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Microsoft Trial Sent Back To Lower Court

michael posted about 13 years ago | from the one-small-step-for-justice dept.

Microsoft 294

nexex writes: "FoxNews is reporting that as expected, a federal appeals court sent Microsoft Corp.'s antitrust case Friday back to a lower court to determine what penalty should be imposed on the software giant. "Microsoft has failed to demonstrate any substantial harm that would result from the reactivation of proceedings in the district court," the appeals court ruled. "It appears that Microsoft has misconstrued our opinion, particularly with respect to what would have been required to justify vacating the district court's findings of fact and conclusions of law," the court wrote." Well, now we get to hear about Kollar-Kotelly instead of Jackson. Yay.

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why can't... (1)

rebby (25569) | about 13 years ago | (#2214657)

the m$ pain just end already...

if they wern't a HUGE corporation this would have been over long ago...

Re:why can't... (2)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about 13 years ago | (#2214679)

if they wern't a HUGE corporation this would have been over long ago...

If MS wasn't a HUGE corperation then there wouldn't even have been need of a trial.

Re:why can't... (1)

rebby (25569) | about 13 years ago | (#2214766)

good point LOL

Re:why can't... (1, Redundant)

rjamestaylor (117847) | about 13 years ago | (#2214824)

if they wern't a HUGE corporation this would have been over long ago...
Um, if they weren't huge this would not have even started...

Re:why can't... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214850)

Oops. Redundant - I didn't see the first response to this inane comment. Gotta remember to refresh the page before posting!

Re:why can't... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214856)

The jews want to bust up Microsoft because it isn't owned by kikes. This farce of a trial must be stopped, or the jews might steal MS entirely and turn it into Jewsoft.

fr1st ps0t? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214658)

Oh dear God, say it's true. I have lived for this moment.

SFI Homiez, you know who you are.

Re:fr1st ps0t? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214666)

No :b

*evil laughter*

prist fost (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214663)

take this, lame filter!

Guess what (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214911)

H W K [umontreal.ca] ! I say, Hitler, Wore, Kakkies!

fp? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214665)

Bill Gates, naked and petrified - every rational person's nightmare! Maybe if there were enough hot grits poured over him.

Old News (2)

Prior Restraint (179698) | about 13 years ago | (#2214669)

Didn't the appeals court make this ruling a week ago?

Re:Old News (1)

sacolcor (471889) | about 13 years ago | (#2214731)

They ruled that it would get sent back to the lower court in a week. Today is when it actually happened.

Re:Old News (1)

Mdog (25508) | about 13 years ago | (#2214749)

Correct...that distinction wasn't made very clear in the summary IMHO.

NOT old news (2)

hillct (230132) | about 13 years ago | (#2214817)

It was ruled that the original judge (Thomas Penfield Jackson [uscourts.gov] ) would not preside over the penalty phase of the trial since it was determined (fairly or not...) that he was biased against Microsoft [cnn.com] , based on statements he made durring the trial. The DOJ denied these charges [canoe.ca] presumably because they wantedan advantage durring the penalty phase.

This new article identifies Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly as the presiding judge for the penalty phase.

--CTH

Re:NOT old news (1)

hillct (230132) | about 13 years ago | (#2214925)

oops. redundant, (although hopefully useful).

frist prost (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214672)

Hey, it feels really good to stroke my penis. Has anyone else ever tried that?

Re:frist prost (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214691)

No, I haven't tried stroking your penis.

Phurst!!! (-1, Offtopic)

PhurstP0aszt (515790) | about 13 years ago | (#2214674)


I am the f1rzt

It has become clear now. (1)

SpanishInquisition (127269) | about 13 years ago | (#2214676)

Why Steve Ballmer is acting so crazy recently?

To plead mental hillness of course...

Re:It has become clear now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214832)

Wouldn't that be "Mental Billness"???

Old quote from Steve Ballmer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214873)

Thare was am Old Quote from Steve Balmer [slashdot.org] of which I've been trying to get confirmation. It looks like he's been saying things that undermine Microsoft for years... The question is weather his statement is crazy or he was just crazy to undermine Microsoft...

All this is doing... (1)

Wind_Walker (83965) | about 13 years ago | (#2214680)

...is delaying more. This is exactly what Microsoft [microsoft.com] wants. The longer that it can get pushed around in the lower courts, the longer they can continue their monopolistic exploits (no pun intended)

Think about it: They're going to get hit with one helluva fine when this all falls through. And what are they doing? Trying to get their stock values back up to the point where they can take the hit without losing everything.

The longer this takes, the longer Microsoft wins.

Re:All this is doing... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214708)

Thank you for that informative "web link", or "URL".

Karma whoring (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214728)

That's what the moderators like, AC. They LOVE it when they see a link; it makes it look like somebody has actually put some thought and effort into their post.

It's called "Karma Whoring". Look it up [goatse.cx] .

Idiot.

Re:All this is doing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214770)

Aha. Everytime I want to refer to a company I'll make a hyperlink. For example, 's DBMS offerings are more robust than 's.

Alternate Solutions? (2)

Alien54 (180860) | about 13 years ago | (#2214871)

Since they can't do the breakup, then I propose the corporate equivalent of a Jail Sentence.

I would like to see them prohibited from publishing or releasing free or not free, any new software that is internet enabled such as a browser, etc for up 8 to 10 years. New versions of the OS could be released with only the current level of internet capability, say as of April 2001, or whatever

Time off for good behavior so if they play really nice the judge can knock it down to 5.

That, and a really good fine, like about 10 or 20 billion dollars, the possible profits from their illegal acts, should be a good enough slam to get their attention.

Let them sell Office if they want, without any new internet capability. No more new issues of IE, in or Out of Windows, freezing them at the current level. No more MSN special clients. No special .NET clients

Freeze the intenet capability right where it is right now.

This would certainly work as a jail term. They couldn't do anything with there ill gotten gains for many years. But it won't kill them.

And of course, to get anyplace, they might have to sell of part of their operation anyhow.

- - -
Radio Free Nation [radiofreenation.com]
is a news site based on Slash Code
"If You have a Story, We have a Soap Box"
- - -

Re:Alternate Solutions? (1)

MaxwellsSilverHammer (10318) | about 13 years ago | (#2214917)

The appeals court did not rule out a second breakup if this was ordered again. They basically said they couldn't do a breakup because they didn't hold hearings on the remedy. My guess was that at that point, Jackson had seen and heard enough and didn't see a need for it.

In the appeals court rejection of MS's request for stay of the remand to the lower court, they added that nothing they said in their ruling was intended to put boundaries on what the remand judge could rule for remedy.

Re:All this is doing... (1)

Eminor (455350) | about 13 years ago | (#2214966)

I think think they are going to use this to explain a forth coming stock value crash. Why else is Bill Gates slowly selling his shares in the company?

The Penalty Phase will drag on just like earlier.. (2)

hillct (230132) | about 13 years ago | (#2214972)

With a new judge assigned, the penalty phase will be drawn out as arguments are re-presented to a far greater degree than if Jackson were still presiding over the case, since he has gained a familiarity with it over the past 2 years. This, it seems will be sufficient to allow Microsoft at least the time needed to release Windows XP and perhaps cause even more damage to the computer industry.

--CTH

who cares (1)

rcamera (517595) | about 13 years ago | (#2214683)

this case is just going to go back and forth between all kinds of courts. m$ will appeal any judgement against them. and on top of that, i really don't think anyone cares anymore. --

Uh-huh (2, Funny)

tbone1 (309237) | about 13 years ago | (#2214686)

"It appears that Microsoft has misconstrued our opinion, ..."

Uh, yeah. I know that because of PR you have to spin things in such a way, but if you really believe that M$ didn't understand what the government's opinion was, you'd believe that Ballmer has a future as an exotic dancer.

Re:Uh-huh (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 13 years ago | (#2214738)

> "It appears that Microsoft has misconstrued our opinion, ..."

Micorsoft is in the business of misconstruing things: "innovate", "bug", "user friendly", "stable", "inexpensive", etc., etc., etc. They hardly make a statement without twisting the meaning of something around.

Disturbing mental picture... (1)

Giant Hairy Spider (467310) | about 13 years ago | (#2214877)

But maybe with a name like "Ballmore" he's got a future as a porn star.

Re:Uh-huh (1)

slambo (10757) | about 13 years ago | (#2214878)

> you'd believe that Ballmer has a future as an exotic dancer.

Actually, when we look at the Monkey video of recent note, this isn't all that far fetched.

Re:Uh-huh (1)

SuperguyA1 (90398) | about 13 years ago | (#2214898)

Well Stevie is quite a dancer [detonate.net] . We love to see him boogie.

What can the government do.... (2)

dodson (248550) | about 13 years ago | (#2214699)

Not much. They are way behind on this one. Now they will decide on actions that will do little to slow MS.

MS is more bold than ever and are making a huge push to get a death grip on subscription services.

Will the remidies deal with .Net.

If they don't what is the point. This has gone on to long and MS is poised to turn the corner on the next decade.

The government is to late to help. And I don't know what remedy would work anyway.

Oh well...

Re:What can the government do.... (2)

rjamestaylor (117847) | about 13 years ago | (#2214787)

Will the remidies deal with .Net. ?

Actually, Jackson's did. His proposal would have limited MS' ability to enter the middleware market -- the OS of the 'net -- at the behest of the government lawyers, I believe. That goes to the core of .NET.

Re:What can the government do.... (1)

Asgard (60200) | about 13 years ago | (#2214822)

This reminds me of a SciFi book I once read. The government was trying to pressure a huge company for something or other, but then realized that if the pressure was applied, the company would just raise the price of bread (the company had hold of the entire food market and just about everything else) a few percent and bring about a recession. Should subscription services become centralized and indespensible, what sort of power will the controlling company have over the economy at large? (OK so this is a bit overly dramatic and paranoid, but you are only paranoid of they *aren't* out to get you :> )

Re:What can the government do.... (1)

Foggy Tristan (220356) | about 13 years ago | (#2214896)

Well, be fair, we need food to survive, but We can survive without .NET.

I'm embarrassed to admit... (2)

AKAJack (31058) | about 13 years ago | (#2214701)

What I really want MS broken up for is out of hope that the applications division will then offer their products for other Operating Systems.

Working for a major corporation makes it difficult to get anything approved on the desktop that wont run the industry "business standard" software packages - Office, FrontPage, etc.

Office for Linux would make our lives in business and IT so much nicer, since we must use MS products anyway.

Just a wish...

Re:I'm embarrassed to admit... (1)

rjamestaylor (117847) | about 13 years ago | (#2214802)

It would take a while for the corporate culture to accept the breakup, so don't expect that MSFTOS to release Office for Linux anytime soon after such a breakup.

This is exactly what Linux needs. (1)

einTier (33752) | about 13 years ago | (#2214935)

Many people won't move to a new OS until it offers the applications they need, feel comfortable with, and know. Smaller companies won't port their applications over until either a)another, larger company does it and turns a sizable profit or b) the user base gets so large they can't ignore it.


If we could just get the standard Microsoft Office suite (and running under VM ware doesn't count) on Linux, I think that would be a big first step to getting average Joe Sixpack users and average companies to move over to Linux.


I'd love to see Microsoft broken up and let their good products (Office suite, excluding Office XP, games, game controllers, mice, MSDN) stop subsidizing their bad ones (Windows, XP).


Also, I don't think Microsoft has been ALL bad. It's very nice to know that if I send someone a word document, they will most likely be able to open it, unlike ten years ago when I had to worry if you had AppleWorks or Word or WordStar or WordPerfect or ....

"Industry Standard" (2)

TBone (5692) | about 13 years ago | (#2214936)

What's sad, is that Microsoft is the industry standard, not because their products are that much better, but because their marketing machine is better.

I'll admit that, any more, Word seems to be better for what I do than other WP's, but that's mainly because I'm used to it. But Exchange is far from the best mail system out there. Oh, wonder of all wonders, it's integrated with a calendaring system. Who would have guessed that MS would do that.

MS is the standard because people are lazy. And that's just sad.

Dead people supporting Microsoft (1)

ChucklesIsMe (467226) | about 13 years ago | (#2214709)

I guess the marketing scheme of having dead people write letters of support for Microsoft didn't go quite as planned.

So this means? (1)

TrollMan 5000 (454685) | about 13 years ago | (#2214713)

It's pretty much back to Square 1 for this case?

Microsoft had also said that if the appeals court didn't put the case on hold, it would put the public's faith in the judicial system in jeopardy.

With that kind of argument, Microsoft seems almost desperate. The public already knows that the judicial system is buried in legal red tape.

Then again, who will they appeal to if the Supreme Court orders atheir breakup?

Re:So this means? (1)

sacolcor (471889) | about 13 years ago | (#2214801)

No...this is far from a new trial. Jackson's findings of fact remain intact and unaltered, unless the Supreme Court steps in (very unlikely). A good number of his conclusions of law remain as well. The new court just has to resolve one count of illegal tying, and then decide on a sentence.

Re:So this means? (2)

rjamestaylor (117847) | about 13 years ago | (#2214910)

Right. This is not back to the "Battle of Britian" as MSFT hoped, but, rather, back to "Potsdam". The war is over, the victor has triumphed, only the terms of peace have to be decided.

Since MSFT shares the same vision as Hitler's Third Reich (world domination)...may they share the same end.

Point? (2)

mr100percent (57156) | about 13 years ago | (#2214717)

If Windows XP gets out the door before any penalty kicks in, I don't think we have any hope.

Isn't M$ trying to weld Office and IE in permanently to XP so it can't be separated, as well as bribing their way out?

Re:Point? (1)

dar (15755) | about 13 years ago | (#2214747)

Hey, this is code, remember? Any code that can be done, can be undone.

Re:Point? (2)

jandrese (485) | about 13 years ago | (#2214912)

Not if you don't have the source. It's not like MS is going to offer up any sort of utility that uninstalls Word. Some wiseass at a university might find a way to do so, but it will no doubt leave lots of little bits of the OS broken, just like IE.

Personally, I think Microsoft should try this strategy against Linux and integrate a real OS into Windows.

Re:Point? (2)

rgmoore (133276) | about 13 years ago | (#2214842)

If Windows XP gets out the door before any penalty kicks in, I don't think we have any hope.

In other news [cnn.com] , Microsoft says that XP has gone gold and is going to be released to OEMs today.

Nah. You can still reel it in. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214884)

Let's see now...You've been convicted of being a monopolist and using your position to illegally advance your business interests at the expense of others. While waiting for your sentence you've committed other acts of the same sort.

How is this so different from a defendant trying to illegally preserve assets from creditors by disposing of them to friends, so that the moment of judgement finds the defendant completely broke?

This latter situation is certainly prohibited and proscribed in court cases. Microsoft can simply be told to not sell any more of these things. The "lucky" owners of XP might keep them or not, but without support or future sales of the XP product what will happen to the firm?

First Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214719)

Ah ha! I GOT FIRST POST! YAEH!!! Anyway, I think it's time to show you all some taco.

(|) (|) (|) 8=====D

Hey! How did that shlong get in there with all the pretty tacos?!

Just buy it or don't! What IS the prob??? (1, Interesting)

cybrthng (22291) | about 13 years ago | (#2214724)

I mean, Windows XP is nice. It has more bundled software and features then you can shake a stick at.


Price is affordable, for the upgrade 100-200.00 seems like alot, but your getting legal mp3 encoding software, legal cd recording software, an os upgrade, compatibility with prior software and a fairly common platform that you can go to any store and buy software and hardware for.


While linux is improving nicely, it still lacks heavily in any music reporduction, media interfaces business applications. I'd rather pay 199.00 bucks for something that works out of the box and comes with lots of software then several hours downloading, burning iso's and then chasing down the latest versions of all apps waisting a whole entire weekend or business days (thus costing more then the 199.00 XP package).


I'm not dissing linux, and not praising XP. Its just time for everyone to get off there totem poll and just use what is out there. You have your choices, microsoft has stopped blocking OEM's from shipping other programs and that is what the antitrust case should have been about. It shouldn't be about a browser that is included, you can install any browser you wish.


So now people will sue microsoft because it/they still include apps within the os.


Nobody sues IBM for OS/2 that was bundled with a browser (warp 3 & 4), Nobody sued Sun for including the ancient java browser and prefering that you use there browser.


Nobody sued Redhat for defaulting to the gnome desktop and making it hard for people to get KDE (which as of 7.2 will be a thing of the past.. redhat is more desktop agnostic now). But still, if i have to download the rpm's for netscape or mozilla on any other platform why the hell is it so hard for a windows user to download and run an installer for that application on the Windows platform?


Windows is microsoft's product afterall. They can decide what and how they want to to work and do. Just like you can decide what and how you want to use it!


Nobody is holding a gun to your head. Personally XP will be my desktop and laptop OS, linux will be my Server/web/email os and linux will also be a developer os (since i can code for my dreamcast and other devices fairly easily).

oh great, i'm flamebate for having an opion. (1, Flamebait)

cybrthng (22291) | about 13 years ago | (#2214783)

Ofcourse i get flaimbaited for having an opinion. Slashdot can suck my left nut.. this isn't a forum for geeks, its a forum for crackheads and 14 year olds who are pissed off school starts next week.

geezus how lame can this place get these days? slashdot turned 10 several times now, we have seen how to roll your own dsl what 4-5 times now? A linux program going commercial? what, wasn't it just 2 weeks ago when i read this about tuxracer and everything was misconstrued?

oh well. i won't loose anything by not waisting my time in here anymore..

screw having karma, it doesn't mean anything obviosly in this "forum"

Re:oh great, i'm flamebate for having an opion. (1)

rash (83406) | about 13 years ago | (#2214806)

You have not thought your arguments through.

Try placing the word monopoly into the picture.

Re:oh great, i'm flamebate for having an opion. (1)

cybrthng (22291) | about 13 years ago | (#2214838)

monopoly, i said it.

you still have a choice. Its not like the monopolistic phone company (verizon) or cable companies (comcast) that exist.

i can't route the cable coming into my house through another company, yet i can and have always been able to choose my os.

sue compusa for not selling linux, os/2. Sue the end users for choosing what they choose, sue your business for limiting how you work. Microsoft had nothing to do with the choices we made. You could have chosen to buy a mac, you could have bought a computer with OS/2 pre-installed back in the day. You could have bought an amiga..

just like you could have bought a dreamcast or a ps2.. nobody bitched and complaine or sued sony for being monopolistic. After all it was sony who sind noncompete with its core developers to make sure they didn't do anything but playstation games. microsoft isn't the only one playing this "game" or being a "monopoly".

Re:oh great, i'm flamebate for having an opion. (1)

rash (83406) | about 13 years ago | (#2214919)

LOL

You do realalise microsoft has
lost severall times in court
over abusing its monopoly
to hinder other companies to
compete.

There is no need for me to get
into anny sort of argument about
it since it has been proven.

Re:Just buy it or don't! What IS the prob??? (1)

ChucklesIsMe (467226) | about 13 years ago | (#2214816)

"Nobody is holding a gun to your head. "

Surely for this crowd there will be no problem in making the choice of what OS, browser, etc. to use or not to use. However, the people reading this are not the social norm. This whole case isn't about us, it's about the people that decide they want to learn how to use email and the internet, so they go down to Best Buy and pick the one with the prettiest case and the most exclamation points in the specs ("65535 Bytes of High Speed RAM!").

Well, they take that computer home and click on something with the word "internet" in it, and chances are that will be a microsoft product. The average person is not going to download the installers for other browsers and software if it is already sitting on their desktop. Therefore they are "forced" into using microsoft products. They surely wont be downloading Red Hat rpms.

If most users are "forced" to do this, I think there is an extremely good case against Microsoft and I am puzzled as to how you can't see that as well.

Re:Just buy it or don't! What IS the prob??? (2)

cybrthng (22291) | about 13 years ago | (#2214855)

You don't FORCE anyone to do anything. Atleast if you live in the USA you don't force users to try something different, it was afterall the users that made Microsoft a Defacto. (just like you may choose to make linux your defacto).

Doesn't mean microsoft is a monopoly when it is the easiest to use, most intuitive and simple operating system that my grandma can run.

Re:Just buy it or don't! What IS the prob??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214867)

I haven't tried any of the WinXP Betas, but I have used Win2K a good bit recently and it's quite decent -- an order of magnitude better overall (UI, stability, etc.) than any other versions of Windows I've tried (95, 98, NT, Me). I'd expect XP to be better still.


Unfortunately, that's not the point.


The point is that Microsoft has been judged (by both the district court and the appellate court) to be a monopoly. That means the rules are different for them. So the argument about "the government should not be in the business of telling them what they can and cannot put in their software," while IMHO quite valid for any normal situation, does not apply here.


-dave

Re:Just buy it or don't! What IS the prob??? (1)

mshiltonj (220311) | about 13 years ago | (#2214889)

I'd rather pay 199.00 bucks for something that works out
of the box and comes with lots of software then several hours downloading, burning iso's and then chasing down the latest versions of all apps waisting a whole entire weekend
or business days (thus costing more then the 199.00 XP package).


Slight offtopic, but wasting a weekend to install linux with the latest apps might cost a business more than that $199 to buy an XP license. But all that work to set up linux only needs to be done once, then you can replicate that work with minimal time per unit across 10 or 1000 or 10000 pc with no additional cost. This is not the case XP.


But yes, it's a choice.

Re:Just buy it or don't! What IS the prob??? (1)

tfoss (203340) | about 13 years ago | (#2214894)

Probably just a troll, but I can't help it...



I mean, Windows XP is nice. It has more bundled software and features then you can shake a stick at.

Um, exactly the problem...[abuse of monopoly position]



Price is affordable,

Obviously affordable is a relative term...let's compare with linux

for the upgrade 100-200.00 seems like alot, but your getting legal mp3 encoding software, legal cd recording software,

1.Ogg Vorbis/Lame 2.Xcdroast/cdrecord (and out of curiosity, which is *illegal* cd-recording software?)

an os upgrade, compatibility with prior software and a fairly common platform that you can go to any store and buy software and hardware for.

Let's see, os upgrade...um, got that, fairly common platform...got that. I can one up you on the software as very little needs to be bought. Hardware support, pretty darn good as well.


I'd rather pay 199.00 bucks for something that works out of the box and comes with lots of software then several hours downloading, burning iso's and then chasing down the latest versions of all apps waisting a whole entire weekend or business days (thus costing more then the 199.00 XP package).

Well, then by all means do so. Personally, I'm happy and eager to spend hours getting stuff, setting it up and not only gaining a useful bunch of software but also a great deal of personal edification as well. And I don't even have to pay for it.


So now people will sue microsoft because it/they still include apps within the os.

Yup, abuse of monopoly power is still an illegal act. Applying such force to eliminate competition is (and should be) a bad thing.


Nobody sues IBM for OS/2 that was bundled with a browser (warp 3 & 4), Nobody sued Sun for including the ancient java browser and prefering that you use there browser.

No monopoly.

Windows is microsoft's product afterall. They can decide what and how they want to to work and do. Just like you can decide what and how you want to use it!

No, no they can't. There are still laws governing business practices (not that you'd know it from the state of things).

Nobody is holding a gun to your head.

Which, while probably effective, is not the only means of dictating choice.

Personally XP will be my desktop and laptop OS, linux will be my Server/web/email os and linux will also be a developer os (since i can code for my dreamcast and other devices fairly easily).

Good for you. It is fortunate that you have the ability to make such choices. That is what anti-monopoly laws are intended to preserve.


-Ted

Re:Just buy it or don't! What IS the prob??? (5, Insightful)

TBone (5692) | about 13 years ago | (#2214899)

The problem is....

I can uninstall Warp. And I can uninstall HatJava. But I can't uninstall IE. And the majority of the people out there are lazy apathetic people who are thinking "Well, it's fre, and it's already installed, and even if I install something else, it'll still be taking up space, so I'll just use this [browser|encoder|player|...]".

The issue isn't that other applications can be installed with Windows. The issue is that other applications _have_ to be installed with Windows. Not only that, but that for Windows to even work correctly, some of those applications have to be present. If you don't see the problem with this, let me try this. You can buy these CD's, but in order to do that, you have to buy this CD player. And this CD case. And this CD labeling system. You may never use these tools, but that's how the CD's come - bundled with all this other stuff.

You forget that you are a technical person probably with a broadband connection. 90% of the US, at last count, was still on 56K or slower dialup connections, and 98% of them run Windows. Sure then can download Netscape and RealPlayer and Quicktime, but they aren't going to, because it's inconvenient, and Cousin Betty got a virus the last time she installed software from the internet, or it may not work right, and then they will get pissed off, run their restore CD, and not put Netscape, Realplay, or Quicktime back on the new install.

The typical PC user is _dumb_ when it comes to how computers work and what they do. Even the non-typical ones are pretty dumb. My wife knows a good deal about computers, just from me, but when it comes down to it, she just wants her computer to work. She complained last night because she had to reboot after updating the DAT file for McAfee. Of course you have to reboot, but it was an inconvenience, and she wanted to go play EverQuest.

This case isn't about defending the rights of the Geeks to get Opera and Cygnus WinTools and stuff pre-instlaled on our computer from Dell, it's about defending the apathetic Joe Average computer user from having their entire computing experience controlled by a single company.

Re:Just buy it or don't! What IS the prob??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214900)

Christ, don't you understand? The issue is not and has never been whether or not XP is neato keen.

The issue is that Microsoft has abused their monopoly to make it virtually impossible for anybody to compete with them.

Just why do you think that Microsoft essentially has no competition? It's because they've killed them off. If you ever want to see competition to Microsoft again, you should be rooting and cheering for this court case against them.

Re:Just buy it or don't! What IS the prob??? (2)

UM_Maverick (16890) | about 13 years ago | (#2214902)

There is a HUGE difference between every company that you just mentioned and Microsoft. Microsoft the only company in the list that is a monopoly. This ruling doesn't change the fact that they are legally a monopoly...just means the punishment will be different.

Anyways, all of the rules change when you're a monopoly. One of the biggest changes is that you can't use your monopoly power in one market to push into a different market...can you seriously tell me that's not what MS is doing?

Not the issue... (1)

Flashblade! (179234) | about 13 years ago | (#2214964)

The issue is wether MS used their monopoly power to crush their competitors (in IEs case Netscape).

It's definetly a bad thing to have competition eliminated from any market.

Let me tell you what the problem is (1)

Nf1nk (443791) | about 13 years ago | (#2214967)

The problem is the OS is doing too many things that should be done with programs that exist in the OS shell


Why is this a problem?


Remeber Gator and its Ilk. Well there are going to be more of these worthelss spyware/Adware programs that will weasel their way onto our computers. Most of these psuedoviri attack the browsers and cause problems there (I have a client who installs damn near all of the and has managed to f' up explorer to the point where it can no longer handle ssl). This will become the norm as more plugins on needed to view the latest shiny thing on websites.

Perhaps most /.ers are 1337 enough to avoid these problems but my Mom isn't

Back to the point (I think I have one). As it stands now when some plugin (spyware) overwrites a critical dll or two in exploder and it stops working I can fire up nutscrape and redownload exploder and with a little luck get things working again.

With The browser part of My OS when it gets fskd It is time for a clean install and that just isn't cool

Re:Just buy it or don't! What IS the prob??? (1)

cavemanf16 (303184) | about 13 years ago | (#2214970)

The point is not whether MS is putting out good software and not being the neighborhood bully NOW...<p>
It's that they were in the past, and the courts ruled that this was anti-competitive action, and should therefore be punished accordingly. The next step now is figuring how to appropriately punish the company. Just because a mass murderer is convicted of heinous crimes, doesn't mean you let them off the hook without consequences for his/her actions!<p>
The debate now is whether or not breaking the company is too harsh, just right, or not harsh enough, or whether they should face less strict consequences for their PAST actions.

the specific news is... (2)

jeffsenter (95083) | about 13 years ago | (#2214730)

The new news is that Judge Collen Kollar-Kotelly was the specific judge selected to hear the case. I believe everything else has been known already.
NYTimes story (no login link) [nytimes.com]

Re:the specific news is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214810)

Why doesn't the link above have a [nytimes.com] after it?

Re:the specific news is... (1)

jeffsenter (95083) | about 13 years ago | (#2214860)

I was wondering that too... I think it was added automatically by Slashcode... Slashdot just upgraded to Slashcode 2.2... you may notice that the comments are also numbered differently... instead of being like comment #60 it is #22148xx

so... (1)

sgups (449689) | about 13 years ago | (#2214744)

so assuming MS is forced to break up, will it be good for the IT industry or will there be more unemployed geeks. What were the short and long term effects on the telecom industry when ATT ???was forced to break up in terms of employment figures, efficiency n cost to consumer?

At this rate... (4, Insightful)

ferratus (244145) | about 13 years ago | (#2214746)

...Bill Gates' son will be dead before the court agrees on something definitive for Microsoft. There's so many appeals of appeals of procedures that were basically just sub-appeals of some appeals of the real thing that it will never end.

This is getting ridiculous. This is clearly a flaw and in the way US's law-model was designed. If you have the money, you can go on and on and on as long as you want.

I dissagree (1)

Str8Dog (240982) | about 13 years ago | (#2214882)

If the U.S. system allows me to sit on deathrow for 20 years apealing my conviction for a murder that I did not commit, the same priviledge should be extended to Microsoft.

I too am irritated by the tactics that M$ has employeed, but I am willing to let justice run its due coarse.

Re:At this rate... (1)

Sigh Phi (324315) | about 13 years ago | (#2214963)

Except that Microsoft isn't a person.

If the company gets broken up, nobody dies. Some people may lose their jobs, but for most (possibly all) of them, that will be a temporary condition.

Yes, American legal tradition has given corporations the same rights as individuals. Is that really a *good* thing?

Duh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214781)

Um... OLD news.

Happy Birthday Linux (4, Funny)

gmhowell (26755) | about 13 years ago | (#2214785)

Hope you liked your present!

Love,
US Appeals Court

Re:Happy Birthday Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214937)

Would be appropriate had Netscape's b-day been today.

Clarification (3, Informative)

rgmoore (133276) | about 13 years ago | (#2214790)

While the /. article is factually correct, it missed the main point of the action today. The big thing that happened today is that they selected the judge (Kollar-Kotelly) who will be re-hearing the penalty phase. Kollar-Kotelly is a Clinton appointee. There's a biography of her here [uscourts.gov] , but it doesn't tell much about her politics. Anyone know what her attitude is likely to be?

Re:Clarification (3, Funny)

aralin (107264) | about 13 years ago | (#2214875)

Well, as I read her bio, she is teaching about mentally ill and law which seems to fit perfectly to this case, regarding the actions of Bill and Steve.

So? (1)

marleyboy (174610) | about 13 years ago | (#2214792)

Microsoft is a steamroller, there ain't no stoppin their release dates, especially when it's airlifted.

"Microsoft has misconstrued our opinion" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214793)

"It appears that Microsoft has misconstrued our opinion, particularly with respect to what would have been required to justify vacating the district court's findings of fact and conclusions of law," the court wrote. Precious...but all the satisfaction we'll likely get. The US civil legal system was originally setup to arbite differences between wealthy landowner's just as was England's. However, clever business interests set something in motion that usruped that intent, something the foudners never anitcipation: the corporation. Now the legal system works for the corproation and rarely to the benefit of individuals nor the public trust. Enjoy these precious few moral victories, in the end it will be all we get but may allow us look up from our Hailsotrm/Passport interface devices, which became the sole and only government- and telco-authorized standard in 2005, and smile--we still remeber how it used to be: free as in beer.

Too late... XP out today (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214809)

M$ published the RTM version of XP today.. i wonder how that will impact the senate hearings over bundlings and what not. I've played with the betas and I quite frankly don't see a problem with them bundling WMP 8 or instant messenger. I'm still going to stick to GDivX and jabber (just in case MS is spying on me!). As for the java download... it's just a few minutes.

"Mom! Microsoft is oppressing me again!"

Quote from Fox News Article (1)

trix_e (202696) | about 13 years ago | (#2214820)

"Microsoft had also said that if the appeals court didn't put the case on hold, it would put the public's faith in the judicial system in jeopardy."


Ooohh... so many responses... so little time...

1. Because having a multi-year, hugely expensive, legal c*rcle-j*rk will make us all feel *so* much better about our jurisprudence system...

2. Gee... Thanks M$! I always knew that you guys were all a big bunch of softies, that had my best interest at heart the whole time! I'll sleep so much better tonight knowing that you guys are looking out for the little guy :-*

3. And God knows that wouldn't be the first time something to do with M$ is put on hold indefinitely...


"anyone? anyone?... D-O-O Economics... Voodoo Economics..."


-c

What will the dead think about this? (2)

zombieking (177383) | about 13 years ago | (#2214829)

According to this article, [nwsource.com] the dead just love Microsoft. Even writing letters from beyond the gave in support of M$. This is not a troll (I wish it was).

personally... (1)

mickeyreznor (320351) | about 13 years ago | (#2214834)

i'd just like to see them punished for what they did to spyglass. This whole bundling thing i could care less, but if this gives justice for spyglass, then so be it.

I think a fitting punishment(though not really a punishment, just enforcing what should have been done in the first place), is that they should pay royalties to spyglass for all sales of windows. Why? well, they're agreement was: royalties for all sales from internet explorer. Well, since it has been stated time and time again that IE *is* part of the Windows OS, then they should be entitled to royalties from all windows OS sales(except for NT and Win95, since IE isn't "tied" to those OSs). Fair enough?

Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly (4, Informative)

los furtive (232491) | about 13 years ago | (#2214839)

Obviously the most important fact about this announcement is that we have a new (and hopefuly more competent) judge involved.



First the good news, Judge Kollar-Kotelly [uscourts.gov] has worked as an attorney for the Department of Justice before and should therefore be sympathetic to the limited resources available to them compared to the big money behind Microsoft.


More good news, she's decided against the Big Banks before and in favour of the credit unions in one of her previous decisions [house.gov] .


She also appears to have seen through the foolishness of some patents in another one of her judgements [google.com] , this time against the pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb.



Anyone have any other pertinent info?

Re:Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly (3, Funny)

BDew (202321) | about 13 years ago | (#2214943)

For those of you who aren't from the DC area, St. Elizabeth's Hospital (for whom Dr. Kollar-Kotelly was once chief legal counsel) is DC's mental institution. Seems like she's got plenty of the right kind of experience to me...

Windows XP has been RTM today (1)

Drestin (82768) | about 13 years ago | (#2214859)

This is the REAL news. Windows XP is finally done and was given to the top PC makers. It's petty denial for Slashdot to NOT cover this.

now we get to hear about Kollar-Kotelly (5, Informative)

Cy Guy (56083) | about 13 years ago | (#2214863)

I did a quick Google on her and she seems to be fairly moderate, possiblly leaning more toward the little guy vs. the big monopolisitc company. The decisions that got her the most press seem to be:
  • Siding with Credit Unions on allowing them an expansive definition of who can qualify as a CU member in a civil decision against the American Bankers Association.
  • Deciding that the FDA can regulate/label GM foods just like any other food additive. Not likely to make the Greens happy, but a reasonable, consumer/regulatory friendly decision. And,
  • Finding against the CIA in FOIA suit brought by the National Security Archive, requesting bios the CIA prepared on Communist leaders. This was aparently the first decision that didn't uphold a doctrine held by the CIA that they didn't have to release documents if it they claimed to neither confirm nor deny the very existence of the documents, however, it was on a technicality that the CIA in fact already acknowledged the documents existed [gwu.edu]
Trying to find anything related to a previous antitrust decision was basically fruitless, though she aparently was the presiding judge that signed off on an agreement between the DoJ AntiTrust division and Fox Television.

once again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214864)

the anti-trust issue is shite. Those pathetic vendors that are brining this to bear are just sore that they stupidly and foolishly let M$ steam roll them instead of having the cajones to stand up to them and fight for the customer and their own future.

What NEEDS to be done is help foster the accountability if MS for those people, organizations and companies that have lost resources from microsoft products and policies, whether that is from the time it takes to repair damage from known but unfixed flaws, adding features that were listed as already in the product but where not in reality, development time to integrate around the MS standards hating policy with your legacy systems (that M$ should have warned would not work) and other such cases. NOT frivilous lawsuits but real business loss just like if a company bought a fleet of cars from brand 'Z' and found only later that they didn't work with standard gas, on standard roads, with standard driving processes and where broken more times than working even to include dangerous features like explosions upon fender benders. Especially if they knew of this and didn't warn of the danger. Its all a difference between me using an electric screw driver correctly and it explodes and melts my hands and face flesh versus me sticking it in my eye and suing them for not telling me to not stick this product in my eye.

M$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214903)

Microsoft is just another closed source company that i don't give a shit about, much like VA Linux...

flamebait! (2, Funny)

psychalgia (457201) | about 13 years ago | (#2214922)

a LINUX story AND a MICROSOFT story within one break of each other? You really wanted to load test the banjo today, eh? heh,

my solution (1)

blamanj (253811) | about 13 years ago | (#2214932)

Since any appropriate punishment should a) hurt, b) be relevant to the issue at hand, and c) take future actions into account, I propose the following.

1) Microsoft should be forced to bundle Word and Excel with every desktop copy of Windows.

The rationale here is that MS claims they simply want to improve the OS by bundling. Well, every desktop user needs these features, but MS has never bundled these applications -- why should they, since they have a de facto monopoly on word processing and spreadsheets, they just continue to rake in the dough. This punishment makes them practice what they preach and punishes them by depriving them of the revenue from Word and Excel.

2) Microsoft may continue to bundle applications or "new features" but they must publicly announce what applications are to be bundled and give reasonable feature descriptions of those applications at least two years before they appear in any release.

This addresses future behavior. Competitors will have a heads up, and will be able to decided whether they want to continue to compete or choose to modify their products to highlight differences between their offering and that of Microsoft.

I just want to know one thing... (2, Interesting)

sjbe (173966) | about 13 years ago | (#2214941)

If MS is broken up (ignore for the moment whether that is the right remedy or not) where will all the .NET stuff go? Will it go with the OS side, the apps side, some combination? At a glance it would go with the OS side, but is that the Right Thing? Will it all just dry up and go away? It's not such an easy question it seems.


Wondering where this initiative of MS will go worries me slightly. I'd hate for the court to unwittingly unleash a "monster" without some method of redress should whatever remedy they come up with prove innefectual.

Re: If MS gets broken up.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214975)

Since this is a part of Jackson's ruling that was overruled, it's somewhat unlikely that it will be advanced again as the "final solution."

question for M$ (1)

athagon (410963) | about 13 years ago | (#2214947)

news like this makes one wonder: why do we bother? through my hate for microsoft, this doesnt seen a valuable spending of the US budget. if things continue the way they have been, and i feel sure that micro$osft's insane legal defense will make sure it does, then every time a negative ruling is passed onto microsoft, it'll get pushed into the appeals court again. my question for micro$oft would be, however, is this really better for the company (or hopefully companies)? constantly screwing up, denying, appeals, screwing up, and around and around again isnt exactly good press. wouldnt, or might it not be better for the company if you were to say "you know what? we screwed up, and we're sorry. go ahead and break us up." who knows, if M$ is broken up, it might even make more profits then it will be with the bad press.

Bill Maher (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2214965)

when will he stop calling himself a Libertarian... he might have some Libertarian leanings, but he is a liberal. Plus, his one sided emotionall atacks are typical liberal fare, so lets be honest Bill!
hehehe, offtopic is fun
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