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Microsoft Antitrust Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson Dead at 76

timothy posted about a year ago | from the different-kind-of-monopolistic-power dept.

Government 193

McGruber writes "The NY Times has the news that federal judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who ruled in 2000 that Microsoft was a predatory monopoly and must be split in half, has died. He was 76 years old. 'A technological novice who wrote his opinions in longhand and used his computer mainly to e-mail jokes, Judge Jackson refuted Microsoft's assertion that it was impossible to remove the company's Internet Explorer Web browser from its operating system by doing it himself. When a Microsoft lawyer complained that too many excerpts from Bill Gates's videotaped deposition — liberally punctuated with the phrase "I don't remember" — were shown in the courtroom, Judge Jackson said, "I think the problem is with your witness, not the way his testimony is being presented."'"

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He and Jobs now cracking M$ jokes. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026001)

The only question is, where are they now? One was a lawyer, and the other effectively enslaved tens of thousands of Chinese workers. I don't like their odds.

Re:He and Jobs now cracking M$ jokes. (1, Troll)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#44026107)

I hate to tell you, but they only exist in the past. Afterlife is a fairy tale crutch for alive people to cope with death.

Anyhow, I'm pretty sure that "TeePee" Jackson wouldn't have a lot of good things to say about Apple and Jobs either, with its lock-in between hardware and software, and for a while such a large market share on smartphones and tablets that anti-monopoly legislation might well come into play.

A legitimate point flagged Flamebait? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026279)

There is no more an Afterlife than there is a Priorlife. Afterlife is a fairy tale. That's a scientific fact, and a direct response to the prior comment submitter.

The anti-Apple point is also completely valid based on the historical prescient of how Jackson responded when MS was doing less evil than modern day Apple. MS only forced you to have IE with your Windows, Apple forces you to to have vendor specific hardware with vendor specific software to utilize your vendor specific device. Apple is everything Microsoft was not allowed to be a decade ago.

Re:A legitimate point flagged Flamebait? (1)

drkim (1559875) | about a year ago | (#44026325)

Apple is everything Microsoft was not allowed to be a decade ago.

Not defending Apple here, but one element of anti-trust is based on market share.
MS was/is in the 90 percent range of the OS market share and Apple was/is still only in the single digit market share.

Re:A legitimate point flagged Flamebait? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026705)

If "one element of anti-trust" was "based on market share", unacceptable market share would be explicitly defined in statute.

Re:A legitimate point flagged Flamebait? (2, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44027437)

"MS was/is in the 90 percent range of the OS market share and Apple was/is still only in the single digit market share."

In what market? The crux of the problem is that Microsoft used it's operating system monopoly to push into the browser market.

But is this really any different than Apple using it's digital music player (iPod) or digital music store (iTunes) monopolies that were in the 90% marketshare range to push into the Smartphone and digital video and eBooks markets?

I think there's a fair point to be made that Apple has definitely leveraged monopolies it has had to enter new markets in exactly the same way Microsoft leveraged it's operating system monopoly to try and take browser marketshare.

This has become pretty prominent with eBooks in that they are being investigated for illegal market manipulation, but this isn't the same as anti-trust legislation used against Microsoft. In fact, one might argue that if Apple had been properly and correctly investigated for anti-trust violations it may not have ever engaged in eBook price fixing that led to increased eBook prices for consumers in the first place.

I really don't think there's a reasonable argument that Apple is somehow different from Microsoft, it clearly has had monopolies in some markets, and it clearly has leveraged those monopolies to gain advantages in others, sometimes abusively so.

Re: A legitimate point flagged Flamebait? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026337)

MS did (still does) much much more evil than just blocking competing browsers, while also having a monopoly, hence the anti-monopoly ruling.

Re:A legitimate point flagged Flamebait? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026457)

Afterlife is a fairy tale. That's a scientific fact

LOL. The problem lots of folks around here have is that religion is not a disprovable theory. Your "scientific" fact needs a little work.

And yes, not only was the flamebait mod deserved, but your original post, your AC follow up, and my post here are all off topic. Get over it.

Re:A legitimate point flagged Flamebait? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026565)

There is no more an Afterlife than there is a Priorlife. Afterlife is a fairy tale. That's a scientific fact.

No, it's a conjecture that is supported by the scientific method. It's got strong scientific support ... too bad there are idiots like you that don't understand the difference between science proof and objective fact. They're USUALLY the same thing, but it is important to know when they're different.

In other words: You give atheists everywhere a bad name. Just ... stop.

Re:A legitimate point flagged Flamebait? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026615)

Are you sure the Flamebite mod didn't actually come from

I'm pretty sure that "TeePee" Jackson wouldn't have a lot of good things to say about Apple and Jobs either

instead of After/Prior Life considerations?
It's not like only the religious folks have beliefs so strong they feel need defended at any and all occasions.

Re:A legitimate point flagged Flamebait? (4, Insightful)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about a year ago | (#44026873)

There was very little alternative on the desktop when Microsoft was convicted. However Apple has a very strong competitor in both Android and Samsung. That's the difference.

Try reading the findings of fact and focus specifically on applications barrier to entry. Moving from iOS to Android is not nearly as difficult as moving from Windows to Linux or OS9 was in 2000.

Microsoft also deliberately, not once but three times, disrupted the development of middleware that would have made the migration easier. Now whether you think that any of the middleware (Netscape, Java and Intel's cross-platform device driver framework) was crap or not is irrelevant. Microsoft did this to prevent competitive threats from arising and to maintain their illegally gained market share.

Apple have tried to disrupt Android but have failed, and they have also not prevented software that allows cross-platform development. It's all in the findings of fact [justice.gov] which you clearly haven't read.

Re:He and Jobs now cracking M$ jokes. (0)

inasity_rules (1110095) | about a year ago | (#44026925)

Your sense of humour chip is malfunctioning. You need to go in for repairs immediately.

Re:He and Jobs now cracking M$ jokes. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44027413)

Sorry, the sense of humor chip has been replaced by the government emergency-alert/continuous-surveillance chip.

Re:He and Jobs now cracking M$ jokes. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#44027359)

only if you believe that time is linear... Silly flat earther.

MS should have followed his suggestion (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026003)

They might be more competitive now had they followed his suggestion to split the company into 3 parts for OS, apps, and services.

Re:MS should have followed his suggestion (1)

Bremic (2703997) | about a year ago | (#44026367)

If they broke it apart based on OS, apps and services wouldn't it have been a very uneven split? Something like 50/45/5?

Re:MS should have followed his suggestion (0)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#44026721)

They can't split OS and apps, because the only reason Office can work so well is because the OS can code bug fixes and enhancements for them faster and better than they can code around the OS.

Re:MS should have followed his suggestion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026791)

Microsoft is a services and devices company.

Re:MS should have followed his suggestion (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44026647)

They might be more competitive now had they followed his suggestion to split the company into 3 parts for OS, apps, and services.

to which companies? office to oracle? OS to dell? services to SAP??? oh the humanity!!!

Re:MS should have followed his suggestion (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#44027513)

They might be more competitive now had they followed his suggestion to split the company into 3 parts for OS, apps, and services.

to which companies? office to oracle? OS to dell? services to SAP??? oh the humanity!!!

No, silly. Split up into 3 independent companies like AT&T was split up into 7 "Baby Bell" companies.

Which then began the process of all merging to form one big company called AT&T.

Re:MS should have followed his suggestion (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | about a year ago | (#44026899)

Obligatory UF [userfriendly.org] , somehow relevant again.

It was a very stupid idea (2)

Antiocheian (859870) | about a year ago | (#44026051)

I never understood why Microsoft forced Internet Explorer inside Windows. Did they fear Netscape's "API" would really threaten them ?

Re:It was a very stupid idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026075)

Firefox will enslave us all.

Re:It was a very stupid idea (2, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#44026113)

Same reason they threatened Intel not to develop a Java VM and made their own Java incompatible with Sun. MS didn't want any competition from anyone. Whether or not the threat was credible, they were going to stomp it out.

Re:It was a very stupid idea (4, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#44026127)

It was part of their "Embrace and Extend" strategy. Embrace any popular technology by making your own free version, then extend it in a way that's incompatible with other operating systems or office software, thus creating a lock-in and even greater dependency on the core products - OS and Office.

Re:It was a very stupid idea (2)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#44026723)

You missed "Extinguish".

Re:It was a very stupid idea (3, Insightful)

bondsbw (888959) | about a year ago | (#44026141)

It was about marketing. Microsoft controlled the default home page of anyone who used IE. This in turn helped promote their monopoly and push away competition.

They also knew that controlling standard document formats (in this case, HTML; also, see Office) meant that others would always be judged against Microsoft's offering, placing Microsoft on a pedestal. No wonder IE didn't conform to the actual HTML standards until Microsoft no longer held the de facto standard.

Re:It was a very stupid idea (0)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about a year ago | (#44026149)

Microsoft was made clawing its way to the top. It had to claw over IBM. It had to claw over Borland or maybe it was Broderbund with the TurboBASIC suite (?). And Microsoft had to claw over Apple and Lotus 1-2-3 and WordPerfect and Novell DOS.

And then Netscape and Java were on the attack and companies like AOL with all those free square frisbees (or maybe they were Starter Disks --- who knows?) wanted to attack MSN.

Microsoft had to fight hard to be where they were, Netscape was threatening that with "Rich client" overlay.

They weren't going to take that chance, and mobilized the full force of their machinery.

Yes in retrospect, it seems obvious that Netscape even if unimpeded wasn't going to win that fight but public perception was the idea that maybe some company would make the operating system no longer matter and Microsoft went on the attack to defend what they had scratched and clawed to earn.

Right? Wrong? Abort, Retry, Fail? This is for others to decide, not me.

Re:It was a very stupid idea (1, Troll)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about a year ago | (#44026185)

And in 2011 their fears were realized, as their decline accelerated.

Re:It was a very stupid idea (4, Insightful)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about a year ago | (#44026503)

Microsoft isn't in decline, however much people like you and I would like to imagine them to be. Microsoft is in its prime as the premier desktop operating system and Windows 7 established this in granite. Windows 8 has hairballs, but they are in a position where they can make a mistake or 2 and be trusted to correct it and the market will forgive them for this faux pas. The alternatives to Windows offer no stability advantages --- Linux is far from "write once, works 3 years from now" and neither is OS X. You'll find greater stability in running a Windows app via WINE that you will a native OS X or Linux app several years down the road.

Don't shoot me --- I'm not even a messenger --- sure Windows isn't going to penetrate the mobile or even tablet market simply because they are clueless and in identity crissi, but they will own the desktop market for at least a decade or 2 and it could be more than that.

No, Google Apps is not going to defeat Office let alone automate corporate documents .... reality bites, but reality counts too ...

Re:It was a very stupid idea (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026781)

Are you high? Have you ever tried to run a Windows app via WINE? It's about as stable as a drunk on a one-legged stool!

Re:It was a very stupid idea (3, Funny)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#44027345)

So you're saying WINE emulates Windows a bit too well?

Yeah right (3, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | about a year ago | (#44027133)

Linux is far from "write once, works 3 years from now" and neither is OS X. You'll find greater stability in running a Windows app via WINE that you will a native OS X or Linux app several years down the road.

Ok, that's just total nonsense. Microsoft operating system and applications are, simply put, not known for their stability. I can't even imagine you typing that with a straight face.

Microsoft isn't in decline, however much people like you and I would like to imagine them to be.

Yeah, sure. They just haven't been able to break into the mobile device market while that market is in the process of devouring their core business. No big deal, right?

Re:Yeah right (1, Insightful)

Kawahee (901497) | about a year ago | (#44027253)

Ok, that's just total nonsense. Microsoft operating system and applications are, simply put, not known for their stability. I can't even imagine you typing that with a straight face.

Microsoft (or at least Raymond Chen and his colleagues) seem to go to huge lengths [msdn.com] to make the APIs in their operating systems extremely stable, from a compatibility point of view. Which I believe is what the grandparent was referring to when he said "write once, works 3 years from now."

Re:It was a very stupid idea (3, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#44027395)

"Linux is far from "write once, works 3 years from now"

You obviously know nothing at all about Linux or computers in general. There are a TON of linux computers that were written once 3-5 years ago and still works great. The first Sony BluRay players, yup those run linux and they are over 3 years old and are running perfectly. Most Panasonic TV sets from 2005-now run Linux and the earlier sets never had a path for software upgrade so they are ALSO running perfectly 3+ years from when it was released.

I also know of servers that are out there that are running Linux from a decade ago. I have one that is 100% impossible to hack and is running a 2.2.x Linux kernel. It's at the top of a 120 foot tower and is acting as an APRS relay/Packet BBS and has been for well over 10 years now.

Write once and works 3,6,9,12 years from now works fantastically.

Re:It was a very stupid idea (2)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year ago | (#44027559)

TB wrote:
>Linux is far from "write once, works 3 years from now" and neither is OS X

An application properly written for the original 128K Mac was able to run all the way through the Mac OS X era on PowerPC machines: http://mrob.com/pub/source/missile.html [mrob.com]

25 years. 1984 (initial Mac OS) -- 2009 (when Snow Leopard was released and Rosetta ceased to be available).

I'm still running Macromedia FreeHand/MX (and sometimes v10) on my iMac running Snow Leopard (unfortunately, it doesn't work outside of emulation on 10.7 or later) and it came out in --- that's 2003 or 2000 or so up to now.

By contrast, I can't get FreeHand v8 to run on my Windows machine 'cause the splash screen won't go away after the program launches.

Just a few datapoints.

Re: It was a very stupid idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026549)

You are not accurate about MS needing to 'claw its way over' IBM. Gates made a very slick deal with IBM for a non-exclusive right to sell BASIC for PCs. It was the clonemakers who really haa tough time until Compaq cleanroomed a BIOS.

Re:It was a very stupid idea (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#44027373)

"Microsoft was made clawing its way to the top. It had to claw over IBM. It had to claw over Borland or maybe it was Broderbund with the TurboBASIC suite (?). And Microsoft had to claw over Apple and Lotus 1-2-3 and WordPerfect and Novell DOS."

As in CLAW you mean, kill them with deceit and trickery? yes.

I suggest you actually read up on the reality that is the rise of Microsoft and how Bill Gates was the biggest back stabber there was in the tech sector.

Re:It was a very stupid idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026181)

I never understood why Microsoft forced Internet Explorer inside Windows. Did they fear Netscape's "API" would really threaten them ?

They were afraid of exactly what is happening now — the "cloud" and "web applications" supplanting traditional desktop programs for everyday tasks (see Chromebook for example).

Unfortunately, whilst they were right to be concerned about it, they elected to attack the problem head-on by taking control of the web through IE then just sitting on it rather than just improving their platform to make the web platform look like a joke in comparison. Ultimately, MS have just given up now, what with Win8 doing its best to pretend that the desktop doesn't exist and that everything is [Metro/iOS] Apps, cloud and web now.

Re:It was a very stupid idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026293)

Apply directly to the forehead.

Re:It was a very stupid idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026193)

IE is a component that Windows developers can use in their programs. It is part of the windows API. The frame that houses that component as part of the IE browser isn't tied to Windows, but the component is.

Re:It was a very stupid idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026881)

I'm sure most developers would not have had anything against bundling mozilla.dll with their software.

Re:It was a very stupid idea (2)

CodeBuster (516420) | about a year ago | (#44026211)

You have to realize that at the time Microsoft Windows had something like 95%+ market share in the home and small to medium sized business market. This has declined in more recent years due both to the rising popularity of Apple and Google and the shift towards smaller and more mobile computing devices, like tablets and smartphones, amongst consumers. However, at that time there were few viable alternatives to the Wintel monopoly for consumers and anything that could threaten sales of Windows or Microsoft Office was extremely unwelcome at Microsoft. So even though Microsoft made no money directly on Internet Explorer, they knew that if most people used what came with their PCs and that if what came with their PCs was Internet Explorer that they would be in a much stronger position to dictate, or at least strongly influence, the development of the web and the emerging Internet economy and looking back this is precisely what did happen. Microsoft was able to slow and moderate the disruptive influence of the Internet on their Windows monopoly by providing a built in browser that was just good enough for most people, but limited and buggy enough to frustrate attempts by others to use it as a platform from which to launch attacks on the core Windows and Office monopolies. So from a business perspective the relatively poor quality of Internet Explorer, especially version 6 which languished for years on millions of XP desktops, combined with OS integration was a brilliant delaying tactic by Microsoft. It couldn't hold back the tide of online competitors indefinitely, but it did retard their progress enough to give Microsoft some breathing room and relief from competitive pressures throughout the 1990s and even into the mid 2000s. It wasn't so much Netscape specifically, but the web in general, that Microsoft perceived as the competitive threat. Integrating the browser with the OS was a deliberate move by Microsoft to address that perceived threat. I doubt that they planned for Internet Explorer to suck as much as it did, but looking back it's one of the few cases where having a bad product was actually an advantage for a software company.

Re:It was a very stupid idea (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#44026243)

It was probably something as petty as not wanting to pay royalties to spyglass for it since it was included as a "free" extra instead of it being considered a portion of the MS Windows customers paid for.

Re:It was a very stupid idea (2)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#44026271)

Microsoft foresaw (correctly) that eventually the OS would become irrelevant, and the web would become the platform. Control the majority of the web browser platform and you can control that market. Thus, focus on IE in an attempt to gain market share and thus, developers. Once the developers are focused on writing for IE, they are more likely to use other MS technologies on the server end to match.

This is exactly why we have a huge number of enterprises still screwing around with IE6.

The popularity of mobile browsing which is all HTML5/CSS/Javascript via webkit has forced them to re-evaluate this devision and perform an about face with regards to standards compliance in later versions of IE, especially 9 and 10.

Re:It was a very stupid idea (2)

twistedcubic (577194) | about a year ago | (#44026605)


Microsoft foresaw (correctly) that eventually the OS would become irrelevant, and the web would become the platform.

No they didn't. Microsoft never "foresaw" anything like that. They simply try to "embrace and extend" successful ideas of others if considered a threat to their monopoly.

Re:It was a very stupid idea (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#44026703)

Uh, it wasn't just Microsoft, basically everyone who thought about the situation was forseeing that by the late 90s.

Re:It was a very stupid idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026315)

It was a stupid idea for another reason entirely: It exposed OS code to the Internet. ActiveX and ASP? Early Java VMs? Oh god I'm having PTSD flashbacks now.

I was horrified the instant I opened a file manager window and it had the same interface as IE. I knew that we were going to be in for an extremely bumpy ride for the next few years.

Best thing that ever happened to Spyglass (5, Interesting)

stox (131684) | about a year ago | (#44026379)

The initial IE was purchased from Spyglass for a small sum plus royalties on sales. Needless to say they were screwed. When Microsoft later claimed it was an integral part of the operating system, Spyglass claimed the royalty on a basis of Microsoft's Windows sales. This was settled out of court, but some damn fine cars were seen driving the roads of Naperville, Illinois, soon thereafter.

Re:It was a very stupid idea (2)

atom1c (2868995) | about a year ago | (#44026547)

I never understood why Microsoft forced Internet Explorer inside Windows. Did they fear Netscape's "API" would really threaten them ?

It's funny how Windows 98 Second Edition had this feature, Active Desktop, which allowed for the display of web content (plug-ins and all) directly onto the desktop background, and also supported native XML feeds (CDF)... and today everybody's going ga-ga over HTML5-based "apps" which run "native" to their mobile operating environment with the ability of utilizing an API -- XmlHttpRequest, developed by Microsoft Office team for their Outlook Web Access UI back in Exchange Server 5 days.

Yeah, clearly Microsoft had no idea that web-based content would be fetched for display in an OS... and that the renderer has best performance and security capabilities if it were baked into the OS instead of being bolted on.

Their worst offense? Trying to appease the tin-foil-hat world by repackaging the rendering contained via the MHTML (MHT) [Mime HTML] viewer. This very container is the sole "workspace" that modern mobile OSes truly allow app developer apps to run within -- and the boundaries of mobile security -- by instantiating multiple containers, each with its own ability to operate in the background as "background tasks."

(To all onlookers [not the quoted commenter] Microsoft always had a good working relationship with most commercial enterprises until the whole antitrust crap started. In the decade-plus since that nonsense started, Microsoft has been searching for ways of rekindling that fire... but their intent of helping commercial enterprises succeed has never truly gone away.)

Read the first release of Bill's autobiography (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44027483)

Then you'll realise that YES, Microsoft DIDN'T HAVE A CLUE.

The way active desktop was done also indicates the cluelessness of microsoft on how the network works. That ONLY makes sense on a completely air-gapped private network. For which you weren't licensed...

Re:It was a very stupid idea (2)

thediv17 (2839847) | about a year ago | (#44026641)

I never understood why Microsoft forced Internet Explorer inside Windows. Did they fear Netscape's "API" would really threaten them ?

Yes that is exactly what they feared. Microsoft is the company that has a product for every (computer related) need. Just look at what you get in an MSDN Universal Subscription.

Those subscriptions are very popular most software development, web development and IT support shops have a universal subscription. So if some new job comes up you already have the tool to do it in the MSDN CD folder and you've already read all about it in MSDN Magazine and heard about it at Technet conferences and all the books you need to understand it are from Microsoft Press and very easy to get hold of.

But Microsoft is a Generalist company they do a bit of everything, but problem is that specialists are usually better than generalists.

Then there is open source when the software is free (gratis) and usually written by specialists and in many cases better than propriety options.

Microsoft figured that once people in the MS world started looking around for other options and finding them they would keep looking in the future. This is bad for them because it is free and easy to look for software on the internet.

So Microsoft had to keep the mindshare and stop people looking for better options elsewhere. This mean IE had to be good enough and easy to obtain.

IE 4 wasn't just good enough it was much better that Netscape 4.

So everyone kept going with Microsoft solutions.

However failure to keep this up after Microsoft's apparent victory in the first browser war brought about their demise.

Re:It was a very stupid idea (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#44026687)

1) They were aware that if they could make Internet Explorer the window to the web, they could own the web.
2) They realized that the browser would become a platform for application programming, which would mean that people no longer would be locked in to Windows as a platform.

Those were two really good reasons for them to worry about Netscape.

Re:It was a very stupid idea (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#44026799)

I never understood why Microsoft forced Internet Explorer inside Windows. Did they fear Netscape's "API" would really threaten them ?

The same way they "forced" Notepad and other bundled applications, because it's really useful to have.

Re:It was a very stupid idea (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about a year ago | (#44026883)

Read the findings of fact [justice.gov] . It's a lot more complex than you imagine.

Re:It was a very stupid idea (1)

spongman (182339) | about a year ago | (#44027055)

They made mshtml implement shdocvw because it made sense to add Internet Uris to the shell namespace.

Re:It was a very stupid idea (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#44027323)

Yes, they did. They were such control freaks that they couldn't stand the thought that a web based app might run equally well on Linux or Mac. The only out was to corrupt the standards enough that corporate apps would be IE only.

They created such a lockdown that even with MS helping, their customers have taken years to even move to the next version of IE.

The damage is already done.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026083)

Two things would survive a nuclear war, roaches and Microsoft Office.

Re:The damage is already done.. (0)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about a year ago | (#44026195)

And I'm not too sure about Office.

Yes, I'm aware the joke would have been better if the last word was cockroaches, but Office is already sliding into irrelevance.

Re:The damage is already done.. (1)

Macgrrl (762836) | about a year ago | (#44026245)

Two things would survive a nuclear war, roaches and Microsoft Office.

The last MacOSX update (10.8) killed my Office 2001 install, I tried to update with 2010 (I think it was that version) and it failed to install - didn't recognise the license key that came with the CD, when I tried calling the MS support number you had to enter your install code to get support - and guess what - it wouldn't recognise the key and there was no way to talk to a person through the menu system without a code. So at home at least, MS Office is dead to me.

Re:The damage is already done.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026277)

Eh, you're upgrading from MS Office 2001 straight to 2010???

I don't believe Microsoft planned for such jumps. That is a bit rare to have that kind of software still on your computer... Makes me wonder what other out-of-date software is on your computer...

Re:The damage is already done.. (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#44027397)

That's why there should be a way to talk to a person.

Re:The damage is already done.. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#44027401)

We still run Office 2003 at work. It was the last stable non bloated version. I know a LOT of corperations that also still cling to that Office 2003 VLK they paid for way back when

Re:The damage is already done.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44027555)

Isn't Office 2001 a PPC app? I think 10.7 killed your office, not 10.8.

Ballmer... (0)

recoiledsnake (879048) | about a year ago | (#44026123)

In other unrelated news Ballmer has perfected his chair throwing skills....

For some reason chair skills are very important to MS's upper management.
Look at BillG showing off his chair skills:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxaCOHT0pmI [youtube.com]

Re:Ballmer... (0)

kamapuaa (555446) | about a year ago | (#44026151)

Throwing chair jokes! You would be so hilarious if we were back in 1996! Hey, Unabommer? More like Unabummer, amirite?

Re:Ballmer... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026207)

Throwing chair jokes! You would be so hilarious if we were back in 1996! Hey, Unabommer? More like Unabummer, amirite?

It was 2005 when that happened, genius. You're only 9 years off on something that happened 8 years ago, so that's not completely awful right?

Re:Ballmer... (1)

jurco (2851147) | about a year ago | (#44026531)

Look at BillG showing off his chair skills

This reminds me of something the greatest Bill wrote: I had no spur / To prick the sides of my intent, but only / Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself / And falls on th'other.

RIP Judge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026201)

Good times.

Technological novice or not ... (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#44026215)

Technological novice or not he had a better handle on the definition of "operating system" than many of the readers here. A solitaire game or web browser is not part of the computer operating system but instead just an application that comes with it. Rely on textbook definitions and not MS marketing or RMS seeing an opportunity to claim credit for a different project.

Re:Technological novice or not ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026319)

Technological novice or not he had a better handle on the definition of "operating system" than many of the readers here. A solitaire game or web browser is not part of the computer operating system but instead just an application that comes with it. Rely on textbook definitions and not MS marketing or RMS seeing an opportunity to claim credit for a different project.

Most of us here know how trivial it would be to "remove" IE from early versions of Windows, even if it was simply hiding the launcher shortcut.

Where do you draw the line deciding what applications should or should not come with an OS though? Can you remove the scheduler from a Unix system? Can you remove Finder from OS X? Yes, No, Maybe? Does the OS "need" them? Everything else on the system will continue to function normally without them. Is the bundling evidence of anti-competitiveness?

If you take a tablet or smartphone today and try to say a web browser is not a part of the OS, you would get the same funny look as if you said the scheduler is not a part of a Unix system. My point is Microsoft's wrong is not in deciding to bundle a particular software with their OS, it had to do with intent to harm Netscape.

We could really go back and forth all day arguing about what is or is not part of an operating system, and it does not matter one bit.

Re:Technological novice or not ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026919)

Netscape tried to create a monopoly on the browser market. If Netscape had had it their way no one would use anything but Netscape.

Re:Technological novice or not ... (1)

petman (619526) | about a year ago | (#44027189)

If you take a tablet or smartphone today and try to say a web browser is not a part of the OS, you would get the same funny look as if you said the scheduler is not a part of a Unix system.

A web browser is not a part of the OS. There, I've said it, and it's true. On my Android phone, I can just delete the Browser.apk file and the web browser is gone, and nothing else on the phone will be affected.

Re:Technological novice or not ... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#44027409)

You can do the same on an iphone if you jailbrake it, which is the same as rooting your android phone. So the Browser is not apart of the OS, and only microsoft was retarded enough to use it as the file manager inside the OS.

Re:Technological novice or not ... (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#44027545)

You can do the same on an iphone if you jailbrake it, which is the same as rooting your android phone. So the Browser is not apart of the OS, and only microsoft was retarded enough to use it as the file manager inside the OS.

And technically, the file manager isn't part of the OS, either, except in the sense of (typically) being bundled with the OS. I worked for several years with people who were hung up on Norton Commander for their file manager.

IE on the other hand (squeaky Steve Ballmer voice) "is an Integral part of the Windows operating system".

Re:Technological novice or not ... (2)

Telvin_3d (855514) | about a year ago | (#44026479)

Part of this might be that the terminology hasn't really kept up with the realities of the situation. Initially an Operating System was literately just the software layer that operated the hardware. But right from the very start there were useful apps and commands baked in that were not strictly required for interfacing with the hardware. And as more and more things got taken for granted as part of the basic computing experience, they got added to the basic level of computer installation, which is the OS.

If you have an operating system, and you add one useful feature to it, you still refer to it as an operating system. And then you add one feature after that but still call it an OS. Then you include a couple useful applications that everyone is installing anyways. And this keeps going for decades. At what point does the collection as a whole no longer count as an 'Operating System'? And what then do we call a complete and useful computer installation that includes a wide range of basic functionality, including applications?

Re:Technological novice or not ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026679)

And what then do we call a complete and useful computer installation that includes a wide range of basic functionality, including applications?

GNU/Linux I believe.

Re:Technological novice or not ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026801)

At what point does the collection as a whole no longer count as an 'Operating System'? And what then do we call a complete and useful computer installation that includes a wide range of basic functionality, including applications?

You call it a Distribution [wikipedia.org] . This question has already been answered by the Linux and BSD distributions out there.

Nothing about Windows makes it so special that it couldn't operate in a similar way. You could have multiple Windows distributions that all operate on the same Windows kernel versions, with Microsoft providing a de facto standard distribution but allowing others to create their own bundles of parts.

People would still have to pay for the base OS, or pay extra for the 'official' MS distribution to get the extra MS bits, but with open, consistent APIs, competition could exist with distributions that supply their own shells (good riddance, explorer) and browsers (use webkit or gecko for all OS rendering).

If Windows worked like this, MS would have a damn good argument against people shouting 'monopoly', it'd probably make it a harder target for certain types of malware due to the components being less homogenous, and it would definitely make it a more appealing system to people like me.

He screwed up (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026253)

He showed bias before the final judgement, and the ruling was nullified. It was the last best chance to break the back of the beast. Instead, we have had to put up with them for these last 13 years. They lied, cheated and stole their way to market domination. There are *hundreds* of companies and *thousands* of people they cheated and stole from. Not just Borland and Stac Electronics and IBM and DrDos and Broderbund. Not just FoxSoft and Adobe, hundreds of others.

But on the bright side... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026291)

his botch may have been the downfall of the beast.

As others have already mentioned: Microsoft is in decline. Between Windows 8 and the Xbox One, few if any consumers are interested in their products for the sake of their products anymore. In their hubris they've taken a shotgun to their own foot and are repeatedly pulling the trigger.

Re:But on the bright side... (2)

atom1c (2868995) | about a year ago | (#44026501)

Right, except for their licensing agreements whereby Siri in iOS 7 will be supported by Bing, whereby Facebook is in bed with Microsoft tech (although not a fully committed marriage), and consumers are still buying Xboxes by the hundreds of thousands globally every month... and their Windows Azure platform is already a billion-dollar business (their 15th?), and they've sold more than $1B worth of Surface devices... and everyone still wants their software to be supported on other OSes (e.g. Office for iOS)... not to mention the billions they spend on R&D every quarter via Microsoft Research with no necessary intent of commercializing the advancements themselves.

Yup, sounds like they're in decline.

MS will carry on (1)

Camael (1048726) | about a year ago | (#44027269)

Hate to rain on your parade, but MS will remain very viable in the near future. They may be suffering a loss of mindshare, but the profits are still rolling in and are likely to keep rolling in for the future.

While sales of Win8 is slow, a majority of desktops still sport a variant of WinX as their OS. At some point, it is a certainty their users will want to upgrade and there is no significant competition for WinX right now. Both Lunux and iOS are relatively niche products.

It is still to early to call on Xbox One - while consumer market is heavily negative at the moment, it only ships in November and there is plenty of time for MS to try and catch up. Anedoctal evidence seems to show that most gamers prefer the Xbox One hardware and games, but hate MS policies which can be changed.

Further, any growth for Android is a win for MS. Many Android hardware makers have a licensing patent agreements with MS and MS earns for every device they make.

While reception to Office365 is unenthusiastic, for many people there is no other viable alternative to Office. MS knows, and is banking on this to be their bread-and-butter.

Re:But on the bright side... (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about a year ago | (#44027155)

Microsoft is in decline. Between Windows 8 and the Xbox One, few if any consumers are interested in their products for the sake of their products anymore.

Ok, Windows 8 was a definite flop, but shouldn't we at lease wait to see how the Xbox One is released before we declare it dead?

MS amplified his lapse of judgment (3, Interesting)

Camael (1048726) | about a year ago | (#44027217)

To be fair to the judge, he was the victim of a focused smear campaingn by MS. MS was fighting for its life and did not scruple at using every dirty trick it could.

MS complained [bbc.co.uk] about several interviews that Judge Jackson gave with journalists, in which the judge uttered some blunt and unflattering comments about Microsoft and its icon, Bill Gates. The judge said that Gates had a Napoleon complex, that Gates's "testimony is inherently without credibility," and he likened Microsoft's behavior to that of street gangs and drug dealers.

However, the judge's interviews and comments were made after he had heard all the evidence and the cases were closed. He decided that MS was not telling the truth, and that was his job. His only mistake was in granting the interviews before he issued his final judgment.

The judge was careless, certainly, but his decision should have been allowed to stand.
 

Well it was anticompetitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026429)

Microsoft was doing embrace, extend and extinguish. They should have known better than leave out the .dll Netscape uses. Glad they got bit. Now only if more judges would rule against other monopolies and oligopolies. We have broadband without competition because when the state competes, it is unfair to Comcast. The cell phone carriers lock you into a contract, but you can't leave the contract even if they're not holding up their end of the agreement. Since the corporations bought out the government, there is like no regulation anymore.

What's the big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026435)

There is nothing wrong with leaving IE on every OS and really if there is no IE how am I going to download Firefox?

Re:What's the big deal? (0)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#44026525)

windows has a ftp client native both in explorer and cli

time to man up

It doesn't come with drivers for your PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44027503)

But guess what: your PC builder will install them for you.

He can do the same for your web browser too. But Microsoft told him he could not install whatever browser he wanted for his customers, to differentiate his offerings from others and instead had to use Microsofts required browser.

#irc.trooltalk.com (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026521)

in posting a GNNA BUWLA, or BSD be forgotten in a

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026527)

Coincidence or plot by Microsoft? You decide.

FU NYT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026559)

"In order to access our Web site, your Web browser must accept cookies from NYTimes.com"

Fuck You.

Re:FU NYT (0)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#44026821)

"In order to access our Web site, your Web browser must accept cookies from NYTimes.com"

Fuck You.

Do you seriously expect everything to be given to you for free just because it's on the web? It's not a charity you know.

anti-trust is anti-private property nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026751)

Just like Standard Oil, MS was targeted by government because it didn't play by the government rules, didn't "share" part of its success [latimes.com] with the politicians the same way other companies did.

This is destruction of private property rights, nothing else. Government has no place in 'fighting monopolies', when in reality it doesn't fight monopolies it creates them [mises.org] , and the companies that it does destroy are those who are not paying bribes big enough to prevent the destruction.

roman_mir [slashdot.org]

Copyright and patent is anti-private property (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44027523)

And without that copyright, Microsoft wouldn't even exist.

Forged video evidence during antitrust trial (4, Informative)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | about a year ago | (#44026829)

Judge Jackson put up with all kinds of crap during the antitrust trial that would have garnered normal people punishment for contempt of court. One of the more ridiculous examples was when Microsoft execs presented a forged video [washingtonpost.com] as evidence in the trial. Not only was the video doctored, it was doctored in a bad, amateurish manner, just like their software. Even at the time it was a puzzle why that went unpunished. Now we can see that was just standard operating procedures for M$.

Monsanto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44026875)

Did the police check if the judge received any bread as a gift recently?
Bill Gates might have had Monsanto send him "special" GMO bread.

There goes one of the good guys... (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year ago | (#44026957)

From another obituary, apparantly one of his jokes:

"The judge had a lively sense of humor. The Washington Post reported that he once told of a law professor, an appellate judge and a trial judge who went duck hunting. When a bird flew over, the law professor referred to a textbook. By the time he looked up, the duck was gone. When a second bird appeared, the appellate judge studied relevant precedents, and the same thing happened.

The trial judge had no scholarly compunctions when a third bird flew into range. He pushed the other two aside, raised his shotgun and blew the bird from the sky.

“I hope to hell that was a duck,” he said. "

Wonder what would have happened if his ruling, (to split MS into separate 'Windows' and 'Office' divisions) would have stood?

I suspect both a better 'Office and a better 'Windows'...

And so and thus (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44027317)

The idea the browser could not be separated was a fraud. Microsoft had just gotten done spending years developing and pushing its COM interface technology, and IBrowser was its flagship plug-and-play example. Anybody should have been able to slap a different browser in there.

Whether the company should be "forbidden" from including a browser is a sepsrate issue. Security problems with IE (drive-by web page view hijackings, for example) probably did more to drive people to non-IE browsers than any judicial fiats.

Corporate Personhood (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#44027583)

"I have survived your predecessors, boy, and I will survive you!"

Companies which take the long view always win.

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