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U.S. Faults Microsoft Licensing Compliance 241

Posted by michael
from the foot-dragging dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a written report card on how well Microsoft is complying with its 2001 antitrust deal with state and federal prosecutors, Justice Department lawyers said they might need the court to force Microsoft to act more quickly." The DOJ's court filing is online if you want to wade through it.
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U.S. Faults Microsoft Licensing Compliance

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  • "Justice Department lawyers said they might need the court to force Microsoft to act more quickly."

    well that is a real shocker

  • by gotr00t (563828) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:05AM (#6367184) Journal
    It comes as no suprise that Microsoft isn't even living up to an antitrust settlement that is this painless. From day 1, it looked as if they had no intention of following it through, and now, it seems as if the lawsuit was never filed at all.

    What is a second lawsuit going to produce? Another slap on the wrist? If so, I will begin to think that the judges were... easily persuaded.

    • Microsoft will drag it out as long as they can, get fined and then Bush will let them off the hook (again).

      So much for competition and monopoly law.
    • by Black Parrot (19622) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:15AM (#6367248)


      > It comes as no suprise that Microsoft isn't even living up to an antitrust settlement that is this painless. From day 1, it looked as if they had no intention of following it through, and now, it seems as if the lawsuit was never filed at all.

      At least they didn't laugh about the settlement this time around.

      At least not in public.

    • RTFA (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:16AM (#6367250)
      Microsoft is mostly following through with its settlement with the federal government. They've elected to withhold TWO APIs, and they're moving the "Set Program Access and Defaults" desktop icon to a permanent location in the start menu.

      Of course you would know all this if you had READ THE DOJ'S PAPER
      • Re:RTFA (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Troed (102527) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:47AM (#6367452) Homepage Journal
        On the other hand, on my XP laptop - even after having used "set program access and defaults" - the only way I could get bsplayer to view .avis was to each and every time select "open with". No matter the settings for filetypes - XP would _always_ launch windows media player.

        I had to use "set program.." to specifically say NEVER to use windows media player to get it to work - and yet the icons are still wrong.

        I'm quite sure it's not a bug - it's a Microsoft feature.
        • Re:RTFA (Score:3, Funny)

          by Shadow99_1 (86250)
          "I'm quite sure it's not a bug - it's a Microsoft feature."

          Are you sure there is a difference?
        • Re:RTFA (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Actually I would say it is a pebkac (Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair) as I have never had a problem setting other applications to open AVIs than Media Player in XP.
        • Re:RTFA (Score:2, Informative)

          by jdew (644405)
          simple to fix.. go in to tools | folder options | file types and remove the media player file types manually now go and associate them with bsplayer, from within bsplayer. problem solved.. have to do this for jpgs and such too :/
          • Re:RTFA (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Wolfier (94144)
            However, the whole POINT of putting the selection in the start menu is for Joe 6-pack to figure it out, not the computer savvy.

            It is by no means simple for the majority, and Microsoft knows it.
        • Well, what did we expect?
        • Re:RTFA (Score:5, Informative)

          by Trepalium (109107) on Saturday July 05, 2003 @12:33AM (#6371023)
          Microsoft in their INFINITE WISDOM added a feature to Windows XP. Certain types, particularly those that play with Windows Media Player, or are viewable by Internet Explorer have a REG_SZ value on the association named LegacyDisable. If it exists, XP decides that it's smarter than the application that decided to take over the file type association, and silently ignores it. Only if the application is designed to use the XP method of associating with files will it be allowed to change them (or if it deletes those registry values).

          I have no idea why Microsoft did this, but it effectively makes it so that certain programs seem to cease operating when you upgrade to XP. For the AVI files you mentioned, the value to delete would be HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AVIFile\shell\open\LegacyDisable
          This really pissed me off the first time I used XP, and tried to reassociate the files with mplayer2.exe instead of wmplayer.exe, and the associations just wouldn't take. Didn't matter if I did it manually, or used mplayer2.exe to do it, it just didn't work, until I found that value hiding in those types...

      • Re:RTFA (Score:5, Funny)

        by Adam_Weishaupt (636032) on Friday July 04, 2003 @12:49PM (#6368188) Journal

        Microsoft is mostly following through with its settlement with the federal government.

        So I guess that means Microsoft won't mind if I MOSTLY comply with thier EULA for Windows XP.

    • What is a second lawsuit going to produce? Another slap on the wrist? If so, I will begin to think that the judges were... easily persuaded.

      You're the slow-to-anger type I guess.
    • What did I expect? Oh yeah.. well, lemme think, ahem.., here I go:

      1. I expected a woman (Kollar Cotelly) would be a good judge, and would make us proud.
      2. I expected MS would be fined $2 bn., ordered to open the source for public inspection.
      3. I expected "Breakfast with Bill" would mean Bill comes to my place, and fixes my system with the latest Service Pack CD.
      4. I expected that the judgment would be in the best interests of the world computing community, and not just a narrow American interest.
      5. I expec
    • A second lawsuit will at least produce some bad PR, which will counter Bill's recent informercial-style interview in USA Today.
  • Question is: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jkrise (535370) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:06AM (#6367186) Journal
    How many among the four parties are simply 'front' operations, supported and sponsored by Microsoft? Backup and storage are two areas where MS has done poorly on purpose, looks like they might be aiming to buy two of the 4 cos. that licensed their protocols.
  • What happen.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bsharitt (580506) <brandon@@@sharitt...com> on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:06AM (#6367189) Homepage Journal
    What happens if Microsoft doesn't do what they settlement says? Will they face harsher penalties?

    • by cabalamat2 (227849) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:22AM (#6367289) Homepage Journal

      If Microsoft continues to fail to comply, the court will double their fine.

      Let's work it out: the original fine was $0, twice $0 is $0, so the new fine will be $0.

      I guess American justice is the best that money can buy.

    • Re:What happen.. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by iabervon (1971) on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:47AM (#6367819) Homepage Journal
      What ought to happen is that the court system should delay processing any MicroSoft suits until they get around to complying. Anyone who felt like violating MicroSoft copyrights could do so with impunity until MicroSoft followed the terms of the settlement. Anyone who felt like paying MicroSoft for anything could consider that they were presently under no compulsion to do so, and that it might not be a socially responsible behavior.

      Alternatively, if the government decides MicroSoft is no longer vital to US businesses, they could declare that, since MicroSoft isn't following the settlement, the case resumes, and seek to have MicroSoft shut down.
    • What happens if Microsoft doesn't do what they settlement says? Will they face harsher penalties?

      DOJ: Microsoft is not complying with the settlment terms. Fetch the Comfy Chair!!

      Bailiff: The... Comfy Chair??!!

      DOJ: So you think you are strong because you scoff at our remedies. Well, we shall see. Bailiff! Put them in the Comfy Chair! Now -- you will stay in the Comfy Chair until lunch time, with only a cup of coffee at eleven.

  • by 3.5 stripes (578410) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:09AM (#6367209)
    ...is online if you want to wade through it

    Well, I have been having problems sleeping recently.
  • by jkrise (535370) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:12AM (#6367226) Journal
    From the ref article:
    "One condition that caused particular outcry was Microsoft charging an upfront fee of $100,000 for rivals to examine the code to see whether they want to buy it. If they don't, they only get $50,000 back."

    So what's the fee to take one single look at the pile of crap and say " Holy crap! This costs $100,000??"

    Bride wants to marry IBM and screw Linux. Brother MS willing to pay any dowry.
  • by McAddress (673660) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:12AM (#6367230)
    If the government had really wanted to do something about Microsoft's monopoly, they would have broken it up like they did to the Bell's. Once they decided not to, it only became a question of "How much are we going to pretend to care about this?"

    Their answer as seen from the settlement, and the lack of compliance is "Not very much."

    • Yeah, because we all know just how much of a stellar success the Bell break-up has been. It's a good thing we took care of that monopoly!
      • by McAddress (673660) on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:03AM (#6367518)
        Since the Bell breakup, prices on phone calls have dropped dramatically. Interstate calls used to cost $0.25 a minute (not adjusted for inflation). Now you can easily make them for less than $0.05 a minute.
        More phone companies have also been able to form, allowing users more choice than ever.
        Imagine where the celluar phone industry would be with only one company. Calls would cost upwards of a dollar a minute. The networks would not be so big. Cell phones would be as rare as car phones were.
        The government has an interest in controlling monopolies. Microsoft has used it's monopoly on operating systems to stifle competition. Just look back to this [slashdot.org]. Microsoft commits actions like this all of the time, but the DOJ has just turned the other way.
        • When I got my new phone a month or so ago, after moving to a different state, Qwest offered me *unlimited long distance*(in US) for 20 bucks a month.

          Shocked me.

          I guess they're feeling the effects of 3 cents/minute phone cards :-)

          SB
        • Bell is different. They were forced into a seperation of the company into regions/functions.

          With MS, its still one monolithic company with one head. Because of this the settlement is just a speedbump to MS. Except for the egos of the anti-MS crowd, the settlement does not make a difference in a practal sense.

        • "Since the Bell breakup, prices on phone calls have dropped dramatically. Interstate calls used to cost $0.25 a minute (not adjusted for inflation). Now you can easily make them for less than $0.05 a minute."

          We're talking about Bell here, not AT&T. IIRC, it's only with the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that the Baby Bells have really been able to get into the interstate long-distance market.

          The Baby Bells are essentially in control of intrastate long-distance (ie. within the same state), which IIRC
      • Are you joking? After 30+ years of Bell stagnation, the whole industry has been completely transformed. The price of long distance fell through the floor. I can't believe you thought we were better off having to rent phones for $7/mo when now I can buy a new one for $10. How can you think it was a mistake?
  • by Vicegrip (82853) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:13AM (#6367231) Journal
    They just need to put in a call to their favorite guy, Ashcroft, and get him to tell the lawyers to backoff.
    • Expect it any day. In fact, unfortunately, when I was half way thru the article Ashcroft's face popped into my head. *shudders*
      • I think not. The current administration has too many issues on its plate. This time, I am almost willing to bet MS will be the scapegoat.

        Think about it. We need ourselves a whipping boy! Oh yeah here's one, especially since they are planning to ship good old American jobs to another country, even with 50 billion in the bank....

        I think a politician will be thinking mighty hard right now!!!

        Want conspiracy theories... Two days ago we hear about this India thing and how they have 50 billion in the bank.
  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:13AM (#6367233) Homepage Journal
    Translation:

    Microsoft's substantial contributions to George W. Bush's 2000 campaign fund were very helpful in getting him into the White House. Bush returned the favor by allowing Microsoft to escape unscathed from the big antitrust suit.

    Now, Mr. Bush has begun the process of raising funds for his 2004 campaign, and it's time for Microsoft to pay up again.
    • Re:Translation (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Guppy06 (410832) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:39AM (#6367401)
      I doubt Microsoft contributed anywhere near as much money as the religious special interest groups have, but that doesn't seem to stop the president from trying to reach out to the homosexual vote (and pissing off said special interests in the process). What makes you think that Microsoft will have more sway over the White House than Baptists seem to have?
    • Insightful??? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Pave Low (566880) on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:07AM (#6367553) Journal
      Why does this garbage always get modded up on slashdot?

      If you look it up yourself, [opensecrets.org] Microsoft's contributions doesn't rank anywhere near the top compared to other donors. In fact, they contribute fairly evenly to both parties.

      More mindless drivel on slashdot.

      • Re:Insightful??? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Unfortunately while what you said is true, it doesn't really invalidate what he said. Supports it more, actually. They're #34 in the top 100 - $10 million or so is nothing to sneeze at, and you can't deny that Microsoft has a lot of clout politically given their position in the IT marketplace.

        The donors in the top 100 above MS are interesting in and among themselves, but they're not software companies (possible exceptions of AOL and AT&T).

        Do you have an opinion yourself on why the DOJ backed down?

        SB
        • Re:Insightful??? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by GoofyBoy (44399)
          They don't need to donate that money for them to have clout.

          In this economy, do you really think that any President would crush the 2nd (or 3rd?) largest company in the the country, if he wasn't forced to?

          By its sheer size alone, MS has importance to the US government.
      • Re:Insightful??? (Score:2, Informative)

        by Dak RIT (556128)
        If you look it up yourself, Microsoft's contributions doesn't rank anywhere near the top compared to other donors. In fact, they contribute fairly evenly to both parties.

        Funny you mention that. Because I did look it up myself and your findings don't really match the numbers. Microsoft is the #1 contributor for Computers/Internet donors [opensecrets.org].

        They are listed as contributing 59% to Republicans and only 41% to Democrats. In 1996 before the antitrust trial began they donated 54% to Democrats and 44% to Republ

    • Mind you, Microsoft engages in equal opportunity bribery. They donate enough money to both political parties that to them, it does not matter who wins.
      Neither party can afford to lose Microsoft's support. As such, until Linus Torvalds becomes supreme king of the universe, Microsoft will always get away with little more than a slap on the wrist.
  • by DaLiNKz (557579) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:13AM (#6367235) Homepage Journal
    always in the news, never for anything good. Truth is I don't even see Microsoft as the threat it was, maybe thats because I have sort of lost any real caring about Microsoft.. good or bad. Linux is taking over the server market.. Windows does workstations fine. Maybe Microsoft should learn how to be a bit more friendly in the developmental departments with other groups then to try to attack them all..

    But of course.. one day.. Welcome to Microsoft Linux 1.0 (Interactive Mode)
  • Yawn (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nuggz (69912) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:14AM (#6367238) Homepage
    Who cares. They will not force MS to act in a manner that fosters competition. They won't enforce a penalty on MS. It just isn't going to happen in the US.

    Normal people think MS Windows and MS Office are what makes the computer industry, by that logic any action against MS would be an attack agains the industry, so they don't want to do anything.
  • by Noryungi (70322) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:14AM (#6367242) Homepage Journal
    Brothers and sisters, consider these facts :

    • Microsoft will be forced to comply to a DOJ judgment!
    • SCO is suing IBM and actually WITHDREW AIX LICENSE!!
    • Europe is going to accept GMOs!!!
    • And, in Peoria, Ill., John Smith [google.fr], 20-years-old Slashdot poster and troll extraordinaire, actually got LAID!!!!


    The time has come, repent all you sinners, for the shiny saucers of the sex goddess [subgenius.com] are coming to deliver us!

    This, as everybody knows, has been predicted in the Holy Scriptures of J.R. "Bob" Dobbs! Convert before it is too late, heathens! ;-)
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:37AM (#6367385)

      Brothers and sisters, consider these facts :

      • Microsoft will be forced to comply to a DOJ judgment!
      • SCO is suing IBM and actually WITHDREW AIX LICENSE!!
      • Europe is going to accept GMOs!!!
      • And, in Peoria, Ill., John Smith, 20-years-old Slashdot poster and troll extraordinaire, actually got LAID!!!!

      That's not all, consider also:

      • The best golfer in the world is black...
      • The most popular rapper in the world is white...
      • There was a war a few months ago, and Germany didn't want to be involved.
      These truly are strange days indeed...

    • If it was these two [google.fr] then I envy John Smith :-)

      SB
  • by indros13 (531405) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:16AM (#6367254) Homepage Journal
    Honestly, you would think that with so many examples of corporate misbehavior and outright illegal activity that we'd have a Justice Department with some teeth. Instead, they waste their time covering up nude statues and hounding thousands of immigrants, most of whom have done no worse than stay past their green card expiration date.
    John Ashcroft, do your fscking job!

  • by Ridgelift (228977) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:21AM (#6367287)
    Your US government is trying to appease Microsoft. Appeasement never works. It only buys short term security. It doesn't work in diplomacy with countries, corporations or any relationship. [capmag.com].

    Though drawing parallels between brutal dictators and Bill Gates may seem harsh, the principle is the same. If people think they're safe now from Microsoft's monopolistic practices, they've bought into a false sense of security.
  • by Myriad (89793) <myriad&thebsod,com> on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:23AM (#6367296) Homepage
    Somehow this makes me think of the joke about English police stopping criminals without being allowed to carry guns:

    Bobby to criminal: Stop!! Or I'll say 'stop' again!!

    Except here we have:

    DOJ to MS: Comply!! Or we'll say 'comply' again!

    Sad, yes. Surprising, no.

    Blockwars [blockwars.com]: new features & bug fixes! All multiplayer. Go play.

    • by Larsing (645953) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:36AM (#6367370)
      Except the English police will wack you senseless with their extendable batons if you don't do what they say...
    • by Space cowboy (13680) on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:05AM (#6367537) Journal
      I invite you to (any time you like) get on the wrong side of a "bobby".

      Their job is only to stop/catch unarmed (or at least, without ranged-weapons) criminals anyway. A policeman with one of the standard-issue batons is significantly better armed than joe crook with a knife...

      Any time there is a gun-toting idiot (briefly) around, the police just call in the armed-response unit (ARU). Much better-trained snipers who don't seem to care where they hit, so long as the bad-guy gets it. Similar to SWAT teams, I suppose.

      Gun crime isn't much of an issue in the UK anyway. There's a pretty-persistent rumour of a shoot-to-kill policy amongst the armed police. Perhaps that's a contributory factor :-) I think I heard of someone being shot earlier in the year around where I live (NE London). The shooter was shot dead by the police ARU. There was some criticism over the fact that he was hit by more than five bullets, which seemed overkill...

      [Note that I'm not at all opposed to the bad-guy being shot. If you play the game, you play by ALL the rules...]

      Simon.
      • Gun crime isn't much of an issue in the UK anyway. There's a pretty-persistent rumour of a shoot-to-kill policy amongst the armed police. Perhaps that's a contributory factor :-)

        It's not so much a shoot-to-kill policy, it's more that they're meant to shoot only when the gunman is posing an immenent threat to someone else (ie pointing the gun at someone, or saying they're about to shoot). When that happens the armed police have to shoot, and to keep shooting until the threat has been removed (ie the gunma

      • I think a "shoot-not-to-kill" policy is a TV invention. If you shoot someone anywhere but the legs or arms, odds are they will die. Trying to aim at their arms or legs is a poor idea, cause if you miss the ricochet might hit someone else. If you are going to shoot someone, you shoot them. Surviving the shot is their problem.

        If it wasn't life or death, then the cop shouldn't be firing in the first place. And for the most part, they are very, very careful. Because if it wasn't life or death before th
      • I invite you to (any time you like) get on the wrong side of a "bobby".

        In my "violent psycho" alter ego, I've trained various martial arts/combat sports with serving and ex-police officers over the past few years. I've also trained with and under some of the people who train them. The basic training they get is pretty laughable by serious standards (though if you don't know how to fight someone armed with a stick, you won't be laughing long). OTOH, they tend to have a very good attitude, being reluctant

  • OEM licensing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by edxwelch (600979) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:25AM (#6367308)
    According to that report MS has been completely compliant in implementing the OEM licensing terms. So why don't we see widespread availabilty of alternative OS's from the big OEMs? There is a little discaimer at the end of that paragraph that seems to say that it hasn't been implemented yet because of the need to "train" OEM sales people, but this "training" has been going on for 2 years already.

    Section III.A. prohibits Microsoft from retaliating or threatening to retaliate against an OEM because of an OEM's decision to distribute or otherwise to promote any software that competes with Microsoft Platform Software. Unlike Section III.B., which can be (and has been) implemented programmatically, compliance with Section III.A. can be achieved only through training and ongoing oversight of relevant Microsoft employees. Microsoft has conducted extensive mandatory training for its OEM Sales group personnel concerning Microsoft's obligations under the Final Judgments, with particular emphasis on Section III.A. and other OEM-related provisions. Since December 2001, Microsoft has trained its domestic OEM Sales personnel at its headquarters in Redmond, Washington, and has trained its international OEM Sales personnel at regional training sessions held in Germany, Switzerland, Mexico and Japan. Training will continue to be an ongoing process, both via live training by Microsoft lawyers and senior OEM Sales group personnel and via online training tools that Microsoft has developed for this purpose. Microsoft's licensing and antitrust lawyers work directly with OEM Division personnel to address and resolve any ongoing questions.

    • Re:OEM licensing (Score:2, Insightful)

      by beacher (82033)
      Here's your all of the OEM [internetweek.com] Training [cnn.com] that the sales force needs, courtesy of Microsoft's chief sales executive Orlando Ayala.

      -B
    • Re:OEM licensing (Score:5, Insightful)

      by quantaman (517394) on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:28AM (#6367687)
      Like This [slashdot.org]?

      It takes time for the OEMs to jump on board. You need to find a good distro, negotiate with the company, test it with your machines to make sure everything works properly, train your staff so they know what to do when some customer calls with problems about it, then finally decide how to market the thing! You also need to wait to make sure that MicroSoft is actually playing nice before you risk seriously screwing yourself by ticking off the supplier of the OS for every machine you sell. Remeber the story about the scorpion and the frog? If I were an OEM I would eb damm careful before messing with M$. Still as we've just seen they are coming out, it's just a matter of how long and what kind of response HP gets from both the comsumer and M$ to see if more machines come out with linux pre-installed
  • Shock and awe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Realistic_Dragon (655151) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:26AM (#6367315) Homepage
    Not only is Microsoft not complying, they are in fact way in excess of the monopoly position that they were in when they started.

    They have been busy leveraging their monopoly into new markets (cell phones and games consoles to name but two) and reverse-leveraging their new market share in these industries back into the PC market for greater lock in (Outlook integration that is closer than 3rd parties can obtain for example).

    They have been investigating hardware lock in techniques (palladium style) and trialling them on consumers (Xbox) to prepare for the next wave of monoplising efforts. They are busy fundng other companies attacking their competators (SCO). They are proping up Bush econmic policy (share dividend at an advantageous moment) in return for special consideration (legal proglems decrease).

    Lets hope to God this triggers another investigation - there is such a huge increase in their deliberatly destructive antics now that even a half blind judge would break them up.

    Except that they will prbably buy him off too.
    • They are proping up Bush econmic policy

      Like when Billy and his daddy told Bush to stuff his tax cut because they neither needed or wanted it?

  • by kaltkalt (620110) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:34AM (#6367362)
    Antitrust law is a good thing, but if it's not used quickly enough, a monopoly can get so big, rich, and powerful, that laws no longer apply to it. It can afford to buy its way out of any problems it may face. Microsoft is just such a monopoly. It should have been broken up around the time of Windows 3.1. But it was left alone for years after that, and now it can fart in the faces of the justice department and there's not a single thing they can do about it (other than whine to the press).
    • by Daniel Phillips (238627) on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:00AM (#6367502)
      Antitrust law is a good thing, but if it's not used quickly enough, a monopoly can get so big, rich, and powerful, that laws no longer apply to it. It can afford to buy its way out of any problems it may face. Microsoft is just such a monopoly. It should have been broken up around the time of Windows 3.1. But it was left alone for years after that, and now it can fart in the faces of the justice department and there's not a single thing they can do about it (other than whine to the press).

      Your theory also requires that the judicial system and administration be corrupt.
      • by kaltkalt (620110) on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:34AM (#6367726)
        Not corrupt. Just powerless. It's quite possible to be full of honor and completely ineffectual at the same time. I'm not accusing anyone of being corrupt (other than MS of course). Lazy, yes. Corrupt, no.
      • Not really.

        Its not illegal to hire very very good laywers.
        Its not illegal to convince, through media, private conversations, arguments, that a politition should think in a certain way.
        Its not illegal to use all the resources available to you to its fullest extent.

        All of this can be done without relying on corruption. Just playing by the fullest extent of the rules.
      • by xenocide2 (231786) on Friday July 04, 2003 @01:01PM (#6368242) Homepage
        Its hard to figure where to place the blame. We all remember how W was talking about telling the DoJ to lay off M$. Seems to have worked. Bush and many representatives believe that its harming America's retirement investments. After all, many people invested in this company. Nobody wants to get screwed. Not investors, not politicians (screwing their constituents), not Microsoft, and not Microsoft's competitors. Microsoft broke the rules, but not many want to pursue this because they're dependent.

        I think its totally plausible that the administration be totally corrupt. Look at Abraham lincoln. Total power monger. Suspended habeas corpus, and the 'emancipation proclaimation' was just a PR move. And I'm sure several politicians can muster the personal deception to believe they're acting in good faith by not purusing Microsoft. Afterall, politicians are just better than average laywers, which is to say, better than average liars. ;)
  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:47AM (#6367449) Homepage

    A day when we celebrate victory in a civil war that began as a protest about taxation without representation.

    Say, how much representation do your taxes buy you? Wouldn't it be neat if we could all choose to pay "campaign contributions" to buy laws and fat federal contracts, instead of paying taxes to whoever we decided was probably the least bad of two candidates?

    I'm in agreement with George W that the only way to deal with oppressive unelected regimes is to replace them forcibly. I just think we should clean house at home before building any more aircraft carriers.

    • A day when we celebrate victory in a civil war

      Civil war? I think you mean revolution unless you still regard yourselves as British. I know you still have a mad king...er....president George but its not quite the same you know.

  • by abe ferlman (205607) <bgtrio@NOSPAm.yahoo.com> on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:59AM (#6367499) Homepage Journal
    It's tempting to say "You know a company is corrupt when even Ashcroft says so."

    But remember what part of the election cycle we're approaching before drawing too many conclusions here. This will all blow over before you can say "Judge Jackson was biased in favor of the truth."

  • In other areas of the settlement, department lawyers praised Microsoft's compliance... ... It goes on to say that in all other areas of the agreement, Microsoft is in compliance...
  • Umm, (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Eezy Bordone (645987)
    What do you expect them to do? It's not like they're going to get an anti-trust suit filed against them anytime soon...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Straight from the horse's mouth!

    http://members.microsoft.com/consent/Info/defaul t. aspx
  • by TheZax (641389) on Friday July 04, 2003 @01:29PM (#6368386) Journal
    In other areas of the settlement, department lawyers praised Microsoft's compliance.

    This doesn't deserve praise . This means that they have met the bare minimum of what is required of them in some areas. That's like being praised for not spitting on someone.

    Not only that, the reason they were in court is because of ilegal activity in the first place.

    So, in summary, they act criminally, get caught for it, are given a minimal set of rules to redeem themselves, and they can't be bothered to do that right.

    I guess I shouldn't be surprised. But even with my low expectations of them, they still continue to amaze...
  • by defile (1059) on Friday July 04, 2003 @03:16PM (#6368873) Homepage Journal

    The Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition End User License Agreement, which came with my laptop, specifically states that I may return it for a refund, but Microsoft/Dell refuse to honor this clause.

  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... minus physicist> on Friday July 04, 2003 @03:45PM (#6369017) Journal
    Bad, naughty Microsoft, no biscuit for you. Don't make those eyes at me! Oh, your so cute, I can't stay mad at you. Here's your biscuit. Stop it! I gave you a biscuit. Oh, all right, here's another.

    ...

    Honey! The Microsoft took a crap on the rug again! Have you been feeding it biscuits?

The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.

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