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Microsoft Trial Sent Back To Lower Court 294

nexex writes: "FoxNews is reporting that as expected, a federal appeals court sent Microsoft Corp.'s antitrust case Friday back to a lower court to determine what penalty should be imposed on the software giant. "Microsoft has failed to demonstrate any substantial harm that would result from the reactivation of proceedings in the district court," the appeals court ruled. "It appears that Microsoft has misconstrued our opinion, particularly with respect to what would have been required to justify vacating the district court's findings of fact and conclusions of law," the court wrote." Well, now we get to hear about Kollar-Kotelly instead of Jackson. Yay.
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Microsoft Trial Sent Back To Lower Court

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  • the m$ pain just end already...

    if they wern't a HUGE corporation this would have been over long ago...
  • Didn't the appeals court make this ruling a week ago?

    • They ruled that it would get sent back to the lower court in a week. Today is when it actually happened.
    • It was ruled that the original judge (Thomas Penfield Jackson []) would not preside over the penalty phase of the trial since it was determined (fairly or not...) that he was biased against Microsoft [], based on statements he made durring the trial. The DOJ denied these charges [] presumably because they wantedan advantage durring the penalty phase.

      This new article identifies Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly as the presiding judge for the penalty phase.

      • Re:NOT old news (Score:3, Informative)

        by gorilla ( 36491 )
        Her Bio is here []. No mention of anything to do with computers, but she was an attorney in the DoJ for 3 years.
      • Re:NOT old news (Score:4, Insightful)

        by fishbowl ( 7759 ) on Friday August 24, 2001 @03:59PM (#2215115)
        >he was biased against Microsoft

        Damn right he was biased. He has an obligation to be biased against any party who gives false
        testimony in his court!

        What surprises me the most about this Microsoft
        trial, is that the Antitrust act is still the focus. The perjury alone should have been enough
        to bring down the empire.

        • Wrong.

          See, Perjury is a felony, punishable by fines and or prison time.

          Felony does not constitute anti-trust laws, so even if Perjury charges had been filed, taken to court, and ruled and appealed on, MS still wouldn't have been split for that reason.

          Regardless of the acts of any participants, for MS to broken up, a clear finding of fact and free and fair trial and a relevant application of law would have to be ruled on.

          About his so called "requirement" to be "biased" againt anyone who gives false testimony, that isn't correct. Perjury does not change the underlying facts. If I go to trial for murder, and the prosecutor asks me "How old are you?" and I lie, do I get automatically convincted of murder because I lied about my age? No. Now, the Jury or Judge depending on the case, can take my lying into consideration during deliberations, but a lie does not change and underlying fact. The lies of MS did not change the basic facts of the case. Therefore, the bias is only applicable in the wieghting of the testimony of participants in regards to intent, opinion, etc.

          What Jackson did was to give out interviews where he called the head of MS, a participant, names like and slur the company. This was during the trial, before the facts had all been present. He called MS's action similiar to those of a drug-ring, or that of Napeleon. This shows he had already judged the veracity of the participants conduct and testiomy, as well as determined they had broken the law, before the trial was over and the entirety of the case presented. This means before MS even had chance to defend itself completely the case was predetermined.

          No matter what, no matter the circumstance, no matter what the cost, every person, individual, company, and corporation deserves to have a free, fair, and unbiased trial, judge, and legal system. Anything less is unacceptable, even for MS.
          • I think you are missing my point, that executives
            of a corporation doing Federal time for perjury and obstruction of justice will be far more damaging to the company than anything else the DOJ can do.

            The judge could have asked for heads on a platter and had them delivered. The fact that he did not do that shows great restraint. I would like to have seen them busted hard though.

            You give up your right to a fair trial when you are proven to have lied to a court of law. I still want to see heads on stakes over that one.

            While you're at it, bring me the head of William Jefferson Clinton, on the same principle. In Clinton's case even more severely so -- Attorneys are held to an even higher standard of integrity and honesty.

            • I think you are missing my point, that executives
              of a corporation doing Federal time for perjury and obstruction of justice will be far more damaging to the company than anything else the DOJ can do.

              Indeed probably simply bringing them to trial would be damaging to things such as share price...
  • Why Steve Ballmer is acting so crazy recently?

    To plead mental hillness of course...
  • delaying more. This is exactly what Microsoft [] wants. The longer that it can get pushed around in the lower courts, the longer they can continue their monopolistic exploits (no pun intended)

    Think about it: They're going to get hit with one helluva fine when this all falls through. And what are they doing? Trying to get their stock values back up to the point where they can take the hit without losing everything.

    The longer this takes, the longer Microsoft wins.

    • Since they can't do the breakup, then I propose the corporate equivalent of a Jail Sentence.

      I would like to see them prohibited from publishing or releasing free or not free, any new software that is internet enabled such as a browser, etc for up 8 to 10 years. New versions of the OS could be released with only the current level of internet capability, say as of April 2001, or whatever

      Time off for good behavior so if they play really nice the judge can knock it down to 5.

      That, and a really good fine, like about 10 or 20 billion dollars, the possible profits from their illegal acts, should be a good enough slam to get their attention.

      Let them sell Office if they want, without any new internet capability. No more new issues of IE, in or Out of Windows, freezing them at the current level. No more MSN special clients. No special .NET clients

      Freeze the intenet capability right where it is right now.

      This would certainly work as a jail term. They couldn't do anything with there ill gotten gains for many years. But it won't kill them.

      And of course, to get anyplace, they might have to sell of part of their operation anyhow.

      - - -
      Radio Free Nation []
      is a news site based on Slash Code
      "If You have a Story, We have a Soap Box"
      - - -

    • With a new judge assigned, the penalty phase will be drawn out as arguments are re-presented to a far greater degree than if Jackson were still presiding over the case, since he has gained a familiarity with it over the past 2 years. This, it seems will be sufficient to allow Microsoft at least the time needed to release Windows XP and perhaps cause even more damage to the computer industry.

  • this case is just going to go back and forth between all kinds of courts. m$ will appeal any judgement against them. and on top of that, i really don't think anyone cares anymore. --
  • Uh-huh (Score:2, Funny)

    by tbone1 ( 309237 )
    "It appears that Microsoft has misconstrued our opinion, ..."

    Uh, yeah. I know that because of PR you have to spin things in such a way, but if you really believe that M$ didn't understand what the government's opinion was, you'd believe that Ballmer has a future as an exotic dancer.

    • > "It appears that Microsoft has misconstrued our opinion, ..."

      Micorsoft is in the business of misconstruing things: "innovate", "bug", "user friendly", "stable", "inexpensive", etc., etc., etc. They hardly make a statement without twisting the meaning of something around.

  • Not much. They are way behind on this one. Now they will decide on actions that will do little to slow MS.

    MS is more bold than ever and are making a huge push to get a death grip on subscription services.

    Will the remidies deal with .Net.

    If they don't what is the point. This has gone on to long and MS is poised to turn the corner on the next decade.

    The government is to late to help. And I don't know what remedy would work anyway.

    Oh well...
    • Will the remidies deal with .Net. ?

      Actually, Jackson's did. His proposal would have limited MS' ability to enter the middleware market -- the OS of the 'net -- at the behest of the government lawyers, I believe. That goes to the core of .NET.

    • How do you want the government to address .Net? If you're suggesting that Microsoft shouldn't be allowed to make .NET so it only works with Windows clients, then I agree the govenment needs to do that.

      If you're saying that Microsoft shouldn't be able to create a subscription based service, then I'd say the govenment shouldn't be directing the path that technology takes.

      Microsoft should be kept from using their current Monopoly to Monopolize different markets, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed to enter new markets.

      • If you're saying that Microsoft shouldn't be able to create a subscription based service, then I'd say the govenment shouldn't be directing the path that technology takes.

        They wouldn't be; they'd be directing the path that Microsoft takes. The lumping together of MS and "technology" is what the MS propaganda has been doing for years. Don't let them build .net, but let Sun or Oracle or Netscape or whoever wants to do it do it.
        • So Microsoft isn't allowed to evolve as the market evolves? They don't get to change as their customer's needs change? The govenment may as well take Microsoft's intelectual property away from them. Either way you're destroying the company.

          Sun, Oracle, and Netscape have looked into subscription services. The problem is that the software people want is Microsoft Office. I remember when there was much more competition in the office suite market. I used and hated Word Perfect for a while. I liked AMI Pro. Incompatible file formats were a nightmare. Maybe with XML things would be differnet now, but what really killed other office suites was that Microsoft saw that people didn't always use the best product for the job, they used the product they were most familliar with. Microsoft's solution was to tightly integrate their office suite. You can easily put tables in Word documents. Features for the most part work the same across the different applications. They did this much better than their competitors, and IMHO that's what made their product the best, and let them run away with the market share.

          The market also naturally leans toward a monopoly. People want to be able to go to a computer, find the software they need, and use it. They don't want to learn different interfaces. Choice is nice, but productivity is more important. Most people I know that are not very computer literate really just want something simple to learn, and they don't want to learn different varriations. They want to learn the office suite they can use at home, at work, at their friends house, helping their mom on the phone, wherever. This does not lead to a competitive market with lots of choices.

          What this means is that, yes if the market turns toward subscription based services, Microsoft will likely end up with a monopoly there as well. The question is if the government interfereing will do more harm than good. Are competitors really offering good alternatives? Has Microsoft really failed to meet their needs in the past? Or do we just have people who want to compete in a morket that's scewed against competition. If Microsoft is prevented form entering subscription based survices, then innovation in that area will be slowed for years, becuse Microsoft is the one pushing that technology right now. However, competion will likely return for a while until a new market leader arises. But will that competition really help consumers? Will they really end up with better choices? What about all the consumers that have invested in current technology that may not transition well? In the rush to be new market leader, a lot of crap will be released. What about all the consumers that will be stuck with that crap.

          Don't get me wrong. I like competative markets. I believe in the free market economy. But the free market has let to monopolies in some markets, and breaking up natural monopolies doesn't make much sense. Microsoft also hasn't failed to meet most of their customer's needs. If they did, then competitors could cut into their market share more.
  • What I really want MS broken up for is out of hope that the applications division will then offer their products for other Operating Systems.

    Working for a major corporation makes it difficult to get anything approved on the desktop that wont run the industry "business standard" software packages - Office, FrontPage, etc.

    Office for Linux would make our lives in business and IT so much nicer, since we must use MS products anyway.

    Just a wish...
    • What's sad, is that Microsoft is the industry standard, not because their products are that much better, but because their marketing machine is better.

      I'll admit that, any more, Word seems to be better for what I do than other WP's, but that's mainly because I'm used to it. But Exchange is far from the best mail system out there. Oh, wonder of all wonders, it's integrated with a calendaring system. Who would have guessed that MS would do that.

      MS is the standard because people are lazy. And that's just sad.

  • I guess the marketing scheme of having dead people write letters of support for Microsoft didn't go quite as planned.
  • It's pretty much back to Square 1 for this case?

    Microsoft had also said that if the appeals court didn't put the case on hold, it would put the public's faith in the judicial system in jeopardy.

    With that kind of argument, Microsoft seems almost desperate. The public already knows that the judicial system is buried in legal red tape.

    Then again, who will they appeal to if the Supreme Court orders atheir breakup?
  • If Windows XP gets out the door before any penalty kicks in, I don't think we have any hope.

    Isn't M$ trying to weld Office and IE in permanently to XP so it can't be separated, as well as bribing their way out?

    • If Windows XP gets out the door before any penalty kicks in, I don't think we have any hope.

      In other news [], Microsoft says that XP has gone gold and is going to be released to OEMs today.

    • by RelliK ( 4466 ) on Friday August 24, 2001 @03:34PM (#2214976)
      IANAL, yada, yada, yada....

      DoJ can ask the judge for a preliminary injunction against XP, that is, an injunction that is issued *before* the trial. The judge will do it if 1) he/she thinks that there is high likelihood that he/she will come to the same conclusion after the trial, and 2) the plaintiff can demonstrate irreparable harm if the injunction is not issued immediately. In this case it's easy: MS is arrogantly using the same anti-competitive tactics they were sued for, and if injunction is not issued before XP is out, it will be too late.
      Microsoft is well aware of that. This is why they are trying very hard to delay the case and push forwrard the release of XP. First they re-appealed to the appeals court (The Register had a funny title for this "Microsoft asks the court to find it a little bit not guiltier" :-) Then they appealed to the Supreme Court and simultaneously asked the appeals court to put the case on hold until the supreme's decision. Appeals court refused. The case is moving forward.

      Two questions remain: will DoJ ask for preliminary injunction against XP? (so far they have given several indications that they will). Will the judge grant it? That remains to be seen....

  • I mean, Windows XP is nice. It has more bundled software and features then you can shake a stick at.

    Price is affordable, for the upgrade 100-200.00 seems like alot, but your getting legal mp3 encoding software, legal cd recording software, an os upgrade, compatibility with prior software and a fairly common platform that you can go to any store and buy software and hardware for.

    While linux is improving nicely, it still lacks heavily in any music reporduction, media interfaces business applications. I'd rather pay 199.00 bucks for something that works out of the box and comes with lots of software then several hours downloading, burning iso's and then chasing down the latest versions of all apps waisting a whole entire weekend or business days (thus costing more then the 199.00 XP package).

    I'm not dissing linux, and not praising XP. Its just time for everyone to get off there totem poll and just use what is out there. You have your choices, microsoft has stopped blocking OEM's from shipping other programs and that is what the antitrust case should have been about. It shouldn't be about a browser that is included, you can install any browser you wish.

    So now people will sue microsoft because it/they still include apps within the os.

    Nobody sues IBM for OS/2 that was bundled with a browser (warp 3 & 4), Nobody sued Sun for including the ancient java browser and prefering that you use there browser.

    Nobody sued Redhat for defaulting to the gnome desktop and making it hard for people to get KDE (which as of 7.2 will be a thing of the past.. redhat is more desktop agnostic now). But still, if i have to download the rpm's for netscape or mozilla on any other platform why the hell is it so hard for a windows user to download and run an installer for that application on the Windows platform?

    Windows is microsoft's product afterall. They can decide what and how they want to to work and do. Just like you can decide what and how you want to use it!

    Nobody is holding a gun to your head. Personally XP will be my desktop and laptop OS, linux will be my Server/web/email os and linux will also be a developer os (since i can code for my dreamcast and other devices fairly easily).

    • by TBone ( 5692 ) on Friday August 24, 2001 @03:22PM (#2214899) Homepage

      The problem is....

      I can uninstall Warp. And I can uninstall HatJava. But I can't uninstall IE. And the majority of the people out there are lazy apathetic people who are thinking "Well, it's fre, and it's already installed, and even if I install something else, it'll still be taking up space, so I'll just use this [browser|encoder|player|...]".

      The issue isn't that other applications can be installed with Windows. The issue is that other applications _have_ to be installed with Windows. Not only that, but that for Windows to even work correctly, some of those applications have to be present. If you don't see the problem with this, let me try this. You can buy these CD's, but in order to do that, you have to buy this CD player. And this CD case. And this CD labeling system. You may never use these tools, but that's how the CD's come - bundled with all this other stuff.

      You forget that you are a technical person probably with a broadband connection. 90% of the US, at last count, was still on 56K or slower dialup connections, and 98% of them run Windows. Sure then can download Netscape and RealPlayer and Quicktime, but they aren't going to, because it's inconvenient, and Cousin Betty got a virus the last time she installed software from the internet, or it may not work right, and then they will get pissed off, run their restore CD, and not put Netscape, Realplay, or Quicktime back on the new install.

      The typical PC user is _dumb_ when it comes to how computers work and what they do. Even the non-typical ones are pretty dumb. My wife knows a good deal about computers, just from me, but when it comes down to it, she just wants her computer to work. She complained last night because she had to reboot after updating the DAT file for McAfee. Of course you have to reboot, but it was an inconvenience, and she wanted to go play EverQuest.

      This case isn't about defending the rights of the Geeks to get Opera and Cygnus WinTools and stuff pre-instlaled on our computer from Dell, it's about defending the apathetic Joe Average computer user from having their entire computing experience controlled by a single company.

      • Oh blather.

        Most people simply aren't going to install Netscape simply because it's a piece of shit and has been for about 4 years now. (although NS6 is better it still lags behind IE5.5)

        In the 1980's Honda cut into Chevrolet's marketshare pretty hard. They sold cars that were affordable and higher quality than what Chevy had available.

        You are essentially arguing that this was somehow unfair to Chevy because customers are not stupid and will not spend more money and buy a piece of junk, so by default they are going to buy a Honda.

        While that might be true, I don't see the consumer being harmed, just Chevrolet.

        • You are essentially arguing that this was somehow unfair to Chevy because customers are not stupid and will not spend more money and buy a piece of junk, so by default they are going to buy a Honda.

          While that might be true, I don't see the consumer being harmed, just Chevrolet.

          The analogy doesn't stick though; the main reason Microsoft released IE for free was because they were scared as hell that Netscape would become a new software platform--an alternative to Windows. A better analogy would be Chevrolet designing a new type of 4 wheel vehicle, and Honda retaliating by giving away cars for free to run Chevrolet out of business.
          • Perhaps, but Netscape is the one who started giving the browser away for free to consumers.

            The first Microsoft browser I encountered was included in the Plus! pack for 95, whereas I always downloaded Netscape.
      • Its not about bundling which is perfectly legal. Its about oversupplying a given market to bring demand down below the cost to produce it. Microsoft uses the word bunlding to make use think they are just being the good guys and bringing us more software and greater features. In actuality, they are driving competitors out of bussiness by tying which is illegal. This is why IE was everywhere when netscape was still hot. Microsoft bundled it with ever cd-rom for every magazine to even on hardware driver installation cd's. They then tied IE api's with their standard c++ calls so IE would be required when using third party apps compilied with visual c++. This is very illegal and is quite different then just bunlding something.

    • There is a HUGE difference between every company that you just mentioned and Microsoft. Microsoft the only company in the list that is a monopoly. This ruling doesn't change the fact that they are legally a monopoly...just means the punishment will be different.

      Anyways, all of the rules change when you're a monopoly. One of the biggest changes is that you can't use your monopoly power in one market to push into a different market...can you seriously tell me that's not what MS is doing?
    • Actually people aren't sueing Microsoft for bundling software. They're sueing Microsoft for using it's monopoly status to destroy other companies.

      Without restriction Microsoft can kill any software company that it wants to.

      At this point it fairly well documented that Microsoft will use unfair and illegal tactics to kill any competitors...

      If you think you are safe then you are very naive. Microsoft could put presure on hardware companies to not allow drives for your product. Microsoft could persuade the big OEMs to charge more if customers wanted to use your product. Or Microsoft could force them to not sell your product at all. Microsoft can try hire all your best programmers away from you. Microsoft could use their enormous advertising budget to slander your company and product. So how are you going to compete now that your software doesn't run on any hardware and either no one will sell it for you or if you do sell it, part of the profit goes directly to Microsoft.

  • The new news is that Judge Collen Kollar-Kotelly was the specific judge selected to hear the case. I believe everything else has been known already.
    NYTimes story (no login link) []
  • by sgups ( 449689 )
    so assuming MS is forced to break up, will it be good for the IT industry or will there be more unemployed geeks. What were the short and long term effects on the telecom industry when ATT ???was forced to break up in terms of employment figures, efficiency n cost to consumer?
  • At this rate... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ferratus ( 244145 ) on Friday August 24, 2001 @02:58PM (#2214746) Homepage
    ...Bill Gates' son will be dead before the court agrees on something definitive for Microsoft. There's so many appeals of appeals of procedures that were basically just sub-appeals of some appeals of the real thing that it will never end.

    This is getting ridiculous. This is clearly a flaw and in the way US's law-model was designed. If you have the money, you can go on and on and on as long as you want.
    • ... but not for needless delays. The appeals process is the only real way to help prevent major miscariages of justice.

      What pisses me off is that one is supposed to have a "fair and speedy" trial. There's no reason I can think of for such an important case to languish between trial and appeal for so long.

    • And of course they are trying to shove XP out the door before a remedy ... I have heard from a employee of MS that XP has been "done" for two months, and OEMs should be seeing copies and day.

      take your grain of salt thou ...

  • by gmhowell ( 26755 ) <> on Friday August 24, 2001 @03:04PM (#2214785) Homepage Journal
    Hope you liked your present!

    US Appeals Court

    • Actually, allowing Microsoft to do what they want would help linux more.

      The people who would abandon Microsoft products for performance, stability, or security reasons have already done so.

      Microsoft is their own worst enemy. Windows XP's licensing will drive many away. And if they are successful at stopping "piracy" they will wipe out half their userbase in one fell blow.

      I am also against government intervention in general, despite the fact that they are a Monopoly. ( because there is no physical infrastructure to a software empire, this can change practically overnight )

      So lets mark that present "RETURN TO SENDER"

  • Clarification (Score:3, Informative)

    by rgmoore ( 133276 ) <> on Friday August 24, 2001 @03:05PM (#2214790) Homepage

    While the /. article is factually correct, it missed the main point of the action today. The big thing that happened today is that they selected the judge (Kollar-Kotelly) who will be re-hearing the penalty phase. Kollar-Kotelly is a Clinton appointee. There's a biography of her here [], but it doesn't tell much about her politics. Anyone know what her attitude is likely to be?

    • Well, as I read her bio, she is teaching about mentally ill and law which seems to fit perfectly to this case, regarding the actions of Bill and Steve.
    • There's a biography of her here [], but it doesn't tell much about her politics. Anyone know what her attitude is likely to be?

      According to the aforementioned bio, she got both her undergraduate and law degrees from Catholic University [] in Washington DC and also teaches at Georgetown. [] By all appearances she's about as much a Washington insider as a jurist can get. Now, I don't know much about her personally, but I don't think CUA's law school is particularly conservative (I was an undergrad there.) Long story made short, she'll be a competent judge, and probably lean toward the government side. I'm cautiously optimistic about her.

  • According to this article, [] the dead just love Microsoft. Even writing letters from beyond the gave in support of M$. This is not a troll (I wish it was).
  • by los furtive ( 232491 ) <> on Friday August 24, 2001 @03:12PM (#2214839) Homepage

    Obviously the most important fact about this announcement is that we have a new (and hopefuly more competent) judge involved.

    First the good news, Judge Kollar-Kotelly [] has worked as an attorney for the Department of Justice before and should therefore be sympathetic to the limited resources available to them compared to the big money behind Microsoft.

    More good news, she's decided against the Big Banks before and in favour of the credit unions in one of her previous decisions [].

    She also appears to have seen through the foolishness of some patents in another one of her judgements [], this time against the pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb.

    Anyone have any other pertinent info?
    • For those of you who aren't from the DC area, St. Elizabeth's Hospital (for whom Dr. Kollar-Kotelly was once chief legal counsel) is DC's mental institution. Seems like she's got plenty of the right kind of experience to me...
  • by Cy Guy ( 56083 ) on Friday August 24, 2001 @03:15PM (#2214863) Homepage Journal
    I did a quick Google on her and she seems to be fairly moderate, possiblly leaning more toward the little guy vs. the big monopolisitc company. The decisions that got her the most press seem to be:
    • Siding with Credit Unions on allowing them an expansive definition of who can qualify as a CU member in a civil decision against the American Bankers Association.
    • Deciding that the FDA can regulate/label GM foods just like any other food additive. Not likely to make the Greens happy, but a reasonable, consumer/regulatory friendly decision. And,
    • Finding against the CIA in FOIA suit brought by the National Security Archive, requesting bios the CIA prepared on Communist leaders. This was aparently the first decision that didn't uphold a doctrine held by the CIA that they didn't have to release documents if it they claimed to neither confirm nor deny the very existence of the documents, however, it was on a technicality that the CIA in fact already acknowledged the documents existed []
    Trying to find anything related to a previous antitrust decision was basically fruitless, though she aparently was the presiding judge that signed off on an agreement between the DoJ AntiTrust division and Fox Television.
    • Trying to find anything related to a previous antitrust decision was basically fruitless

      Excellent. Maybe an actual unbiased decision can come out of this. If she were on record as always siding for the little guy, MS would use its money to get a different judge (possibly justifiably). If she were on record as always going with the corporate behemoths, we'd be screwed.

      That the case is receiving some new blood and a fresh point of view is reassuring.

    • Their article [] states:

      "Her reputation is excellent," said Plato Cacheris, a prominent Washington lawyer whose clients have included Monica Lewinsky and two Russian spies, Robert P. Hanssen and Aldrich H. Ames. "She's intelligent and fair."

      Stanley Brand, a Washington lawyer who has appeared before the judge, described Judge Kollar-Kotelly as "practical and experienced."

      "She's not pro-government or pro- anything," he said.

      E. Lawrence Barcella Jr., another lawyer who has appeared before her, said she "brings a tremendous amount of trial experience" to the Microsoft case.

      "She has absolute control of her courtroom," Mr. Barcella said. "She's very pleasant about it and very bright."

      A 1996 article in The Washingtonian magazine rating local judges offered similar praise.

      "Her expertise in mental health issues might have put her on the map, but Kollar-Kotelly excels in virtually every type of case," the article said. "On the bench she is all business, extremely organized and efficient."

  • flamebait! (Score:2, Funny)

    by psychalgia ( 457201 )
    a LINUX story AND a MICROSOFT story within one break of each other? You really wanted to load test the banjo today, eh? heh,
  • If MS is broken up (ignore for the moment whether that is the right remedy or not) where will all the .NET stuff go? Will it go with the OS side, the apps side, some combination? At a glance it would go with the OS side, but is that the Right Thing? Will it all just dry up and go away? It's not such an easy question it seems.

    Wondering where this initiative of MS will go worries me slightly. I'd hate for the court to unwittingly unleash a "monster" without some method of redress should whatever remedy they come up with prove innefectual.

  • by stienman ( 51024 ) <.adavis. .at.> on Friday August 24, 2001 @03:43PM (#2215030) Homepage Journal
    Windows 95 started shipping today a few years ago, WinXP hit RTM (realease to manufacture) this afternoon, and the court sent the trial back down today.

    At this point, I bet the lawyers are scrambling to prepare a motion to stop shipment/distribution of WinXP, but can they succeed in less than 60 days? If so, they'll have dealt a good blow to MS - all those copies of WinXP sitting around in warehouses (we're talking several million boxes of product). This won't hurt MS much financially (much), but it'll be really interesting to see what happens then. MS would have to throw them away if the court required some unbundling. And if the court said, "No shipment until ruling" then MS would have a strong reason to help move the process along - including making some concessions they were unwilling to make a year ago.

    Believe me - Microsoft, as a whole, is riding on WinXP, as it is the most stable MS product yet, not to mention that it's the first windows to realize their dream of five years - one version/code base for both home and coporate users.

    If they can't get it out within a year...

  • The Almanac of the Federal Judiciary gives bland, but good reviews of Judge Kollar-Kotelly. (The publication calls attorneys and gives reviews without identifying the lawyers.)

    Lawyers interviewed reported:

    1) Good legal ability
    2) Good judicial temperament, however headstrong lawyers may produce a spark (i.e. Neukom may have trouble)
    3) Strict on courtroom protocol
    4) Tries to get cases settled
    5) Civil plaintiffs' lawyers think that she leans to plaintiffs. That would not be unusual for a Democratic appointee.
    6) Civil defendants' lawyers think she is pro-plaintiff. "She is one of the more liberal judges."
    7) Criminal defense lawyers thought she was fair to both sides.

    On the whole, probably not the best news for Microsoft, however, Jackson was one of the few full-time judges on the court that is not a Democractic appointee, and I don't know that Microsoft had much better coming the the luck of that particular pool of judges.
  • How big a fine to impose and what to do with the money.
    I don't see a breakup as being able to remove MS from the seat of power it now holds. If you open sorced windows, they'd just create a new closed version with "extra features".
    Therefore, I think MS should donate it's $30 billion in pocket change to the free software foundation [], for advocating and implimenting Free open source software in schools and companies. Ultimately, with enough people working with and on Linux(with enough eyes all bugs are shallow), the government reserves the cash as an asset in the form of freely available software solutions. This does 2 things:

    1. removes monopoly power by creating alternatives for not only americans, but everyone everywhere. These alternatives by nature of their open source license are guarenteed to always be available in the future.

    2. provide public awareness of alternatives to windows while leaving MS "cashless", unable to rival the marketing power of the 30 billion retrieved in the case.

    MS's monopoly needs to be brought down a few notches and I feel that MS should foot the bill for that.(no pun intended)

  • by matty ( 3385 ) on Friday August 24, 2001 @06:07PM (#2215685) Homepage
    ...for those that just don't get it yet.

    First, read this [].

    Now, imagine if the hard drive maker, or the memory maker, or the video card maker (etc., you get the point) tried to do the same thing? Compaq would have dumped them in a second and gone to a competitor.

    Now, listen carefully:


    This is precisely what is a legal definition of a monopoly (as opposed to an absolute monopoly. Many people say Microsoft doesn't have a monopoly because you can buy a copy of Red Hat and install it. These people are confusing a legally defined monopoly and an absolute monopoly like what AT&T had.)

    It's technically legal for Microsoft to have this monopoly, but it's illegal to abuse it by forcing other products down computer manufacturers throats (First Explorer, Office, MSN, now Windows Media Player, Windows Messaging, etc.)

    To all you Microsoft apologists out there: Do you REALLY want Microsoft in control of EVERYTHING to do with computing? Because, without the anti-trust case, that's exactly where we'd be heading. Without this "government interference", every computing experience would be handled by Microsoft. We'd all use Windows, Explorer, Office, MSN, Media Player, Windows Messaging, Passport, etc. and then Microsoft could charge whatever they want for all this.

    Also, without "interference", NONE of the major companies currently supporting Linux to varying degrees (IBM, HP, Compaq, Dell, etc., etc.,) would have had anything to do with Linux. The repurcussions from Microsoft would have been much too severe.

    Not to mention all the security problems that would arise out of all of this. Melissa/Love Bug/Sircam/Code Red anyone?

    I am pleased and relieved that the case is going the way it is. This will preserve some measure of computing freedom for us all.
  • Regarding Windoze XP:

    William H. Gates, the company's chairman and co-founder, hailed the new program as "the best operating system Microsoft has ever built."


"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI