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(C|Net)   Justice Department admits that the reason they settled with Microsoft is that they thought they would lose otherwise   ( news.com.com) divider line
    More: Obvious  
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2352 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Mar 2002 at 3:08 PM (16 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2002-03-06 03:10:55 PM  
2002-03-06 03:11:59 PM  
2002-03-06 03:12:04 PM  
what has the US prosecuted successfully lately?
2002-03-06 03:12:34 PM  
Well of course they would have.
2002-03-06 03:14:09 PM  

I'm going to PUKE now.
2002-03-06 03:19:48 PM  
No, it's because of a republican administration. Everything else is bullcrap excuses.
2002-03-06 03:22:32 PM  
I'd just like to know what SBC has against Microsoft. If anything, they should be hoping that Microsoft gets off, because they themelves look suspiciously like a monopoly, and at the very least have uncompetitive practices related to telephone service.

2002-03-06 03:25:34 PM  
*cough-cough* :::BULLshiat:::
2002-03-06 03:26:20 PM  
Settled because they couldn't make a strong enough case.
I think it's time for the liberals to start biatching about how much money was spent on the trial and investigation.
The DOJ had less on MS than they did on Clinton (obvious)and every liberal I know can tell you how much $$$$ was spent on that!

Happy to get the flame bait ball rolling.

2002-03-06 03:26:22 PM  
Ahhhh... my job is secure
2002-03-06 03:27:31 PM  
I'm just impressed by the fact that the author of the headline didn't spell it loose.
2002-03-06 03:28:00 PM  
So, when is DeBeers going to be allowed to do business directly in the US?
2002-03-06 03:38:29 PM  
Chilly Willie

No kidding, now I can relax with my copy of MSDN Universal..

Notice how all the groups that were speaking (outside of SBC) were funded by Microsofts competitors. If you can't build a better product, then hire lawyer.
2002-03-06 03:42:02 PM  
HAH !! We should all be so lucky. Future headline I would like to see :

"IRS admits that the reason they settled with SkinInk for nonpayment of taxes is that they thought they would lose otherwise."

2002-03-06 03:52:02 PM  
So the translation of what the prosecutor says is, basically, "we couldn't prove it."

Which, legally, means NOT GUILTY. So why is Microsoft being made to do ANYTHING?

MS was brought up on charges, the prosecutor could not prove those charges, and yet MS is still having to settle.

Things are seriously farked up nowadays.
2002-03-06 03:54:43 PM  
Antitrust is a very difficult area of the law. Sure, Microsoft is a monopoly, but what's the remedy? I'm disappointed, but this was bound to happen.
2002-03-06 03:57:59 PM  
Cool. Now coporations can outspend our Government in legal battles....
This is not reassuring...
2002-03-06 03:59:11 PM  
: I think MS should mail me 5 cents for every time I've had to reboot this fricking PC b/c IE crashes and refuses to reload and the only fricking way I can fix it is to reboot.

frickity, frack...

Bill, please send me my damn $500 bucks (nickels will be fine)!!
2002-03-06 03:59:16 PM  
There should never have been any legal action to begin with. The Clinton Just Us Department had to show those evil capitalists what happens to a company that succeeds. The downturn in the economy was directly related to that bullshiat, and the current Justice Department should have the balls to say it. The whole thing should be dropped.
2002-03-06 04:03:16 PM  
"So why is Microsoft being made to do ANYTHING? MS was brought up on charges, the prosecutor could not prove those charges, and yet MS is still having to settle."

Microsoft isn't being forced to anything- THEY CHOSE TO SETTLE. It does not say that they could not prove the charges, only that they thought that they'd have problems proving one element (albeit an important one) of the case. If Microsoft thought the DoJ had no case, why didn't they go to trial?
2002-03-06 04:14:10 PM  
Get a Mac or run Linux and forget Microsoft exists...
2002-03-06 04:17:30 PM  
SLAYER, Microsoft is making boodles of money despite the fact that their products svck. Svck, svck, SVCK! If there was real competition they would have dot bombed by now because of this. They make these boodles of money through Mafia tactics. IMHO the government erred by using the antitrust statutes to go after Microsoft, they should have used RICO.
2002-03-06 04:29:08 PM  
zorgon: "They make these boodles of money through Mafia tactics."

excuse me? maybe i'm wrong, but i didn't see steve jobs or larry ellison gunned down by mob thugs. they don't deal drugs as far as i know and they don't steal money from anyone. what a stupid statement.

toupsie has it right. IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, DON'T BUY IT.
2002-03-06 04:44:54 PM  
Yeah, Mawam, but the folks at Sun Microsystems and some of the other companies might disagree with you. How about testimony from Compaq about how Microsoft threatened to break their deal bundling Windows with their machines unless Compaq removed the word "Compaq" that preceded the Windows logo during start up. Or threatening to charge companies more per unit of Windows if they didn't also bundle it with Internet Explorer (that was when MS first introduced its browser). Microsoft clearly engaged in anti-competitive behavior to some degree, and those are just a few examples. Product tie-ins are per se illegal under the Sherman Act. So, you are right, don't buy it if you don't like it, but it sucks to do business with Microsoft.
2002-03-06 04:46:43 PM  
Get a Mac or run Linux and forget Microsoft exists...

And while you're out, go buy that Geo Metro or Yugo.
2002-03-06 04:47:09 PM  
How could Netscape and Java replace Windows?
2002-03-06 04:48:25 PM  
Whaaaaat? THIS WAS A SLAM-DUNK! There was no doubt they abused their monopoly power! It's their M.O.! The only competition they have is from thousands of programmers who work for FREE on GNU Linux!
2002-03-06 04:56:22 PM  
If you'd really like to discuss this, check the advocacy groups on usenet, this stuff has been churning for years.

Goes long beyond Explorer or Win95, at least back to the days of DOS.

If anyone thinks MS is an innocent company that played by the rules and got slammed for being successful, you're ignorant.

Plenty of other companies have succeeded without a lot of legal questions and they're not getting hit. Not that any action will have much effect on MS today anyway.
2002-03-06 04:57:38 PM  
Leave Microsoft alone. Let the market be totally free. Microsoft may be screwing other companies right now, but eventually (through free enterprise in an uncontrolled marketplace) someone else will be in their position.
2002-03-06 05:01:48 PM  
If you don't like their stuff. Go buy a friggen mac.
2002-03-06 05:04:02 PM  
Me, ignorant?

Plenty of other companies have succeeded without a lot of legal questions and they're not getting hit.

There's not a company in the world in that size range that doesn't have legal challenges daily. Sun, Intel, Novell....
2002-03-06 05:04:14 PM  
Like it or not, MS is not actually a monopoly ass it exists on paper. the real issue was improper business practces. Apple is MORE of a monopoly than MS is.

Their computer....

Their accessories...

Their OS.....

Their software....


As for MS having crappy products! Ha! What Word processor do you use? What about for your e-mail? And the real kicker, what is better than Excel for spreadsheeting?

Oh wait, if your on daddies AOL account, so you can't use outside e-mail applications. And maybe when you hit high School you might just have use for Excel. But not likely, they don't usually like lap-tops on the short-bus.
2002-03-06 05:05:05 PM  
It takes BILLIONS of dollars in engineering and manufacturing to create a microprocessor -- yet there are no fewer than 3 players in the P.C. processor market. It takes a 17-year-old, a P.C., and a C-compiler to make an OS, and there is not even ONE commercial Microsoft competitor. It doesn't take a genius to figure that one out.
2002-03-06 05:16:18 PM  
Yes, they are treating me very well. They feed me twice a day. I am looking forward to coming home and seeing my family soon.

Slayerswine - they got in trouble not for becoming a monopoly, but for abusing it by stifling competition, and the law presumes that is bad for consumers. I've never had significant problems with them either, all though sometimes the autoformat on Word drives me mad, but the issue is whether their behavior unfairly drove competitors out of the market.
2002-03-06 05:20:08 PM  
Leave Microsoft alone. Let the market be totally free. Microsoft may be screwing other companies right now, but eventually (through free enterprise in an uncontrolled marketplace) someone else will be in their position.

I saw a lot of posts that looked pretty stupid, but this one caught my eye. Not saying it was stupid, but it is a fallacy.

Yes, a monopoly is not illegal. What is illegal is abusing a monopoly and maintaining a monopoly. Microsoft did this, and does this. By preventing OEMs to sell competing OSes on their hardware alongside Windows, yes, that is illegally maintaining a monopoly. That is a predatory business tactic, and clearly illegal. Microsoft shovels halfass programs on the market and extremely undersells better products until they are driven off the market. Often they do this by tying the products with Windows.

Another thing is, does anyone in their right mind believe that someone could come up with a competitor to Windows? Didn't think so. Do you think Microsoft will ever be persuaded to let anyone else compete? Didn't think so.

Now it's all well and good to say "We can't regulate, that's communism, there will never be any competition!!!" And, on the surface, hell that's sounds brilliant. If I thought for one second that someone could compete with Microsoft, hell I'd agree with you. But they can't, face the facts, and there's been numerous examples which date back much further than Windows 95. So, Microsoft is a monopoly, Microsoft will always be a monopoly unless they are broken up. There are two solutions, break up Microsoft and allow competition. Or an alternative, have Microsoft act as a regulated monopoly instead of a lawless unregulated monopoly.

I don't know which is better, personally I'd like a little of both. But I'll say this. The DOJ went into this anti-trust suit with the WORST case possible. They focused on a very meaningless issue, browser integration. Which, is a non-issue, and extremely trivial when compared with everything else Microsoft has done. Then Bush hijacked the government and the case went all downhill.
2002-03-06 05:22:27 PM  
Linux (various flavors)
Unix (various flavors)

tons fall under that alone, let alone the other CPU and OS alternatives.

Mac OS X

How many CPUsare there? 3 are used frequently... Intel, AMD and Motorolla

NONE of this qualifies as a monopoly.

People want to espouse the virtues of capitalism, and say it is self correcting and will cure the worlds ills. But this only holds true as long as they are successful. when someone surpases them, they scream foul and want to regulate it. the same people screaming free market and no regulation are in on the whole "Let's bust MS" fiasco.

What a crock... the trumped up charges failed. STFU and move along.

Take a poll of what OS, and what software, all the attorneys were using to compile the data and get all their forms and facts organized. uh huh, i bet there is a clasue in the EULA that says you cannot use this software to legally attack the very company that made it. Most software DOES have this clause.

But i still bet, BY CHOICE, they were at least 90% MS users.

"I know i have a sucker mommy, but i want brothers sucker too!"

2002-03-06 05:27:43 PM  

03-06-02 05:06:53 PM SLAYERSWINE
I know there are 2 sides to every story but I still can't get over the way they made Microsoft to seem like such a monster.
I use Windows 98 and I never have had any major problems in 2 years so I'm happy with Microsoft.

It's vogue to bash Microsoft. 90% of the people that do it just do it to do it. No reasons.

Shuh, I'd like to meet the 17 year old that can produce an OS that runs on anything BUT his hardware configuration and is usable to anybody BUT him.

Time to wake up here boys and girls, AOL / TW is going to rear it's ugly head soon and you'll all see who the true monopoly in America is.

Just wait until you don't have any other choice but to watch a Warner (and all it's subsidiaries) Movie, TV program or listen to any Warner Elektra Atlantic music or watch CNN using only Netscape, AOL and watch Warner Cable on their highspeed service and a proprietary Netpliance. OH and let's not forget they own 90% of the dvd production houses in the WORLD now.

They own 90% of the entertainment media today. Not just a farking PC desktop. They own enough politicians to approve a merger that made them the single largest owner of content and distribution of that content in the world.

But noooooooooooo...it's all Microsoft we're worried about.
2002-03-06 05:37:54 PM  
Bullseye, as soon as I find out whether your obfuscated blathering is supporting Microsoft or against it, I'll respond. And as soon as I find anything of relevance in your post.
2002-03-06 05:45:04 PM  
Bull, if you cannot figure out why Apple isn't a monopoly, the remainder of your conclusions are just as worthless.

The products that are used for mail/word processing/etc. has little to do with their quality.

That's similar to saying McD's has the best food in the world because that's what has sold the most.
2002-03-06 05:47:06 PM  
Good points Der_Jackal....

in 2001 AOL/Time Warner revenues were $38.2 Billion USD
in 2001 Microsoft revenues were $28.8 Billion USD

If you think Microsoft is evil (which I don't, Microsoft is soft bunnies in my heart), then AOL/Time Warner should be the devil, who do you think is bankrolling the RIAA, DCMA, SSSCA, and raising CD prices to $18 while paying artists $0.35 per CD (see Toni Braxton's record contract).

Quit complaining about Microsoft, soon everything you see, read, watch, listen to will be owned by AOL/Time Warner, and leased to you for a fee to use for a while.

Besides, AOL/Time Warner is funding some of the lobbying groups to break up Microsoft in the DOJ action.
2002-03-06 05:59:25 PM  
Neither Apple NOR MS are truly monopolies, but Apple fits the textboot criteria far more than MS does is my point.

As for the most sold not being the best, here is my challenge...

Name the Word Processor that is better than word on most platforms!

Name the Spreadsheet that even comes close to Excel on ANY platform........
2002-03-06 06:11:29 PM  
anti-trust laws, politicians and second rate corporate beggers are to blame for this whole mess, not microsoft. to solve a problem you need to go to the root of the problem and that root in this case is the fact that the government gets it's nose into these situations in the first place. if microsoft is the only one making a decent operating system then they deserve the fruits of their labor. it wouldn't matter if they charged $10,000 per unit. they are the ones who produce it, they are the ones who should not only decide the price but the parameters for other businesses to do business with them in order to use those products. buying a computer operating system is not, i repeat NOT, an inalienable right. nor is doing business with anyone under your terms when it is the people you are doing business with who hold the cards.
2002-03-06 06:35:19 PM  
Apple doesn't come close to fitting any criteria for a monopoly.

You're completely missing the point on which program is best. Once MS eliminated other programs from serious competition, they had time to improve their product.

What's better? Got me, WordPerfect is preferred by many, and as far as spreadsheets, I've never investigated.
2002-03-06 06:35:54 PM  
vi is far superior to word on Solaris, Red Hat linux, Debian (etc with linuxen), aix, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD. Emacs is far superior to vi. Word is superior to vi on Windows, and (maybe) Mac OS. Gnumeric is superior to Excel on the same examples I used for vi. Excel is superior to gnumeric on windows and (maybe) Mac OS. The mac os maybes are because gnumeric and vi both run on Mac OS X.

Therefore, vi is superior to Word, and Gnumeric is superior to Excel.

That doesn't compute! its a platform choice; your example illustrates why MS is a monopoly - you don't see any alternatives as 'valid'. Sure, maybe their office suite/web browser is the best ever, but if that means you are tied to their OS (or vice versa) then you don't have a 'valid' choice.

I guess I shouldn't go to fark for relevant conversation and jsut enjoy the flamewar. Its a shame so many people make pronouncements on a topic they aren't very knowledgeable about.
2002-03-06 06:43:00 PM  

So you would prefer that we went back to having old, shiatty AT&T as both our local and long-distance phone service, with no choice in the matter? Or that Standard Oil were the only purveyors of gasoline and petroleum products?

Computers, like it or not, are as entrenched in our society as the telephone and car. Try going a day without some computer interaction, and you'll find that it's difficult - no atm, no looking at computer-controlled stoplights, electronic billboards, no using the phone (swithcing systems are 99% computerized these days,) no farking, no microwave, you probably won't be able to use your car either.

The main reason behind anti-trust and monopoly regulations is that the market CAN'T self-regulate in the case of a monopoly, that monopoly will extract monopoly profits and use that capital to prevent any and all comers, whetehr by dumping, tying, and otherwise destroying all competitors.

Have fun being poor in your monopoly-driven society!
2002-03-06 06:51:39 PM  
Gracefully presented with a nice big healthy can of "Read a friggen book"....

mo·nop·o·ly Pronunciation Key (m-np-l)
n. pl. mo·nop·o·lies
1. Exclusive control by one group of the means of producing or selling a commodity or service: "Monopoly frequently... arises from government support or from collusive agreements among individuals" (Milton Friedman).
2. Law. A right granted by a government giving exclusive control over a specified commercial activity to a single party.
a. A company or group having exclusive control over a commercial activity.
b. A commodity or service so controlled.

a. Exclusive possession or control: arrogantly claims to have a monopoly on the truth.
b. Something that is exclusively possessed or controlled: showed that scientific achievement is not a male monopoly.

Notice the use of the word EXCLUSIVE? Yeah, i caught that too. Let's analyze that, shall we?

adj 1: not divided or shared with others; "they have exclusive use of the machine"; "sole rights of publication" [syn: sole(a)] 2: excluding much or all; especially all but a particular group or minority; "exclusive clubs"; "an exclusive restaurants and shops" [ant: inclusive] 3: not divided among or brought to bear on more than one object or objective; "judging a contest with a single eye"; "a single devotion to duty"; "undivided affection"; "gained their exclusive attention" [syn: single(a), undivided] n : a news report that is reported first by one news organization; "he got a scoop on the bribery of city officials" [syn: scoop]

wow, not divded, not shared. Sole seems to pop up. that would mean to be a true monopoly, you have to the the ONLY product in that field, period.

Now as laughable as it may be, someone commented that Emacs and vi are better Word processors than MS Word. they even suggested Wordperfect (is anyone still using that? i suppose some people still use rotary phones somewhere too). So again, let's do a little but of reading....

What is Emacs?

To quote the Emacs Manual:

Emacs is the extensible, customizable, self-documenting real-time display editor.
If this seems to be a bit of a mouthful, an easier explanation is Emacs is a text editor and more. At its core is an interpreter for Emacs Lisp (``elisp'', for short), a dialect of the Lisp programming language with extensions to support text editing. Some of the features of GNU Emacs include:

Wow, that is from the main site. look at that, it is a text editor, and not even a Word processor at all. On many platforms it only does about 10% of what Word can do.

But what of vi?

VI - A Definition

Vi is a Text Editor
[970812] What is Vi? Well, in short - Vi is an "editor", ie a program that allows to "edit" (making changes to) files. These files usually are files containing "text" (ASCII 000-127). Hence VI is referred to as a "text editor", even though you can also edit "binary files" (which include characters with the highest bit set, ie characters ASCII 128-255)

Wow, again, a text editor, and NOT a Word processor at all....

Hmmm, before ANYONE goes blasting that soemone does not know of what hey speak, they must ensure their argument is infallible.

These 2 were not.
2002-03-06 06:57:00 PM  
Bull, I don't think you understand how humorous it is for you to be taking a position of condescension when you're so far off the mark.

Reread your own definitions.
2002-03-06 07:03:58 PM  
Vi and Emacs aren't word processors, if they were word processors people wouldn't use them. But people do use them, because they're NOT word processors. They're very useful for coding.

But then, to say that Microsoft is not a monopoly, and then to say they have no competition in the word processor or spreadsheet market is equally confusing. Lotus used to be the major spreadsheet, and had been for years. Then Excel kicked it out. How you ask? Excel started out as a very crappy product, and still can only do probably half of Lotus, but it has almost completely replaced it. Predatory pricing, and bundling it with Office. Of course, it can be argued IBM just gave up on the product.

Then look at Wordperfect. Actually, some people still use this, and as it's compatible with Word for documents, it's not as big a deal as Lotus. It's still around in some places, it's the word processor of choice for lawyers and secretaries. Surprisingly Bullseye does ask, what lawyers use, they probably do use a lot of Microsoft, but they probably use Wordperfect.
2002-03-06 07:25:59 PM  
cortez: let's look at those two examples you provided. at&t was a cockeyed concoction of the government to regulate existing technology and standard oil had plenty of small, niche competitors that could have made things not only more efficient but cheaper if it wasn't for the government getting involved and forcing extra regulations and taxes that made the cost of doing business way too expensive for everyone EXCEPT for standard oil to compete.

you assume that businesses are prone, when ultra-successful, to lean toward monopoly when, in fact once a company gets complacent, starts charging more than it's customers are paying and irks it's business customers too much that someone will come along (without the gov's help) and provide something better - ESPECIALLY in the rapidly changing computer software business. you'll be surprised that not only will there be few if any true monopolies but the technology and price will be CHEAPER when the government just BUTTS THE FARK OUT.
2002-03-06 07:43:49 PM  
Microsoft this..Microsoft that... I am just glad that there is a company that has made my day to day workload much easier. Windows makes things simple. Especially in the average work environment. The Netscape browser needs to go away along with a number of other companies that are trying to fight the big penis that is Microsoft. Just deal with the fact that we all are going to get farked 1 way or another by uncle Bill.
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