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Microsoft

MS and the DOJ Return to the Ring 140

Johan Jonasson writes "ZDNet reports that the opening round in the appeals phase of the Microsoft case gets under way Monday, when the company is scheduled to fire the next salvos in its battle to prevent a breakup. In a 150-page document, the company will try to convince an appeals court to overturn a lower court ruling that would split the software giant into two parts."
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MS and the DOJ Return to the Ring

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  • by achurch ( 201270 ) on Sunday November 26, 2000 @01:14PM (#600539) Homepage

    ... the M$ antitrust lawsuit or the election?

    --
    BACKNEXTFINISHCANCEL

  • It says that part of their argument will be based on the fact that including IE with windows gave users "features unavailable to them in a non-Microsoft browser." And what pray tell would these features be?
  • It says that part of their argument will be based on the fact that including IE with windows gave users "features unavailable to them in a non-Microsoft browser." And what pray tell would these features be?

    My guess on this is that they're referring to Active Desktop. That comes with IE 4.01 SP2, although not IE 5.01/5.5 anymore (and IE 4.01SP2 is no longer available for download). You can still get it if you download the IE Administrators Kit and configure a custom install of IE though.

    It's really lame that you can't get this anymore - it is the only good part about being forced to use IE (or at least having it loaded all the time) and if you're using NT 4.0 Workstation the interface just plain sucks without Active Desktop. It's so convenient to be able to just type in an address when you're looknig at files and go straight to the web and vice-versa.
  • by LordNimon ( 85072 ) on Sunday November 26, 2000 @01:20PM (#600542)
    Innovation has died

    Someone please moderate the above post as Troll, because only a moron would think that the AT&T breakup was a bad thing. The only thing that has died was an illegal monopoly that overcharged for everything and didn't offer any new services.

    Here are some of the new technologies and products that have come out since the break up:

    • cell phones
    • caller ID
    • 5 cents/minute long distance
    • international calls that sound like they're from next door
    • the ability to choose which long distance company you want

    --

  • With the embarassing Presidential struggle under way, I think the Microsoft case is going to go largely unnoticed now.

    Is David Boies still involved with the appeals process regarding Microsoft? If so, I believe his roll will greatly diminish with so called "contests" being readied in Florida.

    My take...Microsoft comes out of the Court of Appeals just as they would like, and there is a President Bush Part 2.

  • Hard to answer, but M$ may argue that the software used to count votes in Florida poll is not Microsoft.

    --ricardo

  • by LordNimon ( 85072 ) on Sunday November 26, 2000 @01:25PM (#600546)
    The ability to have any Windows application use the browser like any other Windows API. I can create an app that includes a browser window as seemlessly as if I wrote the browser myself (well, as seemless as anything is in Windows).

    No third party has ever been able to create an API that's pervasive in Windows. Even OpenGL is nowhere near as popular as DirectX. By having the browser integrated into Windows, all Windows programmers can be assured that its API is available, regardless of what features the user installed or didn't install.

    I'm not saying that MS shouldn't be punished. From a pure technical point of view, they did nothing wrong. No, MS should be punished because of their underhanded schemes to keep competitors from gaining a foothold in the Windows market.
    --

  • The AT&T breakup was a bad thing.

    Here are some things that AT&T did:

    1)Built fucking loads of Telephone lines.
    2)Created Unix

    Created much of our modern telephone structure in the 70's
    3)Built some of the first computers.

    The things you mention were mostly pioneered in Europe, especially mobile phones. The frontier in the telecommunications industry now lies outwith America, in Europe and Japan.

    I bet if AT&T had never been broken up, America would still have the lead.

    KTB:Lover, Poet, Artiste, Aesthete, Programmer.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 26, 2000 @01:29PM (#600548)
    If it was a Linux antitrust case, we could have got twice as much argument in our favour in 35 pages. We have benchmarks to prove it.
  • From the Realdoll [realdoll.com] FAQ: Question: What if I don't fit with RealDoll's sex parts?
    REALDOLL's vaginal and anal cavities are made snug to accommodate any
    insertion. The silicone flesh is soft, slippery, and very elastic. Any
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    REALDOLL's oral cavity contains soft silicone tongue and teeth. The
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    cavities allow deep insertions.
  • Troll? You don't have to be an anti-Microsoft zealot to realize that Microsoft only became a significant player long *after* home computers were common. Really, DOS/Windows machines weren't popular in the home until the early '90s, although they certainly were popular in offices earlier. Apple and Commodore were much more significant in establishing the home computer market.
  • That's it.I'm moving to Alaska.
  • By my count, it should be at least five parts: Operating Systems, Office Applications, Internet Applications, Hardware, and misc.
  • What's wrong with having lots of telephones to give you connectivity options? If you run a home-based business, you'll probably need more than two phone lines into the house (personal calls, business calls, fax, internet, etc). This used to cost an arm and a leg under the old AT&T. Today, I can get additional lines for about $15/month each. Or I can do it via ISDN.

    True, no one will really know whether these products and/or low prices would be available today if AT&T were never broken up, but I seriously doubt they would be - especially the prices.

    And for that matter, what's wrong with Unix? It is the OS that powers the Internet, you know!
    --

  • Microsoft's effects on innovation have largely been exaggerated by both Microsoft and by the main stream press. Windows 3.1 was a major innovation; Windows 95 was a major innovation in the interface. However, Windows 98 shows that their innovation has largely petered out. Windows 2000 is NT 5.0 repackaged with again minor changes and improvements. Look at ME and you will find exactly the same thing. Microsoft's response to innovation has usually been to buy up the competition.

    Linux, BEOS, Free BSD, even OS And the other up and coming operating systems have done more to foster innovation by forcing Microsoft to adapt and break the fossilization that in the end takes large companies and stops the innovation which made them so successful take .net for example.

    The linux window managers and the linux app programmers need to standardize the interface so that most if not all linux programs have a semi consistent look and feel. This is the one area Microsoft has been stomping linux. We can win the individual battles but without doing this we will loose the war in the end.

    The next area Linux OS's needs to head is new protocols and new methods of accessing net services. This will insure that Linux maintains the edge that draws power users to it in droves.
  • Its called lynx. Damn fast and rock solid. Admittedly if you want support for new fangled rubbish like tables and images then I'll grudgingly conced that IE and Netscape have the edge.
  • he was pointing out the _good_ things at&t did.

    use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that
  • Remember, however, that they also created C. C is a terrible language, bested in its obscurity and security flaws only by Perl.

    I can't wait until Kylix comes out, then there will be real development tools for linux.
    ---

  • The full Windows API to Deleveloper. Yes even the infamous undocumented API and make it easier for 3rd party deleveloper to create a apps that take advantage of the FULL capality of windows. This would be a worse punishment for Microsoft than a break up in my opinion.
  • by mindstrm ( 20013 ) on Sunday November 26, 2000 @01:38PM (#600559)
    Innovation did not die. Look at what we have now. It got better.

    MS is not *responsible* for the acceptance of computers into the home.. that would have happened *anyway*, as technology progressed. MS just leveraged it so they would appear to be the sole player.

    And this is *not* about the 'Linux' community, it is about antitrust law.

    And this will stand as an example to all corporations who think they are above the law.
  • Just a shot in the dark here... a browser that actually works?
    ---
  • I bet that the Redmond boys were certain they would at least know by now whether they were appealing to Bush or Gore. I feel certain they still hope it will be Bush..... but would they be playing this case differently depending on this (Bush wins = look at the money we bring in, Gore wins = we are behaving, it is all behind us, we are sorry, breaking up is baa aa ad M'Kay)?
  • You seem to be counting innovation as "changes relative to earlier MS OS products".

    Some of us seem to recall there being a consumer OS that provided a GUI interface having been available from a company other than MS since, oh, 1984.

  • Much of the new tech took place outside the US During the eighties when we were obsessed with buying other companies, not improving our technology. the Japanese and Euros were building new machines and technologies during that time.

    We put ourselves deep in debt during this feeding frenzy, sapping the R&D departments. Instead of putting money into pure research, Reagan put money into tax breaks for the wealthiest, and for weapons systems that the military didn't want or need.

    The Break up of AT&T gave a lot of people a chance to enter the market.

    Look at what has happened because of the DOJ. Do you think that MS would have allowed Linux, or the Mac exist if there was no case. Do you think there would still be a BeOS if the case had not been brought.

    It appears that Bush will be president. This means the case will probably be dropped. Bush's campaign advisor was Ralph Reed, lobbyist for MS. Gates gave over 3.5 million to the Bush campaign.

  • by EricEldred ( 175470 ) on Sunday November 26, 2000 @01:39PM (#600564) Homepage

    The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has set up a web page [uscourts.gov] for No. 00-5212, United States v. Microsoft, and No. 00-5213, New York, et al. v. Microsoft. The page includes a schedule and court documents.

    In addition, you can join an official mailing list [uscourts.gov] to be notified of submission of new pleadings or court orders.

    According to James Grimaldi of The Washington Post [washingtonpost.com], Microsoft intends to target District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson in its 150-page appeal Monday. Others predict it is a distraction to demand recusal for Jackson's comments to news media, released after his decision.

    As I mentioned in discussing another /. topic, the D.C. Circuit Court judges are exceptionally savvy about technology, and are equipped with Apple Powerbooks. Unfortunately, however, it appears that some of the judges on the panel will have to recuse themselves because they were Justice Department employees before becoming judges--and those judges had considerable antitrust experience, in contrast to the remaining judges.

    Let's hope that the current popularity among some "pundits" to bash the judiciary does not carry over to politicizing and weakening the verdict all of us need in this case in order to carry out business in this new era.

  • If M$ is not split, things will remain as they are. If M$ is split, then all the stock should split as well. Anyone holding a share of M$FT will receive a share of stock in the companies that form as a result of the split. Gates does own stock in his company, and thus will become even more rich after the split.
  • Oops!

    This is one of those times I wish I could moderate my own posts down. I also wish "stupid" was a moderation option.

    Please completely disregard my previous post. However, I do want to add that just because a company does some good things, it doesn't mean that their bad things should be ignored. Should a doctor who saves lives every day be allowed to get away with the occasional murder?
    --

  • I don't really care. I'm just looking forward to seeing more of David Boies.

    His incisive analysis of the election returns has kept me on the edge of my seat. The idea that we'll get to see him again in the M$ antitrust lawsuit is just icing on the cake.
  • That's where Linux and Nokia come from.

    (BTW, what's "outwith"? I know "outwit"...)

  • i suppose they mean active x, i love you worm and all the security holes...

    remember, not bugs, features
  • Not at all, I was speaking of what the average end user sees as innovation. I use my linux and love it to death. However, the IT professionals can love linux all you want however without gains in the desktop OS market you will find that linux will eventually be swept to the side more than it is now. The desktop is the battlefield where the OS war will be won and linux has a long march ahead of it before we can come close to victory.
  • Actually, it's a common myth that AT&T built our telephone structure. If you look back at the early history of telephones in America, you'll see that there were literally hundreds of different companies that built the infrastructure and offered services to various parts of the country. All AT&T did was leverage their dominance to swallow up these smaller competitors until they owned nearly the entire national telephone grid (note: a few of the early AT&T competitors resisted and still exist as small regional telecom operations today). At the same time they were buying out, or crushing, their competitors, they also got some effective legal protections in place to secure their monopoly (like having municipalities pass ordinances specifying that only one telephone line could be strung on municipal poles, and AT&T maintaining an iron grip on those lines).

    I'd also like to point out that the Internet probably wouldn't exist in its current form if AT&T had remained whole. Much of the modern Internets resilience comes from the fact that packet traffic is routed through multiple fiber backbones from multiple providers. Those providers simply wouldn't exist if AT&T had retained its monopoly. And do you think AT&T, a single profit driven corporation, would have installed multiple backbones to keep the network running well? Heck no, they would have gone with the cheapest option available. It's also likely that AT&T would have tried to exploit the Internet boom by instituting fees and rates to increase their profits. Higher Internet access costs would have muffled the growth of the Internet, and would have likely dampened our long economic growth period.

    And you think breaking them up was a bad thing?
  • The problem with Microsoft's brand of "innovation" up until now is that it's been too centered on desktop applications to really have an effect on the mindshare of the actual community that supports innovation itself. The are trying to make up for that with their new .NET approach, trying to incentivize distributed applications in order to aggregate back-end e-tailers and architect visionary technologies, but it might indeed be too late. Some of the top technology in the world, in the near future, will be made up for cross-platform and internet technology-based products such as Python language, Java language, Amiga Tao Elate Virtual Processor, etc. The only thing Microsoft has really done well is realize that they needed to target visionary partnerships early on, partnering with IBM and Intel early on, and overtaking them later. But that was then, this is now - it's a whole new ballgame. Now, they must either change their focus and start trying to e-enable enterprise e-commerce and iterate cutting-edge applications, or they will surely not be able to redistribute their current mindshare effectively or even grow their enterprise marketshare beyond a percentage of their competitors fractional increases.

  • No ... but I think there is a Cue:Cat one...
  • Rumor has it you can see a lot more of David Boies if you follow alt.binaries.pictures.nude.lawyers [pictures.nude.lawyers].
  • Yeah this Christmas at a cinema near you "The Fellowship of the Ring"

    Starring:

    Bill Gates as Sauron
    Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson as Gandalf
    Association for Competitive Technology as misc Orcs and Wargs.
    AOL as Saruman
  • I see. And what innovations 'died'?

  • The Microsoft Internet Explorer is the only browser that shows the full range of the Microsoft Standard Code for Information Interchange characters. Other browsers either show the smart quotes as ? or not at all.
  • Wow! You're such an insightful, informative, funny guy! So basically by your count, no company would be allowed to make more than one type of product. Corel makes Wordperfect and Corel Linux? Split them up! Adobe makes photo manipulation products and document creation products? Split them up! Yamaha makes tennis raquettes and motorbikes? You guessed it, split them up!

    jackass.

  • Why is it that nearly all of the population believe that stock splits will make them rich? To set the record straight, when a stock splits under normal (non break-up) circumstances, a shareholder gets more shares, but the price decreases by a proportional amount. The market capitalization of the company stays the same. No money is automagically created. Nobody gets rich. For example, if a stock splits 2 for 1, you will end up with twice as many shares, but they will be worth half as much. This is not rocket science. A company generally splits their stock to get the share price from getting too high. This implies that the share price has risen significantly. THIS IS WHERE THE MONEY IS MADE. If a company splits up, then a stockholder will get shares in the two (or more) separate entities. But to illustrate the power of stupid people in large quantities - there are entire investment strategies based on stock splits. Since most ignorant people out there will buy a stock based solely on a stock split announcement, investment teams often target these stocks and invest in them before the annoucement and then pawn them off to the idiots after the announcement. But to clarify - making money in the stock market requires that the market capitalization of the company needs to change and stock splits do not affect this.
  • A consistant interface keeps comming up as an issue. It IS NOT so big an issue as people keep pointing out. So buttons between motif, gtk and kde apps dont look EXACTLY the same; buttons are buttons. I can see the difficulty in using TOTALLY different metaphores, and especially in using slightly different ones, as the subtle differences would be hard to pick up all of the time. It's a little bit of an inconvenience to apply themes to kde and gnome seperately, etc, but, it's not THAT bad, and there are tools to do it for you.

    The problem is more with overwhelming users - most users have to install from scratch (linux isnt shipped with many boxes) and are presented with more information than they think they need during installation and setup. This greater amount of information makes linux LOOK harder.
  • by rjh ( 40933 ) <rjh@sixdemonbag.org> on Sunday November 26, 2000 @02:08PM (#600581)
    First off, one thing to remember about appellate judges. They're extremely busy people, with very little time to waste. If you want to score points with an appellate judge, the way you do it is to keep your arguments clear, concise, and realistic. If there were three "real errors" in your trial and another twelve "didn't affect the outcome, but still wrong", ignore the twelve and focus on the three.

    If you put all fifteen in your brief and force the judges to figure out, on their own, that three of the issues were worthwhile and the other twelve was just attorney ego-stroking, don't be surprised if Los Federales take a very dim view of you.

    Microsoft lost in trial court, but they wouldn't have lost as badly if they hadn't committed the cardinal sin of pissing off the judge. You can get past any legal hurdle in any courtroom except that one.

    With a 150-page legal brief, which the appellate judges will have to examine point-by-point in their opinion, Microsoft is guaranteeing to make a lot of judges on the appellate bench unhappy, too.

    Were I Microsoft, I'd have focused on only a handful of issues (and maybe made a token attempt at discrediting James Allchin, since he turned out to be Boies' best witness). I sure as hell wouldn't go about writing a 150-page monster which is guaranteed to make me enemies of the judges before I ever set foot in their courtroom for oral arguments.
  • that the court's web page is running IIS
  • When and if Yamaha starts using their tennis raquette business to get an illegal leverage on the motorbike business, yes they SHOULD be split.

    Remember, Microsoft wasn't convicted for being a monopoly, they were found guilty of using ILLEGAL practices in order to obtain a monopoly. It's not wrong to be a monopoly, but it's wrong to be illegal, get it?

  • Bush will be president and he is in the pocket of Microsoft.

    The case will be dropped, the Justice department will not enforce anti trust laws. This is the GOP style.

    Judging from this question on a Harris poll I took last week, MS is charging full speed ahead.

    "If Microsoft developed and released a new Windows operating system next year for personal computers (including Apple), what is the likelihood that
    you would want to buy it, either as a new installation or an upgrade?"


    I would think that this is why they bought into Corel, and why Corel is considering selling its Linux department.
  • by rjh ( 40933 ) <rjh@sixdemonbag.org> on Sunday November 26, 2000 @02:25PM (#600585)
    First, you aren't allowed to introduce new evidence at the appellate level (except in extremely unusual circumstances). There's no new testimony allowed, there's no new evidence allowed. All you're allowed to argue on is the court record.

    Microsoft had plenty of opportunity to show "features unavailable to them in a non-Microsoft browser". The reality of it is, not only did they not show this, their own witness discredited this claim.

    James Allchin's direct testimony (submitted in written form) claimed that customers benefitted from the integration of browser and OS in ways which were not possible with the products being separate. He had seventeen or eighteen points which he hammered on.

    When Boies cross-examined Allchin, Boies went step-by-step through Allchin's direct testimony and asked him if those exact same benefits couldn't be obtained by downloading IE 4.0 as a separate product and installing it on Win95/B.

    On every single claim, Allchin was forced to admit that "correct, the integration offers no advantage in this case".

    Boies' cross of Allchin ought to do in the Litigants' Hall of Fame. Allchin was bloodily eviscerated on the witness stand, and Microsoft's strongest witness turned out to be the strongest witness, all right... strongest PLAINTIFF'S witness.

    They might argue that IE/Win is beneficial to the users, but the court record shows MS's own witness admitting, seventeen times, that the integration conferred no benefit.

    In other words, they're just putting that argument in there to look good. I'd expect the appellate judges to come down pretty harshly on them for it.

    Another thing to keep in mind--the last time the appellate bench overruled Jackson, they said that tying products together was lawful as long as it conferred a benefit to the consumer. Most people don't remember that; all they remember is "they said the `integration' was okay". Microsoft is apparently depending on the appellate court to say that integration is always okay.

    But if the appellate court holds to their earlier opinion, Microsoft is in a hell of a lot of hot water.
  • Linux, BEOS, Free BSD, even OS And the other up and coming operating systems have done more to foster innovation by forcing Microsoft to adapt and break the fossilization that in the end takes large companies and stops the innovation which made them so successful take .net for example.


    Perhaps they can force Microsoft to innovate more by providing competition, and perhaps BeOS has some innovative features, but on the whole I don't see how you can criticize Microsoft for not being innovative and then support Linux. Linux is, and was intended to be, a free reimplementation of UNIX. A reimplementation with some minor tuning is hardly "innovation." A few days ago I saw a friend's Red Hat 7 system, and this was even less innovative - the Gnome desktop it booted to looked exactly like Windows 95. Every window has the minimize/maximize/close icons in the top/right corner (a GUI feature stolen from Windows 95 - Mac OS and even Windows 3.1 didn't have these icons, so it's obvious that Linux here is attempting to copy Windows 95). There's even a goddamn Start menu, another feature unique to Windows 95 which has been "borrowed" by Linux.
  • AT&T *WON* their antitrust suit. They broke up voluntarily.

    Please get your facts straight.
  • Right on, brother! My ideal Linux distro would have only Kde, only ONE mail client and news reader, etc.

    When one has to choose between pine, mutt, and so many other options, and, in the end, uses Netscape as the mail and news client, installation looks much harder than it really is.

  • by CAIMLAS ( 41445 ) on Sunday November 26, 2000 @02:29PM (#600589) Homepage
    Let's see. Just to rehash the monopoly that MS holds, and how greatly they've pushed out competitors by mundling everything with Windows:

    DirectX - people devel for DX, thus games don't get developed for OGL, and we Linux users don't get a port, since one would take a total conversion of the engine.
    Office - 'if you don't use the latest version, you can't read anybody's documents, and they can't read your's. This also crushes presentation software, site design software, and most other 'productivity' software, since if people have something that 'does the job,' they generally aren't willing to shell out money for another program that does something similar, even if it does it better. Not many people get office for much more than being able to read those horrid Word documents, but use all the other parts of it, because they would rather not pay more money. (Possibly why MS hiked the price of MS Office /again/?)
    Browser - this has already been overly stated.
    SMB - constantly mutating the protocol.
    Media - Windows Media Player. Crappy product at it's most recent release, and comes bundled and installed.
    Utilities - a miriad of utilities that have increased in abundance since the Dark Beginning of Windows, which have over time decreased the demand for other company's products, such as defrag tools, editors, etc.
    Games - MS has a fairly large collection of relatively popular games on the market.
    Servers - all their lovely servers which constantly change protocols, requiring the latest OS or software package from MS in order for them to work properly together. Never mind that they're inferior server products and cost a lot more - businesses 'need' them because they offer new 'features' which other programs are cross dependant on. Upgrade the server, you have to upgrade the client.
    Email - everyone using windows has either OE or Outlook that comes w/ Office. Lovely, formatted email that nobody else can read without having to search through the message for meaningful content. Nevermind the address books, etc, that go alongside the Exchange server.

    There you have it. They have a very strong presence in every major computer software market: productivity, games, media, internet, and email. Granted, these things are 'given away' mostly for free, such as Media Player, but my goodness... like you haven't already pawned your soul for the OS and it's license.

    -------
    CAIMLAS

  • No points for second place, please play again
  • I think this applies to Win2K as well, but in ME, you right click on the desktop, go to 'Active Desktop' and then 'Show Web Content'

    ------------
    CitizenC
    My name is not 'nospam,' but 'citizenc'.
  • Huh, you are getting ripped. For $12k you could do so much better then a Cobra (especially the 93 model).

    Did you buy it on EBay??

  • I'd agree that Win98, Win98SE and WinME are not exactly stellar
    advances on Win95, but you're being unfair about Win2k: it offers a
    lot of important improvements over NT4 (eg. long uptimes, improved
    scripting and remote administration, much improved security features
    in the registry, rebootless device changes). Win2k is a plausible
    server OS, a claim I don't think was true of NT4.
  • Should a doctor who saves lives every day be allowed to get away with the occasional murder?

    Haven't been to a hospital lately have you?

  • If you want some idea of what things migh have been like with a monolithic telecoms system have a good laugh at the situation here in the UK.
    Despite the so-called de-regulation (and the BT fan club known as Oftel) BT still have that vital control over the local loop and are fighting tooth and nail not to let anyone else get access to it.
    The cheapest ISDN rental I can get works out at over 40USD per month - and don't forget there are NO free/unmetered calls with BT. This is changing in areas where you are lucky enough to have a one of the cable companies that is any good.
    The ISDN prices are high to protect leased line revenue, and ADSL is being rolled out as slowly as possible to protect ISDN revenue. I don't know that this is BT policy, but it is a reasonable conclussion.

    I may eventually get ADSL for about 65USD per month - 512/256k if I'm lucky - but there is no SLA so I will be expected to pay even when there is no service - right, I should think so.
    ----

  • You are so right, I remember all my Aunts and Uncles having VIC-20's or Tandy's in the house growing up.

    That cassette tape used to really piss me off, just when I had memorized the tracking number (whatever you call the odometer like thing that would track where on the tape you where), that little bastard brother of mine would reset it. NUTS!!!!

  • I would like to see the Linux community achieve victory on a fair and square basis, not by legal trickery.

    Uh, I don't think the "Linux bunch" is behind the trial here. You could make a very tenuous point that this suit was brought against M$ by Netscape, AOL or Sun, but the fact is, the US Gov't had been eyeing M$ for some time and those companies just fueled their fire.
  • Consider the five years from 1990 to 1995, against the five years 1995-2000. You will see MS's innovation sans competition.

    In the earlier stage, MS-DOS, DR-DOS, OS/2 and whatever were slogging it out for the Desktop, and WP, Amipro and Word were slugging out the word processors, we had companies listening to the users.

    In the period from 1995-2000, we have "clippit", the annoying paper clip, and a word processor that is unable to deal with any damage in a document. Take an RTF document, and remove the last brace - then open it in Word!.

    The whole browser thing is misrepresented. Mosaic was free. Netscape, whatever one says of it, made a market by selling a browser plus addins. It got 80% of the market against free and shareware browsers. This is a genuine innovation.

    Microsoft made and sold a "browser plus" called IE, but when it looked like they were not going to compete against Netscape, they used their OS monopoly to drive NS out of the market.

    An OS includes toys as follows.

    • Things designed not to be replaced. These are good things, because the users ought not be discontented with what's on offer.
    • Things designed to be replaced. You can see from 'pbrush' or 'write' if you want to do pictures or write words, but they're not mainstream graphic or word processors. If you want thes go an get a real graphics or word processor.

    MS included a program not intended to be replaced, and therefore intended to kill off the market.

    OS/2's net browser is advertised as an on-ramp to the information super highway - but if you want to drive around on it, go get a real browser. Web Explorer can be used something serious.

  • How likely do folks think that this will go to the Supreme Court? The
    case will only be heard if the Supreme Court decides to hear it, and
    they decided not to hear it earlier. My guess is that if the appeal
    court largely agrees with Jackson's legal judgement, then they will
    not examine the case, in which case we can expect the case to be
    finished by summer next year. Opinions?
  • I think Microsoft should look on the good side of all this.

    Look at previous split-up companies in the US. AT&T ("Ma Bell" herself) was a lumbering hulk before it was split - since then it has (or rather its various children have) gone from strength to strength.

    IBM almost underwent the same process in the early 1980s, and perhaps the split HAD taken place they would have avoided such spectacular failure in the early 1990s. Only in the last 5 years have they really turned things around again, ironically employing the same compartmentalisation techniques that a DOJ-enforced split would have imposed.

    Now, Microsoft are a hugely successful company. But they're getting very big, and they are at just the stage where management and red tape begin to take their toll on good business sense and keen research and development. Indeed, according to inside reports they themselves are beginning to realise their own fallibility (especially after a couple of high-profile squibs in the last few years).

    Perhaps therefore the DOJ split would do Microsoft a power of good, in a business sense. Whether or not this is good news for Slashdot readers remains to be seen. :-)
  • Go away Pip, no one likes you
  • As a Microsoft admin and dabbler of Linux (MD7.2), why is it all linux sites look the same? I mean it's like whatever program being used only has three themes to apply to the pages?
  • I thought all the Supreme Court really said was they were gonna let this case take the same path that almost all other cases would, instead of letting the DOJ skip a step in the procecution.

    <FLAME>Maybe to let M$ hang themselves a little more?</FLAME>
  • Windows 2000 is NT 5.0 repackaged with again minor changes and improvements

    Windows 2000 is NT5 you dumbass. And it is hardly just NT4.0 repackaged. It is a massive upgrade.

    And what about .NET? Beta 1 is freely available for download from MSDN [microsoft.com].
  • The reason Europe and Japan have the lead in mobile phones is that the area to cover is FAR smaller than the U.S. You cover more population with less investment.

    Go read up on how BT is doing. That's the UK's monopoly telephone service. Guess what, they're just starting to put out DSL. Why? Not as much profit as ISDN. Oh, don't forget the "no free local calls" bit. My first phone bill over there was 600$, 90% local calls!

    Duh, of COURSE AT&T built most of the modern telephone structre in the 70's. Who else do you think would do it? Dunkin Dounuts?

    Later
    ErikZ
  • In all these M$ v/s DOJ, we seem to forget who is the real winner here by including a browser with the OS. Solaris does it with their HotJava browser. Linux does it with Netscape. Irix does it with Netscape. So why is it strange that when Microsoft try to ship their own browser with their OS everybody jumps 50 feet high? The truth is, may be most of the /. users would rather use Netscape. Good choice. But we seem to forget that 90% of Windows users out there (think about the +40 age group or the not-so-computer-savy user out there) would rather simply switch on their computer and surf the net, without having to do anything. It's already terrifying for them to even switch on the damn box, let alone removing IE and installing NS. That's what I always do anyway. I want a browser independent of the OS. But that's my choice. Most people just want a browser that works. Now what is disturbing is the fact that whenever you buy a PC you get M$ Windows automatically with it. Hopefully things are starting to change and we are today seeing the major PC manufacturers offering Linux as a viable alternative OS. So what's the point? M$ stand a good chance of walking away a clear winner. Consider the # of browsers currently available for Linux. Now that OSS is clearly being made more public, more and more people are aware of better alternative out there. Besides, the software landscape 5 years ago (whenever the initial suit was established) has changeg so much that will the case still stand on its 2 feet? Oracle software is run on the major intnernet sites, and Sun hardware obviously own the market on the hardware side. Shall we break Oracle too? What about Sun? Today M$ stand against much more competition that ever. Linux is growing leaps and bounds every single day. Star Office is turning out to be a wonderful replacement for M$ Office. Netscape will always be the browser of choice for Linux/Unix users alike. Do we still think that M$ still holds a monopoly and is worth breaking up? AOL should definitely be on the list.
    --
  • Or is the whole town assembly composed of unix aldermen?
  • I am using a Windows 2000 machine

    You see, you are using a machine compatible with the MSCII (Microsoft Standard for Information Interchange) standard, so you shouldn't worry. It's those lamers that use systems complying with the ISO (International Standards Organization) standards that should worry. There's nothing wrong with your step, my dear, it's the band that has been playing out of rhythm...

  • Linux Torvalds isn't even of Finnish ancestory. He's an ethnic Swede.

    So am I. But I'm Finnish nevertheless. Do you think ethnic British people born in the USA aren't Gringos?

  • Yeah, my dad was a gear head too. If you want to see some pics, shoot me an email and I will send you the URL.
  • no, you're wrong. being a monopoly is illegal.
  • Yeah that's right, I wait until the conditions are the worst before I go road racing on the highway. Lets face it, it just isn't fun any other way.

    Let me guess, you live in the south

    (See you in hell, I'll be the one kicking your bitch ass)

    Besides, the summers are more fun anyway, I can ride wheelies between traffic

  • Go classic

    What advice could be better than this? I once saw a '65 Shelby Cobra 427 parked in the street in front of my building. I stood there watching it, until the owner came out and wondered if I was gay. Nothing beats the deep bass rumble of a 60's generation "7 liter" muscle car...

  • ...the Mission Statement Generator on the Dilbert webpage. I haven't seen that many buzzwords together in one place in I don't know how long.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I thought they stole it from Apple
  • She refused to extend the turnin deadline at the request of Palm Beach County; the county had not completed its recount by 5 p.m. EST today, which was the deadline set by the Florida Supreme Court when it ruled for Gore last week. Palm Beach's hand recount updates were, therefore, not included in the final Florida tally, but a running total showed Gore having picked up only fifty-odd votes there.

    There are still plenty of issues outstanding, though:

    • The United States Supreme Court hears the case about hand recounts on Friday; they could rule that the deadline be extended and Palm Beach be allowed to continue counting, they could rule that the hand recounts as performed were illegal, or they could affirm the Florida high court's decision. (I personally think the last is their most likely course; elections are traditionally the jurisdiction of the states.)
    • There are still legal cases brewing about the confusing "butterfly ballots" which probably caused several thousand elderly Palm Beach residents to cast their vote for Buchanan, when they likely intended to vote for Gore. This case is a wild card; a liberal ruling here could well tip the election to Gore.
    • Gore's campaign can (and probably will) officially contest the election in Florida. The reason the Supreme Court set the cutoff date for hand recounts so early was to give the contesting procedure time to go through. They've got several angles to go by here, including the Palm Beach deadline and the decision by Miami/Dade to stop recounting.
  • No, she ended up certifying the results that the Palm Beach County board sent her on November 14th. I kinda felt bad for the people who tried so hard at the end to finish up the vote count in time, seeing all that scrambling go for naught, because they actually seemed interested in counting the votes fairly, unlike the mess in Broward County. But... They pretty much only have themselves to blame for taking the entire Thanksgiving Day off, and it's likely that all that rushing in the end would've introduced new errors into the process. At least the numbers they were coming up with were sufficiently low that it would'nt have have changed the Florida outcome one way or the other.

    Cheers,

  • The courts are spending so much time deciding on this case. The whole time, M$ is just taking more money from businesses' pockets. I'm afraid the government isn't going to do anything for us. We are going to have to take this one into our own hands and woop MS ourselves. Power to the Linux Community! Get out there and code.
  • Do you think ethnic British people born in the USA aren't Gringos?

    Now now, the term for meddling US-born people is not "Gringos" anymore, its more like:

    Pinches Gringos hijos de la chingada

    ...of course you would have to live south of the US/Mexican border to understand that.

    DISCLAIMER: Not all people from the US are deserving of the "Gringo" title, only the ones that feel they are some sort of "roman citizens", inmune to international criticism... Most of them feel very offended by the term itself, so dont prove me right, ok?

  • Errr, some window managers have start menus.

    I was speaking in this case specifically about the installation of Gnome included with Red Hat 7. Its interface is nearly identical to Windows 95 - the maximize/minimize/close icons, the start menu, the taskbar, even the clock on the taskbar. And to top it off it's a less responsive GUI than Windows 95 running on the same hardware is (though it gets some points in that it tends to crash less).
  • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Sunday November 26, 2000 @06:06PM (#600621)
    > being a monopoly is illegal.

    Is the cable company illegal?
    Is the gas company illegal?
    Is the electric company illegal?
    Is the water company illegal?
    Is the US Mail System illegal?

    Monopolies, by themselves, are NOT illegal.

    The state recognizes certain monopolies.

    You can see the categories here [psu.edu].
  • Gates will be forced to _choose_ a company with which to have is stock in, so he could either have stock in the OS company, or he could have stock in the applications company. This would be a difficult choice, as I see it, the apps company would make more money, but Gates not going with his roots on the OS side could be interpreted as a vote of non-confidence in the flagship product.

    Going to be interesting to see what happens. Personally, I think cokehea^H^H^H^H^H^H^H, Bush will overthrow the decision, or interfere at the least. All those campeign contributions gotta count for something (although, last time I checked, microsoft gave money to both campeigns, more to Bush, I believe, though).

  • Geez... OK I'll bite.

    DirectX - people devel for DX, thus games don't get developed for OGL, and we Linux users don't get a port, since one would take a total conversion of the engine.
    Would you blame them? Linux has.. what, 5% of the desktop marketshare? Its a simple application of supply and demand.

    Office - 'if you don't use the latest version, you can't read anybody's documents, and they can't read your's. This also crushes presentation software, site design software, and most other 'productivity' software, since if people have something that 'does the job,' they generally aren't willing to shell out money for another program that does something similar, even if it does it better. Not many people get office for much more than being able to read those horrid Word documents, but use all the other parts of it, because they would rather not pay more money. (Possibly why MS hiked the price of MS Office /again/?)
    Not so... the formats of Office 2000 are backwards-compatible with Office 97. Nearly every Linux distro comes with Netscape by default... shouldn't I complain that such a practice is hurting Opera for Linux sales? You are the worst type of hypocrite-- your blind to your own hypocrasy.

    Browser - this has already been overly stated.
    Including IE in Windows is no different than preloading Redhat with Netscape. It is the EXACT same thing. If you can't see that, then you must be blind

    SMB - constantly mutating the protocol.
    Well, they own it so they can do whatever the heck they want to with it. I'm sure Microsoft programmers have nothing better to do than modify SMB in order to thwart the SAMBA programmers who will have to release a new version a few weeks later to catch up... oops except for the fact that all MS SMB clients are backwards compatible so you only have to upgrade to get new features.

    Media - Windows Media Player. Crappy product at it's most recent release, and comes bundled and installed.
    BFD. Windows has always come bundled with a built-in media player. Are you actually saying that RealPlayer or Quicktime are better products?

    Utilities - a miriad of utilities that have increased in abundance since the Dark Beginning of Windows, which have over time decreased the demand for other company's products, such as defrag tools, editors, etc.
    Like the 100s of packages that come in the average Linux distro? More of the same

    Servers - all their lovely servers which constantly change protocols, requiring the latest OS or software package from MS in order for them to work properly together.
    *ahem* All clients are backward compatible. I can setup a w2k machine and w98 clients can access it no problem.

    Never mind that they're inferior server products and cost a lot more - businesses 'need' them because they offer new 'features' which other programs are cross dependant on. Upgrade the server, you have to upgrade the client.
    Proof? And no, you do not have to upgrade the client. Spewing FUD no more becomes you than it does Microsoft.

    Email - everyone using windows has either OE or Outlook that comes w/ Office. Lovely, formatted email that nobody else can read without having to search through the message for meaningful content. Nevermind the address books, etc, that go alongside the Exchange server.
    Different from Notes? Nope. Get with the times. If your email program can't handle MIME or HTML, get a new email program or stop your b*tching. Nobody's going to hold your hand.

    There you have it. [more FUD] They have a very strong presence in every major computer software market: productivity, games, media, internet, and email. Granted, these things are 'given away' mostly for free, such as Media Player, but my goodness... like you haven't already pawned your soul for the OS and it's license.

    Or become a Linux-zealot FUD-spewing Nut, huh? Get real man.... free software isn't some magic spell, that when cast over your computer, will solve all your problems. You are only exchanging one set of problems for another.


    -----
  • The real winner is .... nobody. Don't we give fish a free feed on the end of a hook? I mean, if Word processing is fun, why not just give away Word Processors. If games are fun, why not give away games.

    Programs to browse the Web have always been free. You can see from them if net browsing is a tempting to go and buy a browser. Mosaic is free. Many are based on mosaic.

    Netscape made a market for a 'browser plus' application. That is, Mosaic that could do other things as well. They created a profitable product for their innovations, that took 80% of the market, even though you paid for it.

    Other vendors made 'browser plus' programs, and sold them according to what they thought people would pay for the 'plus' bit. Microsoft saw this, and wheeled out their 'browser plus'. But their 'browser plus' wasn't capturing the market share that they hoped for.

    In order to capture the market, Microsoft had to do something different, and that is what they did. They bundled it with Windows, first as a separate application, then bound it into Windows so hard that you need to use their browser.

    Windows 98 works without a browser. Check out http://www.98lite.com/ where a program to remove IE might be found.

    The real reason that nobody wins is because the solution proposed kills innovation. No Windows, No Net. Simple enough.

    OS/2's Web Explorer

    This is Mosaic for OS/2. It fits on a single floppy, uncompressed. It is advertised as an onramp to the internet. But it's only an onramp, not the highway. If you want speed or class or whatever, go get something else.

    Netscape

    This is only free because Microsoft killed the market. Why pay $50 when you can get the same for free? Netscape were forced into a situation where they could not compete, and so had to give the stuff away to stay afloat. For whatever they did right or wrong, they simply were bankrolled by the Windows juggernaut.

    Java

    Java was a genuine attempt to allow people to write web applets for the internet. Microsoft had their way with this as well (J++, C#, VirusBasic, ...).

    Net Innovation

    Of course you can further innovate. The OS/2 install program "WarpIn" uses a html-like script for installation. look at http://projects.netlabs.org/

    Active Desktop

    You don't need a browser to make the active desktop. Not even close here. Even if the active desktop and the browser share the same code, it should be possible to install both Active Desktop and Netscape. I mean, it's just DLL calls.

    Why do we loose

    You give a fish a feed, it wins. You reel in the line, it looses. Inverted J curve - nothing less, nothing more.

  • No, I am a different FamousRapperIceCube.
    ---
  • Clueless fool. Being a monopoly is not illegal.
    However, once you have a monopoly (regardless of whether it's Mediterranean/Baltic or Boardwalk/ParkPlace) different rules apply. You can't use your existing monopoly to get another monopoly.
  • do we need any further proof that Microsoft is just delaying the hand of justice inevitably? The message couldn't be more clear: "go ahead, split us up, but not until we have our cross platform .NET stategy in place"

  • oh it will go to the supreme court and then it will go to the prez and then to god before finally the delays stop and the implementation delays begin and in 2020 when the world is on the verge of being taken over by robot zombies Microsoft will finally implement the split and no one will care.
  • wow.. you really should publish this and have conferences on it and maybe a few court cases for publishing false history [geocities.com]. Just because you lived under a rock until the Information Super Hypeway jumped into the limelight and conviced you to part with a few grand doesn't mean you know anything about the "home computer market".

    Why don't you tell us all how the television set really wasn't popular until the VCR came about?
  • The question is whether aiding Microsoft can be spun to hurt him politically. Of course, Bush won the popular vote and got a substantial majority backed with massive Republican majorities in the House and Senate, so he can support MS all he likes without risking political damage ;P

    Seriously- MS may just be hosed here. It's a question of whether Bush and the Republicans are ready to seriously risk what shreds of credibility they have to prop up a trust that is obviously guilty. Personally, I think the safer course for Bush and his people is to continue talking big about Innovation and This Great Company etc etc and then do absolutely squat to help them. That might come as a bit of a shock to MS, but it serves them right for thinking politicians stay bought. They've also lost the Senator From MS. The current political climate is hypersensitive to any sign of partisanship, and the moderates have control. Lame Duck Presidents don't really have the power to get away with that kind of partisanship.

  • uhhh.. reverse engineering? After all, the code is there.
  • Just picture this:

    Judge: Will the defense lawyer please present their opening statements...

    MS Lawyer: I'm sorry your honor, but my Windows 2000 Laptop Crashed last night in my hotel. So I tired to re-install it using the CD I brought, but I forgot the CD-Key back in the Office. So I had the document on a disk. Well when I gave it to my counsol, they had an older version of Word on it so I couldn't open it. (We know how that dang format keeps changing) Then once I retyped it, when I tried to print it I got a Fatal Exception Error and was forced to reboot once again, re-install the printer driver, and finally try to print it out. But then explorer crashed an corupted the video driver Vxd. So what I'm trying to say is that I don't have my opening statement.
  • Coupland turned this into a book, Microserfs. It's a pretty good read, actually.

    It also gets brownie points for mentioning Linux before the mainstream media got hold of it :)

  • Unfortunately, the litany of errors that MS's legal team committed would fill a large set of books. It's pretty well agreed, though, that Allchin's pre-trial prep could've been better handled by a third-year law student from Legal Aid.

    What you say may be true. It may be false. At this point in litigation, the veracity of your claim is totally irrelevant, and that's what most Slashdotters keep forgetting. At this point, if it's not in the court record, then it didn't happen, and you can't make it happen now.

    Should MS have brought this up? Sure. Would've drastically improved their odds on appeal. But they can't argue "the benefit is that it's already there"--the appellate court won't even deem that argument to be worth responding to, except in the most curt and cursory fashion.

    After all, the appellate logic goes, if it was important, they'd have brought it up at trial.

    Just remember this: at the appellate level, all they can argue is that the trial wasn't fair. They can't argue the facts. They can't introduce new evidence. They can't contest one single iota of the judge's Findings of Law and Fact.

    All they can do is contest that the trial was not fair--not only flawed, but so flawed that the Constitutional promise of fairness was violated. And that's going to be a pretty hard thing to sell the court. Jackson was admirably fair (up until his one-day remedy deliberations, which may well get bounced back to him for reconsideration--and Jackson may well institute the exact same remedy again, just after longer deliberations).

    Appellate argument is not, repeat, is not the same as trial argument. They're totally different beasts. At the trial level your assertion is "we're not guilty, and even if we are, we're not that guilty". At the appellate level your assertion is "okay, so we're guilty, but the trial wasn't fair, and with a fair trial we'll prove our innocence despite our overwhelming guilt."
  • by davep_ub ( 160466 ) on Monday November 27, 2000 @07:46AM (#600662)
    Microsoft also is expected to question Judge Jackson's conduct during the trial.
    In past filings, company attorneys have argued that Judge Jackson was biased against Microsoft and that he failed to provide them with an adequate arena to present their case. They've also accused Jackson of mishandling the case and applying antitrust laws too broadly.
    - from ZDNet story

    This is incredible chutzpah. They started with a judge (Penfield) who was a political conservative disposed to be sympathetic, and then MS proceded to lie as lamely as possible and really piss him off. MS had plenty of chances to defend itself, but the facts, as found by Penfield, are that MS comported itself as a monopolist, engaged in restraint of trade, and basically has become a criminal under the antitrust laws.

    Of course, it doesn't end there. MS then says that it's willing to discuss a satisfactory solution, in that it would simply agree not to be a bad boy for awhile. Its representatives are taken aback and offended at proposals to break MS up. Doh. If for no other reasons, there should be punitive considerations.

    I use MSIE on my Mac, I use OE and the Office suite. The San Francisco MS team's Mac products are good. But MS's actions as a corporation have been found to be illegal, and need to be dealt with. Should they pierce the corporate veil, find the individuals who carried out intimidation and other anticompetitive acts, and punish them? I think that's too radical for the judicial system (it would mean nasty polluting CEOs could go to prison, not good for the DemiPubs)... so MS has to pay the piper. Amazingly, MS simply believes it never did any wrong, even as its attorneys were caught up in lies before much of the world press.

    -Dave
  • Why is it that people totally miss the point here? Certain customers of certain PC vendors wanted Netscape preinstalled. The PC vendors wanted to do it to keep their customers happy. Microsoft, being a monopoly and thus having no need to keep their customers happy, threatened to raise the price of Windows, an unrelated product, to those PC vendors that preinstalled Netscape.

    To continue your analogy, it would be as if RedHat told (say) VA Linux that they would have to pay more for their distro if they wanted to include Konqueror as well as Netscape on their boxes. Clearly this is not the same situation, because RedHat is not even a monopoly supplier of its own software.

    The clue that most MSFT defenders need to acquire is that nothing MSFT is accused of would be illegal if they hadn't short-sightedly crushed all their competition in the desktop OS market. When you are a monopoly there are things you can't legally do. In the absence of market forces, the government acts as the regulator valve. Not always well, but better than not having any control at all.


    --
  • More television sets were sold after the advent of the vcr, it doesn't mean that's when the market started!

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