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Microsoft Antitrust Judgement 1242

Posted by michael
from the it's-the-big-one dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Here are the links to the as-yet-unreleased judgement in the Microsoft case by CKK: Final Decree, Memorandum Opinion, Public Interest Order, Opinion on the State Settlement, State Settlement Order." In brief: Kollar-Kotelly accepts the settlement that the Federal Gov't and some states wanted, but she wants a minor change to it; and she has decided the case which was pursued by the other states as well, mostly ordering Microsoft to refrain from certain behaviors with regard to the user-visible desktop. Overall: a massive win for Microsoft, who can restrict the release of its APIs to major commercial companies only.
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Microsoft Antitrust Judgement

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  • by 1155 (538047) on Friday November 01, 2002 @04:42PM (#4580383) Homepage
    STATE OF NEW YORK, et al.,
    Plaintiffs
    v.
    MICROSOFT CORPORATION,
    Defendant.
    UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
    FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
    Civil Action No. 98-1233 (CKK)
    FINAL JUDGMENT
    The Plaintiff States of California, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Utah,
    and West Virginia, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia, having
    filed their complaints in this action on May 18, 1998;
    Defendant Microsoft Corporation ("Microsoft") having appeared and filed its answer;
    The Court having entered Findings of Fact on November 5, 1999 and Conclusions of
    Law on April 3, 2000;
    The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit having affirmed
    the District Court's finding of liability against Microsoft for violation of 2 of the Sherman Act
    and the state law counterparts to 2 of the Sherman Act in the states of California, Connecticut,
    Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Utah, and West Virginia, the Commonwealth of
    Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia, and having remanded to this Court for an order of
    remedy; and
    Upon the record of trial and all prior and subsequent proceedings herein, it is this 1st day
    of November, 2002, hereby
    ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED as follows:
    I. Jurisdiction
    This Court has jurisdiction of the subject matter of this action and of the person of
    Microsoft.
    2
    II. Applicability
    This Final Judgment applies to Microsoft and to each of its officers, directors, agents,
    employees, subsidiaries, successors and assigns; and to all other persons in active concert or
    participation with any of them who shall have received actual notice of this Final Judgment by
    personal service or otherwise.
    III. Prohibited Conduct
    A. Microsoft shall not retaliate against or threaten retaliation against an OEM by altering
    Microsoft's commercial relations with that OEM, or by withholding newly introduced
    forms of non-monetary Consideration (including but not limited to new versions of
    existing forms of non-monetary Consideration) from that OEM, because it is known to
    Microsoft that the OEM is or is contemplating:
    1. developing, distributing, promoting, using, selling, or licensing any software that
    competes with Microsoft Platform Software or any product or service that
    distributes or promotes any Non-Microsoft Middleware;
    2. shipping a Personal Computer that (a) includes both a Windows Operating
    System Product and a non-Microsoft Operating System, or (b) will boot with
    more than one Operating System; or
    3. exercising any of the options or alternatives provided for under this Final
    Judgment.
    Nothing in this provision shall prohibit Microsoft from enforcing any provision of any license
    with any OEM or any intellectual property right that is not inconsistent with this Final Judgment.
    Microsoft shall not terminate a Covered OEM's license for a Windows Operating System
    Product without having first given the Covered OEM written notice of the reasons for the
    proposed termination and not less than thirty days' opportunity to cure. Notwithstanding the
    foregoing, Microsoft shall have no obligation to provide such a termination notice and
    opportunity to cure to any Covered OEM that has received two or more such notices during the
    term of its Windows Operating System Product license.
    Nothing in this provision shall prohibit Microsoft from providing Consideration to any OEM
    with respect to any Microsoft product or service where that Consideration is commensurate with
    the absolute level or amount of that OEM's development, distribution, promotion, or licensing of
    that Microsoft product or service.
    B. Microsoft's provision of Windows Operating System Products to Covered OEMs shall be
    pursuant to uniform license agreements with uniform terms and conditions. Without
    limiting the foregoing, Microsoft shall charge each Covered OEM the applicable royalty
    for Windows Operating System Products as set forth on a schedule, to be established by
    Microsoft and published on a web site accessible to the Plaintiffs and all Covered OEMs,
    that provides for uniform royalties for Windows Operating System Products, except that:
    1. the schedule may specify different royalties for different language versions;
    3
    2. the schedule may specify reasonable volume discounts based upon the actual
    volume of licenses of any Windows Operating System Product or any group of
    such products; and
    3. the schedule may include market development allowances, programs, or other
    discounts in connection with Windows Operating System Products, provided
    that:
    a. such discounts are offered and available uniformly to all Covered OEMs,
    except that Microsoft may establish one uniform discount schedule for the
    ten largest Covered OEMs and a second uniform discount schedule for the
    eleventh through twentieth largest Covered OEMs, where the size of the
    OEM is measured by volume of licenses;
    b. such discounts are based on objective, verifiable criteria that shall be
    applied and enforced on a uniform basis for all Covered OEMs; and
    c. such discounts or their award shall not be based on or impose any criterion
    or requirement that is otherwise inconsistent with any portion of this Final
    Judgment.
    C. Microsoft shall not restrict by agreement any OEM licensee from exercising any of the
    following options or alternatives:
    1. Installing, and displaying icons, shortcuts, or menu entries for, any Non-Microsoft
    Middleware or any product or service (including but not limited to IAP products
    or services) that distributes, uses, promotes, or supports any Non-Microsoft
    Middleware, on the desktop or Start menu, or anywhere else in a Windows
    Operating System Product where a list of icons, shortcuts, or menu entries for
    applications are generally displayed, except that Microsoft may restrict an OEM
    from displaying icons, shortcuts and menu entries for any product in any list of
    such icons, shortcuts, or menu entries specified in the Windows documentation as
    being limited to products that provide particular types of functionality, provided
    that the restrictions are non-discriminatory with respect to non-Microsoft and
    Microsoft products.
    2. Distributing or promoting Non-Microsoft Middleware by installing and
    displaying
    on the desktop shortcuts of any size or shape so long as such shortcuts do not
    impair the functionality of the user interface.
    3. Launching automatically, at the conclusion of the initial boot sequence or
    subsequent boot sequences, or upon connections to or disconnections from the
    Internet, any Non-Microsoft Middleware, except that Microsoft may restrict the
    launching of Non-Microsoft Middleware which replaces or drastically alters the
    Windows Operating System Product user interface.
    4. Offering users the option of launching other Operating Systems from the Basic
    Input/Output System or a non-Microsoft boot-loader or similar program that
    launches prior to the start of the Windows Operating System Product.
    5. Presenting during the initial boot sequence its own IAP offer.
    6. Exercising any of the options provided in Section III.H of this Final Judgment.
    4
    D. Starting at the earlier of the release of Service Pack 1 for Windows XP or three months
    after the entry of this Final Judgment, Microsoft shall disclose to ISVs, IHVs, IAPs,
    ICPs, and OEMs, for the sole purpose of interoperating with a Windows Operating
    System Product, via the Microsoft Developer Network ("MSDN") or similar
    mechanisms, the APIs and related Documentation that are used by Microsoft Middleware
    to interoperate with a Windows Operating System Product. For purposes of this Section
    III.D, the term APIs means the interfaces, including any associated callback interfaces,
    that Microsoft Middleware running on a Windows Operating System Product uses to call
    upon that Windows Operating System Product in order to obtain any services from that
    Windows Operating System Product. In the case of a new major version of Microsoft
    Middleware, the disclosures required by this Section III.D shall occur no later than the
    last major beta test release of that Microsoft Middleware. In the case of a new version of
    a Windows Operating System Product, the obligations imposed by this Section III.D shall
    occur in a Timely Manner.
    E. Starting three months after the entry of this Final Judgment to the Court, Microsoft shall
    make available for use by third parties, for the sole purpose of interoperating or
    communicating with a Windows Operating System Product, on reasonable and
    non-discriminatory terms (consistent with Section III.I), any Communications Protocol
    that is, on or after the date this Final Judgment is submitted to the Court, (i) implemented
    in a Windows Operating System Product installed on a client computer, and (ii) used to
    interoperate, or communicate, natively (i.e., without the addition of software code to the
    client operating system product) with a Microsoft server operating system product.
    F. 1. Microsoft shall not retaliate against or threaten retaliation against any ISV or IHV
    because of that ISV's or
    IHV's:
    a. developing, using, distributing, promoting or supporting any software that
    competes with Microsoft Platform Software or any software that runs on
    any software that competes with Microsoft Platform Software, or
    b. exercising any of the options or alternatives provided for under this Final
    Judgment.
    2. Microsoft shall not enter into any agreement relating to a Windows Operating
    System Product that conditions the grant of any Consideration on an ISV's
    refraining from developing, using, distributing, or promoting any software that
    competes with Microsoft Platform Software or any software that runs on any
    software that competes with Microsoft Platform Software, except that Microsoft
    may enter into agreements that place limitations on an ISV's development, use,
    distribution or promotion of any such software if those limitations are reasonably
    necessary to and of reasonable scope and duration in relation to a bona fide
    contractual obligation of the ISV to use, distribute or promote any Microsoft
    software or to develop software for, or in conjunction with, Microsoft.
    3. Nothing in this section shall prohibit Microsoft from enforcing any provision of
    any agreement with any ISV or IHV, or any intellectual property right, that is not
    5
    inconsistent with this Final Judgment.
    G. Microsoft shall not enter into any agreement with:
    1. any IAP, ICP, ISV, IHV or OEM that grants Consideration on the condition that
    such entity distributes, promotes, uses, or supports, exclusively or in a fixed
    percentage, any Microsoft Platform Software, except that Microsoft may enter
    into agreements in which such an entity agrees to distribute, promote, use or
    support Microsoft Platform Software in a fixed percentage whenever Microsoft in
    good faith obtains a representation that it is commercially practicable for the
    entity to provide equal or greater distribution, promotion, use or support for
    software that competes with Microsoft Platform Software, or
    2. any IAP or ICP that grants placement on the desktop or elsewhere in any
    Windows Operating System Product to that IAP or ICP on the condition that the
    IAP or ICP refrain from distributing, promoting or using any software that
    competes with Microsoft Middleware.
    Nothing in this section shall prohibit Microsoft from entering into (a) any bona fide joint venture
    or (b) any joint development or joint services arrangement with any ISV, IHV, IAP, ICP, or
    OEM for a new product, technology or service, or any material value-add to an existing product,
    technology or service, in which both Microsoft and the ISV, IHV, IAP, ICP, or OEM contribute
    significant developer or other resources, that prohibits such entity from competing with the
    object of the joint venture or other arrangement for a reasonable period of time.
    This Section does not apply to any agreements in which Microsoft licenses intellectual property
    from a third party and such intellectual property license is the principal purpose of the
    agreement.
    H. Starting at the earlier of the release of Service Pack 1 for Windows XP or three months
    after the entry of this Final Judgment, Microsoft shall:
    1. Allow end users (via a mechanism readily accessible from the desktop or Start
    menu such as an Add/Remove icon) and OEMs (via standard preinstallation kits)
    to enable or remove access to each Microsoft Middleware Product or
    Non-Microsoft Middleware Product by (a) displaying or removing icons,
    shortcuts, or menu entries on the desktop or Start menu, or anywhere else in a
    Windows Operating System Product where a list of icons, shortcuts, or menu
    entries for applications are generally displayed, except that Microsoft may restrict
    the display of icons, shortcuts, or menu entries for any product in any list of such
    icons, shortcuts, or menu entries specified in the Windows documentation as
    being limited to products that provide particular types of functionality, provided
    that the restrictions are non-discriminatory with respect to non-Microsoft and
    Microsoft products; and (b) enabling or disabling automatic invocations pursuant
    to Section III.C.3 of this Final Judgment that are used to launch Non-Microsoft
    Middleware Products or Microsoft Middleware Products. The mechanism shall
    offer the end user a separate and unbiased choice with respect to enabling or
    6
    removing access (as described in this subsection III.H.1) and altering default
    invocations (as described in the following subsection III.H.2) with regard to each
    such Microsoft Middleware Product or Non-Microsoft Middleware Product and
    may offer the end-user a separate and unbiased choice of enabling or removing
    access and altering default configurations as to all Microsoft Middleware
    Products as a group or all Non-Microsoft Middleware Products as a group.
    2. Allow end users (via an unbiased mechanism readily available from the desktop
    or Start menu), OEMs (via standard OEM preinstallation kits), and
    Non-Microsoft Middleware Products (via a mechanism which may, at Microsoft's
    option, require confirmation from the end user in an unbiased manner) to
    designate a Non-Microsoft Middleware Product to be invoked in place of that
    Microsoft Middleware Product (or vice versa) in any case where the Windows
    Operating System Product would otherwise launch the Microsoft Middleware
    Product in a separate Top-Level Window and display either (i) all of the user
    interface elements or (ii) the Trademark of the Microsoft Middleware Product.
    Notwithstanding the foregoing Section III.H.2, the Windows Operating System Product may
    invoke a Microsoft Middleware Product in any instance in which:
    (a) that Microsoft Middleware Product would be invoked solely for use in
    interoperating with a server maintained by Microsoft (outside the context
    of general Web browsing), or
    (b) that designated Non-Microsoft Middleware Product fails to implement a
    reasonable technical requirement (e.g., a requirement to be able to host a
    particular ActiveX control) that is necessary for valid technical reasons to
    supply the end user with functionality consistent with a Windows
    Operating System Product, provided that the technical reasons are
    described in writing in a reasonably prompt manner to any ISV that
    requests them.
    3. Ensure that a Windows Operating System Product does not (a) automatically alter
    an OEM's configuration of icons, shortcuts or menu entries installed or displayed
    by the OEM pursuant to Section III.C of this Final Judgment without first seeking
    confirmation from the user and (b) seek such confirmation from the end user for
    an automatic (as opposed to user-initiated) alteration of the OEM's configuration
    until 14 days after the initial boot up of a new Personal Computer. Any such
    automatic alteration and confirmation shall be unbiased with respect to Microsoft
    Middleware Products and Non-Microsoft Middleware. Microsoft shall not alter
    the manner in which a Windows Operating System Product automatically alters
    an OEM's configuration of icons, shortcuts or menu entries other than in a new
    version of a Windows Operating System Product.
    Microsoft's obligations under this Section III.H as to any new Windows Operating System
    Product shall be determined based on the Microsoft Middleware Products which exist seven
    7
    months prior to the last beta test version (i.e., the one immediately preceding the first release
    candidate) of that Windows Operating System Product.
    I. Microsoft shall offer to license to ISVs, IHVs, IAPs, ICPs, and OEMs any intellectual
    property rights owned or licensable by Microsoft that are required to exercise any of the
    options or alternatives expressly provided to them under this Final Judgment, provided
    that
    1. all terms, including royalties or other payment of monetary consideration, are
    reasonable and non-discriminatory;
    2. the scope of any such license (and the intellectual property rights licensed
    thereunder) need be no broader than is necessary to ensure that an ISV, IHV, IAP,
    ICP or OEM is able to exercise the options or alternatives expressly provided
    under this Final Judgment (e.g., an ISV's, IHV's, IAP's, ICP's and OEM's option
    to promote Non-Microsoft Middleware shall not confer any rights to any
    Microsoft intellectual property rights infringed by that Non-Microsoft
    Middleware);
    3. an ISV's, IHV's, IAP's, ICP's, or OEM's rights may be conditioned on its not
    assigning, transferring or sublicensing its rights under any license granted under
    this provision; and
    4. the terms of any license granted under this section are in all respects consistent
    with the express terms of this Final Judgment.
    Beyond the express terms of any license granted by Microsoft pursuant to this section, this Final
    Judgment does not, directly or by implication, estoppel or otherwise, confer any rights, licenses,
    covenants or immunities with regard to any Microsoft intellectual property to anyone.
    J. No provision of this Final Judgment shall:
    1. Require Microsoft to document, disclose or license to third parties: (a) portions of
    APIs or Documentation or portions or layers of Communications Protocols the
    disclosure of which would compromise the security of a particular installation or
    group of installations of anti-piracy, anti-virus, software licensing, digital rights
    management, encryption or authentication systems, including without limitation,
    keys, authorization tokens or enforcement criteria; or (b) any API, interface or
    other information related to any Microsoft product if lawfully directed not to do
    so by a governmental agency of competent jurisdiction.
    2. Prevent Microsoft from conditioning any license of any API, Documentation or
    Communications Protocol related to anti-piracy systems, anti-virus technologies,
    license enforcement mechanisms, authentication/authorization security, or third
    party intellectual property protection mechanisms of any Microsoft product to any
    person or entity on the requirement that the licensee: (a) has no history of
    software counterfeiting or piracy or willful violation of intellectual property
    rights, (b) has a reasonable business need for the API, Documentation or
    Communications Protocol for a planned or shipping product, (c) meets
    reasonable, objective standards established by Microsoft for certifying the
    8
    authenticity and viability of its business, (d) agrees to submit, at its own expense,
    any computer program using such APIs, Documentation or Communication
    Protocols to third-party verification, approved by Microsoft, to test for and ensure
    verification and compliance with Microsoft specifications for use of the API or
    interface, which specifications shall be related to proper operation and integrity of
    the systems and mechanisms identified in this paragraph.
    IV. Compliance and Enforcement Procedures
    A. Enforcement Authority
    1. The Plaintiffs shall have exclusive responsibility for enforcing this Final
    Judgment. Without in any way limiting the sovereign enforcement authority of
    each of the plaintiff States, the plaintiff States shall form a committee to
    coordinate their enforcement of this Final Judgment. A plaintiff State shall take
    no action to enforce this Final Judgment without first consulting the plaintiff
    States' enforcement committee.
    2. To determine and enforce compliance with this Final Judgment, duly authorized
    representatives of the plaintiff States, on reasonable notice to Microsoft and
    subject to any lawful privilege, shall be permitted the following:
    a. Access during normal office hours to inspect any and all source code,
    books, ledgers, accounts, correspondence, memoranda and other
    documents and records in the possession, custody, or control of Microsoft,
    which may have counsel present, regarding any matters contained in this
    Final Judgment.
    b. Subject to the reasonable convenience of Microsoft and without restraint
    or interference from it, to interview, informally or on the record, officers,
    employees, or agents of Microsoft, who may have counsel present,
    regarding any matters contained in this Final Judgment.
    c. Upon written request of a duly designated representative of a plaintiff
    State, on reasonable notice given to Microsoft, Microsoft shall submit
    such written reports under oath as requested regarding any matters
    contained in this Final Judgment.
    Individual plaintiff States will consult with the plaintiff States' enforcement committee to
    minimize the duplication and burden of the exercise of the foregoing powers, where practicable.
    3. The Plaintiffs shall not disclose any information or documents obtained from
    Microsoft under this Final Judgment except for the purpose of securing
    compliance with this Final Judgment, in a legal proceeding to which one or more
    of the Plaintiffs is a party, or as otherwise required by law; provided that the
    relevant Plaintiff(s) must provide ten days' advance notice to Microsoft before
    disclosing in any legal proceeding (other than a grand jury proceeding) to which
    Microsoft is not a party any information or documents provided by Microsoft
    pursuant to this Final Judgment which Microsoft has identified in writing as
    9
    material as to which a claim of protection may be asserted under Rule 26(c)(7) of
    the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
    4. The Plaintiffs shall have the authority to seek such orders as are necessary from
    the Court to enforce this Final Judgment, provided, however, that the Plaintiffs
    shall afford Microsoft a reasonable opportunity to cure alleged violations of
    Sections III.C, III.D, III.E and III.H, provided further that any action by Microsoft
    to cure any such violation shall not be a defense to enforcement with respect to
    any knowing, willful or systematic violations.
    B. 1. Compliance Committee. Within 30 days of entry of this Final Judgment,
    Microsoft shall establish a compliance committee (the "Compliance Committee")
    of its Board of Directors, consisting of at least three members of the Board of
    Directors who are not present or former employees of Microsoft.
    2. Compliance Officer. The Compliance Committee shall hire a Compliance Officer,
    who shall report directly to the Compliance Committee and to the Chief
    Executive Officer of Microsoft. The Compliance Officer shall be responsible for
    development and supervision of Microsoft's internal programs to ensure
    compliance with the antitrust laws and this Final Judgment. Microsoft shall give
    the Compliance Officer all necessary authority and resources to discharge the
    responsibilities listed herein.
    3. Duties of Compliance Officer. The Compliance Officer shall:
    a. within 60 days after entry of this Final Judgment, arrange for delivery to
    all officers and directors of Microsoft a copy of this Final Judgment
    together with additional informational materials describing the conduct
    prohibited and required by this Final Judgment;
    b. arrange for delivery in a timely manner of a copy of this Final Judgment
    and such additional informational materials to any person who succeeds to
    a position described in Section IV.B.3.a above;
    c. ensure that those persons described in subsection c.i above are annually
    briefed on the meaning and requirements of this Final Judgment and the
    United States antitrust laws and advising them that Microsoft's legal
    advisors are available to confer with them regarding any question
    concerning compliance with this Final Judgment or under the United
    States antitrust laws;
    d. obtain from each person described in Section IV.B.3.a within 60 days of
    entry of this Final Judgment and annually thereafter, and for each person
    thereafter succeeding to such a position within 10 days of such succession
    and annually thereafter, a written certification that he or she: (i) has read,
    understands, and agrees to abide by the terms of, and has to their
    knowledge not violated, this Final Judgment; and (ii) has been advised and
    understands that his or her failure to comply with this Final Judgment may
    result in a finding of contempt of court;
    e. maintain a record of persons to whom this Final Judgment has been
    distributed and from whom, pursuant to Section V.B.3.d above has been
    10
    obtained;
    f. on an annual basis, certify to the Plaintiffs that Microsoft is fully
    compliant with this Final Judgment;
    g. maintain a record of all complaints received and action taken by Microsoft
    with respect to each such complaint; and
    g. report promptly to the Plaintiffs any credible evidence of violation of this
    Final Judgment.
    4. The Compliance Officer may be removed only by the Chief Executive Officer
    with the concurrence of the Compliance Committee.
    V. Termination
    A. Unless this Court grants an extension, this Final Judgment will expire on the fifth
    anniversary of the date on which it takes effect.
    B. In any enforcement proceeding in which the Court has found that Microsoft has engaged
    in a pattern of willful and systematic violations, the Plaintiffs may apply to the Court for
    a one-time extension of this Final Judgment of up to two years, together with such other
    relief as the Court may deem appropriate.
    VI. Definitions
    A. "API" means application programming interface, including any interface that Microsoft
    is obligated to disclose pursuant to III.D.
    B. "Communications Protocol" means the set of rules for information exchange to
    accomplish predefined tasks between a Windows Operating System Product and a server
    operating system product connected via a network, including, but not limited to, a local
    area network, a wide area network or the Internet. These rules govern the format,
    semantics, timing, sequencing, and error control of messages exchanged over a network.
    C. "Consideration" means any monetary payment or the provision of preferential licensing
    terms; technical, marketing, and sales support; enabling programs; product information;
    information about future plans; developer support; hardware or software certification or
    approval; or permission to display trademarks, icons or logos.
    D. "Covered OEMs" means the 20 OEMs with the highest worldwide volume of licenses of
    Windows Operating System Products reported to Microsoft in Microsoft's fiscal year
    preceding the effective date of the Final Judgment. The OEMs that fall within this
    definition of Covered OEMs shall be recomputed by Microsoft as soon as practicable
    after the close of each of Microsoft's fiscal years.
    E. "Documentation" means all information regarding the identification and means of using
    APIs that a person of ordinary skill in the art requires to make effective use of those
    11
    APIs. Such information shall be of the sort and to the level of specificity, precision and
    detail that Microsoft customarily provides for APIs it documents in the Microsoft
    Developer Network ("MSDN").
    F. "IAP" means an Internet access provider that provides consumers with a connection to
    the Internet, with or without its own proprietary content.
    G. "ICP" means an Internet content provider that provides content to users of the Internet by
    maintaining Web sites.
    H. "IHV" means an independent hardware vendor that develops hardware to be included in
    or used with a Personal Computer running a Windows Operating System Product.
    I. "ISV" means an entity other than Microsoft that is engaged in the development or
    marketing of software products.
    J. "Microsoft Middleware" means software code that
    1. Microsoft distributes separately from a Windows Operating System Product to
    update that Windows Operating System Product;
    2. is Trademarked or is marketed by Microsoft as a major version of any Microsoft
    Middleware Product defined in section VI.K.1; and
    3. provides the same or substantially similar functionality as a Microsoft
    Middleware Product.
    Microsoft Middleware shall include at least the software code that controls most or all
    of the user interface elements of that Microsoft Middleware. Software code described as part of,
    and distributed separately to update, a Microsoft Middleware Product shall not be deemed
    Microsoft Middleware unless identified as a new major version of that Microsoft Middleware
    Product. A major version shall be identified by a whole number or by a number with just a single
    digit to the right of the decimal point.
    K. "Microsoft Middleware Product" means
    1. the functionality provided by Internet Explorer, Microsoft's Java Virtual
    Machine, Windows Media Player, Windows Messenger, Outlook Express and
    their successors in a Windows Operating System Product, and
    2. for any functionality that is first licensed, distributed or sold by Microsoft after
    the entry of this Final Judgment and that is part of any Windows Operating
    System Product
    a. Internet browsers, email client software, networked audio/video client
    software, instant messaging software or
    b. functionality provided by Microsoft software that --
    i. is, or in the year preceding the commercial release of any new
    Windows Operating System Product was, distributed separately by
    Microsoft (or by an entity acquired by Microsoft) from a Windows
    Operating System Product;
    12
    ii. is similar to the functionality provided by a Non-Microsoft
    Middleware Product; and
    iii. is Trademarked.
    Functionality that Microsoft describes or markets as being part of a Microsoft Middleware
    Product (such as a service pack, upgrade, or bug fix for Internet Explorer), or that is a version of
    a Microsoft Middleware Product (such as Internet Explorer 5.5), shall be considered to be part of
    that Microsoft Middleware Product.
    L. "Microsoft Platform Software" means (i) a Windows Operating System Product and/or
    (ii) a Microsoft Middleware Product.
    M. "Non-Microsoft Middleware" means a non-Microsoft software product running on a
    Windows Operating System Product that exposes a range of functionality to ISVs
    through published APIs, and that could, if ported to or made interoperable with, a non-
    Microsoft Operating System, thereby make it easier for applications that rely in whole or
    in part on the functionality supplied by that software product to be ported to or run on
    that non-Microsoft Operating System.
    N. "Non-Microsoft Middleware Product" means a non-Microsoft software product running
    on a Windows Operating System Product (i) that exposes a range of functionality to ISVs
    through published APIs, and that could, if ported to or made interoperable with, a
    non-Microsoft Operating System, thereby make it easier for applications that rely in
    whole or in part on the functionality supplied by that software product to be ported to or
    run on that non-Microsoft Operating System, and (ii) of which at least one million copies
    were distributed in the United States within the previous year.
    O. "OEM" means an original equipment manufacturer of Personal Computers that is a
    licensee of a Windows Operating System Product.
    P. "Operating System" means the software code that, inter alia, (i) controls the allocation
    and usage of hardware resources (such as the microprocessor and various peripheral
    devices) of a Personal Computer, (ii) provides a platform for developing applications by
    exposing functionality to ISVs through APIs, and (iii) supplies a user interface that
    enables users to access functionality of the operating system and in which they can run
    applications.
    Q. "Personal Computer" means any computer configured so that its primary purpose is for
    use by one person at a time, that uses a video display and keyboard (whether or not that
    video display and keyboard is included) and that contains an Intel x86 compatible (or
    successor) microprocessor. Servers, television set top boxes, handheld computers, game
    consoles, telephones, pagers, and personal digital assistants are examples of products that
    are not Personal Computers within the meaning of this definition.
    R. "Timely Manner" means at the time Microsoft first releases a beta test version of a
    Windows Operating System Product that is made available via an MSDN subscription
    13
    offering or of which 150,000 or more beta copies are distributed.
    S. "Top-Level Window" means a window displayed by a Windows Operating System
    Product that (a) has its own window controls, such as move, resize, close, minimize, and
    maximize, (b) can contain sub-windows, and (c) contains user interface elements under
    the control of at least one independent process.
    T. "Trademarked" means distributed in commerce and identified as distributed by a name
    other than Microsoft® or Windows® that Microsoft has claimed as a trademark or
    service mark by (i) marking the name with trademark notices, such as ® or (TM), in
    connection with a product distributed in the United States; (ii) filing an application for
    trademark protection for the name in the United States Patent and Trademark Office; or
    (iii) asserting the name as a trademark in the United States in a demand letter or lawsuit.
    Any product distributed under descriptive or generic terms or a name comprised of the
    Microsoft® or Windows® trademarks together with descriptive or generic terms shall not
    be Trademarked as that term is used in this Final Judgment. Microsoft hereby disclaims
    any trademark rights in such descriptive or generic terms apart from the Microsoft® or
    Windows® trademarks, and hereby abandons any such rights that it may acquire in the
    future.
    U. "Windows Operating System Product" means the software code (as opposed to source
    code) distributed commercially by Microsoft for use with Personal Computers as
    Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP Home, Windows XP Professional, and
    successors to the foregoing, including the Personal Computer versions of the products
    currently code named "Longhorn" and "Blackcomb" and their successors, including
    upgrades, bug fixes, service packs, etc. The software code that comprises a Windows
    Operating System Product shall be determined by Microsoft in its sole discretion.
    VII. Further Elements
    Jurisdiction is retained by this Court over this action such that the Court may act sua sponte to
    issue further orders or directions, including but not limited to orders or directions relating to the
    construction or carrying out of this Final Judgment, the enforcement of compliance therewith,
    the modification thereof, and the punishment of any violation thereof.
    Jurisdiction is retained by this Court over this action and the parties thereto for the purpose of
    enabling the parties to this action to apply to this Court at any time for further orders and
    directions as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out or construe this Final Judgment, to
    modify or terminate any of its provisions, to enforce compliance, and to punish violations of its
    provisions.
    Unless otherwise indicated, the provisions of this Final Judgment shall take effect 30 days after
    the date on which it is entered.
    In accordance with the imposition and affirmance of liability, the Plaintiff States shall submit a
    14
    motion for the award of costs and fees, with supporting documents as necessary, not later than 45
    days after the entry of this Final Judgment.
    VIII. Third Party Rights
    Nothing in this Final Judgment is intended to confer upon any other persons any rights or
    remedies of any nature whatsoever hereunder or by reason of this Final Judgment.
    SO ORDERED.
    _____________________________
    COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY
    United States District Judge
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 01, 2002 @04:42PM (#4580387)
    "... based upon the detailed analysis set forth in the record of United States v. Microsoft Corp., No. 98-1232, the Court finds that, with the exception of the reservation of jurisdiction, the SRPFJ is fair, reasonable, and in the public interest."

    "...The Court suggests that the public interest would be served if Microsoft and the parties to the settlement would agree to amend the proposed final judgment to reserve for the Court, in addition to the powers presently specified in the proposed final judgment, the power sua sponte to issue orders or directions for the construction or carrying out of the final judgment, for the enforcement of compliance therewith, and for the punishment of any violation thereof. Such an amendment would not appear to work a fundamental change to the parties' agreement and would ensure that the Court retains the power intended by Plaintiffs and which the Court considers necessary to ensure effective implementation of the final judgment in this case."

    "Based on the foregoing, the Court conditionally approves the SRPFJ as the final judgment as to the claims of the Plaintiff Settling States in the above-captioned case. The Court will enter final judgment upon receipt of a proposed decree which reflects the amendment described above. Such amendment shall be filed in writing with the Court not later than November 8, 2002. An appropriate Order accompanies this Memorandum Opinion."
  • API's to be release (Score:2, Informative)

    by endoboy (560088) on Friday November 01, 2002 @04:44PM (#4580412)
    quoting from the final judgement:
    D. Starting at the earlier of the release of Service Pack 1 for Windows XP or three months after the entry of this Final Judgment, Microsoft shall disclose to ISVs, IHVs, IAPs, ICPs, and OEMs, for the sole purpose of interoperating with a Windows Operating System Product, via the Microsoft Developer Network ("MSDN") or similar mechanisms, the APIs and related Documentation that are used by Microsoft Middleware to interoperate with a Windows Operating System Product.
  • by ashitaka (27544) on Friday November 01, 2002 @04:47PM (#4580433) Homepage
    Microsft is guilty.

    Microsoft must play fair under set conditions.

    Microsoft can still restrict access, hide APIs and set up questionable business practices under the guise of protecting "security, anti-virus, licensing, authentication and Digital Rights"

  • by Zathrus (232140) on Friday November 01, 2002 @04:50PM (#4580456) Homepage
    A quick glance at the State Settlement and Final Judgement makes it appear that CKK has accepted the proposed settlement between the Federal government, the 9 states, and MS.

    IANAL, and I only scanned the top few pages for information. If I'm wrong, someone please correct me.
  • by ashitaka (27544) on Friday November 01, 2002 @04:51PM (#4580470) Homepage
    Read further.

    Microsoft will be able to hide APIs, protocols or whatever for various reasons related to security, DRM, authentication, etc.
  • Re:Release of APIs? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 01, 2002 @04:53PM (#4580485)
    Ity says they have to disclose all protocols that are currently in use in their products. however, it says they can choose their 'reasonable and non-discriminatory terms' to make them available under. To Microsoft, that means they will release them under terms that disallow use in a GPL product - therefore eleiminating their only real competition. (they recently offered SMB under a license that disallows GPL - the developers of Samba won't even log in (thorugh Passport) and look at the code, since MS will then probably subsequently sue them for infringement)
    Thanks to the Judge and The Cheney administration for this bullshit of a judgement.
  • by gleffler (540281) on Friday November 01, 2002 @04:55PM (#4580498) Journal
    MS cannot retaliate or threaten to retaliate against an OEM because the OEM is thinking about developing, distributing, promoting, using, selling, or licensing any software that competes with Microsoft Platform Software or any product or service that distributes or promotes any Non-Microsoft Middleware.

    They also cannot retaliate against them for including a computer with 2 OSes (notably missing is the provision against retaliating due to not installing an MS OS)

    MS must provide a uniform license agreement and fee schedule for all it's OEMs, with only a few exceptions.

    MS will not restrict in the license agreement installing any other icons or programs on the desktop, distrbuting or promoting non-MS browsers/e-mail readers/media players &c. They also cannot restrict the automatic launching of any 'middleware' (browsers, e-mail readers, media players.)

    OEMs may offer users multiple OSes on one machine without retaliation from MS.

    Open APIs for any 'middleware' to fully interface with the OS like MS' own 'middleware' does. (This is a big one)

    MS must also release any communication protocol necessary to communicate with a MS server OS.

    MS cannot retaliate or threaten retaliation against any vendor for developing or selling things that compete with them.

    "Set Program Access and Defaults" is required.
    In addition, the users must be able to enable or disable any automatic launching of MS 'middleware'.

    End-users and non-MS 'middleware' products must be able to transparently replace the MS 'middleware'.

    An MS OS cannot modify or alter anything that an OEM does to the desktop without first getting confirmation from the user.

    HOWEVER:

    No provision of the agreement forces MS to disclose anything that might hurt the OS security. (This is very vague and I predict will be the biggest loophole.)

    --

    I haven't read the rest of the decree, I just wanted to get this up. And IANAL, but I think the interpretations I've provided are reasonable.
  • by thomas.galvin (551471) <slashdot.thomas-galvin@com> on Friday November 01, 2002 @04:58PM (#4580551) Homepage
    IANAL, but, as I read it, yes. Microsoft is now prohibited from screwing over an OEM that ships a computer that will boot into multiple operating sytems, or that presents an alternative OS at the BIOS screen. Walmart's Linux PCs may become more ommon, now...
  • by rmohr02 (208447) <mohr.42@NospAm.osu.edu> on Friday November 01, 2002 @04:59PM (#4580559)
    Don't forget about the people posting links to a relevant article [goatse.cs]?

    Note to the naive: don't click. Ever. I warned you.
  • Re:Great except... (Score:2, Informative)

    by tzanger (1575) on Friday November 01, 2002 @05:02PM (#4580604) Homepage

    Anything that compromises security (anti-piracy, DRM, anti-virus, licensing, encryption, authentication).

    Great, that covers oh... everything except for skinning UIs.

    Filesystem specs? No, that would compromise DRM and antivirus. Authentication? Sorry, no Domain Master or AD internals for you. This doesn't seem like a very happy judgement to me.

  • Mirror Available (Score:2, Informative)

    by DaGoodBoy (8080) on Friday November 01, 2002 @05:04PM (#4580622) Homepage
    Here you go!
  • Re:Dangit! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Todd Knarr (15451) on Friday November 01, 2002 @05:12PM (#4580700) Homepage

    It's not quite so much of a catch as it first appears. They can't refuse to release it just because it's related to or involves security and such, they can only refuse if releasing it would compromise security. For instance, take domain authentication. If it's actually secure, knowing the communications protocol and encryption algorithms won't compromise it's security, only knowing the user's keys would. For MS to keep it undisclosed, they'd have to state basically that if you knew what went back and forth on the wire you could crack domain authentication without knowing anybody's keys. Ditto DRM, they can't refuse to release the info unless they openly claim that knowing how to let your files be protected but usable would break the entire system. They can be pushed pretty hard on these things in the press if they balk.

  • by sterno (16320) on Friday November 01, 2002 @05:15PM (#4580728) Homepage
    the only other thing of interest was that they are supposed to open up any communication protocol that is needed in windows (SMB for instance).

    Yup, but it won't help Samba. Microsoft is allowed to charge fair and non-discriminatory royalties for the information. They can also restrict the ability of 3rd parties to re-distribute and sub-license the information.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 01, 2002 @05:20PM (#4580775)
    This reasonable and nondiscriminatory language is EXACTLY the same as the RAND patent fee language we all hated so much in a recent W3C proposal.

    If this is indeed the final determination, then it's basically a court-order for Microsoft to help everyone *except* free software projects.

    It's almost worse than before.

  • From the Order... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ian_Bailey (469273) on Friday November 01, 2002 @05:21PM (#4580787) Homepage Journal
    Start quote:
    ---
    11
    J. "Microsoft Middleware" means software code that
    1. Microsoft distributes separately from a Windows Operating System Product to
    update that Windows Operating System Product;
    2. is Trademarked or is marketed by Microsoft as a major version of any Microsoft
    Middleware Product defined in section VI.K.1; and
    3. provides the same or substantially similar functionality as a Microsoft
    Middleware Product.
    Microsoft Middleware shall include at least the software code that controls most or all
    of the user interface elements of that Microsoft Middleware. Software code described as part of,
    and distributed separately to update, a Microsoft Middleware Product shall not be deemed
    Microsoft Middleware unless identified as a new major version of that Microsoft Middleware
    Product. A major version shall be identified by a whole number or by a number with just a single
    digit to the right of the decimal point.
    K. "Microsoft Middleware Product" means
    1. the functionality provided by Internet Explorer, Microsoft's Java Virtual
    Machine, Windows Media Player, Windows Messenger, Outlook Express and
    their successors in a Windows Operating System Product, and
    2. for any functionality that is first licensed, distributed or sold by Microsoft after
    the entry of this Final Judgment and that is part of any Windows Operating
    System Product
    a. Internet browsers, email client software, networked audio/video client
    software, instant messaging software or
    b. functionality provided by Microsoft software that --
    i. is, or in the year preceding the commercial release of any new
    Windows Operating System Product was, distributed separately by
    Microsoft (or by an entity acquired by Microsoft) from a Windows
    Operating System Product;
    ii. is similar to the functionality provided by a Non-Microsoft
    Middleware Product; and
    iii. is Trademarked.
    Functionality that Microsoft describes or markets as being part of a Microsoft Middleware
    Product (such as a service pack, upgrade, or bug fix for Internet Explorer), or that is a version of
    a Microsoft Middleware Product (such as Internet Explorer 5.5), shall be considered to be part of
    that Microsoft Middleware Product.
    ---
    End of Quote

    So it covers most of the stuff Microsoft is currently trying to pass off as Integral to the system, and they're at least trying to make an effort to indentifying future middleware. It depends on how vigiliant the Committee is going to be...
  • by hillct (230132) on Friday November 01, 2002 @05:23PM (#4580808) Homepage Journal
    For those who can't get at the main site, here's a mirror of all the documents [duke.edu]

    In my reading of these documents, it seems that while there significant positive elements to the decision, there are many loopholes for microsoft to slither though. I'm just waiting for every license agreement to be re-characterized as a joint venture.

    --CTH
  • by ptbarnett (159784) on Friday November 01, 2002 @05:25PM (#4580831)
    Any first year law student could argue that any linux/BSD/otherOS replaces the Windows OS UI, thus no OEM can install an alternate OS.

    Read the rest of it:

    B. Microsoft shall not restrict by agreement any OEM licensee from exercising any of the following options or alternatives:

    [....]

    4. Offering users the option of launching other Operating Systems from the Basic Input/Output System or a non-Microsoft boot-loader or similar program that launches prior to the start of the Windows Operating System Product.

  • Very Unfortunate (Score:5, Informative)

    by gnetwerker (526997) on Friday November 01, 2002 @05:33PM (#4580917) Journal

    As several other respondants have noted, this is largely a win for Microsoft and a loss for the States. What is surprising is the Judge K-K took so long to issue it.

    The big deals the States asked for were removal of the "Security carve-out" (noted by several folks), and the appointment of a Special Master to create a streamlined enforcement process. Neither of these survived, and that is regrettable.

    The security carve-out will make things difficult for third-party protocol implementors, and the enforcement provisions are lengthy, expensive, and easy for Microsoft to manipulate.

    I spent a good deal of my recent life on this, and I'm upset. I need to read the full decisions in more detail, but other than a very generic win for States' Rights as a principle, this is essentially a no-op.

    gnetwerker - $40k poorer, no wiser

  • by ProxyUser (619588) on Friday November 01, 2002 @05:37PM (#4580947)
    Bill Gates has 622,321,300 shares of M$. So selling 2 million would be approx 0.16% of this stake in the company. This looks less like the actions of a rat abandoning a sinking ship and more of a rich guy deciding to go shopping this weekend..
  • Freenet mirror (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 01, 2002 @05:45PM (#4581011)
    The site and mirrors here seem to be /.ed... if you have freenet, you can get some of the documents here. The text of the final decree itself was already pasted further up:

    freenet:SSK@5jbqMhl845DGz~d2sQOdWPfD-iEPAgM/PubI nt Ord.pdf
    freenet:SSK@5jbqMhl845DGz~d2sQOdWPfD-iEPA gM/StateS ettlement.pdf
    freenet:SSK@5jbqMhl845DGz~d2sQOdWPf D-iEPAgM/States ord.pdf
    freenet:SSK@5jbqMhl845DGz~d2sQOdWPfD-iEPA gM/Lit11- 1.pdf
  • by nutznboltz (473437) on Friday November 01, 2002 @05:50PM (#4581039) Homepage Journal
    Chances are that some team of investors are just diversifying his portfolio as they have been doing for years.
  • by AdamBa (64128) on Friday November 01, 2002 @05:53PM (#4581069) Homepage
    From the CNN story [cnn.com]: "The decision eliminates the establishment of a technical committee to assess Microsoft's compliance with the agreement. In its place, a corporate compliance committee -- consisting of Microsoft board members -- will make sure Microsoft lives up to the deal, the judge said."

    Sorry Stephen Satchell [slashdot.org], looks like you got no job.

    As for the "corporate compliance committee"...BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

    - adam

  • same old story (Score:3, Informative)

    by acomj (20611) on Friday November 01, 2002 @05:55PM (#4581088) Homepage
    Microsoft gets away with it. Just like they always do. Huge political contributions and a new administration taking over the white house probably didn't hurt. It sucks.

    But seriously enough whining.

    Linux/Unix/macos X are better than window. Really. I can't imagine programming/working on anything else but a unix based box right now. I don't miss windows at all.

    Some of this Open source software is simply amazingly powerful. I downloaded fink (app-get for os-x) a couple days ago. Amazing how simple to install emacs, imagemagik and other open source goodies using fink. I was blown away.

    There are tons of open-source programs that are simply the best stuff out there, Apache, perl, samba....

    There is still lots of work to be done. Consider helping. Buy a naked pc, install linux/bsd. But a mac, install X, help port open source to it. Help out some projects, even start your own. Set up a linux server at work. Write some documentation that makes things clearer to those learning.

    Sometimes opensource spawns rivalries. BSD vs Linux, KDE vs. Gnome. In someways this is bad, "competion is good", but confuses. These flame wars can become bitter and tiresome. Better solutions will be found and implimented and that is a great thing.

    keep coding, keep thinking, keep using and keep giving back.

  • by Ian Bicking (980) <{moc.ydutsroloc} {ta} {bnai}> on Friday November 01, 2002 @06:00PM (#4581116) Homepage
    If you feel outraged about the conclusion to the Microsoft case, I would encourage you to direct that rage in the ballot box -- certainly not sufficient redress, but everyone here should be able to pay attention that long.

    Here in Illinois a candidate for governor, Jim Ryan, agreed to the settlement. I wasn't planning to vote for him anyway, but I was reluctant to vote for his opponent as well -- I think this has changed my mind on that.

    And of course this all happened because of the Executive's leadership in dealing with corporate crime -- the radical change in direction that the Justice Department took should be be clear to all. Bush isn't up for reelection, but his allies are. This is just one more instance where that party has shown itself an ally of corporate criminals.

  • Re:hrm... (Score:2, Informative)

    by nelsonal (549144) on Friday November 01, 2002 @06:08PM (#4581179) Journal
    Traders move on the slightest hint of something, they did in this case too, look at the Microsoft chart for today, the stock moved up pretty healthily at the end of the day, which started shortly after the story was unearthed on slashdot. Also, they have the advantage of seeing where the volume is moving, and can get a feel for what others thing the news means, assuming they know it happened. You won't see a difinitive summary for years, but almost all the quick reads, place this decision in the Microsoft column, which is all the market needs. Additionally simply removing the hanging threat from Microsoft would help to move the stock price up, regardless of the news.
  • A massive win? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dannon (142147) on Friday November 01, 2002 @06:21PM (#4581270) Journal
    A massive win for Microsoft? I'm not so sure. IANAL, and this is a lot to read, but a few things have struck out at me here....

    Microsoft shall not retaliate against or threaten retaliation against an OEM... because it is known to Microsoft that the OEM is or is contemplating... shipping a Personal Computer that (a) includes both a Windows Operating System Product and a non-Microsoft Operating System, or (b) will boot with more than one Operating System

    Good news for anyone who wants another chance at ordering a Linux-loaded Dell.

    Microsoft shall not enter into any agreement relating to a Windows Operating System Product that conditions the grant of any Consideration on an ISV's refraining from developing, using, distributing, or promoting any software that competes with Microsoft Platform Software or any software that runs on any software that competes with Microsoft Platform Software, except that Microsoft may enter into agreements that place limitations on an ISV's development, use, distribution or promotion of any such software if those limitations are reasonably necessary to and of reasonable scope and duration in relation to a bona fide contractual obligation of the ISV to use, distribute or promote any Microsoft software or to develop software for, or in conjunction with, Microsoft.

    Translation (as I read it): Microsoft can't stop selling Windows to my company, or stop my company from selling Windows-compatible programs, just because that my company wants to make and sell Mac or Linux versions.

    Section III.H is really, -really- long to quote, but from what I read, it says that Microsoft will always offer a 'uniform and unbiased mechanism' for such things as changing file associations and setting up third-party programs to do anything "Microsoft Middleware" does. They can't ever make it so that you -can't- substitute WinAmp for Windows Media Player. As a matter of fact, they need to make it idiot-level easy. They also have to make it idiot-level easy to remove all traces of IE, Outlook Express, or MSN Messenger.

    And, from what I see in III.I.3, Microsoft can't make their licenses non-transferrable. I can sell you my XP license, and no one will have any room to complain.

    They're required to make all APIs used by their Middleware through MSDN or some similar mechanism. Granted, MSDN access is by subscription, so the information won't be free-as-in-beer, but Microsoft can't altogether stop that information from being public.

    The enforcement seems to be in the hands of a multi-state committee. Notorious as committees are for not getting things done, still, the states have shown a strong interest in bearing down on MS.

    Have to see how it goes, I guess.
  • by Reikk (534266) on Friday November 01, 2002 @08:04PM (#4581838) Homepage

    I'm glad you've asked me this question.

    For a more detailed description of the problem, including pictures of the old cut vs. the new cutting method, and to sign an online petition:

    http://spine.cx/subway/compare.php [spine.cx]

    What does the slashdot community as a whole think of this? Perhaps this should be the topic of the next poll.
  • by Evil Pete (73279) on Friday November 01, 2002 @08:27PM (#4581928) Homepage

    People should really read some of "The Prince" by Machiavelli to get an appreciation about what the Government vs Monopoly thing is about. In a democracy the people are in theory in possession of a significant amount of power, though only intermittently. In a capitalist society, not necessarily a democracy, some companies will grow until they reach a point that they can take over their entire market. If they grow till they then take a large chunk of the economy or exercise great influence by virtue of their financial assets then that government has a problem. Because now it has a rival.

    Traditionally there are a number of solutions. Pre-empt the takeover by nationalising the company (eventually leads to other problems), or by making the company executives politicians (worked in England with the House of Lords but not in US Senate style house which requires periodic elections) , or of course breaking up the company, in other words treating it as a rival state.

    The United States is not in that position yet, but it should be kept in mind. We should remember that in the past some companies actually controlled and ran whole countries e.g. the East India Company [ucla.edu]

    Anti monopoly action by a democracy should be regarded as no more controversial than getting rid of bloody lantana [abc.net.au] from your garden before it chokes everything. Monopolies are to capitalism as cancer is to an organism.

    Anyway my 2 cents ... maybe I should've added a rant mode tag ... nah ... this is Slashdot the rant tag is redundant.

  • by HeadVacuum (622201) on Friday November 01, 2002 @09:27PM (#4582082)
    Check out an analysis from LawMeme, aka the Yale Law School blog -- people who understand this shit decision better than most of us:

    http://research.yale.edu/lawmeme/modules.php?name= News&file=article&sid=477&mode=&order=0&thold= 0

    Don't want to read it? Here's the bottom line:

    Microsoft wins. The judge has entered the settlement as MS wanted it. The "amendment" to that settlement isn't substantive...

  • Re:A massive win? (Score:2, Informative)

    by tuxracer (622175) on Friday November 01, 2002 @09:36PM (#4582097)
    Microsoft is obviously going to portray *any* ruling as "harsh". Look at how they portrayed the slap-on-the-wrist settlement they got with the DOJ. Like someone pointed out before, it's just a matter of two parties wanting the same thing and pretending that they don't.
  • by fava (513118) on Friday November 01, 2002 @11:07PM (#4582356)
    First the usual disclaimer. I Am Not A Lawyer.

    My first thought on reading the judgement was that Microsoft was getting away scott free, but did anybody read section VII. Further Elements.

    Jurisdiction is retained by this Court over this action such that the Court may act sua sponte to issue further orders or directions, including but not limited to orders or directions relating to the construction or carrying out of this Final Judgment, the enforcement of compliance therewith, the modification thereof, and the punishment of any violation thereof. Jurisdiction is retained by this Court over this action and the parties thereto for the purpose of enabling the parties to this action to apply to this Court at any time for further orders and directions as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out or construe this Final Judgment, to modify or terminate any of its provisions, to enforce compliance, and to punish violations of its provisions.

    Sua Sponte is defined on law.cornet.edu as
    Latin for "of one's own accord; voluntarily." Used when the court addresses an issue without the litigants having presented the issue for consideration


    Lets assume that the judge is not stupid. She is well aware of Microsoft's legal history and how they will interpret the judgement. By getting Microsoft to agree to this rather open ended authority over every aspect of the judgement she can force a particular interpretation against Microsoft's wishes, and she can do it unilatrially without the participation of the DOJ or anyone else.

    For example consider Microsoft's much maligned EULA regarding the specification for CIFS that prevents open source developers from using it. Section VII would allow the judge to declare that SAMBA has a "reasonable business need" for access and "meets reasonable, objective standards" regarding viability, or she could simply declare that the CIFS license is discriminatory. Either case could be used to force Microsoft to change the license.

    I am sure that Microsoft knows the pitfalls of this section, but what choice do they have. This is their agreement, they negotiated it with the DOJ and argued in court long and hard that this was the best solution. Suddenly deciding now that they don't like it anymore is not a politically viable option and it would opens them up to charges of obstructionism.

    I cant read minds, I don't know if this is actually the judges plan, however it would be a crafty way of forcing both a stricter settlement and a faster settlement.

    Or it could simply be a drowning man grasping at straws.

  • Double Fuck (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 02, 2002 @12:34AM (#4582524)

    You left out another arbitrary exception: j.2.c J.No provision of this Final Judgment shall: 2.Prevent Microsoft from conditioning any license of any API, Documentation or Communications Protocol related to anti-piracy systems, anti-virus technologies, license enforcement mechanisms, authentication/authorization security, or third party intellectual property protection mechanisms of any Microsoft product to any person or entity on the requirement that the licensee: (c)meets reasonable, objective standards established by Microsoft for certifying the authenticity and viability of its business,

  • by cookd (72933) <douglascookNO@SPAMjuno.com> on Saturday November 02, 2002 @05:11AM (#4583125) Journal
    That article the most dishonest, onesided essay I have read in a long time. By citing a reference to it, you have either admitted that you are gullible and uninformed enough to be convinced by someone spouting obvious logical fallacies and half-truths, or you are willing to endorse the use of such devices to further your own ends. There are plenty of decent complaints to make about Microsoft's behavior. Stooping to this level indicates that the writer is too lazy to come up with real things to say. Those who know how to recognize the problems with this article will come away from it with a lowered opinion of the authors and possibly, by association, the open source movement.

    For example: the author states several times that XP is vulerable to certain attacks, but Linux/BSD/Unix is not. That's baloney. You can boot a Linux box from a floppy, edit the master password file on the hard disk, and reboot having taken over the box just as easily on Linux as you can on XP. Or maybe more easily -- I don't actually know how to find the Admin account's password entry under XP, but I know where it is on Linux and BSD.

    Again: XP is vulerable to priviledge escalation, while Linux is not. We all know this is false. I get mail about every week about newly discovered ways in Linux and BSD to turn normal user priviledges into root. The patches come soon after. Same with XP.

    And the guy claims that MS's assertions about security (if an intruder can run code on your box, it isn't your box anymore; if an intruder has physical access, it isn't your box anymore; if an intruder has a local account, it isn't your box anymore) show MS's idiot mindset about security. But any security professional knows that these are true: priviledge escalation from injected code proves you can't let an untrusted party run anything. One common attack was very famous a few years ago: Somebody on IRC says "type XYZ to see what happens!" and the newbie does it, unknowingly surrendering root to the stranger.

    And the "serious flaw" mentioned was a flaw in the design of the virus console, not a flaw in Windows. The "message vulnerability" is almost exactly equivalent to an SUID vulnerability: programs that are accessible to the unpriviledged user but that need additional priviledges to do their job must be written with extreme caution. Microsoft's SDK explains what measures need to be taken, just as any competent Linux programmer would take special precautions when writing a utility that was going to run SUID. And there are ways to protect against every one of the "vulnerabilities" mentioned.
  • by jimmyharris (605111) on Saturday November 02, 2002 @06:13AM (#4583215) Homepage

    So are the directories above hers - http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/Opinions/ [uscourts.gov].

The number of arguments is unimportant unless some of them are correct. -- Ralph Hartley

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