Microsoft writes a law for Oklahoma
04/18/06 It's supposed to protect you from predators spying on your computer habits, but a bill Microsoft Corp. helped write for Oklahoma will open your personal information to warrantless searches, according to a computer privacy expert and a state representative.
When Think Tanks Attack
06/23/04 Tim Lambert has done an analysis of anti-Open
Source think tanks and has found some disturbing ties between
them and our favorite proprietary software vendor.
Corporate clean-up forces Microsoft to come clean
11/17/02 According to a recent SEC filing Microsoft makes
plenty of money from Windows and Office -- and basically loses its
shirt everywhere else. That means that in every other market they
are playing in, they are basically dumping product. (How highly
unamerican of them -- we ought to do something about this
Microsoft has started their own switch campaign
10/14/02 In response to Apple's recent "switch" campaign,
Microsoft is actually running one of their own (focussing on Mac
users switching to Windows.) Now of course, there appears to be
some controversy on the validity of the testimonials given ... I
can't even do this story justice with the amount of bald faced
lying Microsoft has perpetrated on this one. Go read the slashdot
thread below, where the whole issue is dissected.
.NET virus in laboratories
03/04/02 A .NET based virus has been discovered by
anti-virus companies. This is with .NET barely deployed. They.
will. not. learn.
DOJ under Ashcroft agree to joke settlement
11/02/01 Much like the last court ruling that they
violated, in a settlement reached this friday, Microsoft has been
forced to promise not to be anti-competitive. Probably the only
possible light at the end of the tunnel is that there will be
three government appointed people overseeing all of Microsoft's
activities for the next 5 years to make sure they don't step out
of line. But in this Republican administration it seems unlikely
that they will take their job too seriously.
Gartner Group recommends IIS be replaced by alternatives
09/24/01 Due to the spread of the Nimba virus, Gartner
Group recommends IIS be replaced by an alternative such as iPlanet
or Apache. Apache has about the same install base as IIS, but a
far better record with respect to viruses.
Microsoft's astroturfing is confirmed
08/23/01 Citizen's letters presumably written in support
of Microsoft as part of a "grass roots" effort to defend Microsoft
has turned out to be manifactured by a Microsoft lobbying group.
Fraudulant letters written by dead people writting identical
sentences seemed to have given them away.
The story reported on latimes.com goes on to say that they were
surprised to find such a shoddy forgery attempt by such a technologically
capable company. But they don't take into account the fact that
Microsoft would not want to bring this kind of effort "in house". I.e.,
they learned their lesson from the Halloween letters.
Appellate court ruling
06/28/01 The appellate court rules that Jackson was
biased during the penalty phase of the trial, thus vacating this
portion of the ruling. However, the findings of fact were upheld,
and the result is that there must be a retry for the penalties
phase in the lower court.
Well at least the appellate court didn't side with Microsoft
because they misuderstood the anti-trust law like they did last
time. I can't blame them for finding Jackson to be biased. That
stunt with the interviews during the trial was pretty ridiculous.
Anti-Open Source Campaign Backfire
06/18/01 As is well known, Microsoft has been on an
anti-Open Source campaign -- but wait! Aren't they using Open
Source themselves? For those in the know, its well known that
Microsoft has been using some FreeBSD code in its OS. This is
perfectly legal due to the extremely lax BSD license (you want to
use it? Go ahead, just don't claim credit for it.) Of course for
the mainstream press, the difference between the FSF's GPL and
the BSD license is too subtle, and the story frame up for
Microsoft's hypocracy is easy to set up.
Now, just to be clear here. Microsoft has done nothing wrong. In
fact those like Eric Raymond don't have a leg to stand on as far
as Microsoft's use of BSD code and folks like Richard Stallman are
unaffected, since Microsoft does not appear to have violated the
GPL. But they are getting what they deserve. They started this
campaign against Open Source (when really they just mean to go
after GPL) and have been playing typical dirty FUD tactics, now
its time they deal with FUD being thrown back their way.
Insurer Considers Microsoft NT High-Risk
05/29/01 Based upon usage reports, insurance company
J.S. Wurzler Underwriting Managers has decided that its "hacker
insurance" will cost Windows NT users 5 to 15 percent more.
MS tries to demonize open source
05/05/01 Craig Mundie, MS senior vice president, gave a
speech at the New York University Stern School of Business in
which he basically say Open Source is bad for business, and that
their "Shared Source" solution (which is their attempt to sound
like they are sort of open source -- yeah whatever) is better. So
MS continues to crank their FUD machine. Linux kernel hacker Alan
Cox and creator Linus Torvalds wasted no time in responding.
Interestingly, one might compare Apple's pseudo-adoption of "open
source" as being closer to Microsoft's "shared source" except that
it doesn't cost anything to see the Darwin source except agreeing
to a potentially disagreeable NDA. (Update: Apple has
corrected the most offending parts of their Open Source license, so
this comparison no longer applies.)
Update: It now occurrs to me why Microsoft is doing
this. They don't care to truly FUD Linux in this way (that is
clearly hopeless, and could not possibly be seen as anything else
other than what it is.) This is really probably a response to
NSA's recent involvement in trying to secure Linux. Microsoft
needs to create the impression that Windows has had some kind of
peer review to be taken seriously from a security point of view.
(Of course, in terms of real security efforts they aren't trying
very hard.) Neither the NSA nor anyone else is going to even
listen to Microsoft on the subject of security if this is not the
case. We'll see how this plays out.
Microsoft: Prizes for Rat Finks
04/25/01 Under the pretense of preventing piracy,
Microsoft has set up a "rewards" program for people who fink out
PC resellers for ordering PC's without MS Windows pre-installed.
In an email sent to system builders, among other things, Microsoft
says: "Therefore, we strongly advise that each new PC that will
be running a Microsoft Operating System be pre-installed with an
OEM version of the Operating System. The alternative would be to
purchase retail product, at greater cost and inconvenience to
your customers." (in other words, pre-installing Linux or any
other operating system is not an alternative.) The email then goes
into this twisted "You may be eligible to win prizes!"
Microsoft suppresses benchmark results from independent
03/05/01 The tests show the Microsoft's SQL server runs
significantly slower when running on Windows 2000, than on Windows
NT. But Microsoft doesn't want anyone to know about it. Gee, it
makes you wonder if they had Mindcraft do a similar study with
Microsoft exercising the "don't disclose the results" clause. Well,
this is not going to help Bill Gates in his million dollar bet
with Larry Ellison (Larry Ellison challenged Bill Gates to make a
database that was equal or better in performance to Oracle's
database, wagering $1 million that he couldn't do it -- Ellison
has since taken the challenge public: anyone that can match
Oracle's performance will be given $1 million in cash.)
MS Still hasn't correctly fixed its buffer overflow problems
04/17/01 Yet another buffer overflow problem has been
discovered -- although this time rather than executing the random
code the MS Internet Security Accelerator just disables the Windows
server its try to protect. Anyways ...
Overcharging class action suit given go ahead
04/05/01 A Minnesota state judge ruled that a consumer
antitrust suit accusing Microsoft of overcharging customers who
bought the Windows operating system through middlemen can move
forward as a class-action case. This is probably the most
directly calculable harm that Microsoft has caused consumers.
MS Passport's unacceptable terms of service agreement
04/05/01 Microsoft tries to pull a fast on end users
with a ridiculous terms of service agreement.
MS patch for security problem, becomes a problem itself
04/03/01 There are conflicting reports about a defective
patch that Microsoft released for a dangerous browser hole.
Versionitis as well as claims about general unworkability have
contradicted MS's claims about the patch working on "supported
versions" of IE.
Another day another MS security flaw; same old, same old
03/30/01 There is an exploit for forcing MS IE 5.01/5.5
to execute author specific code as a side effect of interpreting
MIME. I'm not even going to bother commenting ...
Microsoft cannot be trusted
03/22/01 Microsoft's VeriSign digital signature has been
compromised. Apparently someone (not a representive from Microsoft)
posing as a Microsoft has managed to obtain a digital certificate from
VeriSign that authenticates them as Microsoft Corporation. In short
a digital certificate from "Microsoft" should not be trusted (i.e., not
much has changed.)
Winmag pans WinMe
03/09/01 WinMag (a magazine that you'd expect to tow MS's
party line) has ended a 6 month long review of MS Windows ME, and has
concluded that we should: "Give Windows ME a miss".
- story on winmag.com Update: Removed by
Microsoft and Bristol settle
02/21/01 The terms are non-disclosed, but comments from
Bristol indicate that they are back in business (i.e., they probably
have access to the source again, and probably got a cash appeasement
as well.) Good work; I hope you don't fall into obscurity as Stac
Government wants to open a probe into Microsoft Office in light
of their recent investment in Corel
02/14/01 The headline says it all.
Microsoft's Jim Alchin calls GPL "unamerican"
02/14/01 It appears as though Jim Alchin (head Windoze
dude at Microsoft) has been caught saying things like "Open
source is an intellectual-property destroyer" and "I
worry if the government encourages open source, and I don't think
we've done enough education of policy makers to understand the
In an article clarifying their position that appeared on yahoo,
Microsofts clarified their statements to: "anyone who adds or
innovates under the GPL agrees to make the resulting code, in its
entirety, available for all to use ... [which] might constrain
innovating stemming from taxpayer-funded software development."
which is indicative that Microsoft believes the government might
have the "wool pulled over their eyes" if a government agency
publishes software under GPL. Microsoft representative went on to
say that "There are other kinds of open-source licenses that
encourage third-party development but without the same constraints,
including the BSD license".
It should be pointed out that governmental organizations like NIST
(the official office representing the pseudo-clandestine NSA) has
published software under amenable licenses. In particular I am
thinking of the scripting language "EXPECT" which is distributed in
source form under an open license seperate from GPL, or any sort of
open-source agreement (i.e., its a lot closer to public domain.) So
important governmental agencies that might be at risk of siding one
way or another have already done what they have deemed as best
(I.e., Microsoft could take EXPECT code, use it and modify it and
even ship binaries in their products without revealing their source
if they want to -- alternatively the open source community or the
free software foundation could also take EXPECT and incorporate it
into their licenses as well. Another obvious example is the
recently proposed AES encryption standard (RIJNDAEL) which is
simply public domain.
I think Microsoft is barking way up on the wrong tree on this one.
The government appears to be officially neutral on this. Perhaps
Microsoft knows this and was just trying to fizzle this controversy
down, since Jim Alchin may have just been irresponsible in
revealing Microsoft's internal mantra in a public forum. Perhaps
what Jim really was trying to say is "INS: Don't let Linus Torvalds
get his American citizenship!"
Sun and Microsoft settle Java dispute
01/23/01 Microsoft has been beaten back from the Java
front, in what was Sun's first serious direct confrontation with
Microsoft. Microsoft can't use the Java trademark (it means they
can't publically claim to support Java and paid Sun $20 million.
Of course this does not mean that Microsoft's .NET strategy might
not ultimately beat Sun back, but at least Sun (and the rest of us)
will get to fight another day.
Microsoft screws over Visual Basic users
01/18/01 As part of its .NET strategy, Microsoft has
decided to change Visual Basic to something incompatible. Users
of the language have been up in arms about the whole thing, as
vast libraries of source code are destined to become obsolete.
Not surprisingly, Microsoft makes no apologies about it.
Microsoft flexes its lawyer's muscles
01/17/01 Startup CrossGrain has been coerced into firing
20 of its 80 employees at the behest of Microsoft. Apparently
these ex-Microsofties signed a no-compete clause with Microsoft
upon leaving Microsoft. Many companies have such a policy (I have
signed a few such agreements), but this is the first time I've
ever seen it enforced.
Government Defends Jackson's ruling
01/12/01 The government is doing what it can to make
sure that Microsoft does not slither away this time at the Court
Test version of Whistler uses big brother tactics
01/08/01 In an effort to curb cracking, Microsoft has
released a test version of the next version of Whistler (the
next version of Windows NT) which synchronized an installation
with a particular hardware platform signature and authenticates
the registration key online.
As you can imagine, this has privacy advocates and people who just
not want to subscribe to Microsoft's pay as you go strategy up in
arms. If ever there was a time to consider alternatives, this is
is probably it.
Microsoft's buys Great Plains
12/28/00 Microsoft has announced plans to purchase Great
Plains Software. C|Net writes "Microsoft made a move Thursday
that some considered inevitable and others considered a reversal
of a longtime commitment not to compete with its software
partners" Clearly this writer has only just heard of
Microsoft. In any event, at least one software developer is rather
miffed by this and intends to seek anti-trust relief.
Linux developers beat Microsoft to supporting Intel's Itanium
12/21/00 While Itanium has been delayed, this has not
slowed the Linux developers. At the last Intel Developer Forum
that I attended it was obvious that the Linux developers were far
ahead of Microsoft here.
Microsoft removes consumer pricing for Windows 2K
12/15/00 In a further display of their monopoly power,
Microsoft is taking away the consumer pricing for Windows 2K.
While in an ordinary high volume competitive environment this would lead
to customer outrage (for example, notice that CPU prices for a
particular speed grade never goes up), Microsoft's monopoly power
lets them do whatever they want.
Microsoft forced to deal with its slave labor
12/12/00 Microsoft had been hiring temporary workers for
significantly extended work stays without benefits or stock options.
However in a class action suit filed against them, they have been
forced to compensate them to the tune of $97 million.
Microsoft set a new temp policy disallow such a worker for
working there more than a year without at least a 10 month leave in
On the bright side for them, the more permanent employees they
have to hire, the more stock they have to give out. And that means
IRS tax shelter will continue to hold out for years.
I repeat: Microsoft does NOT take security seriously
12/08/00 Microsoft has been accused of abusing the
Bugtraq security mailing lists. Apparently Microsoft is simply
sending spam-like emails that are advertisements for Microsoft's
web site. In retaliation the mailing list maintainers has decided
to ban Microsoft from further posting to this mailing list.
Yet another security problem in Microsoft's products
11/20/00 Yet another Outlock/IE bug that allow
surreptitous remote execution has been discovered.
Microsoft stuck with Bristol legal bill
11/07/00 Bristol, makers of Windows NT translation
software for UNIX, has been awarded court fees of $3.7 million and
can get a new trial against Microsoft if they want.
Supreme court delays Microsoft case
09/26/00 After a lengthy delay, the Supreme Court has
decided to let this case drag on even longer by letting the
appellate court look at it first. The Microsoft case is of
national significance: Microsoft is the largest company in
the world and the remedy of splitting them in half would be
bound to have a large impact on the industry. By this
criteria, they should have taken the case while the evidence
is still relevant. By the time the Supreme Court gets to
hear the case, Microsoft will probably release the Whistler OS
which will be two operating systems after what the evidence
in this case refers to. Perhaps, in a sense the
Supreme Court is showing bias in that they know this will happen
and thus it will be easier for them to rule that the case
has no bearing on the contemporary reality by the time they hear
The thing is that an appeal of whatever the appellate court
decides is inevitable. So its not as if the Supreme
Court is serving any public good by calling for this delay.
Microsoft lobbying exposed
09/25/00 The site commoncause.org has put together
a comprehensive booklet on Microsoft's recent lobbying efforts and
their affects on the current political system in Washington state.
Microsoft no better than Double Click
09/14/00 It turns out that Microsoft is using their
browser in conjunction with MSN and other Microsoft sites to set
cookies that cannot be turned off. Talk about a blatant case of
using their monopoly power to forceusers to be a victim of their
undocumented and proprietary APIs.
Bristol Awarded $1 million
09/07/00 In their suit against Microsoft, Bristol, while
originally being awarded a $1 token sum, got their compensation
adjusted to $1 million. There are suggestions that the judge was
being political (given the current anti-Microsoft climate in the
industry these days.) But in any event it serves the
larger goals here of making Microsoft think twice before employing
intimidation tactics, armies of lawyers and disingenuous marketing
strategies against honest companies like Bristol.
Microsoft's money making web ventures based on UNIX
08/28/00 Robert X. Cringely has apparently gotten info
from Microsoft insiders that Microsoft's successful UNIX based
internet acquisitions remained most successful when they left
their UNIX underpinnings intact. Not surprising, but nevertheless
a little embarrassing for a company trying to sell a server
IE 5.5 breaks Open Standards
07/13/00 It should surprise nobody to learn that
Microsoft has decided to "modify" the DHTML standards in a way
that creates incompatibilities with its competitors.
Linux turns in a fantastic SPECweb99 benchmark score
07/05/00 Unlike the mindcraft, which was paid by
Microsoft and designed a test to show superior IIS performance on
a very narrow set of criteria, the SPEC benchmark group (which
only charges nominal fees for the benchmark itself, fairly
distributes the test openly to anyone who wants it, and which
takes input from a large number of industry experts in the design
of its tests) has posted results submitted by DELL which shows the
soon to be released TUX webserver architecture implemented on
Linux to be roughly between 2 and 3 times faster than Microsoft
back office (depending on configuration.)
Update: Recent SPECweb99 results (lookup the latest here) shows that
Zeus (another UNIX based web server solution) is closing the gap on TUX,
while IIS remains woefully behind. (When comparing, remember to consider
the number of processors used in each solution.)
Appeals court makes a disturbingly convenient move to hear the Microsoft case
06/13/00 In a move that can only signal sympathy for
Microsoft on the part of the appellate court, before even
waiting for the DOJ's request to have the case expedited to
the Supreme Court to even be heard, they have agreed to hear the
case. This does not bode well. The last time this
happened, the court of appeals misunderstood the letter of the law
and simply let Microsoft get off scott free.
Let's hope that the DOJ has better luck this time -- or at the
very least, that they can zip through this as quickly as possible
so that they can get Microsoft into the Supreme Court if they have
Microsoft submits final comments on ruling
06/01/00 Here it is:
I have no gone through it completely yet, but it appears to be a
combination of reasonable comments (some of the deadlines set by the DOJ
are indeed arbitrary and possibly unrealistic) creation of
loopholes ("we don't want to split in our foreign subsidiaries") and an
attempt to complicate issues to create an artificial justification for an
appeal ("Do we include MSHTML.DLL in our browserless version of windows
or not?" -- obviously you supply a version which is sufficient for
the OS, while not adversely affecting any other browser than might
be installed in the system, nor enabling the activation of Internet
Explorer without a required installation from scratch step; i.e.,
its probably just fine to include the version that exists as is.)
Update: 06/05/00 DOJ
doesn't think much of Microsoft's proposed changes(C|Net)
Update: 06/06/00 MS
strikes back at ruling(C|Net)
Microsoft Attacks Kerberos
03/15/00 (Just noticed this) Microsoft has found a new
standard that they are embracing, extending and
extinguishing. Its called Kerberos. Its a
cryptographic security protocol and its been implemented in
various flavors of UNIX -- correctly. Now Microsoft has
implemented a superset which, of course, creates
compatibility problems with Windows clients.
Jackson wants a split -- maybe a 3 way split(!)
05/25/00 It seems the judge decided not to find middle
ground between the government's proposal and Microsoft's
counter-proposal. Instead Jackson seemed to think that the
government's 2-way proposal was not sufficient, and in fact
preferred a 3-way split as proposed by the Software and
Information Industry Association (SIIA).
Clearly many people (including myself) felt that a three way
split would be more appropriate given the current market
Unfortunately, as I suspected, by not allowing Microsoft some
time to consider a better thought out response to a break up
scenario, this gives them strong grounds on which to appeal
whatever remedy Jackson decides on.
Gates targets Palm Pilot
05/25/00 Old habits die hard with Gates. As revealed in
email documents, even as his company was being investigated for
anti-trust, Gates knows of no other way to compete with rivals
except to attack them illegally.
Steve Case on Charlie Rose
05/18/00 Steve Case, former CEO of AOL and soon to be
chairman of AOL-Time-Warner was interviewed by Charlie Rose last
night. The interview didn't have much to do with Microsoft but I
would like to bring attention to one comment that was made:
|Charlie Rose: "So after AOL bought
netscape, you still bundled AOL with Internet
Explorer. You broke the hearts of a lot of
people by doing that" (Charlie is so diplomatic
Steve Case: "Well yes, we still wanted to be
bundled with Windows. If Microsoft allowed us, we
would prefer to use Netscape, which we think is a much
IE exposes user local cookies
05/11/00 Internet Explorer has yet another security
hole. As usual, Microsoft has not taken the high road, nor taken
the bug very seriously. This time its a cookie exposer. Cookies
typically hold data that is pertinent to the local user such as
subscription/access passwords, your email address, or other
personal information that a site needs to associate to you in
order to deliver a service (though apparently no site seems to
hide your credit card numbers here.) Anyhow, Microsoft has not
issued a work around for the problem, even though there are a
such as Netscape).
Microsoft responds to breakup proposal
05/10/00 Microsoft responds with a proposal of its own
remedies. From the news stories I've heard, the text of the
counter-proposal says that Microsoft instead feels that it should
merely stop doing deals with OEMs, hide Internet Explorer from the
desktop, and promises to present APIs in a timely manner to
Too little too late, IMHO. Had Microsoft done this all along
they would never have gotten into this trouble in the first place.
But this isn't just about making Microsoft a law abiding company
any more. They have unlawfully inflicted serious damage to their
competitors. That is why this is called the
As the DOJ officials rightfully point out, of course, the exact
counter remedies spelled out are also a crock, as they have
loopholes and could easily be worked around.
My prediction from the 28th, however, does not seem to have
held true. Microsoft's lawyer have apparently started earning
their pay, and have rightfully pointed out that a response to
corporate break up is not something they could reasonably prepare
in a few weeks. If nothing else, if Judge Jackson agrees (though
6 months is a bit much) this should buy Microsoft some time to
figure out what they should reallybe responding with.
The lying never stops
05/06/00 In what is obviously a flaw in
Microsoft's (let browsers and email packages run scripts with full
access to a client side machines) security strategy, they
have decided to blame Netscape for installing files to known
locations on a hard drive. Keep in mind that most
applications have known files locations for all, or almost all
Its amazing how Microsoft believe it can get away with
saying anything they want. They didn't even decide to take
the slightly higher ground here and blame it on the
exploiter -- instead deciding to point the finger straight at
Netscape. That's not what I would call "taking security very
Melissa Lives on
05/05/00 The real reason why Melissa was such a
devastating virus has reared its head. There is a new variant of
the virus spreading called the ILOVEYOU virus. Like the former,
it uses Visual Basic script which is supported by one and only one
email product in the industry: Outlook. But that's not the worst
part. There appear to be several mutations. The common theme of
them seems to be sent with subject headings that are meant to
pique the curiosity of the recipient. The latest incarnation
purports to be a curefor the ILOVEYOU virus!
Of course, Microsoft, the worlds most arrogant company of all
time, will not do anything to help you. Well, that's not true,
they will probably belittle everyone by telling them they aren't
using outlook properly, and insist its not their fault because
there is some switch you can turn on which prevents these viruses
while also making their product useless. Yeah, that's what I call
taking security seriously.
Microsoft expects shareholders to defend them
05/03/00 Perhaps its not such a bad
strategy. Microsoft sent a notice to their
shareholders pleading with them to propagate the deluded idea that
the DOJ is trying to hurt innovation, by breaking them up.
The only people who will defend them at this point are people who
still own their stock which is in its most abysmal slump in its
On the other hand, given who they are catering to, I suspect
government officials are less likely to pay attention to raving
stock holders. Why does it not surprise me that Microsoft is
trying to play this like a political issue by trying to
create an artificial sense that "the voters" don't like what
the government is doing to Microsoft?
The funniest part of the letter (linked to below) is the claim
that thousands of americans care deeply about this issue
(presumably in their favor -- i.e., they are worried about their
Microsoft stock.) The truth is probably more like the tens of
millions of americans care deeply about this issue (mostly not
in their favor.)
DOJ recommends a break up of Microsoft into 2 companies
04/28/00 The two companies would be OS and Applications
(which includes IE and MSN.) Personally, I don't think that's the
most ideal break up. The primary problem the remedy should be
trying to solve is the "tying" of multiple software products to
leverage the monopoly in an illegal way. Because IE and MSN live
with Office, that means that rather than tying IE to Windows, they
can just tie it to Office with nearly the same effect.
If instead MS was broken into 3 companies, namely: (1)
OS + devices + languages (Windows, Direct X, MSVC++, Pocket PC,
X-Box, MS-Mouse, MS-Keyboard), (2) Applications (Office, MS
games), and (3) Internet (IE, Backoffice, MSN, Frontpage), then in
every case, MS would have a competitor in roughly the same
For example, the OS's and languages, typically all UNIX vendors
sell or include similar possible application development packages.
In the application space, Symantec, Corel, and StarDivision all
have multiple software suites that can go head to head with
MS-Office and anything they might try to bundle with it (from the
Application space). In the Internet arena, tying MSN + IE has the
obvious competitor: AOL + Netscape.
Unfortunately since the trial did not focus strongly enough on
the leveraging of MS Office, a three-way break up remedy may not
seem justified. Oh well.
So Microsoft gets until May 10th to respond. I think what we
have to look forward to is a good chance that MS's lawyers will
screw up again and be unable to speak to the real issues in the
case and thus leave Judge Jackson to have no other choice but to
take the DOJ's recommendation as it stands. That would lead to an
escalation to the court of appeals where Microsoft seems to have
some allies. Lets hope that Judge Jackson doesn't leave much
breathing room, and lets hope the Appeals court will make a more
concerted effort to apply the law correctly this time (as you
recall in their overturning of the IE + Win98 browser tying case,
the appeals court heavily relied on an anti-trust book written by
Harvard law professor Einer Elhaig; yet when asked about it the
professor himself said that the appeal court has misunderstood his
book on several points and in fact probably ruled incorrectly.)
Even if the proposal does not stand, there is plenty of other
conditions in the proposal which are likely to stand. The
no-tying and no-exclusionaries deals clauses are exactly what
caused this whole anti-trust trial in the first place. But there
is clearly justification for more punishment since Microsoft has
already been to court about these sorts of violations before, and
has continued to break them.
Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's ruling against Microsoft
04/03/00 After a long wait, after being completely
destroyed in the the trial, and after an unsuccessful attempt to
reach a settlement, the Judge has ruled that Microsoft abused its
Of course we can expect an appeal from Microsoft. Not surprisingly,
Microsoft considers this to be a complex case, and wants to take the long
route through the appeals court; the Judge would prefer an appeal go
straight to the Supreme Court. Clearly, Microsoft realizes that they
will inevitably lose the case and are trying to buy as much time as
possible to "reinvent themselves" in an effort to make the final remedy
to seem as irrelevant as possible. (This is essentially the same tactic
IBM used to deal with their anti-trust case.)