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Microsoft == Monopoly says Judge

Hemos posted more than 14 years ago | from the time-for-the-debate-to-begin dept.

The Courts 963

Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson has released his initial finding of facts - which appears to be very favorable to the government. Judge Jackson agrees with the government's assertions that Microsoft holds monopoly power in operating systems in the Intel world. Now, note of course, that is just an initial finding - now the two sides debate the penalties against Microsoft. Check out the government web site for the Findings of Fact - though it's running pretty slow there's a mirror as well. The info is all over the news as well. Thing sound grim - click below for a quote from the Judge:

"Microsoft has demonstrated that it will use its prodigious market power and immense profits to harm any firm that insists on pursuing initiatives that could intensify competition against one of Microsoft's core products," Jackson wrote in his findings. "The ultimate result is that some innovations that would truly benefit consumers never occur for the sole reason that they do not coincide with Microsoft's self-interest."

Ouch. Pretty harsh words from the Judge. No one knows what the penalties will be, and the possibility for a settlement between the Government and DOJ are much more probable now, as Microsoft knows the way the judge feels about it. Things are gonna be different, though.

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963 comments

Re:DIE M$ BERN IN THE FIERY DEPTHS OF HELL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558279)

rather 3rd but still

Windoze Ruling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558280)

Remember young Jedi Knight Windows leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to Linux. :)

How long untill the final verdict? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558281)

sbj says it all

Judge dumps on Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558282)

As part of the ruling he said that Microsoft has no significant competition and will not for the near future. Someone should send him a copy of Caldera or RedHat and see if still feels that way.

Ah...now THAT makes my Friday! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558283)

I was hoping that the government would carry a big stick on this one.

Go trustbusters!

micro$uck==monopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558284)

simply put duh!!!!!!!!!!

No surprise. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558285)

It took a lengthy, expensive trial to determine this? Hoil. Ah well. Now to see what happens to Billy Boy an Co. Faboo.

This BLOWS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558286)

How does Linux + BSD + Novell + Commercial UNIX + BeOS + MacOS = a permanent monopoly on the part of Microsoft in PC operating systems?

Sounds like Jackson has ignored any current trends in the market place in making this decision.

Netscape ought to be happy. With all this help from the Government, they won't have to spend precious time improving their browser... Oh, wait... That has already happened!!!

Bah.

Predictions anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558287)

Now that the court has stated the obvious (that Microsoft is a monopoly and has abused their power and harmed consumers), I'd like to know what everyone thinks comes next. (As of right now - 7pm EST - MSFT is down at least $2 in after hours trading).

Personally, I think that MS will make further fools of themselves by trying to make what amounts to a plea bargain, which the DOJ will probably reject, and the court will wind up imposing stiff penalties, probably enough to wipe MS off the road map if anyone makes a push to replace them in the market (Linux?).

And as for me, I may well have the first post.

AB

first poster are in the HIZZOUSE!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558288)

this is yet another fizzirst post bizzzziatch!!!

come on waste yr fucking moderation points on this... we'll put up more....

FIZIRST PIZOSTERS r00l!!!!

Judge on Winblows® (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558289)

I hate MS as much as anyone else, but this is bullshit. Next, lets go after McDonald's for making their burgers too tasty to be fair, and for bundling their fries with said burgers.

No big shock, watch the hethen dance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558290)

Amazingly, the folks who hate MS will be thrilled by this and cite it as some sort of "proof". Yet, these same people bitch and moan constantly about how clueless the legal system is at technical issues.

The hypocracy will continue:
* The government does understand tech - BUT they were right about MS.
* Linux is gaining ground, major companies are shipping systems with Linux on em - BUT we are so small and weak MS is a monopoly.

So in the name of killing the great satan you will declare yourselves small and ineffectual and kiss the ass of the government you hate. Cry for less government and legal intervention in the 'net - unless it suits you.

Hypocracy is alive and well on slashdot. Of course, since no one seems upset about the delay of releasing the code to 'slash' on the #1 opensource advocacy system in the world this is no shock.

This made me smirk.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558291)

The document is offered in Acrobat and WordPerfect formats. -NOT- MS Word. Does anyone else see the humor in this? Also, what server software is the main site and the mirror running?

This can only be a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558292)

This can only be a good thing for the computer industry as a whole. Very interesting to see on CNN that they where talking about that Intel had proposed something that would speed up the multimedia experience in computers, and miocrosoft had refused to follow. The judge concluded with that Microsoft was holding back on innovation because it threathened about BAD things if Intel went to another OS vendor.

Yes!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558293)

got 1st b3fore ewe!

Yes, all you sturches can worhsip me NOW!

I correct myself. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558294)

When I loaded the page there were no comments. In the time it took me to think, write, and post, my comment got the #40 spot. At least I took the time to think instead of mindlessly screaming FIRST POST... (of course, the guy screaming "BURN IN HELL M$" probably didn't and he still got one place behind me :) AB

Or Cisco... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558295)

...who is probably the next target.

Chat at #mozillazine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558296)

We're chatting about the findings at #mozillazine on irc.mozilla.org. Stop by if you want, and we'll email you a PDF copy of the finding.

MEEPT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558297)

MEEPT!

Re:This BLOWS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558298)

Well yes - you see, thats what started it all. Netscape couldn't hack it, and they just had to whine and run to momma.

Anyone who has the ability to compete knows how bad this is, and the whiners will just keep begging for the government to step in and save them.

Re:Let's hear from the pesudo-libertarians now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558299)

I'm sure you would also love to pay $4/min for long distance right about now too.

MSFT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558300)

Microsoft is a monopoly? News to me.

ITS NOT WHAT YOU THINK, ITS MUCH WORSE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558301)

FIRST FRIKKIN POST SUCKAZ!!!


(OR NOT)

Re:woo hoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558302)

Linux users unite and watch as Microsoft GROWS in power. If they are forced to split, which will not be the case, they will focus more attention on each individual sector. LOL My stock will continue to grow, and the company I work for (Fortune 500) will continue to use Microsoft products.

One down, one to go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558303)

The first "one" is today's FOF. The second "one" will be the settlement. At this point I doubt MS will run the risk of letting Jackson make a final ruling and determine a penalty. I suspect the lawyers for both sides will spend a LOT of time in the same room or on the phone with each other over the next few weeks.

Today (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1558609)

November 5th, 1999 The Duh heard round the world

Stay calm folks. This is Just a Finding Of Fact.. (5)

torpor (458) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558620)

As much as I'm happy that this is finally out there, and I feel that this is a major step in bringing Microsoft into line with the rest of the computer industry, I want to make sure that people realize that this is BY NO MEANS A GUILTY VERDICT.

It's just a "Finding of Fact" from the Judge - he's selected all the facts presented to him, and determined what he finds to be true, and supported by the arguments presented.

I am not a lawyer, but I know enough to realize that this is not a final verdict, and that this trial could still go anywhere from this point on.

It's a significant step, but before we get all slashdot-a-riffic about how Microsoft sucks, just realize that this is a formal step in what is still going to be a very long legal battle against Microsoft.

If anything, however, this will effect a lot of peoples attitudes towards Microsoft, regardless of their understanding of the legal system and exactly what this FoF means... so we should probably be happy about that.

People generally are no longer going to be viewing Microsoft as the warm fuzzy company that it is in the minds of many ignorant Americans, as a result of this Finding of Fact.

And that's a good thing, because it was our (computer industry in generaly) complacency towards businesses like Microsoft, doing the things they've done, that led to this problem in the first place...

Ironies (1)

smartin (942) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558647)

The government site posted the thing in Wordperfect format :). Unfortunatley the first two times I tried to read a summary of the finding at CNET, netscape crashed :(

Re:Does this mean linux is not a viable competitor (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558648)

In case you hadn't noticed, only a very tiny fraction of people use those OSes on x86 hardware, which is where Microsoft was ruled to have a monopoly. Consumers in general cannot receive the benefit of these "fine technologies" if Microsoft uses it's very significant power to keep OEMs from offering them or using other tactics to undermine them. One of the big reasons Linux is enjoying the popularity and attention that it's getting now is that Microsoft has been under heavy scrutiny for quite a while and hasn't been able to make any overt moves to harm competition.

Whatever Happens (1)

On Lawn (1073) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558657)

I hope it benefits Wine, Twin and Twine....

hint:
(open the source, open the source)
^~~^~^^~~^~^~^~^^~^^~^~^~~^^^~^^~~^~~~^~~ ^~

Re:Stay calm folks. This is Just a Finding Of Fact (1)

jafac (1449) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558669)

Make no mistake, though, this was a VERY important ruling. Had it gone the other way, a GUILTY verdict would not have been possible.

On the other hand, there's still the dilemma of what punishment to mete out, and will it be worse than no punishment (for consumers).

And after that, of course there are appeals, and what I'm expecting: Microsoft to flat-out ignore any injunctions (as they have in the past, both the 1995 injunction about bundling, and the Java injunction, which was later overturned anyway).

Hooray for our side.

I wish I had a nickel for every time someone said "Information wants to be free".

Re:Only a monopoly, not guilty (1)

jafac (1449) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558670)

Well, from the evidence presented, it WAS established that Microsoft did some stuff. That stuff was not illegal if Microsoft was NOT a Monopoly. Microsoft always said that they were NOT a Monopoly, that was the core of their defense.

Since they ARE a Monopoly, and they DID do the stuff, it's almost certain that we'll see a GUILTY verdict.

I wish I had a nickel for every time someone said "Information wants to be free".

Re:Down with MS (1)

jafac (1449) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558671)

awlright! let's get the torches and pichforks, and head on down to the Gates' place!

I wish I had a nickel for every time someone said "Information wants to be free".

But, what to do about it? (1)

matty (3385) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558702)

I completely agree with the judge's statement about innovations not taking place because of Microsoft's influence, but what's the remedy?

Do you all really think that a break up of some sort will be beneficial? Is there any way to really 'moderate behavior'? What do all y'all think?

I believe that breaking them up into 2 divisions (Operating Systems and Applications, with IE and IIS being applications) would be the most effective way to keep them from leveraging the Windows monopoly to increase market share of applications.

The problem, of course is this:

1.) In so doing, you create 2 very aggressive companies, each with it's own monopoly (Windows and Office)

2.) How do you keep the two new companies from engaging in collusion with each other?

Ruling that Microsoft has a monopoly, they have abused it and the government should do something about it, while monumental, pale in comparison to coming up with and implementing an effective remedy, IMO.

Cheers,
matty

From the findings: (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558704)

It begins with the history of the personal computer ("1. A "personal computer" ("PC") is a digital information processing device designed for use by one person at a time.") and builds to:

33. Microsoft enjoys so much power in the market for Intel-compatible PC operating systems that if it wished to exercise this power solely in terms of price, it could charge a price for Windows substantially above that which could be charged in a competitive market. Moreover, it could do so for a significant period of time without losing an unacceptable amount of business to competitors. In other words, Microsoft enjoys monopoly power in the relevant market.

34. Viewed together, three main facts indicate that Microsoft enjoys monopoly power. First, Microsoft's share of the market for Intel-compatible PC operating systems is extremely large and stable. Second, Microsoft's dominant market share is protected by a high barrier to entry. Third, and largely as a result of that barrier, Microsoft's customers lack a commercially viable alternative to Windows.

I couldn't get the WP file to work...

Re:From the findings: (2)

Otter (3800) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558705)

Perhaps also of interest here:

50. The experience of the Linux operating system, a version of which runs on Intel-compatible PCs, similarly fails to refute the existence of an applications barrier to entry. Linux is an "open source" operating system that was created, and is continuously updated, by a global network of software developers who contribute their labor for free. Although Linux has between ten and fifteen million users, the majority of them use the operating system to run servers, not PCs. Several ISVs have announced their development of (or plans to develop) Linux versions of their applications. To date, though, legions of ISVs have not followed the lead of these first movers. Similarly, consumers have by and large shown little inclination to abandon Windows, with its reliable developer support, in favor of an operating system whose future in the PC realm is unclear. By itself, Linux's open-source development model shows no signs of liberating that operating system from the cycle of consumer preferences and developer incentives that, when fueled by Windows' enormous reservoir of applications, prevents non-Microsoft operating systems from competing.

3. Open-Source Applications Development

51. Since application developers working under an open-source model are not looking
to recoup their investment and make a profit by selling copies of their finished products, they are free from the imperative that compels proprietary developers to concentrate their efforts on Windows. In theory, then, open-source developers are at least as likely to develop applications for a non-Microsoft operating system as they are to write Windows-compatible applications. In fact, they may be disposed ideologically to focus their efforts on open-source platforms like Linux. Fortunately for Microsoft, however, there are only so many developers in the world willing to devote their talents to writing, testing, and debugging software pro bono publico. A small corps may be willing to concentrate its efforts on popular applications, such as browsers and office productivity applications, that are of value to most users. It is unlikely, though, that a sufficient number of open-source developers will commit to developing and continually updating
the large variety of applications that an operating system would need to attract in order to present a significant number of users with a viable alternative to Windows. In practice, then, the open-source model of applications development may increase the base of applications that run on non-Microsoft
PC operating systems, but it cannot dissolve the barrier that prevents such operating
systems from challenging Windows.

The Judge's Statement about Competition (1)

SteveX (5640) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558729)

"In his findings of fact, Jackson said there are no current products that pose a competitive threat to Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows operating system, and that no such products are on the horizon.".

Would anyone here care to correct him? :)

Down with MS (0)

Ulic (6715) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558733)

Down with MS

FUNKY CHICKEN DANCE (1)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558737)

Minneapolis,MN: All the techs here are singing holleyluya and throwing empty mtn. dew cans and nurf darts all over the place.

--

Re:Mirror! (1)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558738)

Thanks. That site was incredibly slow. Hopefully we can piece together a full mirror tonight. I only grabbed the pdf because the html one was spewing major server errors. I started about 20 simul downloads. 1 completed (and just barely).

--

Mirror! (2)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558739)

Mirror here [mediaone.net]

--

This is because... (1)

Anarchitect (9282) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558748)

WordPerfect is *the* standard format amongst the legal crowd (IANAL, but a friend is). And PDF is mostly cross platform (no reader for the C64 yet tho').

Punishment? (1)

Freshman (9729) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558752)

We know that judge Jackson believes MS has monopoly power. We've known for a while what options there are should MS be punished (it is my opinion that they will be).

My question to you guys is, what punishments, if any, should be layed upon Microsoft? Some say a complete breakup could affect consumers, confusion, etc. Others want Billy Gates to be shot.

Hopefully this can be an intelligent thread about what should be done with MS.

Linux not a threat to Windows, says judge (1)

VValdo (10446) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558758)

In his findings of fact, Jackson said there are no current products that pose a competitive threat to Microsoft 's (MSFT) Windows operating system, and that no such products are on the horizon.

Not lookin' good for Linux ;)

W
-------------------

About time (1)

mr_storage (15210) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558816)

About time microsoft got what's coming to them. First post. :-P

Now the fun begins... (1)

Neurowiz (18899) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558840)

... or the endless cycle of appeals. We still have to learn what laws the judge will rule have been broken. I think this is a major finding, but ultimately only the second in a series of steps.

Gate's response seems to have been taped much earlier... I would give a few $$$ to see the prerecorded tape he made in case the judge ruled in favor of Microsoft:

"Suckers....."


--

Thank god... (1)

Bill the Cat (19523) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558845)

...we'll get the chance to vote this administration out of federal office next year.

The press coverage of this... (1)

Bill the Cat (19523) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558846)

...is really awful. Let's see what's passing for breaking news on CNN:

Big News Item: Microsoft has a monopoly in desktop OS's...duh!

This is all a textbook example... (1)

Bill the Cat (19523) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558847)

...of the combination of media/law/politics that is such a bad influence on our country these days. It's actually kind of fun to watch, but I can't imagine what people who don't know how to think for themselves are beginning to believe about all of this.

It's not over yet! (1)

jfrisby (21563) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558854)

Please remember that simply *having* a monopoly is perfectly legal. It's the leveraging of that monopoly to destroy competitors, or capture other markets that is illegal.

This finding of facts only demonstrates that yes, MS is a monopoly. A fact that hasn't been in (serious) dispute for a long time. The judge still has to rule on whether MicroSoft actually broke any laws, and if so, what remedy will be enacted.

While I support remedies to the MicroSoft monopoly because I am convinced they have acted illegally, I think simply "breaking them up" would be disasterous. At least, depending on how it was done.

Break them up along product lines:
Pros:
-Simple.
-May reduce their ability to leverage their monpoly.
Cons:
-Totally ineffective in breaking their monopoly.

Break them up into mirror companies with access to the same initial codebases:
Pros:
-Potentially obviates their monopoly
Cons:
-Doesn't help other competitors such as Linux
-May create market confusion with different, increasingly incompatible versions of Windows

And the other remedies proposed:

Force them to release the source to Windows in a timely and consistent fashion:
Pros:
-Gives "real" competitors such as Linux the ability to interoperate, and thus compete.
Cons:
-Goes against the ideas of capitalism, makes a mockery of intellectual property laws, and generally panics the tech industry.
-Doesn't actually nullify their monopoly.

Force them to release detailed, accurate, timely, advance specs to Office file formats:
Pros:
-100% Interoperability with MS Office would eliminate one of the biggest hurdles keeping Linux off of corporate desktops. (usability is something we can take care of without the DOJ's help... :>)
-Helps competitors
-Makes the playing field truly merit-based
Cons:
-Doesn't directly nullify their monopoly
-Probably not possible since the question of Office was never raised as an issue...

Personally, I favor the last option. I'd like to see Linux be able to compete on it's merits rather than against it's flaws. (Subtle difference)

(Support Livid and Linux DVD Movie support -- http://www.mrjoy.com/protest.html for more info)

Jon Frisby, Sr. Software Engineer,
Personal Site (MrJoy.com) [mrjoy.com]

Why is the government... (1)

.@. (21735) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558856)

...using a Microsoft web server for this?

Gee, you think? (1)

arkham6 (24514) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558865)

Well, what this means is what everyone knew before hand if offical now. What I found ammusing is on the microsoft homepage, they have link called 'DoJ vs. Freedom to innovate', as if it was a court case. Gee, perhaps there should be another link somewhere called 'Microsoft vs freedom to compete.'. People may complain that our legal system takes to long, but it does get the job done. Eventualy

Be glad you don't own MSFT stock... (1)

jzawodn (29312) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558877)

It'll be *really* interesting to see what happens to MSFT stock now that the news is out. Time to sell short, maybe? :-)

Let's see, they had about 35 million shares trade hands today. It looks to be down over 3 points now in after-hours trading, and it's dropping like a rock.

Woohoo!

MS will drag it out. (1)

nas (29935) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558880)

I believe that the Microsoft lawyers will drag this case out as long as possible. By the time it is over it will no longer relevant.

The IBM case went on for 10 years before the government called it off. By that time IBM's mainframe monopoly was irrelevant. Microsoft has the cash to do this. What do they care how long it takes?

It's official. Interesting Excerpts: (2)

CocaCola (30016) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558882)

Section III, Paragraph 33.: 'In other words, Microsoft enjoys monopoly power in the relevant market.'


p.121: 'Just a few days later, Microsoft began
to retaliate in earnest against the IBM PC Company.'


p.241: 'In sum, Microsoft successfully secured for Internet Explorer --
and foreclosed to Navigator -- one of the two distribution channels
that leads most efficiently to the usage of browsing software.'


p.412: 'Most harmful of all is the message that Microsoft's actions have
conveyed to every enterprise with the potential to innovate in the
computer industry.'


Thomas Penfield Jackson signature

Hats off Judge Jackson, this ruling shows an unprecedentedly deep and analytic understanding of the inner workings of the high-tech world. A must read for everyone!

Does this mean linux is not a viable competitor? (1)

bobdylan (30598) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558888)

If MS truly is a monopoly, and as such there are no products that pose a competitive threat, what does that say about Linux or *BSD or Solaris? It seems a little difficult to believe the crux of the case, MS being a monopoly, while all of these other fine technologies exist.

File formats for the official findings... (3)

victim (30647) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558889)

I note that you can get the findings in HTML, PDF, and WordPerfect 6 formats. Some popular format seems to be missing, now what could that be...

JudgeJ says to BillG.. (2)

Wah (30840) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558892)

..

"Liar, liar. Pants on fire."

Freedom to innovate, my ass. I can't stop smiling. Now let's see how well the courts take it. I know one place you'll see it immediately...Wall Street. From all those "M$ accounting faux paus" comments I gleaned that each point of M$ stock is ~$6,000,000,000. Watch it drop 20 points...

(I'm watching CNBC, and they're just now reading it. I think /. will have the best commentary on this around, so try to keep the biases as home.)

JudgeJ also mentioned that M$ made it a "jolting" experience to change browsers, a very big deal to him.

Should be fun to watch, just try not to panic, it's the downfall of the sentient, M$ was down 1-3/4 when I started writing this post, it's down 3-1/6 now. That's in after hours trading. Now they have a guy from caldera talking about Linux, so I'll post this.

I'm partying about this tonite, be safe.

(First "real" Post?)

Re:Stay calm folks. This is Just a Finding Of Fact (1)

Mr_Plow (30965) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558897)

Very good points, indeed. What has been discussed is that Jackson will sit on this for a while in order to spur settlement talks between the DoJ and Microsoft, as probably nobody wants to deal with years worth of appeals court.

In addition, what people should realize is that even if Microsoft is broken up into separate companies, this is NOT a victory for Linux or OpenSource as people are now chanting "Hurray the wicked witch is dead." Do you think that even if Microsoft *does* lose the suit that people will stop using Windows? Do you think that Microsoft's products will stop dominating the industry? Or do you think that they will stop using unfair business practices? Take a look back to their previous losses against the government. They have lost lawsuits before and have ignored the rulings. It's not over. Not even close. The only real positive outcome here is that if *you* are a developer and you get threatening calls from Microsoft, you can just threaten them back that you will report them. But other than that, it doesn't sound like anything the courts can legally do will change much of anything outside of the infrastructure of the company itself. And granted, that would be a big blow to them, but it is NOT going to take Windows off the desktop, and it certainly isn't going to make the average user turn to Linux instead.
---------------------------------------- ------------------

The Judge also said this about Linux (1)

spectecjr (31235) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558899)

"For while consumers might one day turn to network
computers, or Linux, or a combination of middleware and some other operating system, as an
alternative to Windows, the fact remains that they are not doing so today. Nor are consumers
likely to do so in appreciable numbers any time in the next few years." - Judge Jackson.

Re:But, what to do about it? (1)

thrash_ (34661) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558911)

Definitely have to agree with you there. It will only make Billy boy more money to break them up. Here's why.

Microsoft got into it's position by using Windows to get Office entrenched. They would give you Office as long as you bought Windows. Now, companies will have to pay for BOTH. This is exactly what M$ wants. They can't break the company up themselves, because the stockholders would be furious. But it the DoJ does it, well "We couldn't do anything about that!"

Just my 2/100 of a dollar.

They were focusing on the desktop market (1)

bridgette (35800) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558919)

While the UXes are quite viable (and preferable) in the server market, WINTEL dominates the desktop market. I don't think even the hardcore slashdotters think that Linux will dominate the desktop in the next few years.

Re:File formats for the official findings... (1)

colinj (36496) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558924)

WordPerfect is used by a majority of US law firms
so I wouldn't read too much into it..:)

The Gov't is wrong! (1)

ragnarsedai (43164) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558944)

No, that's ``wrong'' as in morally wrong. The Sherman Antitrust Act is arbitrary law.

http://microsoft.aynrand.org/

http://www.moraldefense.com/microsoft/

I dislike Microsoft and its products, (and haven't used any in the past few years, IIRC), but this
case is a disgrace for me, as an American.

Yee-haw! (1)

daemous (43293) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558952)

Finally something that makes sense.

Re:Stay calm folks. This is Just a Finding Of Fact (1)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558957)


>before we get all slashdot-a-riffic about how Microsoft sucks

I agree. It is just a step in a long journey. Just like all of the tobacco trials.

>People generally are no longer going to be viewing Microsoft as the warm fuzzy company that it is in the minds of many ignorant Americans, as a result of this Finding of Fact.

Actually I think that the general public will not care as much.

Being a monoploy is not "evil" or "wrong" in it self. Remember, Major League Baseball is a legalized monopoly. (If I remember correctly.) Also, AT&T went through the same thing, got split into the Baby Bells and individually in their own markets they are still a powerful force. There is even talk about some of them merging back together again.

Standard Oil got split up in the 20s-30s(?) into Exxon and a bunch of other oil companies. They are still around today, throwing around their weight.

Microso~1 (1)

nakky (50471) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558982)

Hey oh really note the formats they use to allow the user to see the documents pdf and wordperfect

doing the non-micropest thing

Only a monopoly, not guilty (0)

Viv (54519) | more than 14 years ago | (#1558995)

From what I've seen, the Judge has only found that Microsoft is a monopoly, not that it's guilty of breaking any laws.

Remember -- being a monopoly is not in and of itself illegal. It's only when you use the power inherent in being a monopoly to maintain that monopoly, or establish a monopoly in another market, that a company is commiting an illegal act.

Okay, well, maybe that's not the only time it's illegal to be a monopoly, but in THIS case, the judge has yet to decide that Microsoft has broken the law -- he's just established with this ruling that Microsoft COULD have broken the law. If he had decided that Microsoft was not a monopoly, then that would mean that Microsoft could not have broken any anti-monopolistic laws at all.

Ding dong the witch still isn't quite dead... (1)

Chis (68477) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559042)

Too bad there won't be any benafits of this "finding of fact" until after more lengthy lawyer stuff.

It was much easier to break up something like AT&T there were acctual tangible things to pass out to the "baby bells." I wonder if they really can break up Microsoft? I can see them painting little dotted lines all around the Microsoft complex in Redmond. What stops all the "best" programmers from all ending up in the same "mico Microsoft"?

not as big as you might think... (1)

eries (71365) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559055)

This judge has a serious history of anti-Microsoft sentiment, and so it is no surprise to anyone (least of all MS) that he would "find facts" in this way. Microsoft has been gearing up for this for some time, and IMHO is waiting for the appeal process to really win the case.

Besides, government regulation will be every bit as stifling to innovation as MS ever was. Just wait till Linux is on 99% of desktops...

Fear the Government that fears your O.S. (1)

Slime (73435) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559064)

WRONG WRONG WRONG!

Once the Gov't get's it's hands on defining our industry we are all screwed. Today it's M$ tomorrow it's random acts of prosecution.

what a sad sad sad day.......

Re:Does this mean linux is not a viable competitor (1)

Schmelvic (74744) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559068)

Keep in mind, this decision is that Microsoft is only a considered a monopoly in the desktop market. Even though we all would love to say that Linux is a power in the desktop market, there just aren't the numbers to prove it. Now, with servers, that's another matter.

Time-Fro-The-Debate-To-End (1)

Lodro (77033) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559071)

With all considerable respect due to Hemos, I'd say this is also an ending of sorts. Hopefully it will become more and more difficult for people to pretend that Microsoft is not a monopoly.

You can still be a legitimate supporter of Microsoft and yet face facts that MS is an monopoly. Hopefully know we can have a more intelligent debate about what if anything should be done about it.

BeOS and Linux are "Fringe" OSs (1)

Lodro (77033) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559072)

..accorrding to findings, pp. 23

Linux not a threat? (1)

linuxfundorg (78787) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559079)

He does not see linux as a problem for ms.

This could really hurt ms on the court case.

Benjamin

Re:Down with MS (0)

antdude (79039) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559080)

"Hasta la vista, baby" :).

Re:yup (0)

antdude (79039) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559081)

Down MS!

Munchkins (5)

scumdamn (82357) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559100)

Is it just me or did the world just gain color? I feel like dancing around singing "Ding Dong the witch is dead!" This means good things for Caldera and any company that's suing Microsoft. They just have to say "Judge Jackson says Microsoft is a monopoly" rather than trying to prove it. MS is and will always be considered a monopoly. At least until they've gained considerable market share.

Remember Your History! (3)

Jack William Bell (84469) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559104)

IBM was found to be a monopoly that acted in illegal restraint of trade back in the 1970's. Fifteen years of appeals later they got it thrown out of court...

Don't expect anything right away from this. Other than the stock tanking that is :-)

But one important point: While IBM was fighting the Justice Dept. they took their eye off the ball for just a little bit. It wouldn't be important, except that little bit was more than long enough for Microsoft to pull a fast one and end up owning the PC OS market. What happened before can happen again.

My take? Don't count on the slow, grinding wheel of the courts to achieve any particular end. Look for an opportunity and do it yourself!

Jack

Re:Stay calm folks. This is Just a Finding Of Fact (1)

laptop lounger (86463) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559116)

Don't bet on that. The spin machine is working overdrive. They are harping their position that the judge has not taken into account the dynamic competition and rapid pace of change in the industry. They stress their right to innovate on behalf of the consumer.

As long as the press keeps letting those kinds of statements go by without challenging them, MS may not come out of this looking as bad as they should. We shall see.
Never underestimate the power of wishful thinking to filter what the eyes see and what the ears hear

Let the Lawsuits Commence! (2)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559122)

It'll be interesting to see how many lawsuits are filed now. I bet Caldera's DR DOS is only the tip of the iceberg. Remember "It (DOS 3.3) ain't done 'til Lotus won't run!" I'm sure MS has stepped on a few companies who will now try to make a case for MS's actions being illegal because they were a Monopoly at the time.

Cool.

I wonder if a class action suit demanding redress for the damages done to the computer industry would be in order. I bet we'd all be on 64 or 128 bit machines right now if we hadn't been dragged down by Wintel's need to stay backward compatable.

thank God... (1)

stewart.hector (87816) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559123)

i really didn't think the judge would rule against microsoft. But now, this time, hopefully sufficient penalties will be given to MS. Remember the last time the US government had the chance to do this - back in 95, when Windows 95 was relesed, MS were just let off.
hopefully this time round the lessons have been learnt. If this is handled correctly the computer market can be opened up to more competition for the benefit of us customers and hopefully innoviation will return - not MS's version of innoviation. Companies will no longer but swallowed and put out of business because of MS's dodgy trading practices.
Hopefully companies will have more of a chance to compete, like companies of other industries have always enjoyed. Computer industry should be no different...
Of course there is a long way to go... this is just an initial ruling... this could change. I wouldn't start celebrating properly until MS get the penatlies they richly deserve.
big sigh of relief!

Justice is blind? (1)

mr (88570) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559125)

Or just obvious....

Now: What will the governement do? Pay for open source development?

Force Microsoft to open source its code! (1)

Fastball (91927) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559142)

There are lots of solutions bouncing around, but I think opening Microsoft's code to the public would be the best solution. I don't care that Microsoft makes a lot of money. Who wouldn't want those kinds of profits. But opening their source would prevent them from forcing competitors out of markets with proprietary software. And we could improve their software and make it adhere to widely accepted standards.

I don't think dividing the company into various OS, applications, and Internet groups would do much good. Each mutation of Microsoft would still be heads and shoulders above the rest of the software world.

3G

Monopoly (1)

Mephist0 (92438) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559144)

Ok, so Microsoft is a monopoly. I think we all knew that.
Having had my share of BSOD, DLL mixups and having had to reinstall Windows quite a few times just to get the system in a stable state, I am certainly no supporter of Microsoft. I have Linux at home and at work, and I can assure you it is more stable.
I don't own any MS stocks either, maybe on Maonday I'll wish I had shorted it ...
The one thing that bothers me though, is that free entreprise and Capitalism are supposed to be a system where anybody can make as much money as they want, if their product is superior.
I believe Microsoft can be beaten because Linux (or Be, or BSD, etc ...) is BETTER than Windows. Why do we need the government to break up Microsoft. If we can make Linux (or other OS) as good as we want them, then Microsoft will not sell any more Winows, and will break up by itself !

I saw this ruling coming... (1)

Whatthehellever (93572) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559147)

We expected this, didn't we? I never had a doubt... however we must look at this logically. Will MS be broken up or just given a slap on the wrist?
Hopefully, this will usher in the Penguin Power monopoly. I love the legal system.

FOF available in PDF, HTML and WP6??? (1)

nichachr (98296) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559158)

I find it pretty amusing that the FOF was available in PDF, HTML and WP6 format. Who's the govt. kidding? If what they're saying is true nobody is using WP6! (well not exaclty but you get my point). Odd that it wasn't available in .doc fomrat....

Re:Windoze Ruling (1)

Sylvia (98428) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559159)

love and affection lead to linux ...

Re:Judge dumps on Linux (1)

Sylvia (98428) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559160)

i just think that MS has a lock on the popular business mind ... the aggregate general business mind ... i cannot get the folks in my work group to look at making a change even though we really cannot stand the way windows is working, or the costs of the upgrades, or being locked into buying more and more equipment for more and more space hogging non performing MS crapola ... so why cannot i influence them ... i am just learning how to do linux and star office myself and what is and isn't supported and how to do things ... looking at a workgroup locked into a consortium of work groups and if there's one single connectivity question i cannot answer, that's it ... no matter how many frigging times a day we are all locking up and finding MS anomalies as a practical consideration ... it is not that the products aren't available ... it's that there's the myth of being dependent ... that really IS a monopoly ... if people BELIEVE it is, it is ... they don't know how to read slash dot do they ... i am just learning that too ...

Format (1)

DrEvil (99432) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559164)

So. MS has this monopoly over the desktop market - and they can't even force the DOJ to publish in Word format, instead of PDF and WordPerfect? Sure.

I'm finaly proud of my government... (1)

zbo (99921) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559165)

About time they did something right! I wonder what the final decision will be like though

Re:Thank god... (1)

_dim_ (100610) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559170)

oh sure, you can have a chance to get in office
guys bought by bg...
so your big brother will be watching you.

Linux & Be listed under "Fringe Operating Systems" (2)

Macaw2000 (103146) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559181)

... and given no meaningful respect. I guess that shows how out of touch the judge was and how potentially harmful his ruling is.

It has now been ruled by a federal judge that LINUX IS A FRINGE OPERATING SYSTEM.

DOJ vs MS (1)

rmaloney (110956) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559206)

The verdict will be just as most have predicted, and the quote is just a harbinger for the coming announcement. Needless to say, MS is not leaving the courtroom unscathed. Jackson attacked Microsofts unethical assaults on any company or product that attacks their 'core' products, but will they have the nerve to shut Microsoft out and break up the monopoly? Probably not. Just another day in the business world.

MICROSOFT == MONOPOLY (0)

Luciano Ribas (111066) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559209)

Kill Microsoft!!

WooHoo (1)

aitala (111068) | more than 14 years ago | (#1559210)

hehe looks like M$ is in for some fun now...
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