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[P]
Examination of the MS/DOJ proposed settlement

By hillct in Op-Ed
Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 05:25:50 AM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

On Friday November 2, the Justice Department Antitrust Division announced they had reached a settlement in their case against Microsoft. In addition to the initial announcement, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft held a press conference in which he praised the settlement.

Before rejoicing or blindly objecting (whichever your inclination may be), it's valuable to consider the actual content of the settlement to determine it's fairness and or fitness to achieve the goals of each of the litigants.


John Ashcroft, in his statement, said of the DOJ's position on the proposed settlement:
[T]his settlement not only resolves the department's competitive concerns but also does so in a quick and responsible manner. The proposed settlement puts in place enforcement measures that will require Microsoft to disclose internal operating system interfaces and protocols. These disclosures in turn will create opportunities for independent software vendors to develop products that will be competitive with Microsoft's products.
Unfortunately, the provisions of the settlement give discretionary powers to Microsoft with regard to the 'reasonable business need' of such an API license with regard to a wide range of vaguely security-related APIs. Specifically:
No provision of this Final Judgment shall...Prevent Microsoft from conditioning any license of any [security related] API... 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
There are two problems with this. First, this effectively precludes independent peer review of security mechanisms. This was not an issue brought before the court, and although important, may not have been appropriate for inclusion in this decree in any event. Second, it allows Microsoft to decide whether such business need exists.

There is a notable exception to the provisions requiring Microsoft to allow inclusion of 3rd party replacements for Microsoft bundled applications. The provision required that by the earlier of the release of Service Pack 1 of WinXP or 12 months after the settlement is adopted, Microsoft will provide a readily available mechanism for 3rd parties to substitute their applications for those bundled with the OS, but the exception reads:
[T]he Windows Operating System Product may invoke a Microsoft Middleware Product in any instance in which...[the] designated Non-Microsoft Middleware Product fails to implement a reasonable technical requirement (e.g., a requirement to be able to host a particular ActiveX control) that is necessary for valid technical reasons to supply the end user with functionality consistent with a Windows Operating System Product, provided that the technical reasons are described in a reasonably prompt manner to any ISV that requests them.
Basically this means that if a vendor wished to replace a bundled application with their own, it must meet some yet-to-be-defined technical requirements established apparently at Microsoft's discretion. This is particularly dangerous sine their's no clause requiring that Microsoft publish the 'technical requirements' in the timely manner (no later than the final beta of an OS release) in which API documentation and other such materials must be made available.

The decree provides for restrictions on the terms allowable in agreements between Microsoft and OEMs (as well as other parties) in furtherance of the antitrust goals of the proposed settlement.

It also provides the following exception to provisions preventing Microsoft from entering into exclusive agreements with vendors:
Microsoft shall not enter into any agreement with any [vendor] that grants Consideration on the condition that such entity distributes, promotes, uses, or supports, exclusively or in a fixed percentage, any Microsoft Platform Software, except1 that Microsoft may enter into agreements in which such an entity agrees to distribute, promote, use or support Microsoft Platform Software in a fixed percentage whenever Microsoft in good faith obtains a representation that it is commercially practicable for the entity to provide equal or greater distribution, promotion, use or support for software that competes with Microsoft Platform Software
That is to say, for example, if Microsoft felt that IBM could eventually sell more servers running Linux than running Windows, then Microsoft would be entitled to include an exclusivity requirement in their contract with IBM, under this clause of the proposed settlement.

More loopholes can be found in the definitions of terms used throughout the settlement, for example, reference is made to 'Covered OEMs' which is defined as the top 20 OEMs by license sales volume as recorded by Microsoft. Specifically:
"Covered OEMs" means the 20 OEMs with the highest worldwide volume of licenses of Windows Operating System Products reported to Microsoft in Microsoft's fiscal year preceding the effective date of the Final Judgment. The OEMs that fall within this definition of Covered OEMs shall be recomputed by Microsoft as soon as practicable after the close of each of Microsoft's fiscal years.
This leaves a gaping hole in the agreement with respect to antitrust relief for OEMs other than the top 20 - meaning Microsoft is free to continue it's unfair pricing policies with all but the largest OEMs, but this is hardly the most disturbing definition included in the proposed Final Judgment. It defines 'Windows Operating System Product' in such a way as to completely defeat the intent of the foregoing document in it's entirety (simply because Microsoft can declare anything as 'pert of the OS'):
"Windows Operating System Product" means the software code (as opposed to source code) distributed commercially by Microsoft for use with Personal Computers as Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP Home, Windows XP Professional, and successors to the foregoing... etc. The software code that comprises a Windows Operating System Product shall be determined by Microsoft in its sole discretion.1
This introduces the risk that - not withstanding the provisions of the settlement - Microsoft could continue to decimate it's competition at will, continuing to leverage it's installed base in an anti-competitive manner by simply declaring any arbitrary software to be part of the Windows Operating System Product. The definition above, which is tucked neatly at the end of the proposed settlement compels the U.S. Government to consider any software to be part of the operating system, that Microsoft declared to be part of the OS.

The effect here is if a vendor develops the next must-have 'killer app' and Microsoft considers it a threat to it's empire it can simply develop a competing implementation then declare it to be part of the Windows Operating System Product. This completely defeats the goals sought by bringing the antitrust case in the first place. If Netscape Communications still existed in the form it did before the case was brought, it would be no better off under this agreement than it was without it simply because this proposed settlement does not achieve any of the goals sought by the companies who originally spearheaded this prosecution.

This agreement specifically grants no additional rights to aggrieved third parties with regard to procedures for lodging complaints, other than an ill-defined process with a Microsoft Compliance Officer and a Technical Oversight Committee,. Both entities are bound by non-disclosure agreements preventing the third party from actively pursuing civil complaints derived from the documentary finding of the Technical Committee, independent of the Department of Justice.

Finally, it's important that we examine the reasons this settlement was pursued so vigorously and arguably rushed to completion. It can be traced back to a comment made by District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly who urged a quick settlement in light of "the recent tragic events affecting our nation." While certainly these attacks have given us pause, they are not a valid reason to rush into a settlement in a completely unrelated matter, and particularly a settlement which is clearly so friendly to a monopolist.

Attorney General John Ashcroft remarked in part:
Through a broad range of disclosure and nondiscrimination and non-retaliatory and enforcement provisions, this proposed framework and this settlement not only resolves the department's competitive concerns but also does so in a quick and responsible manner.
In fact, we've seen that each of these categories of restrictions come with substantial loopholes and the implementation - being seriously flawed - fails to serve the public interest. We can only hope that Judge Kollar-Kotelly, in her decision which we expect on Tuesday, will show more wisdom than she has shown in her earlier comments.


1.) Emphasis added by hillct

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Poll
The Proposed Settlemment is:
o Reasonable and Fair 9%
o Unreasonable and rushed 75%
o The Best We Can Expect 15%

Votes: 65
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o announced
o settlement
o press conference
o Colleen Kollar-Kotelly
o Also by hillct


Display: Sort:
Examination of the MS/DOJ proposed settlement | 49 comments (48 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
The Poll... (3.20 / 5) (#1)
by Happy Monkey on Sun Nov 04, 2001 at 09:59:17 PM EST

I wish I could pick the last two options...
___
Length 17, Width 3
Anyone else notice? (3.66 / 6) (#2)
by cp on Sun Nov 04, 2001 at 10:01:50 PM EST

With Windows XP, Microsoft finally eliminated MS/DOS, only to turn around and replace it with MS/DOJ?

inflation strikes everything... (3.00 / 1) (#4)
by hillct on Sun Nov 04, 2001 at 10:25:47 PM EST

Yes, but MS/DOJ has cost Microsoft many millions of dollars more than MS/DOS or QDOS cost when Microsoft bought it from Seattle Computing back in the '70s. I guess inflation strikes everything...


--Got Lists? | Top 31 Signs Your Spouse Is A Spy
[ Parent ]
Hitch Hikers Guide (2.71 / 7) (#3)
by Phage on Sun Nov 04, 2001 at 10:16:52 PM EST

"So thats it then, we're all going to die."


I don't find Heathens to be sexy, as a general rule.
Canthros

One or the other (3.83 / 6) (#6)
by Sheepdot on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 12:45:38 AM EST

This introduces the risk that ... Microsoft could continue to decimate it's competition at will...

It is impossible to introduce something that has happened and continues to happen. Re-read your sentence above until you see what it is I am talking about.

In fact, we've seen that each of these categories of restrictions come with substantial loopholes and the implementation - being seriously flawed - fails to serve the public interest.

I find it funny that K5 MS bashers can say that on issues of civil liberties (hillct story) "public interests" do not matter, yet on economic liberties, "public interests" play an integral part in defining what one can and cannot do with their money or business.

If only there was a party that was as ardent in fighting for civil liberties as they were economic liberties. Oh wait, there is, and suprisingly it *isn't* the Green party.

Civil liberties aren't against the public interest (3.75 / 4) (#7)
by hillct on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 02:04:01 AM EST

Let me address each of your concerns in sequence.

First, that sentence is a bit obb, probably because it was late and I was tired.

Second, are you seriously proposing that the protection of civil liberties can ever be against the public interest?

Third, I'm in favor of economic liberties as you describe them but I have a problem with a guy who steals public domain software, sells it as private intellectual property, then goes to a bluechip company, getting a meeting only because the CEO is a friend of his mother, then proceeds to sell them a product he doesn't own, but later purchased from a friend at the rediculously low (almost usurous) price of $50,000 then turning around and parlaying that into an empire, built on anticompetitive practices, namipulation and coercive licensing.

Don't get me wrong. Bill Gates is a brilliant guy, but the mark of a great businessman is the ability to walk that fine line between shrewed business and criminal activity. Unfortunately, under Bill Gates' guidance, Microsoft crossed that line and they need ot be made to pay a substancial penalty for it.

--CTH


--Got Lists? | Top 31 Signs Your Spouse Is A Spy
[ Parent ]
You Sound Jealous Of Their Success (4.00 / 4) (#9)
by Carnage4Life on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 05:08:29 AM EST

Third, I'm in favor of economic liberties as you describe them but I have a problem with a guy who steals public domain software, sells it as private intellectual property,

You can't steal public domain software by the very definition of the phrase public domain software.

then goes to a bluechip company, getting a meeting only because the CEO is a friend of his mother, then proceeds to sell them a product he doesn't own, but later purchased from a friend at the rediculously low (almost usurous) price of $50,000

You obviously have never met anyone who built a business from scratch, worked as a contractor or worked at a real startup (not the VC funded dot bombs of the past few years). Getting business meetings based on personal contacts and accepting orders you currently can't fill but could fill if given an advance are a way of life.

Secondly, $50,000 seems low to you because you have the benefit of hindsight and MSFT is a successful company today. If Bill Gates had not been able to convince IBM to let MSFT keep the rights to sell MS DOS seperate from the IBM PC then MSFT would definitely not be as successful as it is today and most likely would be an obscure reference only known by computing history buffs kinda like how Gary Killdal and CP/M are today.

then turning around and parlaying that into an empire, built on anticompetitive practices, namipulation and coercive licensing.

Yeah, I agree that there have been anti-competitive and they should be punished for them which is what the settlement is about but bringing up irrelevancies like the origin of MSDOS and their original deal with IBM seems to indicate that you resent how successful they've been business-wise as opposed to how unscrupulous they've been.

Are you opposed to capitalism?

[ Parent ]
No he doesn't (4.00 / 1) (#21)
by analog on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 02:56:19 PM EST

Funny how certain people are very fond of saying how old Microsoft bashing gets, yet they never seem to realize that calling anybody who criticizes MS "jealous" gets just as old. They also seem oblivious to the fact that while constant MS bashing does indeed get annoying, it usually has some basis in fact; charges of jealousy are usually based on little more than "cause I need a comeback".

Getting business meetings based on personal contacts and accepting orders you currently can't fill but could fill if given an advance are a way of life.

On the business meetings you are correct; the old mantra "it's not what you know, it's who you know" is unfortunately very true. I think the reason people bring this up is not so much that they think it was wrong, but because Gates is fond of making it sound like IBM came to Microsoft because of their technical prowess. In fact, IBM had never heard of Microsoft prior to Gates' mother mentioning them to the head of their PC program, who was serving with her on the board of the United Way (I've seen interviews with both of them in which they say this).

Accepting orders you know you can't fill is called fraud and can land you in prison if you screw it up badly enough. While it's not uncommon for companies to play fast and loose with the laws governing this sort of activity, it's also not uncommon for them to get nailed for it and go out of business or pay sizeable fines as a result. Pretending that it's a normal or accepted business practice makes you sound as ignorant you are accusing the author of being.

[ Parent ]

Yeah he does (none / 0) (#22)
by Carnage4Life on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 03:53:02 PM EST

Funny how certain people are very fond of saying how old Microsoft bashing gets, yet they never seem to realize that calling anybody who criticizes MS "jealous" gets just as old. They also seem oblivious to the fact that while constant MS bashing does indeed get annoying, it usually has some basis in fact; charges of jealousy are usually based on little more than "cause I need a comeback".

I read this paragraph three times just to make sure and I still didn't see how you showed that bringing up the fact that Microsoft was introduced to IBM via personal contacts in the context of the recent DOJ settlement is relevant in any way besides being an indicator of the level of jealousy the original poster has.

Then again I've become used to people on K5 being irrational when it comes to bashing Microsoft so please don't let logic stand in your way.

Accepting orders you know you can't fill is called fraud and can land you in prison if you screw it up badly enough. While it's not uncommon for companies to play fast and loose with the laws governing this sort of activity, it's also not uncommon for them to get nailed for it and go out of business or pay sizeable fines as a result.

Many people accept orders that they believe they can fill but end up being unable to, that is the very nature of consulting jobs. Or are you claiming that the success rates of contracts is a 100% or the contractors go to jail? If that's the case most of Accenture aka Anderson Consulting should be in prison.

Not that this is relevant since MSFT filled their order.

[ Parent ]
Oooh, a little touchy, aren't you? (none / 0) (#24)
by analog on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 04:42:29 PM EST

I read this paragraph three times just to make sure and I still didn't see how you showed that bringing up the fact that Microsoft was introduced to IBM via personal contacts in the context of the recent DOJ settlement is relevant in any way besides being an indicator of the level of jealousy the original poster has.

You shouldn't have seen such a thing since I didn't address it in that paragraph. I never claimed to. All I mentioned in that paragraph is that hearing "you're just jealous" every time someone criticizes MS gets old, and that nobody ever gives a reason for saying it. That's all. However, while we're here, I will note that you've still (as I said) given no reason why bringing that up was due to jealousy rather than a thousand other possible reasons, and I will further note that I gave one in a different paragraph of that post. Feel free to disagree with it if you like, but let's not pretend it's not there, okay?

And let's do this in order. You said:

accepting orders you currently can't fill but could fill if given an advance are a way of life.

To which I said:

Accepting orders you know you can't fill is called fraud

To which you replied:

Many people accept orders that they believe they can fill but end up being unable to

I think we can both agree this is a different statement than your first one. You can disagree with me, and I may consider what you have to say and change my mind or I may not, but trying to redefine what you or I said in order to bolster your position only makes you look petulant and isn't likely to win me over to your side.

Your second statement can have as little effect as giving you a bad reputation, or as much as losing a suit for breech of contract. Depends on the circumstances. However, if you truly think it's okay to accept an order for something when you know at the time of the order that you can't fill it, go ahead and call your local FTC office and explain that you're in the habit of doing business that way and see what they have to say to you.

I'll also say just for future reference that disagreeing with someone is fine, but you're far more likely to make a good point by giving your reasons for doing so than you are by calling them names. Just something to think about.

[ Parent ]

Name calling? (none / 0) (#26)
by Carnage4Life on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 05:12:22 PM EST

All I mentioned in that paragraph is that hearing "you're just jealous" every time someone criticizes MS gets old, and that nobody ever gives a reason for saying it.

Oh, so you were just stereotyping me and generalizing that I fell into some group of MSFT supporters that chant "You are just jealous" instead of actually considering the specifics of the original post or my post.

Thanks for pointing that out.

I think we can both agree this is a different statement than your first one. You can disagree with me, and I may consider what you have to say and change my mind or I may not, but trying to redefine what you or I said in order to bolster your position only makes you look petulant and isn't likely to win me over to your side.

I'm not trying to win you over to any side since I don't see any sides in this discussion. I claimed that accepting orders you can't fill is commonplace, you make a big todo about it being illegal and a jailable offence. I then mention that many people do it and ask if you feel they should be jailed and you respond with an argument over semantics. I don't know what the law is but if you say that accepting a contract when you're not a 100% sure you can fill itis a jailable offence I won't argue with you snce it isn't my fortè and quite frankly I'm not interested in it enough to bother researching it. I do know that a lot of people do it including the Big 5 and such a law would just be another example of the selectively applied and broken American financial legal system.

I'll also say just for future reference that disagreeing with someone is fine, but you're far more likely to make a good point by giving your reasons for doing so than you are by calling them names.

What did I disagree with in the original post? I only line indicating assent or dissent is where I agreed that Microsoft has done anti-competitive things for which they should be punished. Besides that I questioned the poster's motivation for bringing up irrelevant details on Microsoft's history

[ Parent ]
Yep, name calling (none / 0) (#28)
by analog on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 07:08:08 PM EST

You said the previous poster was jealous, you said I was irrational and illogical, and you said I was a Microsoft basher even though I've said nothing against them. I'd say that was name calling. You can call it something different if you like; we'll still be friends.

Oh, so you were just stereotyping me and generalizing that I fell into some group of MSFT supporters that chant "You are just jealous" instead of actually considering the specifics of the original post or my post.

Wow. Did I say that? Hmmmm, let me look... no, I don't think I did. I said calling people who dislike MS jealous gets old (which is true), I said I've yet to hear anybody support that statement (which is true), and I said that you hadn't supported that statement (which is true). As to generalizing without considering the posts, I pointed out an alternative explanation for why he brought up MS's history and I pointed out that you hadn't given any support to your claim of jealousy. Who isn't considering whose posts?

I then mention that many people do it and ask if you feel they should be jailed and you respond with an argument over semantics.

An argument over semantics... no, I think taking money for something you know you can't do and taking money for something you believe you can do (even if you're proven wrong later) is more than a semantic difference. If you misspoke or I misunderstood you, then say so.

I don't know what the law is but if you say that accepting a contract when you're not a 100% sure you can fill itis a jailable offence

I didn't say any such thing. I said that taking an order you know you can't fulfill is against the law. And it is. I also said it could land you in prison if you screw it up badly enough. And it can (if you do it through the mail, for instance, it's wire fraud). Taking an order when you're just not sure if you can fulfill it may or may not be illegal depending on the circumstances, but mostly it's just a bad idea. I do have to wonder, though; if you don't know what the law is, why are you bothering to argue about it?

What did I disagree with in the original post?

You disagreed with his use of the term "public domain". You disagreed that MS's history was relevant to the DoJ proceedings. You disagreed that MS paid an unfairly low price for DOS. None of it is particularly relevant to our discussion, but you did ask...

Y'know, I usually enjoy reading your posts and stories, because you seem well informed and you're usually objective. However, lately you seem to take anything you think has an anti-MS slant awfully personally. I'm not sure why that is, but it's certainly not necessary. Someone disliking Microsoft is not a personal attack on you. I seem to recall that you have worked for them in the past (still do?), so maybe you're a little sensitive to all the general anti-MS sentiment (and frankly I don't know that I'd blame you), but your posts in this thread seem to be driven much more by emotion than thought.

[ Parent ]

*sigh* (5.00 / 1) (#29)
by Carnage4Life on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 08:44:08 PM EST

You said the previous poster was jealous, you said I was irrational and illogical, and you said I was a Microsoft basher even though I've said nothing against them. I'd say that was name calling. You can call it something different if you like; we'll still be friends.

We must speak different languages. Name calling is making ad hominem attacks where one calls another by demeaning monikers. Describing the original poster's comments as jealous and your post as illogical as a defence of the original poster's comments do not seem to me like resorting to name calling.

But to each his own I guess. I honed my discussion skills on git.talk.flame and git.cc.class.cs2130.flame so to most people my regular comments seem like flames.

As for the rest of your post, arguing over the feelings of some third party who posted a comment several hours ago and whether I am really pro-Microsoft or you are really anti-Microsoft is, in my opinion, unproductive especially since I have a Theory test tomorrow morning which I am yet to study for. So I'll bid adieu to this thread and wish you a good evening.

Nice chatting with you.

[ Parent ]
Wow, wish I could edit that post. (none / 0) (#30)
by Carnage4Life on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 08:57:08 PM EST

On rereading my post it comes off a lot harsher and ruder than I actually feel. Actually, I'm simply in a rush to catch someone in the library and was trying to kill the thread.

I apologise for any rudeness contained in the above post. Take care. :)

[ Parent ]
I'm jealous of Al Capone too; what's your point? (none / 0) (#23)
by valency on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 04:29:24 PM EST



---
If you disagree, and somebody has already posted the exact rebuttal that you would use: moderate, don't post.
[ Parent ]
According to extremist utilitarians, YES! (none / 0) (#37)
by Sheepdot on Tue Nov 06, 2001 at 03:30:47 AM EST

Second, are you seriously proposing that the protection of civil liberties can ever be against the public interest?

Hillct, perhaps you don't understand the concept of "not buying" something.

For example, I don't buy that we're all God's little children that must abstain from sex till marriage, or that it is okay to pick on someone who's skin is a different color.

Hold on! I'll get to relevance of this in a minute, you're jumping on my back before I finish. I understand that it would be ludicrous to believe the above.

But that's precisely what previous generations have done! There *was* a time when abstaining from sex till marriage was not only par, it was done by a supramajority of the world. Of course, marriages happened when couples were still in their teens, but it still happened. There weren't laws, just a series of strict religious persecutions that one would have to endure had they been caught.

So basically, I "don't buy" the term "public interest's". I don't believe in a collective mind that includes me. It sounds almost like a fucking religion! I don't want some divine authority of majority will to determine what I can and cannot do with my life, personal *or* economic.

And racial relations? We don't even have to go back that horribly far to see that hatred has existed for centuries. And ironically, despite what you may think, public interests *can* go bad, even after they have made so much progress.

I suggest heading to here, here, or here. Amazing stuff eh? That racial profiling can be advocated by majorities of Americans, even larger majorities amongst blacks in favor, is downright shocking.

But you don't hear this stuff, it doesn't make it into your thick skull cause you think civil liberties will always win out. Well, surprise, surprise, when it comes to a spin game, the anti-terrorism crusade is going to best the "throw a fit at anything" ACLU any day.

It's *not* fair. You're right if you believe so. But it is what we have to put up with. I suggest doing the following: NEVER, EVER, use the term "societie's interests" or "public interests" unless you are willing to read up on Bentham and Mill and become a full utilitarian. There is *no* advantage in saying that majority will rules, because time and time again, we've seen that majority opinon *can* be easily manipulated.

Also, I have no problem with Microsoft being held legally accountable for their actions if fraud really happened. But asking, yea telling, companies to bundle their browser with their OS or stating they will not sell is not illegal. The companies should have simply said, "No, fuck you, I'll sell my machines with Linux." or agreed, or made a deal and seen if Microsoft could actually sue them for modifying the OS after the fact.

There is a lot MS has done that is questionable, and there is at least one or two things that were downright fraudulent, but bringing an anti-trust against them was premature and completely unsuccessful in making even the slightest dent in them.

It sounds almost un-democratic for me to stand on an imaginary podium and demand that we steer clear of "public interest". But I truly feel that by defining a "collective mind" we succumb to what it eventually becomes no matter how perverse, and have no recourse when it doesn't go our way.

[ Parent ]

Introducing risk (none / 0) (#18)
by dachshund on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 12:38:49 PM EST

This introduces the risk that ... Microsoft could continue to decimate it's competition at will...

It is impossible to introduce something that has happened and continues to happen. Re-read your sentence above until you see what it is I am talking about.

I'm trying to understand your semantic quibble, Sheepdot. It appears you're saying that "the risk that Microsoft will continue to decimate its competition" has always existed, and exists today.

That makes sense, but when you follow that line of reasoning to its conclusion, it becomes pure sophistry. It must be assumed that there is a certain risk that anything will happen-- and that such a risk always has existed. Therefore, no risk can never be "introduced" at all (at least not in our lifetimes.) Is it therefore never acceptable to use the phrase, or can we still extract meaning by examining the context and ignoring the slight literal inaccuracy?

Anyway, I think it's fairly irrelevant to the discussion at hand. I wouldn't post such a silly comment, but your devotion of something like 30% of your post to this subject leads me to believe that it's important to your cause.

[ Parent ]

Too far (none / 0) (#36)
by Sheepdot on Tue Nov 06, 2001 at 03:04:46 AM EST

I'm trying to understand your semantic quibble, Sheepdot.

Apparently you are trying to understand too much. I do not *believe* anything regarding this issue. I am saying that "continue" and "introduce" are not two terms that work together in his sentence.

It has nothing to do with Microsoft manipulating, it has little to do with *what was said* and more to do with *how it was said*. You cannot "introduce" something that "continues" to happen. Re-read the following:

"This introduces the risk that ... Microsoft could continue to decimate it's competition at will..."

I think you're going a little bit too far in your analysis and putting beliefs that I do not have in where I was paraphrasing what was said.

[ Parent ]

Risk (none / 0) (#38)
by dachshund on Tue Nov 06, 2001 at 11:24:56 AM EST

I'm still not clear on this. What was being introduced was the "risk", not the "continuation" of the action. I think the fact that both "introduce" and "continue" were in the same sentence is irrelevant, if the first word wasn't directly referring to the second.

For instance:

"The lobbyist's amendment to the new FDA regulations introduces continued abuses by drug companies". That's just plain senseless-- as you say, you can't introduce something if it's already going on.

"The lobbyist's amendment to the new FDA regulations introduces the risk of continued abuses by drug companies." This makes sense, because presumably this risk didn't exist until the lobbyist got his amendment tacked on. What's being introduced here is the "risk", not the "continuation of ...".

Although, as I said above, you could pull this one out of the fire by arguing that the risk always existed, blah blah blah. But apparently that's not what you were going for.

[ Parent ]

Hmm. (none / 0) (#42)
by Sheepdot on Tue Nov 06, 2001 at 05:17:37 PM EST

Although, as I said above, you could pull this one out of the fire by arguing that the risk always existed, blah blah blah.

I can't believe that we're talking about whether or not the risk that Microsoft could continue to do something is even a "risk". It would seem to me that hillct intended to say: "This means that Microsoft could continue to ...", indeed it appears from his response that *was* what he intended to say, only he was tired at the time of submission and wasn't able to give it a good through look-over.

[ Parent ]

Continuation (none / 0) (#47)
by dachshund on Wed Nov 07, 2001 at 12:22:08 PM EST

I can't believe that we're talking about whether or not the risk that Microsoft could continue to do something is even a "risk".

There are certain events that give rise to the expectation that a certain behavior won't continue. Putting an addict into a locked, drug-free rehab facility leads you to assume that they won't continue to abuse drugs as long as they're in rehab (ie, there is no risk.) If somebody decides to give that addict unfettered access to the medical supply closet, however, that person is introducing the (previously non-existant) risk that the addict might continue their drug abuse in the rehab facility.

Therefore, I'm not sure why you can't introduce a risk, even if that risk is simply the risk of a continuation of a behavior which otherwise you would expect to cease.

[ Parent ]

Fuzzy wording et al (4.00 / 4) (#8)
by Prominairy on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 04:14:38 AM EST

    John Borland of CNET News.com remains very a skeptic in his news analysis Settlement is "a reward, not a remedy", where he points out several weaknesses in the agreement.
    Although Microsoft will not be able to charge some OEMs more than others, they are still free to offer "Considerations" (e.g. any monetary payment, provisions of preferential licensing terms, information or special permissions) to OEM licensees at will, as long as it doesn't say it's for exclusively promoting Microsoft products. The ability for an OEM licensee to add icons, shortcuts or menu entries for any non-Microsoft product or service can still be restricted by Microsoft for such "products that provide particular types of functionality;" a fuzzy wording that may well provide a loophole in the agreement.
    Another thing to note is that eventough Microsoft will be prohibited from automatically altering an OEM's configuration, this is in effect for only fourteen days after the PC is first used.
    There is still a case for Microsoft, though, as Kollar-Kotelly must ratify this, as well as the 18 states and even then it can still be overruled by an appeals court judge.
    I think a major problem (one of them) with finding a Good™ settlement is that it's difficult to convert unambiguous information about modern technology into legalese.

-~-~-~-~--~-~-~-~--~-~-~-~--~-~-~-~-
"Work like you don't need the money.
Love like you've never been hurt.
Dance like nobody's watching."

One thing I find surprising... (3.90 / 11) (#10)
by pwhysall on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 07:26:56 AM EST

...about this whole affair is that anyone could possibly have forseen any other outcome.

True, I hoped and wished and dreamed for all sorts of nasty things to happen to MS, from being fined a billion dollars a day until Bill stood up straight and got a proper haircut, to being broken up into N business units (where N is the number of MS employees), to being forcibly relocated to Slough.

But in my heart of hearts I knew that the irresistable force (MS and their chequebook) would meet the immovable object (the DOJ) and we'd find out that it's really "immovable" for suitably small values of "immovable".

I posit that the Zeroth Amendment to the US Constitution is "Everything below, except when it impacts the natural right to make money no matter what."

Ah say, ah say, that was a JOKE, son.
--
Peter
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
CheeseBurgerBrown

Zeroth Amendment (none / 0) (#12)
by PresJPolk on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 10:22:38 AM EST

I'd love a property rights and liberty of contract constitutional amendment. Where do I sign the petition?

*mails a letter to Rep. Bono*

:-)

[ Parent ]
14th Amendment (5.00 / 2) (#19)
by lordsutch on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 01:01:46 PM EST

The 14th Amendment provides that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. As for the right to contract, the Constitution itself forbids the states from impairing the obligation of contract.

If you're really interested in these issues, I suggest sending a few bucks to the Institute for Justice, who litigate against government-created monopolies and property rights violations.

Linux CDs. Schuyler Fisk can sell me long distance anytime.
[ Parent ]

Blindly Objecting (3.30 / 10) (#11)
by PresJPolk on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 07:41:26 AM EST

Not everyone has to read the settlement to object to it. Some people object to the whole proceeding that led to it, and/or to the unethical judge that made the findings that led to the settlment even happening.

Now with that out of the way, to respond to your points.

First, you mention peer review of APIs. It's not for you to decide whether it's a good thing that Microsoft's security APIs are open for peer review. It's up to Microsoft's customers. If people think Microsoft is so good, that they can be like the NSA and do everything in house, that's their risk. It's their money.

Second, on middleware. If a vendor doesn't like the terms under which he must bundle Windows, again, *let him buy from someone else.* It's utterly retarded to rely on a vendor that is trying to compete with you. These people deserve to go out of business.

Third, on exclusivity. Here's what you get when you bring Big Brother in. Give MS ability to go for an exclusive contract if the market is moving away from Microsoft, or, let's do the opposite of what we think consumers are asking.

Fourth, on OEM definition. Why is this a problem? If you believe restricting MS is a good thing, wouldn't you be *glad* that their hands are tied against their largest, and therefore best able to negotiate, customers? This will not only hurt them the most, but it should affect the most consumers, by the defintion of largest OEM.

Fifth, on Windows definition. You've already complained that the settlement produced here is technically silly (in making security APIs secret). Why would you trust them to define what is part of the OS? Microsoft is the logical decision maker here. It's their product. After all, they're not going to bundle any cash cows like Office or SQL Server as part of Windows.

Sixth, on Netscape. Finally, your true colors come out here. Consumers decided on Microsoft's non-free Browser over Netscape's browser, and you didn't like it, so you wanted the government to storm in and beat up MS for you.

Fact is, Netscape's browser was so horrid, that Mozilla had to dump the entire batch of code. Linux users who chose Navigator 4 found it to be the most unstable component of their system. Only in the last year have HTML renderers appeared that are more standards compliant than IE's (gecko and khtml). Netscape's combination of early market dominance and terrible software quality held CSS back for years. And don't forget it was Netscape who brought us BLINK, cookies, and javascript. Even now, Windows users vastly prefer Internet Explorer to Netscape 6.

I loathe MS, so I don't use their products. And guess what? Now they don't sap one second of my time. I just wish MS had held firm, because if push came to shove, Ashcroft wasn't going to do anything drastic. He's too busy trying to rip out half of the Bill of Rights. :-)

Issue number 5 (4.50 / 2) (#15)
by dmac on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 11:07:58 AM EST

... except that they are going to bundle SQL with Windows and one form of their OEM agreement practically bundled Office. (One OEM agreement they had said that either MS Works or MS Office must be installed and no competitors office productivity software could be installed in the standard OS load.)

SQL is the new filesystem for a Windows release roadmapped for 2004... All files will be stored in an SQL format on a raw partition instead of NTFS or any extension of it. (At least, that is the goal, both workstation and server.) Before then, SQL server will be the basis for all database related functionality on server (i.e. DHCP, Active Directory, DNS, WINS if it still exists...)

Anyway, one point you have missed is that the lawsuit was as related to the desktop... server is not in discussion here. If I am reading correctly, points 1-4 are arguable on server because the environment is such that you can still do such things as partner with another platform. Not so on the desktop. You can't pick another OEM on the desktop because it won't interoperate, because MS has exclusive distro agreements, etc. Also, the 'cash cows' on the desktop are much harder to define. Browsers would have been one of them until the killed netscape. Office suites always will be. Media is most definately another up and coming.

And on point 6, consumers didn't decide squat on the Netscape vs. IE. Both browsers leave major desires, but MS spent large amounts of time ensuring that Netscape would never work quite right, would always be less convenient, could never make itself more noticable than IE. As a result, I am stuck running both because there are web pages that I can only look at in one because it crashes the other.

[ Parent ]

Office and SQL (4.00 / 1) (#35)
by PresJPolk on Tue Nov 06, 2001 at 02:39:33 AM EST

OK, I was wrong on MS SQL Server, as this is about workstations. But, don't try to tell me that Office isn't their big *workstation-based* US Mint-quality money printing machine.

MS only makes money off of their success if they get to charge for it, remember. They can't bundle everything free and not raise the price, they want to make money. They can't bundle everything and raise the price accordingly, either, or they'll lose the low-end OEM market where Windows already is a large portion of the sticker price.

Why have I not heard about Winamp falling off the face of the earth now that MS bundles a music player? Consumers seem to be making a clear choice there. I think you overestimate the power MS has over the applications choices consumers make.

[ Parent ]
Bundling vs. 'Informal Bundling' (none / 0) (#40)
by dmac on Tue Nov 06, 2001 at 12:02:02 PM EST

Maybe I didn't explain Office argument clearly. I don't think that MS will ever formally bundle Office with Windows for exactly the reasons you said. (They can't make any money at it if they give it away for free.) However, they have 'informally bundled' it by OEM agreement in the past by requiring OEMs to use only MS Office or MS Works in their OEM images for shipped PCs. Seems to me like a bundle with a 2-part price tag... :)

WinAMP has seen a significant loss of market share since Media Player has been bundled. It will not disappear entirely in this iteration because it handles a few things that MP doesn't (file formats primarily). I assure you however that if MS remedies that situation WinAMP will be as dead as Netscape, which is basically a skeleton. Real Media is a harder call as there is still some fanatic following on the streaming side (and would have been a better example BTW :). I can tell you that Real and Media Player do not play well together tho, and in the same ways of Netscape/IE. (Fighting over associations, breaking each others file handling, etc.) Without getting into too technical of a discussion, this is a pretty good example of why 'integration' (particularily MS style) can be/is damaging to the consumer, and in the end the non-technical consumer is going to say 'chuck it' and since Media Player is 'integrated' first, it is going to win...

[ Parent ]

Judge(s) (5.00 / 2) (#17)
by dachshund on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 12:11:00 PM EST

Some people object to the whole proceeding that led to it, and/or to the unethical judge that made the findings that led to the settlment even happening.

Judges, you mean. Were they all unethical, and is that why the appeals court upheld the (fairly damning) findings of fact while simultaneously rebuking Jackson for his behavior and remedy?

[ Parent ]

Judge (none / 0) (#33)
by PresJPolk on Tue Nov 06, 2001 at 02:28:50 AM EST

No, I'm referring just to Judge Jackson, who was so plainly anti-Microsoft from the start, even making illegal interviews proving it.

The judge who replaced Jackson I haven't heard anything wrong about. She really didn't do anything, except push for a speedy resolution.

The appeals court was put in a tough spot. I suspect they saw the evidence and didn't want to overturn Jackson's findings of fact, but faced with Jackson's ethical problems they had no choice but to overturn *something*.

[ Parent ]
Well now I'm confused (none / 0) (#39)
by dachshund on Tue Nov 06, 2001 at 11:31:14 AM EST

and/or to the unethical judge that made the findings that led to the settlment even happening.

You seem to imply that Jackson's lack of ethics were directly responsible for the findings of fact.

The appeals court was put in a tough spot. I suspect they saw the evidence and didn't want to overturn Jackson's findings of fact, but faced with Jackson's ethical problems they had no choice but to overturn *something*.

And yet you agree that the appeals court, upon seeing the evidence, agreed with those findings and did not want to overturn them.

So I don't get it. If the findings have been reviewed and accepted by the appeals court, and Jackson has been rebuked (and his decision reversed), what do his supposed lack of ethics have to do with the findings? Seems to me that's a pretty weak defense of Microsoft at this juncture.

Anyway, I'm not aware that Jackson was anti-Microsoft from the start, or that he gave any "illegal" interviews until after his decision had been delivered. That doesn't necessarily make it right (actually, it makes him rather stupid), but I don't see the evidence of pre-existing bias ("from the start") that your statement above implies.

[ Parent ]

Jackson's Bias and the Appeals Court (none / 0) (#46)
by PresJPolk on Wed Nov 07, 2001 at 12:20:23 PM EST

I think the Appeals Court's upholding of the Findings of Fact, but overturning the proposed remedy, was a political decision as much as a legal one. It was a compromise. If Jackson's impartiality hadn't been questioned, it may have gone differently. Who knows?

On when Jackson made his improper interviews, I can't seem to find the slashdot article where I heard about it all. Sorry. But, I'd have sworn that the interviews he was giving were taking place throughout the trial. I'd agree, though, that they took place after he made his decision. He was set against Microsoft all along.

And while you put illegal in quotes, judges aren't supposed to talk to people about a trial in progress. There are reasons that Jackson asked that the interviews be made secret until afterward.

So, look at the result: findings of fact remain, and a new judge oversees the remedy. Why is this a problem? It seems to me that pro-government anti-MS people liked Jackson because of his clear bias, and his willingness to lash out at MS, not because of any good qualities as a judge.

[ Parent ]
Jackson etc. (none / 0) (#49)
by dachshund on Thu Nov 08, 2001 at 11:21:35 AM EST

I think the Appeals Court's upholding of the Findings of Fact, but overturning the proposed remedy, was a political decision as much as a legal one. It was a compromise. If Jackson's impartiality hadn't been questioned, it may have gone differently. Who knows?

I don't understand this at all. From what I understand of their background, the judges on the Appeals court are fairly straightforward rule-of-law types. I don't see them making "political" decisions. And what I gather you're saying is that if Jackson had come off as a straight-up non-biased judge, the Appeals court would have felt more comfortable overturning his findings? I don't understand this at all; one assumes that suspicion about a judge's impartiality would inspire an even more critical look at his findings. And a reversal, if necessary.

He was set against Microsoft all along.

My understanding, and it's arguable, is that Jackson entered the trial with a fairly open mind, but soon became frustrated by Microsoft's lack of cooperation and innacurate testimony. This happens to judges all the time-- generally, they vent their derision in a written opinion, not in an interview. I don't know when Jackson started doing interviews, but as poorly done as it was, I have yet to see the tiniest shred of evidence that he entered the trial with a bias against Microsoft.

So, look at the result: findings of fact remain, and a new judge oversees the remedy. Why is this a problem?

It's not a problem, until somebody comes along and argues that the entire case was somehow fabricated by a single unethical judge-- and that Microsoft never would have gotten in any trouble had they had somebody different in that lower court. The truth is that MS made some damn stupid, illegal business moves over the last decade, and they got busted for it good and fair. Even a previously MS-friendly appeals court concurs with that asessment.

This case was anything but a travesty, as some have claimed. The only travesty is that the Justice dept. has decided to let MS off with a weak settlement after essentially winning the case on its merits. Had they done this earlier in the case, it might have made sense, but now that the courts have clearly declared MS a monopoly which abused its power in the marketplace, it's very sad to see the Justice dept. asking for such an ineffective remedy.

[ Parent ]

Netscape and dumping code (3.50 / 2) (#20)
by Erbo on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 01:41:51 PM EST

Netscape's browser was so horrid, that Mozilla had to dump the entire batch of code.
And they were roundly excoriated for it in some circles. See this article on Joel on Software, for instance.
Even now, Windows users vastly prefer Internet Explorer to Netscape 6.
And could part of that be because Netscape basically sat on its codebase for three years, rewriting Mozilla while IE caught up? Yes, Microsoft cheated. Yes, the old codebase was a twisted morass. But there's more than enough blame to go around here. Rewriting Mozilla was basically a desperation move by Netscape, and now we've got a better browser for it, but there's times when the right product--too late--is worse than a mediocre product at the right time. (Believe me...I've been there.)

Eric
--
Electric Minds - virtual community since 1996. http://www.electricminds.org
[ Parent ]

Why? (none / 0) (#34)
by PresJPolk on Tue Nov 06, 2001 at 02:31:54 AM EST

Windows users hate Netscape 6 because the Mozilla designers refused to even try to make Mozilla act like other apps on the native platform.

And no, you can't blame that on Microsoft. Mozilla made that same mistake on *every* platform. That's why on Windows IE beats Netscape 6, and on Unix Konqueror and Galeon beat Netscape.

It's poor engineering like this that tore Netscape down, even before the Mozilla changeover.

[ Parent ]
Design goals (5.00 / 1) (#43)
by Erbo on Tue Nov 06, 2001 at 06:50:47 PM EST

Netscape 6 was the Mozilla changeover.

It seems that the mantra of the Mozilla designers was "Cross-platform and customizability über alles." OK, they succeeded. But, in producing a GUI that looks exactly the same on all platforms, they made it look like nothing else running on any of those platforms...and Apple had this right: Users don't like "different."

Eric
--
Electric Minds - virtual community since 1996. http://www.electricminds.org
[ Parent ]

Netscape 6 vs Mozilla (none / 0) (#48)
by PresJPolk on Wed Nov 07, 2001 at 12:22:36 PM EST

Netscape 6 is based on Mozilla, it is not Mozilla itself.

Netscape 6 just suffers from all the terrible mistakes made by Mozilla. After all, Netscape's engineers are a large portion of the Mozilla development, so the same bad engineering is going on.

[ Parent ]
Good. (1.63 / 11) (#13)
by DeadBaby on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 10:31:30 AM EST

I'm very glad the DOJ offered Microsoft such a softball settlement. This whole trial has been a disgrace to the justice system of the United States. When we look back on this case in 20 years this will be nothing more than a witch-hunt lead by frustrated competitors of Microsoft who were upset business and personal users alike were not interested in their software.

Any company of Microsoft's size can be caught doing bad things. I've never seen an "honest" company to start out with so maybe I am pre-inclined to believe Microsoft's tactics were nothing special.

If this whole ordeal can teach us one thing, it would be that technology freedom zealots are hypocritical softies with no real beliefs other than the extension of their petty political agendas. Encryption backdoors, that could save millions of lives, are EVIL but government intervention into a successful American company, to the extent of breaking them up or making them give away all their intellectual property, is just dandy. Filthy hypocrites.

"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
Zealots (5.00 / 3) (#16)
by dachshund on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 11:52:30 AM EST

If this whole ordeal can teach us one thing, it would be that technology freedom zealots are hypocritical softies with no real beliefs other than the extension of their petty political agendas

It seems right now that the "technology freedom zealots"-- if you mean Open Source types-- are in the best position of anyone right now. Open Source projects have proven relatively resistant to Microsoft's bundle-for-free-and-strangle-competitor tactics. On the other hand, imgine running a for-profit closed-source software company in an area Microsoft would like to enter?

Now, decide on your business strategy: Would you like to sell out to Microsoft or just file Chapter 11 right now and get it over with?

Honestly, I don't see how Microsoft's actions differ from the illegal practice of "dumping"-- essentially, delivering products below cost in order to put a competitor out of business. I suppose there is one difference-- by building the product into the OS, Microsoft not only covers the cost of the "dump", but guarantees millions of otherwise uninterested users will subsidize it, whether they want to or not (ie, simply by buying a brand-name PC.) Brilliant.

[ Parent ]

Good? (none / 0) (#27)
by bediger on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 06:23:54 PM EST

I'm very glad the DOJ offered Microsoft such a softball settlement. This whole trial has been a disgrace to the justice system of the United States. When we look back on this case in 20 years this will be nothing more than a witch-hunt lead by frustrated competitors of Microsoft who were upset business and personal users alike were not interested in their software.

Honestly, I don't understand how you can say that the trial has been a disgrace. Jackson was a conservative Reagan appointtee - my take is that he wanted to rule in favor of MSFT in the first place. The appeals court ruled unanimously *not* to overturn anything but the remedy. The US Supreme court didn't give cert to the MSFT appeal to them. If the judiciary had seen the case as a disgrace, something in there would have went differently. Jackson would have ruled against the DoJ, the appeals court decision would have been split, the Supreme court would have given cert to the MSFT appeal to them.

I don't even really care too much, since I'm a long-time NetBSD user. The only thing that peeves me is that when I buy a new computer (a PC) I have to buy Windows. Nobody, Dell , Gateway, whatever, will sell you a computer without Windows and knock a few bucks off. I just don't care what software eveybody else uses - I'm not doing what everybody else does. I do feel that being forced to pay for Windows, when I don't use it, is a real disgrace.


-- I am Spartacus.
[ Parent ]
Windows Tax (none / 0) (#31)
by Trepalium on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 09:20:53 PM EST

The only thing that peeves me is that when I buy a new computer (a PC) I have to buy Windows. Nobody, Dell , Gateway, whatever, will sell you a computer without Windows and knock a few bucks off. I just don't care what software eveybody else uses - I'm not doing what everybody else does. I do feel that being forced to pay for Windows, when I don't use it, is a real disgrace.
Well, there is an easy way around that -- build your own. Even a trained monkey with a screwdriver can do it. While you may not get the same length of warranty as with those name brand models, you can be certain that nearly any problem that arrises with the system you can fix yourself.

A lot of people seem to reject this route routinely, so there's another option. All major PC makers will refuse to sell you a PC without Windows with no discount, but many smaller ones will, despite the scary letters MS has sent them regarding "Naked PCs" and how they're responsible for their customer's piracy. Most of these smaller companies need all the business they can get, and can't really afford to turn someone away that doesn't run Windows.

[ Parent ]

Which Smaller Ones? (none / 0) (#32)
by Tachys on Tue Nov 06, 2001 at 01:31:30 AM EST

Where can I find some of these smaller companies?

Any game that gets banned by the Austrailian govt can't be all bad... - Armaphine


[ Parent ]
Check the phone book. (4.00 / 1) (#44)
by Trepalium on Tue Nov 06, 2001 at 10:20:50 PM EST

Most cities have a few smaller computer companies that do sales and support of their own PCs. Most of them use off-the-shelf components, and while their prices may not always be completely competitive with the stuff from the Big Names, they're generally easier to upgrade (since each component is designed to work in a wide variety of systems, not just one model). The downside is that these kinds of companies generally don't have all the R&D bucks of the big name brands, so inter-incompatibilities can sneak into the systems. A Dell or Compaq with Windows may well end up cheaper than a smaller computer store's house-brand system without MS Windows.

[ Parent ]
I'm interested... (5.00 / 4) (#14)
by GreenCrackBaby on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 11:02:55 AM EST

..to hear what Microsoft supporters think of the deal. These are the people that see nothing wrong with the way Microsoft did, and does, business. Are you happy with the decision because you feel it does nothing? Or do you feel that Microsoft has been punished and its business practices restricted by this agreement.

I can't find one thing in that agreement that will restrict Microsoft from doing what it did in the past, or anything that is actual "punishment."

Mircosoft supporters? (5.00 / 1) (#41)
by EriKZ on Tue Nov 06, 2001 at 12:31:26 PM EST

Logically, there must be MS supporters somewhere. But when MS has to fake a grassroots campaign, it seems that there might not be any.

[ Parent ]
Call your Attorney general (none / 0) (#25)
by mcherm on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 04:45:10 PM EST

I realize that I'm just copying something from slashdot, but a posting there urged everyone living in the USA in a state that has joined the suit to contact their attourney general's office and express their opinions.

I did so, and I urge you to do the same. HOWEVER, before you do so, please think through the legal issues and prepare some notes -- this is NOT like contacting a representative (where polling should count for something), only valid legal arguments should be given any consideration.

Jim Ryan of Illinois: 217-782-1090
Mike Hatch of Minnesota: 651-296-3353
Kentucky: 502-696-5300
Please add more if you know them...

-- Michael Chermside

Half of the states say yes (none / 0) (#45)
by Prominairy on Wed Nov 07, 2001 at 06:47:42 AM EST

    Nine of the eighteen co-plaintiff states have ratified the settlement. Just for the record: the states that signed the proposal were Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin. The states that didn't sign were California, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Utah and West Virginia as well as District of Columbia. Connecticut's Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said the settlement is a "triumph of hope over history;" a deal that is "good but may not be good enough." (taken from CNet News article)
    Kollar-Kotelly will now be splitting the process in two; continuing the litigation with the states that didn't sign as well as proceeding with the proposed settlement by allowing for public commentary.

-~-~-~-~--~-~-~-~--~-~-~-~--~-~-~-~-
"Work like you don't need the money.
Love like you've never been hurt.
Dance like nobody's watching."

Examination of the MS/DOJ proposed settlement | 49 comments (48 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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