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Microsoft Flouting DOJ Settlement?

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the par-for-the-course dept.

Microsoft 580

An anonymous reader writes "According to the Washington Post, Microsoft is not adhering to the terms of its deal with the DOJ. Specifically, there are allegations that it is "trying to license key pieces of its technology at inflated rates" and "thwarting its antitrust settlement with the federal government". They're charging $100,000 just to see technical info about their communication protocols, and you only get $50,000 back if you decide you don't want to license them. Whoda thunk?"

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580 comments

Forst Pist (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190283)

Woot!

That's ok.... (5, Funny)

Got-Tea-Rolls (681042) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190284)

because I don't abide by their EULAs either, so it all settles out.

Re:That's ok.... (-1, Redundant)

jkrise (535370) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190328)

I don't either. Can I get my $50,000?

GOATSEGUY - I LOVE YOU!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190410)

Long live the goat!!

...get in line motherfuckers and have some respect.

ObFightClub (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190294)

I am Jack's utter lack of surprise.

gosh (5, Funny)

boogy nightmare (207669) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190297)

oh shock horror, never saw that one coming.....

i mean really, what did you think they were going to do.

S

Re:gosh (5, Funny)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190356)

Oh I'm crushed that Microsoft is not living up to the agreement.

Next you will be telling me there is no Santa Claus.

Re:gosh (3, Interesting)

boogy nightmare (207669) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190414)

love that sig...

but i laught at it

http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp ?s t=1&c=223

128k, you were priveliged, now wait until this ends up as a "my computer was crapper than yours" thread

whats the lowest oldest 'puter any programmed BASIC on...

Re:gosh (4, Funny)

kin_korn_karn (466864) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190444)

now wait until this ends up as a "my computer was crapper than yours" thread

that is a fine computer.. for me to poop on!

Re:gosh (2, Insightful)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190514)

It's not how crappy the computer you had to work with, it's how much you learned while overcoming its iniquities.

Re:gosh (0, Offtopic)

boogy nightmare (207669) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190554)

bloody good point that person...

i remember learning how to programme from sinclair user magazine, programming an entire programme in one sigle session and then discovering it did not work and then spending twice as long debugging it.. and then slamming the tape in and

save "my progamme" line 10 so it ran automatically

as theres a stroll down memory lane

Re:gosh (5, Funny)

hendridm (302246) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190528)

> Next you will be telling me there is no Santa Claus.

Give me about a year or so and I'll be telling you there is no Santa Cruz (Operation).

Okay.. (5, Funny)

jagilbertvt (447707) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190298)

So, we pay $100k to find out they have no communication protocols, and only get $50k back? I'll charge half that if anyone's interested in seeing my communication protocols.

Re:Okay.. (5, Funny)

yatest5 (455123) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190331)

So, we pay $100k to find out they have no communication protocols, and only get $50k back? I'll charge half that if anyone's interested in seeing my communication protocols.

Yeah, don't wait up - not too much interest in "uh, huh-huh, you're a girl, aren't you, uh-huh-huh-huh".

damn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190300)

tp! ...

supose... (2, Insightful)

uhhhhhhh (673093) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190302)

it's their perogative to charge what they want for information. Supply and Demand may change it eventually but they can start the prices where ever they want.

Re:supose... (5, Insightful)

julesh (229690) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190334)

Except of course that part of their settlement for abusing their monopoly position was a court order that they open all the information on their protocols to the general public.

Re:supose... (4, Informative)

Mr2cents (323101) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190503)

Microsoft couldn't care less about the law. They just do whatever they like, and if they get a settlement, they implement THAT however they like. Just plain arrogance.

Re:supose... (5, Insightful)

Daemonik (171801) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190352)

In a market with actual competition that would work. Unfortunately Microsoft is a convicted monopolist, which puts it out of the supply/demand argument as they supply what they want, to whom they want, under whatever terms they want, to the detriment of an open market.

Re:supose... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190376)

jesus christ, dont you know this is slashdot and MS is evil?

do you fucking work for MS or something and are blissfully ignorant? brainwashed by their PR dept. perhaps?

Re:supose... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190437)

That's what the slashdot crowd don't realise. Supply and demand is how the market works, and has always worked. Microsoft wouldn't be a monopoly if demand didn't dictate that they were the major supplier. While I don't like some of their business tactics, they are in the position they're in as a monopoly because customers who bought their software put them there.

It would be interesting to see how much Apple charge to see developer documentation for example, and then post a story on slashdot to see how the masses react. I bet they wouldn't want to crucify Jobs and co, despite them being no different to MS, just smaller. It saddens me

Re:supose... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190508)

Did you understand one single thing during the Microsoft trial? Have you any slight appreciation whatsoever as to what antitrust law is for?

mE am BRAzIL! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190303)

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Re:mE am BRAzIL! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190530)

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Surely you jest? (5, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190308)


How can you suggest such a thing? There's absolutely no evidence that Microsoft isn't just as well behaved as every other American corporation, such as Enron, WorldCom, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, etc.

GWBush will clean up the corruption (2, Insightful)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190374)

Riiiiight.

There are consequences to actions. Unfortunately the American people cannot seem to draw a line between point A and point B.

Yes, he will. (1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190404)

The Enron scandal flourished under Clinton, but ended under the Bush administration.

And the Halliburton Scandal is still going strong (-1, Offtopic)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190448)

Never ending no-bid guaranteed price+profit contracts (with the price set by Halliburton at whatever they say it is) for providing food, transport, services to the Armed forces and fixing and administering the Iraqi oil wells.

Re:Yes, he will. (2, Insightful)

re-geeked (113937) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190454)

Right after he appointed all their corporate officers to his cabinet.

Right after he finds the WMD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190415)

And Osama. And Mullah Omar. And Saddam. And Uday. And Qisay. And ...Oh never mind.

He will have to invade Syria (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190471)

He will have to invade and liberate Syria in order to find a few of these.

yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190532)

like he invaded Iraq to find weapons of massdestruction..

Reasonable and non-discriminatory (1, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190310)

They're charging just $ 100,000 to inspect - just consider! MS spends $5 bn in R&D, yet the fruits of the R&D can be inspected for just .001% of their investment!

If that ain't reasonable, what is? You thought you could see the MS code for free? You got to be a non-American govt. threatening to use Open Source, for that sort of privilege.

Re:Reasonable and non-discriminatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190368)

> They're charging just $ 100,000 to inspect - just
> consider! MS spends $5 bn in R&D

And your source for this information is?...

I mean, really, how on earth can MS spend $5 *billion* on R&D. They're primarily a software company that *buys* most of their ideas from other places.

And if they spend $5 billion on R&D, why does so much of their stuff suck?

Re:Reasonable and non-discriminatory (5, Interesting)

cybaea (79975) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190473)

They're charging just $ 100,000 to inspect - just onsider! MS spends $5 bn in R&D

And your source for this information is?...

I mean, really, how on earth can MS spend $5 *billion* on R&D

Oh, they manage. They financial statements [yahoo.com] show that they spend just over $1.1bn per quarter on R&D.

And if they spend $5 billion on R&D, why does so much of their stuff suck?

Because people will buy it regardless? The effort is not primarily to make their "stuff" better, but to develop new stuff - think X-box, DRM, etc.

Re:Reasonable and non-discriminatory (5, Insightful)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190397)

Usually, I'm an anti-MS zealot, but this time I agree with you. It's not a fee, it's a deterrent. I would love to get a copy of MS's protocols so I could write a proper exchange connector for unix. But I don't have a hundred grand to pony up, so it ain't gonna happen.

This isn't unfair competitive practices, this is competitive practices designed to protect their trade secrets. They are essentially showing the holy grail of linux computing, so why shouldn't they charge an admission fee?

Re:Reasonable and non-discriminatory (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190446)

so why shouldn't they charge an admission fee?
Because they are a convicted monopoly?

Re:Reasonable and non-discriminatory (4, Insightful)

Alranor (472986) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190456)

so why shouldn't they charge an admission fee?

Oh I dunno, maybe because the DOJ settlement said they had to? Or is that not a good enough reason for you?

Perhaps... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190421)

if a court had not explicitly said that they must show the public all of their protocols, which I assume means for FREE, because microsoft abused their monopoly.

Re:Reasonable and non-discriminatory (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190422)

Ah stuff it, you whiny bastard. They are a *convicted* monopolist. The opening of the protocols is part of the *verdict*. Ponder this quote:

"There is something fundamentally wrong with requiring Novell to pay large sums of money to access information that the court determined Microsoft illegally withheld," said Ryan Richards, a Novell vice president and deputy general counsel. "Microsoft breaks the law and Novell pays for the remedy."

So no, $100.000 is not reasonable, it's extortion.

mod this bitch up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190450)

mod this bitch up

To the sarcasm challenged... (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190467)

"$100.000 is not reasonable, it's extortion"

I was just quoting the MS party line there. Would you actually pay a 100 grand to read a billion lines of junk?

Likewise on non-discriminatory.

You can never go broke underestimating American intelligence.

Yep. Microsoft is fuckin' EVIL (3, Funny)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190311)

Next on slashdot: The sun is fuckin' HOT

Whine Whine (-1, Redundant)

yatest5 (455123) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190312)

Linux rules, MS Monopoly, in my momma's basement I have no MS software, I am a know-nothing student, shitty anti-MS joke.

Moderators, please mark all subsequent posts 'redundant'.

Dear yatest5 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190349)

I saw you on the bus the other day. You were wearing a black skirt and pink blouse, and bright red lipstick. Your adams apple was sticking out over the scarf you were wearing in an attempt to hide it, but I could see the driver staring as you got on. I was staring too. Did you see me? I think you're hot, yatest5. Not only do you look good in female clothing, you're a master troll on Slashdot. Do you have any idea how much that turns me on? Oh, but of course you do!

So, my dearest yatest5, can you please bend over so that I may lick your asshole?

Yours,

The guy on the bus you were eyeing up.

Re:Dear yatest5 (-1, Offtopic)

yatest5 (455123) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190409)

Go for it man, I love virgins.

Wrong Story Came Up (-1, Offtopic)

moehoward (668736) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190313)

Isn't the story about hydrogen fuel cells possibly being dangerous to the ozone layer a bit more newsworthy for slashdotters than this tripe?

Give me a break. Slashdot is going seriously overboard in Microsoft bashing. This is such a non-story that it is almost embarassing.

Re:Wrong Story Came Up (0, Offtopic)

TamMan2000 (578899) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190387)

I submitted that story too, and had it promptly rejected... oh well...

Re:Wrong Story Came Up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190451)

How is this a "non-story"? It's significant enough for the Washington Post to dedicate space to it. A true "non-story" would look something like this:

An anonymous reader reports: "I think MS is violating the GPL because it has BSD code in the TCP/IP stack. I grepped the strings output from ftp and found the letters 'B', 'S' and 'D'."

The fact is, MS isn't even living up to the trivial non-settlement it agreed to in its anti-trust case. Pointing out that fact is not "going seriously overboard in Microsoft bashing." Factual reporting isn't bashing.

Re:Wrong Story Came Up (4, Insightful)

moehoward (668736) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190520)

The fact is that I can browse a few news sources and come up with significantly more fascinating, interesting, and topical stories than this. It is also news that Peoplesoft rejected Oracle's bid. It is actually BIGGER news than this MS junk.

There are a good one hundred technology/business stories a day. Singling out this one is not just politically motivated, it is childish. That is my point. If you really think slashdotters are into business related technology stories, then you need to report on the big stories, not the ones that make your "competition" look bad. This is fundamental editorial ethics.

What?! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190315)

Thats a scandalous acussation! Microsoft are kind and gentle, and they certainly learnt their lesson after the nasty talking to the DOJ gave them after that whole "monopoly abusing" thing. Balmer and Gates are such nice men and they wear such nice suits, how could you even think of making such a slanderous comment?

No, I'm sure they're just misunderstood.

No way! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190317)

Microsoft is being accused of doing something illegal on slashdot?

What's next? More SCO villification?

Re:No way! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190408)

yeah were is my SCO story for the day?, im bored at work and need to read some bitching to get me into the mood for bashing users at the meeting this afternoon

Re:No way! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190529)

Absolutely... today is "The Day" isn't it? They may be holding off until around the close of business time. Having 2 SCO articles isn't beyond /. though... so....

Did you expect them to play by the rules (0, Flamebait)

Steven Edwards (677151) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190319)

We have seen this before. The only way this is ever going to change is if we shut Microsoft down. Go help a Open Source project anything else is just noise.

But they PROMISED... (5, Interesting)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190320)


They even had to set up a committee internally to make sure they didn't break the rules. Surely the DoJ wouldn't have given them such a limp-wristed settlement if it didn't believe they were honest people.

Oh hang on its only George Bush who lives in a 1950s "Wonderful Life" style world.

Is ANYONE suprised by this move ? M$ have also just bought some AV software, umm will they bundle theirs into the OS to drive other people away, its a shot in the dark, and against the DoJ settlement but it might just be true.

M$ know that with the massively pro-business pro-monopoly president there is right now that they have AT LEAST 5 more years before a President who might go after them. Add 5-10 years of DoJ cases and they might get the next numbskull to let them off.

The only hope for the US Software industry is if the EU crackdown.

Pro-monopoly president? No (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190435)

"M$ know that with the massively pro-business pro-monopoly president "

We don't have one. Perhaps you are thinking of the very misleading hype about "media concentration"?

Did you know that if Clear Channel doubled the number of stations it now holds, it would have less than 20% of radio stations.

"Oh hang on its only George Bush who lives in a 1950s "Wonderful Life" style world."

Erm, he's moving us away from eras like the 50s when taxes were extremely high.

Re:Pro-monopoly president? No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190543)

Erm, he's moving us away from eras like the 50s when taxes were extremely high.
Yeah, towards eras like the '20s when financial "irregularities" were extremely high.

OT (Re:But they PROMISED...) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190541)

I have to agree with you that Bush will probably get re-elected. To the general public it would seem that Bush can't do anything wrong. The Democrats are painted into a corner. And if Israel and Palestine end up making a peace agreement, Bush will be hailed as a hero.

All together, with a vaguely French accent: (5, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190322)

The low number of licensees concerns the Justice Department, which says it is devoting extensive resources to evaluating the program.

"I'm Shocked! Shocked!"

Windows Update (5, Funny)

PFactor (135319) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190324)

I bet DOJ used Windows Update. Now, none of their computers work. That would explain their lack of follow-through in this case.

Drugs are bad (3, Redundant)

haydenth (588730) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190335)

If any of you thought for a second that Microsoft would actually abide by the settlement with the DOJ you are on crack. What incentive do they have to abide by it? What is the worst that will happen if they don't abide by it? They'll get taken back to court the DOJ, and I'm sure they'll settle again and continue doing what they are doing. I personally have no problem with Microsoft, but If the DOJ is going to settle with them, they better be prepared to enforce the settlement.

Re: Drugs are bad (2, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190534)


> If any of you thought for a second that Microsoft would actually abide by the settlement with the DOJ you are on crack.

Don't be so dogmatic. After my lombotomy I gave up crack for LSD, and I still thought the same thing for a second.

No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190338)

To be honest, none of this surprises me. If you think about it, there's nobody who can (or is willing) to stop them. They can break whatever laws they want with impunity.

DUH!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190353)

Hello you must be new here, here in America large multinational corporations are allowed 3, 4, shit even a dozen strikes before the feds start to care.

next you people are gonna figure out that your vote dosen't matter and are going to shit a brick?

Wristslap Pain is a Memory (5, Interesting)

4of12 (97621) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190355)


No, this is not a big surprise to the very large crowd of people who think MS got off lightly for what they have done.

The significance, though, is that there are still a couple of states (WV, MA, I think) holding out on the DOJ settlement.

Their case could be made stronger if they can show the settlement is not working properly.

Well, DUH! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190361)

Haw haw!

Maybe this wasn't such a good idea (5, Funny)

bpland (529369) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190362)

"Basically, I'd have to shoot the engineers when they came back," said one irate company executive.

So this is what happens to our best and brightest programmers.....

Thunking (3, Funny)

julesh (229690) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190365)

Whoda thunk?

I would. Thunking is fun, and a wonderful way of ensuring you keep compatible. Try thunking to another operating system running in a virtual machine, that's cool :-)

Well... (2, Interesting)

Lord Kholdan (670731) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190369)

What they're doing might be immoral, but illegal? Hardly. If they ask 100k from everyone wanting to use the protocol they're not discriminating against anyone.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190403)

> If they ask 100k from everyone wanting to use the
> protocol they're not discriminating against anyone.

Except, like, the poor or small businesses.

Re:Well... (0, Offtopic)

Lord Kholdan (670731) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190538)

I guess Ferrari is discriminating against them too?

M$ Wins(sic) again... (0)

JohnnySkidmarks (607274) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190373)

Ugghhh... Why did anyone think that that settlement had any teeth to begin with? M$'s legion of attourneys probably scoured it the second it was passed and decided it was null and void by the time Bill woke up next to his $5000.00/hour hooker.

Algo. for a big corporation (1)

deego (587575) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190379)


[1] Do what you like, flout all laws, profit. Laws are for others.

[2] If they sue you, get a friendly government.

[3] If you are likely to lose, settle, the settlement being "Agree to obey laws in future".

[4] Of course, don't worry to 3, go to step 1, repear.

Re:Algo. for a big corporation (1)

NeB_Zero (645301) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190476)

More like...

[1] Do what you like, flout all laws, profit. Laws are for others.

[2] If they sue you, get a friendly government.

[3] If you are likely to lose, settle, the settlement being "Agree to obey laws in future".

[4] Profit! (Repeat if desired.)

Government Endorsed the Monopoly (5, Insightful)

!Squalus (258239) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190382)

This should not come as a surprise Judge CK and Justice both bent over backwards to please Billy since Ashcroft and others could only recuse themselves from direct involvement because of the contributions they received. This does not mean they did not have a hand in giving Microsoft the power to act as though there was no settlement, it merely means that the settlement was thus: Microsoft is free to be a monopoly and self-enforcing monopolies never can do anything wrong (or at least they SEE no evil, HEAR no evil, and SPEAK of no evil that they are involved in).

Really, who won the case? Not the people, well they did, but the newly elected administration had that overturned and gave Microsoft everything they ever wanted and then some.

Crash, bang, pow! The sound of companies being crushed, jobs being lost, and consumers losing more and more to the power of a global monopoly that is in fact a de facto government taxing American citizens on a national basis every time our government (once elected - now paid) buys from the Nation of Microsoft.

Do we really want more media consolidation - must be, someone in the government says its cool for one company to own everything and offer us the same crappy meals every day.

To borrow a line we might have to get used to""You will work harder with a gun in your back for a bowl of rice a day."

Thanks to Justice and Judge CK the animal is free to prowl and kill whatever it wants. Nice, real nice.

Price Inflation? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190383)

there are allegations that it is "trying to license key pieces of its technology at inflated rates" Doesn't the fact that they are trying to dump other pieces of technology balance this out, though? mmmmmm... $50 windows licenses.....

Interesting licensing details: (4, Insightful)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190384)

Microsoft requires companies that license the protocols to be audited -- at their own expense, by a third-party auditor selected by Microsoft -- to ensure that they are only using them for appropriate purposes. This raises the possibility of the auditor learning about the company's new product and its source code, but companies say they have no information on how much the auditor could then pass on to Microsoft.

Wow! Paying someone to steal your intellectual property. Thank you Microsoft. Now I understand all that innovation.

At the urging of the Justice Department, Microsoft will now allow engineers from potential licensees to visit its headquarters to examine more technical data. But the rivals say the company is requiring the engineers to sign such strict confidentiality agreements that their ability to work on related products for their employers would be hampered.

"Basically, I'd have to shoot the engineers when they came back," said one irate company executive.

Wow! Paying Microsoft to make your employees unuseable. Thank you Microsoft. Useful employees were a burden anyway.

Shoot the engineers?!? (5, Funny)

dereklam (621517) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190385)

"Basically, I'd have to shoot the engineers when they came back," said one irate company executive.

Yeah, I'd do the same thing if I were forced to send my engineers to visit Redmond...

Justice systems fails again (1)

NeB_Zero (645301) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190391)

Once again, our justice system has failed the consumers. "Sure, Microsoft is acting in restriction of trade. Let's warn them that they should probably let ppl know how to code for their OS."

Microsoft funds their campaigns, so they stand there with their thumbs up their asses acting as if they have done all they can. They are the government, dammit!!!!

I'm moving to Canada, at least if my tech job goes under up there I can still get healthcare.

Which protocols? (4, Interesting)

Zathrus (232140) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190393)

Anyone have a list of the protocols under discussion? The article refers to there being 133 protocols in the package, and there are claims (refuted by MS) that some of them are in the public domain (by which I suspect they mistakenly include open source solutions like Samba).

So, what protocols are they? I'm certain that a large number haven't been externally engineered, but I'd be willing to bet that quite a few have, or that they originate from public protocols that MS has since modified.

DOJ ph34rs MS (4, Insightful)

Graspee_Leemoor (302316) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190396)

'"We have made progress with Microsoft," one official said, adding that the department is following up on complaints from other firms. "We have gotten them to make changes."'

This just shows how scared the DOJ is of MS. I mean if I got taken to court for not paying back a loan and the court ordered me to pay £x back per month and I only paid a fraction of it back per month do you think they would say "We have made progress with graspee. We have gotten him to pay back some of the money he owes." ???

graspee

What a shock (1)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190398)

After the last time Microsoft was found guilty the chaiman of Enron was playing golf with the chairman of Worldcom, so goes the story...

"So Bob, should we stop doing business with these criminals?"
"Hell no, Joe, I just got a $2bn kickback! Ye hah for corporate America! Anything goes."
"Good thinking Bob, oh, and I love your new caddy by the way - a Senator is just so much better than my Congressman."

First Ninnle Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190425)

Fsck Micro$oft!

Switch to Ninnle Linux today!

www.linuxiso.org

Samba (5, Interesting)

barcodez (580516) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190433)

How does this effect reverse engineering projects such as Samba (smb) and Gaim (MSN)? Is it free if you can figure it out using a packet sniffer?

I'm amazed (0, Redundant)

doinky (633328) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190455)

that of all of the comments in my threshold, only two were from died-in-the-wool libertarians who think we should just Leave Heroic Microsoft Alone.

Is Slashdot finally growing up?

Libertarian attitude is the most mature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190502)

"Is Slashdot finally growing up?"

The libertarian attitude is the most mature. It is a matter of growing past the perception that whatever the government does is good.

The problem could be solved by getting government out of it. Stop the harassment of Microsoft. Then, turn around and get rid of the DMCA so anyone can hack around Microsoft's silly restrictions.

DOJ Scared? (4, Interesting)

SamBC (600988) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190469)

It is mentioned in the article, and in some comments before mine, that the DOJ seems to be scared of Microsoft. Indeed, the behaviour even seems to suggest it - they are behaving very trepidatiously, despite their obvious power within the US.

My question is, why are they scared? What have they to be scared of?

Blech - yet another legal tech story (YALTS) (2, Insightful)

zptdooda (28851) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190480)

⦠or rather same old legal-tech story (SOLTS)

How come so many of the tech stories nowadays include the words:
court, settlement, legal .

Getting tired of the misbehaviour and squabbling frankly.

All right letâ(TM)s see:

Loophole alert: âoeOne unusual provision, however, allows Microsoft to license some of the code â¦â

So thereâ(TM)s a disagreement on interpreting the scope of a term of the settlement. Just great.

⦠and now the second page of the storyâ(TM)s Slashdotted - prolly donâ(TM)t want to see it anyways â" ah, here it isâ¦

âMicrosoft requires companies that license the protocols to be audited -- at their own expense, by a third-party auditor selected by Microsoftâ

Then it isnâ(TM)t strictly third party, is it? Sort of more 1.3rd party than third party.

⦠and then theyâ(TM)re using a reverse version of SCOâ(TM)s NDA tactic, allowing them to potentially receive more information than they need in spirit. Did they learn this play from the same coach?

Howâ(TM)s the tail of this disagreement ever going to be chopped for good?

Why are so many people bitching about this?... (2, Insightful)

alchemist68 (550641) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190486)

If the enemy in a war (legal or otherwise) is not defeated on every front, it will come back to fight again in the future. This is an ingrained law in our survival instincts. It's all about obtain resources to ensure survival. It's also a component or the very seat of primate social dynamics and POLITICS. The Borg undefeated, will regroup and launch another attack in a DIFFERENT area. Has Star Trek taught us nothing? Defeating the Borg requires implanting a fractal virus in their neural net, like this hasn't been tried before and would not be difficult to do again with its rampant security holes. People, seriously, to beat M$ is going to require a coordinated strategy on multiple fronts from negative advertising, publishing the truth about its business tactics, translating legalese of the EULA into common laymen's terms, word of mouth, and absolute bias towards other alternatives (Linux, Lindows, Mac OS X, etc...). This requires pushing hard the alternatives showing clear examples (demos) that are more cost efficient than M$ bugware.

communication protocols? (5, Funny)

bilbobuggins (535860) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190500)

why the hell would i pay $100,000 to look at freebsd code?

Appropriate purposes? (4, Funny)

pubjames (468013) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190506)

From the article:

Microsoft requires companies that license the protocols to be audited -- at their own expense, by a third-party auditor selected by Microsoft -- to ensure that they are only using them for appropriate purposes.

What are "appropriate purposes" when it comes to protocols?

Auditor [pointing, exasperated] And what the hell are you using that one for?

Company rep Oh, we keep donuts in that one.

Auditor And that one?

Company rep Oh, that one is forced into the green button on the air-conditioner, otherwise it keeps switching itself off.

Auditor That one?

Company rep Oh. Erm. Sorry. We ran out of cat litter.

Auditor I am truly shocked at your inappropriate use of MS protocols! You'll be hearing from Bill Gates about this!

No surprise... (1)

Mipsalawishus (674206) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190513)

that the DOJ is intimidated by microshaft. What the DOJ needs someone with the scruples of a modern day Elliott Ness who will play hard ball with these people. They are obviously above the law in my opinion. When is it enough from the greedy bastards in Redmond(New Berlin) ? It's time to drag their asses back into court and really give them a good goatse treatment that's long overdue.

WHAT did you expect it to WORK !!! (1)

fish_in_the_c (577259) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190515)


did anyone really , given Microsoftâ(TM)s history , really expect them to abide by any anti-trust suit. The only reason they weren't broken up is because we have a republican president who believe in free enterprise at all costs and wasn't really interested in attacking one of America's most successful corporations because of the conservative political backlash. They deserve to be broken up for there tactics just as much as standard oil , or any of the companies that the anti-trust laws were written to prevent from strangling the market. I think this is the kind of thing that the pendulum swings back and forth on. We have slowly allowed anti-trust laws to be abused and weakened by all kinds of unfair business practices. That's why corporations like Disney have so much power. One concept that has been completely ignored for years in the corporate law is the idea of a company charter. The statement about what is your company given the right to do by the government. ( it's part of your incorporation papers i believe.) they are never enforced. If they were 3M would not have been allowed to leave the Mining and Manufacture market sector and it's owners would have had to sell there assets and create a new corporation. What it should prevent is over diversification of a business. corporations should not be allowed to do everything and anything they want. If you make an operating system you should not be allowed to also make a word processor and a cell phone because they are different products and should require a different corporation to make them. I wish they would go back to this kind of law. Then again there all kinds of abuse of IP law as well , both copywriter and patent by people who are happy to entirely pervert the intent of the original laws to make more money and we have corrupt legislators and administrators who are happy to see it happen because after all if it is "good for big business" it must also be "good for the economy". The REAL problem is this. When laws become unjust the citizens stop obeying them. When the average citizen does not obey the law then the law itself is weakened and must be re-enforced by police action. The police action eventually leads to rebellion. I worry about what kind of a revelation can be had in a day and age when everything we do and say even in our homes can be monitored, but one way or another it will probably eventually come. All societies live, die and morph into another. It will happen with this one too and in the long run all this is part of that happening. Still a person likes to stay healthy as long as possible and breaking Microsoft up would help keep the U.S. a healthy society. One day some president will have the guts to do it, I hope.

the solution to corporatism: help to save america (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6190517)

http://unbrandamerica.org/home.html [unbrandamerica.org]

In the coming months a black spot will pop up everywhere . . . on store windows and newspaper boxes, on gas pumps and supermarket shelves. Open a magazine or newspaper - it's there. It's on TV. It stains the logos and smears the nerve centers of the world's biggest corporations.

This is the mark of the people who don't approve of Bush's plan to control the world, who don't want countries "liberated" without UN backing, who can't stand anymore neo-con bravado shoved down their throats.

This is the mark of the people who want the Kyoto Protocol for the environment, who want the International Criminal Court for greater justice, who want a world where all nations, including the U.S.A., are free of weapons of mass destruction.

This is our pledge:

Because my country has sold its soul to corporate power,
Because consumerism has become our national religion,
Because we've forgotten the true meaning of freedom,
And because patriotism now means agreeing with the president,
I pledge to do my duty . . . and take my country back.

I'm shocked! (1)

john82 (68332) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190518)

Shocked that they're violating what little they had to do under the DOJ capitula... er, agreement. Really, MS not obeying antitrust or the terms of their agreement? Remarkable. Who could have predicted this?

Next stunner please. Anyone suing somebody new over UN*X today?

Talk About Onerous. . . (1)

Farley Mullet (604326) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190525)

"Basically, I'd have to shoot the engineers when they came back," said one irate company executive.

Did anything in the DOJ settlement say anything about forcing potential licensees to perform human sacrifice? You'd think with Ashcroft as Attorney General, they'd crack down on stuff like that.

Seriously, the most galling thing about this is the intransigence of the feds. But it's not surprising: the U.S. federal government is run by a bunch of right-wing ideologues who believe the unfettered market is the answer for everything.

Has Microsoft realised that... (2, Insightful)

chendo (678767) | more than 10 years ago | (#6190553)

Has Microsoft realised that most people just want an OS, without all the bundled software that comes with it. The majority of Windows users probably use Winamp over WMP, use Office/OO/SO over Wordpad, Photoshop/PSP over Paint, and more importantly, Mozilla/etc over IE.

If Microsoft removed all these obselete packages from Windows' default installation, maybe we can buy an OS cause it's an OS, not for the stuff that's in it, and maybe cut the costs, not to mention the bugs.
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