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Microsoft To Pay IBM In Antitrust Settlement 202

Posted by Zonk
from the quite-a-payout dept.
Pankaj Arora writes "A settlement has been reached in IBM's private antitrust case against Microsoft. According to the terms of the settlement, Microsoft will pay IBM $775 million cash in addition to $75 million in credit. From the article, 'The settlement resolves all discriminatory pricing and overcharging claims stemming from the U.S. government's mid-1990s antitrust case against Microsoft, the companies said in a statement. The settlement also resolves most other IBM antitrust claims, including those related to its OS/2 operating system and SmartSuite products. IBM's claims of harm to its server hardware and server software businesses are not covered by the settlement, however.'"
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Microsoft To Pay IBM In Antitrust Settlement

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  • Piffle (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) *
    $850 million to Microsoft? Pfft! They've probably lost that much on XBox sales and they're still going. Good thing they've got all those insanely profitable divisions and that $40 billion + cash reserve.

    Of course IBM could, as the news suggests, hit them again for more money, it's hardly going to dent Microsoft. What they need is restraint or some measures with some teeth in them which raise the bar.

    • Re:Piffle (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cloudofstrife (887438)
      Yes, laws with teeth would be nice, but there are things called lawyers, which as the longer name would suggest, have longer teeth and are much more dangerous than simple laws. Microsoft plenty of nasty lawyers, and enough money to buy off the rest of the judges that won't pay attention to the lawyers.
    • Re:Piffle (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ZephyrXero (750822)
      Exactly....Microsoft could pay them 20Billion and still keep going strong. What we need is stronger anti-trust laws...there are getting to be too few companies in charge of everything.
      • I hate to say this but Microsoft is a virtual monopoly because the majority of people want it to be. individual communities could force schools (via the elected school boards) to require use of OSS, but they do not. The result of such measures would introduce and familiarise the general population with something other than MS, but I don;t see it happening in the near future.
        • Well, this is just like people could start to boycott all Coke & Pepsi products...but they won't. Should it be legal for only two companies to own 99% of the market in soft drinks? How could a small company ever dream of competing? Almost every industry is dominated by less than 5 companies, and most of them are in multiple industries to boot. The dominant "sheeple" love to give up their freedom for convenience and screw it up for the rest of us...
        • > I hate to say this but Microsoft is a virtual
          > monopoly because the majority of people want it to be.

          That doesn't make much sense to me. The fact that Windows is installed by default on almost all new consumer desktop machines hardly supports the notion that people are "choosing" to run Windows over any alternative.

          Most people don't know, or can even conceive of, different software and operating systems other than those made my Microsoft. So the notion of "wanting" Microsoft products is pretty mea
    • Re:Piffle (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Tweak232 (880912)
      Perhaps I could offer a solution:
      If there was any way that anti-trust cases could be tried as criminal cases, it would be great. This is one way that companies can put a dent in microsoft. Did you know that in some criminal cases, they could freeze their assets. That should be crippiling to microsoft.On the other hand, it could also end up like the market fraud cases with the ceos of enron and world com. Still better than just sitting on your hands.
      • If you freeze the billions and billions of dollars in assets Microsoft has you would screw millions and millions of people. Think about all the people who own stock in that company, and the effect on the stock market in general. The financial effects of such a move could be devesting to a lot of people that have nothing to do with Microsoft's Anti-trust issues.

        You don't seam to understand that Microsoft, and other public companies, are actually owned by there stock holders. It isn't just the top tier fo
    • Re:Piffle (Score:5, Insightful)

      by robertjw (728654) on Friday July 01, 2005 @01:06PM (#12962070) Homepage
      it's hardly going to dent Microsoft. What they need is restraint or some measures with some teeth in them which raise the bar.

      This attitude comes up every time we see some kind of legal penalty against Microsoft, and I don't understand it. I'm not Microsoft fan, but I also don't want to see them bankrupted by the court system. Actually, I don't want to see anyone bankrupted by the court system. Microsoft is a big influental company and a big employer. If they were fined $20 Billion it would not have a positive impact on a company.

      Any way you slice it, $850 Million is not chump change. I'll guarantee the accountants and financial officers at Microsoft are not thrilled about giving up over 4% of their cash reserves to a competitor. This ruling seems reasonable to me, and if we have enough of them maybe Microsoft will see the light.
      • Re:Piffle (Score:5, Insightful)

        by justforaday (560408) on Friday July 01, 2005 @01:11PM (#12962119)
        If they were fined $20 Billion it would not have a positive impact on a company.

        Y'see, that's where your thinking gets a little wacky. It's supposed to be a penalty, not something that benefits them...
        • Dammit, I meant "it would not have a postive impact on the economy"

          Sorry.
        • " It's supposed to be a penalty,"

          Really? Then why'd IBM settle?

          I'm actually quite surprised at all the yip yapping over MS not being 'punished' badly enough without noticing the word 'settlement'. It was about compensating IBM, not bending Billy Boy over a barrel and flogging him.
      • Re:Piffle (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MarkByers (770551) on Friday July 01, 2005 @01:22PM (#12962234) Homepage Journal
        But the point is that it will not at all affect their revenue stream, so since they are still making huge profits, they have no incentive to change their ways.

        It's like successfully convincting bank robbers go after then letting them go with a fine of 50% of the money they stole, but letting them keep the other 50%. If they can get away with illegal activities and make a profit from it, what is the point in having a legal system at all? Surely there should be some sort of detterent to prevent them doing it again?
        • The problem is Microsoft just calculates how much they expect to pay in fines etc. each year, and simply work it into their operating costs and into their pricing. Believe me, Bill Gates is laughing about this, all the way to the bank, because to Microsoft, this is just another cost of doing business on the balance sheet ... and like any other operating cost, they just make sure their prices cover it - so he knows it is in fact his own customers that are paying for this in the end. This is actually the wors

          • The problem is Microsoft just calculates how much they expect to pay in fines etc. each year, and simply work it into their operating costs and into their pricing.

            This is ridiclous. We're talking about things that happened more than 10 years ago -- Microsoft surely believed that they either (A) weren't doing anything wrong, or (B) would get away with it scott-free. I highly doubt there was any anti-trust cost-benefit analysis done. (Although IBM may have done one with their weak packaging of OS/2.)
      • Actually, I don't want to see anyone bankrupted by the court system.
        Sure you do. There are companies that do more harm than good and are profitable only because they do not compensate those that they harm. Those companies should be "bankrupted by the court system". Right?
        • There are companies that do more harm than good and are profitable only because they do not compensate those that they harm. Those companies should be "bankrupted by the court system". Right?

          In a free market these companies should not exist. In theory a company can only exist if it's providing a good or service that's of value to someone. Determining if a company does more harm than good is a tricky proposition. Obviously if a company is commiting fraud or some other illegal act I believe the should b
          • You obviously have no idea what you are talking about. Criminal courts prosecute humans. Corporations can only ever be in civil court. Please consider the last time that a corporation was convicted of theft or murder. (Hint: this cannot happen.)

            When companies do harm, the person or company that was harmed sues them for damages. They get sued for wrongful death, or whatever. This is our system, and it is an essential part of the "free market". This is not "completely different than a company being bankrupte
          • Wow. I didn't realize you were the original poster. You were way further off base than I originally understood.

            Consider the fictional company Toxico. Toxico disposes of radioactive and inconvenient waste at a discount. They do so by packaging and selling it as Toxico Treats in your local grocery store. They make huge profits and thousands of people die.

            Toxico should obviously not exist. The shareholders should never see a penny. I hope we both agree on this point.

            So, certainly we should arrest and charge
            • Toxico should obviously not exist. The shareholders should never see a penny. I hope we both agree on this point.

              OK, I'm with you now. Yes, in your example it makes sense that the courts should take all of Toxico's money and not allow them to do business in the future. Guess what I was trying to originally get across is that losing a month's revenue for behaviour that may or may not have caused the demise of IBM's OS/2 is probably a reasonable sum. I don't think the courts should fine a company like M
              • Come to think about it, I would argue that in your example Toxico should only be penalized for the amount of damage they did and what it costs to repair. This sum may be as much or more than Toxico has assets in the bank, but I don't think it's right for the court to look at Toxico's worth just to make sure they don't have any money left.

                Absolutely. I just used that example because it seemed clear that Toxico would have done a large enough amount of damage that the number would definitely exceed their n

              • Er... I'm going to double respond again.

                I'll point out that punitive damages can also serve a valid purpose, and it may be very reasonable to penalize a company further than the specific damage that was done in this particular instance. For example, it may be very expensive and difficult to litigate certain damages, so Toxico could count on further victims failing to sue. This is not make their enterprise acceptable, so it is fine to charge them punitive damages to discourage them from harmful activity in
            • If my company (Toxico) falls over and kills 4000 people, I am not liable, due to, IMHO, government fiction. This is wrong. If a bad company is bankrupted by civil action, the shareholders should be liable for damages.

              +1, Insightful

              Detractors would say that limited-liability corporations must exist or that old grandmas' would be liable for the actions of the corporation. I say its damn right they should! Stockholders need to play a more active role in their companies. Most people just collect dividends
              • The free market would quickly move to serve shareholders that cannot research all the activities of their portfolio. Our coupon clipping grandmothers would buy portfolio insurance that would insulate them from damages but would pay for harm done by a company, like homeowner's insurance. Also like homeowner's insurance, it would be more or less expensive based on the risk inherent in the particular company, and this added cost to shareholders would make companies more responsive to their risk.
      • it's part of their business plan. Think about it, they make over $1 billion PROFIT per quarter on the Windows monopoly. Paying out less than that in settlements every few years is far easier then actually competing fairly in the market since they don't even know how to do THAT...

        If IBM made a statement such that they were going to put the entire $775 million into GNU/Linux marketing, then THAT would cause some restlessness at Microsoft. Pulling another few hundred million out of the drawer otherwise is SOP
      • Prevention: 0 (Score:3, Insightful)

        by OwlWhacker (758974)
        The question is: What does this do to prevent Microsoft committing other anti-competitive crimes?

        The answer: Nothing.

        Microsoft can afford a few hundred million in order to benefit from anti-competitive actions; by the time the courts catch up with Microsoft the benefits must be immense.

        I'm sure Microsoft is happy that the pros outweigh the cons. The company has continued anti-competitive practices even though it has previously been fined for similar crimes, and it always comes up smelling of roses.
      • Why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Friday July 01, 2005 @02:25PM (#12962921) Journal
        I'm not Microsoft fan, but I also don't want to see them bankrupted by the court system.

        Why not?

        If they were being vindicated by the legal system, then they shouldn't be driven to bankruptcy (or inconvenienced at all) by its costs.

        But if they have a consistent pattern of wrongdoing and profit from it, are consistently convicted for it, yet continue in the misbehavior because it's profitable despite the penalties, why not raise the penalties until they either stop the illegal behavior (because it beomes UNprofitable) or go bankrupt (and thus stop it by ceasing to exist)?

        Judgements are supposed to do two things:
        - Repair the damage to the injured party by giving him financial compensation.
        - Penalize the injuring party, to deter future wrongdoing.
        You'll find that distinction in the judgements themselves, which are divided into "compensatory" and sometimes "puntative" damages.

        Punishments are SUPPOSED to give enough pain or inconvenience to deter future misbehavior, make illegal acts unprofitable, and make repeat offenders unable to continue. They do this by escalating when repeated convictions show the pattern continues, until they become completely debilitating.

        As for the stockholders suffering losses due to the officers' choice to break laws as corporate policy: The stockholders are the ones who pick the board and vote on major issues, and the board is who picks the officers and votes on day-to-day issues. So if the stockholders pick crooks (or crook-pickers) and then keep voting to retain them, it's APPROPRIATE for them to be hit in the wallet. It's an incentive on THEM to pick some non-crooks to clean house - or dump the stock on someone who will (or is willing to take the heat) before the crooks make it worthless.

        As for the economy: It got along fine without Microsoft, and can do the same again if necessary. There have been plenty of other companies (and universities, and volunteer organizations) that made perfectly usable software in the past, and in the absense of the 268 Billion Dollar Gorilla I'm sure there would be again.

        Many states now have "three strikes" laws to lock up violent (or "serious") repeat offenders and throw away the key. Perhaps we need something similar for corportations.
        • As for the economy: It got along fine without Microsoft, and can do the same again if necessary. There have been plenty of other companies (and universities, and volunteer organizations) that made perfectly usable software in the past, and in the absense of the 268 Billion Dollar Gorilla I'm sure there would be again.

          Absolutely, and I don't think Microsoft will be around or as dominant as they are in the future, but the bottom line is bankrupting Microsoft would have an immediate negative impact on the e
    • Re:Piffle (Score:3, Informative)

      by WhiteWolf666 (145211)
      Just a note. After their various settlements, dividend, and other items, Microsoft retains about $20 billion in a cash reserve.

      This does not include this settlement with IBM.
    • Re:Piffle (Score:2, Interesting)

      by adtifyj (868717)

      Its not important whether Microsoft notices the drop in the bank balance or not. The continual slaps on the wrist make public display of the bad practises at Microsoft, and that may make others think twice about the yummy lollies MS offers. Also, these payouts put money in the coffers of Microsofts competitors; it may be trivial to Microsoft, but it is real hard cash that allows others to keep competing.

      Consider what $850M could buy IBM in terms of OSS software project funding, and the effect that will

    • "$850 million to Microsoft? Pfft! They've probably lost that much on XBox sales and they're still going."

      If IBM was seeking compensation instead of punitive damages, then MS's net worth doesn't matter in the slightest.

      Not that it matters around here, though. Microsoft is evil so the gov't should just take all their money away.
    • "$850 million to Microsoft? Pfft! They've probably lost that much on XBox sales and they're still going. Good thing they've got all those insanely profitable divisions and that $40 billion + cash reserve.

      Of course IBM could, as the news suggests, hit them again for more money, it's hardly going to dent Microsoft. What they need is restraint or some measures with some teeth in them which raise the bar."

      Who mods this crap up? Why don't you buy some stock in MS, and then see if you like arbitrary billion dol
    • That's over 2% of their cash. Just for a single settlement. Not exactly a good result. It won't kill them, but it's another rusty bolt falling out of the Microsoft machine.
  • by jd (1658) <imipak AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday July 01, 2005 @12:56PM (#12961959) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft will agree that OS/2 was murdered in the dark, if IBM agrees to install $75 million dollars worth of Windows products.


    And this helps which company, again?

    • Microsoft will agree that OS/2 was murdered in the dark

      Agreeing to settle is not admitting guilt. Even with the large sums at hand there's a point where it's cheaper to settle than to drag things on.

      I recall OS/2 Warp having its own set of problems. At the time I worked for a software retail store and OS/2 Warp was probably the most returned product the first couple of weeks it came out. Complaints ranged from "constant crashes" to "severe data loss". Win95 wasn't perfect, but we didn't have nearly the n
    • I wonder if IBM will fall for the same trick in its suit with SCO?

      The fork lift pulls up to the front steps of IBM headquarters and unloads several large crates marked "OpenServer 6". Crouched inside, Darl waits patiently, grinning, knife in hand. Hoping. Praying they take the bait...

    • It's more like... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ajdecon (233641)
      Microsoft agrees it murdered OS/2, and did lots of other nasty things. They also agreed to give IBM $850 million, but managed to talk IBM into taking a tiny chunk of it in Microsoft software.

      This hurts Microsoft, no doubt about it; and some chunk of IBM's workforce which hasn't yet installed the latest MS Office (or Halo?) gets to do it for free...
    • IBM spends a large amount of internal IT dollars to outfit its employees with Windows and Office. As I read this story, the $75M is a credit for amounts already spent. Not $75M of new stuff.

      ps I am an IBMer.

      You should also know that IBM, internally, plans to convert at some point over to Linux and open-source based platforms for its employees. There are pilot programs already underway.
    • "Microsoft will agree that OS/2 was murdered in the dark, if IBM agrees to install $75 million dollars worth of Windows products.

      And this helps which company, again?"

      Nice red herring. What about the other 3 quarters of a billion dollars MS has to pay IBM simply becuase MS beat them in a free market.
  • by It doesn't come easy (695416) * on Friday July 01, 2005 @12:56PM (#12961962) Journal
    In the course of the U.S. Justice Department's antitrust suit against the software giant, the government claimed that IBM suffered from Microsoft's discriminatory pricing and overcharging practices, according to a Microsoft statement released Friday.
    And what software competitor didn't suffer from Microsoft's discriminatory pricing and overcharging practices?

    Speaking of the U.S. Justice Department's antitrust suit against Microsoft, what I want to know is: Has the Microsoft approved penalties for the antitrust trial they lost fulfilled the requirements of antitrust law?

    The law requires that a remedy:
    Stops The Unlawful Conduct
    Prevents Recurrence Of Unlawful Conduct
    Restores Competitive Conditions To The Market

    Has this happened? What's your opinion?
  • by PornMaster (749461) on Friday July 01, 2005 @12:59PM (#12961996) Homepage
    With the sale of their PC division to Lenovo, IBM's been in a much less delicate position with Microsoft, not having nearly the same volume of MS software in the low-margin space where sweet deals are really necessary and the difference of a few bucks on a copy of XP means a lot in terms of the ability to turn a profit.

    I get the vibe that MS knew that IBM had brought itself into a far stronger position WRT MS, and decided not to put up a fight.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      "IBM's been in a much less delicate position with Microsoft"

      That would be putting in mildy.

      With IBM dumping Lenovo, they have effectively purged a cancerous Microsoft division residing withing IBM itself.

      Hopefully we will see this start to happen on smaller scales across the business computing world where many companies effectively have their IT department acting as an extension of Microsoft.

  • by Cylix (55374) on Friday July 01, 2005 @12:59PM (#12962000) Homepage Journal
    Windows license costs have soared dramatically.

    When asked what was the primary reason for the cost inflation, a Microsoft spokesman was quoted as saying, "Were going to fuck IBM every little bit we can."

  • Sad (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    that a company can pay another company money to drop its charges and not calling it a bribe.
    • by rewt66 (738525)
      It's called a settlement. That's where you do something that the other side finds acceptable, and they don't sue you. If they have a legitimate court case against you, both sides can win from this. And society wins, too, because they don't have that particular case clogging up the courts.

      Insightful? Hardly. More like clueless...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    For XP upgrades, SQL server and quite a few licenses for MS BOB which the Notes team will use as a UI guide. IBM will be pissed, but the lawyers mad a few bucks.
  • Now IBM can rehire some of the 13000 workers it just laid off.
  • IBM's claims of harm to its server hardware and server software businesses are not covered by the settlement, however.


    That is provided free-of-charge by Microsoft Windows Server.
  • by motek (179836) on Friday July 01, 2005 @01:06PM (#12962076) Homepage
    How Microsoft's payout to another big company relates to my rights? I mean - this is not an admission of wrongdoing, it is just a money transfer.
  • A drop in the bucket (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RealProgrammer (723725) on Friday July 01, 2005 @01:09PM (#12962110) Homepage Journal

    At $11.24B/year, they make that much in a single month [yahoo.com].

    With SmartSuite out of the way, their Office package is the basically the only commercial offering out there. Microsoft's predatory, monopolistic practices easily made the company $850 million this year, and they've been doing it for a lot of years.

    Some days, my faith in the system is tested.

    • Ehm, why wouldn't OpenOffice (or StarOffice if you wan't to pay for it + advanced spell checker) count as a competitor to Microsoft Office?
    • "Microsoft's predatory, monopolistic practices easily made the company $850 million this year, and they've been doing it for a lot of years."

      Actually, it was Microsoft's practice of making products people want that made them their money. The difference? You can't make money on monopolistic practices without a product in high demand. ... not that I expect anybody here to notice the difference and understand why it's significant. The concept of a 'de-fact monopoly' just isn't easy to process when talking
  • Amicable (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MECC (8478) *
    "IBM is pleased that we have amicably resolved these longstanding issues,"

    Money is oh so amicable.

  • by ArsonSmith (13997) on Friday July 01, 2005 @01:10PM (#12962115) Journal
    Now all the IBM workers that have been working at deflated rates due to this problem will get huge bonuses and raises.

  • by EMIce (30092) on Friday July 01, 2005 @01:18PM (#12962191) Homepage
    I believe one facet of this case was Microsoft's intentional breaking of Win 3.1 under Dr. DOS, which had a decent marketshare and better product at the time. They wouldn't be out-designed so they decided to play the bully. Like a kid who wants something so bad he takes it when no one is looking.

    Good for IBM, though the market has still not recovered - but yet we've got these goons in Washington taking fat checks [lxer.com] to keep the monopoly going strong. This is no small problem, and it is only going to get worst without some corrective action from congress.
  • by phorest (877315) on Friday July 01, 2005 @01:22PM (#12962236) Journal
    From an AP article explaining the basis it sounds possible AMD might prevail if the same standard is applied... let's hope so!

    The payout is one of the largest that Microsoft has made since U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ruled in 2000 that Microsoft engaged in anticompetitive practices. Jackson's ruling cited IBM as a company that Microsoft had forced to "desist from certain technological innovations and business initiatives."

    For example, Microsoft didn't charge all computer makers the same amount for its Windows operating system, allegedly using higher prices as a cudgel against PC companies that didn't comply with Microsoft's wishes

  • 50 miles high in dollar bills. 2700 feet in hundreds.
  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Friday July 01, 2005 @01:25PM (#12962270)

    Microsoft will pay IBM $775 million cash in addition to $75 million in credit.

    To MS, $775M is not that big of a deal. But having IBM get $75M worth of stuff from them is. Even if it's on credit. Remember - MS makes it's money off of mindshare. And having IBM who has rather recently and somewhat famously embraced Linux suddenly get $75M of free MS stuff is a huge win for MS.

    I'll bet if the deal had been on the table to simply pay IBM $775M to accept $75M in MS products, MS would have gone for it. They'd pay that much to have $75M worth of mindshare suddenly implanted into one of the largest Linux players out there.

    • Not neceassary.
      They could always just buy 75$ millions of Optical mouse and keyboard. Or whatever hardware microsoft dare to come out with that will work fine with Linux.
    • by Hollins (83264) on Friday July 01, 2005 @01:46PM (#12962498) Homepage
      If IBM considers $775M adequate compensation, then the $75M MS credit is irrelevant. They don't have to use it, and can choose not to.

      If they want to take a poke at MS, though, they could set up an amnesty program, such that when any company is being muscled by the BSA, funds from the $75M are used to bring that company into compliance for past use, possibly in exchange for adopting IBM software in the future.
    • But having IBM get $75M worth of stuff from them is. Even if it's on credit.

      Who says IBM ever has to USE this new $75M line of credit?

      Naturally, they will, because an organization the size and breadth of IBM is going to have some Windows-based components in it. I don't see it following that IBM will have to promote Windows mindshare to its end-users, though.
    • And having IBM who has rather recently and somewhat famously embraced Linux suddenly get $75M of free MS stuff is a huge win for MS.
      And in other news, IBM employees are reporting that they all love their new mice.
    • I don't think it's as big of a deal as you are saying. After all, even if they are known for having a huge embrace of Linux over at IBM, they also sell Microsoft products on their servers (now who'd buy those servers, I dunno, but they do sell them).

      Basically, what they've done is dropped the cost of Microsoft on those boxes, increasing their profit margin. Of course, this can even go internally; they don't nessicarily have to sell those licenses they just got their hands on. They can use it on their own
    • Even though IBM is betting on Linux as well (mainly for servers currently, but that might change) they still have a lot of Windows and Office installations, even in house. What is to say that they will use 75M on *new* licenses? Why would they not use this amount to pay of old license fees or upgrade to new ones?

      I would call loosing a total of 850M to IBM to put in to their warchest not a victory - actually it is a pretty big loss. Actually, in the areas where they compete, IBM has now 850M more as well as
  • GPL OS/2 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tmbailey123 (230145) on Friday July 01, 2005 @01:26PM (#12962275)
    Does the resolution of the OS/2 dispute mean that IBM is free to release OS/2 under a GPL license without fear of M$oft legal action ?
    • Unlikely. The OS/2 thing concerns Microsoft's attacks on IBM during 1995 when IBM started making a serious attempt to market OS/2. This culminated with IBM not getting what they needed to test Windows 95 on their own machines until the night before release, and having to pay retail for copies. IBM capitulated and dropped all marketing of OS/2 and Lotus Smartsuite in return for getting the same treatment as companies like Dell, Compaq, and Gateway were getting.

      My guess is Microsoft basically said: "Ok, we'

  • Hopefully the superior courts are on the same kick of large corporations taking advantage of their positions to muscle out the little guys.

    I guess we'll see ...
  • by dduck (10970) on Friday July 01, 2005 @01:38PM (#12962420) Homepage
    ...hahahahahaha!
    hahahahahahaha!
    hahahahahaha!
    hahahahahahaha!
    hahahahahaha!
    hahahahahahaha!
    Aaaa-hahahahahaaaa...
    Aaaaaaa-hahahahahaaaaahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaa....

    Oh well. I guess it's great for IBM that they got paid, but what about the pain of all the BSOD's that we poor users had to contend with for - oh - a decade or so, where we could instead have been using a properly multitasking, threaded and memory protected OS. :( I don't think that pain is ever going to go away (even though it *is* soothed somewhat by the niceness and comfort of OS-X these days).
  • Yeah! (Score:3, Funny)

    by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Friday July 01, 2005 @01:43PM (#12962477)

    So my cheque for my failed DeskStar drives is going to be funded by Microsoft. Shweeeeeet!

  • Now I see it. SCO suit is not only about spreading fud. It's also a retaliation for/bragaining chip in this suit.
  • Microsoft gets off cheap. While $775M is big to us, they just write a check out of cash reserves and continue on with one less legal hassle. Good deal for them.
  • 850 million here, 500 million there, pretty soon you have real money... I wonder what is the total amount that MS has paid out in anti-competitive litigation? My guestimate is about 3 billion dollars. That amounts to about 6 million copies of MS Office.
  • Half a billion to the EU, half a billion to Novel, three-quarters of a billion to IBM, two billion to SUN, half a billion to Eolas, a billion to California...

    If this keeps up it's gonna add up to real money pretty soon.

    -
  • I've always wondered about large cash tranfers like this between companies.

    Does anyone know the mechanics of such a thing? I presume they don't just write a check and drop it in the mail...

    The closest I've been to large scale finance is a couple of orders of magnitude short of that sort of thing (and even there, we didn't write a check), so I'm curious. Anyone know?

  • Gerstner pulled the plug on new resources going into OS/2 in April, 1996 at a time when OS/2 still had a small, but significant market share and was on the verge of releasing the much-improved v4. OS/2 was still selling a lot of licenses for v3 at the time and was a profitable business activity for IBM, although it would have certainly been much more profitable with a larger market share. IBM's OS/2 group still went ahead and released OS/2 Warp v4 in August, 1996 but it was a 'stealth' release that the I
  • Does this strike anybody else with historical perspective as ironic? Isn't IBM the company that tried to put every other mainframe computer company out of business in their heyday with their business practices? In a parallel universe, all the Linux fanboys would be vilifying IBM and OS/2 (or perhaps Apple and MacOS), not Microsoft and Windows.

Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!

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