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Appeals Court Denies Microsoft Request for Rehearing 221

An anonymous reader writes "CNN is reporting that Microsoft's request for a rehearing has been denied. The court will not reconsider if Microsoft acted illegally by commingling its software. The appeals court also rejected the government's request to speed up the hearing." I love the word "Commingling". I wish it meant something cooler then it does.
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Appeals Court Denies Microsoft Request to Rehearing

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Microsft has been convicted of committing a crime. The conviction is upheld by the court of appeals. MS *is* now a convicted criminal. Part of the punishment should be that any and all government organizations should cease doing any further business with MS. For the govt to continue financial support of a convicted criminal is an insult to the dignity of law and order. Maybe we'll also be lucky anough that the next lower court judge that gets the case shall deem that MS be broken up into 3 different companies and not 2 like the first judge ordered.
  • It's based on the old Bill of Borg [] spoof. Bill Gates reportedly went after the guy that did it and he wasn't able to sell t-shirts with that picture on it any more.
  • You've hit the nail on the head here. Microsoft honestly has no idea why everyone hates them. I've had several long discussions online with a Microsoft programmer; he honestly doesn't see any problem with the company's actions, and has an uncanny way of explaining away any negative points I bring up. Microsoft does very evil things, but the impression that I get is that they're not evil on purpose. Very weird.


  • The solution here has already been reached once. There needs to be a breakup. Preferably one that splits applications, OS and .NET among at least three separate entities. If MS is smart, they'll do it voluntarily once [if] they know they're beaten.

    Microsoft can't do it voluntarily. They're too intertwined internally. They have teams of engineers that, for example, work on both Windows and Office. They can't split the two and move the team over to Office, because that means Windows would lose those developers, which would hurt Windows development in addition to killing morale. Microsoft was deathly afraid of that breakup; they didn't know how they were going to do it without completely falling apart.


  • 7). Enforced openness. Force MS to publish all their file formats, APIs, protocols, etc, and forbid MS to break compatibility with or deprecate any existing ones. This would destroy the embrace-and-extend strategy, make Office vulernable to real competition since your documents are no longer hostage (anyone can download the specs and write a converter, or add that support to their competing apps), remove a huge number of problems plaguing mixed networks, and so on.

  • The government wants to see a hasty end to this whole mess and M$ would probably get off with a slap on the wrist. The courts, however, see it differently and want to pursue the illegalities surrounding M$'s business practices.

    After Microsoft bent the government over after the last settlement (read: slap on the wrist) and violated the spirit, if not the letter, of the agreement, the DOJ looked like a pack of morons. They didn't like looking like morons and were out for blood this time around. If it were up to the DOJ, Microsoft would be at least 2 separate corporations by now. The only reason Microsoft hasn't been broken up yet is because the courts haven't allowed it.

  • Unless otherwise changed, you will not be able to go to a store and buy XP until October (27th?). However, OEMs like Dell and Compaq need to determine how work with XP for new installs, including using what they can of MS's slight laxing of the initial desktop requirements. Those OEMs will have access to the necesssary files to do this in mid-August so that by October (and more importantly to their bottom lines, before Christmas), they can ship XP-enabled machines.

    While the various parties could still seek an injunction after these files/CDs have been shipped to OEMs, the injunction would most likely only limit the direct sale of the software from that point and would not affect what the OEMs try to do (unless, then, the companies go for the gusto and get an injunction on every OEM that's committed to go XP).

  • by Masem ( 1171 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @08:27AM (#2176427)
    There is as of yet no injunction for XP's release. Both the DOJ, the remaining 18 states, and EPIC are trying to get one placed before mid-late August, at which point MS is due to ship the XP master disks off to the OEMs for inclusions on new machines. No word yet on if any of these injunctions have been granted or denied yet.

  • Postscript for printing

    Your comments about Solaris vs Linux are a complete non sequitor -- Sun has a lot of reasons to keep what they've been using for 10 years instead of switching to CUPS or one of the newer printing APIs that are being developed for Linux. Either way, it isn't relevant to the "what you lose when you leave Windows for Linux" question.

    I'll admit that Windows has a wider variety of available printer drivers, but you're ignoring the realities of the printing world -- there are really only a couple of page display languages for modern printers: HPGL and Postscript cover 99.99% of printers manufactured in the last 5 years. Since ghostscript ships with Linux, printing to Postscript and having ghostscript translate to the printer makes perfect sense. And of course you can send the Postscript output to any number of devices directly. There aren't *any* printers that use Microsoft's internal page layout APIs. I'd score this one as even.

    GUI APIs

    You're going to complain about rapid development of the GUI APIs for Linux, and then claim that Microsoft (Win30/ Win31/ Win32S/ Win95/ Win98/ WinNT/ Win2K/ WinME) is *better*? Microsoft, who merrily breaks applications left and right everytime it creates a new version of MSVCRT.DLL is *better*? I don't think so. At least with GNOME, I can have multiple versions of libraries installed without crashing the entire system. Just try running two seperate Windows apps which were built for different versions of MSVCRT. Sorry, Linux wins this one.

    Etcetera, etcetera...

    You say COM, I say CORBA, RPC, Sockets, and even Bonobo. COM does a lot of things, but one thing it doesn't do is it doesn't check objects against interfaces. Thus it is perfectly acceptable to COM to try and open a spreadsheet when what you passed in was a Word document. And of course, COM is only for a single machine -- it can't handle distributed applications. DCOM can, sort of, but DCOM has its own problems as well.

    You want to talk about installers? Hell, Microsoft never bothered to write an installer -- they bought Installshield (and the braindead version at that). You should have a look at Red Carpet, the installer that Ximian wrote to handle all of those Gnome libraries that you're complaining about. While I won't claim it's perfect, it's a damn sight better than what I've experienced with Windows.

    Ultimately it comes down to perspective -- all of those faults you see with Linux look like desirable features to me, and vice versa. As I mentioned in a previous post, I've been building and deploying business applications for 20 years, on CP/M, MSDOS, Windows, NT, Unix, VMS, Primos, and Pick. I have found the Red Hat Linux environment to be the most reliable environment for deploying applications of all of those I've worked with. I'm not claiming perfection, but I do think that it's a lot better than anything Microsoft has ever delivered, and definitely sufficient for deploying business applications.

    Are you moderating this down because you disagree with it,
  • by miniver ( 1839 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @11:21AM (#2176429) Homepage
    Microsoft will be happy to put Office on linux when:
    1) Linux is as easy to develop business-class software for as Windows
    2) When a Linux user is willing to pay for a peice of software
    People often assume that if you break apart OS+Apps, then immediately everything gets ported to linux. Nothing could be further from the truth. So much that the OS provodies is just not there at all in linux.

    Let's think about this. What exactly does Windows provide as an OS-service that is (1) necessary for developing business-class software, and (2) isn't available for Linux? Presumably you mean standard APIs ... but what standards, and who gets to define them? If what you mean is the Win32 APIs, then you need to think again -- those are merely Microsoft's take, and not the only way to do something. So you must mean general APIs for OS services:

    • Device Independent Printing. Win32 has a set of print services APIs that comprise two parts: (1) device independent print rendering, and (2) print job management. On the other hand, Linux has APIs to do both of these as well: Postscript and LPR.
    • GUI APIs. Well, I'd say that Linux is even more flexible than Win32 in this regard, since X-Windows doesn't tie an application to running on a single machine.
    • Database-independent data access. But wait, Linux can use ODBC as well as the next guy.
    • Networked File Services? Uh ... NFS & Samba & AFS, just for starters.
    • Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera ...

    You'd better back up your assertion with some facts, because I just don't see what's missing. Oh, and BTW, I've been a business application developer for over 20 years, so I *do* know what I'm talking about.

    I think what you mean is that you want development tools that make it truly easy to churn out software without having to understand the low-level APIs. You want Visual Basic and Visual C/C++ for Linux, and you don't want to have to learn a whole new set of APIs either. Well, then have you looked at Wine lately? What about Kylix?

    But seriously, porting an application from one OS to another is hard work, regardless of the tools ... there's no economic incentive to do that if there aren't enough users who are willing to buy what you're selling. While I'll admit that many Linux users aren't interested in paying a lot for software, I would suggest that that's because they're more interested in paying what the software is worth to them. There are plenty of users out there who are willing to pay for software that solves a problem that they can't solve any other way. Sound card drivers, Word processing software, games -- there have been plenty of people who have purchased these products because they needed them.

    I think the difference is that the Linux marketplace has such a wide variety of solutions available, that people tend to purchase only as much software as they actually need, instead of going for the all-in-one-high-priced-bundle packages that are popular in the PC marketplace.

    Are you moderating this down because you disagree with it,
  • by Jason Earl ( 1894 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @10:30AM (#2176430) Homepage Journal

    The funny thing about the concept of corporatism is that it almost doesn't matter what government does, some corporation is going to benefit, and some others are going to be hurt. Katz writes about "evil" corporatism because it is easy copy to write. Katz's apathetic non-voting listeners want someone to blame for their inability to cope with the system, and so they flock to demogogues criticizing the nebulous "establishment."

    Microsoft gets busted and that gets labeled as anti-corporatism because no one here likes Microsoft. But the reality of the matter is that many more corporations will benefit from this decision than will be hurt by it. AOL, IBM, Sun, Oracle, Apple, Novell, and a host of other companies are almost certainly ecstatic over the news.

    In fact, that's part of the reason that Microsoft is doomed to fail eventually. They have made to many enemies. It doesn't matter how big you are, you can't stay king of the hill forever, especially if you are aggressively pushing your former allies off of the hill. Microsoft has rigged the deck so that they are the only ones that are able to develop for Windows and make money. Which only guarantees that they former allies will start looking for other platforms on which to develop their new cool toys. Microsoft might be chuck full of talented individuals, but if they alienate everyone else, they will find that they are unable to compete with the combined intellect of everyone else.

    Or, as in this case, even Microsoft's tremendous economic power does not allow them to buy up politicians fast enough to outpace the political maneuverings of their enemies. Especially when their enemies have busted out their checkbooks as well.

  • by Jason Earl ( 1894 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @11:25AM (#2176431) Homepage Journal

    Oh yeah, it's impossible to develop desktop software for Linux, after all Linux wasn't even written in America.


    The fact of the matter is that it is unlikely that MS Office would get ported to Linux (even if MS was broken up) for three very important reasons.

    1. It would be hard. MS Office is quite Windows specific, not because it had to be, but because it made sense for Microsoft to tie their office suite to their OS. In fact, if the OS and Apps split did happen my guess is that the Apps company might seriously rethink it's investment in MS Office for the Macintosh. It's almost certainly a significant investment for such a small market.
    2. Linux has very little market share, and most Linuxers who are interested in running Office already have a copy of Windows laying around.
    3. Open Office, Gnome Office, and KDE Office, are all getting pretty darn good, and all are free. Corel's Perfect Office is also available for Linux, and it is quite a bit less expensive than MS Office. Chances are good that if you are already running Linux, you are also evaluating an alternative office suite, and MS Office is far more expensive than their competitors, with very little added functionality.

    The reasons why desktop companies are interested in Linux have nothing to do with Linux's technology. Heck, porting from Windows to Winelib is really quite straight forward. Instead they have everything to do with simple economics. They know that Linux is a very limited desktop market, and they don't believe that it would be worth the effort to build and support software for such a small market.

    Unfortunately for commercial software companies, their reluctance to port to Linux has not stopped the Free Software developers from creating Free Software equivalents to their commercial products. Even now it is pretty amazing how much useful desktop software is available for free with Linux, and this software is only going to improve. When Linux does start making inroads on the desktop for many companies it will be too late. They won't be able to port to Linux in time to compete with the freely available software.

  • 1. Fully document all existing API's, protocols and file formats down to any compression/encryption algorithms used for media formats, and document six months in advance of release all new API's, protocols and file formats.
    2. Force Microsoft to allow use by competitors of any patented algorithsm used the reading or writing of said data formats above.
    3. Forbid Microsoft from writing any API, protocol or file format that prohibits anyone from writing software to interact with those API's, protocols or reading and writing those file formats.
    4. Restrict Microsoft only to only charging for each license sold for a given computer rather than offering a cheaper rate that charges the company for every computer sold. And that rate must be the same for all computer manufacturers.
    5. Related to that, no exclusionary rules about what can be bundled on a PC.

    The first three points hits Microsoft in its embrace and extend strategy. It opens up the field to fair competition and allows other people to produce software that interoperates with Microsoft software.

    The last two points prohibit Microsoft from punishing any companies that try to push non-Microsoft software.
  • The commingling was deemed to be in violation of the law. If the injunction is awarded, they can't ship XP- and they willingly did the commingling, there's little reason to do so (really, there isn't...). I seriously doubt that they'll get any sympathy from the courts if an injunction's handed down that doesn't let them ship an even further violating product.
  • Being required to ship a functional version of Windows without IE commingled would be one.

    They can't evade an injunction if the appeals court upholds it. It appears that the appeals court feels that MS is as guilty as a cat caught in a goldfish bowl and if Jackson hadn't acted the way he did and didn't hand down such an extreme remedy we'd be seeing them uphold all of the decision.

    If they attempt to ship Windows with any injunctions against that act in place, the parties that did the act (from the decision makers all the way to the people carrying out the act) could face, at minimum, Contempt of Court charges, winning at least several months in Club Fed.
  • by Perrin-GoldenEyes ( 4296 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @09:21AM (#2176436)
    I'm not really sure why everybody seems so keen on Jackson's idea of splitting Microsoft. If memory serves, it would have been split into Windows and Office. And that is supposed to help how? Last I checked, Exploiter was not a part of Office (except on the Mac, but the Mac Business Unit seems to be pretty independent). And I'm pretty sure Media Player and the photo stuff aren't part of office either. So they'd just be back up to their old tricks again. The only exception is that competing office products might have a little more of a chance. On the other hand, probably not. My experience with MS Office is that it's actually of reasonably good quality, and it seems unlikely that the masses of corporate users are going to switch to something else now unless Office really takes a crap.

    The point here shouldn't be simply "Punish Microsoft!!!" The point should be to prevent them from doing it again. And I think that's a pretty great danger. I actually don't much buy into the argument that IE beat Netscape because of the bundling. My experience is that IE is and was (at least by the time bundling started) simply better. Netscape 4.x is, IMHO, pretty much a POS. Hopefully Mozilla will manage to make a bit of a comeback, but I'm still waiting on maturity there too. The environment has changed, though. I think these days people are more likely to just go with what's included with the OS. From a certain perspective (especially that of the fairly computer illiterate consumer) the included (commingled) products are a pretty good added value. My mom doesn't really want to go out and download Winamp over her carrier pidgeon modem, but if there's a music player included with windows, she might actually use it. It genuinely does make it easier for the "idiot" end user. So it's pretty easy for Microsoft to make a strong argument to justify it. The problem is that it IS using the OS monopoly in an anti-competitive manner.

  • Sounds good, but it is unenforcible. How do you know they released all the specs? "You changed your file formats!" "No we didn't. Fuck off."
    Also, I doubt this remedy would ever be ordered.
    BTW, I would also add to the list the right of OEMs to customize the desktop (not the current crap of install MSN if you are installing AOL).

  • a rallying cry for Microsoft to take patching/updating out of the sysadmins hands and into XP, where it will be handled automatically?

    And in about a week, we'll be overrun by worms disguised as "automatic security updates"... fun

  • by mcc ( 14761 ) <> on Thursday August 02, 2001 @02:19PM (#2176447) Homepage
    take patching/updating out of the sysadmins hands and into XP, where it will be handled automatically?

    Isn't this the basic argument for the use of debian? (apt-get)

    Personally, i think that having windows update or apt-get or Apple Software Update handle all security patches is a *good* thing. Keeping track of tiny constant security patches the instant they come out is something that should not really be a requirement of running a web server.

    However, the thing is that the Code Red incident is not an argument for automatic patch installs in microsoft products. It is a very, very strong argument against it. Why?

    About ten or twenty people in earlier slashdot threads alleged that they personally signed onto the Windows Update website the morning before the code red worm hit the White House to see the hacked by chinese worm message. Some even got screenshots.

    In other words, THE MICROSOFT UPDATE SERVER HAD NOT BEEN PATCHED FOR THE DEFAULT.IDA BUFFER OVERFLOW. You could argue that there is no single server anywhere on the internet where security is more important than windows update, and yet an automated worm was actually able to execute arbitrary code on their server remotely.

    Meaning that had an alert black-hat gotten there before Code Red had, they could have done some REALLY SCARY STUFF. For example, they could have taken the default.ida patch that everyone was downloading to defeat code red, and inserted some kind of backorifice-like trojan into every sixteenth download of it, or something, and if they were careful it's possible no one would have ever noticed. No? Is there any reason i'm overreacting, or wrong? Can anyone at this point justify EVER trusting Microsoft as a customer on ANYTHING, EVER AGAIN, after seeing *windows update taken infected* by a worm that could be protected against by an already-old patch??

    I see three lessons to be learned from the whole code red thing:
    • Operating systems like RedHat and NT need to have services off by DEFAULT, and the interface by which users turn those services on and off needs to be clear and simple so that A) "Off by default" doesn't mean "the users don't benefit and B) Users know what they're enabling, and don't enable things they don't need. (The default.ida thingy that Code Red exploits DID NOT need to be on by default. It is as far as i can gather only useful for people hosting sites with search engines, which i would suspect an absolutely minimal number of the infected sites did. If default.ida had remained non-web-accessable until such time as the sysadmin actually knew they wanted it installed and switched it on, Code Red would not have been even a MINOR problem, because few sites would be using it, and most of those few sites would have capable sysadpeople.) However, more relevantly to this thread:
    • Services like apt-get and Windows Update are absolutely necessary, because without them worms like Code Red can always thrive on the few inexperienced sysadmins left out there-- potentially causing harm to many others besides just the unpatched servers.
    • Microsoft does not place the kind of priority it NEEDS to on the security of its central Windows Update servers, and Microsoft Windows Update is not a completely trustable entity. Therefore if you are a small company that cannot afford a top-of-the-line sysadmin, and you want an OS with automatic patching mechanisms that you can set-and-forget and actually trust with the security of your server (as you suggest microsoft would like people to do), Windows XP is not an acceptable choice.
    Is ANYTHING i have said above that is at all inaccurate or unreasonable?
  • "Save hundreds of man-hours and millions of dollars by freeing your SysAdmins of the responsibility of constantly monitoring security lists and keeping up with the latest patches."
    isn't that what RedHat [] is selling now?
    * Save time -- let Red Hat keep your systems current

    Connect your systems to the Linux and open source experts at Red Hat, who keep you informed and your systems up to date.
  • "I'll love it too when the Justice Dept. forces me to pay an extra $49 for the "Microsoft Bonus Pack" featuring IE and Windows Media Player.

    Seriously, IE is so far ahead of other browsers MS could charge for it, but they don't.

    Does anyone really think justice would be served forcing millions of Windows users to pay for the extras that you now get for free?"

    Geez, you're a Windoze user, so brush up on the 1337 VV1nd0VVz ski11z Lord Billy gave you and use Windows Update fercryinoutloud.

    Seriously, IE is a killer browser. Making it free to download is OK - that would be my choice. Forced on to my system? Not OK, since I can't even get rid of it if I want to.

    We're talking about freedom to choose, bud, not freedom from effort (or giving MS a little more profit.)

  • by augustz ( 18082 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @09:52AM (#2176451) Homepage
    I thought Microsoft had already hailed the ruling as a victory. Here's BillG's quote:

    "BILL GATES: Thank you for coming today. We're still reviewing the details of the ruling from the Court of Appeals, but it's clear that it reverses and significantly narrows the District Court's decision. The ruling lifts the cloud of breakup over the company, reverses the tying claim and says clearly that we did not attempt to monopolize the browser market."

  • The decision that the "bundling" actually took place will be important, because it will allow for more competition. Here's a good example:

    Last weekend we were building an install program for a demo of our current project.

    Anyway, the first "install" program was built with the included VB "Toolkit" It produced a broken, unstable mess of an install program that did everything wrong and complained about "compatibility" every step of the way. It also produced complaints from potential customers, which is a real problem.

    Then I remembered that Installshield Express was included on the Borland C++ Builder disk, but I was having trouble finding it. So I went to Installshield's site. The purchase price: $350 (not an option) After an hour of looking, I finally found it and installed it.

    Ten minutes later, we had an excellent setup program. No dialogs, errors, warnings, or problems of any kind. No further complaints from customers. It was awesome. It was without doubt, the best Windows program I have ever used.

    Without good competition, programs like this would never be written. Hopefully the MS case can lead to more competition and benefits for everyone.

  • You make the dangerous assumption that Microsoft file formats, APIs and protocols are comprehensible and reimplementable . . . :)
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @10:49AM (#2176460)
    The point is not so much that they couldn't bundle IE with windows (they could), but that since a seperate company would be developing IE other browser (or any other app) makers would have access to the same API's. Additionally while they could bundle IE, they couldn't stop anyone from not bundling IE and including something else instead (like Mozilla).

    So the basic theory behind a breakup (which I'm not sure is the best idea either) is to give more opportunity for competitors to comete equally in any application space.
  • The FOF was never in question. The MSFT just tried to spin the last battle. It was a bad day for MSFT and they are just getting what they deserve.

    Now, open the API's and file formats, put them on the same diet as IBM. And fine the hell out of them. No more preloading only MSFT products on PCs and Servers. Give the consumers choice, and make the OEM's buy back unused Licenses like the EULA states or declare it null and void.

  • No, it's not "business people," it's Microsoft. By trying to generalize this to all businesses, you are missing the point of monopoly laws and the ruling of the court.

    The laws restraining the practices of a monopoly are designed to ensure free markets and to foster competition. Microsoft is a monopoly that acted to restrict free competition. That is what a court of law, and now an appeals court, have decided.

    Microsoft was not found guilty because they were "successful."
  • Except they're allowing the case to proceed a normal speed. It's still going to take a good long time to actually get a remedy. I feel it will be sometime after the release of Windows ZR or something silly like that. XP won't be blocked at the speed they're going.
  • We need to drive home that they screwed up. They need the thousand watt lightbulb experience on this. They need to get it. Wrist slap penalties do not do this.

    That's exactly why Jackson was viewed as biased! He said something to the effect of "if you need to get a mule's attention, whack him on the head with a 2-by-4". Hence the break-up order.

    If the DOJ isn't careful here (and I think they won't be), MS will get off with a wrist-slap, declare a victory for apple pie and the American way, and go back to "innovating".

  • I doubt that any cash penalty is going to be big enough to stop Microsoft (particularly after it's been reduced by appeals.)

    One thing which really needs to happen is for any action to take place before an appeal is heard.

    Furthermore, an attempt to prevent them from releasing future versions of Windows would be pretty flimsy and easily appealed (putting a company out of business isn't a fair penalty, nor is it necessarily good for consumers.)

    There comes a point where putting Microsoft out of business is the only option...
    As for it hurting customers should The Mafia not be punished because it is likely to hurt other businesses?
  • commingle(kö-mïngg&#2 46;l)
    v. commingled, commingling, commingles
    v. intr.
    To become blended.
    v. tr.
    To cause to blend together; mix.


  • They already did. Go read John Ashcroft's resume and then read his daughters resume.

    You can then start crying about how our justice system is bought and sold like so many brussel sprouts.
  • "forbid MS to break compatibility with or deprecate any existing ones."

    No. This is a death even Microsoft does not deserve.
  • Back to the punishment phase (Score:0)
    by Anonymous Coward on 11:19 AM August 2nd, 2001 CST (#106)

    Microsft has been convicted of committing a crime. The conviction is upheld by the court of appeals. MS *is* now a convicted criminal. Part of the punishment should be that any and all government organizations should cease doing any further business with MS. For the govt to continue financial support of a convicted criminal is an insult to the dignity of law and order. Maybe we'll also be lucky anough that the next lower court judge that gets the case shall deem that MS be broken up into 3 different companies and not 2 like the first judge ordered.

    Moderate this (the original) up, please. While the orders in sentences 1 and 2 would never happen, they are worth reading.
  • by bungalow ( 61001 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @08:43AM (#2176479)
    Now that we have had some of the findings validated, but TPJ's remedies thrown out, What should the Remedy / Punishment be?

    1) Big whoppin' fine. It'll be paid, there may be shareholder lawsuits, and the lesser - paid (and lesser-empowered) MS employees will be laid off. Executives' current holdings will be impacted somewhat, but the greatest pain will be felt on their wrist. Any further Econonic Downturns will be blamed on that Evil Justice Department's clearly misguded antagonistic attitude regarding the Freedom to Innovate.

    2) Limitations on future behavior, (consent decrees) - we all know how well they worked the last time.

    3) Strict government oversight - this sounds a bit too Big - Brotherish to me, even if Microsoft wants to become Big Brother.

    4) Require MS to open - Source Hailstorm - MS will respond by killing it in favor of MS - Tornado, a similar, but Legally Different Innovation, with identical, transparent, but unstated goals.

  • 6) Break MS up into smaller companies - perhaps hardware, OS, and apps. This way Windows wouldn't be able to coattail on the office suite. The apps company would make its software work just as well for Mac as Win, as well as Linux perhaps. The OS would be forced to survive on its own merits, which means it would either become better (good for consumers) or it would vanish (if it couldn't hack it on its own, well, extinction can be a good thing).
  • by diablovision ( 83618 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @08:22AM (#2176484)
    Yo jigga, you don't wanna be around when Big bad DOJ comes busting down on yo ass like an 800 pound gorilla...

    Seriously tho, as much as Katz complains about corporatism in America, it is good to see our government wield the power to punish greedy corporatism severely when it is clear it has overstepped its bounds. The examples may be few of government versus big business, but their are illustrative: the judicial branch is by no means in the pocket of corporate America.

    Welcome to checks and balances, limited government sphere of influence, and this is a good example of the benefits those separations bring.

  • ...that's a suprise. I had almost reached the point where I believed Microsoft could buy as many appeals as they wanted.

    Chalk one up for the remaining shreds of sanity in the justice system.
  • The result is that the Dev crew maintains its loyalty, and doesn't realize their inadvertant complicity

    Not quite: from html: On November 18, 1998 the digital greeting card company Blue Mountain Arts discovered that beta versions of Microsoft's Outlook Express (which comes free with Internet Explorer) were automatically filing Blue Mountain's e-mail greeting cards into the "junk" folder rather than the "inbox"...It turns out that after an unsuccessful attempt to purchase Blue Mountain Arts, Microsoft started its own electronic greeting card service.

    So the developers are in on it too. This shows that the corruption spans the company hoizontally (the part that owns their own greeting card company can influence the part that produces software) and also vertically (the higher ups will get the guys who actually write the code to do sleazy stuff like this). In other words, they are rotten through and through. Kill 'em all and let god sort it out.

  • > Why has this story got a `compaq` icon?

    Mine's showing the standard Microsoft/Borg icon. An icon which was funny when I first saw it, but becomes more appropriate with each passing day.
  • I remember reading here (correct me if I'm wrong) that M.S. has an injunction placed on their XP release of Windows.

    There is currently no injunction on the XP release. Certain senators and state attorneys want one but it isn't there yet.

    Suddenly, they seem willing to settle out of court or at least want to hurry the process. Looks like they are getting to know what it feels like when you get dragged through court. I'm just wondering if all this effort to end this case on M.S.'s end is because they are afraid they won't be able to release XP as it is or when they want.

    Huhh?? Maybe you're in a different world from the rest of us. Microsoft is actually the one who wanted this to be revisited and not fast-tracked. They want this to go on as long as possible. It's the government on the other hand that wanted this case to be fast-tracked.

    "Insightful"? How about "Totally Wrong"

  • You could always send a telegraph or write a letter rather than use AT&T. No one is forcing you to make that call, the same way no one is forcing you to have windows. Sure, there are alternatives, but are they truly valid?

    Most people are locked in to Windows. Be was (is?) a great OS, but it didn't go anywhere even though it was easy to use as Windows and more stable than *NIX (from all accounts that I've heard). The fact that it failed should tell you something about the power MS has over vendors. Even Intel was backing Be for a while.

    "I may not have morals, but I have standards."
  • MS does have a monopoly by my standard as well, because they have a strong lock on an entire form of communication. Granted, you can do computing with a Mac or Linux, but it's not nearly as good an option any more because of MS's disgusting practice of holding everyone else hostage via Windows or Office.

    They do have a monopoly in Office suites, whether or not you care to admit it, and it's not because Office was always a better product, but because they were able to bundle it with Windows and place everyone else out of the game through their ownership of the OS. Lotus had a good office suite, as did Corel, and they were on par with MS's suite when they faded out. Same thing happened with the browser. You can't really do Office work on a Mac without MS Office, and it's a major reason why people say Linux isn't ready for the desktop. MS does have a monopoly on both the browser and Office, both as a result of their near complete dominance of the desktop marketplace.

    It's actually a lot like the whole Ticketmaster debacle of a few years back. Sure, there was a competitor or two (which probably makes them not a monopoly by your definition) but they weren't realistic competitors, and the overwhelming power of Ticketmaster prevented them from really competing. You don't have to be the only game in town to be a monopoly, you just have to be the only one that people are forced to use.

    "I may not have morals, but I have standards."

  • Now that we have had some of the findings validated, but TPJ's remedies thrown out...

    When exactly did The Perl Journal get involved? Oh, wait... I get it. He meant Texans for Public Justice []. Or maybe The Tube and Pipe Journal []...

  • by NTSwerver ( 92128 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @08:24AM (#2176494) Journal

    Was it anything to do with this? []

  • Ya know, where I come from, "commingling" is what you do with various parts of a recycling system (tin, steel, aluminium, etc.) before putting it out with the trash to be collected.

    Now that I think about it...

    Zaphod B
  • Microsoft will be happy to put Office on linux when:

    1) Linux is as easy to develop business-class software for as Windows

    2) When a Linux user is willing to pay for a peice of software

    People often assume that if you break apart OS+Apps, then immediately everything gets ported to linux. Nothing could be further from the truth. So much that the OS provodies is just not there at all in linux.

  • 1) PostScript is great, but most printers dont speak postscript natively. So now you're talking about some filtering system that does something with the postscript. Which may or may not work right with everything you're trying to print. And where is the standard "Printer Prefs" panel for Linux postscript printers ? If Linux/UNIX has printing down so well, why does WP/Solaris (btw, Solaris _does_ have a tightly integrated PS printing system) still use its own custom printer config system ? Why have I never seen any two UNIX programs print the same way ?

    The level of functionality in UNIX printing is similar to what you had dos - you shat stuff at LPT1, well, in UNIX you shat stuff (even if its as elegant as Postscript) at the parallel port, or maybe if you're like most people, at some filters that turn PS into device-dependant printer languages.

    So, commong Office Printing
    Linux 0: MS: 1

    Next, GUI APIs:
    Well, so part of the problem here is that you're basically talking about Win32 vs Xwindows. There have been lots of attempts at coming up with a good X based desktop environment. None have really universally caught on...but lets look at a few of ths most common:

    CDE - people bitch about it being too bloated, yet its the most consistantly designed and implemented of the available envs. Even so, since it builds on Motif+Xt, you get the usual "where the FUCK are those stupid Xresources coming from" problems. Note that I dont have these problems, but I typically dont try and do anything special/interesting with my Xresources. However, try running an X program like Knews under CDE, and see how awful the CDE colorschemes look. You'll need to screw with Xt settings to fix that.

    The ridiculousness of setting per-app preferences (in different files, according to different systems, etc) makes it difficult to have consistant feel and configuration.

    This is just CDE. Of CDE, KDE, and Gnome, only CDE isn't a moving target (Gnome is the worst offender here).

    Gnome - What minor revision of GTK are you running ? What about Glib ? What about imlib/gdkpixbuf/whoknows. Forget that, im not interested. And all that time you spent learning how Xt worked so you could _try_ and debug the resources for 90% of all X programs ? Forget it, GTK throws your time/knowledge investments away. Maybe rightfully so, but its just more shit for app developers and users to keep track of.

    Linux: 0 MS: 2

    Database-independant data access:
    Not much to say here. Having done Sybase programming from C/C++ under IRIX, I can say that its not especially pretty, but I dont imagine its any different under W32 C. That said, php makes mysql lovely to access, but on the other hand mysql from C isn't as hot. as far as using ODBC under UNIX, i've never tried it.

    Conclusion: I'm not qualified to judge

    Networked File Services:
    Well, NFS on linux _sucks_. Samba on linux is a great connectivity tool when compared with "not connecting", but its always going to be a 2nd class citizen in the CIFS world. I don't necessarily see what NFS or CIFS has to do with porting MS Office though..

    As far as "etc etc"...

    well yes, lets see what you get with MS. Oh, COM! Like, basically anything anyone has released is COM. So you can run it just about anywhere. What about a common installer framework (MSI) ? Dont say RPM - it barely works right on redhat, much less all the other linux distros. What about library versioning.. Kernel versioning.. multiple interfaces coexisting correctly ?

    These are things that are probably possible, but no one seems to ship systems that way. Is it even possible to ship a large complex component based peice of software for Linux, given all the library churn ?

    Antying is possible - its just software. When you take Office as designed for windows, and try to port to linux - you lose a lot of the thigns windows give you for free. Some of which that do NOT have equal counterparts on Linux. A port of Office would be damn hard, and as I said earlier, its not clear anyone would buy it.

  • by 4of12 ( 97621 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @10:53AM (#2176498) Homepage Journal

    are going to be used as a rallying cry for Microsoft to take patching/updating out of the sysadmins hands and into XP, where it will be handled automatically

    Whaddya mean?

    I thought that (ZAW) Zero Administration Windows was already long since a reality!

    I'm puzzled by all this talk of "system administration" for Windows.

    Shows how "out of it" I am. ZAW must have been superseded by Something Better.

  • by Christianfreak ( 100697 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @09:22AM (#2176499) Homepage Journal
    Now if KDE came built directly into the Kernal and you could not uninstall it and use Gnome, that would be illegal.

    Not exactly. The problem is that MS is a monopoly, Thus bundling in this way is illegal because it is an abuse of their monopoly power. If KDE were to create their own distro with the GUI in the kernal where you couldn't take it out it would still be legal because they don't have a monopoly.

    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • (Well maybe not) Speaking of that...

    Am I the only one who takes the COMPLETE paranoid view that Code Red (and all the other IIS virii) are going to be used as a rallying cry for Microsoft to take patching/updating out of the sysadmins hands and into XP, where it will be handled automatically? I can almost hear the marketroids..."Save hundreds of man-hours and millions of dollars by freeing your SysAdmins of the responsibility of constantly monitoring security lists and keeping up with the latest patches." Jeez.

  • All they have to do is continue to use the word "bundeling" and rely on ignorance of what they did. "Bundle" completely hides the comingiling by implying that MSIE is a free gift and removable part of the OS. Who doesn't like ham sandwiches?

    It seems to be falling apart, though. The NYT article did not get it, but they are closer to seeing. They used the term "mingeling" to describe the MSIE dependence of the OS. The CNN article, if it did use the term "comingiling" shows a greater understanding. Sooner or later a reporter at one of the larger news houses is going to understand that the MS way of passing all sorts of low level crap therough the GUI and browser funcion calls is an ineficient and destabilizing, technique with the sole purpose of exerting inapropriate control over developers and users. When he convinces his editor of this you will see the word comingle togeter with relavant examples of unrelated functions that should not be mixed. They might even catch on to means by wich MS exerts control over hardware makers so they don't release drivers for any but MS OS (larger threat, fight DCMA and UnAmerican reverse engineering restrictions!).

    Of course, by then enough people may have realized they don't need MS BS to make their computers work that it won't be news. Who cares what happens to MS's soon to be bankrupt corpse?

  • Why has this story got a `compaq` icon?
  • Well, GM has more than a handful of real competitors. Microsoft's commingling is only illegal because they are... wait for it... a monopoly. That is what this suit is all about, Microsoft is a monopoly, and they are using their monopoly power in Operating Systems to enfore a monopoly in browsers, office suites, .net, etc, etc. If they were just a monopoly and not abusing their market position, this case simply would not exist. Don't like GM bundling power windows? By a Ford.
  • I use Windows for my desktop because it is much simplier to get it to work with all of my devices, Printers, ORB Drive, Sound Card, etc.
    Of course you seem to be missing the point that it is simpler to get your devices to work with Windows because Microsoft's monopoly position basically means that all your devices, printers, sound card, etc, come with windows drivers only :) If all those devices came with Linux drivers instead, and NO windows drivers were available... well, I'll assume we are all able to make inferences.
  • Before I say what I'm going to say, please read my other responses and realise that I am not a pro-MS zealot, etc, etc. But we have no right to the source code to Windows, and it would be a shame for the government to force them to open the source. A much better remedy, IMHO, would be to break the OS portion of the company into 3 (or more) competing entities. Then, if one of those fragments chose to open source their code for market advantage, so be it. But with competing 'Baby Bills' (not my name for it, but I've seen it enough that it has caught), you'll find things like more open interfaces and lower licensing costs naturally evolve.
  • We don't have to. That is what the market is for. They are responsible to their shareholders. Then again, the shareholders don't seem to mind the 'commingling' going on between Sony, RCA, and the rest of the big labels, etc.
  • Actually, it's the other way around. Chile had been under democratic rule for nearly one hundred years; when the people chose a president who was a Communist, that's when the CIA gave Pinochet assistance.

    But it's faulty to think the CIA had everything to do with it. The richest 10% of the Chilean population wanted nothing to do with Salvador Allende, and were the primary driving force behind the takeover.
  • Pinochet had strong support from the richest 10% of Chile's population and the military -- which is how he gained power -- but the fact of the matter is that he gained that power by overthrowing a popularly elected president. At no time did he ever enjoy what you and I would call "popularity." Just because he had many supporters doesn't make him popular.
  • by Rimbo ( 139781 ) <> on Thursday August 02, 2001 @09:51AM (#2176519) Homepage Journal
    I don't think that most of the folks at Microsoft even realize why they are hated so badly. They may even think it's just sour grapes.

    It reminds me of the Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet. He held on to power through absolute totalitarian measures for two decades. His brutes were known to gang-rape the wives of dissidents -- and God forbid you ever dissented and you were a woman!

    But after twenty years of power, he actually believed his own bull. He actually believed that if he allowed the people to speak their minds, they would choose him. So he opened up free elections. Unfortunately for him, Chile had a long history of democracy, and so people took advantage of the chance, and he was defeated.

    He absolutely couldn't understand why anyone wouldn't want him in power.

    Microsoft is the same way. They use strong-arm tactics to force companies to bundle their software, and their software, with a couple of exceptions, is generally poor quality. Gates & Co. are actually naive enough to believe the marketshare they've bullied out of companies and customers is our willing choice.

    But in a capitalist economy with a democratic government, such a reign cannot last forever. If customers can't choose otherwise, the government typically intervenes. Their very complacency and need to be a bully will be their undoing.
  • Code Red is a worm, not a virus.
    The plural of "virus" is "viruses", not "virii".

    Thank you!!! These people are driving me nuts!

    The other thing that bugs me is that main stream media is not mentioning that Code Red only affects Microsoft operating systems. They mever mention that Unix and other OS's are immune.


  • by Zero__Kelvin ( 151819 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @08:49AM (#2176523) Homepage

    CmdrTaco says:

    "I love the word 'Commingling'. I wish it meant something cooler then it does."

    Perhaps this is so, but he likes the word 'then' even more, since he should be writing 'cooler than it does.' CT continues to do this. I pointed it out last time too, which goes to show that CmdrTaco doesn't 'waste his time' [] reading Slashdot, anyways 8^}
  • I'm not contesting that - I was trying to point out (poorly, I'll admit) that Microsoft has basically forced themselves into a corner. I see two possible outcomes if they are forced to remove IE from their operating systems:
    1. Practically every Windows application under the sun will require you to install IE for some reason. (It should be noted that the HTML help is a vast improvement over previous help systems, and I for one would not like to return to the old Win3.1 style help system. This might force applications that otherwise wouldn't require IE to require it. It's easier than a custom help system, after all.)
    2. Practically every OEM under the sun bundles IE for Microsoft anyway - either by MS giving them discounts to do so (which would probably be illegal) or by simply forcing IE via typically bundled software - like word processors and the like.

    The fight isn't over IE anymore - they won, even if they lose the court battle. The new fight will be over bundling other features - an HTML viewer has just become too useful.


  • Yeah, right. They can't remove Internet Explorer anymore - that would break WinAmp, the lasted AOL Instant Messenger, the help system...

    The latest versions of WinAmp include a "minibrowser" that is... the IE HTML control. All the latest "help" files (think texinfo pages, man pages, what have you) are done via HTML ... rendered in ... the IE HTML control. The latest IM, released today, starts up with this "AIM Today" screen... which is a webpage... rendered via the IE HTML control.

    For added fun, the home addition of WinXP contains at least the following functions handled via the IE HTML control (at least as of the last beta before RC1 - I'll be able to test RC1 later this month, but not now):

    • The Login Screen (no, really)
    • Windows Explorer (the file manager - it would seem that the "web view" is now permentantly part of the thing and can't be disabled, but I haven't played around with it much)
    • User Control Panel (really! you control it via an HTML page, although it's set up like a control pane)

    The bottom line is that while it could be demonstrated that IE wasn't really comminglinged with Windows 98, it is so throughly mixed up in WinXP (and in many apps that run on Win98+), that it can no longer effectively be removed. It wouldn't just break Microsoft software, it would break third party software.

    (Personally, I believe that modern GUI kits should have an HTML control, but that it should be as tied down as possible - no JavaScript, image loading only via the app, etc. so as to make it that much more "secure.")

    (And I most point out the irony that IM, which is currently bundled with Navigator (I kid you not), apparently now uses IE to render it's little "IM Today" screen.)


  • Quicktime? Ack. Here's an MPEG link [] for everyone.
  • First stop MSNBC, next stop MSUSA. Finally Microsoft will be able to innovate the judicial system.

  • I love the word "Commingling"

    I'll love it too when the Justice Dept. forces me to pay an extra $49 for the "Microsoft Bonus Pack" featuring IE and Windows Media Player.

    Seriously, IE is so far ahead of other browsers MS could charge for it, but they don't.

    Does anyone really think justice would be served forcing millions of Windows users to pay for the extras that you now get for free?

    Intelligence: Finding an error in a Knuth text.

  • Let's force him to start using proper Enlish. It's not as if it's a typo.

    The thing that is especially discouraging to me as a programmer, is that "then" is a programmatical term that should never be confused with "than".

    What a hoser.
  • The point of the Windows/Applications breakup plan was that Microsoft uses it's OEM contracts for Windows to push application or 'middleware' software (IE, MediaPlayer, MSN, .NET) in a monopolistic manner.

    The trial wasn't about whether Microsoft has a monopoly in the Office software market (they probably do), so it pretty much leaves their methods of marketing Office (including tieing it to IE) untouched, except to the extent Office is sold through OEM contract bundles.

    Even though Office has a huge marketshare, it's not a very effective method of software distribution. I read that over 50% of the market is on Office 97 or earlier, where OEMs don't have much choice but to ship the latest and greatest version of Windows on new machines.

    So, basically, you can forget about all of Microsoft's other crimes, both real and imagined -- the trial is pretty much only about how Microsoft packaged and sold Windows to OEMs (with some supporting bits about Java and Apple).
  • Not ignoring my sig for the moment, the point of the trial is that Microsoft committed criminal actions, and therefore are suspect to certain penaties, including legally limiting their future behavior.

    The break up plan wouldn't prohibit the OS company from introducing APIs that do useful things like rendering HTML or playing MP3/WMA music. They might be able to tie those things into the shell, even. It however would prohibit them from shipping a fully-formed web-browser or media player at the same time those APIs are released to the public, and then using OEM contract leverage to enforce shipping those applications in a certain configuration. The idea is that the MS application group should be the exact same competitive situation as anyone else.
  • by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @08:33AM (#2176541) Journal
    It is going to be interesting to see how the PR Weasles at MS worm out of this one.

    This decision is consistent with the reuling that the original judge screwed up badly by mouthing off. The original findings of FACT remain, and someone else has to redo the penalities.

    In this case, if there is no breakup, then a huge fine, say equal to most of their cash reserves, and a prohibition from releasing any new versions of Windows or other similar platform programs, such as their .NET effort for 4 or 5 years should be adequate. (one or two would not be enough) I might include Passport in this as well.

    We need to drive home that they screwed up. They need the thousand watt lightbulb experience on this. They need to get it. Wrist slap penalties do not do this.

    The primary target has to be the PR weasles, who have promoted a certain vision and way of doing business. The dev crew buys off on the vision, but they are kept in the dark on the PR wealse inner secrets on how to do business. The result is that the Dev crew maintains its loyalty, and doesn't realize their inadvertant complicity with the destructiveness of the PR Weasles.

    The PR Weasles have grown a destructive culture in Microsoft.

    They don't know you have to let your competitors breath.

  • Actually Kodak was upset because Window XP ignored the Kodak software when Kodak's customer plugged Kodak's camera into the customer's PC. Instead, Microsoft's photo software with built-in links to Microsoft's business partner's would come up. One shortcoming of this is that Kodak would then be responsible for handling customer support for their camera with Microsoft's software.

    Or would the Kodak customer expect Microsoft to help them get their camera working with Windows.

    Admittedly, I am a little biased in that I am a very happy Kodak customer (DC250). And the Kodak software worked perfectly for me right out of the box.

  • by hex1848 ( 182881 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @08:27AM (#2176543) Homepage
    Main Entry: commingle

    Pronunciation: k&-'mi[ng]-g&l, kä-
    Date: circa 1626
    transitive senses

    1 : to blend thoroughly into a harmonious whole
    2 : to combine (funds or properties) into a common fund or stock []

  • by Chundra ( 189402 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @08:23AM (#2176545)
    The appeals court also rejected the government's request to speed up the hearing.

    It is believed that the issue should be resolved by 2025, when the United States of Microsoft Supreme Court dismisses the case.

  • by 11223 ( 201561 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @08:18AM (#2176548)
    I love the word "Commingling". I wish it meant something cooler then it does.

    Do you mean something cooler or something hornier?

  • by JasonSkywalker ( 204047 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @09:42AM (#2176550)
    I think he means this [].

  • Did MS up the release date of XP? Seems like RC2 came out awefully close to the release of RC1. I thought the final version was to be released in the Fall. Is this for retail or for OEMs (which you said the OEM version will be shipped mid-August)?
  • Microsoft is just playing the game to prevent the gov. from stopping the release of XP. Once XP is out there, it can't be taken back. If Mircrosoft is forced to play fairly only after XP is released, it's more bad news for the rest of us.

    Unfortunately, deciding on issues only after they have become moot seems to be the habit of this Supreme Court. I had an example, but I can't seem to recall- maybe I"m still in denial...


  • If splitting is out of consideration, does anyone have any guess as to the other likely remedy options?

    I did hear some talk of hanging Bill Gates by his testicles gripped in a vice.

  • I believe the only correct way to break up MS is NOT to break them up along product lines.

    Instead, break them up into several baby-Bills. Each with ALL of their products. Now you'll have true competition. Several companies selling the same OS, Office, etc. The products will fork, because each company will want to differentiate and improve it's product over the competition.

    If an OEM can't get a good deal from Microsoft-A, then they can try going to Microsoft-B, or Microsoft-C for more favorable terms. Microsoft-B would want to compete against Microsoft-A and Microsoft-C, so would have some incentive to try to acquire that screwed over OEM from Microsoft-A. Microsoft-B has an obligation to it's shareholders to try to beat out Microsoft-A and Microsoft-C.
    "Linux is a cancer" -- Steve Ballmer, CEO Microsoft.
  • The support costs for app developers will go up dramatically (why does this work on Win-A but not Win-B?).

    It would be in the intrest of all three baby-bills to make this not happen.

    The API will be effectively frozen, unless all of the players involved agree to extending it in a certain way. This limits certain possibilities for supporting new hardware and applications, because such agreement is virtually impossible.

    It would be in their economic interest to agree. But other OSes couldn't be excluded from helping to set standards. Standards settings groups of industry leaders could be formed, as sometimes happens right now.

    Another thought I had. What of one of the baby-bills had a revelation and saw the Open Source light? Hmmmm. :-)
    "Linux is a cancer" -- Steve Ballmer, CEO Microsoft.
  • by evanbd ( 210358 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @09:35AM (#2176557)
    If knowledge is power, and power is sexy, then why am I still single??

    Because your concept of knowledge involves copy/pasting from dictionaries.

  • That's pulling out the big 'D'!

    Not 'D' as in Defense, but 'D' as in deeee-NIED!

    It's certainly a happy thing to see it go back to the penalty phase, considering the imminent release of XP, and mid-August isn't like hearing "until Mid-April, 2002" which seems the pace of too many of these things. Possible court injunction against XP? That'd really wake them up (Hint: Bill, you're buying the House, but you gotta buy the President, too, if you want to name your own judges.)

    Various segments, words or ideas contained in this post may have been routed through Microsoft Passport® in the past, to be on the safe side, this entire post ©Microsoft Corporation, 2001 in pur-pet-tooo-itty.

    All your .sig are belong to us!

  • Welcome to the new Business Model for the internet.

    In case you haven't noticed, a grillion dotcoms (some with actually good products) have failed due to hyped expectations and the fallout. The new business model for internet technologies is to make a profit by directing users through services which they will have to pay for, unlike expecting advertising to pick up the tab. Microsoft just wants the kingpin position. Their so ruthless they make the mafia look like pikers. (Hey, Ballmer, this guy doesn't want to play ball with us, take him out back and mess up his revenue stream.)

    All your .sig are belong to us!

  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @09:42AM (#2176562) Homepage Journal
    Of course the lower court could initially enjoin Microsoft from shipping XP, which they'd have to appeal, thus the waiting game works against M$. With so much ammo about M$ dirty tactics to help their partners and themselves, (CNet news: Microsoft, Kodak face off over Windows XP, July 31, 2001 []) it's conceivable that M$ could get slapped where it hurts the most, product rollout. Particularly after dumping a lot of money into preparing the media blitz and rollout party.

    All your .sig are belong to us!

  • Not only can we not talk about technology freely in the USA because someone may already own those thoughts ... eg., Dmitry Sklyarov's arrest. []

    Now it is also clear that, in the USA, business people need government approval before proceeding with product convergence ... eg., not ok for M$ to bundle their browser as part of their OS.

    Very cool if you are a foreign country with an eye to lure talent and successful companies. (e.g., Such a country could advertise a "freedom of speech" and "freedom to innovate" policies.)

    ~~ the real world is much simpler ~~
  • because we'd then have to hire someone to stand over them to make sure the companies aren't covertly working together to squash competition.
    ALL OF IT!!!
    while most of it is garbage as proven by the reliability of MS product, this will remove any barrier to entry and we can finish projects like WINE to be able to use windows code on other platforms, thereby destroying the monopoly power of the evil empire. This is the only way to take away the leverage MS has on the PC market, give us the source, and then let them do what they want after that.
    Given equal footing, MS will never be able to catch up with the awsome power of the open source development model and would be forced into working with the rest of the industry to survive, instead of writing rules for everyone else to play by.

  • do you want to be the guy standing over the baby bills making sure they're playing fair?
    just because they're "seperate" won't keep them from scheming to take over the world.
    I believe that the price they should pay is to give up what they have developed to control the market and this is the ONLY solution that would put us all on a competitive level. they can go ahead and release win Xwhatever in closed source in the future, but the existing codebase that's been used to rape competitors would no longer be the exclusive property of MS.
  • Can someone explain what will be the focus of the next round of court hearings--i.e., those that the Justice Department wanted to speed up?

    Does this mean that splitting MS in two is off the table, or that the remedy merely has to be reconsidered from a blank slate, so to speak? If splitting is out of consideration, does anyone have any guess as to the other likely remedy options?

    And what are the other aspects of the judge's decision that have to be reconsidered, according to CNN? Are they of any practical significance?

    I suppose I could look for this somewhere, but I'm lazy and thought I'd ask in case someone already knew.
  • The problem with your argument is that : a) You wouldn't be able to sell your OS to the OEMs because M$ has an agreement with them not to sell other OSes or else fear the wrath of having to pay full price for Windoze. b) Linux comes with several browsers, several word processors, a couple of GUIs, all made by different people/companies. You don't have to pay Red Hat to put it in, just make a half decent product and it'll get in. But they aren't tied to the OS. You can uninstall any or all of the bundled applications at any time. It's only under great pressure that they have given an uninstall option for IE in WinXP...strangely enough, something they said was impossible not so long ago. And enuf for now....changing opinion on /. is like a peaceful march achieving change in govt policy - unheard of, but technically not impossible.
  • Microsoft makes a product, Microsoft charges some amount of money for said product. If you don't like the product, or the way it is produced, then don't buy it.

    Nope, sorry but that just doesn't work. (let the stoning begin)
    Operating systems are more like fax machines than bread. I.e. it's hard to imagine what incompatible bread would be, much less how it would effect anyone besides the purchaser, but an incompatible fax would be a problem for everyone who owns a fax machine - even people without incompatible brands. In the case of Microsoft, they aren't just selling something incompatible, they are actually making it incompatible after the fact.

    What's more, Microsoft actually does have some power to force us to buy their browser, simply by being the biggest OS. If all they did was suceed by suceeding, then it wouldn't be so bad. But they are trying to destroy the competition in ways that are illegal. This isn't the first time they've been found guilty of violating law, and unless the courts apply a structuaral remedy of some sort,it probably won't be the last. Not buying the product isn't enough, because Microsoft is messing with the alternatives.

  • Now maybe the Court can get down to business and consider the remedies to be imposed. Finally, a Microsoft delay tactic has failed.
  • I REALLY wish that non-lawyers (especially ACs) would stop spreading misinformation about legal issues. This is NOT a Microsoft victory. The trial court gets the case back on August 12 instead of the case staying with the Appeals Court for reconsideration of appeals issues.

    The Gov't's loss means that they have to wait until Aug. 12 (10 days - big whoop) for the trial court to get it back - they had asked for it immediately.

    As for WinXP, that is a separate suit entirely. It has nothing to do with the Gov't's antitrust suit, although many of the same actions and laws are involved. MS may get seriously burned there because a private company is suing them alleging WinXP infringes 4 of its patents. A federal court may not like the antitrust issues against MS, but patents are a whole different area. Courts have no problems preventing the sale of allegedly infringing products.

  • You missed the point. I am going to assume that you are not some random troll.
    1) you do pay for ie. all windows users do, wether they use it or not. tanstaafl. Paying for ms*, you pay for their 'free' products. Now, my opinion of IE is that it is inferior, and in fact dangerous (in terms of viri and other malicious code) to run on your computer. Why should I 1) be forced to pay for ie when i buy a copy of windows to play diabloii? and why should i 2) be forced to use it at work, despite my perception of it's inferiority? (this happens because the boss ppl want to 'standardize' the office, and because of the convenience of the software already being set up on the machine and the fact that they will do the thing that takes the least effort and standardize, ie is their choice.)
    The issue is not which browser is better, it is the being denied the freedom to chose which browser you like and want to support.
    Would you not be a little miffed if the situation were reversed, and you were forced to select / pay for / a browser that you did not have any desire to use?
  • This isn't the US government or anything. Once you give your money to microsoft, it's theirs to do with as they please. Comingling aside, if they want to give away something they developed with their hard earned money, thats their business alone. Unless you're a stockholder, which I doubt.

    I was arguing against the deception that you do not pay for windows. Someone pays those programmers to do their job. The money comes from the profit that they make (and they make a lot of it ... saying things like hard earned money is slightly misleading ... they make a *lot* of money ... it is not like we are talking about starving minimum wage lifestyles for the stockholders.) The idea behind the capitalist economic model is that a person 'votes' or 'supports' the things that they feel are valid. But dominance in one market (operating systems) should not give them the right to dictate another market (browsers). That is illegal. They are not giving anything away. It is like when a department store lowers its book prices to undersell used book stores in order to corner the market in a specific geographical area, and then, once the other stores are out of business, raising the prices to the normal price. It is both illegal and immoral, and it leads to less freedom of choice for individuals. And personally, I do not care about the freedom of choice for dirty unwashed masses. I care about the freedom of choice for me. Netscape was not forced out of the market because they built an inferior product. They were forced out because microsoft lowered the price of the browser below the cost of production using the money from another enterprise.

    Because at work, it's not your computer. If you don't like your company's IT policies, attacking microsofts business practices is an awfully roundabout way to effect change.

    The problem with the IT policies (and it happens at many companies) is that they are not driven by what product is *best* but by what product comes prebundled. Thus, microsoft prebundling 'free' software unfairly inhibits the normal selection of software based on perceived quality. I would not have a problem with them choosing ie if they came to that decision through a process other than 'well, it came pre bundled, so that is what we will use'. And while yes, in an ideal world it policy would be driven by something other than laziness, this is not an ideal world, and microsoft knows that and takes advantage of it. Then they cross into the illegal realm by forcing businesses to *only* bundle ms products (or products ms gives them permission to bundle).

    I try not to be a raving anti-microsoft techie, but it is hard when ms-pplz do not take the time to try and see things from the other side's point of view. Well, that is my 2c, I have to get back to work or I will be here all night.

  • I've been kind of irked by this whole Microsoft anti-trust thing. I think this whole "bundling" thing is really just irrelevant to how they've abused their monopoly power. Unfortunately, there are some misdeeds that just never seemed to get addressed. People just talk about the bundling over and over again and forget about...

    MS buttfucking spyglass [], or the conjuring of Steve Barkto [], or maybe even vaporware []

    I know this stuff was touched upon in the suit, but during the whole trial it was just a big argument over whether or not MS could bundle IE with its OS.

    And the senators who want an XP junction, unfortunatley, have missed the point as well, stating the bundling is the problem, but neglecting to address the issues of not letting people legitamately use the products they paid for [].

  • Can someone explain what will be the focus of the next round of court hearings--i.e., those that the Justice Department wanted to speed up?
    Basically what happens next is that it's referred back down to the origional District court for a re-hearing on remedies. There will be a process by which one of 12 judges that operate in the court are selected with Jackson being excluded for his "out of bounds" remarks.
    Any appeal to the supreme court of this most recent decision will 99% chance be denied due to the fact that the appeal was heard in front of a full panel (7) of judges.
  • My mind wanders from day to day, and a plausable conspiracy theory popped into my mind:
    Not true but could be: Microsoft releases IIS4.0 with future plans, implements overflow bug on purpose. Releases IIS 5.0 w/ same bug. The time comes to implement their plan. Distribute a worm that appears to come from china that causes no damage to the servers(memory-resident) and then force everyone to install the newest security patch. This patch then fixes the hole, but opens another that doesn't log any activity coming from M$'s subnet so that they now have access to millions of web servers to do whatever they please. Their new trojan horse then lets them check for license compliance on every machine and then ultimately plant a self-destruct timer that forces an upgrade to M$ Windows $upreme Server(monthly lease of course).

    obviously not true, but hey, it could happen!
  • by Derkec ( 463377 ) on Thursday August 02, 2001 @08:28AM (#2176624)
    I'm willing to bet that Mircrosoft will appeal this to the Supremem Court, if only to slow down the process. Microsoft won the browser with the tactics no being declared illegal and is looking to win instant messanging, multimedia delivery and a few other items this way as well. WinXP is the key to this, and it has to ship soon, and with all the 'features' in place. Microsoft is just playing the game to prevent the gov. from stopping the release of XP. Once XP is out there, it can't be taken back. If Mircrosoft is forced to play fairly only after XP is released, it's more bad news for the rest of us.
  • Our court system is simply too inefficient to deal with big technology firms. Market conditions don't stay the same for 3 months, let alone the years it takes to resolve big cases like this. By the time any final sanctions are made, the underlying issue is no longer applicable.

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?