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[P]
Lost in the shuffle: Microsoft's proposed remedies

By Noel in News
Tue May 16, 2000 at 12:38:29 PM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)
/etc

I know we're all sick of Microsoft issues, but this one shouldn't be missed. In the midst of all the MS vs Slashdot furor, MS released their Proposed Final Judgements for the DoJ vs MS case. I haven't seen any coverage or analysis of this at all...could it be that Microsoft timed the Kerberos release so that the resulting flap would keep people from looking at their proposed judgements? Or is that just my overactive suspicionary gland at work again? ;)

Anyway, let's have at it -- I can already see exceptions large enough to fly a Goodyear blimp through.


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Lost in the shuffle: Microsoft's proposed remedies | 34 comments (34 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
The mainstreamers agree with Noel (... (none / 0) (#11)
by warpeightbot on Mon May 15, 2000 at 01:28:52 PM EST

warpeightbot voted 1 on this story.

The mainstreamers agree with Noel (or at least, they're choosing to post quotes that are on his side); both Seattle papers are reporting that "sources" are pooh-poohing MSFT's proposal.

From what I understand, Microsoft i... (none / 0) (#19)
by Anonymous Zero on Mon May 15, 2000 at 02:08:38 PM EST

Anonymous Zero voted 0 on this story.

From what I understand, Microsoft is proposing to remove the Internet Explorer icon from the desktop along with a few other minor touch-ups. Funny, I thaught the DOJ ordered them to that years ago and MS refused. It's really hopeless trying to regulate Microsoft anyway because technology move 10 times faster than the courts anyway. Our only hope is that Microsoft will continue being as greedy and arrogant as ever therby forcing the market toward open source.

Re: From what I understand, Microsoft i... (none / 0) (#24)
by Rand Race on Tue May 16, 2000 at 05:47:06 PM EST

" It's really hopeless trying to regulate Microsoft anyway because technology move 10 times faster than the courts anyway."

Hence the DOJ's desire to break the company up.


"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

could it be that Microsoft timed th... (none / 0) (#9)
by dlc on Mon May 15, 2000 at 02:15:18 PM EST

dlc voted 1 on this story.

    could it be that Microsoft timed the Kerberos release so that the resulting flap would keep people from looking at their proposed judgements</em

The ultimate FUD... good insight. Post it!


(darren)

A quick glance at M$ proposed remed... (none / 0) (#15)
by Rasputin on Mon May 15, 2000 at 03:27:26 PM EST

Rasputin voted -1 on this story.

A quick glance at M$ proposed remedies showed they don't want anything to really change, which is no surprise and probably not worth the news. Also, instead of telling us there are holes, commentary on what holes you see and how to fill them would help.
Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat.

Not surprisingly, the proposed judg... (none / 0) (#12)
by YellowBook on Mon May 15, 2000 at 03:47:32 PM EST

YellowBook voted 1 on this story.

Not surprisingly, the proposed judgments are all behavioral remedies, and none of them are significantly stronger than the 1995 consent decree that Microsoft happily ignored.

A Microsoft legal document? Twice ... (none / 0) (#6)
by TomG on Mon May 15, 2000 at 03:58:37 PM EST

TomG voted -1 on this story.

A Microsoft legal document? Twice the pain..it hurts...

Description of what's in document w... (none / 0) (#14)
by DemiGodez on Mon May 15, 2000 at 04:12:48 PM EST

DemiGodez voted 0 on this story.

Description of what's in document would be nice

If you haven't seen this in the new... (none / 0) (#17)
by leshert on Mon May 15, 2000 at 05:01:26 PM EST

leshert voted 0 on this story.

If you haven't seen this in the news, you're looking under the wrong rocks...

They didn't follow their own agreem... (none / 0) (#16)
by Saint Zero on Mon May 15, 2000 at 05:12:17 PM EST

Saint Zero voted 0 on this story.

They didn't follow their own agreements last time, why should anyone believe them this time? Do they think Judge Jackson is _that_ stupid? He hasn't been so far.
---------- Patron Saint of Nothing, really.

*sigh*. ... (none / 0) (#21)
by Qtmstr on Mon May 15, 2000 at 05:30:01 PM EST

Qtmstr voted 0 on this story.

*sigh*. I would have voted at +1 had this had a longer writeup. This is not /., this is K5. Writeups are *supposed* to have more meat than mere links to the appropriate documents. Why not summarize the document, make a point-by-point analysis, or something else that adds value?


Kuro5hin delenda est!

I don't want to read that crap. Why... (none / 0) (#13)
by adric on Mon May 15, 2000 at 05:31:07 PM EST

adric voted -1 on this story.

I don't want to read that crap. Why can't you summarize it in your post?

Whoa, look at section 2 down there.... (3.50 / 2) (#3)
by Perpetual Newbie on Mon May 15, 2000 at 06:03:47 PM EST

Perpetual Newbie voted 1 on this story.

Whoa, look at section 2 down there. Is Microsoft really admitting now to violating the Sherman antitrust act, when they have been publicly stating for the past (at least)six years that they have never violated the Sherman act or any other laws? From the gist of it, Microsoft's proposal looks like them admitting they did it and promising not to do that specific it again, without any remedies other than paying court costs. The similarity to Help Desk's recent strips is striking.

I think OEMs should be able to do whatever they want with Windows(short of warezing it) once they buy a copy, like any other product. However, Microsoft's position as the only seller of a useful GUI-enabled home consumer-oriented operating system for x86 processors allowed them to discriminate in who they sold to, by threatening to refuse to sell to anyone that wouldn't follow their rules. In my opinion, this was the most major source of Microsoft's power. A proper remedy would disallow Microsoft from discriminating in who they sell to and bar them from entering into any exlusive contracts.

Furthermore, I think they should be required to offer a "just a copy" version of all operating system products that is the same CD without the piece of paper, at no more than twice the cost of their least expensive licensed version of the same product. They should also be forced to release all internal documentation(including the comments of source code files) for all programming interfaces to all versions of Windows 95, 98, Millenium, NT4, and 2000 systems, including interfaces to seperate products that Microsoft has claimed are part of the operating system either explicitly or implicitly by including the program in a bugfix patch("service pack").

Re: Whoa, look at section 2 down there.... (none / 0) (#28)
by Noel on Wed May 17, 2000 at 05:45:02 PM EST

Is Microsoft really admitting now to violating the Sherman antitrust act, when they have been publicly stating for the past (at least)six years that they have never violated the Sherman act or any other laws?

Well, yes and no. MS is writing this proposed judgment based on Judge Jackson's findings of law, so they must acknowledge that he has found them guilty on the above counts. That is not equivalent to an admission of guilt, though -- just an admission of a guilty verdict. You can bet that MS will appeal the decision, and in the appeal they will still be free to claim that Judge Jackson's decision was incorrect, and they're as innocent as a [fill in your favorite metaphor].



[ Parent ]
Re: Whoa, look at section 2 down there.... (none / 0) (#30)
by rusty on Wed May 17, 2000 at 05:49:40 PM EST

and they're as innocent as a...

...member of the Manson "family"?

...Dickens schoolmaster?

...68-year-old whore?

...member of the British Royal family?

I could go on, you know. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: Whoa, look at section 2 down there.... (none / 0) (#33)
by Noel on Thu May 18, 2000 at 09:19:49 AM EST

Yeah, but they have the right to keep claiming innocence all the way through the appeals process. I'm really glad that we've got those "fast track" rules that allow the appeal to go directly to the supreme court in cases like this.

[ Parent ]
I think that the Microsoft Marketin... (none / 0) (#18)
by deimos on Mon May 15, 2000 at 10:02:58 PM EST

deimos voted 1 on this story.

I think that the Microsoft Marketing machine is partly at work, as well as the DOJ appears to have lost some of it's zeal for the kill. I keep thinking back to the AT&T breakup, and how poor and broken AT&T is today. Yeah right, breaking MS up will only make it stronger.
irc.kuro5hin.org: Good Monkeys, Great Typewriters.

Re: I think that the Microsoft Marketin... (none / 0) (#26)
by bmetzler on Tue May 16, 2000 at 10:20:25 PM EST

I keep thinking back to the AT&T breakup, and how poor and broken AT&T is today. Yeah right, breaking MS up will only make it stronger.

A breakup isn't supposed to destroy a company. It's suppose to prevent anti-trust abuse, and promote innovation. This tends to make a company stronger. With AT&T, think off all the technology that's available to us today. The phone system would have been much different if AT&T would have been able to choose their own business plan without competition.

It's the same way with Microsoft. The break-up will prove to promote competition, hopefully prevent future anti-trust abuses, and Microsoft will be stronger for it. It's a win for the consumer, it's a win for Microsoft. I don't understand why Microsoft is against it. If they were smarter they'd have broken themselves up a long time ago. Much like 3 Com is doing.

-Brent
www.bmetzler.org - it's not just a personal weblog, it's so much more.
[ Parent ]
Item 1.e: ... (4.30 / 3) (#2)
by Inoshiro on Mon May 15, 2000 at 10:30:51 PM EST

Inoshiro voted 1 on this story.

Item 1.e:
"e."Default Browser" means the Web browsing software that is configured to launch automatically (i.e., by "default") to display Web pages transmitted over the Internet or an intranet bearing the .htm extension when the end user has not invoked other Web browsing software for this purpose"

Yes, .htm .. instead of "Mime type text/html" or something useful.



--
[ イノシロ ]
Whaddaya mean no coverage? ... (none / 0) (#8)
by Pseudonymous Coward on Mon May 15, 2000 at 11:51:59 PM EST

Pseudonymous Coward voted -1 on this story.

Whaddaya mean no coverage?

Re: Whaddaya mean no coverage? ... (none / 0) (#22)
by warpeightbot on Tue May 16, 2000 at 02:02:19 PM EST

How very interesting... the link is to British press.

Bloody likely that the Yanks would pick it up...

[ Parent ]

Re: Whaddaya mean no coverage? ... (none / 0) (#32)
by Pseudonymous Coward on Wed May 17, 2000 at 11:11:44 PM EST

How very interesting... the link is to British press.
Bloody likely that the Yanks would pick it up...

Oddly enough, I did.

[ Parent ]

I was unclear... (none / 0) (#29)
by Noel on Wed May 17, 2000 at 05:48:51 PM EST

I meant that I hadn't seen any open discussion or analysis of the MS proposal on the sites where I would expect to see it...

[ Parent ]
This was all over the standard news... (none / 0) (#10)
by puppet10 on Tue May 16, 2000 at 12:11:00 AM EST

puppet10 voted -1 on this story.

This was all over the standard news sites days ago. The proposal just makes offers similar to ones rejected in settlement talks. The main reason that the gov't is proposing a structural solution is that Microsoft can't be trusted to follow the spirit of a conduct remedy. In other words the gov't was bitten once by Microsoft and isn't going to put its hand back in it mouth if it can help it.

(Does HTML formatting work in the v... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
by Dacta on Tue May 16, 2000 at 01:35:38 AM EST

Dacta voted 1 on this story.

(Does HTML formatting work in the voting section? Here goes!)

Note this bit carefully:

6b) in the event that Microsoft furnishes Technical Information to an ISV in addition to that referred to in paragraph 6.a, conditioning the release of such Technical Information on the ISVís agreeing not to write Platform Software, or applications for such Platform Software, that compete with any Microsoft software, provided that Microsoft may condition the release of Technical Information to an ISV on the ISVís agreeing not to infringe any of Microsoftís Intellectual Property Rights and agreeing to commercially reasonable measures (including reasonable confidentiality agreements) for protection of such rights.

In the light of the whole Kerboes thing, this is pretty scary, I think. The API's would be published by MS, but people would have to keep them confidential. There goes any hope of open source programs using them!

Technical Information != APIs (none / 0) (#27)
by greenplato on Wed May 17, 2000 at 11:03:15 AM EST

Go back and read the definitions and it gets scarier. Technical Information as defined in part 1i:

...and does not include information about the underlying implementation of those APIs.

So they agree to release "technical information" but not publish their APIs. Arrrrg. I figured that the whole point was to remove the barriers of entry to give us all an equal chance to write good software on Windows. Why do MS programmers have a peek at secret APIs and I don't?

[ Parent ]

All that legalise is making me dizz... (none / 0) (#20)
by guppie on Tue May 16, 2000 at 02:22:59 AM EST

guppie voted 1 on this story.

All that legalise is making me dizzy. Would be nice if some of you could explain what it meant.

What? The land of the free? Whoever told you that is your enemy.
-Zack de la Rocha

Do you read the news at all? CNN, ... (none / 0) (#5)
by evro on Tue May 16, 2000 at 03:04:20 AM EST

evro voted -1 on this story.

Do you read the news at all? CNN, CNET, ZD -- they all covered this.
---
"Asking me who to follow -- don't ask me, I don't know!"

How about a writeup of MS's words, ... (none / 0) (#1)
by hattig on Tue May 16, 2000 at 07:44:42 AM EST

hattig voted 0 on this story.

How about a writeup of MS's words, with your views?

Metacomment: If people want to disc... (4.00 / 1) (#7)
by eann on Tue May 16, 2000 at 11:16:50 AM EST

eann voted 0 on this story.

Metacomment: If people want to discuss this, fine. I don't want to impede that (except that my 0 vote will dilute the average, thereby making the threshhold that much harder to reach). Frankly, though, I'd rather not waste the space to talk about it. The odds of anything we say here affecting how Judge Jackson will rule, or how the Supreme Court will rule in the appeal, are low enough to power a starship.

Metacomet: a mountain in northern Connecticut.

Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. —MLK

$email =~ s/0/o/; # The K5 cabal is out to get you.


Ho-hum (none / 0) (#23)
by Paul Dunne on Tue May 16, 2000 at 04:11:09 PM EST

Really, can't we let the Microsoft PR machine take care of its own?

$ uname -a
Linux dunne.penguinpowered.com 2.2.13 #3 Tue Jan 18 08:03:48 CET 2000 i486 unknown
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/

#9 (none / 0) (#25)
by theFish on Tue May 16, 2000 at 07:45:45 PM EST

My particular favorite was #9. Paraphrasing...

We will comply with these terms within 45 days of their acceptance, provided the terms are suspended while the case is being appealled.

Nice. Tie it up in appeals for as long as possible and they're good to go

Section 6b (none / 0) (#31)
by Reed on Wed May 17, 2000 at 10:13:35 PM EST

The wording in section 6b seems particularly odd to me. In partiuclar:

b.in the event that Microsoft furnishes Technical Information to an ISV in addition to that referred to in paragraph 6.a, conditioning the release of such Technical Information on the ISVís agreeing not to write Platform Software, or applications for such Platform Software, that compete with any Microsoft software, provided that Microsoft may condition the release of Technical Information to an ISV on the ISVís agreeing not to infringe any of Microsoftís Intellectual Property Rights and agreeing to commercially reasonable measures (including reasonable confidentiality agreements) for protection of such rights.

6a states that the technical information is provided to ISV's for the creation of applications for Windows Operating Systems, but this seems to suggest you can only use it if you are writing software that in no way competes with Microsoft's offerings, which would be difficult considering the enormous breadth of software they have on the market in some form or another.

Does this seem fishy to anyone else, or just me?



Re: Section 6b (none / 0) (#34)
by greenplato on Thu May 18, 2000 at 07:49:58 PM EST

I think you may be reading that paragraph out of context. Look at the above section in their remedies:

6.ISVsí Access to Technical Information. Microsoft is enjoined from:

In that context, it reads as: "Microsoft is enjoined from...conditioning the release of such Technical Information on the ISVís agreeing not to write Platform Software, or applications for such Platform Software, that compete with any Microsoft software..." But they are allowed to condition the release of their Technical Information on confidentiality and protection of intellectual property rights.

It's all in there, but the legalese can easily confuse.

[ Parent ]

Lost in the shuffle: Microsoft's proposed remedies | 34 comments (34 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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