#2745 - 11/01/0112:00 AMA rather sad day indeed. M$ winner takes all.
While I'm not surprised, I would have thought M$ would have had at least token punitive measures demanded of it by any governmental deal struck. This, if true as it stands is an outrage! Lets hope the State's Attorney Generals "step up" and demand some measure of justice here. <br><br>Hot off the AP:<br><br>Microsoft, Feds Reach Tentative Deal<br><br>By TED BRIDIS and D. IAN HOPPER<br>.c The Associated Press<br><br> <blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>WASHINGTON (Oct. 31) - Microsoft Corp. and the Justice Department reached a tentative agreement Wednesday to settle the historic antitrust case against the software giant, and state attorneys general were reviewing terms of the deal, according to people familiar with the talks.<br><br>Terms of the prospective settlement were closely guarded, and people close to the negotiations cautioned that precise language was still being worked out even between Microsoft and the Justice Department.<br><br>The attorneys generals from the states that sued Microsoft for antitrust violations were weighing whether to sign onto the deal, the sources said.<br><br>Charles James, assistant U.S. attorney for antitrust, disclosed the agreement to the attorneys general on Wednesday and said Microsoft also would accept the terms, the sources said, speaking only on condition of anonymity.<br><br>The computer industry has eagerly been monitoring the talks, looking for a possible settlement and hoping it would combine with the release of Microsoft's new Windows XP operating system to invigorate the lagging industry that has helped drag down the stock market.<br><br>The new trial judge, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has set a deadline of Friday to reach a settlement. The sides - including state prosecutors from Iowa, Connecticut, New York and Wisconsin - met late into the night Wednesday with mediator Eric Green in Washington.<br><br>The considerations in the coming days by state attorneys general and their top lawyers are important. The case was nearly settled during previous negotiations under U.S. Circuit Court Judge Richard Posner, who hinted afterward that states had spoiled an agreement by seeking tough penalties that Microsoft rejected.<br><br>The states have in the past suggested they would press forward against Microsoft if the U.S. government settles the case in ways unacceptable to them.<br><br>A spokeswoman for the Justice Department, Mindy Tucker, declined to comment on the talks.<br><br>Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has hinted in recent days of successful negotiations, saying on ''The Charlie Rose Show'' last week that he was ''fairly optimistic'' an agreement would be reached. Microsoft spokesman Vivek Varma said Wednesday he would not discuss ''any aspect of the confidential discussions'' but added that, ''We believe a settlement would be good for consumers and the overall economy.''<br><br>An industry trade group that has been critical of Microsoft's business practices braced for the deal, issuing a statement late Wednesday accusing the Bush administration of ''selling out'' by seeking weak penalties.<br><br>The Washington-based Computer and Communications Industry Association charged the administration wasn't pushing for tough enough penalties such as requiring Microsoft to disclose its source code blueprints for its flagship Windows operating system.<br><br>''The Justice Department isn't settling this case, it is selling out consumers, competition, and all those who want a vibrant, innovative high tech industry contributing strength to our economy,'' the group's president, Ed Black, said in a statement.<br><br>Microsoft and Justice officials would not immediately comment on the group's charges, but a pro-Microsoft trade group, the Washington-based Association for Competitive Technology, said only Microsoft's competitors don't want to see a settlement. The head of the group, Jonathan Zuck, said a settlement is desirable ''particularly in this time of economic downturn and national crisis.''<br><br>Lawyers and executives for Microsoft have previously bristled over suggestions that any settlement would require them to disclose the ''source code'' blueprints for the company's monopoly Windows operating system, the underpinnings of its multibillion-dollar business.<br><br>Microsoft officials also have warned they wouldn't accept any broad prohibitions against bundling new features into Windows.<br><br>The prospective agreement is a five-year consent decree between the government and Microsoft, with a possible two-year extension if the company violates its terms, a person close to the talks said. A three-person advisory committee would oversee compliance with the agreement. Those details were first reported by The New York Times.<br><br>James, the antitrust chief, recently announced the government won't seek to break up Microsoft and will not pursue that part of the original lawsuit that was thrown into question by a federal appeals court over the summer.<br><br>He also decided not to try to block Microsoft from releasing Windows XP, its newest version of its operating system.<br><br>The original judge in the case, Thomas Penfield Jackson, ordered the breakup of the software giant into two companies after concluding Microsoft violated antitrust laws by illegally stifling its competitors.<br><br>But a federal appeals court reversed that penalty this summer, and appointed a new judge to determine a new penalty in one of the most significant monopoly cases in American history.<br><br>The new judge strongly urged both sides to settle the case last month and gave them a deadline of Friday.<br><br>One person who had been briefed on some of the draft settlement proposals being discussed in recent days, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the ideas being discussed included:<br><br>-Letting Microsoft add new features into its flagship Windows software, but requiring the company also to offer a version that doesn't include those additions.<br><br>-Banning restrictive contracts that would force computer makers to buy versions of Windows with new features, but allowing financial incentives such as discounts to make those versions more enticing.<br><br>-Forcing Microsoft to reveal parts of its Windows blueprints relating to its Internet browser software, but not the blueprints to Windows.~Emphasis added <br><br><br>Shares of Microsoft were down 73 cents to close at $58.15 in trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market Wednesday. In the past year, shares of Microsoft have as high as $76.15 on June 28, and as low as $40.25 on Dec. 21, 2000.<p><hr></blockquote><p>If the agreed to stipulation is limited, in chief to the above. Write your legislators of YOUR OUTRAGE...<br><br>-------------------------------------------<br>RWoelk <br>Generating 2048 bits of randomness...<br><br>Only the educated are free! -Epictetus
The thing that especially turns my stomach is that there are many (even in this article) that in one breath say that attacking Microsoft is bad for our economy while at the same time not recognizing how co-dependent they've become on ONE, SINGLE company. Nothing could be worse for our economy - just imagine the next time they fall on hard times. Just like a personal portfolio, all the eggs can't be in one basket - strength and stability come from diversification. <br><br>By the way, if I remember correctly, the original "guilty" verdict arrived just before the technology stock downturn and our current long bear market. Though M$ is not responsible for the bad business plans of the companies that have joined the dead pool, I find it too coincidental to not see it as the straw that helped break the camel's back.<br><br>Though it's important to lean on your own state's Attorney General to ask that they don't sign the agreement, it still is good to lean on our federal Congressmen. Here is a site that makes it easy to find both your Representatives' and your Senators' contact info:<br><br>http://www.vfwdc.org/shared/findreps.htm<br><br>
Good points, Squaremann. Thanks for your input and for the convenient link.<br><br>-------------------------------------------<br>RWoelk <br>Generating 2048 bits of randomness...<br><br>Only the educated are free! -Epictetus
#2748 - 11/03/0104:34 AMRe: A rather sad day indeed. M$ winner takes all.
Uncle Bill's hand has been in the cookie jar for more years than I can remember. Being an idealist, however, I believe there is retribution. I can see it now....someday....<br><br>.........Uncle Bill dies and, much to everyone's surprise, went to Heaven. Whenhe got there, he had to wait in the reception area.Heaven's reception area was the size of Massachusetts. There wereliterally millions of people milling about, living in tents with nothingto do all day. Food and water were being distributed from the backs oftrucks, while staffers with clipboards slowly worked their way throughthe crowd.<br><br>Bill lived in a tent for three weeks until one of the staffers finallyapproached him. The staffer was a young man in his late teens, facescarred with acne. He was wearing a blue T-shirt with the words TEAMPETER emblazoned on it in large yellow letters.<br><br>"Hello," said the staffer in a bored voice that could have been thevoice of any clerk in any overgrown bureaucracy. "My name is Gabriel,and I'll be your induction coordinator."Bill started to ask a question, but Gabriel interrupted him. "No, I'mnot the Archangel Gabriel. I'm just a guy from Philadelphia namedGabriel. Now give me your name, last name first."<br><br>"Gates, Bill."Gabriel started searching though the sheaf of papers on his clipboard,looking for Bill's Record of Earthly Works."What's going on here?" asked Bill. "Why are all these people here?Where's Saint Peter? Where are the Pearly Gates?"Gabriel ignored the questions until he located Bill's records. ThenGabriel looked up in surprise.<br><br>"It says here that you were the president of a large software company.Is that right?""Yes.""Heaven is decades behind in building its data processinginfrastructure," explained Gabriel. "As you've seen, we're still doingeverything on paper. It takes us a week just to process new entries.""I had to wait three weeks," said Bill.Abraham stared at Bill angrily, and Bill realized that he'd made amistake. Even in Heaven, it's best not to contradict a bureaucrat.<br><br>"Well then, do the math. When Saint Peter started, it was an easy gig.Only a hundred or so people died every day, and Peter could handle itall by himself, no problem. But now there are six billion people onearth. With that large a population, ten thousand people die every hour.Over a quarter-million people a day. Do you think Peter can meet themall personally?""I guess not.""You guess right. Peter had to franchise the operation. Now he's the CEOof Team Peter Enterprises, Inc. He just sits in the corporateheadquarters and sets policy. Franchisees like me handle the actualinduction."<br><br>Gabriel looked though his paperwork some more and continued. "Yourpaperwork seems to be in order. And with a background like yours, you'llbe getting a plum job assignment.""Job assignment?""Of course. Did you expect to spend the rest of eternity sitting aroundand drinking ambrosia? Heaven is a big operation. You have to pull yourweight."<br><br>Gabriel took out a triplicate form, had Bill sign at the bottom, andthen tore out the middle copy and handed it to Bill."Take this down to induction center #23 and meet up with youroccupational orientator. His name is Abraham."Bill started to ask a question, but Gabriel interrupted him. "No, he'snot that Abraham."<br><br>Bill walked down a muddy trail for ten miles until he came to inductioncenter #23. He met with Abraham after a mere six-hour wait."Well," Bill offered, "maybe that Bosnia thing has you guys backed up."Abraham's look of anger faded to mere annoyance.<br><br> "Your job will be tosupervise Heaven's new data processing center. We're building thelargest computing facility ever -- a half million computers connected bya multisegment fiber optic network, all running into a backend servernetwork with a thousand CPUs on a gigabit channel. Fully fault tolerant.Fully distributed processing. The works."<br><br>Bill could barely contain his excitement. "Wow! What a great job! Thisreally is Heaven!""We're just finishing construction, and we'll be starting operationssoon. Would you like to go see the center now?""You bet!"<br><br>Abraham and Bill caught the shuttle bus and went to Heaven's new dataprocessing center. It was a truly huge facility, a hundred times biggerthan the Astrodome. Workmen were crawling all over the place, gettingthe miles of fiber optic cables properly installed.<br><br>The center was dominated by the computers -- a half million computers,arranged neatly row-by-row, a half million Macintoshes, each runningFileMaker Pro and AppleWorks.<br><br>Not a PC in sight!<br><br>Not a single byte of Microsoft code!<br><br>The thought of spending the rest of eternity using products that he hadspent his whole life working to destroy was too much for Bill.<br><br>"What about PCs?" he exclaimed. "What about Windows? What about Excel?What about Word?"<br><br>"You're forgetting something," said Abraham.<br><br>"What's that?" asked Bill plaintively.<br><br>"This is Heaven," explained Abraham. "We need a computer system that's heavenly to use. If you want to build a data processing center based on PCs running Windows, you'll have to go to Hell."<br><br>
#2749 - 11/05/0110:17 AMRe: A rather sad day indeed. M$ winner takes all.
An excellent follow-up from the San Jose Mercury News:<br><br><br>"A Fraudulent, Cynical Settlement <br><br>"Sellout" isn't too strong a word to describe the U.S. Justice Department's settlement (press release) with Microsoft. Neither is "dangerous." (Here's the full text.)<br><br>This deal, assuming it takes hold, is not even a wrist slap. It's a love letter to the most arrogant and unrepentant monopolist since Standard Oil. It's an invitation to keep on plundering and whacking competition in the most important marketplace of our times, the information marketplace. <br><br>"The goals of the government were to obtain relief that stops Microsoft from engaging in unlawful conduct, prevent any recurrence of that conduct in the future, and restore competition in the software market-we have achieved those goals," Charles James, the head of the department's antitrust division, said in a statement released Friday in Washington. <br><br>Those may have been the goals, once upon a time. But James and his quisling colleagues didn't come close. What's more, they surely know it. <br><br>Bill Gates' own statement would be amusing if the situation were less disturbing. The deal, he was quoted as saying, "imposes some very tough rules and restrictions on our business." That unctuous garbage is about what you'd expect from a man who made it clear that his company would never agree willingly to any serious curbs on its behavior. Microsoft still hasn't made any such agreement. <br><br>The settlement not only doesn't doesn't even force the company to stop doing what eight federal judges found illegal, but it provides no penalty for the illegal acts. Locking in the ill-gained profits of crime -- bank robbers wish they could get such dispensation. <br><br>Who gets to monitor this malodorous deal? Why, the same Justice Department that made it, with no input from the states or anyone else apart from a "Technical Committee" that keeps an eye on the company's behavior. The work and findings of this committee, which will be appointed by the department and its new pal, Microsoft, will be a state secret. <br><br>In the alleged concessions on future behavior, Microsoft gives up almost nothing that matters anymore. A couple of the measures, such as giving computer makers modestly more freedom, might have made a difference five years ago. They are close to meaningless today, given the pervasiveness of the monopoly. <br><br>So where do we go from here? Just where Microsoft wants us to go, apparently. <br><br>The states knew they were going to be sandbagged on this case. The Bush administration hasn't hidden its intentions to let the lawbreakers go free. The fix was in, and everyone knew it. <br><br>Will the states fold, too? Many will, no doubt. Mere state governments don't have the money to fight a monopolist that generates more than $1 billion in extra cash every month, just a portion of the profits that even in an economic downturn keep rolling into the coffers. <br><br>Some states will probably keep fighting. Despite having won a case that showed Microsoft to be a sneering, brutal lawbreaker -- with no intention of reforming -- they're now total underdogs. <br><br>The next step is a Tunney Act hearing, where the judge is supposed to determine if the settlement is in the public interest. The last judge who held a Tunney Act hearing on a Microsoft antitrust settlement was so incensed by what he saw that he, like the judge in the trial, shot off his mouth and got tossed off the case. <br><br>The European Union is also a slender reed of hope. But the EU will be under enormous pressure from the U.S. to go along. <br><br>With a nation and world preoccupied by terrorism and war, the Bush administration has awarded the hen house to the meanest fox in the woods. The message to corporate America is simple. Do whatever the hell you want, because antitrust law is effectively dead. Ideology and money have triumphed over common sense and competition. <br><br>What a sham. What a shame."<br><br>-------------------------------------------<br>RWoelk <br>Generating 2048 bits of randomness...<br><br>Only the educated are free! -Epictetus
Hear hear!!<br><br>I wrote to my congressman and two senators, but I have a feeling that not all the pleas of the whole wide world would change the "Justice" dept's sell out.<br><br>And that's true too.--Shakespeare, King Lear
_________________________ MACTECHubi dolor ibi digitus
Geez, this thread must be the "please don't read or respond" thread, as it is way too long. You guys ever heard or editing or paraphrasing? Anyhow, the good news is that 50% (9 of 18) of the states involved in the suit have rejected the settlement.<br>But I agree: this case is rediculous, have they looked at XP yet?<br><br>
#2752 - 02/03/0205:27 PMRe: A rather sad day indeed. M$ winner takes all.
Will make a modest effort to resurrect this thread.<br><br>MacCentral is reporting that Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has issued an order to "deconsolidate" the federal case headed up by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the case that includes plaintiffs who are not participating in the settlement. Nine states and the District of Columbia have rejected the<br>proposed settlement. Judge Kollar-Kotelly noted that the two tracks have drifted too far apart to share legal proceedings.<br><br>Oops, I suppose I should quote that in some way, but what the heck, will leave it as stands. Looks a bit like a "new trial" brewing with regard to "the remedy."<br><br>What's interesting now is that the Judge must first approve of the settlement the DOJ and the other states which agreed to go along, then she must, in a sense, try, then consider, the harsher proposals of the other states which did not agree to the DOJ settlement.<br><br>She can throw out the first, if she feels it isn't approrpriate, and the other states aren't bound by any past proposals they've made. They can always, hopefully, add to them.<br><br>Things could yet happen which will be of interest. Apple's complaint about Microsoft's "donation" of M$ software et al hurting the Apple education market clearly struck home based on earlier news reports.<br><br>There's always the chance the good judge will decide that the only remedy is to drown, in large gunny sacks, Bill Gates, all top management (and hopefully include their programming gurus as well).....one never knows. <br><br>[color:blue]128k_Mac</font color=blue><br><br>Men say they know many things; but lo! they have taken wings--The arts and sciences, and a thousand appliances; The wind that blows is all that any body knows. [color:blue]Henry David Thoreau</font color=blue><br>
I actually wrote to my senators and representative about the selloutment--oops a misspelling . All of them wrote back (I was shocked), but all said, essentially, that they didn't want to get involved. I wonder--if there's an Enrongate in the works now, could there be a Gatesgate in the offing?<br><br>edit: The reason I ask is here, http://www.salon.com/business/wire/2002/02/03/microsoft/index.html. The story reads, in part,<br><br>"A group of antitrust lawyers is asking the judge hearing the Microsoft case to stop the settlement process until she decides whether the company disclosed all relevant lobbying contacts with the government. <br><br>The American Antitrust Institute claims that Microsoft didn't comply with a federal statute when the embattled software maker listed only contacts with the executive branch." <br><br><br>And that's true too.--Shakespeare, King Lear<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by yoyo52 on 02/04/02 00:10 AM (server time).</EM></FONT></P>
_________________________ MACTECHubi dolor ibi digitus
#2754 - 02/03/0211:49 PMRe: A rather sad day indeed. M$ winner takes all.
[censored].com/" target="_blank">FxxxMicrosoft.com. <br><br>Attendance at some of these sites requires the participant to be age 18 and over which I'm certain will deter no one. <br><br>Now let me see, shall I steal Erongate or selloutment to add to my vocabulary? Decisions....decisions......<br><br>Sadly, all I can do is apologize for being present when Richard Nixon got the whole ball rolling......<br><br>Before the days of CSPAN, the year being 1972, they used to show the reruns of the Senate hearings of the day before on PBS beginning at 1 a.m. and no one got much sleep in those days. (No, by then we at least had color t.v.)<br><br>What was the topic?<br><br><br><br>geez.....where is equivalent of [:rolleyes:] when you really need it?<br><br>[color:blue]128k_Mac</font color=blue><br><br>Men say they know many things; but lo! they have taken wings--The arts and sciences, and a thousand appliances; The wind that blows is all that any body knows. [color:blue]Henry David Thoreau</font color=blue><br>
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