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Vote in a CNN Poll on the DOJ MS Ruling 214

Posted by Roblimo
from the make-yourself-heard dept.
gluck writes "CNN is running a poll on agreement with Judge Jackson on the DOJ v Microsoft prelmimary finding of fact. Results so far are: 61.91% agree with the finding of fact and 79% want action taken. You can vote at CNN DOJ v Microsoft Poll"
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Vote in a CNN Poll on the DOJ MS Ruling

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  • I tried loading it in netscape... the poll disappears, but the checkbox buttons are still there. I resorted to lynx instead -- you just have to allow all cookies and everything seems fine, you can vote, all right. Just that the results take forever to load.
  • You may have had problems wtih MSNBC's poll in Netscape Not really. I'm running Netscape 4.6 under RedHat 6.0, and the page came down fast and smooth. Faster, in fact, than the /. main page.

    I always wonder when I see comments about how Netscape performs so badly, when it's been an extremely rare thing for me to find a page that won't load.

    Plugins, of course, are another story. Netscape blows when it comes to plugins for *nix.

  • You may have had problems wtih MSNBC's poll in Netscape

    Not really. I'm running Netscape 4.6 under RedHat 6.0, and the page came down fast and smooth. Faster, in fact, than the /. main page.

    I always wonder when I see comments about how Netscape performs so badly, when it's been an extremely rare thing for me to find a page that won't load.

    Plugins, of course, are another story. Netscape blows when it comes to plugins for *nix.

  • Most of the other polls have only two options for each question. These seem to be running 2:1 against MS. However on the M$NBC poll there are three choices for the first question and six for the second. This lets you choose a compromise answer for the Monopoly question, and splits the severe consequences among five different choices.

    M$ can then spin the results of the poll (never mind that only loyal users of MSIE are polled to begin with) to read:

    - 2/3 of those polled believe M$ did NOT abuse monopoly power.

    - A plurality of those polled felt no sanctions were necessary to punish M$.

  • I have been in the software business for roughly 8 years now, having worked as a consultant for companies like Coca Cola, Lockheed-Martin, Lucent and the Federal Aviation Administration. I have SEEN the damage that Micro$oft, and Bill Gates, has inflicted upon the industry. As the 'vision' originally was expressed Windows was a god send. The Windows API was a way for developers to write applications without regaurd to the computer's hardware. From that perspective it has been a success. However, I have also seen where Micro$oft changes the API to better suit their overall goals. Now, in terms of fairness...is it fair that M$ application developers get to request that certain functionality that they have developed be added to the Windows API...just to make their applications appear smaller than the competitions? Is it fair to other developers that these same API calls are NOT documented in the Windows API references? We think M$ Word is bloated now...you have no idea how much functionality is hidden within the Windows API. From my perspective... M$ has been misuing their power by doing just these things...and thereby making it more difficult for outside competition to develope. In order to compete on an even level with Microsoft, one needs to decompile Windows just to find out what has been hidden away from public view.

    Microsoft goes even further by publicly stateing that the presence of undocumented API's should not be relied upon. In other words they reserve th right to change the name or ordinal position of any undocumented API call which another company is relying upon to make their product WORK as intended.

    Is ISS, ASP, DCOM and COM really "interesting at a minimum." As a professional developer...I dont think so. There are other tools out there that gives far more cross platform support than M$ does.

    There isnt a "Linux cry for death to... M$", just a cry for someone to smack Gates and Ballmer up side the head with a healthy dose of reality. M$ needs to learn to play nicely with others in the same business. I feel being BOTH the O/S DEVELOPER and a MAJOR APPLICATIONS DEVELOPER is a BIG CONFLICT OF INTEREST. The role of O/S developer requires not playing favorites with application developers. The role of O/S developer requires knowing the difference between the O/S and applications. Micro$oft has forgotten the distinction. If Micro$soft wants to bundle applications with the O/S...fine by me.. but let me have the CHOICE to install the applications I wish....never force me, the user into a choice I didnt make. That is what this lawsuit is all about... empowering the consumer. Giving the consumer the ability to CHOOSE. I dont like M$ telling me I can install Netscape on my computer, but I STILL have to install IE5 if I want the computer to work correctly. That is taking choices away from me.

    The remark concerning having problems with "gas companys" find hilarious. First you are ambiguous in what you meant, I.e. gasoline or natural gas? Either way, you cant parallel the two. If you are talking about the natural gas suppliers, in most areas they are regulated. Every time they turn around they have to get things approved by regulators. I admit some areas you can have natural gass delivered to you home by tank trucks. But even there...you have a CHOICE of who delivers to you. If you are talking about gasoline companies the situation is even farther removed. I can take my pick of about 6 service stations within a mile of my home.

    Now, read my lips...the whole thing is about CHOICE.
  • ESR is a libertarian. To a libertarian, the market is always right and the government is always wrong. These are the two axioms of libetarianism.
  • Very true, and I agree with you wholeheartedly. I agree that it needs to be done, but I'm leary about what Bill Gates is capable of at the moment. Fortunately, the Linux community has grown so much over the past few years that we actually stand a chance at taking a chunk of business from Microsoft with this breakup.

    - Chris
  • The judge hits the nail on the hammer by focusing on the application barrier to entry in the OS market. This is why MicroSoft's dominant position is going to be difficult to overturn for any outsider, anytime soon - and why we need the DoJ's help. Microsoft has created what we all hate to love - a widely odopted piece of middleware, allowing applications to run in almost identical environments across a wide variety of win CE devices, Win9*, WinNT (i386 AND Alpha), and even in a limited fashion on Win 3.1 boxes (which are essentially DOS in different clothes). We wish we could love it, because it's exactly what we've been trying to achieve with POSIX,Java (well, OK, Java defines binary compatibility too), and every other attempt to standardize. But we hate it, because it's achieved the status of victor, while still closed, proprietary, and controlled by one company.

    So the problem isn't that Microsoft has created an incompatible design - it's been fairly oprtable, across 2 CPU architectures, 4 kernels (DOS,CE,win9*,NT are quite different). It's already write once, run almost-anywhere. The problem is that it isn't *quite* anywhere - it's only places where microsoft supports you; if you want a Win32 API implementation, they're the only game in town.

    So the soultion to the applications barrier is pretty clear - open the Win32 (and, when the time comes, Win64) API's. Let there be other implementations of Win32/64 (go Wine! THAT is the battle that could WIN us the war). Force Microsoft to release, in full source form, a 'reference' Win32 platform (which could of course be Win9* now, just before it is killed off as a product, but still - it would be there).

    To keep Microsoft from then changing the API rapidly to obsolete the reference API, several tack will be needed. First off, even they can't afford to abandon the legacy apps (if they did, they would now be on the wrong side of the application barrier to entry). So the reference would remain a portable subset - but I don't know if that would be enough to stop developers from accept the 'embrace and extend'ed new, different API. If they (MS) moved slowly enough, and strongarmed developers (which they have been known to do) enough , they might manage to re-proprietarize it. So ban them from selling any software product of their own (say, Office) that fails to run correctly in the reference implementation of Win32. This would encourage (force,even) the reference to be complete, solid, and probably taken from a working product, not made up as a new & different Win32 implementation (in which case it would probably be *ahem* strategically incorrect and incomplete).

    They are free to innovate new API's but they can't use them - unless they are compatible with the underlying Reference API (ie, a DLL built on top the Win32 API, providing some new functionality to programs - which Office and others could install and use even on OpenWin32). Perhaps something totally new could and should be allowed, once the Win32 as an open standard has entrenched enough that developers won't be pushed into adopting the new and closed API (they would theoretically have a strong incentive to keep OpenWin32 - portability, familiarity, and their pre-existing codebase).

    Microsoft would still have one of the most popular OS'es. But it would be just one Win32 implementation among many, so they would no longer have a stranglehold on where the platform was going. I think this is where microsoft needs be in the future - it would open them to real competition while giving them the chance to fight back with a superior OS to underly the same open API.

    Thoughts?

  • Yeah... but do you WANT MS-Office for linux?? - Chris
  • Hey guy, did M$ pay for Bill Clinton to win his elections ? :-} Any web referances ....
  • Illegal? Yes, but what isn't nowadays?

    This pretty much says it all, if you disagree with the laws concerning monopolistic practices than you disagree with the facts and verdicts of the case. Making you the biased one.
  • Hey who said that M$ pioneered the GUI. Linux lovers (and Unix users) have it for a while now. And it is the Apple who brrowed the GUI from Xerox Corp. And BBC must have known of this.
  • are fun.

    Around 2/3 believe that either MS doesn't hold a monopoly, or that its monopoly hasn't harmed anyone. Yet, over half believe that it should be punished one way or another.
  • First, it is poll, not pool (easy mistake for a non-native speaker, no worries). Second, we do not enlighten people that the polls are worse than merely invalid (they actually have negative value) when we encourage them to participate as Roblimo did. Third, you are wrong that complaining is worse than participating. It is abundantly clear that participation only encourages this negatively valued activity more, while complaining certainly does make a difference. Education is the key.

    The ABC show Sports Night was excellent a couple of weeks ago ... they shows an Internet poll and the spamming of it (I think they based it on what I did to the MLB All-Star poll in July ... heh heh). Hopefully it did something to show how completely stupid these polls are. They even said on the show that they fixed the poll with a Perl program, so they get extra points.
  • i'm sorry, but i can't quite understand how a company can be a monopoly, but not be illegal. i thought all monopolys were illegal, at least here in the US. and in my view, M$ certainly qualifies as a monopoly. -dmitri
  • So why didn't they do it before? Why did they do it while using the threat of raising OEM prices to get companies to not install Netscape?

    Having a browser ship with the OS makes sense. It's like a disk defragger. When HDs were rare, it would be a waste. Now that you can't buy a computer without one, they're essential.

    But, to use anti-competetive practices to have an inferior product be used...

    MS did it just for control. They can't let anyone else have a killer app.
  • Well, by the time I had rolled out of bed and got to the survey Microsoft was down on the stakes to like 60/40...and now that I go back to check its 70/30 against MS! I guess the 'slasdot effect' might be taking its place :)

    And to agree with plunge on: 'One banner ad displayed, one email address databased.... ' the corporate types of today make me sick! What is it with todays world? Money, thats all there is that matters to them! I guess in this case, with a respectible company they're probably using the email addresses just to confirm that these no multiple posts from the same person, but I doubt its working :) Okay so the money-less society didnt work out...that doesnt mean you have to go to the otehr extreme!

    Now for a couple of cents that are actually on topic...
    Give microosft a break will you? I mean they did after all do allot of good for the computer industry! They were the pioneers of their time! Just forget your anti-MS bias for a second and think about a world without microosft! There would probably be at least 10 different operating systems to coordinate between -- and we already have enough trouble with compatibility issues these days... I'm not saying that Winows is better than *nix, but it is more suitable for the beginners! Can ytou imagine a world where everyone ran linux? think of the incompetent newbies that wouldnt have a clue!!

    The way I see it, Macs are for 5 year olds who have just graduated from their Fisher-Price trucks and ready to move on... and *nix is for the hardcore enthusiasts that want to spend 2 months typing in cryptic conf files, just so after its all done you will know exactly what is going on, exactly how everything works, everything! If its one thing that annoys me most its the Mac way of life, where you dont know that the hell is going on with your system, and youre just siutting there like a vegetabe! For me, Windows seems to be the happy pappy sloshing around in the middle. Its not as hardcore as *nix, though it does let you have a little control over your system, and unlike the mac, does have a character prompt, not just bloody icons!

    So stop and think for a second before you let your predetermined anti-microsoft mindset take over! Do you really want a world without windows? If anything, in that world you'll have noone ot pick on! Its like that kid in the second grade...you hated him and annoyed his as hell, but when he finally stopped coming out to play with you it still felt a little lonely -- you had noone to pick on anymore :) hehe But more importantly, witout Windows, what else would 70% (or whatever it is) of the computers in the world be running?

    The other thing to think about, is the competence of the suits that are spinning this scandal! Do you really think that some 50 yearold hi court judge knows shit about computers? They have already demonstrated their incompetence and lack of knowledge in the field! They are just trying to get someone to explain the situation and then apply the laws and guidelines they are used to -- they havent realised that the real world ways they are used to do not apply for the computer world of today! If microsoft wants to improve their operating system and add features whats wrong with that? MS made it clear that the OS relied heavily on explorer, the suits refused to comprehend and continued bleating 'take it off', then microosft removed it and started offering a crippled, completely IE-free version of Windows, and then they shot back and accused MS of being smartasses! What the hell is with that!

    The fact stands that the media and the legal types have no place in the computer industry, and just like the media have been tlaking of the world exploding on the night of the millenium -- when the millenium is over a year off -- and telling us to stockpile 6 months food and supplies and go to a bunker to let the millenium pass, just as that has been going on, so the legal types on the case have been taking incomplete and incompetent infrmaion from some 12 year old down the road who 'knows computers'!

    I'm not saying that Microosft is the best, just that they deserve a fair go, and not to be put down for something like this!!
    ...Linux forever... :)



    "And the only question that stands in my mind right now is, will this get moderated down to -3 as soon as i post it because of people's anti-ms bias, or just becasue its a long and mostly off topic rant..."

  • by cfish (61161)
    I think we can get about 150-200 billion dollars fine out of MS. that will
    1. Force MS to release/unlock talents
    2. Force MS to sell divisions
    3. Stop MS from buying out little companies
    4. Raise the price of windows2000 by 100% and hopefully people would realise the pirating isn't worth it.
    5. Help public schools and our financial aide/grants.
  • by dattaway (3088) on Saturday November 06, 1999 @03:48AM (#1557304) Homepage Journal
    Give microosft a break will you? I mean they did after all do allot of good for the computer industry!

    OK, Microsoft Mouthpiece, they sure did! Told DRDOS to bend over and squeal like a pig. Cut off Netscape's air supply. Put a lot of hard working programmers out of jobs when companies like Stac was bought out as part of a settlement and the owners took the money. Have to love Microsoft. If they don't steal it, they buy it, or make you their "partner."
  • by pudge (3605)
    How about some intellectual honesty for a change? Why not just ignore a poll that has absolutely no validity of any sort? By advocating the voting in it, you are just condoning this plague on modern society. You may say, "well, it doesn't matter, everyone knows it is invalid, so who cares?" Well, obsiouyl you guys do, or you wouldn't bother voting in it. Obviously CNN does, or they wouldn't bother conducting this "poll" in the first place. The only proper response to such polls is to ignore them or to complain about them. Once again, it is called intellectual honesty.
  • I wonder how many of the people that voted "No" or "I disagree" are Microsoft employees or shareholders... After all, if Microsoft stock takes a major hit, there will be a lot more people besides just Bill G. hurting.
  • "...he loved Big Brother."

    1984
    I think that's the sort of mentality involved.

  • They are both successful in their fields.

    They have a history of being a bully.

    They both go outside the bounds of law to be succussful.

    One bit off an ear and the other bit off more then he could chew.
  • I wonder if various internet polls appreciate being mentioned on slashdot? Suddenly, their votes quadruple, mostly all in one direction. Not that these surveys are remotely representative to begin with, but post slashdot mention, they are bound to be MUCH less so. 5:15.. time to sleep.
  • No, that's not true. A monopoly is allowed if it's not abusing its powers. (IANAL) There are, of course, obviously also government-sanctioned monopolies, like electric companies and such.
  • The reason why so many voted for finds is that they checked the box "at the same time" they checked the box calling for a break up of the company. If they made it a single selection option I bet you thenumbers would have been overwhelmingly for breakup. But I think most people like me reckon a good old fine would also help the situation (if you can do that too, why not?)
  • Nah, MS won the browser war by making a better product, and then kicking the stilts out from under Netscape. From the version 4 browsers on IE has been a substantially better product. It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but NS just screwed themselves with their attitude and shoddy approach to their customers and products.

    -sw
  • Bah, what kind of poll is CNN running? Tsk tsk!

    Seriously, though, I think this poll will be (like many, many polls) a representation of the uninformed public's views, rather than any sort of indication of any legal precedent. I'd like to see the CNN poll as a Slashdot poll.

    Of course, then, the poll would be totally biased against Microsoft.

    You just can't win!
  • > why is there no central gathering place for windows users?

    They all hang around comp.os.linux.advocacy. I think their posts outnumber the Linux advocates'.

    --
    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • by plunge (27239) on Saturday November 06, 1999 @12:29AM (#1557321)
    One banner ad displayed, one email address databased.... ahhhh. Isn't the meaningless fiction of internet polling fun? I have to shake my head when I see any sort of polling these days-it's jsut so much more important to know WHY do people believe what they believe, not just tally broad opinions. Maybe the poll should ask quiz questions to make sure people have even read the judge's ruling, or know anything about the case. But even that doesn't tell us who's a FUD addict and who has a reasoned opinion on why Microsoft should be left alone. The current obsession with polls like these are the same sort of thing that has people talking more about how well a movie grossed rather than how good the movie was. Bah!
  • You do realize that the G3 is not the worlds fastest home computer. Not even close. The G3's max out at 450 Mhz which is a good 266 Mhz slower than the P3 and 250 Mhz slower than the Athlon. You can, in fact, buy Athlon systems from Kryotech running at 800-900 Mhz. Systems that are cover by warranty and supported. The efficiency of the G3/G4 series processors is not such that they can overcome that large of a difference in core clock rate. So let's stop getting warm fuzzy from Apple's marketing and go hunting for a clue.

    -sw
  • by alpinist (96637) on Saturday November 06, 1999 @12:39AM (#1557323)
    I was looking at it, and wondering about the people who disagree with the judgement, no not believe MS has a monopoly on PC OSs, believe no action should be taken, and think the judge went too far. I'm sure many /.ers are wondering too. Assuming the votes are not MS employees. ;)
    But, I had a convo with a friend of mine earlier today, who has just barely gotten the hang of windoze, and he was terrified of the prospect that he'd end up having to learn Linux. In his view, Linux is a scary, techno wilderness where he'd never figure out how to install Netscape again. (At least he uses Netscape)
    So I wonder how many people would side with MS simply because they see no alternative to using it, and truly fear losing support for their various programs, or believe without MS they'd be forced to re-learn everything they've learned about computers so far.
    Let's face it, /. is not exactly representative of your "average" computer user. Ever try to get your mom to use Linux? :)
    --
  • I just wonder how people can agree with the findings of fact yet not think M$ is a monopoly..shouldn't those figures match since the findings of fact stated that M$ -was- a monopoly? I wonder how these ppl don't get hit by a car or something in day to day life.....
  • MS has 30,000 employees -- do you really think they're not voting on these polls?


    Of course they aren't. They are either working (just like the rest of the tech world, they do work on saturdays and sundays) or out having a good time with their families.

    -sw
  • >> i'm persona non grata here. i don't write code. i just build networks.

    Not true, oh bandwidth god. Spread some of that joy around.
  • Should be a good topic for Slashdot poll. How about:

    Internet polls are usefull because:
    a)They show that elections can be fixed
    b)Script kiddies don't know how to write ballot stuffers.
    c)HAnk the angry drunken dwarf.
    .
    .
    .
    .
  • I don't think people understand... if Microsoft is broken into tons of little companies, Bill Gates' worth goes up no less than 20 fold what it is now! Unfortunately not many people are paying attention to this fact. So this brings up a question: What *can* we do about Microsoft to make it less powerful?
  • I hope Microsoft doesn't get away by just paying a fine to US Government. You see, also millions of other people around the world have suffered from MSFT's monopolistic practices, and deserve a compensation, individually and as nations. Even a better one as software prices are much higher in other countries than in the US.

    This comment came of course from the other Operating System Exporting Country, Finland :)

  • http://www.msnbc.com/news/329416.asp?cp1=1

    The video stream of Janet Reno yipping it up
    about the DOJ victory is only playable with
    Windows Media Player. I think that says a lot
    about the whole situation. ;)
  • Cut off Netscape's air supply.

    And how exactly did they do that? By making a better product? What that isnt allowed? If netscape wasnt just hanging aroung thinking of how it had the market by the balls and actually got off their asses ot make something decent then maybe users would have stuck with them!

    The fact is that Netscape's pre IE browser was a total piece of shit! They didn't bother to make anything standardised, it wasnt designed like a product should be, hell it didnt even have support for keyboard operation! The last time I saw a Netscape browser was around version 3.0 when the options dialog was designed so badly that I had to spend an hour battling with Netscape's incompetent programming! It looked like somnething experimental coded by a 12 year old who just learnt C!

    And then microsoft comes out and gives them a run for their money -- a little healthy competition cant hurt! But then Nescape get all bent out of shape and start crying like a baby, and wasting people's time! Of course if your product is the only one available, and users have no choice but to use your product, and your product is totally crap, and you are taking its popularity for granted... in that case, a little competent competition did indeed hurt! Microsoft went out, and made a better product! What is wrong with that?

    Microsoft made Windows, they'll put whatever features they want in it! Its not like they are forcing people to use IE, its just an extra, for free! If you got a free movie with your VCR do you complain that its not the movie you wanted? Is there anything stopping you from going out and buying the movie you want and watching it? If the video exploded when you tried to put in that movie they didnt want you to see then that would be differentm but that is not the case! Windows runs Netscape perfectly fine, they are not crippling Netscape's product in anyway!

    In any case, if Netscape are getting all mad at MS including IE with Windows why dont they go out and make their own operating system and include whatever they want with it? Whats stopping them? They are the ones running on Windows, so what the heck is their problem with microsoft doing what they want with their own operating system!?!

    Netscape had the brilliant idea, I credit them for that, but they didnt work hard enough for it! For in the computer industry its not who comes up with the idea, rather who manages to make sense of it and exploit its potential! Netscape weren't doing it too well, and Microsoft came along and beat them at their own game! What more is there to say?

    In fact it was this exact situation when Microsoft started! Bill Gates and Paul Allen saw that this was an upcoming technology, and concluded that time was of the essence. Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard to work at Microsoft full time so they could be the first to make use of the power of computers. And look here -- looks like they did a good job, and people liked it, and thats why Bill is the richest man on Earth! If they were slacking off like Netscape, someone would have come along and set them straight right away, and they wouldnt't be here today -- but that was not the case! They did do a good job, and they still are!

  • by Haven (34895) on Saturday November 06, 1999 @04:44AM (#1557336) Homepage Journal
    This is an excerpt from an article about microsoft.

    Companies that use the Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 operating system may experience an internet connection slow down in the next few months. Without telling anyone Microsoft Corp. added in something new to their latest Service Pack. It's called 'please_god_we_need_public_support_on_this_one.exe '. What is does is, it finds internet polls such as the CNN one and many "slashdot" polls and votes pro micrsoft over and over again. It also has a patch to find servers that let users post comments by creating very irritating "first post" comments that are meant to drive people away from anti-microsoft websites. Apparently Microsoft was fearing the worst in the DOJ Anti-Trust case, and needs all the PR support it can get. It also has a feature built in where if the poll records the IP of the voter the program BSOD's the computer forcing a reboot therefore a different IP (for you DHCP users). It runs as an NT service, and you can download the patch to get rid of it here [linux.com].


  • The point is that some people will click a button just because it's there. If there are four buttons, three yes and one no, the extra two yes buttons will 'take' votes from the main yes and no buttons.

    The 'right' way to do this is.

    Do you think the government needs to intervene?

    () Yes
    () No

    If you answered Yes to the last question, how?

    () Breaking up the company
    () Fines

    etc

    That way you get a more accurate sampling of the Yes/No vote, but also get a good idea of what the Yes voters want done.

    These polls are written by people without any clue of how to write unbiased polls. It's really sad. You'd think CNN would have a contract with a public-polling firm to help them write unbiased polls. (Or, biased polls that are less obviously biases... :)
  • well im sure you can appreciate the fact that microosft is concentrating mainly on Windows development for obvious reasons, though I guess that doesnt excuse them for neglecting other OSs...


  • everyone's favorite monopoly is, of course, everyone's most hated OS.

    i noticed a different poll on CNN a couple days ago. the question was:
    Is Windows a Buggy OS?

    hmmmmmmmmmm
    i thought long and hard, clicked the yes button, and was taken to the results.
    well im sure this is a huge surprise to everyone, but 98% of the people had voted yes. there were something like 30,000 total votes.

    bill, 98% of the people say its buggy. you better stop trying to have all the money in the world and maybe put out a decent product one of these days.

    tyler
  • I don't think #1 (server-os) and #3 (workstation-os) breakup is reasonable, though. They share too much technology. What would you think about breaking Linux development up into server and workstation? Nah.

    No, this is perfect! Make win95/98 one division, and winNT another division! With win2000 MS tried and failed to move winNT's code into the desktop market, but I'm sure they plan to try it with the next version. What if win95/98 and winNT had to compete directly for market and let the best win?

    Also, this breaks the advantages of winNT the server OS being designed to work with the desktop OS, and vice versa. WinNT probably wouldn't have good odds, facing linux on the server side, and win9x if they want to move into the desktop arena. (OTOH, WinNT makes a way more stable desktop than win9x) Win9x would have a pretty tight grip on the desktop initially, but the older technology would have a hard time competing against WinNT and also linux. (as linux becomes viable on the desktop) Imagine how much effort NT corp and win9x corp would have to put into *real* innovation to hold their ground without the MS juggernaut to support them. The consumers would win out because we'd have 2-4 way competition for the desktop market. (win9x, winNT, and possibly linux and MacOS(think iMac))

    I'm unsure about #2 (internet content tools). How would it work as a company? They have themselves made it hard to make money selling a web-browser.

    Well, for one thing, they deserve the trouble for making it so hard to make money selling a web-browser. :) For another, it includes other things like Frontpage, audio streaming tools, etc. Might include MSN in here (could have AOL w/ netscape vs. MSN w/ IE then), hotmail, and also MS's content ownership rights. Since this could be the weakest baby MS, you might throw any random bits that didn't fit anywhere else in here too, just for good measure.

    And the technology _is_ pretty much integrated in the os by now.

    1) It's still pretty removable.
    2) Make the interfaces publicly documented, so the user has the choice of Netscape/Mozilla or IE as the browser integrated into the OS. (It's not so far integrated that this is all that hard)

  • No wonder the CNN poll is so different from other polls, Slashdot fanatics are stuffing the ballot box.

    Yes, it is unfortunate that posting a link is "stuffing" the ballot box. But at least it is done by legitimate votes, and not unscrupulously, the way that Microsoft often stuffs the ballot boxes.

    -Brent
    --
  • Given the number of pro-Microsoft trolls frequenting Slashdot recently, I wouldn't be sure that the number of votes resulting from the Slashdot effect is as skewed as you might think.

  • It doesn't work for me, I see the poll for about 2secs. then it disappears.
  • If you decide to start selling Monkey Butter [jwz.org], and nobody decides to compete with you, you have a monopoly on Monkey Butter. This is perfectly legal. If then someone else decides to start selling Monkey Butter, and you use your monopoly status to unfairly prevent them from competing with you, that IS illegal. I think it is also illegal if you used your monkey butter monopoly to unfairly foist your cow butter on people as well.


  • Win9x should just die, it would be cruel to build a company around it. And what about the server company owning NT? Would they be prevented from selling a workstation product?

    And regarding the browser... well, I'm of the unpopular opinion that the browser technology _should_ be build into the OS, and have advocated that (for Emacs) before MS made it their policy. You should be able to type an URL anywhere you can type a filename, and applications should be able to rely on html display being available for e.g. help files or forms.

    Documenting the interfaces and allow the network engine and display engine to be replacable would be a good idea, regardless.
  • I was looking at it, and wondering about the people who disagree with the judgement, no not believe MS has a monopoly on PC OSs, believe no action should be taken, and think the judge went too far.

    I'm located on Canada's west coast, and we get a lot of TV stations from Washington state. Most of the newscasts from that area were about as pro-MS as possible under the circumstances.

    They talked about how MS brings in more money than Boeing, about how so many people own stock in MS and would be affected by this... Sort of a "local boy makes good but now the fedz are gonna ruin it" type of slant.

    And of course, the "informal polls" where they ask the people on the street what they think. As expected, it was all "I think MS is great", etc. One person who appeared to be in a cybercafe said something to the effect, "When you think of PCs, you think Microsoft. What's wrong with that?"

    But I guess being Washington State that sort of falls under the "MS employees" bit. :)

    Outside of the Washington State area I'm sure there are a lot of people who just take the "no government interference, ever" stance, which might explain the rest of the vote.

    And then there are the unwashed masses of AOLusers and other clueless folk who think MS is a great innovator because "If it weren't for Microsoft we'd all still be using DOS!" and all that ignorant crap.

  • Do you really want a world without windows?
    Hell, yes!


    And why is that? What exactly is Windows doing to you? Would you rather that the people that are running Windows now start running macs, and remain at the drooling vegetable state of computer user? And dont even try and say that they will turn to *nix, becuase that will not happen. At least right now it is not ready to happen! Most people that use computers are not competent enough, and do not want the hassle of linux, plus, having something made by a company like Microsoft makes people feel secure with their choice. And ensures if they have trouble tech support is always there to fall back on!

    Why are most banks running on WindowsNT and not *nix? Could it be that the thought of Microsoft support flying over and debugging their problem and coding a hotfix for it on the spot, could it be that this option sounds more appealing than posting to a newsgroup and waiting for someone to help?

    And if the home users that are barely working their way around windows now, decide to switch to *nix, think of the future of usent/irc/discussion-board threads. Right now someone comes in and asks a stupid sounding question from the friendly guru and gets a kickban and an 'RTFM' in response. If the number of incompetent *nix newbies suddenly becomes 60% of the computer population, and nothing but stupid sounding questions are being asked, what will happen to the *nix community?


    Dont get me worng...I'm just debating here. To tell you the truth I think that Linux is 'better' then Windows, but I dont agree with the bias against MS, and I dont agree that Linux is ready for consumption by the general public!


    (Maybe I should give it a rest and stop writing such long rants...but I cant stay away from a debate...)

  • It's fine and all to have this poll posted on slashdot, but by more/less encouraging slashdot readers to vote on it, aren't we unfairly skewing the results?

    Sure, internet polls shouldn't be taken seriously anyway due to the nature in which they are conducted, but I think it would be fair to say that the "typical slashdot reader" is more likely to be anti-Microsoft (not because he/she has a better chance of being a Linux user, of course, but merely because he/she is more educated - yeah, that's the ticket!) than "an ordinary person," whatever exactly that is.

    Not that I'm not all about using the slashdot effect to meet our needs or anything. That I did not say.
  • I'm not saying that Winows is better than *nix, but it is more suitable for the beginners! Can ytou imagine a world where everyone ran linux? think of the incompetent newbies that wouldnt have a clue!!

    Ok, so it's immediately obvious for Windows users how they go about editing the registry to remove programs that crash on load, yet aren't listed in Startup where you would expect them...

    Windows is more obscure than Linux, except that there are literally thousands of books describing how to use it and that it comes preinstalled.

    I'm not saying that there is nothing harder in Linux than in Windows, but the Linux installations until recently were geared towards ISPs and companies that wanted power, not ease of use. That's like giving a desktop user NT4 server and expecting them to make it work like Win95.

    This thing about owing MS is complete bullshit. They did everything they did for their own pocketbook. They didn't integrate a web browser with the OS to get rid of kludgy proprietary help files or anything, they did it to kill a competitor.

  • Cut off Netscape's air supply.

    And how exactly did they do that? By making a better product? What that isnt allowed?

    Of course it is allowed. But Microsoft did far more than work to make a better browser (you forget that as a whole, reviews rank IE and NS exactly the same or worse in ease of use--at least through v4.0, I haven't seen more recent reviews). You would know this if you actually bothered to read the Findings of Fact instead of ranting (to put it nicely).

    To summarize, MS has been found to have used its considerable clout to shove IE down consumers' throats despite the fact that they preferred Netscape. Had they not engaged in anti-competitive practices, MS would have far less browser share than it does now.

    Read the FoF, then come back and say what you just said (remembering that facts can not be disputed--that's why they are called facts).

  • These polls are written by people without any clue of how to write unbiased polls. It's really sad. You'd think CNN would have a contract with a public-polling firm to help them write unbiased polls

    Yeah, thats exactly what I mean when I speak about 'what is this world coming to!?!'

    People dont have a clue about anything and just want to go out and make money, money, thats all its ever about!

    That recent MTV Hackers thing was a perfect example! They went in knowing jack shit, came out knowing jack shit, misinformed the public, and hopefully (for them) made money from the incompetent rush job...


    If I hear another news reporter talk about the end of the world, and the approaching 'new millenium' I'm gonna shoot myself! Its not the new millenium you misinformed and incompetent retards! And if everyone does go absolutely crazy it will only be because you, the media, made it a big deal and got people psyched in the first place!!

  • I showed my parents RH6.X and COL 2.3 and they said that when they get a new comp they want to use Linux... and they are total newbies. As far as they are concerned it is no big deal to relearn lots of stuff.... BTW they really liked KDE. No offense, but KDE is more appealing to newbies. Just my $.02
  • Other people have mentioned the poll at http://www.msnbc.com/news/329416.asp#survey [msnbc.com]. However, I went to take a loot. If you're using both Netscape and MacOS, you can't vote in it (IE on MacOS seems to work fine).

    What other combinations of browsers and OS can't see the poll, I wonder?
  • Now it's working again. Looks like it wasn't intentional after all, and M$ found and fixed the bug before people could scream (except me of course). Sorry about that.
  • IIS, ASP, DCOM, COM, general development are all interesting at a minimum

    Not interested, no thanks. I'll take Apache, PHP and CORBA thanks.

    If you dont like Microsoft products *dont use them*,

    The problem is that Microsoft goes out of their way to make contracts with the PC vendors that make it difficult for us to buy a PC without buying their products. If I don't want to use their products, I shouldn't have to pay for them.
    Microsoft also goes out of their way to make their products not play nicely with other products, which makes it difficult for those of us that use other products to work with people who use Microsoft's products.

    its not your job to silence them.

    Microsoft has enough money to get their message out in virtually every forum they want. Linux and open source mainly only have people like us. Even with the recent commercial interest in Linux, the resources they can and have put towards promoting Linux and open source pale in comparison to Microsoft's multibillion dollar advertising budget.

    If they suck, they will be gone soon enough.

    The problem is that when a very large company like Microsoft uses unethical practices they can stay around an awfully long time even if they suck because they can buy out, or 'cut off the air supply' of any smaller competitor that might come along.

    Microsoft is a product of capitalism, built upon a framework designed by our government

    Microsoft is a perversion of capitolism. The judge has said that what Microsoft has been up to does NOT fit within the framework designed by our government.

    If you have a problem with Microsoft, then you must have one with gas companies too.

    Uh, yea, actually I do. I wish I could choose the supplier of electricity and natural gas, but I can't because the company has been granted a legal and regulated monopoly by the city I live in.

    What about all of the worlds other capitalistic empires - do you even care about them?

    What other capitolistic empires are you talking about, please give some examples. Now show me soem evidence that any of them are engaging in the kind of systematic unethical practices that Microsoft does, and I will be happy to stand against them.

  • And my dad. And my wife. And my 3 children (my 5 year old sits at the Sparc2 with RH5.2 all the time.... I've got him paying xboard(chess) now =)

    My buddy that just got his first computer at the beginning of this year, was started properly with a dual boot Win98/linux setup (done by yours truly.) He's learned more and accelerated faster than most 5 year Windows users could ever hope for. He didn't KNOW to be intimidated, so he wasn't.

    IMO, Windows is the one that intimidates.... things breaking for no (apparent) reason, all while the interface tries to protect the user from having to know anything. After a while, knowing anything is considered "confusing" and "dangerous" (as in "I could fsck up the computer real bad... that's dangerous...") by too many Windows users. I believe this is the "innovation" Bill Gates always speaks about. ;)

  • we have a dozen companies and no choices.

    That is not true for all of us. I live out in the boondocks, and I have a choice of using the RBOC (Regional Bell Operating Company) or a CLEC (Competitive Local Exchange Carrier) for local phone service. I have had the choice of several dozen long distance carriers for quite some time.

    The breakup of AT&T has been good for most consumers, although it has taken far too long to get competition in the local exchange markets.

  • At my current job I've had some Windows code inflicted upon me, though I've this far managed to keep it to a minimum. In a nutshell there's still a lot of 16 bit code comprising the 95/98, and if you want to talk to that 16 bit code, you'll have to set up some thunking. That alone is almost enough to make you chew your own arms off. Most of our users and most of our development is on 95/98.

    If IIS, ASP, COM and DCOM are all you can come up with as examples of MS's "Great" technology, I got news for you buddy, they all SUCK! The industry has come up with much better NONPROPRIETARY ways to do the same thing. Even the professional Windows programmers in my office agree that Windows programming sucks, so I'm pretty sure it's not just my UNIX bias showing through here.

    I don't use Windows and I don't want to use Windows. I am rabidly anti-MS because MS has this tendecy to destroy any competition that threatens it, meaning if I want to CONTINUE to not use windows, I have to fight MS with everything I have, or one day there won't even be the option. I'm not necessarily out to silence them, but if we don't all fight them wholeheartedly they'd continue to engulf the industry to the point where you can't even use a hard drive without their OS.

  • And guess what? After the media finally realized that there was no real interest in OS/2, it was mostly fake interest from zealots packing ballot boxes.

    You can't look at OS/2's failure as an indication of what will happen in the future. Unlike what I saw with OS/2, I've personally seen a lot of real interest in Linux and open source. I know a lot more people actually using Linux than I ever knew of people playing around with OS/2. Heck, I know about as many people who actually use *BSD as I knew people who used OS/2.

    What really got the press to stop reporting on OS/2 was when Microsoft switched all of their efforts away from it and towards Windows. IBM just didn't do a very good job of promoting OS/2 after that. Unfortunately, the OS/2 zealots (like TeamOS/2) got a little carried away trying to overcompensate. On the other hand Linux is mostly a grass-roots effort, and has been since day one. There is a lot of commercial interest in it now, but that is both recent and secondary to the grass roots effort.

  • Bill Gates' worth goes up no less than 20 fold what it is now!

    I really don't care how much money Bill Gates has.

    What *can* we do about Microsoft to make it less powerful?

    What a breakup would do is to make it so that we could see competition in individual markets. We wouldn't see the product tying, and the use of monopoly power in one market to make entry into other markets. Smaller 'baby Bills' wouldn't have nearly the ability to enter every market under the sun and lose money there until they can achieve a market presence (like MSN, Slate, etc.). All of those money losing ventures that the current Microsoft keeps funding may eventually turn things around and be able to push out their competitors unless they are forced to be answerable to the bottom line of a smaller company.

  • If you rule that the company is a monopoly but you're not going to do anything about it, that would open up Microsoft against massive lawsuits, such as the Caldera one currently in progress. Those lawsuits would probably do more damage than any sanctions that could arise out of this one case.

    Not that I'm out to see MS destroyed. Just beaten down to the point where they don't try to rabidly annhilate every potential competitor in every potential market. For one thing, the destruction of MS would cause damage to millions of peoples' pension funds. For another, competition IS good as long as the playing field is level.

  • one email address databased

    Hey, if they want to send e-mail to my spam trap, they're welcome to.

    If it's on-topic, I may not even complain.

  • If I remember right, "cut off Netscape's air supply" was the exact quote for the orders to kill Netscape as a company. How anticompetetive can you get?

    When you control the dominant operating system, its hooks, and installed components, you can control opponents. Especially when you dump competing products like IE free of charge. If a foreign country dumps RAM chips on the American market, you can bet there will be an outcry and there will be US government action in the form of high tarrifs. But if MS offers a free browser, we get to see a flood of these "independent surveys" and press releases from Microsoft stating how consumers prefer an "integrated" browser that is part of the operating system.

    You seem to hate Netscape as a company. They have done good for the computer industry, perhaps more than Emperor Gates III has. Who was it that innovated the browser and the internet, made it popular, while Microsoft wholely dismissed the internet and attempted to market its own propritary online service?

    When Microsoft realized it couldn't compete on its own path, it turned on a dime and bought out Spyglass with the Mosiac code and was determined to steamroll Netscape into the ground. Ethical? Should Microsoft be rewarded for this behavior? Well, with billions in revenue and after they have bought up full page ads and advertised in media that plays them in a 100% favorable light, they seem to be immune to criminal acts in the public light. Unless the DOJ takes action.
  • OK, here's a thought or two.

    Monster fines are in order, if only because the findings of the antitrust investigation show that MS not only damaged other corporations with it's unethical business practices, but the users of windows suffered technologically.

    Splitting the corporation is a good thing, for both MS, the users, and the technology community. Why?

    Good for MS users:
    Splitting MS will force it into groups which focus on smaller market shares. No dumbass web tv, less OS bloat, substantially reduced influence in internet standards arenas, less ability to stifle innovation both in hardware and software technology. The end result, if done correctly, would force a segment of MS to focus on creating solid operating systems with easy GUIs that continue to reduce the technological barriers to computing for the average user.

    Good for MS:
    Focus, focus, focus. Rather than trying to do everything, a split of the company could create a company which concentrates on OS development, a company which concentrates on application development for x86, mac and unix platforms, and a company which concentrates on internet technology. By doing so, and removing the overarching goal of supporting windows and its product goals, the talented developers that MS currently employs could have more freedom to innovate without all of the restrictions they currently operate under.

    Good for us: Netscape, Sun, and the hundreds of underrepresented software companies who could have made great products for all software platforms are freed from the unnatural restrictions MS imposed on them if they attempted to infringe on "core business", which currently includes everything under the sun. This leads directly to better software offerings, broader OS support for existing apps, and less hoops for developers to jump through.

    If done right, I think this could be the best thing to happen to computing since (gasp!) the GUI.

  • Microsoft already is "helping" public school and universities. Recall the article posted on Slashdot about them giving thier software cheap to schools so that the next generation knows nothing but it. Any help from microsoft needs to be looked at for other motives.

  • Agreed. Online ballot stuffing generally speaks of a script-kiddie-ish beahviour, and does little to advance one's cause.

    Unless you're voting for Ric Flair at Time's man of the century poll. ;-)

    The only thing it may do is make people aware of the options, and I do't think that Linux is suffering from lack of Mindshare anymore. Besides, there are better alternatives when trying to advocate one's favorite OS.

    Seriously, the last time I saw a ballot-stuffing call to arms was when the trolls on r.s.p-w decided to mobilize. Slashdot shouldn't be following their lead.

  • I'm confused. There is a slashdot for people interested in Linux (and BSD, and Mac, and Be), why is there no central gathering place for windows users? If there was, then slashdot could post the location of a poll, the windows page could do the same, and we wouldn't be able to stuff the internet ballot box so badly. Why hasn't MS figured this out yet? Or are they entirely uninterested in community?

  • abo ut.com [about.com] has another such poll, for those who answer these things recreationally. ;-)
  • Do you really think that some 50 yearold hi court judge knows shit about computers?
    Have you actually read what Judge Jackson wrote? The guy has done his homework. His findings are remarkably bare of technospeak and legalese, and do a damned fine job of presenting the facts in nice, plain, unintimidating English.

    So, in a word, the answer to your question is Yes.

    Zontar The Mindless,

  • Now will you look at that! 52/48 split scores! Could this poisibly have anything to do with the fact that this is mentioned deep in here, and not on the front page of slashdot? hehe, just goes to show 'the slashdot efect' :)

  • by mcc (14761)
    what CNN ought to do is carefully log the referrers in the HTTP headers of everyone who visits the poll and show a breakdown of results by who sent them there. That would actually make this poll interesting-- after all a normal internet poll is totally worthless and doesn't really tell you much of anything, but it would at least be interesting to see the differences of opinions of people who found the poll through slashdot.org vs. the people who found it through macnn.com vs. the people who actually were visiting cnn.com vs. the people with *.microsoft.com hostmasks.

    That would at least tell you something-- kind of let you know the kind of crowd that is frequented by different news/portal pages. As is, though, i don't see why i should care that 77% of the random people who happen to be at cnn.com for some reason on a saturday morning happen to think MS has a monopoly.

    What does surprise me is that 22% of all the people thought "imposing fines" would somehow have some effect on MS's monopoly. Huh??

    --mcc-baka
    INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IS THEFT

  • This is wacked. Is anybody running a story on how the MSNBC poll won't let you vote unless you're on Windows/IE/whatever? And considering this- what _is_ the result of the poll? I'm quite curious now.
  • I hardly think they are so _disorganized_ as to not astroturf these things fulltilt, considering that they've already been caught doing just that. You think they'd stop now?
  • by Chris Johnson (580)
    They're bound to be much more representative because the Slashdot astroturf counters the paid MS employees astroturfing 80-hour a week shifts from Redmond, just as Nixon had people filling out postcards for days on end to astroturf _postal_ mail polls back in the early 70s.
  • We do help by link from "/.". The more obviously absurd the polls are, the less likely they are to be taken seriously. And even for those who still takes them seriously, the /.'ed results are no more misleading than the un-/.'ed results. So they are no worse off. Also, the polls *do* have a positive value, they are fun. /. would be more boring without its wonderful polls.

    The program you mentioned misses the point. It doesn't matter if the poll is spammed or not, self selected surveys are always useless.

  • 1. Can you produce a quote of ANY modern day Republican complaining about "blacks getting special privalages"?
    Uh... yes? Are you nuts? That's not only not a cheap shot, but it's also something many Republicans would proudly sign on to. And it's not an inherently bad position- there's certainly a case to be made there. Affirmitive Action debates are full of variations on that sentance, it's the very basis of the Anti-Affirmative action platform. I can list for sure several: Helms, Lott, Alexander- even D'Souza. You're the Knucklehead, trying to paint me off as a cheap shot.
    2. Every consumer product can kill people, the cigarette companies are NOT negligent when everyone on the planet knows that smoking kills people. Since the 1950s cigarettes have had the nick name "Cancer Sticks".
    So? This sounds like an argument someone would have made in the 80s, before reading all the new case law, rulings, and revelations. The point is not just the cigarettes kill people, but that the cig companies a) buried this information wherever possible, sometimes illegally, and b) completely obscured the addictiveness of tobbacco for decades, and even deliberately used it to build their customer base.
  • I doubt this'll happen for one reason: market value. Government will still be loathe to actually destroy what they see as a product's economic sale value. They'd much rather just keep Microsoft from profiting off their software. I mean, if M$ products were GPL'ed, what would happen to all the computer sotre owners with inventories of the stuff? It all drops in value, hurting them. That'll be a no no...
  • (1) Impose Fines. A joke, won't even put a dent in billion dollar bill-anyway, fines hurt the investors and the company and don't help the consumer--remember, corporations don't pay taxes, consumers do--the same will be true of any fines. (2) Order changes in company practices. No system of rules has been made throughout history that cannot be circumvented to accomplish the desired goal. The government w/i a democracy should not be imposing "restrictions" on one particular company. Such restrictions may be a permanent handicap for the company and really inhibit growth in certain directions. This one could hurt the consumer because it may hurt the company. Most likely, billion dollar Bill will find a way to circumvent it. (3) No Action. Basically, the entire DOJ trial would be a total waste of tax money. Also, the consumer receives no benefit. They will keep paying higher and higher prices to the M$ monopoly. Also, product quality will be defined by M$, the consumer will have no choice. This is the worst possibility out of the 3 listed. (4) Split the company into multiple companies. Two approaches that I have heard about were to split M$ into 3 smaller companies or to separate the applications and operating system divisions. (a) Split into 3 smaller companies. Again, it may be possible for billion dollar Bill to regroup later on, circumventing the trial outcome. Or, one of the 3 companies may die and 1 will emerge to power. This one has the potential to hurt investors in seriously lowering their share values. The consumer is injured because I believe M$ will return to power and the monopoly will happen all over again. All this one does is weaken M$ for a while. (b) Split the Applications and Operating Systems divisions. This by far I believe is the best alternative. It gives the new companies that are formed unlimited ability to grow and helps eliminate the strangleholding M$ has w/ it's Network/OS/Office/IE/etc. line of products. That is how M$ has been monopolizing each market they enter. They integrate all of the above so that it is nearly impossible for a competitor to provide a competitive product for any single piece. Also, because the OS is designed around applications rather than around concepts central to OSes (reliability, scalability,quality of service, compatability). The best way it seems to have different system components interact is through some IEEE standard or industry standard. This is happening in Linux right now and with excellent results. M$ can also charge competitor companies big $$$ for the information to even make a competitive product. I believe breaking up the company into a (1) Server OS/Server App company (2) Internet Content tools (inet browser, windows media player, video encoders, streaming technology) company (3) Workstation OS company - for consumer and business computers. (4) Consumer/Office Applications company - products like Microsoft Office, MS Publisher, Visual Studio, etc. (5) Hardware Company. Microsoft makes really great peripherals. There mice are by far the best. Their joysticks, steering wheel accessories, etc. are excellent. They are also are releasing a game set-top-box and web-tv like box. (6) Palm OS/Palm Apps company - basically, the Windows CE, the development tools for Windows CE, etc. I am not sure if 6 distinct parts is too many. In any case, the OS and Applications software division definitely need to be separated. I believe 6 companies is best based on what I know about Microsoft. This benefits the consumer in that M$ won't be able to stranglehold competitors any more. M$ won't have tight control over the whole product line. They will have to compete like everyone else. This will improve the quality of their software and operating systems immensely. I believe that every single division will flourish. If you remember, when Standard Oil was broken up, Rockefeller doubled his fortune and owned shares in both companies. I believe breaking the company into 6 divisions will have excellent results for investors in M$. Well, that is my $.02.
  • 1. Do you agree with the judge's findings of fact in the Microsoft case?
    () Agree
    () Disagree

    Well it's Friday, and I've only read the first one-hundred pages; they seem to be straight-foward and limited to the matter of law. So I'll agree. But if he says anything that indicates a judgement in the next hundred pages I'll say no because this document isn't supposed to contain that. Of course I think this part of the legal system is bad, but at least they don't seem to go too wacky like they did with the GE conspiracy case.

    2. Does Microsoft, in your opinion, have illegal monopoly power in the software operating systems for personal computers?
    () Yes
    () No

    IANAL. Illegal? Yes, but what isn't nowadays? Is their use of power bad? Yes. Should it be illegal? I have to say no, but I have my doubts about nature of corporations; they are state granted and seem to exist as a 'legal' means for the state to seize power. I'd have no objection to state certification (not granting) of a contract among men that accomplishes similar ends.

    3. What action should the judge take to punish Microsoft?
    (Please select all that apply.)
    () Impose fines.
    () Order changes in company practices.
    () Split the company into multiple companies.
    () No action.

    Three options for punishment and one for no action? Seems a bit tilted. I'll give two more in case you said no to question #2:
    () The DoJ should apologize for abusive litigation.
    () The anti-trust laws should be repealed.

    4. Does the judge's decision go too far?
    () Yes.
    () No.

    Decision? He hasn't made one yet. This is the statement of what he will consider as empirical fact when he goes to make his decision. Is the statement skewed against MS? Yes, but that's because the laws are and the judge is acting in accordance with the law. MS will settle or be found guilty of these charges and that will be a great injustice and a double blow to human rights; the violations of Gates's rights and the failure to prevent the actual violations of others' rights at the hands of MS.
  • I think you are seeing things from a different perspective.

    Undoubtedly. You make some good points, but on the whole I mostly disagree. That is fine, people are entitled to their own opinions.

    First of all, in terms of OS/2 usage while there were very few individuals using it, unlike Linux...

    That is very true.

    There were many companies using it, unlike Linux.

    That I would dispute. That may have been true in the early days of Linux, but Linux has much more of a foothold into the commercial world than even the companies themselves know. While you are right that few companies use it as their 'official' desktop, a lot of people are using it 'under the table', and like the early days of the Mac, many people have snuck it into the workplace. Furthermore the number of large companies that have accepted Linux into official roles is increasing.

    Yes, Linux has been built up from a grass roots effort, which is exactly similar to Team OS/2 not having commercial support.

    Not that similar at all. While TeamOS/2 may not have been officially supported, they were supporting an OS that did have commercial support from the beginning. Linux started out with absolutely no commercial support.

    So in reality there had been a lot of OS/2 support up until 1996 or so.

    Around here, OS/2 was effectively dead way before that, and I live in a town that has a tradition of being 'true blue'. OS/2 was a walking corpse around here by 1992 or 1993. OS/2 was doomed by two things, first the fact that most people saw it as somehow tied to the PS/2, which was a complete flop. Secondly, once Microsoft pulled out of OS/2 all of the clone vendors were afraid to support oS/2 because it was perceived as being more in IBM's interest for them to do so than theirs.

    users liked the UI better.

    Most users had no clue, because they never even looked at OS/2.

    The resulting zealotry does not lend well because it creates an illusion of false support for a product.

    I don't think that there is any illusion happening with respect to support for Linux. If anything, the support is larger than what is visible on the surface.

    Market share illusions are bad, companies prefer to deal with reality.

    Well, I don't necessarily buy that. Companies often seem to prefer advertising hype in large trade journals and from salespeople making deals on the golf course and offering free gifts.

    At any rate, Linux was firmly rooted in reality before the hype started.

  • Do you think that posting a link to the poll on Slashdot will significantly skew the results of the poll?

    () Yes
    () No
    () First Post!

    :)

    --

  • The reason why you don't see a gathering place for Windows users is the same reason why in the U.S. you don't see a National Association for the Advancement of White People, National Organization for Men, Congressional White Caucus, United Whitey College Fund, White Heritage Month, etc.

    There are Windows users found in every facet of society. To me, it sounds like you want them to fit some sort of stereotype, as in everyone going to the same web sites. It's kind of hard to stereotype such a diverse group, though. When you take a look at what the stereotype of a Linux-using Slashdot patron is, though, I can only wonder why anyone would want that for him or herself. I know that I definitely don't go out of my way to let people know I visit this site or use Linux because of all the negative connotations associated with it.

    Cheers,
    ZicoKnows@hotmail.com

  • Here's an idea that wasn't on the poll, but the more I think about it, the better it seems: the most effective way to break up Microsoft's monopoly might be some variation on forcing them to GPL some core set of their products. Their strongarm position comes from the fact that they have the programmer-hours available to throw together any product that any other company thinks of. Well, if they had to release the source, then they can't screw over other companies with this practice, because the companies they're competing against can just take anything they like from MS's work and use it in their own- the two competing products would both benefit from that competition.

    MS still gets the "freedom to innovate" and make money based on the quality of their programmers and products. Other companies get the ability to compete realistically with Microsoft even if they aren't anywhere near Microsoft's size. Computer users everywhere benefit from a huge body of commercial software that now has available source code. Seems to me like everybody would win. (Well, except maybe MS, but hey, that's why it's a punishment, right?)
  • The way I see it, tie their hands and let everyone sue the heck outta them.

    Breaking them up just gives the pieces some legal protection...

    Cheers,
    Ben
  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Saturday November 06, 1999 @01:59AM (#1557458)
    > How do they check that neither Micro$oft-haters nor Microsfoft-lovers try to stuff the poll?

    We're to blame too. Why post it here, except to stir up "our" side? One if by land, two if by sea, and all that.

    We brag about polls that say what we want to hear, but dis them as ballot-stuffed if they say what we don't want to hear.

    Intellectual honesty demands that we either hail them all or reject them all. I suggest that we reject them all, that /. shouldn't post "vote here" calls to arms, and that we should laugh at anyone who invokes an internet poll as evidence of anything. Or perhaps introduce a new moderation tag, naive, to slap on posts that use polls as evidence of anything other than proficiency of ballot-stuffing.

    Alternatively, we could continue as we've been doing, but get in the habit of thinking of them as rugby matches, rather than bellwethers of public opinion.

    --
    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • You may have had problems with MSNBC's poll in Netscape, but you ought to try it in Lynx! Its ends up in a near infinite loop of refreshes with cookies from hell. Their poll must be rigged only to allow IEXPLORER users to vote. Imagine that. Its like Linux users are told to sit at the back of the bus or denied any involvement whatsoever. They seem to be getting the most out of the media (NBC) they bought for their own propaganda purposes.
  • > > Cut off Netscape's air supply.

    > And how exactly did they do that? By making a
    > better product? What that isnt allowed?

    Why don't you read the actual findings, it is all explained there nicely. In plain text. Of course "making a better product" is allowed. But that wasn't how MS won the browser war. They won it by tying their browser to a product where they have a monopoly.

    You are a young one, aren't you? I don't know which place you get your revisionist Microsoft history, but a lot of us was there at the time, and we know it for what it is.
  • They provide no useful information whatsoever, and can thus not be "skewed". /. should link to them whenever it increases their entertainment value. It actually helps their information value, because currently they have a negative information value as some people actually believe they bear some resemblance to the popular opinion. The /. effect can help show these unenlightened people the folly of their belief.
  • Some less than cluefull people believe in Internet pools. By /.'ing the pools we either enlighten these people, or make them believe in another falsehood than they would otherwise have done. Thus, /.'ing a Internet pool can never do wrong, only good.

    Besides, there is a non-negligible entertainment effect in the pools. Complaining about them would be showing significant amount of stick-in-the-assness. Much better to join the fun.


  • You make a good case for the six companies, and all of them would remain among the largest players in the field.

    I don't think #1 (server-os) and #3 (workstation-os) breakup is reasonable, though. They share too much technology. What would you think about breaking Linux development up into server and workstation? Nah. I'm unsure about #2 (internet content tools). How would it work as a company? They have themselves made it hard to make money selling a web-browser. And the technology _is_ pretty much integrated in the os by now.

    Maybe #1, #2, and #3 should form one new company. I agree that your suggestions #4 (office, applications), #5 (hardware), and #6 (wince) ought to run separately. And their ISP (MSN) should also form a separate company, perhaps together with the MS "content" ownership.

    That would be 5 new companies, each of them with clear separate markets, and each of them strong players in their respective markets. They ought to be able to thrive.

  • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Saturday November 06, 1999 @08:34AM (#1557486)
    I tried the vote at 12:20am CST but the link was dead and found this new vote at www.cnn.com

    Microsoft's dominance of the PC operating system
    industry is due to:

    Its monopolistic
    business
    practices.

    The superiority
    of its products.

    The
    combination of
    strong
    products and
    strong-arm
    tactics.


    I love the compromise #3 is. It both criticizes MS and compliments it, while ignoring that most if not all of MS's 'strong-arm' tactics are strong-arm monopolistic tactics. CNN spreads out the anti-ms votes into 2 categories.

    Us monopolies got to stick together, Ted.
  • It's always been an interesting idea floating around- corporations are granted the rights of individuals. Most people will agree that that's a bit quirky, and let's people shove blame from their own actions onto an abstract "corporation" that doesn't really exist. So, if murderers are killed for felony violations- why not corporations? The government can simply revoke their charter, taking away all special legal protections (Republican's bitch about homosexuals and blacks getting special privalages- but you should see some of the legal protections that corporations get!)- legaly destroying the "corporation" as it is. Of course, this is usually only suggested in cases like cigarrette companies and the like- corporations that have killed thousands through gross negilgence. Not that Microsoft has killed anyone though... have they?
  • >Umm... are the Slashdot readers the only ones that realize that this is not a ruling?

    The Findings of Fact are indeed a ruling. They are a ruling on the facts of the case as seen by the judge. They are not a ruling on the conclusions one draws from those facts, on Microsoft's liability. They are not a ruling on Conclusions of Law or on corrective measures, but they are a ruling on Findings of Fact.
  • you don't get it. "Capitalism" isn't an excuse for behavior that violates US law. And in any case, "if they suck, they will be gone soon" is exactly the problem with a monopoly: if they suck, they stick around anyway.
    Windows2000 will cost around 200 bucks, without tech support. Linux costs 0$, without tech support- If price were everything, it's economically a no brainer. But Linux really is less buggy and more stable than Windows as well. I run both. Ancedotal evidence isn't great, don't trust me- try it yourself. What holds OS's like Linux back? Industry support and FUD. Why can't they get it better and faster than they have? Monopoly. If all of that is true, then Microsoft is hurting everyone, whether you buy their software OR NOT, because they are stunting possible efficiency gains and new ways of putting software together. That's the issue.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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