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Microsoft To Pay IBM In Antitrust Settlement

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the quite-a-payout dept.

The Courts 202

Pankaj Arora writes "A settlement has been reached in IBM's private antitrust case against Microsoft. According to the terms of the settlement, Microsoft will pay IBM $775 million cash in addition to $75 million in credit. From the article, 'The settlement resolves all discriminatory pricing and overcharging claims stemming from the U.S. government's mid-1990s antitrust case against Microsoft, the companies said in a statement. The settlement also resolves most other IBM antitrust claims, including those related to its OS/2 operating system and SmartSuite products. IBM's claims of harm to its server hardware and server software businesses are not covered by the settlement, however.'"

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pirst fost (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12961950)

FRIST PSOT!!one

Never let anyone tell you (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12961952)


crime doesn't pay

Piffle (2, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#12961953)

$850 million to Microsoft? Pfft! They've probably lost that much on XBox sales and they're still going. Good thing they've got all those insanely profitable divisions and that $40 billion + cash reserve.

Of course IBM could, as the news suggests, hit them again for more money, it's hardly going to dent Microsoft. What they need is restraint or some measures with some teeth in them which raise the bar.

Re:Piffle (3, Insightful)

cloudofstrife (887438) | more than 9 years ago | (#12961985)

Yes, laws with teeth would be nice, but there are things called lawyers, which as the longer name would suggest, have longer teeth and are much more dangerous than simple laws. Microsoft plenty of nasty lawyers, and enough money to buy off the rest of the judges that won't pay attention to the lawyers.

Re:Piffle (2, Insightful)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 9 years ago | (#12961992)

Exactly....Microsoft could pay them 20Billion and still keep going strong. What we need is stronger anti-trust laws...there are getting to be too few companies in charge of everything.

Re:Piffle (1)

ssimontis (739660) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962233)

Still, anti-trust laws seme to create an evelution sequence for companies. Look at phone companies. When the government forced the one phone company to split up, companies began to buy each other out, merge, or just go out of business. Now, there are fewer and fewer major players. Eventually, they will keep going until there are just two, and one will eventually give in to the other, and we have a monopoly again! Something like this could happen if the government decided to act, but at least we would have a while before we had to worry about it again.

Re:Piffle (1)

Hungus (585181) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962261)

I hate to say this but Microsoft is a virtual monopoly because the majority of people want it to be. individual communities could force schools (via the elected school boards) to require use of OSS, but they do not. The result of such measures would introduce and familiarise the general population with something other than MS, but I don;t see it happening in the near future.

Re:Piffle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12962300)

Requiring the use of OSS would not be a poor choice as would requiring only using MS software. Requiring a mix of them, however, would be an advantage.

Re:Piffle (1)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962319)

Well, this is just like people could start to boycott all Coke & Pepsi products...but they won't. Should it be legal for only two companies to own 99% of the market in soft drinks? How could a small company ever dream of competing? Almost every industry is dominated by less than 5 companies, and most of them are in multiple industries to boot. The dominant "sheeple" love to give up their freedom for convenience and screw it up for the rest of us...

Re:Piffle (1)

Hungus (585181) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962719)

There is a drink called Double Cola which was developed near where my parents grew up, and still has a bottling facility nearby .. I personally do not like the stuff but it appears to have gone international now. Products can start small and grow, especially with the net niche markets can expand and become major ones. However with all the people (sheeple as you and others have so rightly phrased it) it certainly is difficult. Again, if people wanted something apart from what the "monopolies" gave it would appear and come to fruition. That they don;t should tell us something.

Re:Piffle (2, Interesting)

Tweak232 (880912) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962022)

Perhaps I could offer a solution:
If there was any way that anti-trust cases could be tried as criminal cases, it would be great. This is one way that companies can put a dent in microsoft. Did you know that in some criminal cases, they could freeze their assets. That should be crippiling to microsoft.On the other hand, it could also end up like the market fraud cases with the ceos of enron and world com. Still better than just sitting on your hands.

Re:Piffle (1)

CatMan79 (788170) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962575)

Are you insane??

You are proposing to try as CRIMINALS companies and individuals that have DONE WELL. Microsoft and Bill Gates have done many millions of times more good for the world (philanthropy, jobs, economic growth, software that's useful and easy enough to use and that runs on hardware cheap enough to buy, research & development, the list goes on) than bad (competing against other companies).

I have to call you out when you propose something as ludicrous as making successful businesses criminal. You're insane and wrong.

Re:Piffle (2, Insightful)

eikonos (779343) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962711)

Let me get this straight: you're suggesting that if an entity has done good, then punishing it for its criminal actions would be wrong. That would mean that if a person committed a crime like assault it would be wrong to try them in court and punish them if they had previously done good things like volunteer work to feed the homeless.
That's not how it works, or how it should work. If a person or a company like Microsoft commits a crime, then they should be tried in court for that crime and punished appropriately.

Re:Piffle (4, Insightful)

robertjw (728654) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962070)

it's hardly going to dent Microsoft. What they need is restraint or some measures with some teeth in them which raise the bar.

This attitude comes up every time we see some kind of legal penalty against Microsoft, and I don't understand it. I'm not Microsoft fan, but I also don't want to see them bankrupted by the court system. Actually, I don't want to see anyone bankrupted by the court system. Microsoft is a big influental company and a big employer. If they were fined $20 Billion it would not have a positive impact on a company.

Any way you slice it, $850 Million is not chump change. I'll guarantee the accountants and financial officers at Microsoft are not thrilled about giving up over 4% of their cash reserves to a competitor. This ruling seems reasonable to me, and if we have enough of them maybe Microsoft will see the light.

Re:Piffle (4, Insightful)

justforaday (560408) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962119)

If they were fined $20 Billion it would not have a positive impact on a company.

Y'see, that's where your thinking gets a little wacky. It's supposed to be a penalty, not something that benefits them...

Re:Piffle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12962276)

It's not supposed to destroy them though. They lost a whole month of revenue (or profit, not sure) to IBM; it's plenty of punishment. But of course this is slashdot, so what do you expect other than "DEATH TO MICROSOFT"?

Re:Piffle (1)

AnObfuscator (812343) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962295)

Right, but it is supposed to be a penalty on the *entity* and on those controlling the entity. a big loss like this looks bad to the shareholders, and they may more closely scrutinize the executives becaue of this.

But destroying a company -- any company -- just because of executive stratagy is very harmful to the "little people" who depend on the company for livelyhood. Should the middle-class workers really be punished just to make a point?

Re:Piffle (2, Interesting)

justforaday (560408) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962464)

You people are acting as if this is going to break the company. It's going to feel like a bug bite to them -- sure it'll sting a little bit, and it might even cause them to be a little more careful. That's it. It won't kill them. And besides, things like this are the price of using cutthroat business tactics -- sometimes you get caught and have to pay the price. As for the shareholders, it can be argued that they're somewhat complicit in the whole thing. They are the ones who have been pumping MS stocks up to the levels that they're at, where executive management and the BoD feel it's their "duty" to destroy any and all competition, thus further increasing their shareholder value. If you as a shareholder end up getting hurt by this settlement, maybe you should be paying more attention to the ethics of the companies in which you invest.

Re:Piffle (2, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962505)

But destroying a company -- any company -- just because of executive stratagy is very harmful to the "little people" who depend on the company for livelyhood. Should the middle-class workers really be punished just to make a point?

It's not just making a point. What about all the little people put out of work after MS kills companies through anticompetitive practices? It's supposed to be a deterrent to them in the future and anyone else thinking of trying such tactics. I don't think anyone's suggesting that bankrupting the company intentionally would be the preferred route, but the penalty needs to be felt.

Re:Piffle (2, Insightful)

jejones (115979) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962731)

But destroying a company -- any company -- just because of executive stratagy is very harmful to the "little people" who depend on the company for livelyhood. Should the middle-class workers really be punished just to make a point?

Sorry, but IMHO it's just about impossible for any conscious person to not be aware of Microsoft's actions; none of the "little people" are innocent.

Re:Piffle (1)

robertjw (728654) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962493)

Dammit, I meant "it would not have a postive impact on the economy"

Sorry.

Re:Piffle (1)

justforaday (560408) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962627)

Ahhh, now that's not wacky thinking... : p

Re:Piffle (1)

MHobbit (830388) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962549)

And a penalty is a way of encouraging them not to something they did wrong again, is it not? (Not that any other of the court cases against Microsoft have seemed to do any good either.)

Re:Piffle (1)

hagrin (896731) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962709)

And anti-trust laws are supposed to be helpful to the general public, not legislative penalties that not only effect the cost of Microsoft products, but the US economy as MSFT is a major employer. I'm not saying that they don't deserve harsh(er) penalties, but one (the courts) must balance the penalty versus the ripple effects caused by imposing said penalties.

Re:Piffle (1)

rajafarian (49150) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962175)

...but I also don't want to see them bankrupted by the court system.

Well, then make them stop breaking the law!!!

Re:Piffle (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962206)

Well, then make them stop breaking the law!!!

How about we get some reasonable laws on the books, and get rid of some unreasonable laws.

Re:Piffle (5, Insightful)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962234)

But the point is that it will not at all affect their revenue stream, so since they are still making huge profits, they have no incentive to change their ways.

It's like successfully convincting bank robbers go after then letting them go with a fine of 50% of the money they stole, but letting them keep the other 50%. If they can get away with illegal activities and make a profit from it, what is the point in having a legal system at all? Surely there should be some sort of detterent to prevent them doing it again?

Re:Piffle (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962331)

Actually, I don't want to see anyone bankrupted by the court system.
Sure you do. There are companies that do more harm than good and are profitable only because they do not compensate those that they harm. Those companies should be "bankrupted by the court system". Right?

Re:Piffle (1)

robertjw (728654) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962474)

There are companies that do more harm than good and are profitable only because they do not compensate those that they harm. Those companies should be "bankrupted by the court system". Right?

In a free market these companies should not exist. In theory a company can only exist if it's providing a good or service that's of value to someone. Determining if a company does more harm than good is a tricky proposition. Obviously if a company is commiting fraud or some other illegal act I believe the should be prosecuted by the criminal courts and put out of business - but this is completely different than a company being bankrupted by a civil ruling.

Re:Piffle (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962528)

it's part of their business plan. Think about it, they make over $1 billion PROFIT per quarter on the Windows monopoly. Paying out less than that in settlements every few years is far easier then actually competing fairly in the market since they don't even know how to do THAT...

If IBM made a statement such that they were going to put the entire $775 million into GNU/Linux marketing, then THAT would cause some restlessness at Microsoft. Pulling another few hundred million out of the drawer otherwise is SOP for MSFT and not a big deal. IMO.

LoB

Prevention: 0 (2, Insightful)

OwlWhacker (758974) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962678)

The question is: What does this do to prevent Microsoft committing other anti-competitive crimes?

The answer: Nothing.

Microsoft can afford a few hundred million in order to benefit from anti-competitive actions; by the time the courts catch up with Microsoft the benefits must be immense.

I'm sure Microsoft is happy that the pros outweigh the cons. The company has continued anti-competitive practices even though it has previously been fined for similar crimes, and it always comes up smelling of roses.

Re:Piffle (2, Informative)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962139)

Just a note. After their various settlements, dividend, and other items, Microsoft retains about $20 billion in a cash reserve.

This does not include this settlement with IBM.

Re:Piffle (2, Interesting)

adtifyj (868717) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962146)

Its not important whether Microsoft notices the drop in the bank balance or not. The continual slaps on the wrist make public display of the bad practises at Microsoft, and that may make others think twice about the yummy lollies MS offers. Also, these payouts put money in the coffers of Microsofts competitors; it may be trivial to Microsoft, but it is real hard cash that allows others to keep competing.

Consider what $850M could buy IBM in terms of OSS software project funding, and the effect that will have on Microsoft.

Re:Piffle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12962255)

Congrats!

You've made your self feel badass by posting yet another dimwitted MS doesn't care about X large amount of money loss.

I don't know what the fuck is it with the word 'billion' that makes clowns like you think it mean infinite.

You better get someone with a clue to tell you how far off you are with your MS cash figure...

Re:Piffle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12962269)

Yeah, I'm really shedding a tear over the plight of IBM. Poor IBM, please protect them from Microsoft's monopolistic practices.

IBM v Microsoft? Talk about a tough time deciding on the lesser of two evils.

Wow! Pocket Lint! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12962291)

Gee! $850 Million! M$ had to dig deep under the couch cushions in the guest room and plow through who knows how much pocket lint! This is really newsworthy! It's almost as I were forced to buy a container of mosquito repellent on a hot summer day! This will make them think twice ... uh, uh, [running out of steam]

Translated into English... (5, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 9 years ago | (#12961959)

Microsoft will agree that OS/2 was murdered in the dark, if IBM agrees to install $75 million dollars worth of Windows products.


And this helps which company, again?

Re:Translated into English... (1)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962140)

IBM agrees to install $75 million dollars worth of Windows products

If IBM was smart they'd take that credit in the form of hardware. Microsoft makes decent mice and keyboards (new mouse and keyboard for every employee?) and the xbox and soon to be released xbox360 (maybe give them to employees as a bonus, or sell them cheaply), and taking the credit in hardware would hurt MS's bottom line a lot more than 75 million dollars worth of software.

Re:Translated into English... (2, Funny)

jd (1658) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962167)

$75 million dollars of X-Boxes later, IBM's workforce turnout drops to 0, IBM goes bust. Still helps Microsoft! :)

Re:Translated into English... (1)

JDevers (83155) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962195)

You definitely have a point, but taking $75M in xbox 360's wouldn't hurt MS as much as you may think. Now MS DOES take in on the nose with the hardware ( I think I read that they are projected to be in the red about $75 on the consoles at intro), BUT if IBM then gives those out to employees MS has a pretty big upside. Right off the bat, those are people who will NOT hold out for the PS3, plus since they were GIVEN the XB360, they are far more likely to buy a bunch of games.

What IBM should do is either take it in mice and keyboards and then redistribute them with their own stuff or take them in XB360s and just keep them ;)

Re:Translated into English... (1)

NighthawkFoo (16928) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962266)

Why not just use the $75 million in Windows licenses to offset the money that they already spend on them? IBM sells a lot of Microsoft software, either bundled with the hardware, or as part of a solution. This line of credit is essentially adding $75 million to the bottom line.

Re:Translated into English... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12962456)

$775 million in cash might help to take the sting out of things a little for IBM. (And I wonder who has to sign that check at MS?)

Re:Translated into English... (1)

tshak (173364) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962473)

Microsoft will agree that OS/2 was murdered in the dark

Agreeing to settle is not admitting guilt. Even with the large sums at hand there's a point where it's cheaper to settle than to drag things on.

I recall OS/2 Warp having its own set of problems. At the time I worked for a software retail store and OS/2 Warp was probably the most returned product the first couple of weeks it came out. Complaints ranged from "constant crashes" to "severe data loss". Win95 wasn't perfect, but we didn't have nearly the number of complaints. Even if MS's discriminatory pricing was truely illegal (they weren't a monopoly at the time), I don't think OS/2 needed any help dying. The people didn't want it regardless of the price.

Re:Translated into English... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12962706)

And this helps which company, again?

SCO.

I won't be surprised at all if one of the confidential clauses is that some of the $700MM get used to settle peacefully with SCO before the GPL's proven.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12961960)

Fuck the future and fight the past!

What about everyone else? (5, Insightful)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | more than 9 years ago | (#12961962)

In the course of the U.S. Justice Department's antitrust suit against the software giant, the government claimed that IBM suffered from Microsoft's discriminatory pricing and overcharging practices, according to a Microsoft statement released Friday.
And what software competitor didn't suffer from Microsoft's discriminatory pricing and overcharging practices?

Speaking of the U.S. Justice Department's antitrust suit against Microsoft, what I want to know is: Has the Microsoft approved penalties for the antitrust trial they lost fulfilled the requirements of antitrust law?

The law requires that a remedy:
Stops The Unlawful Conduct
Prevents Recurrence Of Unlawful Conduct
Restores Competitive Conditions To The Market

Has this happened? What's your opinion?

Re:What about everyone else? (2, Funny)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962018)

doubtful...

Re:What about everyone else? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962054)

Microsoft declared monopolies to be the new standard.

Re:What about everyone else? (1)

Idiotech (838541) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962411)

How many new releases of OS/2 have appeared in the last ten years? There is your answer to the competitive conditions query.

Re:What about everyone else? (1)

adtifyj (868717) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962415)

If that is the requirements of antitrust law, then it is understandable that antitrust cases are only slaps on the wrist.

Stops The Unlawful Conduct

Antitrust is a civil matter, and business operations are a very dynamic problem. A suitable outcome could be: We fired the person responsible. Of course the position would eventually be filled by someone with the same objectives.

Prevents Recurrence Of Unlawful Conduct

This is similar to the first; Judges are not business consultants, providing guidance on how a company should alter its future practises. Judges cant rule: For 3 years the company motto will be "Don't be evil".

Restores Competitive Conditions To The Market

This requirement would nesitate a economist provide the judgement!

The outcomes of anti-trust should be similar to SEC powers, and escalate with repeat offenses:

  • Provide a large disincentive; like the current payouts to competitors,
  • Force the business to undertake measures to rectify the market changes they have made.
  • Bar the entity from a section of the market for a period of time.

Microsoft is gay anyway (1)

dlrow olleh (886534) | more than 9 years ago | (#12961963)

Nothing more to say :-)

Rah Rah! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12961967)

Rah rah IBM! Boo Boo Microsoft!!

That about sums up most of the posts that will be made to this article. However, I must say... is this really a good thing? 775$ million seems like piddly for a decade of monopolistic behavior, in a multi-billion dollar industry.

I wonder if IBM will pursue the hardware front as well.

What a bunch of hypocrites. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12962050)

When Sun settles their case, they are selling out.. When IBM does... it's time for a fucken parade?!!??!?!

$850 million? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12961970)

Were the litigation costs even lower than that?

YEAH HEY (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12961978)

First Post!!!!

uhh... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12961986)

CASH???

IBM freed up by sale of PC division (4, Insightful)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 9 years ago | (#12961996)

With the sale of their PC division to Lenovo, IBM's been in a much less delicate position with Microsoft, not having nearly the same volume of MS software in the low-margin space where sweet deals are really necessary and the difference of a few bucks on a copy of XP means a lot in terms of the ability to turn a profit.

I get the vibe that MS knew that IBM had brought itself into a far stronger position WRT MS, and decided not to put up a fight.

Re:IBM freed up by sale of PC division (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12962165)

"IBM's been in a much less delicate position with Microsoft"

That would be putting in mildy.

With IBM dumping Lenovo, they have effectively purged a cancerous Microsoft division residing withing IBM itself.

Hopefully we will see this start to happen on smaller scales across the business computing world where many companies effectively have their IT department acting as an extension of Microsoft.

On A Side Note (4, Funny)

Cylix (55374) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962000)

Windows license costs have soared dramatically.

When asked what was the primary reason for the cost inflation, a Microsoft spokesman was quoted as saying, "Were going to fuck IBM every little bit we can."

Re:On A Side Note (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12962532)

And an IBM executive was seen secretly laughing, as he pointed out that IBM no longer sells computers bundled with Microsoft Windows.

(Well, ok, technically they sell other people's computers with Windows, but the point is IBM isn't paying Microsoft anything for Windows licenses except for those used by IBM employees.)

Sad (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12962002)

that a company can pay another company money to drop its charges and not calling it a bribe.

Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12962593)


that a company can pay another company money to influence a politician and not calling it a bribe but lobbying.

Re:Sad (1)

rewt66 (738525) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962616)

It's called a settlement. That's where you do something that the other side finds acceptable, and they don't sue you. If they have a legitimate court case against you, both sides can win from this. And society wins, too, because they don't have that particular case clogging up the courts.

Insightful? Hardly. More like clueless...

$775 million cash is in the form of vouchers (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12962025)

For XP upgrades, SQL server and quite a few licenses for MS BOB which the Notes team will use as a UI guide. IBM will be pissed, but the lawyers mad a few bucks.

Good... (2, Funny)

HellYeahAutomaton (815542) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962033)

Now IBM can rehire some of the 13000 workers it just laid off.

Re:Good... (0, Troll)

kayak334 (798077) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962068)

Nice troll.

Re:Good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12962074)

Now IBM can rehire some of the 13000 workers it just laid off.

yeah, right...

Does this mean IBM will switch to the CDDL too :-) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12962043)

Microsoft bought Sun's soul for a around twice that ammount (2 billion), and Sun practically walked away from the entire Chinese market [slashdot.org] .

Wonder how much loyalty this billion dollars will by from IBM. A SCO settlement?

Here's to hoping IBM doesn't back down too easily.

Re:Does this mean IBM will switch to the CDDL too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12962136)

Wonder how much loyalty this billion dollars will by from IBM

Grammar nazi says:

"Wonder how much loyalty this billion dollars will buy from IBM"

"buy" is a verb.
"by" is a preposition.

Harm to servers (2, Funny)

VeganBob (888165) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962053)

IBM's claims of harm to its server hardware and server software businesses are not covered by the settlement, however.


That is provided free-of-charge by Microsoft Windows Server.

Settlement blah settlement blah blah (1)

Hachey (809077) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962064)

I would suggest that the submitter next time use Theasurus.com [thesaurus.com] for all his synonym needs.


--
Check out the Uncyclopedia.org [uncyclopedia.org] :
The only wiki source for politically incorrect non-information about things like Kitten Huffing [uncyclopedia.org] and Pong! the Movie [uncyclopedia.org] !

Re:Settlement blah settlement blah blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12962101)

And I would suggest you read your own posts, as if you had you might have noticed your rather humourous spelling mistake.

Re:Settlement blah settlement blah blah (1)

Hachey (809077) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962152)

posting on /. is really the best spelling lesson for me these days. ;)


--
Check out the Uncyclopedia.org [uncyclopedia.org] :
The only wiki source for politically incorrect non-information about things like Kitten Huffing [uncyclopedia.org] and Pong! the Movie [uncyclopedia.org] !

My Rights Online... (3, Insightful)

motek (179836) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962076)

How Microsoft's payout to another big company relates to my rights? I mean - this is not an admission of wrongdoing, it is just a money transfer.

Re:My Rights Online... (1)

youknowmewell (754551) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962723)

I suppose this is just a matter of categories that are too specific, with YRO being the closest to the intended category.

I GOT A GREASED TELETUBBY SHOVED UP MY ASS!!!!!!11 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12962085)

His name is Greasy-Weasy. He's my friend. Looks an awful lot like Yoda.

Microsoft dollars... (1)

alexhs (877055) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962100)

$775 million payment to IBM and a $75 million credit toward Microsoft software

In other words, 775 million USD and 75 million MSD...

Re:Microsoft dollars... (1)

tped (457804) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962595)

There are a lot of desktops in IBM Land ... I wonder if those Microsoft Credits will affect IBM's plans to put Linux on internal desktops?

Remember this one? http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=13485 [theinquirer.net]

A drop in the bucket (4, Interesting)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962110)

At $11.24B/year, they make that much in a single month [yahoo.com] .

With SmartSuite out of the way, their Office package is the basically the only commercial offering out there. Microsoft's predatory, monopolistic practices easily made the company $850 million this year, and they've been doing it for a lot of years.

Some days, my faith in the system is tested.

Re:A drop in the bucket (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962733)

Ehm, why wouldn't OpenOffice (or StarOffice if you wan't to pay for it + advanced spell checker) count as a competitor to Microsoft Office?

Amicable (2, Insightful)

MECC (8478) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962112)

"IBM is pleased that we have amicably resolved these longstanding issues,"

Money is oh so amicable.

Raises for everybody (3, Insightful)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962115)

Now all the IBM workers that have been working at deflated rates due to this problem will get huge bonuses and raises.

Where's the beef? (1)

scribe165 (896716) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962243)

Can anyone explain the case IBM had against MS without a lot of anti-MS fanaticism or legal jargon? In fact, I'm a little fuzzy on where the line lies that divides good and effective business practices from evil monopolistic ones. This has been going on so long that it's difficult to figure out why exactly the anti-trust suites begain in the first place. And even though I don't care for their software, I think it would be only fair to understand why MS is being charged for what, in many cases, seems like promotion of their own product, which is just business. Can anyone explain, sans flamethrower, why MS is being hit with these suites?

Re:Where's the beef? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12962618)

suite (sw[long e]t)
n.

1. A staff of attendants or followers; a retinue.
2.
1. A group of related things intended to be used together; a set.
2. (also s[long u]t) A set of matching furniture: a dining room suite.
3. A series of connected rooms used as a living unit.
4. Music.
1. An instrumental composition, especially of the 17th or 18th century, consisting of a succession of dances in the same or related keys.
2. An instrumental composition consisting of a series of varying movements or pieces.
5. Computer Science.
1. A group of software products packaged and sold together, usually having a consistent look and feel, a common installation, and shared macros.
2. A group of procedures that work cooperatively: The TCP/IP suite of protocols includes FTP and Telnet.

Yet this isn't enough (3, Interesting)

EMIce (30092) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962191)

I believe one facet of this case was Microsoft's intentional breaking of Win 3.1 under Dr. DOS, which had a decent marketshare and better product at the time. They wouldn't be out-designed so they decided to play the bully. Like a kid who wants something so bad he takes it when no one is looking.

Good for IBM, though the market has still not recovered - but yet we've got these goons in Washington taking fat checks [lxer.com] to keep the monopoly going strong. This is no small problem, and it is only going to get worst without some corrective action from congress.

Intel should worry... AMD suit (5, Insightful)

phorest (877315) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962236)

From an AP article explaining the basis it sounds possible AMD might prevail if the same standard is applied... let's hope so!

The payout is one of the largest that Microsoft has made since U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ruled in 2000 that Microsoft engaged in anticompetitive practices. Jackson's ruling cited IBM as a company that Microsoft had forced to "desist from certain technological innovations and business initiatives."

For example, Microsoft didn't charge all computer makers the same amount for its Windows operating system, allegedly using higher prices as a cudgel against PC companies that didn't comply with Microsoft's wishes

that's one tall stack of cash (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962247)

50 miles high in dollar bills. 2700 feet in hundreds.

Microsoft wins again (4, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962270)

Microsoft will pay IBM $775 million cash in addition to $75 million in credit.

To MS, $775M is not that big of a deal. But having IBM get $75M worth of stuff from them is. Even if it's on credit. Remember - MS makes it's money off of mindshare. And having IBM who has rather recently and somewhat famously embraced Linux suddenly get $75M of free MS stuff is a huge win for MS.

I'll bet if the deal had been on the table to simply pay IBM $775M to accept $75M in MS products, MS would have gone for it. They'd pay that much to have $75M worth of mindshare suddenly implanted into one of the largest Linux players out there.

Re:Microsoft wins again (1)

ID000001 (753578) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962479)

Not neceassary.
They could always just buy 75$ millions of Optical mouse and keyboard. Or whatever hardware microsoft dare to come out with that will work fine with Linux.

Re:Microsoft wins again (3, Interesting)

Hollins (83264) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962498)

If IBM considers $775M adequate compensation, then the $75M MS credit is irrelevant. They don't have to use it, and can choose not to.

If they want to take a poke at MS, though, they could set up an amnesty program, such that when any company is being muscled by the BSA, funds from the $75M are used to bring that company into compliance for past use, possibly in exchange for adopting IBM software in the future.

Re:Microsoft wins again (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962674)

But having IBM get $75M worth of stuff from them is. Even if it's on credit.

Who says IBM ever has to USE this new $75M line of credit?

Naturally, they will, because an organization the size and breadth of IBM is going to have some Windows-based components in it. I don't see it following that IBM will have to promote Windows mindshare to its end-users, though.

GPL OS/2 (3, Interesting)

tmbailey123 (230145) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962275)

Does the resolution of the OS/2 dispute mean that IBM is free to release OS/2 under a GPL license without fear of M$oft legal action ?

Re:GPL OS/2 (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962566)

Unlikely. The OS/2 thing concerns Microsoft's attacks on IBM during 1995 when IBM started making a serious attempt to market OS/2. This culminated with IBM not getting what they needed to test Windows 95 on their own machines until the night before release, and having to pay retail for copies. IBM capitulated and dropped all marketing of OS/2 and Lotus Smartsuite in return for getting the same treatment as companies like Dell, Compaq, and Gateway were getting.

My guess is Microsoft basically said: "Ok, we'll give you lots of money, and if you want, you can start marketing OS/2 again... but hold on... nobody's going to want to buy OS/2, not now in 2005, and you don't make PCs any more so you can't bundle OS/2 with them, so, this doesn't mean a whole lot now does it?"

Re:GPL OS/2 (1)

tmbailey123 (230145) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962744)

Seems like the argument would suggest there is no reason not to release the code as an opensource project.

I had heard that the reason why OS/2 has not been GPL'd is there is proprietary code that M$oft wrote and still holds the rights to those lines of code in OS/2. (Another SCO Novell type squabble)

I think it would be very interesting to see many of the GPL'd apps out there ported to OS/2. OpenOffice, GIMP, Apache.

While it has been 15+ yrs I remember OS/2 as having a very nice desktop and would be another excellent Windbloze alternative.

I guess things look good for AMD :) (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962341)

Hopefully the superior courts are on the same kick of large corporations taking advantage of their positions to muscle out the little guys.

I guess we'll see ...

As an old OS/2 user, please permit me to say... (3, Interesting)

dduck (10970) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962420)

...hahahahahaha!
hahahahahahaha!
hahahahahaha!
hahahahahahaha!
hahahahahaha!
hahahahahahaha!
Aaaa-hahahahahaaaa...
Aaaaaaa-hahahahahaaaaahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaa....

Oh well. I guess it's great for IBM that they got paid, but what about the pain of all the BSOD's that we poor users had to contend with for - oh - a decade or so, where we could instead have been using a properly multitasking, threaded and memory protected OS. :( I don't think that pain is ever going to go away (even though it *is* soothed somewhat by the niceness and comfort of OS-X these days).

attempt at higher visability (1)

scribe165 (896716) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962451)

Can anyone explain the case IBM had against MS without a lot of anti-MS fanaticism or legal jargon? In fact, I'm a little fuzzy on where the line lies that divides good and effective business practices from evil monopolistic ones. This has been going on so long that it's difficult to figure out why exactly the anti-trust suites begain in the first place. And even though I don't care for their software, I think it would be only fair to understand why MS is being charged for what, in many cases, seems like promotion of their own product, which is just business. Can anyone explain, sans flamethrower, why MS is being hit with these suites? -- age and wisdom overcome youth and treachary

Yeah! (2, Funny)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962477)


So my cheque for my failed DeskStar drives is going to be funded by Microsoft. Shweeeeeet!

So SCO suit is a retaliation for this! (1)

RelliK (4466) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962506)

Now I see it. SCO suit is not only about spreading fud. It's also a retaliation for/bragaining chip in this suit.

Cheap (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 9 years ago | (#12962631)

Microsoft gets off cheap. While $775M is big to us, they just write a check out of cash reserves and continue on with one less legal hassle. Good deal for them.
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