MSFT Unpunishedgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Bill Parish : One Thread
Now that Mafiasoft will apparently go unpunished, how can the Court justify protecting the mythical "right to innovate" for one monopolist, while dooming same right for 10,000 potential competitors?
-- Tom Nadeau (email@example.com), June 28, 2001
rather surprising that microsoft's pyramid scheme was not considered.
-- Bill Parish (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 29, 2001.
The courts are not finished with Microsoft. Judge Jackson was not thorough enough during his remedy phase. A new judge will now decide what punishment Microsoft will get, and then this new remedy will be debated and defended in court. Microsoft's arguments thus far have been shot down by two levels of justices. That trend will not stop, for Microsoft cannot possibly legally justify their anticompetitive actions. No telling how long the new remedy will take to prepare, or cook, before it is ready to be served. But Microsoft is knee-deep into their troubles, and the shoreline is miles away.
The more they flail, the less energy they have to stay afloat when the tide finally comes in. News from the past few months indicate that Microsoft does not want to get out of the water gracefully. They are going to keep swimming *their* way, or be taken "home" by a lifeguard in a body bag.
-- Al Boulley (email@example.com), July 11, 2001.
Jackson's remedy was exactly spot on. He gave a court that was extremely sympathetic to MS a way out with his unwise disclosures to the media during the trial. The court leaped at it. The key issue for developers is a fully documented OS interface. This still might happen.
I'm just starting to try and get my head around Bill's fascinating finance stuff. Has anyone considered the business models of RedHat and the like? Do they represent a consumer-friendly alternative for the tech industry?
-- Matthew Gaylard (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 12, 2001.
Just to further clarify the issue in terms of the OS interface. If the Windows 2000 interface was fully documented and open, porting products developed for it - like MS Office - to other platforms (such as Solaris, Linux, and the various other Unix flavours) would become trivial once a Windows emulation layer had been developed. And the development of such a layer for each platform would be eminently practical and logical. In other words, consumers would have a choice.
-- Matthew Gaylard (email@example.com), July 13, 2001.
The documented OS interface (APIs) works both ways. Not only can new entrants occupy the Windows application space -- cutting into MSFT revenues for Office and its connected .NET scheme -- but also the reverse is true. Applications designed for Windoze could be more easily ported to superior alternative platforms (OS/2, BeOS, Linux, etc.) and this allows non-MSFT platforms to become viable again.
However, there is a flaw in this remedy. Every time somebody talks about "opening" an MS API, they assume that an API is a static thing. It is not. MSFT is certain to continue making APIs a set of moving targets. They can always offer free web-loaded patches to change APIs and add undocumented interfaces (including disabling documented ones, to target specific competitors).
The real solution is to abolish the monopoly itself -- the preload monopoly. If Microsoft products cannot be bundled with any PC hardware, then PC makers must necessarily offer alternative OS's and bundled alternative applications right out of the box, cutting MSFT revenue while propping up the alternative platforms and developers. The transition costs to PC makers for this changeover should be paid by MSFT as their monetary penalty.
-- Tom Nadeau (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 16, 2001.
I think that microsoft is evil and bob gates should go to jail.
-- Joshua Gaylard (email@example.com), December 09, 2002.