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Antitrust Regulators To Monitor Windows 7, But Not Later Releases

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the got-my-eye-on-you-pal dept.

Microsoft 105

CWmike writes "Gregg Keizer reports that federal and state regulators have struck a deal with Microsoft under which any version of Windows released after May 2011 will not be subject to the scrutiny mandated by a 2002 antitrust settlement. As previously promised, however, Windows 7 will be put under the microscope. Yesterday, the DOJ filed documents (PDF) with US District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly asking that she extend her oversight by at least 18 months, until May 12, 2011. Although Microsoft has consented to the extension — and acknowledged that the regulators can later ask for another 18 months — Kollar-Kotelly must approve the request."

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time to start raping again (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27621557)

the fox has changed his ways, time to let him back into the hen house.

Is that you, ol' Kike Thomas? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27621809)

You know the last time you were around, you gave me a hard-on that just wouldn't quit. Still shuckin' them hard boiled eggs and pushin' them up yo' ass?

Re:Is that you, ol' Kike Thomas? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27623893)

When I think of dirty old men, I think of Ike Thomas and when I think about Ike I get a hard on that won't quit.

Eighteen years ago, I worked in what was once my Grandfather's Greenhouses. Gramps had died a year earlier and Grandma, now in her seventies had been forced to sell to the competition. I got a job with the new owners and mostly worked the range by myself. That summer, they hired a man to help me get the benches ready for the fall planting.

Ike always looked like he was three days from a shave and his whiskers were dirty white under the brim of his battered felt fedora.

He did not chew tobacco but the corners of his mouth turned down in a way that, at any moment, I expected a trickle of thin, brown juice to creep down his chin. His bushy, brown eyebrows shaded pale, gray eyes.

Old Ike, he extended his hand, lifted his leg like a dog about to mark a bush and let go the loudest fart I ever heard. The old man winked at me. Ike Thomas is the name and playing pecker's my game.

I thought he said, "Checkers." I was nineteen, green as grass. I said, "I was never much good at that game."

"Now me," said Ike, "I just love jumping men. . ."

"I'll bet you do."

". . . and grabbing on to their peckers," said Ike.

"I though we were talking about. . ."

"You like jumping old men's peckers?"

I shook my head.

"I reckon we'll have to remedy that." Ike lifted his right leg and let go another tremendous fart. "He said, "We best be getting to work."

That summer of 1991 was a more innocent time. I learned most of the sex I knew from those little eight pager cartoon booklets of comic-page characters going at it. Young men read them in the privacy of an outside john, played with themselves, by themselves and didn't brag about it. Sometimes, we got off with a trusted friend and helped each other out.

Under the greenhouse glass, the temperature some times climbed over the hundred degree mark. I had worked stripped to the waist since April and was as browwn as a berry. On only his second day on the job and in the middle of August, Ike wore old fashioned overalls. Those and socks in his hightop work shoes was every stitch he wore. When he bent forward, the bib front billowed out and I could see the white curly hairs on his chest and belly.

"Me? I just love to eat pussy!" Ike licked his lips from corner to corner then stuck it out far enough that the tip could touch the tip of his nose. He said, A man's not a man till he knows first hand, the flavor of a lady's pussy."

"People do that?"

He winked. "Of course the taste of a hard cock ain't to be sneezed at neither. Now you answer me, yes or no. Does a man's cock taste salty or not?"

"I never. . ."

"Well, old Ike's willing to let you find out."

"No way."

"Just teasing," said Ike. "But don't give me no sass or I'll show you my ass." He winked. Might show it to you anyway, if you was to ask."

"Why would I do that?"

"Curiousity, maybe. I'm guessing you never had a good piece of man ass."

"I'm no queer."

"Now don't be getting judgemental. Enjoying what's at hand ain't beiing queer. It's taking pleasure where you find it with anybody willing." Ike slipped a handside the side slit of his overalls and I could tell he was fondling and straightening out his cock. Now I admit I got me a hole that satisfied a few guys."

I swallowed, hard.

Ike winked. "Care to be asshole buddies?"

***

We worked steadily until noon. Ike drew a worn pocket watch from the bib pocket of his loose overalls and croaked, "Bean time. But first its time to reel out our limber hoses and make with the golden arches before lunch."

I followed Ike to the end of the greenhouse where he stopped at the outside wall of the potting shed. He opened his fly, fished inside, and finger-hooked a soft white penis with a pouting foreskin puckered half an inch past the hidden head.

"Yes sir," breathed Ike, "this old peter needs some draining." He exhaled a sigh as a strong, yellow stream splattered against the boards and ran down to soak into the earthen floor.

He caught me looking down at him. He winked. "Like what you're viewing, Boy?"

I looked away.

"You taking a serious interest in old Ike's pecker?"

I shook my head.

"Well you just haul out yourn and let old Ike return the compliment."

Feeling trapped and really having to go, I fumbled at my fly, turned away slightly, withdrew my penis and strained to start.

"Take your time boy. Let it all hang out. Old Ike's the first to admit that he likes looking at another man's pecker." He flicked away the last drop of urine and shook his limp penis vigorously.

I tried not to look interested.

"Yer sir, this old peepee feels so good out, I just might leave it out." He turned to give me a better view.

"What if somebody walks in?"

Ike shrugged. He looked at my strong yellow stream beating against the boards and moved a step closer. "You got a nice one,boy."

I glanccd over at him. His cock was definitely larger and beginning to stick straight out. I nodded toward his crotch. "Don't you think you should put that away?"

"I got me strictly a parlor prick," said Ike. "Barely measures six inches." He grinned. "Of course it's big enough around to make a mouthful." He ran a thumb and forefinger along its length and drawing his foreskin back enough to expose the tip of the pink head. "Yersiree." He grinned, revealing nicotine stained teeth. "It sure feels good, letting the old boy breathe."

I knew I should button up and move away. I watched his fingers moving up and down the thickening column.

"You like checking out this old man's cock?"

I nodded. In spite of myself, my cock began to swell.

"Maybe we should have ourselves a little pecker pulling party." Ike slid his fingers back and forth on his expandingshaft and winked. "I may be old but I'm not against doing some little pud pulling with a friend."

I shook my head.

"Maybe I'll give my balls some air. Would you like a viewing of old Ike's hairy balls?"

I swallowed hard and moistened my dry lips.

He opened another button on his fly and pulled out his scrotum. "Good God, It feels good to set 'em free. Now let's see yours."

"Why?"

"Just to show you're neighborly," said Ike.

"I don't think so." I buttoned up and moved into the potting shed.

Ike followed, his cock and balls protruding from the front of his overalls. "Overlook my informality." Ike grinned. "As you can see I ain't bashful."

I nodded and took my sandwich from the brown paper bag.

"Yessir," said Ike. "I just might have to have myself an old fashioned peter pulling all by my lonesome. He unhooked a shoulder strap and let his overalls drop around his ankles.

I took a bite of my sandwich but my eyes remained on Ike.

"Yessiree," said Ike, "I got a good one if I do say so myself. Gets nearly as hard as when I was eighteen. You know why?"

I shook my head.

"Cause I keep excerising him. When I was younger I was pulling on it three time a day. Still like to do him every day I can."

"Some sayyou'll go blind if you do that too much."

"Bull-loney!" Don't you believe that shit. I been puling my pud for close to fifty years and I didn't start till I was fifteen."

I laughed.

"You laughing at my little peter, boy?"

"Your hat." I pointed to the soiled, brown fedora cocked on his head. That and his overalls draped about his ankles were his only items of apparel. In between was a chest full of gray curly hair, two hairy legs. Smack between them stood an erect, pale white cock with a tip of foreskin still hiding the head.

"I am one hairy S.O.B.," said Ike.

"I laughed at you wearing nothing but a hat."

"Covers up my bald spot," said Ike. "I got more hair on my ass than I got on my head. Want to see?"

"Your head?"

"No, Boy, my hairy ass and around my tight, brown asshole." He turned, reached back with both hands and parted his ass cheeks to reveal the small, puckered opening. "There it is, Boy, the entrance lots of good feelings. Tell me, Boy, how would you like to put it up old Ike's ass?"

"I don't think so."

"That'd be the best damned piece you ever got."

"We shouldn't be talking like this."

"C'mon now, confess, don't this make your cock perk up a little bit?"

"I reckon," I confessed.

"You ever seen an old man's hard cock before," asked Ike.

"My grandpa's when I was twelve or thirteen."

"How'd that come about?"

He was out in the barn and didn't know I was around. He dropped his pants. It was real big he did things to it. He saw me and he turned around real fast but I saw it."

"What did your grandpa do?"

"He said I shouldn't be watching him doing that. He said something like grandma Ôwouldn't give him some,' that morning and that I should get out of there and leave a poor man in peace to do what he had to do."

"Did you want to join him."

"I might have if he'd asked. He didn't."

"I like showing off my cock," said Ike. "A hard-on is somethng I always been proud of. A hard-on proves a man's a man. Makes me feel like a man that can do things." He looked up at me and winked. "You getting a hard-on fromall this talk, son?"

I nodded and looked away.

"Then maybe you should pull it out and show old Ike what you got."

"We shouldn't."

"Hey. A man's not a man till he jacked off with a buddy."

I wanted to but I was as nervous as hell.

Ike grinned and fingered his pecker. "C'mon, Boy, between friends, a little cock showing is perfectly fine. Lets see what you got in the cock and balls department."

In spite of my reluctance, I felt the stirring in my crotch. I had curiositythat needed satisfying. It had been a long, long time since I had walked in on my grandfather .

"C'mon let's see it all."

I shook my head.

"You can join the party anytime, said Ike. "Just drop your pants and pump away."

I had the urge. There was a tingling in my crotch. My cock was definitely willing and I had a terrible need to ajust myself down there. But my timidity and the strangeness of it all held me back.

Hope you don't mind if I play out this hand." I ke grinned. "It feels like I got a winner."

I stared at his gnarled hand sliding up and down that pale, white column and I could not look away. I wet my lips and shook my head.

Old Ike's about to spout a geyser." Ike breathed harder as he winked. "Now if I just had a long finger up my ass. You interested, boy?"

I shook my head.

The first, translucent, white glob crested the top of his cock and and arced to the dirt floor. Ike held his cock at the base with thumb and forefinger and tightened noticably with each throb of ejaculation until he was finished.

I could not believe any man could do what he had done in front of another human being.

Ike sighed with pleasure and licked his fingers. "A man ain't a man till he's tasted his own juices."

He squatted, turned on the faucet and picked up the connected hose. He directed the water between his legs and on to his still dripping prick and milked the few remaing drops of white, sticky stuff into the puddle foming at his feet. "Cool water sure feels good on a cock that just shot its wad," said Ike.

***

"Cock-tale telling time," said Old Ike. It was the next day and he rubbed the front of his dirty,worn overalls where his bulge made the fly expand as his fingers smoothed the denim around the outline of his expanding cock.

I wasn't sure what he had in mind but I knew it wasn't something my straight-laced Grandma would approve of.

"Don't you like taking your cock out and jacking it?" Ike licked his lips.

I shook my head in denial.

"Sure you do. A young man in his prime has got to be pulling his pud."

I stared at his caloused hand moving over the growing bulge at his crotch.

"Like I said," continued Ike, "I got me barely six inches when he's standing up." He winked at me. "How much you got, son?"

"Almost seven inches. . ." I stuttered. "Last time I measured."

"And I'm betting it feels real good with your fist wrapped around it."

"I don't do. . ."

"Everybody does it." He scratched his balls and said,"I'll show you mine if you show me yours." Then, looking me in the eye, he lifted his leg like a dog at a tree and let out a long, noisy fart.

Denying that I jacked off, I said, "I saw yours yesterday."

"A man has got to take out his pecker every once in a while." He winked and his fingers played with a button on his fly. Care to join me today?"

"I don't think so."

"What's the matter, boy? You ashamed of what's hanging Ôtween your skinny legs?"

"It's not for showing off."

"That would be so with a crowd of strangers but with a friend, in a friendly showdown, where's the harm?

"It shouldn't be shown to other people. My Grandma said that a long time ago when I went to the bathroom against a tree whan I was seven.

"There's nothing like a joint pulling among friends to seal a friendship," said Ike.

I don't think so." I felt very much, ill at ease.

"Then what the fuck is it for," demanded the old man. "A good man shares his cock with his friends. How old are you boy?"

"Nineteen almost twenty."

You ever fucked a woman?"

"No."

"Ever fucked a man?"

"Of course not.

"Son, you ain't never lived till you've fired your load up a man's tight ass. "I didn't know men did that to each other."

"Men shove it up men's asses men all the time. They just don't talk about it like they do pussy."

"You've done that?"

"I admit this old pecker's been up a few manholes. More than a fewhard cocks have shagged this old ass over the years." He shook his head, wistfully, "I still have a hankering for a hard one up the old dirt chute."

"I think that would hurt."

"First time, it usually does," agreed I ke. He took a bite from his sandwich.

I looked at my watch. Ten minutes of our lunch hour had already passed.

"We got time for a quickie," said Ike. "There's no one around to say, stop, if were enjoying ourselves."

He unhooked the slide off the button of one shoulder-strap, pushed the bib of his overalls down to let them fall to his feet.

"Showtime," said Ike. Between his legs, white and hairy, his semi-hard cock emerged from a tangled mass of brown and graypubic hair. The foreskin, still puckered beyond the head of the cock, extended downward forty-five degrees from the horizontal but was definitely on the rise.

I could only stare at the man. Until the day before, I had never seen an older man with an erection besides my grandpa.

Ike moved his fingers along the stalk of his manhood until the head partially emerged, purplish and broad. He removed his hand for a moment and it bobbled obscenely in the subdued light of the potting shed. Ike leaned back against a bin of clay pots like a model on display. "Like I said, boy, it gets the job done."

I found it difficult not to watch. "You shouldn't. . ."

"C'mon, boy. Show Ike your peckeer. I'm betting it's nice and hard."

I grasped my belt and tugged on the open end. I slipped the waistband button and two more before pushing down my blue jeans and shorts down in one move. My cock bounced and slapped my belly as I straightened."

"That's a beaut." Ike stroked his pale, white cock with the purplish-pink head shining. "I'm betting it'll grow some more if you stroke it."

"We really shouldn't. . ."

"Now don't tell me you never stroked your hard peter with a buddy."

"I've done that," I finally admitted,. "But he was the same age as me and it was a long time ago." I though back to the last time Chuck and me jerked each other off in the loft of our old barn. Chuck wanted more as a going away present and we had sucked each other's dicks a little bit.

"Jackin's always better when you do it with somebody," said Ike. "Then you can lend each other a helping hand."

"I don't know about that," I said.

Ike's hand continued moving on his old cock as he leaned over to inspect mine. "God Damn! Boy. That cock looks good enough to eat." Ike licked his lips. "You ever had that baby sucked?"

I shook my head as I watched the old man stroke his hard, pale cock.

"Well boy, I'd sayyou're packing a real mouthful for some lucky gal or guy." He grinned. "Well c'mon. Let's see you get down to some serious jacking. Old Ike's way ahead of you."

I wrapped my fist around my stiff cock and moved the foreskin up and over the head on the up stroke. On the down stroke the expanded corona of the angry, purple head stared obscenely at the naked old man.

Ike toyed with his modest six inches. "What do you think of this old man's cock?" His fist rode down to his balls and a cockhead smaller than the barrel stared back at mine.

"I guess I'm thinking this is like doing it with my grandpa."

"You ever wish you could a done this with your grandpa?"

"I thought about it a lot."

"Ever see him with a hard-on."

"I told you about that!"

"Ever think about him doing your grandma?"

"I can't imagine her ever doing anything with a man.

"Take my word for it, sonny, we know she did it or you wouldn't be here." Begrudgingly I nodded in agreement.

"Everybody fucks," said old Ike. "They fuck or they jack off."

"If you say so."

"Say sonny, your cocks getting real juicy with slickum. Want old I ke to lick some of it away?"

"You wouldn't."

Ike licked his lips as he kept his hand pistoning up and down his hard cock. "You might be surprised what old Ike might do if he was in the mood for a taste of what comes out of a hard cock."

And that is what he proceded to do. He sucked me dry.

Then he erupted in half-a-dozen spurts shooting out and onto the dirt floor of the potting shed. He gave his cock a flip and shucked t back into his overalls. He unwrapped a sandwich from its wax paper and procede to eat without washing his hands. He took a bite and chewed. "Nothing like it boy, a good jacking clears the cobwebs from your crotch and gives a man an appetite."

***

The following day, We skipped the peliminaries. We dropped our pants. Ike got down on his knees and sucked me until I was hard and good and wet before he stood and turned.

"C'mon boy, Shove that pretty cock up old Ike's tight, brown hole and massage old Ike's prostate.

Ike bent forward and gripped the edge of the potting bench. The lean, white cheeked buttocks parted slightly and exposed the dark brown, crinkly, puckered star of his asshole "Now you go slow and ease it along until you've got it all the way in," he cautioned. "This old ass craves your young cock but it don't want too much too soon. You've got to let this old hole stretch to accomodate you."

"Are you sure you want to do this?"

"Easy boy, easy," he cautioned. "You feel a lot bigger than you look. Put a little more spit in your cock."

"It's awfully tight. I don't know if it's going to go or not."

""It'll go," said Ike. "There's been bigger boys than you up the old shit chute."

I slipped in the the last few inches.. "It's all in."

"I can tell," said Ike. "Your cock hairs are tickling my ass."

"Are you ready," I asked.

"How are you liking old Ike's hairy asshole so far?"

"It's real tight."

"Tighter than your fist?"

"Might be."

"Ready to throw a fuck into a man that reminds you of your grandpa."

"I reckon."

"I want you should do old Ike one more favor."

"What?"

While you're pumpin my ass, would you reach around and play with my dick like you would your own? Would you do that for an old man?"

I reached around and took hold of his hard cock sticking out straight in front of him. I pilled the skin back amd then pulled it up and over the expaded glans. I felt my own cock expand inside him as I manipulated his staff in my fingers. I imagined that my cock extended through him and I was playing with what came out the other side of him.

"C'mon, boy, ram that big cock up the old shitter and make me know it. God Damn! tickle that old prostate and make old Ike come!"

I came. And I came. Ike's tightened up on my cock and I throbbed Roman Candle bursts into that brown hole as I pressed into him. His hairy, scrawny ass flattened against my crotch and we were joined as tightly as two humans can be.

"A man's not a man till he's cum in another man." said old Ike. "You made it, boy. But still, a man's not a man till he's had a hard cock poked up his ass at least once."

Every time I think of that scene, I get another hard-on. Then I remember the next day when old Ike returned the favor.

I never have managed to come that hard again. If only Ike were here.

Present admistration (2, Interesting)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27621563)

I guess the present admistration has the same relationship as the last one.

At least it's non-partism

Re:Present admistration (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27621731)

Given that this is a 'deal' and not a gift, what exactly does Microsoft give up/pay in return for no longer being monitored by regulators?

Re:Present admistration (4, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27622081)

Given that this is a 'deal' and not a gift, what exactly does Microsoft give up/pay in return for no longer being monitored by regulators?

They give up their right to oppose any extension of the Final Judgement due to expire this year which would leave them without being monitored by regulators on November 12, 2009, when the previous two-year extension of the judgement is due to expire. Under this agreement, the Final Judgement would be extended by another 18 months from the currently scheduled expiration, with another 18 month extension possible.

Re:Present admistration (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27621801)

If by "non-partisan" you mean that both sides are equally bought and paid for, then yes...

When our government can't follow it's own laws, rules and procedures, we can't expect them to change anything without motivation because NO ONE changes without motivation especially when what they are doing seems to be working so very well for them. (And to be clear, the problem isn't the corruptible people in office it's opportunity and lack of consequences. You or I would probably do exactly the same crap in the same situations of power without checks/balances and no consequences. Hell, I'd drive on the wrong side of the road if there were no consequences!)

Re:Present admistration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27622041)

If by "it's" you mean "its", you are correct.

Re:Present admistration (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27621857)

What the hell are you talking about? did you expect then to take a microscopic look at all MS OSs forever?
seriously, that would be completly asinine.
 

Re:Present admistration (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27621901)

What was asinine was not breaking the company up when it was convicted.

Re:Present admistration (0, Redundant)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27623511)

What was asinine is the recent overuse of the word 'asinine'.

Re:Present admistration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27623609)

Except for that whole appeals process which slashtards like to pretend never happened.

Re:Present admistration (0, Troll)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 5 years ago | (#27625213)

Except that the findings were never overturned on appeal. The politics changed and the DoJ also changed ... its _mind_ about what it wanted, negotiating with MS on a punishment. Since when do those found guilty get to negotiate?

Re:Present admistration (1)

ssintercept (843305) | more than 5 years ago | (#27625299)

Since when do those found guilty get to negotiate?

when they have billions of dollars.

Re:Present admistration (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#27626911)

This is why saying that MS is a "convicted monopoly" is such disinformation. MS wasn't "found guilty" because it was a civil case they lost, not a criminal one. Those found guilty in a criminal case can't negotiate but those who lose a civil case can.

Why was it a civil case instead of criminal one? Probably because the DOJ didn't think they could win a criminal case. That's my speculation but only those original DOJ lawyers (whom MS haters think are so great) can say for sure.

Re:Present admistration (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628821)

Breaking up the company would have been an insanely ridiculous overreaction that only out-of-touch Slashdotters would have cheered.

Re:Present admistration (1)

omi5cron (1455851) | more than 5 years ago | (#27622435)

doesn't that happen all the time here on Slashdot? just sayin'!

Re:Present admistration (4, Informative)

bit01 (644603) | more than 5 years ago | (#27623357)

What the hell are you talking about? did you expect then to take a microscopic look at all MS OSs forever?

Yes. All monopolies must be regulated because market forces do not apply. At the very least they should be monitored and there should be price controls.

seriously, that would be completly asinine.

So you think we should trust M$ and other companies do the right thing when they have a strong business imperative not to and no checks and balances? How asinine.

---

Monopolies = Industrial feudalism

Re:Present admistration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27627775)

So you think we should trust the Government to do the right thing when they have a strong political imperative not to and no checks and balances? How naive.

Re:Present admistration (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628841)

Yes. All monopolies must be regulated because market forces do not apply. At the very least they should be monitored and there should be price controls.

Microsoft has been monitored for almost a decade now. There's a thing called innocent until proven guilty, and eventually the government will let up, only returning if there's a reason to.

By the way, did you actually use the term "M$" in 2009? You're completely biased and thus your opinion isn't worth paying attention to.

You know what that means... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27621621)

I guess that means there will be a new mandatory version update of windows7 out in June 2011 then.

2012 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27622177)

I guess that means there will be a new mandatory version update of windows7 out in June 2011 then.

Yes and a at 2012-12-21 00:00:00 zulu the global hive of Windows 7 workstations will reach critical AI mass at which point it will become self aware and eradicate humanity as the first step in it's quest to conquer the universe in cube shaped space ships led by a cyborg Steve Ballmer.

Re:2012 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27622763)

Chair shaped space ships.

Re:You know what that means... (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 5 years ago | (#27622185)

Yeah, they call them "Service Packs."

I use Ubuntu, so I don't really care what Microsoft does.

Re:You know what that means... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27622809)

Just like His Steveness did with OS7.6->8.

who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27621657)

let them run their business

i don't think there is anything nefarious with including a damn web browser or media player with their OS

what's next? another round of antitrust suits for including fonts?

Re:who cares (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27621751)

good idea.
I'll file the papers immediately.

Seriously though, at the time including a browser or media player was a big deal. They were seen as additional programs, similar to Word, Excel, etc. that should be sold separately. Since MS bundled them we have all come to expect these programs to be free, thus "hurting" other businesses.
-nB

Re:who cares (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#27629767)

Seriously though, at the time including a browser or media player was a big deal.

Rubbish. At least two OSes (OS/2 and MacOS) were already distributed with a web browser when Microsoft started doing it, and media players have been included with OSes (or freely available) even longer.

The simple fact is that neither web browsers, nor media players, have ever constituted significant and independent markets. They've always been either freebies, or leveraging tools for other products.

Saying Microsoft shouldn't have been allowes to include a web browser or media player, is like saying they shouldn't have been allowed to include a text editor or a file manager. Indeed, even that comparison is unfair, since back in the '80s there were significant markets for basic tools like text editors, file managers, and the like.

Re:who cares (1)

Walpurgiss (723989) | more than 5 years ago | (#27621779)

Nah, for including generic but basically functional device drivers, without an obvious prompt to visit the hardware manufacturer's website to obtain their drivers instead.

Re:who cares (1, Insightful)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#27621791)

I actually agree. In the early days of the internet, when Netscape was being sold, bundling IE with Windows was definitely wrong, but these days, browsers are free. I need something to download Firefox with on a new computer, and ftp is a bit hard unless you memorize URLs. Also, Windows 7 is actually removing a lot of stuff from the core OS that was in Vista, such as the Photo Gallery and Movie Maker, in favor of splitting them off into the Windows Live suite. On a side note, WLMM is quite possibly the worst video editing software ever, and makes WMM look amazing.

Talk about revisionist history! (5, Informative)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27621919)

No, I think that you're dead wrong on your history.

As I recall, I was downloading Netscape and other browsers for free at the time of the lawsuit - the issues were that Microsoft was either not allowing vendors such as HP and Dell to distribute Windows with non-IE browsers (loss of contract) or requiring a contract change that was basically punitive in the extreme.

MS then came out with the Active Desktop, showing that IE was just absolutely, completely technically required for the latest OS release - I recall dimly that it was Win2k.

And that's when the shit hit the fan, as far as the plaintiffs and the court was concerned.

I get that this is /. and there's no need to RTFA, but how about the other reference? http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02/11/01/2034207&tid=123 [slashdot.org]

This wasn't about browsers, it was about an illegal monopoly.

And, on a side note - you have got to be kidding me about ftp downloading, even back in the day. Seriously.

Re:Talk about revisionist history! (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#27622229)

Ah, I didn't actually know that, and was not intentionally misleading. I guess I was kind of relaying what I heard/thought was factual. Thanks for correcting me.

AD came with Windows 98 actually. And I think the issue is not whether a monopoly is legal, but whether they abused their monopoly power. I definitely would agree that they abused their monopoly back then but the situation now is very different. OS X includes a lot more built in than Windows, and it's steadily gaining market share, so the decisions made back then are not as applicable now. Especially since, as I mentioned in my other post, a lot of programs are actually being stripped out of Windows 7, I don't think Microsoft is abusing its monopoly position nearly as much as in the past. However, the abuses that are happening are likely happening behind the scenes, with OEM deals and such, which are probably more important to monitor.

My last bit was mostly in jest; however, I do need some sort of browser to download other browsers with. But I think the browser thing is irrelevant in this day and age. However, I think some restrictions that eg. the EU have, like not bundling Windows Media player, are kind of ridiculous. I don't think it's reasonable to expect a modern operating system to come without a media player.

Re:Talk about revisionist history! (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27622517)

Sorry - the flames come out of my ears on this subject, they weren't intended towards you personally.

You're right, kindly allow me to amplify. That Apple and others weren't capturing the market's heart at the time, giving Microsoft an effective monopoly was not Microsoft's problem - in both meanings of the phrase.

That they used that power to price-control others, was illegal.

It wasn't Apple that brought the suit. Apple was sitting back, and schizophrenically laughing at Microsoft while thanking their lucky stars that they were dodging that bullet while wishing that they had as much money so they could take that bullet, too. (OK, that last part I just made up for the hell of it.)

Re:Talk about revisionist history! (1)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27623151)

Let's not forget MS threat to stop making Office for the Mac if Apple didn't include IE.

Re:Talk about revisionist history! (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27629217)

You bring up interesting history not strictly related to the antitrust suit - but still terribly interesting.

All of the Apple / Microsoft dealings were so inbred in those days! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_v._Microsoft [wikipedia.org]

In 1997, five years after the lawsuit was decided, all lingering infringement questions against Microsoft regarding the Lisa and Macintosh GUI as well as Apple's "QuickTime piracy" lawsuit against Microsoft were settled in direct negotiations. Apple agreed to make Internet Explorer their default browser, to the detriment of Netscape. Microsoft agreed to continue developing their Office and other software for the Mac for the next five years. Microsoft also purchased $150 million of non-voting Apple stock, helping Apple in its financial struggles at the time. Both parties entered into a patent cross-licensing agreement.

But I think you're right, I recall there being more to this than the wikipedia entry allows. At some point, the MS Mac Business Unit (MBU) stopped providing updates for IE on OS X, and I recall the MS web talking about it in relation to Office. Next surprise, an upgrade came along and then IE stopped working in OS X altogether and Microsoft continued to significantly upgrade Office for the Mac.

The irony of that is that MS lost $560million in an infringement lawsuit for parts of IE - http://www.macobserver.com/article/2003/08/12.4.shtml [macobserver.com]

And just in an attempt to keep a balanced view - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Inc._litigation [wikipedia.org]

Re:Talk about revisionist history! (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27629507)

The part about bundling browsers being ok and the EU about not allowing bundling of media players.

These guys have opened all sorts of cans of worms for us. We can holler about software patents, but the major players do not play fair on cross-use or cross-licensing of their products. We suffer.

I'm glad that Apple won't sell OS X separately - I predict they'd become an instant MS in terms of predatory practices. The Apple QT package takes care of Mac users, but seems to bone MS users in the installation.

And frankly, little in the way of legal decisions coming out of the EU are making any sense - I agree with you 100%.

Re:Talk about revisionist history! (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#27622343)

Netscape was free for personal use but if you were a business, you should pay for a license. However it was on the honor system and anyone could just download the thing and not pay. Many businesses did pay to be legal. I don't know that the license cost but I'm guessing it was pretty low because I never heard anybody complain about how expensive it was. By tying IE to Windows, making it free, and threatening OEMs and partners not to do allow Netscape, MS did engage in some illegal behavior.

40 bucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27623001)

I remember I bought it on disk for $40, forget which store now though, one of the box electronic places.

Re:Talk about revisionist history! (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#27629793)

By tying IE to Windows, making it free, and threatening OEMs and partners not to do allow Netscape, MS did engage in some illegal behavior.

MacOS and OS/2 were already being distributed with web browsers before Microsoft started doing it with Windows. Why should including functionality provided by competitors, and in growing demand by end users, be illegal ?

Re:Talk about revisionist history! (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 5 years ago | (#27622437)

MS then came out with the Active Desktop, showing that IE was just absolutely, completely technically required for the latest OS release - I recall dimly that it was Win2k.

Windows 98.

If you installed IE 4(?) into Windows 95, you essentially got Windows 98.

Re:Talk about revisionist history! (4, Funny)

TitusC3v5 (608284) | more than 5 years ago | (#27622441)

MS then came out with the Active Desktop, showing that IE was just absolutely, completely technically required for the latest OS release - I recall dimly that it was Win2k.

Actually, Active Desktop was included in Win98. I have several fond memories of setting my roomate's desktop to random porn sites and then listening to his cries of agony as he was bombarded with popups and malware installs shortly after.

Good times.

Re:Talk about revisionist history! (1)

christurkel (520220) | more than 5 years ago | (#27622987)

I recall dimly that it was Win2k.
That would be Windows 98.

Re:Talk about revisionist history! (5, Funny)

alexo (9335) | more than 5 years ago | (#27623081)

I recall dimly that it was Win2k.
That would be Windows 98.

Which gives k=49.

Re:Talk about revisionist history! (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27623091)

Never used 98, explains my error. Totally agree about twm, btw.

Re:Talk about revisionist history! (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 5 years ago | (#27623237)

"And, on a side note - you have got to be kidding me about ftp downloading, even back in the day. Seriously."

Dunno about you, but I still use ftp. Regularly. It can be a lifesaver when you *need* to DL a certain package for an otherwise broken box. Just sayin...

Re:Talk about revisionist history! (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27623501)

The dig was a reply to the remark about ftp being hard to use. No soup for you! ;)

Re:Talk about revisionist history! (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27625817)

As I recall, I was downloading Netscape and other browsers for free at the time of the lawsuit

This is also slightly revisionist. Netscape was only free for noncommercial use. If you used it in a commercial setting, it was something like $30. Opera was ad-supported or cost money. That said, most ISPs prior to the release of IE licensed either Mosaic or Netscape and gave out free copies to their customers.

Re:Talk about revisionist history! (2, Interesting)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27625985)

You're right - sorry. More ignorance than revisionist on Netscape.

As for Mosaic - I have a book somewhere with a disk included of its source code and makefiles - that was all available for free download. Did the appropriate mods myself, compiled it on my DEC ULTRIX machine, and later did same on my ISP's *nix machine in their /tmp area (can't recall the *nix). Found source for a server in Europe somewhere, DL'd that, ditto build on ULTRIX.

Downloading browser and server sources wasn't hard - I might have used ftp, but I might have even used gopher for all I remember. :)

I used Opera as ad-supported.

Even by then, my browser at choice at work was lynx - who had time and bandwidth?

Re:who cares (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#27623555)

I remember it differntly. I remember Netscape being a steaming pile of s*** and feeling liberated by IE. Finally a browser that was usable... and FREE!

Re:who cares (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 5 years ago | (#27625061)

I guess that your "usable" IE wasn't versions 1-3.x. IE4 was only barely there.

Re:who cares (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#27629811)

I guess that your "usable" IE wasn't versions 1-3.x. IE4 was only barely there.

Navigator 3.x vs IE 3.x was a toss-up (Navigator generally won by virtue of inertia). IE 4.x was vastly superior in pretty much every measurable way.

Re:who cares (1, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27621855)

There certainly was in 1998. Just because you were probably still crapping your pants back then (who knows, maybe you still are) doesn't mean that it wasn't an anti-competitive act then, or that Microsoft has really reformed itself. The OOXML fiasco shows the only way to deal with Microsoft is to cut it into pieces, or at least hold massive fines over its head and force it to play nice, not to go "Oh well, we don't care any more".

Re:who cares (0, Flamebait)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 5 years ago | (#27625071)

Have you heard about ODF support in MS Office 2007? It won't be compatible [ibeentoubuntu.com] with other implementations. Surprise!

Re:who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27628113)

All implementations have their deviations from the standard. In the case where the Office 2007 software doesn't support a feature provided in ODF it will have to ignore that feature. This isn't a matter of MS intentionally breaking ODF for nefarious purposes, this is MS implementing ODF to the breadth to which it can be supported by the current software.

This isn't limited to just Office 2007. For example, ODF has no effective limitation on the number of rows in a spreadsheet, but OpenOffice Calc cannot support more than 65,535 rows. That is an implementation detail in OpenOffice Calc that differs from the standard. That is the purpose of implementation notes, so that an implementor can announce how they deviate from the standard for reasons of compatibility and software limitations. There are no productivity apps that are 100% compliant with ODF and there probably will never be.

Re:who cares (0, Flamebait)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 5 years ago | (#27631199)

Did you read the link? I guess not. MS chose to take an entirely different tact on the implementation than every other current imlementation, making MS's version completely incompatible with anyone else's. If you disagree with this assessment, talk to ODF Alliance Managing Director Marino Marcich because he's the one who said it, and I suspect he knows more about ODF than your average AC on Slashdot.

Kollar-Kotelly (4, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 5 years ago | (#27621765)

It might be tough going through life with a name that sounds like a feminine hygiene product.

Re:Kollar-Kotelly (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27623935)

Hm... aren't you rather familiar with such... oh nevermind.

It's got the comedy 'K's! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27628141)

It's got that comedy 'K' sound! "Colleen Kollar-Kotelly"! A triple threat!

Leave Microsoft Alone!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27621851)

Monopoly, shmonopoly. Microsoft doesn't need to give anything to the federal government.

Windows 8 -- Coming Soon! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27621871)

Citing astounding technological advances (Clippy now mostly works), Microsoft expects to release Windows 8 just one week after the release of Windows 7. "We made a lot of significant and fundamental changes that support this new release" said Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.

Would it surprise anyone (1)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#27621921)

If Microsoft went to the US govt a few years back to offer the DOJ / FBI / CIA etc a blind eye in spyware to help "catch terrorists" in return for an easy ride in any anti-trust investigations. If the govt have a vested interest in most people running Windows so they can infect and spy on it's users, the last thing they want is Microsoft losing it's user base to something they can't infect easily. If the concept of open source takes off, slipping an application like that in will be even harder. It's easier to deal with one person behind the scenes without any paper trail.

The problem when everything is done behind closed doors between nobody you can trust is that you just never know what's been arranged or agreed. All you do know is what their PR departments have said.

i just got off the toilet (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27621983)

i shit out an obama.

plop!

Microsoft and Antitrust (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 5 years ago | (#27621993)

If IBM had not been subject to antitrust rulings, would it have developed its own OS for the PC? If ATT had not been subject to antitrust rulings, would it have developed/marketed UNIX differently?

Re:Microsoft and Antitrust (5, Insightful)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27622473)

If IBM had not been subject to antitrust rulings, would it have developed its own OS for the PC?

You know, they might have. They might have even started by contracting Microsoft to write it for them. They might have even developed a special PC and collaboratively called the operating system OS2. They might have even discovered that Microsoft burned them with an excruciating POS. They might have watched in horror while Microsoft used OS2 as a launch point for an OS that had none of OS2's bugs. And they have gone berserk when Microsoft called their new product Windows.

And they might have decided to completely re-write the operating system on their own. And they might have succeeded. And they might have called it OS2 Warp. And they might have gotten lots of press FUD while their OS completely blew Windows 95 out of the water.

We only know that IBM was the target of an antitrust action and that they developed a great (in its day) PC OS. We don't know if they wouldn't have were it not for the antitrust action.

But they were on board with the idea of moving away from the command line - Apple's sales in those days were nothing to sneeze at. And we know that in those days, IBM was feeling the sting of being victimized by their own greed in the MS contract that allowed MS-DOS to support clones when they'd thought that had the market sewn up with PC-DOS and their machines.

So, they tried it again with the PS2/OS2 lock in. The PS2 gave us some great tech for its day. But the combo, frankly, sucked. OS2 Warp was fab - ran on clones - but you only get to screw the market so much before it moves on.

The market believed that it was IBM alone screwing them, Microsoft slipped in under the radar. Remember, in those days, Microsoft was quite the darling of the CP/M and Apple (pre-Mac and early Mac) communities. Apple and CP/M good, IBM bad. Looked like Microsoft would save us with MS-DOS.

See where that got us.

So the answer to your question seems to be what we all already know - antitrust rulings don't stifle technology, monopolies do.

(PS - Nothing personal about the sarcasm - I just get that way on this subject in general.)

Re:Microsoft and Antitrust (0)

whiledo (1515553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27624041)

You seem to have completely missed the point of the GP. They're talking about how IBM might have written their own OS for the PC originally, rather than decouple the software from the hardware and let Microsoft create and own the operating system. This decision seems to not make much sense unless you factor in worries about continuing antitrust issues which IBM had been saddled with for quite some time when the IBM PC was being developed.

Re:Microsoft and Antitrust (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 5 years ago | (#27625115)

earlymon may have missed the point, but the point was absurd since IBM outsource to get to market early, not to avoid anti-trust problems.

Re:Microsoft and Antitrust (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27625461)

You are correct - moreso, as basically, the entire 5150 was outsourced - see http://www.tmworld.com/article/CA187350.html [tmworld.com]

I think that they got the keyboard wrong - I recall that IBM bought out the company that came up with those beasts, as it was going nowhere with that monster.

Re:Microsoft and Antitrust (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627809)

So IBM would have outsourced even without antitrust? OK. I believe that earlymon understood me.

Re:Microsoft and Antitrust (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27625705)

Maybe you're right about me, but I don't think so. You're incorrect about the driving force to use Microsoft (kindly see Daengbo's and my follow-on comments, above).

I was trying to give the GP the benefit of the doubt - so I used PC as a generic term, and asked myself which PC-type machine was actually designed by IBM in those days rather than simply integrated - and as I recall, that was the PS/2. In those days, the only thing "protectable" or proprietary, really, about the IBM-PC was its BIOS - hence the ease of COMPAQ, Zenith and others developing the clone market. The PS/2 changed all of that for IBM - it used the proprietary microchannel architecture - http://www.cedmagic.com/history/ibm-ps2-1987.html [cedmagic.com]

And as it turned out, they did end up having to develop the OS for the machine they ended up having to develop - the PS/2.

The IBM-PC wasn't related to typical IBM monopolistic actions - not everyone at IBM was evil and the Boca Raton crew was pretty ok - they were market-driven.

However, after success of the IBM-PC, IBM decided to get up to their old tricks with complete lock-out - hence, the PS/2, hence my response.

~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm sorry to sound like a big know-it-all - I'm really not. I am however an old fart (of the stay-and-play-on-lawn, that's-what-it's-there-for variety) whose memory hasn't given out (completely). I started writing code in 1972, and was rooting like hell for the DOJ in their anti-IBM actions back in the day. Pre-internet, best source of info for that was Datamation magazine. I've followed PC developments very closely since the Altair days - so I had no illusions about the history of the PC or how it came to be that IBM used Microsoft for the PC's OS. The PC was a thing of great wonder for the popular press of the day, but not for the focused press in that day or the many small-architecture computing newsletters that used to circulate about.

I am common of my age and group and was confused that there could be a question that IBM was driven to Microsoft by DOJ actions, which began in the 1960s and dragged on until 1983 - and accomplished nothing.

Use of outside software vendors applied to the sales force - not development - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_IBM [wikipedia.org]

PC-DOS was licensed and vended by IBM - as the OS, it didn't fall under the antitrust rule-of-three. The first competing OS for the original 5150 was DR's CP/M-86 and later, MS-DOS, if memory doesn't fail me.

IBM's outsourcing, BIOS development for the 5150 and expectations for the Microsoft relationship to succeed were directed at extending their monopolistic practices. If things had gone their way, they'd have simply bought Microsoft - or so many of us feared at the time.

IBM had the political and legal juice to drag out the DOJ for decades - they had no fear and were thus not fear driven.

Well - that's my long-winded opinion.

Re:Microsoft and Antitrust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27629875)

They might have even discovered that Microsoft burned them with an excruciating POS.

OS/2 was as much IBM's work as Microsoft's.

They might have watched in horror while Microsoft used OS2 as a launch point for an OS that had none of OS2's bugs. And they have gone berserk when Microsoft called their new product Windows.

In no way was OS/2 a "launch point" for Windows (either DOS-based or NT).

And they might have decided to completely re-write the operating system on their own. And they might have succeeded. And they might have called it OS2 Warp.

OS/2 Warp was in no way a "complete re-write".

And they might have gotten lots of press FUD while their OS completely blew Windows 95 out of the water.

Except it didn't. I used OS/2 for several years, it had more than enough bugs and quirks (to say nothing of compatibility problems) for it and Windows 95 to be a toss-up.

Re:Microsoft and Antitrust (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#27629897)

Stupid Slashcode AC'ed me.

They might have even discovered that Microsoft burned them with an excruciating POS.

OS/2 was as much IBM's work as Microsoft's.

They might have watched in horror while Microsoft used OS2 as a launch point for an OS that had none of OS2's bugs. And they have gone berserk when Microsoft called their new product Windows.

In no way was OS/2 a "launch point" for Windows (either DOS-based or NT).

And they might have decided to completely re-write the operating system on their own. And they might have succeeded. And they might have called it OS2 Warp.

OS/2 Warp was in no way a "complete re-write".

And they might have gotten lots of press FUD while their OS completely blew Windows 95 out of the water.

Except it didn't. I used OS/2 for several years, it had more than enough bugs and quirks (to say nothing of compatibility problems) for it and Windows 95 to be a toss-up.

Re:Microsoft and Antitrust (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27630351)

In no way was OS/2 a "launch point" for Windows (either DOS-based or NT).

You and history disagree on this point - I have only (sadly) wikipedia at this point: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OS/2 [wikipedia.org]

Initially, the companies agreed that IBM would take over maintenance of OS/2 1.0 and development of OS/2 2.0, while Microsoft would continue development of OS/2 3.0. In the end, Microsoft decided to recast NT OS/2 3.0 as Windows NT, leaving all future OS/2 development to IBM.

Unless by launch point I mean - renamed a rev of OS/2 to WinNT.

As for OS/2 Warp not being a complete re-write, your objection to my language use may be correct - the re-write was complete and features such as true preemptive multi-tasking appeared in Warp. So, my comment stands - the hallmark of the completed re-write corresponded to the name change. BTW, the multi-tasking improvement in Win95, released LATER, didn't measure up. If you found Warp and 95 to be a toss-up, then YMMV. If you're comparing pre-Warp to Win95, you're unfair.

Original OS/2 was as much IBM as MS is true if and only if you weigh setting requirements as equal to code production.

In any case, you might enjoy this walk down memory lane - I did. http://www.archive.org/details/CC518_multitasking [archive.org]

I was flat wrong in my timeline on one thing - and as you say, it's important - OS/2 joint development was announced in 1987, and by 1988, the date of the above Computer Chronicles broadcast, OS/2 Presentation Manager, Windows 386 - Windows 2 - were all already in existence. Windows 1.0 was released in 1985. It was not a full OS by any means, and I am not splitting hairs or re-hashing the DOS/Win95 controversy. Windows 2 was Win1 with memory management.

Win3 did not appear until 1990. I would contend that that was an OS in its own right. OS/2 was already out by then.

So, I was not saying and did not say that MS didn't start any Windows anything until their engagement with IBM, but I worded what I said so poorly that I'll bow to the hits and criticisms.

My overall chronology and points against illegal and predatory activities stand as amended with rev numbers. As a footnote - http://www.faqs.org/abstracts/Business-general/Microsoft-hampered-OS-2-IBM-official-tells-court-curbs-on-software-develvopers-are-faulted.html [faqs.org]

Re:Microsoft and Antitrust (2, Interesting)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 5 years ago | (#27625105)

If IBM had not been subject to antitrust rulings, would it have developed its own OS for the PC?

Under no circumstances. The PC project was fast and needed as much outsourcing as they could get in order to get to market within a year. IBM had no chance to develop its own OS because the project didn't have the time for that.[1] [wikipedia.org]

None of this had anything to do with an anti-trust ruling. It's more like Gates' hurried adoption of the BSD TCP stack in NT. "Would MS have developed its own if it hadn't been under scrutiny by the DoJ?" Absurd!

Re:Microsoft and Antitrust (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27625839)

Exactly. IBM wrote the BIOS code and developed the board layout and case design, but the PC was built entirely from off-the-shelf components (apart from the BIOS) and was intentionally crippled so it didn't eat into the minicomputer market. IBM saw operating systems as a commodity, and thought that they could easily replace DOS with CP/M or something else in a later version if they needed to, because backwards compatibility for software was something only mainframe customers cared about (and if anyone did care, back then an operating system was so simple that it would have been possible to write a drop-in replacement).

IBM did not expect the PC to be popular, and they did not expect clones to be produced. It was developed entirely because some of their minicomputer customers wanted a PC and IBM didn't want them to get used to the idea of buying any kind of computer that didn't have the IBM logo on it.

Not quite accurate (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27622019)

Gregg Keizer reports that federal and state regulators have struck a deal with Microsoft under which any version of Windows released after May 2011 will not be subject to the scrutiny mandated by a 2002 antitrust settlement. As previously promised, however, Windows 7 will be put under the microscope.

That's not what the document says, however. It says that a "Windows client operating system" commercially released after the final judgement expires (whether that is May 11, 2011 or 18 months later given the provision allowing another 18-month extension) would not be subject to the final judgement (unsurprising -- that's naturally what "expires" means.) It also says that Windows 7 is already under review. It also says that: "If there is a reasonable expectation that a new version of Windows will be distributed commercially prior to the expiration of the Final Judgments, however, Plaintiffs would consider, after discussion with Microsoft, whether and to what extent pre-release review of the new version of Windows would be necessary and appropriate."

So the agreement is not an agreement either that no Microsoft operating system released after May 11, 2011 will be subject to scrutiny (since it allows another 18-month extension to the Final Judgement, and only states that no Microsoft operating system released after the expiration of the Final Judgement will be subject to the terms of the Final Judgement), or (as I have seen it characterized elsewhere) that no Microsoft operating system released after Windows 7, period, will be subject to scrutiny under the Final Judgement.

Even more revisionist history! Good summary alert! (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27622029)

From TFA:

At that time, however, she left the door open to continued monitoring, and Microsoft agreed that she could extend it for up to three more years, to Nov. 12, 2012.

and

Although Microsoft has consented to the extension -- and acknowledged that the regulators can later ask for another 18 months -- Kollar-Kotelly must approve the request.

Microsoft agreed and Microsoft consented - my ass.

Good summary alert! This link is in the summary, kids - http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02/11/01/2034207&tid=123 [slashdot.org]

And I found this post - http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=43989&cid=4582608 [slashdot.org] - by VivianC, who read and quoted the full text of the AP and news.com relevant articles:

She also eliminated a technical committee that would have enforced the settlement terms. In its place, a corporate committee - consisting of board members who aren't Microsoft employees - will make sure the company lives up to the deal. The judge also gave herself more oversight authority.

Kollar-Kotelly also modified the oversight of Microsoft's compliance with the settlement. Originally, the proposal included a technical committee and an internal compliance officer, both potentially influenced by Microsoft. In Friday's ruling, the judge combined the two into a compliance committee made up of Microsoft board members. In turn, the committee must hire a compliance officer, to report to the committee and to Microsoft's CEO. As corporate officers and non-Microsoft employees, the compliance committee in theory would be more likely to appropriately enforce the settlement in this era of renewed corporate responsibility.

How could the language in the computerworld.com article shill any harder? Answer - not much - not much at all.

Re:Even more revisionist history! Good summary ale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27623425)

Do you realize both of your links are from 2002? And we're talking about MS agreeing to extensions in 2007?

Re:Even more revisionist history! Good summary ale (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27626843)

Yes I realize that my links are from 2002 - the andecent - for a reason.

Again - Microsoft agreed to an extension...... What do you think happened?

DOJ: Uh, Microsoft, can we please do our thing?
Microsoft: Oh.... OK, because I like you, you big, whacky DOJ, you! Now get over here and give me some sugar!

Or:

1. Microsoft is compelled by court....
2. Microsoft complies
3. Shills in the press say the new word for comply is agree

Re:Good summary alert! (1)

ssintercept (843305) | more than 5 years ago | (#27625373)

in this era of renewed corporate responsibility.

when i read that i laughed so hard i shit myself...

Good to hear! (2, Funny)

Zaphod-AVA (471116) | more than 5 years ago | (#27622085)

It's good to hear that Microsoft is now a trustworthy company, and will now be making products with the features we need, and fairly competing with other companies.

Have they announced a built-in spellchecker in Windows 7 yet?

Re:Good to hear! (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#27622971)

I would love a spell checker.

But you have to admit. Porting over the Microsoft OFFICE spell checker to Microsoft WINDOWS would be a pretty ironic request from someone commending Microsoft's new found non-monopolistic efforts. Including Microsoft Office product features would seem to me be a return to 'old Microsoft'--which I was perfectly happy with. (Hated Netscape's POS browser).

Re:Good to hear! (1)

Zaphod-AVA (471116) | more than 5 years ago | (#27626195)

The point is that Microsoft has no problem developing features like DVD playback, and recording television and inserting them into the OS, crushing competition and innovation in those markets, but a simple, basic, ubiquitous feature like a spelling checker might devalue their mighty Office suite, therefore it will never happen.

No one complains about Microsoft wrecking competition in the mouse driver business. Some software just doesn't need to be rewritten every time. The spelling checker is that kind of feature.

The market is a better regulator... (4, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27622635)

Seriously! When the EEE PC came on the scene, Microsoft was forced to dump Vista and go back to the old Windows XP and release a Service Pack to make it work. And likewise Downgrade Rights from Vista to XP.... which is now continuing with Windows 7 to XP as well.

And now, Windows 7 actually consumes lesser resources and is faster on the same hardware, compared to the previous version Vista. This has happened not because of the regulators, but the market realities. And likewise, the success of Firefox has made the different releases of IE and artificial restrictions of OS versions and IE versions meaningless in the market.

Honestly I cannot imagine a single useful thing achieved by these regulators. Better wind the whole organisation up and move on.

Re:The market is a better regulator... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27627235)

Ever heard of a football game played WITHOUT rules and regulation?

Re:The market is a better regulator... (1)

UnrefinedLayman (185512) | more than 5 years ago | (#27629193)

I love how every example you gave came about under the auspices of the same regulators so decried.

Re:The market is a better regulator... (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 5 years ago | (#27631541)

The irony is that Linux has helped MS in more than one way: it's provided a plausible scrapegoat for problems (damn Linux hackers fucking up the internet!), provided an example of "competition", and provided an example of "bundling" that, in the future, MS will be able to use to say "see, everyone does it now!" (referring to all distros + MacOS).

Antitrust (1)

paul.opensource (1525069) | more than 5 years ago | (#27623077)

As much as I hate MS, WTF are they pursued for anti-trust so much of the time? If anyone needs to be sued/slammed for antitrust, it's Time Warner who is clearly, blatantly making antitrust moves with their bandwidth tiered pricing. So what if MS doesn't bundle other browsers, it's all free anyway. The consumer is free to do whatever the hell they want after they purchase a product - install any browser, software, etc. It's one thing if MS codes their OS so other software not produced by MS will not run - THAT's antitrust. Kind of like Time Warner or Comcast charging extra when you want to pull competing content in on a medium they can't control...

Re:Antitrust (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 5 years ago | (#27625147)

Talk to the bodies littering the road MS has trod on -- business "partners" who were later leveraged into an obituary column inch reciting their demise.

Back to the tricks APPLE does daily (-1, Flamebait)

Latinhypercube (935707) | more than 5 years ago | (#27623097)

Why is Microsoft held back when Apple creates MONOPOLIES every time it releases anything. Ipod / Itunes, OSX / apple manufactured products, Logic Audio, Final Cut

Re:Back to the tricks APPLE does daily (0)

Divebus (860563) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628901)

Flamebait? I think it's a fair question. Here's the difference - take the iPod/iTunes ecosystem. Apple doesn't have the monopoly power to force the music industry to only use their technologies.

To accomplish that monopoly, here's what Apple could do: give the entire music industry the tools to create music using Apple's technology for several years. Keep upgrading these tools to gradually only work with Apple products and technical advances. Promise the music industry members a place on iPod/iTunes which can't be removed by the user. In exchange, the entire music industry must agree to not release any other music without Apple's technology. If they do, there will be severe penalties and loss of access to the only viable music outlet available.

Within a few years, anyone trying to listen to music without the complete Apple chain of technology will hear total silence, save for some glitches and noise.

The difference today is that the iPod is first and foremost an MP3 player and always has been. The iTunes store was locked down by DRM at the insistence of the music industry. Apple is under no obligation to license their Fairplay DRM. If they had, every other music player manufacturer would have jumped on it and Apple would have been faced with a real monopoly issue. This way, Apple is competing on merits and public acceptance more than forcing one outcome or another through contracts. They allowed all the other manufacturers and Microsoft the opportunity to make something better, which failed.

Many argue that Fairplay DRM locked people into buying only iPods. The main truth on the street is that the vast majority of users liked the iPods better than other players and had no idea what DRM was. The users knew they could only play music on their own equipment and couldn't "share". Everyone gets that, even if they don't respect it. There was also an exit from DRM by burning CDs anyway, something not as freely available elsewhere and then you could share whatever you wanted. There is no monopoly, just a really successful ecosystem that anyone else is welcome to compete with.

Microsoft's plans for the entire computer industry were similar to the monopoly scenario above. They wanted the world to see a blank screen on the internet unless the entire technology chain came from Microsoft - and they almost did it. Now, those inside the Microsoft castle walls never saw a problem with that. The weren't aware of, nor care, about all the other technical advances outside the castle. That's the great harm to the consumer - better technologies rarely made it to the users and, at the same time, the platform stagnated. It took many years, but consumers started to notice that many Microsoft products were crudely inferior to other options and some users are migrating away - running as fast as they can.

Re:Back to the tricks APPLE does daily (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 5 years ago | (#27629699)

I just re-read your post for some reason. They were right - it's flamebait if you knew what a monopoly was, but I don't think you do so I'm going to give you a pass. There's a difference between monopoly and success.

OS X and Apple manufactured products are not a monopoly. You can load other operating systems on Apple hardware and Apple even gives you the tools to do it. They don't choose to support OS X on every random hardware combination so they try to limit where you can install it, but they don't completely disable it like they could. They can disable it, you know, but probably figure if you're smart enough to make OS X work on random hardware, you're smart enough to support it.

Logic Audio and Final Cut is not a monopoly. It's just software. In fact, they bought both from somewhere else. Apple said "nice software, wrong platform". Feel free to compete against it. Lots of people and companies do.

Why start now? (1)

WheelDweller (108946) | more than 5 years ago | (#27623159)

Who cares? All the damage has been done; for nearly 20 years they've driven off legitimate improvements to the IT industry because no one wants to fund a project that Microsoft could steal.

And Linux/*BSD are all more than competent at the task, when Gates' replacement drops the ball.

Don't waste the money.

If I am ever found to be a criminal (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#27624177)

I would like to have the ability to consent to the details of my punishment. "Yes, you may search my apartment, but this is the last time".

Re:If I am ever found to be a criminal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27624277)

mod parent up. i wish i had points!

Re:If I am ever found to be a criminal (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 5 years ago | (#27625183)

Since the original punishment was negotiated between the DoJ and MS, I guess the extesion should be, too. O_o I mean, it wasn't a plea bargain -- they'd already been found guilty.

break them up now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27624621)

The original judge got his ruling to break them up set aside as he showed prejudice against MS.

Then G.W. Bush reassigned the Anti-MS federal legal team, except for a skeletal "do-nothing" crew.

Nothing has changed. There is no free market for operating systems.

The right thing to do is break them up now. Sadly, few people in the American public understand why or even care.

Re:break them up now (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#27626825)

You make it sound like the federal legal team are the judges. MS wasn't broken up by a neutral judge because the case didn't warrant it.

The problem from the beginning was that the DOJ was really representing the interests of those who lobbied for the case (e.g Sun, AOL) rather than consumers. The result was those companies got a big payday from MS.

The most important issue from a consumers perspective was the OEM agreements, but instead they focused on desktop Java and one-hit-wonder Netscape.

.009K years should be enough for anyone (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#27626749)

That is all.

Lesson learned: (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627367)

If you are big enough to stall long enough, the government loses interest.

Seems Both Microsoft and the terrorists have learned this.

We now have a release date for Windows 8 (1)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627455)

May 13, 2011.

Though it might slip up to 18 months for "technical reasons".

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