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Microsoft agrees to antitrust restrictions

By Ialdabaoth in News
Sun Nov 04, 2001 at 06:17:07 AM EST
Tags: Software (all tags)
Software

According to an article at The Nando Times Microsoft "Microsoft Corp. has agreed to a broad range of restrictions, including allowing a panel of independent monitors to oversee its conduct and review its books, to settle antitrust violations and bring an end to an epic courtroom fight, the Justice Department said Friday. "


These restrictions include being "required to provide software developers with interfaces for its browser, e-mail programs, media players and other Windows additions so that rival developers can write programs that work with those elements."

Get the full text of the article here...

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Poll
Microsoft antitrust settlement?
o It's about fucking time, man. 4%
o The DOJ didn't go far enough. 69%
o Looks pretty reasonable to me. 5%
o Microsoft had the right to monopolize. 3%
o I don't care; I'm going to go hug my kitten. 16%

Votes: 85
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o The Nando Times
o here
o Also by Ialdabaoth


Display: Sort:
Microsoft agrees to antitrust restrictions | 18 comments (12 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
The States (4.60 / 5) (#1)
by wiredog on Fri Nov 02, 2001 at 09:15:22 AM EST

The states involved in the case haven't agreed to the proposed settlement, and may fight it, so it's not over yet.

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle
Supplementary details... (4.66 / 12) (#5)
by TheophileEscargot on Fri Nov 02, 2001 at 09:26:53 AM EST

... on the impact on Apple.
----
Support the nascent Mad Open Science movement... when we talk about "hundreds of eyeballs," we really mean it. Lagged2Death
ROFTLMAO (2.75 / 4) (#6)
by Ialdabaoth on Fri Nov 02, 2001 at 09:28:33 AM EST

Thanks, Theophile. I needed that. >^..^<
*******
"Act upon thy thoughts shall be the whole of the Law."

--paraphrase of Aleister Crowley
[ Parent ]

My thought (3.00 / 3) (#7)
by darthaya on Fri Nov 02, 2001 at 12:04:20 PM EST

Microsoft had grown into such a significant and dominant player in a vital market that we need to be careful of how we deal with it, especially in such an economy down-turn.

The world is not ruled by Linux geeks. :)



Great. (4.00 / 6) (#8)
by emc2 on Fri Nov 02, 2001 at 02:03:12 PM EST

During a recession we should also allow thieves to keep what they steal because otherwise it could affetc their economy and their families.

Do you have another insightful recommendation?

(sorry for the vitriol....)

---
The Devil is in the details.
Did you read that EULA today?

[ Parent ]
that's pretty simple-minded... (3.50 / 2) (#9)
by regeya on Fri Nov 02, 2001 at 02:39:34 PM EST

Microsoft had grown into such a significant and dominant player in a vital market that we need to be careful of how we deal with it, especially in such an economy down-turn.

The world is not ruled by Linux geeks. :)

Uh...yeah.

Windows and Linux, that's all there is.

:-P

Oh, and if you hate Free Software, avoid Web/Ultimate TV. That division has produced GPLed software.

To be fair...yeah, they (Microsoft) has become an important part of the world economy...damn them...

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

Well. (4.16 / 6) (#14)
by Znork on Sat Nov 03, 2001 at 02:37:41 PM EST

To quote European Commissioner Mario Monti, the commissioner in charge of the Competition Directorate General;

"I would like to define a first boundary of competition policy. Competition law is not regulated by the stock market. If the Dow falls below 10,000, we cannot suspend Article 81 of the Treaty and permit cartels. If the FTSE goes under 5,400 we cannot say that any company with a dominant position is allowed to abuse that position until the index recovers. Our actions are ultimately and primarily designed to benefit consumers who need protection whatever the stock market does. We want consumers to benefit from lower prices, greater choice and new and innovatory products. Much of the time you share our wish - it is the times when you don't that makes the lives of all of us more interesting!"

The US may partly fold for MS, but the EU aint done yet.

People who worry about their money should learn not to invest in the mafia, drug cartels or Microsoft.

[ Parent ]
Yes, Well (4.00 / 2) (#17)
by jayfoo2 on Sun Nov 04, 2001 at 01:31:48 PM EST

200 years ago the slave trade was an important part of the world economy. Not always the greatest excuse.

(I'm not quite going so far as to compare Microsoft to slavery, I'm not that dense.)

[ Parent ]
Your thought? (4.00 / 1) (#18)
by The Larch on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 11:37:34 AM EST

That may not actually be your own thought, they've been using that phrase a lot on TV. And it's a pretty dumb idea anyway. Letting this particular company get away with abusing its monopolistic market position in a desperate chicken-waving effort to stave off the recession is unlikely to have the desired effect. While Microsoft is a major force in the global economy, allowing it carry on business as usual is not going to keep us out of a recession.

Not by itself, anyway. Are there other offenses we could tolerate in order to maintain market growth? Should we consider not enforcing environmental or human rights laws during economic downturns? Perhaps we could cease to honor international patents? Or will it be enough if we just subsidise faltering industries with taxpayer money and pass legislation to protect corporations whose business models are in jeopardy, or whose customers might otherwise be able to use lawsuits to force them to actually pay claims?

[ Parent ]

The idiocy of the agreement (4.50 / 4) (#10)
by GreenCrackBaby on Fri Nov 02, 2001 at 02:42:58 PM EST

J. No provision of this Final Judgment shall:

2. Prevent Microsoft from conditioning any license of any API ... [etc] ... on the requirement that the licensee: ... (b) has a reasonable business need for the API, Documentation or Communications Protocol for a planned or shipping product

What a crock! They could make a very good argument that any OSS project is not a reasonable business and therefore doesn't qualify for the info.

This agreement is worded so poorly, Microsoft can, and will, get away with whatever they want. Even my non-technical wife read the agreement and laughed at its uselessness.

Tell judge about OSS (4.33 / 3) (#12)
by Paul Johnson on Fri Nov 02, 2001 at 06:01:15 PM EST

Certainly OSS has some interesting issues.

The biggest one will probably be the degree to which knowledge gained from inspection of source code is encumbered by trade secret status. A closed-source company would have no problem with this: their source code is as much a trade secret as that of Microsoft, so they do nothing to reveal any secrets when they publish their executables. But an OSS project publishes the source, and hence reveals things about interfaces that were previously secret.

MS may use this as an argument to prevent OSS people looking at their code, perhaps by getting an over-broad NDA accepted. (Some kind of NDA will certainly be needed: MS are not going to lose the trade-secret status of the source itself).

The other method of blocking OSS might be fees to examine the source code. $20 / hour would be insignificant to a company but a major hurdle for OSS.

Once the proposed consent decree is published there is a 60 day comment period. I suggest that relevant projects (the Mozilla and Samba projects spring to mind) submit comments on how the proposed access conditions will affect their ability to create new and better code.

Paul.
You are lost in a twisty maze of little standards, all different.
[ Parent ]

Salon has a good rant (5.00 / 3) (#16)
by eclectro on Sun Nov 04, 2001 at 06:02:37 AM EST

about the DOJ/Microsoft Deal on the front page I really feel bad that the DOJ is just essentially rolling over on this. The Microsoft attornies must be full of giggles these days. Sad, really, for what it means to anybody who owns a computer.

[ Parent ]
Microsoft agrees to antitrust restrictions | 18 comments (12 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
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