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Microsoft Settles Be Antitrust Suit for $23.25M 364

ewhac writes "Without admitting wrongdoing, Microsoft today agreed to pay $23,250,000 to Be, Inc., to settle anti-trust claims against the software giant. The payout is anticipated to be used to complete the orderly dissolution of the company. Shortly after announcing sale of key assets to Palm, Be, Inc., filed suit against Microsoft in February 2002, alleging destruction of its business via illegal exclusionary and anti-competitive business practices."
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Microsoft Settles Be Antitrust Suit for $23.25M

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  • It is suggested (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mao che minh ( 611166 ) * on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:27PM (#6885584) Journal
    How does one willingly pay $25,250,000, without trial, and not admit to wrong doing? An admittance of guilt is suggested under such circumstances.
    • Re:It is suggested (Score:4, Interesting)

      by sixdotoh ( 584811 ) <sixdotoh@h o t m a i l.com> on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:31PM (#6885599) Homepage
      i remember reading in a section in ... i think it was Pride Before Fall. It went something like, If McDonalds or (some other company i don't remember) were in this (the anti-trust) situation they would've been at the DoJ's door begging please, whatever we can do to make the problem go away.

      sorry the quote is so bad, but i think it perfectly illustrates MS's attitude towards all this legal stuff. that they are just so arrogant and think themseleves above it all.

      • Re:It is suggested (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jskline ( 301574 )
        Actually that is right. Microsoft DOES think themselves better than anyone else. And worse yet; that 25 mil... is just a drop from the bucket. It will hurt them NOT!

        Microsoft will continue its tredge of killing any and all competing systems via underhanded means. They have so much power and clout now that they are pretty much unstoppable.

        You CANNNOT buy a laptop from anywhere (except used) without a manditory copy of Windows XP installed on it... Pretty sad... paying all that Micro$oft tax and all.

        Cheers
    • Re:It is suggested (Score:5, Informative)

      by GigsVT ( 208848 ) on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:32PM (#6885605) Journal
      Yeah, but it's pretty standard boilerplate in a settlement that the settling party admits no wrongdoing.

      It's mostly to keep it from being used against them later in court, when other people sue them for the same type of thing.
      • Re:It is suggested (Score:5, Insightful)

        by boneshintai ( 112283 ) <ojacobson@lionsanctuary. n e t> on Saturday September 06, 2003 @12:53AM (#6885897) Homepage

        It's mostly to keep it from being used against them later in court, when other people sue them for the same type of thing.

        I believe that was the grandparent's point. A settlement this large is a de facto admission of wrongdoing, regardless of the wording of the settlement. This should be usable against them in court in the future, whether they want it to be or not. It's no longer up to them, ideally.

        They are paying off a complaint because they do not feel that the legal system, which is ultimately designed to protect the innocent[0] will protect them. Ergo they must feel, on some level, that what they did is seen by the masses as wrong.

        Legal boilerplate should never overrule common sense, but it does. Frequently.

        [0] implementation consequences notwithstanding, that is the intent.

        • Re:It is suggested (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 06, 2003 @01:02AM (#6885923)
          It really has nothing to do with what they "admit" or "feel" -- A federal court found them to be an illegally maintained monopoly, and that means cash in the bank for anyone who was competing against them.

          Settling these cases gets them out of the quarterly reports and gets Wall Street to stop thinking about MS's legal problems.

          Also, this settlement is jackshit. Even DR-DOS got more money.
          • Re:It is suggested (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Politas ( 1535 )
            Also, this settlement is jackshit. Even DR-DOS got more money.


            DR-DOS was a product that was actually selling for a long time, and was even being pre-loaded before MS killed them with shonky license deals.

            Be just never got off the ground, because MS already had the licence deals in place. It's harder to place value on a potential.
            • Re:It is suggested (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Jon Abbott ( 723 ) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @10:08AM (#6887236) Homepage
              DR-DOS was a product that was actually selling for a long time, and was even being pre-loaded before MS killed them with shonky license deals.
              Not only were they killed by bad licensing deals, they were killed when Microsoft added code to Windows 3.x which made installing it on DR-DOS impossible. The code was along the lines of:

              1. run "ver"
              2. check for "MS" in output string
              3. if "MS" is not found, give a vaguely worded error, and don't install Windows

              And people wonder why I don't like Microsoft...
              • Re:It is suggested (Score:5, Informative)

                by Keeper ( 56691 ) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @02:51PM (#6888864)
                There was a *warning* message stating that you were running something other than MS-DOS, and that MS-DOS was the only thing MS would support. The warning message did not prevent Windows from running or installing.

                Windows 3.0 ran just fine on DR-DOS. Windows 3.1 didn't, until Novell changed some internal bits/structures in DR-DOS to match MS-DOS (they released a fixed version 6 weeks after 3.1 came out).
          • Re:It is suggested (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Locutus ( 9039 )
            it seems to have been missed but the $23 million to BE Inc was AFTER LEGAL FEES. Who knows how much they(lawyers) negotiated for. I'm with you though, Microsoft seems to have a standard of around $150 million which they'll pay for hijacked technology or will pay for the right to make sure Windows REMAINS DOMINANT( in this case ).

            LoB
        • Re:It is suggested (Score:4, Insightful)

          by eddie can read ( 631836 ) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @09:44AM (#6887109)
          They are paying off a complaint because they do not feel that the legal system, which is ultimately designed to protect the innocent[0] will protect them. Ergo they must feel, on some level, that what they did is seen by the masses as wrong.

          You're confusing a lot of things.

          1) What a judge will rule is not equal to what the masses think, so your comment about the masses doesn't follow from their action.

          2) Just because the justice system is "designed" to protect the innocent doesn't mean it actually protects the innocent, so your comment about feeling or not feeling innocent doesn't follow from their action.

          There is the chance of an unjust ruling which has to be taken into consideration when deciding whether to settle.

          There are the costs of defending themselves in court which may or may not be recovered by the innocent party.

          3) Your logic applies also to Be, since the fact that they settled could be taken to suggest that they don't think they have much of a case.
    • Re:It is suggested (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It's probably easiest for all concerned, really.

      Be won't have the money to fight a really extended suit, Microsoft doesn't want to expend the manhours to defend itself, and $25m is in comparison a tiny molecule of water in the bucket.

    • When 8 figures amounts to decimal dust, who cares?
      Probably a fraction of what the lawyers were paid, anyway.
    • Re:It is suggested (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Just as someone who pays $3500 to DirecTV or $699 to SCO because it's easier than fighting a suit is probably guilty of something? When you're as (undeservedly) rich as Microsoft is, one of the key benefits is being able to buy off nearly any litigant.

      "Guilt" in this context is a legal term, and can only be settled by a trial in a court of law. Do I think they should be found guilty? Sure. Is it likely they would be, just because it's just, right and true? Probably not, but maybe. They have the ability to
    • Not at all. With all the cash MS has in the bank, it is cheaper and easier to just pay up and move on. Simple business.
    • How does one willingly pay $25,250,000, without trial, and not admit to wrong doing?

      That's lost in the noise for Microsoft. A single court appearance would probably cost them more. This is simply a cheap settlement of a nuisance lawsuit for Microsoft.
    • Re:It is suggested (Score:4, Insightful)

      by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @12:55AM (#6885902) Homepage Journal

      When your bank balance is in the billions, would you worry about spending less than 1% of the total to avoid the risk of being found guilty in court?

      • Less than 1%? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by rcs1000 ( 462363 ) * <rcs1000&gmail,com> on Saturday September 06, 2003 @04:17AM (#6886318)
        Really, really a lot less than 1%.

        $22.5 x 10 = $225m
        x 10 = $2.25bn
        x 10 = $22.5bn
        x 2 = $45bn

        i.e. 1/2000 (or 0.05%)

        (ehich is *still* less than MSFT cash at hand...)

        But I digress. This looks like a pretty fair settlement to me. If you look at who Be's was really compeating with, it was probably Apple, and to a lesser extent SGI. I really don't think there were many BeBox buyers that thought... hmmm.. I really want a Pentium 66 running Windows 95.

        This is like Dugati extracting a settlement from Ford, as it's predatory pricing on cars was affecting Ducati's motorbike sales. There are many, many people who can claim to have been harshly affected by Miscrosoft's unfair competitive practices: Be is probably pushing it. Which is why it picked up just 0.05% of MSFT's cash balances...

        Just my 2c.
        • Re:Less than 1%? (Score:3, Interesting)

          There were actually specific actions taken by Microsoft against Be, whereas the Ford example you give is where someone might get hurt because of Ford's general marketing issues.

          As an example, one manufacturer initially agreed to bundle BeOS with their computers in addition to Windows, making them dual-boot. (I think it was Sanyo, my memory's foggy.) Microsoft immediately jumped on them, and the "dual booting" machines ended up leaving the factory with BeOS installed but no way to access the BeOS partition

      • by spacefrog ( 313816 ) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @01:06PM (#6888228)

        to avoid the risk of being found guilty in court
        • This was a
        • civil case, otherwise known as a lawsuit being tried in a civil court. Microsoft could not have been found guilty of anything, only liable or not liable.

          Civil and criminal court are very, very, very different places and the results of a victory or defeat are very different, indeed.
    • Re:It is suggested (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 1029 ( 571223 ) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @01:10AM (#6885944) Homepage Journal
      Gee, thats such an astute observation...

      Of course it is totally wrong. It is called a settlement for a reason. You settle the dispute without any more court hearings and without admitting to anything. You simply pay an amount of money you find acceptable to not have to deal with the situation anymore.

      Why is it that because MS can afford $23million without blinking that they must be admiting guilt? Would it be the same if the settled for $1 million, $1000, $1? Because all of those amounts are too much for MS to simply toss out there to get things done with and over.

      That said, past behavior dictates erring on the side of MS using illegal tactics to squash competition. But it still doesn't mean paying $23mil means admission of anything, other than admission that MS has at least $23 mil in the bank.
    • Re:It is suggested (Score:5, Informative)

      by Penguinshit ( 591885 ) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @01:30AM (#6886012) Homepage Journal
      Actually what this is, is an admission by Be that they'd rather save something to pay off the investors and/or creditors rather than be economically litigated into the ground by Microsoft.

      Remember folks, Microsoft's war chest is so great that it actually economically litigated the UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE into the ground, forcing the Feds and multiple individual States to "settle" for a bag of peanut shells and a waggling finger.

      If you can keep a court case going by filing motion after motion, continuance after continuance, and then appeal after appeal, eventually the other party will run out of money or lose interest and go away.

      Basically, during a conference call between Be's lawyers and Microsoft's lawyers, the group representing Microsoft told the group representing Be that they were prepared to spend at least 2x the remaining assets of Be to "defend themselves" and wouldn't it be in the best interests of Be to obtain *something* to return to the poor shareholders rather than see it all turn to dust with nothing in return.

      You run out of money, you run out of lawyers... that's a simple and sad fact.

      I've been party to such conference calls (on both sides). It's a dirty, pathetic business.

  • Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GigsVT ( 208848 ) on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:29PM (#6885592) Journal
    While $23 million is peanuts to MS, it makes you wonder why they would even bother settling this, it's not like Be had the resources to fight them in court.

    • Re:Interesting (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mgeneral ( 512297 )
      $23 mil is cheap when you have several billion in the bank.
      This is chump change. They wiped out a competitor, and it's more like adding insult to injury.
      Think of it like handing a bum, a panhandler, a nickel and telling him to shut up and go away.
      A very small price to get a nuisance off your back.

    • Re:Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mod_parent_down ( 692943 ) on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:49PM (#6885677)
      Probably afraid of what might have been revealed publicly by the lawsuit.

      And now we can only suspect, speculate, and wave goodbye.

    • Re:Interesting (Score:3, Insightful)

      Actually, it sounds like Be had nothing but the resources to fight them in court. A pretty good position to be in against MS: then they can't fight you any other way but legally, and given the specifics of the case, it probably wouldn't have gone nice for MS. After all, they have already got a judge saying they did something like this...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 06, 2003 @12:03AM (#6885727)
      Simple - Microsoft didn't have the resources, either.

      Their orcs, err, lawyers, have been sent to Isengard, err, SCO, to help with the capture of the One Line of Code.

      Damned Linux Hobbits.
    • Re:Interesting (Score:3, Insightful)

      by penguin7of9 ( 697383 )
      ...and have a bunch of embarrassing court appearances? This is simpler, quicker, and, in the end, cheaper.
    • Carrying a possible liability, an "oh yah, we're being sued by someone, and they might win" clause in the quarterly report, looks bad when it recurs for years.

  • by MyDixieWrecked ( 548719 ) * on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:30PM (#6885595) Homepage Journal
    The ending paragraph of that article is disturbing to say the least. Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device. pshhhh... right. ;)
  • wha? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Moose-Alini ( 666859 )
    "Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device." .....no comment
  • thats (Score:5, Insightful)

    by minus_273 ( 174041 ) <aaaaa AT SPAM DOT yahoo DOT com> on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:31PM (#6885600) Journal
    23 million well spent. probably cost less than an Ad campaitgn on the major networks.
  • Not good for Linux (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chill ( 34294 ) on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:33PM (#6885614) Journal
    The suit was about MS pressuring OEMs to not install other OSes on hard drives of machines they shipped. They did NOT want to see a dual-boot situation.

    One of the big issues is getting end-users to install another OS. Since most people never have to install an OS, it is a daunting concept no matter how easy it is.

    The whole effort in making Linux so easy to install derived from this.

    Now, with the settlement, MS doesn't have to defend this practice in court. They don't admit guilt and can keep on pressuring OEMs to not install alternatives to Windows on new machines.

    $23+ million is chump change if it avoids getting dragged into court and having this practice under scrutiny.
    • ".. it is a daunting concept no matter how easy it is"

      I love that phrase. I am going to use it on monday.

      "This project is a daunting concept no matter how easy it is."
    • by MickLinux ( 579158 ) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @04:22AM (#6886324) Journal
      ... is the 2-click-insert-good-floppy-and-go-to-lunch Default Debian Install.

      Essentially, first click downloads the install program. Second click confirms "Do you want to run this, and install Debian as an alternate OS?" Most of the program then downloads off the internet.

      Then, the program (1) Loads all system information that it can, into a file
      (2) Loads the basic program onto the hard drive, plus all required debs, and checks the hashes.
      (3) Installs startup program in Windows that gives the user an option "Would you like to change your default bootup setting to Linux? (Y/N/Don't ask again)"
      (4) runs ScanDisk to clean the disk
      (5) runs Defrag to defrag it.
      (6) rewrites the floppy with a boot disk, and boots into Linux
      (7) Partitions a standard user configuration onto the HDD (or onto the alternate HDD, if you so select, thus removing the need for repartitioning)
      (8) Installs the Debs
      (9) Installs LILO, with 20-second timeout, and default option being Windows bootup (the polite option).
      (10) Sets a waiting screen "Your Debian Linux System is Installed. Please hit any key to reboot to Windows, or 'L' to continue with Linux for now, and explore your new OS!."

      Such a system should also have a kind of "new hardware" wizard which reports back any new hardware that Debian developers have never seen.

      It should also have an "Error Reporting" wizard, such that if the installation process fails, then when you return to Windows you have the option, "Report Error?"

  • by fork420 ( 452102 ) * on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:33PM (#6885615)
    To put this in perspective, consider the following math:

    $8,072,000,000 net income for MSFT during the 9 months ended 3/31/03
    divided by the (roughly) 270 days during the 9 months ended 3/31/03
    ...yields $29,000,000 net income per day for MSFT

    so basically they destroyed Be, Inc., and it cost them roughly 18 *hours* of income.

    just lovely :-/
    • ...yields $29,000,000 net income per day for MSFT

      That's pretty gross...

      But it get's Be's creditors paid and perhaps even a little cash for what/who's left for all their trouble.
  • by erikharrison ( 633719 ) on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:36PM (#6885627)
    The essence of the "voluntary" dissolution of Be means that this money will not go to a sudden resurrection of the BeOS, as some have thought (foolishly hoped, perhaps).

    Be Inc wisely (I think) dissolved "voluntarily" and did its best to ensure that investors did not get the short end of the stick. Be sold off all their intellectual property to Palm, and passed the cash amongst stock owners, minus costs. Be then had a single purpose - pursue the MS lawsuit. This money will be passed about, minus expences, to stock holders.

    Then all Be will be is a trademarked logo.
    • by nocomment ( 239368 ) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @12:03AM (#6885725) Homepage Journal
      The essence of the "voluntary" dissolution of Be means that this money will not go to a sudden resurrection of the BeOS, as some have thought (foolishly hoped, perhaps).

      Those people obviously don't know about the deal Be made with Yellowtab right before they sold to Palm.
      YellowTab (yellowtab.com) got exclusive rights to the Beos source code, and is updating it and preparing it for a release. :-)

    • The essence of the "voluntary" dissolution of Be means that this money will not go to a sudden resurrection of the BeOS, as some have thought (foolishly hoped, perhaps).

      Actually all the BeOS IP was sold to Palm, Inc (now PalmSource). Be, Inc. was kept in existence as a shell company for the sole purpose of persuing legal action. It didn't have the right to sell or develop BeOS if they wanted to.

      Now that it's collected a bit of cash from MS it no longer needs to exist.

      Incidentally, senior Be executive
  • Freedom... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Nybble's Byte ( 321886 ) on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:36PM (#6885630) Journal
    Microsoft calls it 'Freedom to Innovate', everybody else calls it 'Freedom to Violate'.
  • by burgburgburg ( 574866 ) <splisken06&email,com> on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:37PM (#6885635)
    Now that Microsoft has settled with Be for $23 million dollars, they'll have to cut back to 12 towels a day to wipe down dancing monkeyboy Ballmer. He'll be significantly moister with everything that that entails. I feel truly sorry for the Microsoft employees working in his immediate proximity.
  • ....I mean, SCO is looking for BILLIONS....and their business hasn't been destroyed....Seems like the Be people need to get more than a few 23 million!

    The Be people need Uncle McBride on their side....oh wait a second...SCO's attack is being funded by MS....sorry, my bad...
  • by Shinzaburo ( 416221 ) on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:39PM (#6885641) Homepage
    It's great that Be's shareholders get a few dollars back for their pains, but they still certainly didn't come out ahead. But the real tragedy isn't the way about the investors -- it's about the millions of people who could have benefited from Be's amazing and innovative software, had Be been allowed to compete on anything remotely resembling a level playing field.

    Hopefully more and more of Be's innovations will end up in Mac OS X and Linux. Then Be's achievements won't have been for naught.
  • MS employee karma (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EreIamJH ( 180023 ) on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:42PM (#6885649)
    I wonder what the morale must be like among the programmers/technicians employed by MS? Every day they must be reading about MS security holes, crashing MS apps, or the latest MS abuse of market power. Their karma must but so low when they shuffle off to pick up their pay cheque.
    • by ainsoph ( 2216 ) on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:55PM (#6885702) Homepage
      To be honest, living in the belly of the beast itself, Seattle, I see these weirdo's on an almost daily basis. I actually have spent many a drunken night courting these folks at bars in town and lemme tell ya, they are all cultishly 1000500% behind the company and everything they stand for.

      In fact, last week, I was telling some finance woman the reason why the worms and virus are so dominant, how it was base level crap that allowed the vulnerabilities, and all she could say to me, with a golden hued gleam in her eyes was:

      "Thats why we put security features in both IE and Outlook."

      I said to her:

      "Well, so thats great, but did it stop these worms and virus attacks?"

      She got uncomfortable, and began to talk about what a great company Microsoft was...

      • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland@@@yahoo...com> on Saturday September 06, 2003 @12:04AM (#6885733) Homepage Journal
        Think about it:
        1 people work too many hours, they live and breath 10,12, 16+ hour a day inside MS. Most employees are sleep deprived.
        There diet is generally poor.
        They listen to the MS propaganda all the time.
        when they go out they almost exclusivly go out with MS employees.
        The company expects that Wives and children are second to the company.
        then within the company, you have 'cells' of people. If you interact 'inapproprietly' towards another cell, your leader can make your life hell, so you always smile.

        OTOH, somedays I wish I was so completly blind, I could ignore the worlds problems.
      • "She got uncomfortable, and began to talk about what a great company Microsoft was..."

        Typical Borg reaction.
      • by Wumpus ( 9548 ) <IAmWumpus@@@gmail...com> on Saturday September 06, 2003 @01:03AM (#6885928)
        I actually have spent many a drunken night courting these folks at bars in town

        Dude,

        You're never gonna get laid this way.
      • Re:MS employee karma (Score:5, Interesting)

        by pitr256 ( 201315 ) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @01:15AM (#6885963) Homepage
        This is so true of most emplyees who work at Microsoft. I myself worked there for about three months in a sysadmin support type function and even with the Code Red outbreak crashing the internal Microsoft network to the point where even the call center couldn't route calls to support agents, they kept saying, "Microsoft is the greatest! Damn hackers did this."

        I got the fscking out of there before being assimilated.

      • Here is your mistake...

        "Thats why we put security features in both IE and Outlook."

        I said to her:

        "Well, so thats great, but did it stop these worms and virus attacks?"

        You know she's a MS Borg, but damn man some of them are hot [startreksite.com]. Don't attack head on or she'll raise her sheilds. I realize the Geek Gene in you thinks technical accuracy is more important the reproduction, but you must resist. Remember your objective.

        Try something like...

        "Thats why we put security features in both IE and Outlook."

    • its very low. some of them are almost seen shedding a tear as they drive to there mansions in a Lexus thats almost 3 years old.

      Truley a sad day.

      Personally, I hope it drives out of the company.
      You can't be in the devils band, and not be part of the music.

    • Re:MS employee karma (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jejones ( 115979 )
      People are able to rationalize a lot. I know I'm tripping over Godwin's Law, but it's going to take the equivalent of the "good Germans" being taken on concentration camp tours to drive home to MS employees the evil that they have participated in.
  • by RyanFenton ( 230700 ) on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:42PM (#6885651)
    And when the smoke cleared in the dusty street outside the courthouse, Microsoft was left, a few bullets short, still smirking.

    The old judge watched on and winced at the display of street "justice", knowing he had no role in this display. Still, he spoke: "You aught to be careful, Mr. Microsoft. Your...attitude may bring such antagonism that even your ... formidible arsenal might not be enough to protect you someday. Dead men like these do say something about you, you know."

    "Bah", Microsoft said, turning. Soon, Mr. Microsoft's gun barrel wavered towards the judge's general direction, "Dead men tell no tales." Mr. Microsoft then promptly holstered his weapon, tipped his hat, and rode away, honor still officially intact.

    Ryan Fenton
    • And years from now, when Microsoft is crumbling because of their business practices in the past, we see MS sitting in a hospital bed... a doctor enters the room. "I'm afraid it's cancer.".

      And then Linux walks past the hospital room door, whistling, playing catch with a big chunk of asbestos... the same asbestos that was in MS' air conditioning! Yay!
  • Regret (Score:5, Funny)

    by mm0mm ( 687212 ) on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:46PM (#6885668)
    "Damnit! We should have filed a lawsuit against Microsoft instead of Big Blue!" -- Darl
  • YellowTAB (Score:5, Informative)

    by PAPPP ( 546666 ) on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:47PM (#6885672) Homepage
    Last I checked YellowTAB (http://www.yellowtab.com) is working on a new release of BeOS (which really is a nice OS), called zeta, and has collected most of the IP rights to the old BeOS. I wonder if/hope they see some of this.
    • Re:YellowTAB (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      YellowTab owns NO ip rights to BeOS. In fact, many in the BeOS question how legal is yellowtab really is.
  • not so fast... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by horos2c ( 683085 ) on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:50PM (#6885684)
    Be has to get the deal approved by Judge Frederick Motz.. so things are not as dire as they seem. He has no real love for Microsoft.

    As for 'not being able to afford going to court', well Be hired Susman/Godfrey on a contingency basis. So it looks like they went for the easy paycheck.
  • Whose Passport ID gets used to transfer that amount of money?
  • by PingXao ( 153057 )
    It's too bad that companies don't stand for principals. They can't. Their raison d'etre is to enhance shareholder value, and that means cutting a favorable deal when it's practical to do so. The reason I lament this is that MS once again gets away scott free while admitting no wrongdoing . A person - an individual - might stay the course and see a case like this through to its end provided they had the resources to pay their legal bills (which of course, almost no one has). That end would ideally invo
  • Imagine you have $10 and someone wins a lawsuit against you, and the award is a penny. That's how badly this is going to hurt Microsoft.
  • huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nyseal ( 523659 ) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @01:07AM (#6885937)
    23 million? 2 people in car accident get more than that in cival litigation; how many people has MS hurt? This whole thing is just fucked up, and I give up on the legal structure of things because the one with the most money at the end of the day wins. MONEY='Get to do what you want". Wow, what an alogarithm....we should have thought about that during the writing of the Constitution
  • The saddest part (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pitr256 ( 201315 ) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @01:07AM (#6885938) Homepage
    The saddest part for me is the fact that a great company with so much potential is basically reduced to a pittance (23 Mil for a company that Apple almost purchased for big bucks) and all the magic of the BeOS is gone...

    Hey Microsoft! No matter how much money you have or how many companies you copy, mimic, or destroy... you will never, and I repeat NEVER, develop anything remotely as cool a as BeBox with BeOS running on it!
  • by Jerk City Troll ( 661616 ) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @01:49AM (#6886051) Homepage

    Whenever someone brings suit against Microsoft, they always try to settle. There is no court proceedings in which facts will become public record. There is no innocent or guilty verdict. It's all very quiet, subtle, and quickly brushed aside from peoples' view and memory.

    Reading the Complaint, Be appears to have had a very strong case. I cannot believe they would actually lose in court again Microsoft. (Then again, Microsoft do have an army of lawyers and unlimited monetary resources at their disposal.) By accepting this settlement, they do not demonstrate Microsoft had engaged in any wrong-doing. By all accounts, a mere 23 million is nothing to Microsoft and they come out as the winners.

    Shame on you, Be. Why doesn't anyone actually take a stand these days? Microsoft says: "here's a lollipop, now shut the fuck up." People, unfortunately, take it without any consideration for the public good in the long-term.

  • by dbretton ( 242493 ) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @08:48AM (#6886907) Homepage
    Bill Gates was later asked to comment on the outcome of the lawsuit.

    When prompted, Mr. Gates stated, "This is truly an unfortunate turn of events. We are saddened by the verdict, and it will take quite some time before we can recouperate our losses."

    Mr. Gates then ripped a juicy fart, and followed up by stating, "Ahh. I just earned another $25 million."

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