as easy as Windows) and it would be a big hassle and expense (paying for 2 ISPs at once? ugh). Plus the laptop we use has a winmodem, so we'd have to go and buy some other external modem.

    Those are the reasons why I (and I'm sure many others like me) am recommending a Windows XP upgrade for my family. MS may be bad, Linux may be great, but for my family, Windows is the only viable solution right now, and Windows XP is the best Windows there is.

  • by Spy Hunter (317220) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @05:43PM (#63570) Journal
    XP is just Windows 2000 with themes and a few other insignificant changes, mostly cosmetic.

    This is the attitude I hear from a lot of geeks. Unfortunately, what you are not realizing is this: Cosmetic changes in the OS are major revolutions to users! They see a "My Pictures" folder with thumbnails and stuff, and they think "Wow! I can keep digital pictures in here. Windows XP lets me manage pictures!" They don't know that they could manage pictures equally well with Win98 or any other OS. They see a button in the sidebar for "E-mail this file" and they think "Wow! I can e-mail a file to somebody! Windows XP lets me e-mail files!" Never mind that any e-mail client on the planet can send attatchments, the idea never occured to them before to send files. Soon they will be E-mailing their digital picture collections all over the Internet, saying "Look at all the neat stuff Windows XP lets me do!"

    Windows XP doesn't add new capabilities - it just informs the user of the capabilities they have always had. Don't kid yourself though: to normal users, who never knew just what capabilities they had, its a revolution in technology.

  • by TargetBoy (322020) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @04:44PM (#63579)
    This is not a direct benefit to consumers and is a protectionist action on behalf of other corporations located in NYS, like Kodak.

    Perhaps someone should point out to Sen. Schumer that the consumer edition of XP will include a remote deactivation backdoor placed in the OS by Microsoft that could be used to leverage their monopoly position to force users into unnecessary upgrades at Microsoft's whim.

    Considering Microsoft's "stellar" security record, even Sen. Schumer should be able comprehend the danger of having a backdoor capable of deactivating your OS in so many voter... err... users machines...
  • by TargetBoy (322020) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @04:46PM (#63580)
    When they say "open", they must be talking about their security...
  • by jeffy124 (453342) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @04:35PM (#63595) Homepage Journal
    The senator isn't the only one seeking injunction .... this CNet [cnet.com] article indicates that InterTrust is also seeking injunction in addition to their lawsuit against MS.

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