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US Antitrust Judge Examining Windows 7 Documents

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the fine-toothed-comb dept.

The Courts 225

Anonymous writes "After more than 11 years, the US antitrust case involving Microsoft is still alive, with a federal judge overseeing enforcement of provisions under which the software giant must operate. And now, Judge Kollar-Kotelly says she'll take a close look at new technical documents involving Windows 7. This case began during the Windows 95 era."

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Summary (4, Insightful)

microbee (682094) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993409)

Can someone summarize exactly what we have achieved in this case?

Re:Summary (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993481)

Can someone summarize exactly what we have achieved in this case?

      We paid a judge and some court staff their salaries for a few years? Oh, and let's not forget the lawyers...

Re:Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26993501)

what's the number for that website?

Re:Summary (0, Troll)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994241)

I'm just so pissed off that Microsoft ships a browser with their operating system, and I applaud the efforts of judges to try and stop this.

What I don't understand is why they don't start tackling the bundling of seats with cars, it completely destroys the 3rd party car-seat market.

We need to break up more successful companies, and ruin their products, to let capitalism thrive.

Re:Summary (3, Insightful)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994367)

There is no car company which can be considered to be a monopoly. Not even close.

You can't use monopoly power to keep others out of the market. You are being deceitful when you leave out the fact that Microsoft is a monopoly.

Re:Summary (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994463)

Do much fanboying? To make the whole monopoly thing look ridiculous indicates that either you are a fanboy, or you have no grasp of the concepts involved. Microsoft has used unfair business practices to destroy one company after another. They got so blatant about their mission to destroy all potential competition, that the governmet got involved. By that time, it was to late for some businesses, but browsers manage to catch the limelight because there are so many, and people notice them. Tell us - why do you suppose that Microsoft has simply refused to make IE standards compliant? You don't think it could POSSIBLY be that it helps to break the interweb, and make the non-tech reliant on what Microsoft says is best? Why does Microsoft push ActiveX, but won't turn over the source code, or even standards, so that other browser might use it? Why did Microsoft PAY Sun all those millions in damages? With or without a browser, Microsoft is going to make billions this year, eclipsing ANY OTHER software company. I say, take away one of Microsoft's toys, if they can't play nicely with the other kids. Maybe next year, we'll consider taking away Windows media player, if they can't learn to be nice.

Re:Summary (4, Insightful)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994785)

Oh good grief. Yeah, the grandparent was a little exuberant, but your post is so overblown in the opposite direction that the net result is zero.

Microsoft has used unfair business practices to destroy one company after another. They got so blatant about their mission to destroy all potential competition, that the government got involved.

There is ample evidence that Microsoft was trying (sometimes successfully) to use their market penetration and sway over OEMs to their benefit. Examples include not allowing OEMs to bundle certain software. It should go without saying that they wanted to best the competition, that's any corporation's goal. The problem was with some of their anti-competitive techniques crossed the line.

browsers manage to catch the limelight because there are so many, and people notice them.

Except there weren't (this started in 1995 remember) and people don't. The browsers were almost exclusively either IE or Netscape/Mozilla. Maybe the biggest nail in the coffin for Netscape was twofold: Microsoft started bundling IE for free with Windows, and at a certain point IE started to eclipse Netscape in features and stability (shock, I know). Considering there was no real money for MS to make with their browser it made sense to include it with the OS because it meant they could leverage it for other OS-related purposes such as rich help files and things like Windows Update. It also helped them market Windows as an all-inclusive ready out-of-the-box product, pretty much exactly like Apple does now with OS X.

Tell us - why do you suppose that Microsoft has simply refused to make IE standards compliant?

Because Microsoft is a corporation and there was no profit in doing so. Likely a simple cost/benefit analysis. Windows and Office are their bread and butter, why blow development money on a browser?

You don't think it could POSSIBLY be that it helps to break the interweb

Break it? Originally the "interweb" was defined largely by what IE and Netscape implemented.

Why does Microsoft push ActiveX

How do they "push" it?

but won't turn over the source code, or even standards, so that other browser might use it?

Obviously they don't turn over source code because they are a closed-source commercial company. Besides, pretty much all browsers have a plugin/app architecture that serves the same purpose as ActiveX does on IE. While starting to be largely eclipsed by other technology like Flash/Silverlight/AJAX, ActiveX and friends still serve a useful role in providing web applications additional access to the users's computer through a browser when needed.

With or without a browser, Microsoft is going to make billions this year, eclipsing ANY OTHER software company. I say, take away one of Microsoft's toys, if they can't play nicely with the other kids.

We should punish a company just because it makes more money than anyone else? Punish their misdeeds, not their success. Statements like this just come across as envious spite with a weak facade of desiring justice.

Maybe next year, we'll consider taking away Windows media player, if they can't learn to be nice.

Uh, yeah, the brilliant minds at the EU already took a shot at that with forcing Windows XP N Edition. Nobody wanted it.

I think a lot of this "look what they did 15 years ago" stuff is pretty meaningless now. Enough time has passed that we'd be better off remembering the past, but punishing and investigating them for current infractions, and the best place to try and fix potential problems is going to be at the OEM level. Make sure Microsoft can't dictate to Dell what they can or cannot bundle in terms of competitiveness and make sure and keep hardware standards open and documented, but don't restrict what can be included in a retail Windows box. When I buy Windows off the shelf I expect it to come ready-to-use with Microsoft apps like IE, WMP, Wordpad, and Paint. If I want an alternative to one or all of these, I'll go find one.

Re:Summary (0)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#26995019)

"I think a lot of this "look what they did 15 years ago" stuff is pretty meaningless now." Uhhh, yeah. Ohkay. You're comfortable with the skeletons in MS' closets. I am not. Microsoft sets an example that "When you're in business, it's fine to cut other people's throats to get rich, just try not to get caught." I despise Bill Gate's business model, his ethics, and his morals. The man is a genius in some ways, but criminally genius isn't what I would call a virtue. Most of the rest of your post kind of misses the point, primarily because you don't care about all those skeletons.

Re:Summary (1)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 5 years ago | (#26995119)

I think GP's point is that the time to worry about skeletons in the closet is *after* the murders have stopped, not before. To drag a metaphor too far.

Re:Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26994665)

What I don't understand is why they don't start tackling the bundling of seats with cars, it completely destroys the 3rd party car-seat market.

Was there a thriving market for web browsers before MS began bundling theirs with Windows? Yes.

Has there been a 3rd party car seat before car manufacturers began putting theirs into cars? No.

We need to break up more successful companies, and ruin their products, to let capitalism thrive.

Concur. Action is necessary when a company gaining monopoly status is causing market failure - otherwise we lose the benefits of capitalism.

Re:Summary (2, Interesting)

scamper_22 (1073470) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994457)

Yeah. Pretty amazing how a website for engineer and computer scientists don't like to pay their own salaries.

Do you remember the 'good ole' days of software. Do you remember how much of it was funded? It was funded by the old telephone monopolies which used their guaranteed monopoly over phone lines to fund such ventures as the invention of C++ at ATT/Bell labs. Wait a minute... do you remember what happened to these great labs once they were forced to breakup from their monopoly? Oh yeah... they sucked and they have no money to fund anything useful.

I mean seriously, there is a reason Microsoft employs 100 000 people and treats its employees better than 99% of other companies... they have some money.

Microsoft is not a natural monopoly (like cable, electricity, water) where there is only going to be one infrastructure going to your house. Microsoft should not be regulated with these 'anti-competitive' behaviors. It's amazing to see all these engineers and computer scientists act like we need to always reduce cost and we need maximum competition.

Let me know when the rest of society operates like that. When anyone can practice medicine. When lawyers don't make needless laws so complex you need them to navigate the system. When teachers give you a voucher and you can choose the best deal in town to send your kid for an education. When bankers don't get massive bailouts when they screw up. Tell me when we get that world...

Until that time, let us people who produce goods that we need to sell in the brutally competitive free market have a few tools to have a steady income. If that means proprietary file formats, exclusive deals with distributors, making funny protocols... so be it. The free market will determine when that is too annoying to bother dealing it and get with the competition.

The market provides plenty of ways to kill the 'monopoly'. MS, in trying to defend the desktop OS market, let the web float away... and the market produced Google. MS missed the mark on the smart phone, along comes RIM and Apple.

Would the world be better if everything was free as in freedom? YES...and I won't argue with that. But we don't live in that world... and I don't feel like making my industry a martyr.

Please... no broken window philosophy. I know about it. I agree with it. But as I said... get the rest of society to agree with it. I'm not living in a world where my neighbor who makes windows break my window every morning, so I have to pay him to fix the window. Meanwhile, he won't even let me bundle a browser with the operating system I sell him :P //I don't work for Microsoft. I Actually work for their smart-phone competitor.

Re:Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26994945)

I Actually work for their smart-phone competitor.

SymbianOS?

Re:Summary (1)

WaZiX (766733) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994987)

So on slashdot someone advocating monopolies to drive technological innovation gets modded +4 Insightful?

(Pssst: Competition is the main driver of innovation in a market system, you should be thankful we have _any_ innovation coming from Microsoft instead of cheering for them)

Re:Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26995093)

shill

Get the fuck out!

Re:Summary (2, Funny)

Swift2001 (874553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993695)

We forestalled the compete domination of Microsoft in the computer industry. They behaved like better computer citizens than they otherwise would have. And they should have gone along with the breakup. It would have made for a much more nimble company, with independent units that made the OS, the applications and the hardware.

Re:Summary (2, Interesting)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993765)

They secured the big OEMs the right to sell more than just windows, eventually paving the way for netbooks.

Re:Summary (5, Informative)

Galois2 (1481427) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993805)

Can someone summarize exactly what we have achieved in this case?

Briefly, in the 1990's MS was found to have a monopoly in its OS, which is not illegal in and of itself, but that it also illegally used its monopoly OS to create barriers to entry in other competitive areas. Particularly, it illegaly tied its browser to the OS, making other browsers not function as well (e.g., for help file viewing) and more difficult to install. At trial, they were shown to be either liars or, if you are very generous, incompetent.

Detailed findings of fact found illegal anti-competitive behavior in multiple areas, and their punishment was to be broken up into several companies. On appeal, MS successfully got that ruling overturned, on the basis that the judge in the case had made some negative comments about MS prior to issuing his ruling. In the meantime, 15 separate cases against MS brought by state attorneys general were merged, and MS settled with them for something so trivial no one remembers what it was. California, New York, and maybe one or two other states held out and separately obtained billion dollar settlements.

Shortly after the break-up order was rescinded, George W. Bush came into office and all efforts to obtain a reasonable remedy were dropped. MS essentially got off scott-free, in the sense that they illegally transformed their OS monopoly into a browser monopoly, with all the due profit that entailed, and weren't punished at all except for what they had to pay their lawyers and a billion to California.

To summarize and answer your question: Not Much.

Re:Summary (1)

argan0n (684665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994259)

TL;DR so translate: MS had OS mono, but that was cool as long as they don't push it moar. MS made OS+IE Mono to the booya in th sea. Sharks called em on it with teeth. MSPimp did bad, has to split yo beetches turf. But that wen't da gutter as The Man pokes out of turn. go fuck it all. 15 moar punks line up but we flow'd the bink to 'dem and gone. Crips & Bloods stood with weasels -- so to dem receive a roadside stripper club to bite.\Shit git broked and Dubya, hard marched in on mad blow and said FU and FU and FU, ur coool, and FU. MS ben into this and Tax break for mie boya and go booha to the Cali posse right? Vista is cookin... and look at that till W'7 and we'll stat again.

Re:Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26994291)

Yes, Linux could've been a contender, had Microsoft not mercilessly crushed it in the spring of 1997. Too bad they used their merciless anticompetitive strategies to snuff out the competition with NO HOPE OF ESCAPE! dum dum dummm... Also, they burned down the Mozilla foundation. WITH NAPALM. That's why IE has a 100% market share.

Wait, I forgot. Torvalds and company made a product that people wanted, and now Linux has not only challenged Windows in the data center successfully, but almost completely snuffed out UNIX.

That's how the free market works, kids. I just wish I could get a refund for all the tax money spent on this pointless legal drama.

THE FREE MARKET!? (1, Interesting)

AlgorithMan (937244) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994737)

That's how the free market works

if you seriously think, that the OS market was free, then you obviously don't know about Windows Refunds [wikipedia.org] .
If you speak german, read this article [heise.de] where VOBIS (german pc vendor) describes exactly how Microsoft blackmailed them to make them stop selling any OS except windows and not tell anybody about this.
also read how microsoft tried to kill linux [slashdot.org] by silently funding SCO's lawsuit against major linux distros.
If you actually think, the OS Market was anywhere near "free" in the last 24 years, then you have no freakin clue about what you're talking and should just STFU!

Re:Summary (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26994351)

YOU ARE HIGH!

Microsoft got away with corporate murder in the 1980s because the government agencies who normally stop that kind of thing were still using 1960s technology (even inside of NASA and DOD they were only on late-70s/early-80s tech --microcomputers were completely off the RADAR). What's more is that computers had progressed very, very slowly from 1968 until 1988 and IT WAS BEYOND THEIR COMPREHENSION that what was happening could happen or even mattered. There was nobody advising the President (Carter/Reagan/Bush Sr.), Congress or any Governor about what was happening!!!

Well eventually, the government slowly got PCs and crawled out of its 1960s mainframes (very slowly --Iran Contra involved e-mail in IBM Profs!) and began to see what was happening (the hundreds, if not thousands, of letters from distinguished Americans helped them too). Unfortunately, by that time it was the statute of limitations had run out and Microsoft already had risen to TOTAL domination with Steve Jobs out of one and Bill Gates becoming the RICHEST MAN ON EARTH.

So the feds did the only thing they could do when you really piss off the government --they used their "bully pulpit" to force Microsoft into what's called a "Consent Decree" basically meaning: Don't Do It Again, Or Else.

Nobody was happy with that, people had lost their livelihoods, the progress of mankind had been stifled, we'll never know what dealing with that backwards DOS technology cost mankind during its 20 year FORCED OCCUPATION.

So when Microsoft attempted to put Netscape out of business by using it's old "bundling" trick (the standard procedure they had used to put thousands of other tech companies down), even being so bold as to leave a giant 20-30 foot inflatable balloon overnight in front of Netscape's building, the DOJ let them have it with both barrels and began to make it rain red tape so badly that workaholic Gates had to become "Chief Software Architect" and eventually retire in his early 50s.

The guys who are under 36 right now still don't really get it, so they complain it is dragging on forever and wasting the public's money. Can you imagine how OUTRAGEOUS that kind of rant is to the people who survived the Microsoft holocaust? In another 10 years, maybe that twisted sick point of view will have evolved to the point where Bill Gates was the victim and could have made even more money if the Man hadn't put him down!

don't forget that... (1, Insightful)

AlgorithMan (937244) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994779)

Shortly after the break-up order was rescinded, George W. Bush came into office and all efforts to obtain a reasonable remedy were dropped

And don't forget that this happened right after Microsoft heavily "funded GWB's election campaign".

Re:Summary (3, Informative)

jonwil (467024) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994007)

Microsoft DID document a number of otherwise undocumented APIs. And they have internal processes to ensure that Microsoft programs like Office, FoxPro, Visual C++ etc dont call anything thats undocumented, see this:
http://blogs.msdn.com/calvin_hsia/archive/2005/01/26/361033.aspx [msdn.com]

They did later document lots of network protocols but that was the EU and not the US that got them to do it.

Re:Summary (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 5 years ago | (#26995141)

Documentation my ass. I read the Wine mailing list a lot and the first thing newbie programmers hear on that list is to take the MSDN documentation with a grain of salt since it is A) not written at the time of programming and B) not written by the programmers itself.

Furthermore; the small, leaked part of the source code for Windows contains comments such as "Changing X seems to fuck up the goddamn C compiler" and "Removing this seems to break Office 98" which implies that not a lot of people at Microsoft still know what is realy going on in the subsystems.

Re:Summary (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994111)

Very little, because the DoJ shut down the case before it went to the most recent punitive stage. The findings of fact was useful in that it resulted in many civil suits against Microsoft being won without having to argue the merits of those specific facts.

Instead of actually doing something about the facts of the case, the government decided to turn around and walk away, so that Microsoft ended up in a form of legal limbo where they were guilty of doing something wrong without being punished for it yet, but possibly getting it later.

wiping competitors with reformat, reinstall (0, Troll)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994935)

For years we've heard MS boosters bleating the mantra: "reformat, reinstall" That heinous time-waster needs also to be looked at from an anti-trust perspective.

MS "systems" have lacked and still lack a unified, easy to use package management system such as have been available elsewhere for years. APT is probably one of the oldest and best examples, and there are abundant graphical front-ends. Lacking a point-n-click, (nearly) single step installation method for packages, and automatic handling of dependencies on MS Windows, means that when practicing the MS "reformat, re-install" there is an extra barrier to re-installing 3rd party apps. As a result, given enough iterations of the mantra, or when a large enough install base is considered, the loss of market share through attrition is quite large.

In shops afflicted with MS Windows and the mentality of the flunkies that fiddle with it, I hear that excuse all the time though in other words: there is no package repository. The result: MS Uber Alles policies and few or no third party apps.

Judging technical documents? (1)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993419)

I hope she went to law school at MIT!

Re:Judging technical documents? (4, Interesting)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994041)

Judge Kollar-Kotelly actually seems pretty bright. She saw through many of Microsoft's tricks, and did well in keeping up with technical discussions in court according to at least some case watchers.

Incidentally, she's the presiding judge for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Since her tenure began in 2002, the number of warrants that had to be modified before being accepted jumped dramatically. Her term expires in May, at which point she will also no longer be part of the FISC, as judges may not be reappointed.

I generally hold judges in high regard, and Judge Kollar-Kotelly ranks highly overall in my mind. She would, I think, make for a respectable member of the Supreme Court if she were appointed, though I think that's unlikely at this point, as she's around age 65 right now, and I think the trend over the next few administrations is going to be to pick much younger potential justices to fill those positions.

What's the point of this? (1, Informative)

seifried (12921) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993425)

Seriously? Microsoft obviously is capable of gaming the system and doing and end run around it. This is just embarrassing. OTOH I guess it's one heck of a way to get job security if you're in the judicial system.

M$ Should Be Finished (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26993427)

The only option the US Antitrust judge should look at is the total elimination of M$. M$ will go to any length at silencing their critics. I could care less if Bill Gate$, $teve Ballmer, Paul Allen, and any other person who invested in M$ were arrested for their crimes. What I care about is the nations of the world uniting to eliminate M$ and opening all of M$'s imaginary property to free-software developers of the world.

--
Friends don't help friends install M$ junk.
Friends do assist M$ addicted friends in committingt suicide.

Re:M$ Should Be Finished (3, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993735)

M$! From hells heart I stab at thee!

*wave finger*

Re:M$ Should Be Finished (2, Funny)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994217)

Parent's excellent monologue, delivered in the style of renowned technology analyst (or analysts!) Twitter, shows solid construction and consistancy throughout. With clever use of symbology - especially with the dollar symbol - this well-reasoned posting is a pleasure to read.

Truly excellent application of delusion and paranoia. Four and a half stars.

Now, that's interesting. (5, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993429)

Still alive? Wow! The Bush administration made it known they weren't interested in pursuing this case, and as far as I was aware, there was little movement in 8 years.

Re:Now, that's interesting. (1, Troll)

Columcille (88542) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993653)

Perhaps because there is no case to pursue? It was all somewhat bogus from the beginning. Today it's simply pointless.

Re:Now, that's interesting. (3, Funny)

stevejsmith (614145) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993887)

Amen. Face it - Microsoft's monopoly is crumbling in the face of Apple, netbooks, and cell phones, and to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure that the government stepping in and regulating computer code was gonna make it happen any faster.

Re:Now, that's interesting. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26993947)

Microsoft's monopoly is crumbling in the face of Apple

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *squelch*- thanks man, you made me laugh so hard I shit myself

Re:Now, that's interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26993767)

Well, it's already about monkeys and pirates. Guess they wanted to add zombies.

Re:Now, that's interesting. (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993821)

as far as I was aware, there was little movement in 8 years.

If a lot happened quickly, it wouldn't be taking 7 or so years would it, therefore by definition, not a lot of movement is going on.

Re:Now, that's interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26993897)

Maybe they'll sentence Windows 7 to death(we can only hope) and maybe toss them a line that they need to revisit XP and build off that instead of completely overhauling an operating system that, for the most part, is exactly what people need.

SMILE LIKE A DONUT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26993435)

Smile like a donut! It'll help you deep throat the Micro$haft. It's not micro and it's not soft when it's in your mouth! So do you Windoze fanboys spit or swallow?

What if they had broken Microsoft up? (1, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993455)

Of all the things I dislike about Microsoft, their aggressive (even outright dishonest) business tactics, their proprietary secrets, their chair throwing executives (honestly I actually like Balmer, he's entertaining), the thing I can never forgive Microsoft for is forcing upon the world such a miserable user environment, especially for developers. Take a look at the miserable little DOS shell.....writing a DOS shell script was the first time I ever actually wanted to stab myself with a fork. And each version has different incompatibilities, it is not even backwards compatible with different versions of windows..... given how feature poor the thing is, how hard could that have been? It's almost as if they wanted to torture developers. Developers developers developer! Right.

And this doesn't even touch on the pile of misery that is MFC, which makes .net look like heave in comparison. .net, which is so complex that they had to implement autocomplete to make it usable.

Nay Microsoft, I shall not mourn thy demise. I have suffered enough at thy hands.

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26993507)

The ultimate goal is for us to all say, "That's technology for you!"

Don't tell anyone that it could be any better... Ssh!

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26993529)

Why does every Microsoft Bashing Troll have a homepage that looks like it was designed in 1992?

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (1)

ZosX (517789) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993633)

I thought it looked more modern than slashdot! Try browsing the web with mosaic 1 these days.... :P

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26995193)

offtopic, but the correct, non paraphrased, quote is

Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged against provisions against danger, real or pretended from abroad.

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26993641)

Why don't Microsoft apologists go hang out at the Microsoft forums instead of bitching about the long standing bias here? Lost your way? Let me help you:
http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/default.aspx?ForumGroupID=2&SiteID=1

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26994075)

Really, this is flamebait? The OP is accusing people of being Trolls for criticizing MS in a place like Slashdot, and you mod him up? Pro-Microsoft are always coming here and then griping about the bias, even though they know it's been there since the beginning of this site. So why are you here? People never seem to want to explain that. It's just easier to mod people down?

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (1)

pseudonomous (1389971) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993759)

Maybe they were ... actually, that looks like most of the faculty web-pages at my university.

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (4, Funny)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993787)

Why does every Microsoft Bashing Troll have a homepage that looks like it was designed in 1992?

because those websites were built with frontpage.

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (2, Interesting)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993839)

Why does every Microsoft Bashing Troll have a homepage that looks like it was designed in 1992?

Black text on a white background? Possibly it's a demographic that places importance on information rather than aesthetics. If I put up a web page it would probably look like that. Before I got married I had virtually no decoration in my house other than family photos. I still have less in the way of decoration and entertainment than most, but considerably more tools and educational books than most people.

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (2, Funny)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993873)

Amusingly people fall into categories. People of like characters are often quite similar in other things. One of the characteristics in the common Microsoft Bashing Troll that I have found, apart from the obvious ones (Likes Linux/Unix, writes perl/ruby, can understand and troubleshoot very complex SQL, has a dedicated webserver at home on the local network) is that they generally are not very arty. More about the Arty ones in a tic. Most of these un-arty folk like to have a webpage of some sort, but don't have the design talent to make it look sharp. Following that, they will go through a bunch of CSS styles or a prefab gallery and pick a (to them) sharp, clean looking theme. Due to being freebies, they don't look quite as crisp as we might want, and without the arty talent to pep it up, it ends up looking like you describe - as if it was designed in 1992.

Oh yes, the arty Microsoft Bashing Troll types. Hi Mac users!

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26994161)

What you have observed has more to do with age than anything else. The only people who know how black Microsoft's corporate soul is are all over 40. Bill Gates himself is 53!

Microsoft should have been ended by DESQview, Amiga or a hundred other earth-shifting technologies, but they were all one-by-one fucked with and died. Rest In Peace Jay Miner and fuck you CSS kiddy, nothing about your post is "Funny".

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (3, Insightful)

internettoughguy (1478741) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994661)

may we continue with the slashdot Microsoft apologist categories? first we have the developer who has invested so much time into learning the windows API that he's scared shitless about the thought that customers/bosses might consider using anything else, and his livelihood rests on making jokes about the Linux desktop, free BSD, macOSX, the iphone, google android, or anything else that threatens the software dictatorship that he's to ignorant to look beyond. Second we have the childish one that likes to play these silly things called "games". strangely enough i have more patience for the second one, because their position is a little more justifiable.

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 5 years ago | (#26995291)

Likes Linux/Unix, writes perl/ruby, can understand and troubleshoot very complex SQL, has a dedicated webserver at home on the local network

I program in C++ and PHP, you insensitive clod!

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (1)

stevejsmith (614145) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993915)

I love the h1'd "My brother is getting married" part. Also, this guy's a terrible HTML coder - he vacillates between using quotes and not, doesn't keep a consistent case in his tags, missed the body end tag, etc., etc.

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26993923)

That's the only way you can get it to render in IE without hacks.

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (4, Insightful)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993621)

.net, which is so complex that they had to implement autocomplete to make it usable.

Yes, .NET is complex, or rather it has a hell of a lot of libraries. That, however, is not necessarily a bad thing. It saves you from having to reinvent the wheel every time you write something.

As for needing autocomplete to make it usable, personally, I think that autocomplete and the graphical debugger are two of the best things to ever happen in programming. It saves me time, makes my job one heck of a lot easier and allows me to be more productive.

You may learn the value of that sort of thing some day.

I wish that more development environments had usable autocomplete. As much as I love to use Ruby for writing scripts, my main complaint about the IDE I use for it (netbeans) is that it *doesn't* have autocomplete for Ruby unless they've come out with a new version recently that does.

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (4, Funny)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993689)

Yes, .NET is complex, or rather it has a hell of a lot of libraries. That, however, is not necessarily a bad thing. It saves you from having to reinvent the wheel every time you write something.

Open Source is pretty good for that, too.

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (5, Insightful)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993743)

With open source libraries, you generally have to find the wheel before you can reuse it.

Often people end up reinventing the wheel because they (a.) couldn't find one someone else made, (b.) found one, but it wasn't under licensing terms that they could use with their project, or (c.) found one, but the project lost its way and ended up incomplete with a lead developer who may well have been hit by a bus.

Not saying closed source libraries are more helpful, plentiful, or accessible, but open source is not the panacea that zealots on Slashdot would like it to be.

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (1)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993811)

With open source libraries, you generally have to find the wheel before you can reuse it.

Often people end up reinventing the wheel because they (a.) couldn't find one someone else made, (b.) found one, but it wasn't under licensing terms that they could use with their project, or (c.) found one, but the project lost its way and ended up incomplete with a lead developer who may well have been hit by a bus.

Not saying closed source libraries are more helpful, plentiful, or accessible, but open source is not the panacea that zealots on Slashdot would like it to be.

Eh, I'm not a zealot and I didn't say anything was a panacea.

It was a tongue-in-cheek type of post, intended to be subtle sarcasm making fun of the exact kind of zealotry you point out. That's alright, bladejester thought it needed a serious explanation too, with lots of emphatic quote marks and patronization and everything. He also mentioned giving me a cookie and assured me that the sky won't fall down. A cookie does sound nice.

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (2, Interesting)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994035)

Cookies are always nice unless they're the browser kind or have something in them that you're allergic to. Many problems could be solved with them =]

As for my patronizing manner, having been the editor of an OSS mag, I've seen my fair share of zealot email, comments, etc on both sides of the debate. It burns you out after a while - especially when you're a pragmatic person who sees benefits to both open and closed source solutions in various situations.

You've never had fun until you've been at a conference and had someone come up to you and basically start yelling at you because your banner has a technology listed on it (it was on one of the covers) that "cost them business" because people moved to it from what they were doing.

Believe me, it's a surreal experience. After a while, you start to doubt that "subtle humor" is actually meant as humor with that sort of thing because you see it used in a serious manner far too often...

To be honest, the response you gave to my first post is really easy to mistake for actual zealotry. I've gotten real comments (both in person and online) that were just like it.

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994703)

With open source libraries, you generally have to find the wheel before you can reuse it.

At least the wheel is findable and useable, and if it needs fixing, you can at least get it fixed. With closed source, the wheel is patent-pending, heavily encumbered, and if you write something that works just like a wheel, you can get called into court for infringing on said patents. Closed source isn't the end all and be all that you seem to think it is, either. There's advantages to both sides, as well as disadvantages.

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (1)

rdnetto (955205) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994919)

Not saying closed source libraries are more helpful, plentiful, or accessible, but open source is not the panacea that zealots on Slashdot would like it to be.

I think you must be referring to closed source libraries in general, because Microsoft recently made the source code for the .NET Framework publicly available:

The source code for the .NET framework base class library is available for reference purposes only under the Microsoft Reference License. [39]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.net_framework [wikipedia.org]

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (3, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | more than 5 years ago | (#26995357)

The case B you mentioned is exactly why I think open source should be used from the beginning.

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (1)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993757)

Open Source is pretty good for that, too.

Is this where I give you a cookie?

It is completely possible to write open source programs on Microsoft platforms and with Microsoft technologies. Open source happens on more than just Linux.

What we're talking about here is "complexity" in a group of libraries for a programming language family/common runtime.

The thing is that that "complexity" is optional. You only have to use the parts of it that you want. The rest you can ignore and the sky won't fall down, just like with every other "large" language platform (such as Java).

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (1)

ion.simon.c (1183967) | more than 5 years ago | (#26995467)

The thing is that that "complexity" is optional.

Except when it's not. I work on software that can -unfortunately- be nothing *but* complex. (Trust me, my cow-orkers and I wish that the software was *much*, *much* simpler.)

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26994795)

You mean Mono?

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26994067)

As for needing autocomplete to make it usable, personally, I think that autocomplete and the graphical debugger are two of the best things to ever happen in programming. It saves me time, makes my job one heck of a lot easier and allows me to be more productive.

You may learn the value of that sort of thing some day.

My beef with autocomplete is that it encourages a kind of cowboy coding style, where you pick methods out of a list that seem like they're probably what you want to do.

I guess I'm somewhat obsessive-compulsive about this sort of thing, but I always carefully read the API documentation before using any API call I'm not familiar with. Sometimes even ones I am familiar with, just to be sure I get the nuances of any subtle behavior, limitations, or exceptional conditions that need to be checked for.

I'm not the fastest coder on the planet, but the code I write is usually pretty well-behaved. A friend of mine is writing a program using the .NET Framework, and it's made me realize how much more precisely the Java APIs are defined compared to Microsoft's stuff, which naturally has to inherit a lot of vagueness in specification from the underlying Windows APIs various technologies are built on top of.

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994247)

and it's made me realize how much more precisely the Java APIs are defined compared to Microsoft's stuff

Umm.. guh? Windows API's? Buh? Really, what in God's name are you on about? The .NET libraries are no more or less precise than the Java libraries, that doesn't even make any sense.

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (1)

Samah (729132) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994183)

IMO, the best autocomplete in any IDE I've used would have to be Eclipse. The amount of work it can do for you is ridiculous. NetBeans is pretty good too, but I find it to be a bit clunky at times.

YMMV.

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994261)

Not used VS, eh? Yeah - it's that much better. Don't get me wrong, Eclipse and Netbeans have come a long way but VS is just so much more integrated and helpful in so many ways.

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (1)

achurch (201270) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994377)

Yes, .NET is complex, or rather it has a hell of a lot of libraries. That, however, is not necessarily a bad thing. It saves you from having to reinvent the wheel every time you write something.

Instead you spend the time rummaging through your toolbox trying to look for the one wheel that's exactly the right size, with the proper axle connections and everything, and pray that it doesn't fall off when you make a left turn.

(I jest, I jest. But I have found that after a certain point, the effort required to deal with complex libraries properly begins to outweigh the benefit of code reuse.)

Re:What if they had broken Microsoft up? (1)

dblackshell (1450807) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993775)

from a shell script point of view they really did a great job with PowerShell, recovering (and making up for the) lost ground...

That's no Flamebait! (1)

AlgorithMan (937244) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994815)

Nobody, who has ever programmed windows apps on API level, would tag this comment as "flamebait", but "insightful"! It's atrocious, I tells ya! and just go to MSDN and try to find ANYTHING you want there! forget it! I spent weeks reading the CRAP articles there (and I'm a graduate computer scientist who has studied at an elite university!) and still can't do stuff in windows that would require 1 line of bash-script!

When you can't trust em anymore. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26993525)

How many verdicts do they need to take a hint? The solution is to ditch bundling a shitty, bug-ridden app that sucks update resources from the core-competency OS business. Why haven't they done this in 11 years to defuse this problem that threatens to destroy the company entirely?
When you have a gangrenous foot, CUT IT OFF, don't try to patch it and jam it down people's throats!

Re:When you can't trust em anymore. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26993693)

And why does Redhat suddenly come to mind...

Windows 7 is dead (0, Flamebait)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993567)

Oh what's the point? It's like the woman with the two black eyes. I've already told you twice how to effectively change their behavior. Their software is already losing its clout. This is just beating the proverbial dead horse.

Re:Windows 7 is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26993631)

2 black eyes? But I like Japanese girls :(

Re:Windows 7 is dead (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993645)

I know!! It's like the judge doesn't read slashdot or something. I swear, if the next time she writes about Microsoft, she doesn't quote extensively from your comments, iminplaya, I'm definitely calling her out as a poser!

Re:Windows 7 is dead (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26993677)

Oh what's the point? It's like the woman with the two black eyes.

Just like the women with two black eyes, the M$ customers will stay in a relationship with M$. Lots of them will defend and stick up for M$ and really make you wonder if they're paid shills even though almost all of them aren't. "He didn't hit me, I ran into the door!" and "it'll be fixed in the next version!" "He's a good man, honest" and "Microsoft takes security seriously". "I gotta stay with him because of the kids" and "we need to buy Windows because we need the support of a big vendor".

Da Nile? It's not just a river in Egypt ...

Re:Windows 7 is dead (4, Insightful)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993865)

The only downside to using Windows is the cost. It takes a reasonably competent user to install a Linux distro, drivers, use WINE to make Crysis work, and so forth. A reasonably competent user can also operate Windows without losing the system to malware and repair any infections that do occur. So a reasonably competent user should be indifferent between Windows and Linux.

I would never purchase Windows for a business enterprise, just because of the cost, and because at work you don't need to run Crysis. It fulfills all of my needs at home, though.

I wish they would sell Direct X as a separate product, though. Using it to try and force Windows upgrades on gamers is a dirty move.

Re:Windows 7 is dead (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993981)

I'll give you that it takes a reasonably competent user to make Crysis work, but if your not running on cutting edge hardware, installing Linux with the drivers is trivial enough that my son did his first Linux install (unassisted) 2 weeks after his second birthday. This was way back with Ubuntu 5.10. While there was a time that Linux was hard to install, that day is long past.

Re:Windows 7 is dead (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994149)

That's true. Those boot-from-disk copies of Ubuntu are criminally easy. People who just use their computers to browse websites and check e-mails ought to stop paying for Windows.

Re:Windows 7 is dead (1)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994295)

However those people are the ones getting a bundled OEM copy, which is a far cry from the $100 a retail Home Basic costs. Try around $10.

I've posted before that my gut feel is that the bundled trialware with a box pays in full for the OS. So cost for home users barely matters.

When it gets to enterprise level, well you're going to have 100k of salary running a decent sized network - so the OS cost will be insignificant as well :/

Re:Windows 7 is dead (1)

Hashi Lebwohl (997157) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993867)

You rang?

Re:Windows 7 is dead (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993901)

Actually most reviews of this by people who really let loose on Vista is that this is indeed a step in the right direction. Is it perfect? No. If you feel that you can do a lot better for any hardware that I happen to slap together, be my guest. If you thin that's too big, try contributing to one of the distos of Linux. If that's still too big a project then Shooosh, and like what you get, cause you aren't getting anything else.

Also, for the record, jokes about giving women two black eyes as lessons might be funny on redneck.com, but slashdot generally requires some sort of wit to have entertaining comments modded funny. Or at least some Dr Who reference. Or a Monty Python kickback. Or a car analogy.

Re:Windows 7 is dead (1, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994155)

I'm using 7 now. It's junk. Being marginally better than Vista don't cut it. And we already have many things that are better, including of all things XP. And Linux supports new hardware better than XP now because fewer people are making XP drivers. Nope, the new Windows is still dog slow on anything less than a massive cluster that would fill a 747. Unimpressed I am.

Re:Windows 7 is dead (1)

gallwapa (909389) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994605)

7 has serious workflow/productivity improvements for people with multiple monitors. I use 4 monitors in a square configuration and managing more than 30 windows at a time is much easier.

That in itself is worth it to me. As far as home use, I'm considering it to replace my Vista Media Center. The improvements are nice.

Re:Windows 7 is dead (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993991)

i love how /. proclaim win7 dead, when it will sell more copies in it's first day than the entire market share of the linux desktop.

Re:Windows 7 is dead (2, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994219)

You are aware of the concept of inertia, aren't you? I don't care if it still sells. That doesn't make it less crappy. People buy crap all the time, even when a perfectly good alternative is right there beside it. Microsoft is a forgettable operation now. We have plenty of good options before us. But here we are with the old "lead a horse to water" routine. I guess some people still prefer swill [jt.org] . Fine by me.

Re:Windows 7 is dead (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994771)

that's not really the point is it. here are people stating MS is dead as if it's some kind of fact. linux has a hell of a long way to go, and the sooner OSS crowd see it the better.

Re:Windows 7 is dead (1, Redundant)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#26995011)

Yeah, it is the point. Mac and linux have more bases covered every day. Windows is becoming irrelevant. The big hassle with linux now is the lack of standardization in package management. And a big pain in the ass it is. And of course microsoft seems fully intent on dragging linux through patent and copyright hell. So they have two things going for them, inertia and the law. That is the thread they hang on today. But we no longer need them. Provided you're not using a Canon printer on an RPM based system. But then, I blame Canon for lack of support there. Let me show you a little something where linux blows microsoft out of the water [microsoft.com] . If this was an open source project, a script would have been written to automate the entire process. Time to say bye bye, MS. I only tinker with it to stay up to speed for the people that need my help. But I finally got a client with an eee pc. She couldn't happier, except for the damn canon. Everything else she figured out on her own. Wireless, the works. And also, for people who want to upgrade their HPs and Compaqs back to XP, good luck finding drivers. You gotta search through older models to find one that works. Linux? Out of the box, ready to run. There is no need to be a Windows Defender.

Re:Windows 7 is dead (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994267)

Yeah, wishful thinking has turned into delusional thinking around here.

Re:Windows 7 is dead (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994757)

i love how /. proclaim win7 dead, when it will sell more copies in it's first day than the entire market share of the linux desktop.

Probably because it'll hit the OEMs first, and be shipped on every new piece of x86 gear that comes off the line. As for individual sales, it'll be because it's really Vista SP2, and upgrading to it from Vista will make the machine run marginally better. Doesn't mean it'll get the most out of the machines, though...

I plan to skip 7. (0, Offtopic)

mcbabagagadougaljohn (1486253) | more than 5 years ago | (#26993985)

I'm planning on skipping 7 and going directly to 11 when it comes out. Mac OS 11.

Is there any lawyers in the house? (1)

grimharvest (724023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994013)

Who can give us a real assessment of the case?

Re:Is there any lawyers in the house? (1)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994265)

I think you might be on the wrong site.

Red Tape (2, Interesting)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994441)

Essentially, Microsoft has been burdened with red tape to make them less competitive and slowly reduce their market lead. Preventing them from forcing unfair business practices onto their vendors also helped a lot. Dell and others can now sell Linux machines without fear of reprisal by Microsoft.

Microsoft's engineering ethics are not bad. (1, Funny)

Dogun (7502) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994607)

Name an OS consumers use that is browserless. Fact is, an OS without a browser in this day and age is utterly useless. Less than useless. It's a paperweight.

In general, Microsoft has made great strides to make its OS more transparent and more 'fair' than ever. A lot of people (who are technically aware enough to agree) will probably attribute this to the court, but I think the reason is a lot simpler: good engineering is winning out over corporate greed. Case in point? UAC. A lot of people give Microsoft crap over UAC, but the truth is, if you're a standard user, your life has never been better, and it's getting better every time someone gripes about what a pain UAC is.

BSA ad (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 5 years ago | (#26995255)

Ok why the hell is slashdot running an ad for "report piracy" by the BSA?

And in the YRO section of all places?

The irony...

ob Microsoft Antitrust: Reminds me of why the BSA's power needs to be trimmed in some way.

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