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Submission + - Opening Statements Begin in Microsoft-Iowa Case

cc writes: The Des Moines Register is reporting that opening statements have started in the Microsoft-Iowa antitrust case. The Des Register reports that the Plaintiffs have shaped their case around nine stories involving competitors from IBM to Linux. Microsoft attorneys say Gates is expected to testify in January, and company CEO Steve Ballmer will likely appear in February. Both men are expected to be on the stand for about four days. Unlike previous antitrust cases against the software giant, the Iowa case is seeking additional damages for security vulnerabilities. Plaintiffs allege that Microsoft's bundling of IE with Windows caused harm to consumers by increasing the consumer's susceptibility to security breaches and bugs. The case is one of the largest antitrust cases in history, encompassing millions of documents and Microsoft's business practices during the last 20 years.

Submission + - Google Checkout suffers failures, goes offline

An anonymous Google Checkout seller writes: I'm quite surprised that this hasn't been picked up by the media yet, but over the last 4 days, Google Checkout has been crippled to the point of complete failure on three occasions, most recently between 10:30am to 1pm today. What this means for sellers is that during these time periods, Google Checkout was generally unable to accept transactions, with few exceptions.

I'm a relatively high-volume Google Checkout user, and you can see during these time periods that orders just completely stop coming in. Users attempting to purchase and sometimes even sellers attempting to access their account get redirected to this error page. Like many sellers, this has cost me substantial amounts of money this week, and on top of it all, most of us are paying for Adwords at the same time Google Checkout is down, so not only are we losing revenue, we're actually paying Google to send us customers who can't make purchases because their system is down.

On top of all of this, Google Checkout offers no phone support, and it takes the better part of a day for their email support to get back to you. They do acknowledge that the system is having difficulties and say that their engineers are working on the issue. Well, that was Monday. It's Friday and not only was the service offline today, but many sellers (such as myself) have orders backed up in the system for hours, and in some cases for over 48 hours. This means that in some situations, orders placed 2 days ago have not yet been processed by Google, and remain in one of several pre-charged states of "Reviewing", "Chargable" or "Charging".

It never even occured to me when switching from Paypal to Google Checkout that the service could be this broken. Google does everything so well, so one must ask himself, how does a company like Google screw up something like this so badly?

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