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Court Rejects msfreepc.com Settlement Claims

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the denied dept.

Microsoft 226

mr_tommy writes "Neowin has posted a link to a court ruling (pdf) on the controversial MSfreepc.com website. The court ruled that claims in the Microsoft antitrust settlement made via the site were not legitimate, and as such all submissions made through it would be rejected. The website, operated by Lindows.com, attempted to use the Californian settlement against Microsoft to its own benefit by getting users to signup and make a claim. Lindows saw an opportunity to capitalise on the ruling by getting Microsoft to pay for users to have Lindows software and hardware; undoubtedly too bitter a pill for Microsoft to take. Microsoft filed suit against the website Michael Robertson, owner of Lindows and a strong anti-Microsoft voice, will undoubtedly be disappointed with the ruling. The 'legitimate' site for claims is still available."

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Hurry, you still have time to file (5, Informative)

Eyah....TIMMY (642050) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933589)

Well, it sucks for Lindows but if any of you out there still want to file a claim [microsoftc...lement.com] , you have until March 15, 2004 [microsoftc...lement.com] .

Remember, it's your money so it's better to file it through the official channels...

Note: I know some of you will never file anything with M$ so this post doesn't apply to you (you don't need to go crazy on the replies, just go to the next post).

Re:Hurry, you still have time to file (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933637)

Courts. What is it all about... is it good, or is it whack?

DO NOT CLICK ON LINK IN PARENT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933696)

The second link redirects you to goatse.cx.

right, put down the crack pipe (1)

Eyah....TIMMY (642050) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933735)

no wonder an Anonymous Coward posted this.

Re:Hurry, you still have time to file (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933786)

Hey whore, how's the whoring?

FTM rejects Eyah....TIMMY's homosexual advances (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933995)

In other news, you are not the filthy critic, so fuck off.

Re:Hurry, you still have time to file (2, Informative)

OneFix at Work (684397) | more than 10 years ago | (#7934111)

But you must add that this ONLY works IF you live in California...I don't actually know if it would work for a business that has a branch in California, or if it would work if you are no longer a resident of California...

But it's safe to say that if you can't rightfully claim a direct connection to California (which is most ppl on the east coast) then filing a claim would likely give M$ the ability to sue you for filing a false claim...

first logged in post (-1)

Trolling Thunder (639121) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933590)

fuck AC troolz

YOU FAIL IT!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933615)

Maybe time for you to retire it is, hmmm?

Re:YOU FAIL IT!!! (-1)

Trolling Thunder (639121) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933649)

The cum containers known as subscribers don't count.

msfreepc? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933591)

So this ms-free pc thing. Is it good or is it whack?

Re:msfreepc? (-1, Offtopic)

gantrep (627089) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933626)

Dude, you did it wrong. Leave it to the guy that does them.

flibble (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933599)

Courts. It figures.

Fucking Linux vendors (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933601)

Always trying to get some pennies by either lying and deceiving (Lindows and MSFreePC), suing everyone around them (SCO), or claiming bankruptcy and witholding payments to the creditors (Mandrake).

How about getting a decent business model and earning your money by selling some things that people are actually willing to buy?

microsoftcalsettlement.com runs Apache... (3, Interesting)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933602)

...heh:
$ lynx --dump --head http://www.microsoftcalsettlement.com
HTTP/1.0 200 OK
Date: Fri, 09 Jan 2004 22:15:39 GMT
Server: ConcentricHost-Ashurbanipal/2.0 (XO(TM) Web Site Hosting)
Last-Modified: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 19:35:30 GMT
ETag: "3c7f2b-2487-3ff32502"
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Content-Length: 9351
Content-Type: text/html
At least, "ConcentricHost-Ashurbanipal" is rumored to be a proprietary HTTP daemon based on Apache.

Re:microsoftcalsettlement.com runs Apache... (5, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933689)

Wow, a web page run by a non-microsoft group hosted by someone other then microsoft is running a web server other then microsofts. Will wonders never cease?

Re:microsoftcalsettlement.com runs Apache... (5, Interesting)

gantrep (627089) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933693)

Umm, I tried googling around for "ConcentricHost-Ashurbanipal" and couldn't find evidence that it was actually an http daemon but more like it was jsut a service offered by concentric networks. Can you clarify?

Re:microsoftcalsettlement.com runs Apache... (4, Informative)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933810)

> Can you clarify?

Just based on this [bragger.net] .

Re:microsoftcalsettlement.com runs Apache... (1)

gantrep (627089) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933902)

Ah cool.

But what about ConcentricHost-Naram? [google.com]

It wasn't listed in that header repository.

Serves them right (4, Insightful)

Moth7 (699815) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933619)

Frankly it was an underhanded act which is on a parallel with some microsoft have made in the past. Had they used the site to inform users of the process they could go through, then all would be fine and dandy. However, actively leveraging a misdemeanour by another company to gain a competitive advantage in a way such as that just wasn't on.

Re:Serves them right (2, Insightful)

w3weasel (656289) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933731)

However, actively leveraging a misdemeanour...

Misdemeanour??

Abuse of monopoly power is a far sight more serious than a misdemeanor.

Still though, Lindows was pretty clearly attempting to abuse the ruling

Re:Serves them right (3, Insightful)

Moth7 (699815) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933789)

Didn't Jesus say that all sins were equally displeasing to the eyes of God?

Jokes aside, what have we been seeing from the open sources media voices in recent times? Calls not to stoop to the level of those who would do wrong to the community - regardless of what the likes of MS have done, that's no excuse for stupid acts like those of MSFreePC.

Re:Serves them right (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7934105)

Didn't Jesus say that all sins were equally displeasing to the eyes of God?

Possibly, but some of us are rather more discerning than God.

the Bible said (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7934114)

"Yoda dolls stuffing up your ass you should not do" and you did anyway. So fuck it

Re:Serves them right (2, Informative)

gantrep (627089) | more than 10 years ago | (#7934084)

From the spelling, it appears he's British, and the British connotation of the word misdemeanor, if I'm not mistaken, is more serious than the American one. For example, in our US constitution, a misdemeanor [cnn.com] is something for which we would impeach our President.

BTW, apparently "high crimes and misdemeanors" is an anagram for "Monica hiding dress
hem smear."

But WHY? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933829)

Frankly it was an underhanded act ...

Fine, but "underhanded" isn't a legal term, so I'm curious by what reasoning the thing was disallowed. The linked ruling didn't give any reasons at all, merely saying that the website and process did not comply with the terms of the settlement, but not saying how or why they did not comply.

Re:Serves them right (5, Funny)

pla (258480) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933835)

However, actively leveraging a misdemeanour by another company to gain a competitive advantage in a way such as that just wasn't on.

You just described the US political system in one nice, neat sentence.


Anyway, I think you view this somewhat more harshly than the situation warrants... MSFreePC.com did nothing more than tell people "Hey, Microsoft owes you money for screwing you. Do you really want to hand it right back to them, or would you like to use it to get the hell away from their crappy products?". This ruling suggests that they went too far, but conceptually, I see it as far more in keeping with the spirit of the original settlement than any possible result of filing directly with Microsoft.

Re:Serves them right (1)

Moth7 (699815) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933843)

Maybe they did say the above. But if they hadn't bothered to paraphrase it then they'd probably have a libel case on their hands now too ;-)

Dummer Jidde (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7934136)

In other news: your postings are so arrogant, I'd like to put a shotgun down your throat.

Deutsche, kauft nicht beim Juden!

Re:Serves them right (2, Interesting)

MisterFancypants (615129) | more than 10 years ago | (#7934140)

Do you really want to hand it right back to them, or would you like to use it to get the hell away from their crappy products?".

More like "Do you really want to hand it right back to them, or would you like to use it to get the hell away from their crappy products and use OUR crappy products INSTEAD!?"

I'm not talking about Linux here -- just Lindows.... which is, in fact, crap and despite being based on a Linux kernel is in many ways as bad as Windows when it comes to security, etc.

Stop whoring already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7934178)

Take that Yoda doll out of your fucking asshole and write some stuff that isn't so pathetic!

Re:Serves them right (3, Insightful)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7934271)

"Frankly it was an underhanded act which is on a parallel with some microsoft have made in the past."

The CEO of Lindows is constantly yanking Microsoft's chain. There's this, intentionally naming the software Lindows, offering a reward to hack the XBOX, etc... If this guy EVER gets support from the EFF, you all should be PISSED.

was it too much? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933621)

for robertson to funnel claims through his site to ms's transparently?

Re:was it too much? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933681)

uh,, parent post aint troll. it's actually very much on-topic and sums up an idea quite succinctly.

Re:was it too much? (1)

Mod Me God (686647) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933727)

Few mods browse at +0, far less at -1. If a post goes down it has little chance of coming up. However I agree it was succinct, if a little one-sided.

im confused... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933627)

how does this involve SCO?

YES. VERY GOOD. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933629)

i fucked taco and sodomized his ASS

(katz watched)

WORD UP, GNAA!

Re:YES. VERY GOOD. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933792)

That poor donkey. I'm send PETA after you...

Re:YES. VERY GOOD. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933804)

NOT FUNNY
Don't quit your day job of being unemployed.

So, uh (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933652)

are lawsuits cool now?

Bad for Lindows? Not really.... (5, Insightful)

brasten (699342) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933669)

Was it slightly underhanded? Sure... but, I'm sure the hardware they gave away was contingent on their claims being accepted (correct me if I'm wrong)... otherwise, they give out a little free software (not that expensive to Lindows.com to do so), got their name out a bit... Can't see this HARMING them all that much... Now, if they start asking for their software back over it, that could be a bad thing... Let people keep their LindowsOS', consider it a marketing cost...

Re:Bad for Lindows? Not really.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933809)

I think they did. After all they knew it was underhanded as well.

Sounds like a terrible idea in the first place (1, Insightful)

zumbojo (615389) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933676)

The fairness of an open market goes out the window when a company is forced to fund its competitor. What if RedHat had to pay for every Windows machine shipped?

Open Market (2, Insightful)

Moth7 (699815) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933717)

If RedHat had to pay for every Windows machine shipped, hell would be getting kind of cold ;) But seriously. No one can be forced to fund a competitor's product - it's not financially different from if Joe Public used the payout money to buy LindowsOS (Can we call it that anymore after the other suit?) from a vendor rather than through MSFreePC. But honestly, who said things were going to be fair? Bear in mind that the money is coming from an anti-trust settlement here. Although Lindows did act irresponsibly, MS can hardly start complaining about bad business practice.

Pompous prick I'll get you (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7934200)

STOP IT ALREADY! it's getting gruesome man. My eyes bleed reading your stuff!

Re:Sounds like a terrible idea in the first place (4, Interesting)

Rupert (28001) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933784)

The market stopped being fair once Microsoft got into it. This is Microsofts *punishment*. They should not be allowed to weasel out of it by claiming they'll only give away the hardware if it is accompanied by $big-X (retail) of their own software that actually costs them small-x cents.

Re:Sounds like a terrible idea in the first place (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933866)

Punishment? You just hold your breath on that one. Let's see - the government already "punished" them and the market seems to not give a fuck about how "evil" they are regardless of how much the zealots jump up and down crying foul or blather prophesy about their impending doom.

The real world is out there my man. I suggest you take a break and go get acquainted with it. Maybe you'll realize that things work a little differently than what you hear here in Bashdork.

Re:Sounds like a terrible idea in the first place (1)

geekee (591277) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933952)

" The market stopped being fair once Microsoft got into it. This is Microsofts *punishment*. They should not be allowed to weasel out of it by claiming they'll only give away the hardware if it is accompanied by $big-X (retail) of their own software that actually costs them small-x cents."

Define fair. MS never pointed guns at anyone, and therefore, followed the rules of free trade. Who are you to limit their freesom? The Weasles are people like Lindows taking advantage of the guns pointed at MS by the US govt. to grab as much of the loot as they can.

Re:Sounds like a terrible idea in the first place (5, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 10 years ago | (#7934159)

The market stopped being fair once money came into it. THe market stopped being fair when businesses stopped being locality driven. The market stopped being fair when the business owner stopped knowing all the customers who came into his store. The market stopped being fair a long long time ago.

Re:Sounds like a terrible idea in the first place (1)

brasten (699342) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933805)

All Microsoft is being forced to do is RE-fund it's CONSUMERS. Lindows is simply trying to capitalize on the cash it's potential customers are receiving from the deal. That's about as 'open-market' as it gets...

Fucking Crooks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933701)

People like these fucking Lindows lusers will always pay in the end. What do you expect from assholes
whose modus operandi is theft "couched in Communist
propoganda - just like the rest of the OSS movement.

- moomin

Re:Fucking Crooks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933807)

Why is this flaimbait? You know its true.

MOD PARENT UP!!!!

Re:Finnish Moomins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933929)

Moomin are the cartoon trolls from Finland, Swedish Finland where Linus Torvalds comes from. Is the poster a old jilted girlfriend or something?

huked on phonics wurked for me! (3, Funny)

kertong (179136) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933704)

Microsoft filed suit against the website Michael Robertson, owner of Lindows and a strong anti-Microsoft voice, will undoubtedly be disappointed with the ruling.

sorry, but what does that mean?

Re:huked on phonics wurked for me! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933748)

sorry, but what does that mean?

The words of a thief. Thats exactly the sort
of communist claptrap that you lusers never
get enough of on Slashdork.

Enjoy your trip to the Gulag. I'm sure
Stalin will be waiting for you with a
hot pike to ram up your collective ass.

- Moomin

Re:huked on phonics wurked for me! (1)

mr_tommy (619972) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933764)

Appologies... it would appear a full-stop missed the final cut. Microsoft filed suit against the website>>. Michael Robertson, owner of Lindows and a strong anti-Microsoft voice, will undoubtedly be disappointed with the ruling. If any admins read this, please could you add it in?

Re:huked on phonics wurked for me! (2, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933777)

It means Microsoft said "can not!" and Michael said "can too!" and when the teacher agreed with Microsoft, Michael went home crying to his mother.

Re:huked on phonics wurked for me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933855)

Microsoft filed suit against the website. Michael Robertson, owner of Lindows and a strong anti-Microsoft voice, will undoubtedly be disappointed with the ruling.

Better?

Lindows doesn't care, they wanted publicity (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933706)

Lindows doesn't really care much about this. Sure, they would have taken the money, but what they really wanted was to give MS a black eye by publicizing the court ruling, and also to expand the Lindows user base.

They accomplished a fair bit of each, and what they gave away were just copies of software that hardly cost them anything in the first place. This was another smart marketing move by their CEO, and inline with his other moves: not very classy, but shrewd nonetheless.

Basic money laundering 101 (1, Interesting)

Slowtreme (701746) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933711)

Was this just a shell game?

I really don't care for either of these two companies, but it seemed clear that the Lindows site was not collecting complete information required from users. MS should have been able to just ignore Lindows, but they were forced into a suit.

Lawyers 1 - Corperations 0

Re:Basic money laundering 101 (1)

Moth7 (699815) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933760)

Microsoft forced into publicly humiliating competitors? Haven't you seen their latest marketting campaign [microsoft.com] ?

Your keyboard must be encrusted with semen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7934155)

Please stop masturbating to your greatness, clean your keyboard and take that Yoda doll out of your ass. Yep, in that order, you arrogant prick!

Lindows, not impressed (5, Informative)

nolife (233813) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933721)

I'm all for choice but I was not at all impressed with Lindows compared to other desktop based Linux distibutions. I bought $199 Walmart PC's for my kids this christmas. One with Lindows and one with Lycoris. Lindows was usable and it worked without problems but the click-n-run selection was too limited. I tried several non Lindows repositories and regular old packages but eventually I got frustrated and started over with Mandrake. Although not required, I feel the money I could have spent on a Lindows subscription was much better spent on a Mandrake membership.

"Lindows" does a disservice to free software (4, Insightful)

graniteMonkey (87619) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933739)

I have no pity for Lindows. Naming a project "Lindows" implies that Linux is some cheap knock-off of the "Real Thing".

I remember seeing goods imported into Russia from China with things like alarm clocks with names in Russsian, which, when pronounced, sounded remarkably like "Hyundai", and "Adidas" bags with too many stripes and a bunch of garbage characters that were supposed to be a slogan. That's the kind of stuff I think of when I hear "Lindows".

Re:"Lindows" does a disservice to free software (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933841)

I have to strongly disagree. If they called themselves something like NycroSoft Lindows you might have a point. However, the idea of allowing someone to trademark a word as generic in the computer field as ``Windows'' is absolutely insane. Didn't X Windows exist before Microsoft Windows? Don't you refer to ``windows'' on a Macintosh or an Amiga or any other kind of system?

Re:"Lindows" does a disservice to free software (1)

rehabdoll (221029) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933979)

If i remember corretcly, The buissness model for Lindows was to run Windows software on free software (gnu/linux) - hence the name Lin(LINux)dows(winDOWS) (duh). The name was originally supposed to make you associate it with windows. Anyone honestly claiming otherwise is IMHO full of it.
Sure, i have no problem with this and i dont think Microsoft should be able to force Lindows to change its name. But i really dont like how Lindows "sort of" denies this now, when they couldnt make the technology work as they hoped it would.

Flame on.

Re:"Lindows" does a disservice to free software (5, Informative)

Makarakalax (658810) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933856)

True the name is tacky, but they have sponsored the upcoming ReiserFS 4 they sponsor kde-look.org and to my knowledge they are also funding a number of other OSS projects (like that web-page creation one, is it NVU?).

They are contributors. They have gradually won my respect.

On the other hand distros like Xandros are gradually losing my respect. They don't seem to offer anything back to the community. Looks like a mighty fine distro though and I'm glad it's available.

Double standard (4, Insightful)

El (94934) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933759)

Why is it when SCO implements a business model based on extremely questionable legal interpretation, they are accused of being "on crack"; whereas when MSFreePC implements an extremely questionable business model, they're really good guys? Wouldn't it be more consistent to conclude that the guys at SCO have been sharing their bad crack with the guys at MSFreePC?

no, they got some of their own... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933832)

Companies like this don't share crack - they're run by people who consistently got "does not play well with others" on their report cards in elementary school. No, MSFreePC has their own crack - it makes them greedier and less stupid than SCO's crack - different impurities, I guess.

Re:no, they got some of their own... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933964)

It's not quality, it's quantity. Lindows is run on more of shoestring than SCO. So they live more rock-to-pipe. Where a giant dump truck just unloads a mountain in front of the SCO corporate HQ, and they do their best to smoke their way through before the next truck arrives.

Re:Double standard (3, Insightful)

Altrag (195300) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933847)

From the other comments here, it doesn't seem like too many people consider them "the good guys".
I went to the MSFreePC page myself and to me it looked a heckuva lot like it should have been in a popup window or a spam email -- a questionable "scam" filled more with bright colors than content. Admittedly I didn't bother going past the second page, but what I did see certainly didn't impress me.

Re:Double standard (1)

acidrain69 (632468) | more than 10 years ago | (#7934025)

1) Microsoft loses anti-trust suit and has to pay consumers
2) Lindows makes a site so people can easily buy lindows products, on top of an EXISTING business where people can..... already buy lindows products.
3) PROFIT!!!!

I don't see any missing steps, It's kind of underhanded, and if it was microsoft benefitting from linux I'd be pissed, but I really don't see what the problem is.

Re:Double standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7934133)

Hmm..
if it was microsoft benefitting from linux I'd be pissed, but I really don't see what the problem is
Seems like a double standard to me.

Biased article (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933761)

undoubtedly too bitter a pill for Microsoft to take

The Lindows msfreepc.com site was discussed here a couple of months ago.

The site was encouraging people to sign up for the rebate whether or not they were eligible and regardless, they had no basis to collect names.

This is one of those rare instances when MS is totally right.

The Odd thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933763)

...is that the judge didn't say *why* it is invalid, he just said it is invalid.

This Doesn't Surprise Me... (5, Informative)

graffix_jones (444726) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933774)

Lindows was just trying to get a free ride on the settlement's coattails.

The letter of the settlement said that all claims must be submitted by the original purchasing party (not an intermediary like Lindows) and each claim must also must be signed by the original purchasing party (electronic signatures don't count).

It's my hope that Lindows does the right thing and notifies all parties that submitted a claim through them that their claim was rejected... at least that way the 'injured' parties still have time for recourse (of course 90% of those claims were probably from Slashdot readers... who are now notified ;P ).

Re:This Doesn't Surprise Me... (1)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933864)

Well, the court order says that the company handling the claims will notify everyone who submitted a claim via msfreepc.com that their claim was rejected. Further, the msfreepc.com FAQ says that they intend to honor claims regardless of what the court decides.

some people just don't get it (2, Insightful)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933783)

Lindows saw an opportunity to capitalise on the ruling by getting Microsoft to pay for users to have Lindows software and hardware; undoubtedly too bitter a pill for Microsoft to take.

And no one sees anything wrong with this? I know I just woke up, but wtf should Microsoft dish our for another company's product... Call me a troll, d***, whatever you'd like but kudos to MS on this one

Re:some people just don't get it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933834)

Uhmm... You don't get it!!!

The money was suppose to be a refund for Microsoft ilegally overcharging consumers as part of their anti-trust violations. As a refund the money should be the consumers to do whatever they want to with it. If they wanted to go out and use it to pay for part of an Ipod or Purchase a Linux distro or heck even to buy something not computer related, that should be the consumer's choice.

Re:some people just don't get it (2, Insightful)

entrigant (233266) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933935)

Microsoft is dishing out cash, what people decide to do with that cash is none of microsoft's business. If I were eligible, and I want to buy a lindows based pc with the settlement money that's my business. If Lindows wants to handle the details for me so I have to do less work, yay for them.

Re:some people just don't get it (1)

RdsArts (667685) | more than 10 years ago | (#7934116)

I know I just woke up, but wtf should Microsoft dish our for another company's product... ... Because they lost a court case?

I mean, I know people have short attention spans, but wasn't this case about MS giving back money they were found to have obtained in a illicit manner? To paraphrase, wtf shouldn't Microsoft dish money it's legally required to pay, to the place the injured party sees fit?

This is one of those who really cares moments.... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933787)

Lindows is out a few linux distros which are really just debian distros prettied up a bit so they are out of no real money here.

Microsoft looks bad for shutting down a site to help consumers take advantage of the settlement, so they can be spun in the press to be trying to get out of their obligations.

To be honest you can't really blaim Robertson or Lindows.com for putting up the site becuase they win either way.

Now Microsoft... They eitehr Lose or have a Neutral outcome from shutting down this site. To be honest I don't know why they did it... unless they are still trying to claim that they won/were not found to have violated the law in the antitrust case.

Please (1, Flamebait)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933830)

Lindows saw an opportunity to capitalise on the ruling by getting Microsoft to pay for users to have Lindows software and hardware

Lindows saw an opportunity to do what it does best - expell hot air and try to "stick it to the man".

undoubtedly too bitter a pill for Microsoft to take.

Microsoft should have just stood by and lose the suit by default. Yeah.

Microsoft filed suit against the website Michael Robertson, owner of Lindows and a strong anti-Microsoft voice, will undoubtedly be disappointed with the ruling.

Robertson is not a "strong anti-microsoft voice", he's a quack and a con. And I doubt he'll be disappointed since there are many other dumb childish things he can do to draw attention to his pointless "fight". Now all we need is for the courts to make him stop using the word "Lindows" and all will be well.

This guy is nothing more than a scab in the image of the people who work on open source software. He should concentrate on going public, running the company to the ground and walking away with a few dozen million like he did with MP3.com.

Re:Please (1)

RU_on_weed (451255) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933971)

Now I don't the guy or what he has done in the past . But this was IMHO probably one of the better advertising campaign's for the Linux desktop. I am not Pro MS or Pro Linux(Place your flavor) here. I use whatever gets the job done. Not sure about the numbers of folks that went to that site but I know in my surfing it has popped up tons . And I am sure for the non-techie people it probably "peaked" their interest to check it out and see what Lindows(Linux) is about . At that point the Linux community should be happy that they were able to at least get home users to look at their product (Linux as a whole). No matter the outcome of the whole website mess , I betcha it did more good for the Linux OS than it has done bad

Re:Please (1)

entrigant (233266) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933984)

I can't exactly call you a hypocrite because I'm not sure if you of the camp that linux is competition for windows and hope that windows will one day be dethroned by free software. However, for anyone who is and takes it seriously Lindows is a Good Thing. Someone who takes the time to come up with a packaged version of linux designed to ease the pain of switching to new and non-cimputer savy people deserves respect in my book.

Some people think that mking a linux distro to mimick much of the functionality distro is wrong somehow. They think for some reason that if someone must use linux that linux should be freely available and ultimately customizable only if you don't make it look and act like windows. The you are free do do whatever you want as long as you do it this way approach.

Some people like lindows. Some people would use windows if they did not have that option. They also do not give a rats ass wether or not you care. Lindow is not trademark infringment. Anyone with half a brain knows that Windows and Lindows are not the same word. So please tell me, what is it about lindows that scares you so? Are you just against linux adoption in general?

How is this different than H&R Block? (5, Interesting)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933838)

Many companies do this. H&R block will give you a "loan" check when you fill out your taxes, based on what you will get back from the government. How is what this website does different? They are giving people products based on how much money Microsoft will owe them. What is the big deal? Nobody is forcing people to use that service.

Re:How is this different than H&R Block? (4, Informative)

pavon (30274) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933963)

The difference is that the tax code explicitly allows you to file on behalf of someone else, while the terms of the Microsoft settlement explicitly disallow it.

msfreepc.com was telling people they could do something which they did not have the right to do. (The loan aspect of it was fine, the filling aspect was the problem)

Re:How is this different than H&R Block? (1)

donutello (88309) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933968)

The difference is that H&R Block is authorized to file tax returns on your behalf and does not actively encourage you to file fraudulent returns by supplying you with misleading information.

Lindows, on the other hand, is not authorized to file settlement claims on your behalf and further misled people while trying to entice them to file claims through them.

Re:How is this different than H&R Block? (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933997)

Well, what H&R Block is doing is legal, while what Lindows was trying to do was not. Whats more H&R Block was giving you money rather then software and you have to have a real claim to the money in order to get it.

Re:How is this different than H&R Block? (3, Insightful)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 10 years ago | (#7934117)

What is the big deal? Nobody is forcing people to use that service.

The 'big deal' is that msfreepc is not authorized to even PROVIDE that service in the first place.

H&R Block can submit your tax return on your behalf because the tax codes say a taxpayer can authorize another party to submit on their behalf.

The conditions of the settlement in this case explicitly stated that claimants could NOT authorize another party to act on their behalf.

How do I give my share back to Microsoft? (3, Interesting)

geekee (591277) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933914)

I'm insulted that the govt. thinks I'm incapable of making an informed purchase. I bought Windows at a price both MS and I agreed was fair. What the hell is the govt. doing saying that I paid too much. If I don't claim the money, it doesn't stay with Microsoft, but gets donated to schools (minus lawyer fees). I don't think it's right for the govt. to interfere in either my freedom or MS's freedom to trade. So, how do I give my share, including lawyer fees, for lawyers I did not hire, back to MS.

Re:How do I give my share back to Microsoft? (1, Troll)

spiderbarker (540310) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933977)

Just write a check and send it? If you feel so strongly...do it. BTW how is W doing these days? Is he having any luck with those roids?

It's called a MONOPOLY (4, Insightful)

phorm (591458) | more than 10 years ago | (#7934104)

They aren't basing it on the concept that you couldn't make an informed decision, they are basing it on MS's anticompetitive practices that basically destroy competition.

Lawyers were hired because MS was breaking anti-monopoly laws, not because you paid too much for windows. It's the concept that - were MS not so heavy-handed and dominating, there might be a lot more competing products. If there were competing products, you would have had more choice, and may have chosen something else.

Really, I think that the settlement should pay out those that belonged to companies destroyed by MS, they're the ones that by far took the brunt of anti-trust.

You may be happy with windows, I myself don't mind XP overly much. But if it weren't for MS, there might be something just as good, possibly better. We'll never know because very few were able to ever reach a workable status before being destroyed by MS, except for OS/Linux mainly due to availability, freedom, and wide distribution (not to mention dedication of many individuals who make OS possible).

Re:How do I give my share back to Microsoft? (4, Insightful)

vidarh (309115) | more than 10 years ago | (#7934238)

Microsoft broke the law, and have to pay the price. It's as simple as that. Because of their anti-competitive tactics, consumers have paid billions of dollars more than they would have been likely to had Microsoft played fair.

The fact that you're offered the chance to get part of the money they illegally overcharged you with is in recognition that for many people there was no real choice. It wasn't about "making an informed purchase" but about customer being given the choice of Microsoft or nothing because of Microsofts illegal practices.

If you don't want it, don't take it. But don't go around whining because the government upholds the law.

If you think anti trust laws should be repealed, fine, but if they do, don't come whining when you get shafted left right and center by companies that get powerful enough to dictate whatever price they choose.

this original /. article on this (2, Informative)

relrelrel (737051) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933975)

is here [slashdot.org]

please, don't blame MS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7934009)

Who's to blame ?

Bill Gates ?
Steve Ballmer ?
NO. All this talk about monopoly, nonsense!!.
who gave MS monopoly ? not me, probably not you. but let's face it. our friends/parent/grandparent handed MS their monopoly.
MS did nothing wrong. They optimised value for their shareholders, that's what they're supposed to do. They used a lot of dirty tricks, leveraged their monopoly, but the bottom line is, nobody cared!!, because "stuff just worked". The people to proclaim the "stuff just works" weren't /evil/ people/. They were friends,neighbours etc...
MS earned their monopoly, and they should be allowed to prey and capitalise on it untill the world grows wiser.
There are no "evil" people that let that monopoly happen. Just ordinary uninformed people, like the ones I described (friends, parents, etc..)

Trollisch ? yes! but in a warped way, MS made free software happen. The worst (?)thing that could happen to FOSS now was MS starting to play fair. As long as the right to reverse engineer stuff you own to expand it isn't outlawed, free software will always be there to prevent an absolute lock-in.
I like to think of myself as a true free software proponent (I even correct linux to gnu/linux in conversations :) , but from a capitalist perspective MS did nothing wrong. "The people" handed MS their monopoly, MS didn't brute force it unto them.
So, don't bash MS for their "evil ways" and their "monopoly". Talk to your palls, and explain to them that this shouldn't have happened in the first place.
freedom and fair play is important, even for the corporate world, because at the lowest level, it's just a bunch of persons trying to do what they think is right.
It isn't mandatory that everyone uses free software, but someone appreciating their freedoms is, even when it comes to a tiny niche such as software.

thanks for listening, AC

ENGLISH, MOTHERFUCKER!!!! DO YOU SPEAK IT (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7934077)

Microsoft filed suit against the website Michael Robertson, owner of Lindows and a strong anti-Microsoft voice, will undoubtedly be disappointed with the ruling.
Do any of the eds on this site have a higher-than-third-grade reading level? I GUESS NOT, HM.

MSFreePC Still accepting applications (4, Informative)

MeanMF (631837) | more than 10 years ago | (#7934203)

The MSFreePC site is still accepting applications for their "instant settlement" and they say that they will be honoring claims even if they ultimately lose in court: "We will fully honor all of the terms of the MSfreePC.com web site and will not be asking you for money or taking back product that has been made available to qualifying consumers, even if we do not receive payment from the Settlement Administrator" This means that you can get your $100 worth of free Lindows software AND file a legitimate claim to get your $100 from the settlement! Woo hoo!

Not Michael Robertson's first legal smackdown... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7934329)

Michael Robertson has a history of aggressive yet haphazard business models and this is not the first legal smackdown one of his companies has received.

When he was at MP3.com his "strategy" was to confront the music industry head-on, effectively trying to take the banana from the 800 pound gorilla. It wasn't until he launched the infamous myMP3.com service and the copyright violation lawsuits started pouring in that he attempted any sort of amicable agreement with the industry. Surely we haven't forgotten the massive legal smackdown MP3.com incurred as a result.

Robertson's strategy with the Microsoft rebate smacks of the same confrontational and haphazard business decisions that doomed his earlier business.

Bizzaro Alternate Universe we live in (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7934332)

Just a few of many things about M$'s proven (IMO) monopoly violations that disturb me ad infinitum.

Last I read, the "settlement" explicitly included only Windows and M$DOS based products. So according to the settlement, legally speaking, if I bought a Mac version of Office because I "had" to interact with college courses/employers that "require" (so called by M$) "standard" .doc or .xls files, I suffered no economic hardship and was not robbed at all, unlike those poor Windows users! So if you bought the Mac version instead of pirating, your reward is being locked out of settlement! Way to promote ethical behavior! Typical of the way lawyers manage to reach settlements for their client (often corporate as is M$) that allow them to disavow responsibility for damages to a potentially large group of plaintiffs, all the while proclaiming to repent their past "mistakes" (fraud!). They should be forced to reimburse 100% of those affected, not the whatever percent using Windows. Justice isn't about being partly/mostly fair.

Also, why is it that money unclaimed goes to schools? I am 100% for more school funding, better teacher salaries, more books, computers, whatever. But by making it a either/or choice (either you claim refund from M$ or it goes to the schools) they (M$) get total win-win (ha punny) PR! If a lot of people claim the refund they say "look we helped people". If a lot of people refrain in order for the money to go to schools, then M$ says "look we helped schools", makes inroads into another market they are trying to monopolize. There are plenty of M$-drones in positions of Education IT who will spend an M$ monopoly penalty refund on more M$ gear!

Ugh! what an a great illusion of justice and the masses will naively believe they "won" over M$! Saddest of all!
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