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Jackson Sends Microsoft Case To Supreme Court 409

[Xorian] us a coverage on c|net (and here's a AP story on Yahoo) saying that Jackson has referred the Microsoft Case to the Supreme Court, skipping the appellate courts. 'Course, the Supreme Court doesn't have to take it if they don't want it, and since it's close to the end of the term, they might not get to it this term even if they did take it.
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Jackson Sends Microsoft Case to Supreme Court

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  • Anon because it's too much trouble to login

    I doubt that!
    Anyway, I do agree with you that Microsoft helped the computer industry in ways that nobody else has. I have been reading these posts though and I really do not see too many that are all "Yippee!". Actually, I see some intelligent posts here that are getting appropriately modded up. What is the stick up your ass about anyway?
    The general picture I have from reading the preceding posts is that many people are glad that this will not be stuck in appeals for 5+ years. Many people are scared of the precedent that this might set, but they are hopeful. I really do not see what you are bitching about...
  • by orpheus ( 14534 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @01:08PM (#988135)
    Well, we simply can't conduct this thread without a link to the actual ruling [] at the DoJ site. (PDF only)

    Here's the actual text, as sloppily transcribed by ol' stumblefingers (me). Beware of possible typos.

    [BTW, is 'general public importance sufficient to meet the standards of 15 USC 29(b) -- gotta check!]

    Upon consideration of the joint motion of the plaintiffs for certification pursuant to 15 USC 29(b), and the opposition of Microsoft thereto, it is, this 20th day of June, 2000.

    ORDERED, that the Joint motion by the plaintiffs for certification pursuant to 15 USC 29(b) is granted and that this court hereby certifies that immediate consideration by the Supreme court of the appeal taken herein is of general public importance in the administration of justice' and it is

    FURTHER ORDERED, that the Finalk Judgement of June 7, 2000, is stayed in its entirety until the appeal therefrom is heared and decided, unless the stay is earlier vacated by an appellate court.


  • Yeah, first it's rioting, but then the Debian crowd would start fighting with the SuSE crowd and the Mandraker's would think they were better Red Hatters than the Red Hatters and it's turn into a big-ass bar fight.

  • by Silverhammer ( 13644 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @12:39PM (#988139)

    wait until you see 8000 angry penguins in time square

    Already seen it. Remeber the climax of 'Batman Returns'?

  • by Chris Johnson ( 580 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @01:10PM (#988142) Homepage Journal
    "Give them enough rope to _prove_ I was right about them."

  • by catseye_95051 ( 102231 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @12:41PM (#988149)
    There a specific law that speaks to this... the "Antitrust Expidition Act". It has been invoeked twice before, both cases involving Standard Oil.

    It exists for the same reason that this decision is a good one. Part of the theory of the law, as set down by precedent, is that it is the duty of a judge to make decisions that reduce the cost of litigation to society. it is oen of the many things he or she ahs to weight when making a decision.

    It is clear in this case that no matter what the Aplellate Court ruled, it woudl be apealed to the supream court. By asking the Supreams to hear it directly, he saves society the cost of one whole pointless round of court action.

  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @12:43PM (#988154) Journal

    I'm seriously interested in whether there is a website, or something that allows gambling on the outcome of all of this.

    Yes, it's called E-Trade []

    The regular .sig season will resume in the fall. Here are some re-runs:
  • by Phexro ( 9814 )
    what about the announcment that msft was going through the appeals process with the normal appeals courts?

    if that really happened, is jackson really able to override the normal processes like that?


  • by delmoi ( 26744 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @03:06PM (#988159) Homepage
    But it was so full of flames that it wasn't even worth reading. Mac Zealots, M$ Zealots, Anti M$ Zealots. Can't you people just grow up and realize that the way that you think isn't necessarily the only way to think? It would make the world a much better place.
  • Come on! Dude got a blow job in the oval office, and got caught.. That's it..

    Nothing like the Theodore Roosevelt, who almost got his ass kicked for misuse of funds. Or Nixon, who was a real dumb ass.. Or George Bush, who worked for the CIA..
  • by studerby ( 160802 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @01:15PM (#988165)
    And why wouldn't the supreme court take this case? How could this not be considered unimportant?

    Some "legal scholars" are thinking that The Supreme Court will decline the case so they can let the Appeals Court "develop the record", in other words thrash out what's important and what's not. If there's some flagrant trial court error, it might never need to go to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court generally tries to limit the amount of work it takes on...

    If this were a "normal" Supreme Court case, I'd figure the "legal scholars" were right with that analysis, but between the national importance of the case, and the fact that anti-trust cases are fundamentally different from most other types of civil cases, I wouldn't bet either way myself (though I'd prefer a fasttrack resolution to this, I'm getting tired of explaining why M$ is being sued to my non-geek friends and relatives...)

  • More importantly, Judge Jackson also issued a stay for the "immediate" behavioral remedies that were to be imposed within 90 days of his ruling.

    This means that Microsoft, even if ultimately the appeals process does not support it, will remain unmodified and unrestricted until all appeals are exhausted. This process may take upwards of two years.

    Personally I wish the SC *would* take it, so that we could get this behind us. I'm sure I'm not the only person tired of hearing about it. However, the signs are that the Appellate Court will be assigned the task of reading through the evidentiary record rather than the SC, simply as a matter of expediency.

    Yes! We are all individuals! I'm not!
  • From what I've heard, Al Gore has been much more publicly pro-Microsoft than George W. Bush. It's part of his whole "I like technology, layperson!" campaign. That isn't to say that Gore would be a bad president- I'll likely be voting for him myself, in fact- but it isn't fair to assign every belief you dislike to your political opponents or to scrub your political favorites into cute little cherubs.
  • Studying history can clear up many misconceptions.

    In this case there was a very good article over at that looks backwards over this case. It points out that Jackson is a Regan appointed judge and generally quite conservative. In specific point of fact when this case began he made a number of comments that indicated he leaned towards Micrsoft and corproate america in general. he referred to Microsoft as a "highly efficient" organization with clear respect and said he was loathe to intefere with such an important engien of the american economy.

    That he ended up ruling so harshly against them is clearly a result of just how badly they did in court and the undeniable fact that they have been acting as an abusive monopoly. The word he used most recently to describe them was "incourrigable."

    Micrsoft made their bed and are lying in it. History quite clearly shows that blamign this judge for being "too liberal" borders on ludicrous.

  • Unfortunatly there are two sets of APIs. The public version that is expanded on MSDN. And then the internal MS version. I.e. MS Office has been notorious from using publically undocumented APIs to imporve performance and integration with Windows.

    The number one remedy I like is that MS must publish their APIs in a timely mannor to all parties..
  • by werdna ( 39029 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @03:32PM (#988184) Journal
    Its just you. Or your notion of "newsworthy" is sufficiently unfocused. In fact, Judge Jackson bent over wildly at many junctures to the benefit of Microsoft throughout the pretrial, trial and interim motion practice. Microsoft was given liberal leave to introduce whatever evidence they wanted, including falsified video tapes, and then afterwards an opportunity to substitute the "real ones."

    Of course, after the final verdict, it is routine for the judge to grant the victor the relief they sought. Perhaps that's what you forgot.

    The long and short of this is that Microsoft lost, the judge decided the case and, in the end, thinks he is right about that decision and doesn't intend to reconsider. That galls some folks who thought he might give back with one hand what he took with the other, but who cares?

    I think the fact findings are probably incontestable as a matter of law, and the findings of law raise close and difficult legal questions. In view of that, a bright judge made some tough calls, and didn't equivocate in the face of tough personal crticiism

    This is called judicature. Its a good thing, not a bad thing.
  • You're way off-base, dude.

    No one is preventing students from speaking because they might say something religious. Rather, the school may not endorse religious speech. As the decision says: The delivery of a message such as the invocation here--on school property, at school-sponsored events, over the school's public address system, by a speaker representing the student body, under the supervision of school faculty, and pursuant to a school policy that explicitly and implicitly encourages public prayer--is not properly characterized as "private" speech.

    Obviously, if the student wants to say anything else they may. And if the student wants to say something religious, they may, provided that they don't do so in their capacity as a student officer, that they don't do so with the supervision of faculty in their official capacities, that it doesn't use exclusive school property (e.g. the PA system, which is not free to use) and that it's not at school sponsored events.

    Seems pretty clear to me.

  • by werdna ( 39029 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @03:35PM (#988188) Journal
    First of all, understand that a 3-judge panel found 2-1 in favor of Microsoft on an unrelated antitrust issue having to do with a court order related to the original settlement. The relevance of the dicta in that case remains to be seen, but we are talking about only 2 judges in seven, and one who has already dissented.

    That was, for those who missed it, the point of last week's order from the Circuit court -- not that they would "take the appeal," (they had to), but they would consider it as a complete panel of seven judges (a few recused themselves, or it would have been more).

    Actually, the thing about an automatic en-banc hearing is that the seven judge panel can even reverse the prior three judge panel ruling, something a new three-judge panel could not.
  • by orpheus ( 14534 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @02:04PM (#988195)
    MircoSoap ph33rz me!

    [Honestly, each time I tried to submit this from a Windoze machine -four tries- the box crashed! Then I switched to a Linux machine and the ISP went down. Fortunately I have a backup ISP. Chill, Bill, it ain't that incriminating!]

    Here's the specific section, 15 US Code 29(b) [], covering "what happens next". It's short and clear.

    Sec. 29. Appeals
    (b) Direct appeals to Supreme Court

    An appeal from a final judgment pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall lie directly to the Supreme Court, if, upon application of a party filed within fifteen days of the filing of a notice of appeal, the district judge who adjudicated the case enters an order stating that immediate consideration of the appeal by the Supreme Court is of general public importance in the administration of justice. Such order shall be filed within thirty days after the filing of a notice of appeal. When such an order is filed, the appeal and any cross appeal shall be docketed in the time and manner prescribed by the rules of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court shall thereupon either (1) dispose of the appeal and any cross appeal in the same manner as any other direct appeal authorized by law, or (2) in its discretion, deny the direct appeal and remand the case to the court of appeals, which shall then have jurisdiction to hear and determine the same as if the appeal and any cross appeal therein had been docketed in the court of appeals in the first instance pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.
  • by DonkPunch ( 30957 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @12:50PM (#988196) Homepage Journal
    It's a plot.

    Signal 11 is saving up Karma for the Great Slashdot Retaliation. Someday, he will grow tired of reading the same drivel, the same points of view, and the same whining. On that day, he will engage the full force of his massive Karma and begin trolling the living daylights out of Slashdot.

    Not all Slashdotters have become moronic, some of us are suffering Karma hits on a daily basis for pointing out stupidity. We look forward to the day Signal 11 joins us. With the combined Karma of Signal 11 and Bruce Perens, we will be unstoppable! We will return Slashdot to its former glory!

    I am merely a scout in this revolution. My hard-earned Karma is a mere drop in the bucket compared to Sig's. My role is to distract and annoy the moderators while Signal 11 grows larger and more powerful. Someday, my Karma will be entirely burned out and I will no longer be able to post at +2. It is a sacrifice, but I know history will record the name of "DonkPunch" as a hero. I therefore make this sacrifice with pride.

    So, keep the faith, AC. One day soon, Slashdot will be redeemed!

    (Or you could just read kiro5hin instead. Make no difference to me.)
  • This is ridiculous, this isnt about the right thing, its about politics, and agendas.

    Jackson is only trying to send it to the supreme court, because he knows that MS has a better chance of getting a decision diffrent than what HE wants, in the appeals court.

  • First of all, I propose the banning of the tag "insightful" from this discussion. It's no longer possible to be insightful about Microsoft.

    Oh, the irony! At the time of this writing the above post is marked as "insightful".

    So does that mean if I say that the "funny" tag should be banned from this discussion, then this lame post will be marked as "funny"?

  • Horribly offtopic, but I figure it's worth what little Karma I have.

    With regard to the recent Supreme Court decision... What was banned was not school-sanctioned prayer. What was banned is allowing students to elect someone to speak for them because they might say something religious. Now that is outright censorship. The Supreme Court has essentially said that, unless the message is sanctioned by the school system, nothing can be said by students in an official capacity, even if the students organize and elect the representative. The decision is not about separation of church and state, it's about muzzling students for fear that they might say something disagreeable. Yet where is the furor over this? I find it amazing (or maybe not so amazing, given the general air of the place) that /. defends porn (even in libraries and schools) but not outright censorship of students.

    Also note that it was a 6-3 decision and that the Chief Justice wrote a scathing dissenting opinion that truly exposes the decision for what it really is: the pigeon-holing of religion as a purely private matter rather than the basis for American society as it was in the beginning.

    As far as separation of church and state goes, well, what little seperation is implied is there to protect religion from the government, which includes censorship. Furthermore, be suspicious of Thomas Jefferson as a Constitutional scholar--he wasn't even in America while it was being written and ratified!

  • Unfortionatly, regardless of what happens, MSFT is still worth it's stock price.

    Actually, two baby bills is worth *MORE* money seperate then together. Think about it..

    Now, they will be able to move their products into new territory. The app side can take over office apps on every machine on the face of the earth, regardless of OS.

    The OS side will be able to move their system to even more platforms, as they are no longer stuck in deals with hardware makers for their apps to take advantage of specific hardware capabilities within their application..

    It's a scary, scary world..
  • I personally couldn't ge glader to see the court's decision on school prayer. I don't like seeing the "free speech" card played in this one because then the bible thumping republicans pounce on it, as if a kid going to the microphone on graduation day with backing from the administration to say some born-again prayer for the benefit of the "saved" in the audience were protected speech. Blech.

    You know, it's the parents and sunday school teachers of those kids that do it - they send there kid up there, and you know what they're thinking: "hehe, we got around the rule! it's the kid that's saying the prayer, so it's free speech". In general need of a smack.

    I read a summary of the decision, and it looked great to me. Didn't read the actual text though.

    What I don't understand is why THREE JUDGES were AGAINST it. That's the legacy of those twelve years that we had Reagan and Bush, I suppose.

    Vote for Harry Browne. He won't win, but it'll make more of a diffence (to increase the legitimacy and recognition of the Libertarian party) than anything else you can do with your vote.

  • by Overt Coward ( 19347 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @02:12PM (#988213) Homepage
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

    The activist Supreme Court has had this ass-backwards for decades, and the balance of the Court has remained such that they are not inclinded to revisit their mistakes (except to compound it as they did recently -- Renquist's dissent points out the fallacy of the majority opinion quite eloquently).

    The court has turned the meaning of this protection around by prohibiting public displays of religion (though they typically only enfoce this against the Christian sects, other religions are deemed to bring a proper "diversity" to public life) instead of adhering to its proper intent, which is that the federal government could not create a state religion and tie the rights of citizenship to membership within the state religion. The authors of the Amendment were quite accepting of the individual states having an official religion, but because the states had different sects, they didn't want the federal government to choose one over the others. The Fourteenth Amendment, though, later prevented the states from having established religions.

    The current SC decision is awful in light of the fact that the majority ruled that because a student-elected speaker might choose to use the platform to do something even remotely religious. Of course, the speaker could also simply read a poem, talk about the environment, or make an impassioned speech about homosexual rights. In none of the other cases would the school have been held culpable for the words spoken by an individual. The school had no control over what the stuent would say, and could therefore not even be held to tacitly endorsing the student's viewpoint.

    The hostility toward religion, especially Christian religions, in current society is troubling. I mean, Pat Buchanan is attacked for being a right-wing fundamentalist, but Louis Farrakhan is not similarly labeled a left-wing Muslim. This despite the fact that both men are dangerous demagouges who use their religion as a hook to entice new folloers.


  • I am going to play devils advocate for this one.

    The Appellate court may have sided with MS in the previous ruling by Judge Jackson against MS, but that does not necessarily mean that they are firmly in MS's pocket. There are some key points as to why I believe that they are not.

    1) They have decided to see this one En Blanc, unlike the previous two trials. But three of the Judges have been disqualified from sitting on the case due to conflict of interest. They are obviously trying to show that they are taking this case with the utmost seriousness.

    2) That seriousness was also shown in their haste to accept the trial. As soon as MS had submitted their request for appeal the case was accepted, no waiting at all. They were expecting this, and have obviously started getting ready for the apeal.

    3) Most of the Justices were appointed during the Reagan era. Now most would say that this would help MS, but it actually hurts them. Although they are conservative judges who most likely want to help big business, they also know that monopolies hurt business and hurt the economy and therefore are more likely to side against a monopoly.

    Perhaps in the previous two appeals they didn't feel that the case was strong enough, or the punishment severe enough. Perhaps they have been waiting for MS to even more blatently abuse its power so that when it gets caught they can rule for a harsher penelty then what had been submitted before. Perhaps not, perhaps they will continue to side with MS. I'm just speculating here.

    If one goes by the rulings from the previous cases then it seems obvious that they will rule in favor of MS, but that does not necessarily mean that they will. This isn't just about integrating IE into Windows anymore, this is much bigger and will have a much larger impact on the economy then the previous cases. The Justices have obviously been following the case, they know how MS acted throughout the trial. Not just one or two Justices but all of them, and they are informed enough to stop 3 of them from sitting due to conflict on interest. If they follow their conservative background then they will rule in favor of the economy, which is against MS.

    We also may never know how they would rule if the Supreme Court takes it.

    Only time will tell at this point.
  • > ...perhaps Microsoft could become incorporated in Canada...

    Sigh. MS is already incorporated in Canada, and many other countries too. Take a quick look here [].

    As for officially moving the headquarters to another country, MS officials have denied all rumors. It simply wouldn't be cost-effective for them to move all their assets (esp. developers) -- anything left behind would still be fair game.
  • So? More power to 'em.

    It was leveraging one monopoly to try and get another that started the bad blood to begin with. If they keep the OS and apps separate, and compete legitimately, that's great if they do well. I think that it would very much benefit the industry and the consumer to break up the company.

  • by Pig Bodine ( 195211 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @03:56PM (#988227)

    In particular, the applications company won't be able to take a loss in the market for applications for a non-Windows OS to keep other operating systems from being viable working platforms and bolster the dominance of Windows. If they did, they could potentially open themselves up to stockholder lawsuits (not to mention the conduct remedies which will ban collusion between the two split-up companies). Also, it will be in the financial interest of the OS company to encourage the development of third party applications by any company; same as above with respect to stockholder lawsuits.

    This will potentially result in more applications for other other operating systems and more non-Microsoft applications for windows, increasing competition for both applications and operating systems. Increased competition, might force companies to adopt open standards to ensure interoperability. Personally, I think the break-up is probably going to be a huge benefit to consumers, software companies, free software and probably even to MS stockholders (in the long run).

  • Article III provides that the Congress can determine (except for cases in which the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction), the jurisdiction of the Court. It is probably the case that everyone is entitled to at least one appeal (except in the original jurisdiction case).

    The text of Title 15, Section 29, United States Code, follows below, there are two sections, one, section a, providing for review by the court of appeals, but "except as otherwise expressly provided," and another, section b, providing that direct jurisdiction "shall lie" (not may lie) with the Supreme Court. Inded, it appears that the Congress expressly considered the possibility of conflict by having a notice of appeal timely filed while a district court certifies direct jurisdiction.

    I bet that the Supes get it if they want it. I'm also betting that they think the language of the statute is plain beyond cavil in this regard.

    Sec. 29. Appeals

    (a) Court of appeals; review by Supreme Court

    Except as otherwise expressly provided by this section, in every civil action brought in any district court of the United States under the Act entitled ''An Act to protect trade and commerce against unlawful restraints and monopolies'', approved July 2, 1890, or any other Acts having like purpose that have been or hereafter may be enacted, in which the United States is the complainant and equitable relief is sought, any appeal from a final judgement entered in any such action shall be taken to the court of appeals pursuant to sections 1291 and 2107 of title 28. Any appeal from an interlocutory order entered in any such action shall be taken to the court of appeals pursuant to sections 1292(a)(1) and 2107 of title 28 but not otherwise. Any judgment entered by the court of appeals in any such action shall be subject to review by the Supreme Court upon a writ of certiorari as divided in section 1254(1) of title 28.

    (b) Direct appeals to Supreme Court

    An appeal from a final judgment pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall lie directly to the Supreme Court, if, upon application of a party filed within fifteen days of the filing of a notice of appeal, the district judge who adjudicated the case enters an order stating that immediate consideration of the appeal by the Supreme Court is of general public importance in the administration of justice. Such order shall be filed within thirty days after the filing of a notice of appeal. When such an order is filed, the appeal and any cross appeal shall be docketed in the time and manner prescribed by the rules of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court shall thereupon either (1) dispose of the appeal and any cross appeal in the same manner as any other direct appeal authorized by law, or (2) in its discretion, deny the direct appeal and remand the case to the court of appeals, which shall then have jurisdiction to hear and determine the same as if the appeal and any cross appeal therein had been docketed in the court of appeals in the first instance pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.
  • Most of the Justices were appointed during the Reagan era.

    The press keeps pointing to this to indicate that they would lean towards Microsoft. However, it should be pointed out that Jackson was also appointed by Reagan. Didn't help Microsoft during the trial.

    There is also another reason to think that they might not back Microsoft on its third appearance.

    A couple of days ago, the New York Times ran an article describing some of the background stuff that occured during the trial. In it, they described how Boise read the appealate court's opinion on a plane trip to LA. He read it and reread it. By the time he arrived in LA, he was estatic.

    When he called the other DOJ lawyers, they couldn't figure out why he was so happy about a ruling in which they lost. He explained to them that the appealate court had given them a road map to show them what the DOJ has to prove in court in order to have the case hold up on appeal.

    Also, Jackson specifically addressed the appealte court ruling in his findings. He included Supreme Court rulings backing his position. He has also apparently studied the ruling and tailored his opinion to meet their previous objections.

    I can't understand why the press portrayed yesterday's appelate court ruling as a major victory for Microsoft. True, they ignored the DOJ's request to summarily dismiss Microsoft's motion and put the appeal on the fast track. However, they also explicitly said that they would suspend the schedule if Jackson sent it to the Supreme Court (as if there was any doubt that he would).

  • You know, if the supreme court turns Microsoft down, they'd better be sure to release the opinion AFTER 5:00pm. Not because of the stock market or anything stupid.. but because massive numbers of computer geeks would likely set fire to their systems and party like there was no tomorrow out in the streets. You thought the Lakers rioting was bad.. wait until you see 8000 angry penguins in time square! :D
  • X agrees with Y who disagrees with Z. Whatever. Argue the points on their merits or get lost.

    I will debate you until you hemorrage llamas from your ass that Microsoft has been, and continues to be a pernicious monopoly. They may have single-handedly set the industry back 10 years. Now, whether or not others will simply step up to continue to cause trouble, well, that's Murphy for you. But if the ruling comes down right, it will at least set a better tone for the future.

  • I'm beginning to think that it makes more sense for the case to be heard by the court of appeals. (See my user profile for plenty of opinions why it should go to the SC) The SC takes the summer off. They will be off from next week until the first Monday in October. The Appeals Court can get a lot of work done on this appeal between now and October. Conceivably, they can have a ruling to pass up to SCOTUS for review by October. It just seems like a more efficient use of time.

    Anomalous: inconsistent with or deviating from what is usual, normal, or expected
  • It depends. Often the dissenting Justices will write out their dissent, and sometimes members of the majority will in turn write a concurrence that responds to that dissent. Look at Callins v. Collins (1994), for example: the Supreme Court lifted a stay of execution "without comment", but Blackmun wrote a lengthy dissent (in which he admitted that the death penalty as applied is inconsistent with notions of due process) which was preceded by Scalia's fiery concurrence with the majority (which appears first by convention as a majority concurrence, although logically it would seem Blackmun's opinion should precede it, as Scalia's was entirely a rebuttal).

    It would surprise me if the Supreme Court turned away the case completely without a peep; the emotions on this one are just riding too high.
  • I don't think that Judge Jackson was actually doing this because he thought that it was such a "matter of national importance." I think it may have had something to do with the number of times appealate courts have reversed his descisions... I thought that the deadline for him to do this had passed?
  • That was a very helpful response - exactly what I was hoping for.

    I realize my own impression of the Appellate in that circuit is very vague. I'm glad there are /.'ers who understand it better than myself.

  • This is interesting, I was under the impression that PCs (x86 machines) were highly customizable in both hardware and software departments.

    I can choose from a variety of thousands of pieces of hardware to build my PC out of.

    I can disalow any form of remote logins. My privacy is as secure as I wish it to be.

    I can install any of the dozen operating systems available on the x86 platform.

    I had no idea Microsoft was denying me all of these options. I guess I was duped. Thanks for letting me know that I've been deluding myself all this time.
  • Flamebait?

    I am now certain that I have better places [] to spend time on, than slashdot.

    I'm out of here.

  • by MaximumBob ( 97339 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @12:02PM (#988257)
    Now let's hope they don't ruin the industry by splitting Microsoft up... after all, if it wasn't for them PC's would probably be pretty much non-existant.

    So what? Standard Oil was largely responsible for the advancement of the oil industry when it was broken up. Same with AT&T for the telephone industry. It's completely possible for a company to give an industry its start, and then use the position it gains from that to dominate that industry.

    Yes, MS helped create the PC industry. That doesn't mean that splitting them up now would ruin said industry. I believe what the court has found, to this point, is that they've been using illegal practices which HURT said industry.

  • Exactly, which is probably the best reason for the SC *not* to take the case. The entire motive for appealing to the SC is clearly not because of any importance of this particular case (as if the SC is going to be able to resolve this faster than an appellate court), but simply because the judge and DOJ fear a negative outcome in the appellate court. Regardless of what you think about MS, this is still a pretty straightforward antitrust lawsuit. The only reason it seem so earth shattering is because there have been so few such actions over the past couple decades.

    That sort of politicking is unworthy of second rate lawyers looking for friendly judges, much less the Supreme Court.

    You have to wonder how these slashdotters would feel if say Napster loses its case and the judge and plaintiffs attorneys tried to skip over the next level of appellate courts because of its past sympathy for Napster-style IP arguments, in favor of a higher court suspected of being far tougher on those who challenge the corporate hegemony. People would be having fits about how unfair the system is, but because it's the evil Microsoft, it's considered the only way to fly.
  • Americans are stupid, that's why they use Microsoft. But stupidity isn't illegal, and no law will make people smarter. It's just none of Uncle Sam's business.

    Spoken like someone who knows none of the issues, facts, or law.

  • The primary consideration of the Courts, however, will not be effiiciency of time, but rather the judge-made notion of "efficiency of judicial resources." The most likely theory to be considered by the Court is this: (1) If the Court is of the view that it is possible that a decision of the COA would finally dispose of the issue, they will probably remand. (2) If the Court is of the view that they would take the appeal regardless of what the COA decides, they will probably take it directly.

    Time will tell how they articulate their decision (or even if they will say why), but I betcha' that's how they make the call. And you will hear the mantra "judicial efficiency and interests of justice" somewhere therein.
  • Posted by 11223:

    First of all, I propose the banning of the tag "insightful" from this discussion. It's no longer possible to be insightful about Microsoft.

    Secondly, the Supreme Court has been (in all honesty) smoking crack lately. While I agree about 50% of the time with their decisions, their explanations are screwed up. The case about school prayer made reference to "protecting the first admendment" - but the first admendment makes no reference to seperation of church and state! It's as if they're just spewing blather instead of making a well-reasoned decision. I hate to see what's in store for the Microsoft ruling... mayhap Microsoft had a "1st admendment right" for this and they're protecting the "1st admendment?"

    Either that or Microsoft has been shipping them the 3$ crack in preperation for this ruling...

  • Earlier today, the House voted to rescind much of the DOJ's funding for its civil suit against the tobacco industry, prompting the DOJ to announce that if it did not receive the necessary funding, it would have no choice but to drop the tobacco case. The House reversed itself just moments ago and reinstated the funding [], but the message is clear: Congress is willing to set a precedent and inject itself into DOJ lawsuits and exercise a financial veto in politically unpopular ones.

    Albeit, Microsoft does supply much smaller amounts of political contributions/bribes, and the Microsoft case is much more progressed and would require less funding to continue (especially once it reaches the Supreme Court), but the implications are still scary, were members of Congress (especially from Washington) to wake up and realize what power they can hold over this affair.
  • by AntiPasto ( 168263 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @12:04PM (#988276) Journal
    and go to The Peoples' Court.


  • by Noer ( 85363 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @12:05PM (#988278)
    Microsoft's only 'revolution' was when it conned Seattle Computer Co. out of DOS and sold it to IBM. Absolutely, that revolutionized the industry by having a competitor to the Apple Computer that was more mass-marketable.

    On the other hand, since then, all MS has done is stomp all over other companies, buy some of them out, and call their products 'Microsoft Innovation.'

    If Microsoft truly competes on its merits, and makes both great apps and a great OS, then a split shouldn't hurt it. The only way in which a split will hurt it, is if it has in fact been basing most of its Windows apps on undocumented features of the Windows OS/APIs, thus wielding monopoly power unfairly and keeping competitors from standing a chance.

    So, if the breakup hurts MS, it's because MS was doing things it shouldn't have, and it couldn't survive in an environment in which it actually had to compete on its merits.

    Kinda like a leap of faith, eh??
  • by Shotgun ( 30919 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @02:49PM (#988279)
    Do people not recognize M$ behavior for what is really is? They're waiting, not for a change of political leadership, but for a change in technological leadership. It's been the same pattern they've used for years. You keep your enemy tied up until you bring out something different. You pooh-pooh the advantages of OS/2 VoiceType while frantically developing competing technology. You proclaim UNIX as too heavy, while working day and night to develop symbolic links.

    They're trying to use the same technique here. Every motion they put forth has a request for more time. Meanwhile they're trying to move everyone to a differenct platform that is not part of the case. Once they have leveraged their desktop monopoly into a server monopoly (where the money is at now anyway) they'll thumb their colective noses at the DOJ and laugh the tails off.

    Putting the case before the SC will get resolution while it still matter...before M$ can harm other areas of the industry.
  • > For the purposes of being an application platform, he correctly identified the browser as middleware.

    So I guess HTTP is forever divorced from the OS. But NFS and CIFS are by virtue of ... what, not being HTTP? ... that they can be used with mount(2). But with HTTP it's a "browser" and therefore it has a market that must be protected against the OS.

    Correct my ass.
  • I think the "Interesting" tag should also be banned.

    This is yet another pathetic attempt to increase my karma. ;-)

  • Since you are going through here basically just restating what people have just said, but only in a microsoft light, I will attempt to play this game with you while maintaining an OS neutral stance.

    Microsoft was punished because they aggressively attempted to eliminate the consumers right to freedom of choice. To Microsoft, interoperability and network communication means communication and interoperability with other microsoft products. They are not concerned with allowing other users, programs, applications etc.. to function with in their domain. It is not about which operating system is better (which seems to be your stance), it is about dominating and attempting to destroy a market (which is the DOJs stance).

    Since you don't seem to grasp this concept, and you apparently don't read court breifs, I have attempted to explain this to you. I realize that you are either:

    a) a pro microsoft person who doesn't see things any other way
    b) someone with nothing better to do than to attempt to ruffle the feathers of some known alternative OS supporters
    c) a troll who also has characteristics of b)

    but I feel it necessary to explain this to you since I also have nothing better to do right now, and you are annoying me with your blatant aggrivation.
    ------------------------------------ --------
  • I think a new mutant version of the "I know I'm going to get marked down for this" strategy has appeared.

    Oh well. I think the "troll" tag should be banned from this discussion.

  •'s called the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE []). Not only can plainly buy or short stocks (very boring), but there are also options. Options give you the right to buy (or sell) shares (the underlying) at a future date for a given price (the strike price). Your gain is the difference between market price and strike price. If the thing doesn't turn out in your favor, you just don't exercise the option, and you only lost the price of the option itself.


    January 2000 puts on Microsoft (MSQMJ) are currently priced at $3/4. You buy a package of 100 contract (which you pay $75). Suppose Microsoft gets slammed by the Supreme's (and that they are quick enough to be done until the third Friday in January...), and crash to $40. Your strike price will be $10 lower than the market price, so you pocket the difference: $1000. You just made $925 (the $1000 you made minus the $75 you paid for the options).

    If on the other hand it doesn't work out, and they'll hover around $55, it is not interesting to exercise (you'd lose $500 doing so). So you let your option simply expires worthlessly, and you just lost $75 rather than $575.

    N.B. In reality, options are actually rarely exercised. What really happens is that as soon as the market price falls below the strike price (for puts), they appreciate tremendously: in our example of Microsoft tanking to $40, the MSQMJ options would be worth $10/option, at which time you'd simply sell them.

    The big advantage of put options over short sells is that you can get no margin calls: i.e. you don't get into trouble if Microsoft climbs to $95 before crashing back to $40. Their disadvantage however, is that they do expire: so if for instance the court is slower than you expected, you lose.

  • Every human wants his 15 minutes of fame. The appellate court is no different. The judges on the court would welcome a landmark case which would make history (since the supreme court rejected it, its unlikely to get sent back to them again, IANAL disclaimer).
  • by divec ( 48748 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @04:39PM (#988299) Homepage
    Personally, I've found that this whole sham of a trial has greatly lessened my faith in the intelligence, circumpsectness, and wisdom of the judiciary.

    I challenge you to find one unambiguous hole in PJ's finding of fact. It was a monster document but I read it and couldn't find one place where its accuracy was inferior to Microsoft's proposed version.

    The remedy is more controversial, but that's partly the nature of the thing. Hindsight's easier than foresight.

  • No. The appeals court simply said they'ed take the case, and if they got it, all of the judges would hear the case rather than the three random ones which would be chosen. Since (presumably) more than half the judges in the appeals court have sided favorably with Microsoft in the past, this was viewed as a win for Microsoft. That way, there isn't a chance that the 3 random judges would be the 3 that dislike them.

    However, with Jackson's ruling, if the Supreme Court decides to take the case, the Appeals court gets completely by-passed, in the interest of speeding up resolution of the case before it adversely effects things like the economy, etc.
  • by hawk ( 1151 ) <> on Wednesday June 21, 2000 @06:33AM (#988311) Journal
    Switching to my professor of economics hat . . .

    Administrative costs are a *dis*economy of scale at that size, not an economy of scale. It costs *more* to run a single huge HR department than it does to run two pieces. Perhaps not a lot more (maybe only the single top manager), but the split causes efficiencies, not inefficiencies, in this area.

    If windows had competition (which, unfortunately, won't be caused by the remedies), it would cost half to a quarter what it costs now. The retail price of a machine would drop by $50 to $75.

    Office would likely drop in price as well, although I'm not as certain on that--it still faces some (but not a lot) fo pricing pressure from the vestigal competition.

  • by Zico ( 14255 )

    Please explain what you're talking about. Outlook says what it does and does what it says. If you get an email with a .vbs file in it, you have to first click the attachment icon, select the .vbs file, then a message pops up which reads, "WARNING: Web pages, executables, and other attachments may contain viruses or scripts that can be harmful to your computer. It is important to be certain that this file is from a trustworthy source. What would you like to do with this file? Open it | Save it to disk." How many hoops do you want the user to have to jump through, anyway? If they don't get the idea by that point, it's just too bad for them -- they're going to be just as susceptible to someone sending them an attachment and telling them to save it and run it from their hard drive.


  • I have NO love for Micro$oft. Linux is my OS of choice. I lurk on Slashdot enough each day my employer would get pissed if they caught on.

    "SO?" I hear you say.

    Even though I believe in Linux I think Micro$oft is entitled to due process. The DOJ is ram-roding this thing to the Supreame Court to resolve this during the current administration. Reno knows if the Republicans win in November Bush stands to appoint three Supreame Court Justices. Reno will also be out on her butt. Microsoft 's best chance is to try and run the clock on the Clinton.

    You are thinking "Just another reason to move this along as fast as possible!"

    If you want to endorse banana republic justice, then you're right. But the DOJ did not make a good case. That's the real reason they want to avoid the appeals process. As a Slashdot reader, you know how Linux, Unix, and Mac OS get jerked around by MS. How about OEMs? Kerberos. Samba. Come on, sing along. Caldera. Java. Instant Messaging. FUD. Fixed Mindcraft Benchmarking tests.

    We know there are real charges to be leveled at Microsoft, and DOJ made a case out of a free web browser. Microsoft deserves to be bitchslapped. But it should be for something real, not something Reno pulled out of her ass.

    I also hold the opinion that if there is anybody I trust less inside my CPU than Microsoft it's Uncle Sam. I see the door being opened up, no, make that being thrown wide open to regulation. As open source developers how do you feel about the concept of US government controls on Linux code? How do you feel about it over there in Finland?

    Maybe it would be fun to see Microsoft get carved into little pieces, but we need to be careful what we wish for.
  • Mac, so praised for the greateness of its UI [...] technically is even more behind than Windows.

    Remember that Microsoft got their monopoly position using Windows 3.x and only consolidated it with Windows 9x. You'd be hard-pressed to say that Windows 3.x was better than the best of the competition in any way apart from ubiquity of applications - and that happened because MS was big and already had a DOS monopoly to leverage.

    Microsoft cannot abandon their user base and start from scratch (like BeOS.)

    Yes they can. The only difference is that they'll have bad publicity and they'll be half a trillion dollars richer.

  • MacOS doesn't live up to the hype, but it's still better than windows, as primitive as it is. I can agree there are few credible threats on the consumer desktop. A few have come and gone. The issue that I made a point of highlighting is that good works in the space weren't even undertaken, or if they were, didn't reach a level of recognition necessary for their continued development - because they had no expectation of success against the monopoly.

    As for what Microsoft could have or should have done, allow me to suggest a commonly used architectural feature which allows the isolation of legacy code from a more modern core - the boxed-emulation strategy. Consider Wine as the outer limits of such an approach, and VMWare as the other extreme.

    In other words, take a good OS, support the legacy with an emulation layer, add Moore's law, and stir. If you do it properly, and there are plenty of examples one can point to of that being done, you win on both fronts. Microsoft could have done this three different ways by now. This is not rocket science. They simply had no incentive to try. Monopoly, after all.

  • by DaveWood ( 101146 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @02:56PM (#988334) Homepage
    Microsoft did not choose to compete by releasing superior products. There is little excuse for this as far as I can see; they had for all intents and purposes virtually unlimited resources.

    They did however, actively and willfully, attempt to ruin competitors with better alternatives to their own products, through a variety of "strategic acquisitions," lawsuits, deals with OEMs, chipmakers, and distributors, "feature copy jobs" released for free to bottom out markets, selectively concealed APIs, "embrace and extend" nonsense, and need I really go on? The trial is public record. So are their emails.

    The end result? 90% of the world runs Windows. Extremely unfortunate. Don't kid yourself for a minute that it's because it's a "better product." Anyone with any technical sense (let alone sufficient experience with the product) laughs bitterly when they hear this. Everyone knows it's a mess in there. /.'ers are (generally) technically savvy people and understand this easily. The public at large may not be so fortunate. Sadly, for a variety of reasons both legal, illegal, and unfortunate, they have not been exposed to any of the better alternatives that exist, to speak nothing of the ones which never existed, because of the way the "marketplace" has developed.

    Three kinds of people oppose this breakup:

    • Microsoft employees and stockholders (stupid, it will probably benefit them in the end)
    • Capitalist fundamentalist libertarians (we all know what circle of hell reactionary political thinkers go to)
    • And the lowliest of all, Microsoft propaganda victims (did I peg you with this one or what?)
  • What's troubling about hostility to religion? Freedom of religion means when I go to a state supported event, I won't be forced to endure any religious bullshit.

    Where do you get the idea that prayers at a (school sponsered, and tax money paid for) graduation or football game is NOT "establishment of religion"? Oh, is it because it happens to be your religion that's getting bitch slapped for crossing the line?

    Or are we playing the "the student was just making a speach, and the school couldn't have known what he would say". If the intent of the law is religious, it's illegal. The supreme court has been very consistent on this matter. It's not what is happening, it's whether was is happening because some BUREAUCRAT, ABUSING HIS POWER, was trying to ENTANGLE GOVERNMENT AND RELIGION. And the supreme court says, "no, you can't do that".

    Now, I agree that certain people on the supreme court are totally out to lunch, like the recent (4 judge) dissent that the feds had the authority to prosecute rapist on the grounds that it interferes with interstate commerce. They are clearly in the pocket of "it's our job to make sure everything works, just so long as we can work around the constitution".

    The difference between Pat Buchanan and Louis Farrakhan is that Buchanan's positions just seem to somehow end up as actual practice, while Farrakhan is ignored. We attack Buchanan because he is an actual danger. Farrakhan is just a nut in a bow tie.

    (let's see, is there anyone else I can offend...)
  • They will be off from next week until the first Monday in October

    Probably. There are two obstacles: (1) there are about a dozen and a half cases not yet handed down, so unless they're all handed down next week, the recess doesn't start until sometime in July (this isn't abnormal). (2) in *rare* cases the court meets in summer session --- as an example, see the Nixon tapes case.
  • I prefer "You're obviously an idiot so I must be right." It doesn't make friends of slashdot posters or federal judges, though.
  • Heh. That's too bad. Now we'll never hear from him again. :)
  • Imagine if Ford motors had established itself as a monopoly in the creation of cars, in the 20s would you just assume that chrysler couldn't create good cars,

    huh? Are you saying that chrysler can make good cars?
  • How is having school officials perform religious acts *not* constituting an 'establishment of religion', and how does it not deprive me of religious freedom?

    That's not what the case in question is about -- the case involved a school where a student, not a school official, would be selected by his or her peers, not the school officials, to make a pre-game statement of his or her own choosing on a topic of his or her own choosing.

    In addition to totally screwing up the establisment clause, the Court is engaging in prior restraint, becuase this is only a proposed policy that has not yet been put into action...


  • What's troubling about hostility to religion?

    Because a society that is constantly hostile to religion, particularly a specific religion, inevitably leads to religious persecution. Check your history.


  • include disclaimer.h:

    #I am not a lawyer

    When the matter is important, the SC can move quickly & decisively: witness their decision on the Watergate tapes in 1974, & made unanimously.

    My guess is that they will consider just how much time this will take, & whether they can clear their docket to hear it in 12 months or less. If they can't hear the case quickly, they'll kick it back to the Appellate Court.

    What'll be particularly interesting is if it is referred back with one or two dissents. These dissents will provide some clue of how the SC is thinking, & a wise lawyer will read them carefully to see how to proceed. I'm sure the Appellate Court will study them, since these statements will suggest to them how any decision they make will be upheld or overturned.

    Whether or not MS's lawyers study these dissents is an open question. So far they have not shown the insight to pick up on hints like these from the bench.

  • The hostility toward religion, especially Christian religions, in current society is troubling.

    Sorry, but this really burns me. I'm sure you're aware that there are people in the world who are being imprisoned and even executed for expressing their religious beliefs. And yet there are those in the United States (or, more generally, in the West) who have the unmitigated gall to claim that Christians are the target of persecution here. This, quite simply, is horrendously disrespectful to people who really are being persecuted for their religious beliefs.

    Sure, people express hostility towards Christianity. The obvious reason why there is more hostility towards Christianity is that it is the most dominant religion! Furthermore, many outspoken Christians tend to be unfortunately outspoken. You don't see Muslims and Hindus attacking biologists and attempting to turn the clock on science education back to the Bronze Age. You don't see sites such as "" Yes, I am aware that literalist creationists and Phelps-like hatemongers make up a very small percentage of those who claim to be "Christians", but certainly you must see how that one tiny brush can paint a bad image on the whole barn, particularly when those who do claim to be "mainstream" Christians are not particularly active in rebuking their more vociferous brethren.

    With regards to school prayer, I wonder what the life expectancy would be for somebody who got up in front of a football stadium in South Texas and loudly proclaimed: "There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is His prophet." Yes, I am aware that the standard counter-argument to this is that there are very few Muslims in South Texas, and that most of the people at the game are Christians, and therefore since the majority rules, it should be okay to have an institutionalized Christian prayer before the game.

    The problem with "majority rules" is the same problem with democracy in general: in and of itself, it can be a very dangerous thing. The founding fathers of America recognized this, and this is why we have a constitutional republic as our system of government. Democracy only works when it is fit into a system like this, because otherwise it degenerates to mob rule, and mob rule can quite often be very unsavory.

    As an example of this, there was recently a small Southern city whose population consisted largely of Christian conservatives. It was discovered that prostitutes were hanging out downtown. How did the city council deal with this? They passed a law forbidding women from wearing shorts after 6:00 PM (because obviously, any woman who would do such a thing is a whore.) And the funny thing is that the majority of the people in the city agreed with the law. Is this the kind of situation that we need on a regular basis?

    This is the whole reason we have a Constitution. It prevents things like this from taking place. The majority of the people might have agreed with the above theocratic law, but tyranny is tyranny. The Constitution establishes a framework -- a set of boundaries under which our democracy must operate. It has nothing to do with "the right to not be offended" or any other such rhetoric. The whole purpose is to prevent mob rule, sometimes referred to as "the tyranny of the majority."
  • Since when are schools parts of the Goverment?

    In California at least (and it may differ in your state), schools are run out of local districts whose governing bodies are elected (in elections paid for by the county government) with money given to them by the state (out of tax revenue collected by the counties and appropriated by the state), and children are required by state law to attend.

    Since they are wholly funded by the state and are run by elected officials selected in *exactly* the same manner as city councilmen and county supervisors, how are schools *not* part of the government?
  • by DaveWood ( 101146 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @12:10PM (#988368) Homepage
    What I question is why, and how, the Appellate court has repeatedly come down so heavily for the interests of Microsoft? Their track record on dealing with these issues is abyssmal, and from my layman's perspective, circumventing them seemed the only productive course the case could stay on.

    Jackson's opinions have, as I suspect for many people, reaffirmed my own faith in the intelligence, circumspectness, and wisdom of the judiciary. But of course that's not a universal condition.

    But does anyone know what the connection is? Why does the Appellate in this circumstance seem so firmly in MSFT's pocket?

  • I respect your respect, phutureboy, and pardon me for making light of your beliefs, but you've never been to the Soviet Union, and worse, I think you actually buy into the whole communist/anti-communist polemic, when the truth is far more subtle.

    Unfortunately, now you've got me started.

    For you to even suggest what we are "moving towards" is a "command economy" from what we've seen here is a pretty sad little knee-jerk. Have you've studied much history, let alone economics? Would you know what a command economy sounds like if you were getting spanked by one? Have you any idea the details of what Microsoft had to do to get themselves in the position they're in?

    Most of all, this irks me because monopoly law is so basic. The fact of the matter is, capitalism screws up. It's logical for it to be screwed up. It follows easily that consolidation of wealth and mergers across interests will progress until they become self-sustaining. The more consolidated a marketplace, the less incentive there is to compete, and the easier it becomes to fix prices, with or without explicit collaboration. In many situations it's possible to end up with a single dominant entity controlling an entire market, with barriers to entry which are too forbidding for anyone to challenge. In these cases, the only thing between you and economic, technical, and social stagnation is a well-organized democratic government. The state where competition benefits "consumers" is, in many industries, a transitory accident.

    Captialism is not a panacea. Nothing is, besides collective intelligence. Reactionary belief in capitalism as somehow stronger or more productive a force than democracy shows a failure to understand what makes trouble for democracy in the first place.

    The worst part is that you're sitting there on your Windows computer writing this. Hard-core, Reagan-era capitalism didn't give you a very good operating system, did it?

    What do I mean? Well, you go ahead and consider that question every time you crash and reboot. ("Oh, but I didn't crash all week!" Sigh...) No, really, think about it for a minute. Because since the late 1980's there has been no good reason for your computer to ever have crashed. Yes, it's really true. Ask around.

    For reference, BTW, it is now 2000. And if you want to know why it is we are now moving up on two decades of unnecessary crashing... I'll give you a hint... it's in one of my earlier messages...

  • What the judge understands is that loads and loads of damage has already been DONE- we basically don't have a software industry at this point, just a sick charade of one with the few remaining players dropping like flies.

    This is a conscious, intentional decision to allow MS to run totally amok until the last possible moment- forcing the hand of the Supreme Court, or even the appeals court if their opinion matters. It's giving them all the rope they want so they can hang themselves from the highest yardarm- hell, they just bought Bungie to pull the hotly anticipated game 'Halo' off the market for X-Box only. Does that sound like they are observing conduct remedies? They're digging themselves absurdly deep. I wonder what the end result will be.

    This is a strategic move and it's about _letting_ Microsoft commit more abuses- really shocking ones! so that the Supreme Court can have no possible course but to smash MS to hell, I devoutly hope with serious jail time for some of the high-ups. And frankly- what could it hurt? The industry is pretty much dead in a lot of important ways, letting MS dance over the corpses isn't hurting anything but our _feelings_ at this point. They'll get theirs- this clinches it. There will be no possible argument of 'but we aren't doing that anymore, this is ancient history!'.

  • by nahtanoj ( 96808 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @12:11PM (#988376)

    This is going to be good. The Court of Appeals has already accepted the MS appeal, but the Supreme Court could snub them for being too eager (they accepted in less than 24 hours) to take the case. Or, the Supreme Court could snub Jackson and the DoJ by refusing, or snub MS by saying its not worth their time. It would depend on how the refusal is worded. Or everyone could just read in whatever they want to think no matter how its worded. It happens all the time, I'm sure. I would think it would be in MS's best interest for the Supreme Court to take it on, but one can never be sure how things will turn out. I would bet that MS and their lawyers will not pull a single trick like they did in Jackson's court, and that they will be on their best behavior. I think that they tried to make Jackson rule as he did, and for the reasons he did (let's admit it, they were pretty rude in his court). Now, they will make him out to be prejudice against MS, and probably will pull it off. But will the Appeals court or Supreme Court buy it?



    MS Lawyer frantically writing down court strategy: Make Jackson out to be prejudiced against MS.

  • Simple answer, although you won't like it because

    it messes with your (simplistic) view of reality.

    Because Microsoft has been legally in the right.

    The appellate court is independant (after all there are 10 of them). While Jackson is not exactly a DOJ puppet, but he's so anti-ms that the result is the same as if he was.

  • It's an on-again-off-again bug.. I've told rob about it. It's a referential integrity issue in slashdot's database - namely a hiccup in the code allowed a second person to register "signal 11".. so now there are *literally* two signal 11's on slashdot. If you click on user info and get 7608, that will be me. If you get something like 23098 it'll be the new guy. I'm suspect of foul play, but rob's been alerted.

    Eh, for now, just use the UID in user info to see if it's me.. and kudos to whatever troll pulled that hack off...

  • by MindStalker ( 22827 ) <> on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @12:11PM (#988386) Journal
    They may have, but it doesn't matter. As an earlier poster pointed out, both Standard Oil and Ma Bell created their industries. But that didn't excuse them from being broken up, and it didn't hurt the economy to break them up. Imagine if Ford motors had established itself as a monopoly in the creation of cars, in the 20s would you just assume that chrysler couldn't create good cars, and allow ford to continue to monolpolise the industry. Or would you have broken them up??
  • by Busiris ( 172301 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @12:12PM (#988387)
    Good... It should go straight to the Supreme Court anyways. Bill will just keep apealing until it was up to the Supreme Court. Judge Jackson is just trying to shave off 5+ years of court cost to the public, most of which don't even care if M$ is a monopoly or not. It also reduces that time M$ has to lobby congress to get the case throw out of court completely (which congress has the power to do). Bill is tring to tell our Non-savy politicans that if the DOJ breaks up M$, it would be the end of IT inovation since THEY seem to think that they are the only company to produce *good* software. It's only a matter of time b4 our politicians step in and stop the trial because they are ignorent.
  • by Zico ( 14255 )

    They still boast about that all the time, and with good reason. And I'm sorry that Outlook is too easy to use for you, but some of us like our software that way, instead of having to jump through a million hoops just to get something simple done. Software should be a way to get things done efficiently, not an ordeal for users.

    And those two sentences above explain exactly why Microsoft enjoys such a commanding lead in the OS market, so much so that they're getting sued by jealous competitors over it.


  • I thought the US was associated with television and movies.

    On IRC, one man from Sweden put it to me like this: Thanks to US television, the average person in his country probably knows the US legal system better than their own! :-)
  • Quite a few actually, check out

    Maybe you should ask yourself why your operating system of choice isn't bundled with the laptop you want. It just might be because that's not what the majority of consumers want...

    Find me a ferrari with a chevy engine while you're pondering that.
  • Um, it's not informative to tell the Slashdot community that there is a bug in the system, and that their accounts may be spoofed next?

    Seems to me that some people like to rail against certain users, no matter how good the post may be. 'Karma Whore' is turning into another 'FUD' - a term so overused that it loses its intended meaning.

    Then again, I'm pry just karma whoring, right?

    - Jeff A. Campbell
    - VelociNews ( [])
  • Federal) Congress shall make no law..
    the states are left to do this. The federal government does not have jurisdiction here, the constitution states that items not listed here are left to the states.

    That *may* have been true once. But the SCOTUS has *clearly* stated, time and time again for almost half a century, that the guarantee in the 14th amendment that "no state shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law" *extends* various amendments to cover the states; the first is included in that list.

    The legal argument for this is reasonably sound, and is based upon things that were said in the debate over approval of the amendment (in Congress) and ratification (by the states).
  • "How are they hurting the industry now ?"

    Blackmailing distrubition companies (like Dell/Gateway) into not distributing software like Netscape or else they'll be charges a fortune for windows.

    Not opening their API to everyone so their other apps have an unfair advantage over any other company out there.

    That a start?

  • by Zico ( 14255 )

    The ILOVEYOU trojan wasn't autorun by Outlook. The user had to run the script manually. It's the same as if the email had said, "Save this file on your hard drive and run it!" It didn't exploit any security hole. Now, you earlier stated that they didn't release anything for it, but they actually did release a patch for Outlook to help discourage people from running any executable content that they receive via email. I and many others aren't bothering to install it because we already know not to execute unknown programs.

    Actually, IE didn't pass Netscape until after IE 5 came out, and plenty of people thought that IE 4 was better than Netscape anyway. I eagerly downloaded every Netscape beta from some point during the 2.x series up until the 4.01 version, when it became obvious how shoddy the product was, and ever since then, my Netscape downloads have been few and far between. Oracle and Access aren't comparable products -- did you mean SQL Server? -- and Oracle's still extremely strong on NT.

    Actually, my Win2K experience seems to be typical of everyone but Slashdotters, who seem to have these mysterious problems with the stability that other independent publications don't seem to have. It's been absolutely rock solid since even before the release of the final code.

    Win2K and SQL Server 2K beta currently hold the record, by a huge margin, in the TPC benchmarks, so it seems like they aren't doing too bad against the other vendors. I'll be interested in checking out the Win2K Datacenter Server, or whatever they end up calling it, when it's released, since I haven't had a chance to try it yet.

    And yes, you can go buy from another OEM. They are most definitely not making all OEMs do this (and actually, there's a good deal of speculation that the OEMs are the ones who wanted this policy instituted rather than Microsoft). Go check out the article from InfoWorld about the recovery CD debate. I don't have the link on me, but I think it comes up if you search for "recovery cd". I think TheRegister also had an article about it, but I haven't been able to find it in their archives for some time now.

    When did we start comparing uptimes? You brought up stability, so that's what I talked about. I don't consider a forced reboot to be the same as a crash, especially a Unix crash, and particularly a Linux crash where it's time to start dragging out the backup tapes if you're not lucky. As should have been clear by inference, my Solaris server has had a much better uptime than the Win2K or Linux boxes, since the crash was the only time it's been rebooted at all since I've owned it. The Win2K and Linux boxes have been about the same, between installing hotfixes and kernel patches and new hardware. If you doubt Win2K's stability, check out just about any non-Slashdot (or Slashdot-type, you know what kind of places I'm talking about here) source of information.


  • The findings of fact clearly established that certain Microsoft business practices are illegal. The restrictions that were to come into effect in 90 days directly addressed these illegal practices. Now while Microsoft drags the appeal process out for the next two years, companies like Corel will continue to suffer. As others pointed out, in two years the restrictions may be moot. I would say that the judge should reinstate the business practice restrictions immediately. In this case it is literally true that Justice postponed is justice denied.

  • by CoughDropAddict ( 40792 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @06:07PM (#988411) Homepage
    The current SC decision is awful in light of the fact that the majority ruled that because a student-elected speaker might choose to use the platform to do something even remotely religious. Of course, the speaker could also simply read a poem, talk about the environment, or make an impassioned speech about homosexual rights. In none of the other cases would the school have been held culpable for the words spoken by an individual. The school had no control over what the stuent would say, and could therefore not even be held to tacitly endorsing the student's viewpoint.

    The speaker could also make an impassioned speech about religion. No one's regulating what viewpoints can be expressed.

    However, leading in the practice of religion is entirely another matter.
  • What about the part where he defines the 'relevant market' that MS supposedly has a monopoly in?

    Seems fine to me. He looks at what MS sells and then looks at what could replace MS's product.
    • Server OSs. "Nope they cost too much".
    • Non-intel compatible PC OSs. "Nope, they'd have to buy a new computer, and even for people buying their computer now it would be expensive cos Mac hardware is specialist and costly." (But he says MS has a monopoly even if you include MacOS, cos it's a niche product)
    • Information appliances. "Nope, they're not powerful enough yet."
    • Network computers. "Nope, the market is tiny and immature, and there's network problems".

    Etc. It's as rigourous as something that hypothetical can be.
  • by luckykaa ( 134517 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @12:15PM (#988424)
    While I agree about 50% of the time with their decisions, their explanations are screwed up.

    Since generally about 50% of people will agree with the Supreme Court in any given case, I propose that this costly organisation is replaced by a coin which is tossed on any controversial issue. This will reduce costs dramatically, with a maximum initial setup cost of 25 cents.
  • Thank you. I couldn't have said it better myself.
  • How is it lawful for the SCOTUS to deprive a person the right to express religious speech freely in a public place? Isn't that a violation of a citizen's right to liberty and happiness? speech? Isn't this a case of the court stating what kind of speech is ok and what is not?

    The decision clearly does not deprive a person of the right to express religious speech freely. It prevents the state (ie., the school district) from selecting *one person* to express an opinion *representing the entire school*, said opinion reasonably expected to be religious, at an event paid for by the state (school district) as part of the normal conduct of the state (school district).

    It's the distinction between me asserting the right to read excerpts from the Tao in a public square (free) and me expecting to be able to read excerpts from the Tao over a loudspeaker paid for by a school at a school sporting event (not allowed); the latter constitutes a state establishment.

    I'm not denying that there's an inherent tension between the way the establishment clause is interpreted and the way the free exercise clause is interpreted: i wrote a paper in a constitutional law class which argued that the easiest way out is to abolish public schools. But, unless something that drastic is done, the SCOTUS has to thread a narrow path between two conflicting goals --- and, as far as I can tell, appears to be doing a reasonable job of it.
  • by DanBari ( 199529 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @12:15PM (#988428)
    To those that are avid Slashdot readers, I remember there being a story and mentioning that perhaps Microsoft could become incorporated in Canada and move headquarters there. I'm guessing that there's no way that they could open up a headquarters (the size of a McDonalds') in Canada that serves no actual purpose but so that they can do as they please. Think about it? How many companies are there in the United States that are little pieces of foreign companies?

    Let's face it, as much as Linux users, Mac Users and even those of us that dual boot using Windows don't like Microsoft at times ( for your life I've been blacklisted), but if Microsoft splits up a lot of businesses will be spending even more money on software that works less well and that doesn't interface that great. Sure you can bring up StarOffice. Absolutely free, great stuff, but at the same time it still has bugs here and there (I wonder if I'll get demoted to a worthless peon for that comment). "But dude, think about how many errors tehre are in Windows!" True, but until Linux starts taking part of the market share, I'm not seeing corporate America switching to StarOffice. Oh well, that's my two cents...
  • I'm getting sick of people like you saying "Yeah, maybe Microsoft has done some bad things, but it's OK because we've all used Windows for something useful at some point and they've done a lot to bring computers to the masses." Hello? That does not excuse them!

    Go read some of the court documents. Contrary to popular opinion, Judge Jackson clearly believes that Microsoft has made computers more accessible for the masses, has done a lot of good things, and been generally good for the economy. That's great. It doesn't change the fact that they have consistently, repeatedly, broken the law by illegally abusing their monopoly power to stifle innovation in the rest of the industry (and sometimes in different industries).

    Breaking up Microsoft isn't going to seriously hurt them. Jackson has been careful about that. All he's trying to do is get them to stop breaking the law. Unfortunately, there are a few issues that the DoJ didn't focus on; consequently, the Final Judgement won't stop Microsoft from abusing their monopoly power at all - rather, it will simply change the way in which Microsoft goes about it (tying everything into NGWS and leveraging that, instead of Windows).


  • by TheMeld ( 13880 ) <> on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @12:17PM (#988445) Homepage
    The separation of church and state is implicit in the 1st ammendment. The 1st ammendment guarantees not only freedom of speech, but the freedom to practice your own religion provided that you don't stomp on anybody else (so religions that practice mass murder don't get special exception from the laws of the land). Implicit in the freedom to practice your religion is the right to be free from other people forcing your religion on you. To put things that are particular to any religion or group of religions into a school or other government-sponsored setting is (for good reason) considered to be trampling the rights of the people who don't practice that religion. Hence the separation of church and state.
  • by Vicegrip ( 82853 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @12:30PM (#988474) Journal
    This is all about Microsoft trying to win a public relations battle. If Microsoft wins in the appelate court, it will give them leverage when they go looking for support in the crime capitol.

    Fundamentally, the issues here need to be decided on by the Supreme Court. Judge Jackson is quite correct in stating the public is not served by a proacted delay caused by one party hoping to stall long enough for the next elections. What are the issues? Does having sufficient market pull where you are able to and in fact do coherce your vendors into only using your product constitute an abusive monopoly? Is the government within its right, in such an event, to persue remedy in the courts? Nobody but the Supreme Court can properly address this.

    I also think if Microsoft truly thought there was merit to their case they would be glad to hit the mats quickly... no, what they want to do is win the public relations war and leverage the confusion inherent to elections to cause the issues to never get resolved.
  • by catseye_95051 ( 102231 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @12:35PM (#988510)

    Jackson already defined these things in his findings of fact and did a very good job. If you haven't read themand you'e inertested in this you should.

    To inadaquately sumamrize, he defiend three things: Operating system , Application and middleware. OS talks to the hardware, Applciatiosn talk to the user. Middleware lives in-between the applciation and the OS.

    For the purposes of being an application platform, he correctly identified the browser as middleware.

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"