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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » The MS Consent decree is in

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Author Topic: The MS Consent decree is in
LetterRip
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Here is the decree -
http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/Opinions/2002/Kotelly/FinalDecree.pdf

and here is Microsofts opinion on the settlement.
http://ap.tbo.com/ap/breaking/MGAV2PVV08D.html

Well, my faith in the justice system is gone.

LetterRip


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Baldar
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Why, what is the obvious evil created here? Did you want Microsoft to be "dismembered"? What exactly was the action that destroyed your belief in the justice system beyond the politics you might hold?
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LetterRip
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No,

I could care less whether MS was dismembered. I thought it was a mediocre idea at best.

However, there is nothing to this settlement other than stating that Microsoft can't continue some of its illegal monopolistic behavior.

She dismissed all remedies that would have made the market potentially competitive - ie publishing APIs and file format specifications. MS is exempt from licensing the information to business models it finds objectionable, ie any model based on open source. The exception for security, DRM, etc. allows essentially nothing to be released since it is fairly simple for MS to redefine anything as security or DRM related. It still allows for MS to rapidly change APIs and file formats so that software companies can be made non-interoperable but MS software maintains interoperability.

Thus it did nothing to redress past behavior and almost nothing to make the market more competitive (OEMs can now bundle other software and MS can't punish them for it directly and a few other mostly useless sops), it did almost nothing to curtail the important MS dirty tricks that it has used to leverage its monopoly. All of these problems were clearly laid out in the Amicae (sp?) briefs submitted in regards to the settlement, prior to Kotter-Kelly's review.

LetterRip


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Baldar
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From another post elsewhere:
quote:
Microsoft now has no say as to whether their operating system is offered in a dual-boot setup with a competing operating system, in regards to OEM manufacturers.

Microsoft cannot object to OEM manufacturers removing some icons for applications (like MSN internet or Microsoft's Internet Explorer) as conditional to selling licenses for resale.

Microsoft was ordered to release even more of their APIs (code for developing software) for Windows.

They've been steadily releasing code over the last few years, in concessions with the court.

This is to insure a more level playing field between Microsoft's proprietary software, and third-party (non-Microsoft) developers. (here's an interesting one) Microsoft must offer users the option of loading different operating systems from their boot loader (it's what tells your machine to load the operating system), as well as allowing for such a decision to be made in the BIOS (basic input-output system... the stuff that starts the computer running).

Microsoft can now not aggressively retaliate against competing developers, under penalty of law.

Much tighter licensing and royalty agreements.


Hardly nothing. What did you want? What about the impact of intellectual property rights? Or do you believe Msoft should not have any?

What do you consider

quote:
it did almost nothing to curtail the important MS dirty tricks that it has used to leverage its monopoly

And how does that differ from Netscape offering its programs for free, or the practices of Sun Microsystems?


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Locus
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LetterRip,

Yup ..it's ok to kill someone ..just so long as you don't do it again. (or we get our take)

Guess where we diverge is that I never had much faith in the system to begin with. (there was way more going on behind the scenes than merely the justice system to blame this fiasco on)


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LetterRip
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Baldur,

sorry forgot to reply to this sooner (just watched Gates talking with Charlie ?? about the Tablet PC, etc. and it reminded me...)

quote:
Hardly nothing. What did you want?

Most of this is 'shutting the barn door after the horse has left.' OEM computer sales as a percentage of installed base is now relatively minor, at the time the behavior was engaged in it was fairly major.

quote:
Microsoft was ordered to release even more of their APIs (code for developing software) for Windows.

The terms are such that it has no impact. They don't have to license to those they disagree with their business model as well as other exceptions. So really nothing.

quote:
They've been steadily releasing code over the last few years, in concessions with the court.

Your source is incorrect. It was not in concessions with the court. It was voluntary and a marketing tactic. MS Shared Source is intended to give the appearance as having the same benefits as open source software (the aspects not directly associated with cost, such as the ability to audit, modify, and patch the code).

quote:
This is to insure a more level playing field between Microsoft's proprietary software, and third-party (non-Microsoft) developers.

It has been designed so that it really has no impact, it only addresses parts of the software that are no longer important and mostly irrelevant any longer (projects such as WINE have reverse engineered substantial portions of Windows, to the point where some versions of MS Office can be made to run almost fully functional - Excel, Word, PowerPoint - I think Outlook and IE are a bit further off). Everything relevant to Microsofts future monopoly efforts have been excluded entirely. ( DRM and security, other platforms and other huge gaping holes...)

quote:
Microsoft can now not aggressively retaliate against competing developers, under penalty of law.

And they couldn't legally have done so before. 'We were kidding before, but this time we mean it.' This was supposed to be 'under penalty of law' for their last consent decree violation.

quote:
Much tighter licensing and royalty agreements.

I don't think this is correct, the agreements are only slightly tighter. There will be no lifting of the MS tax paid on every computer, unless they were refering to something else.

quote:
Hardly nothing.

Yes it really is pretty much nothing. Much of this behavior was addressed in the previous consent decree in 1994. The 'Shared Source' has been forced by the market. The access to the improved information on APIs is only of interest to open source competitors who are specifically excluded (MS gets to choose who can and cannot license the API information...)

quote:
What about the impact of intellectual property rights? Or do you believe Msoft should not have any?

The individual misunderstood. Neither the APIs nor file formats are protected by copyright law or patent. At best, they might be considered trade secrets (although no such justification has been put forth).

I'll write a bit more later, it is late.

LetterRip


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