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Microsoft Government The Courts News

U.S. Faults Microsoft Licensing Compliance 241

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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  • Question is: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jkrise ( 535370 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:06AM (#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.
  • by gilesjuk ( 604902 ) <> on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:13AM (#6367234)
    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 sisukapalli1 ( 471175 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:19AM (#6367270)
    US is not a truly capitalistic country (look at social security, farm subsidies, bailing out airlines, and even bailing out obnoxious hedge funds)...

    Laissez faire ideals are things that can cause depression like the 30's. Without the government regulations, we wouldn't even have had a 40 hour week standard (even though many do way more than that).

    The ideals of capitalism won't break down if MSFT is broken up -- MSFT itself has become like a government of its own, stifling free market. Breaking up MSFT can only do good to consumers, just like the breaking up of AT&T and Standard Oil did...

  • OEM licensing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by edxwelch ( 600979 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:25AM (#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:Translation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:39AM (#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?
  • hummmm. (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:44AM (#6367432)
    the non-compliance comes t the same time that Bush is asking for "campaign" money , but hey no connection.
    And you wonder where Gates gets his ideas from. Pay us or I send ashcroft after you
    Pay us or I send BSA after you
  • Re:RTFA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Troed ( 102527 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @11:47AM (#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.
  • by Bob9113 ( 14996 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @12:17PM (#6367618) Homepage
    You call this a capitalist society?

    No, I call it a corporatist society. In corporatism, the government is charged with the maintenance of power of the major corporations.

    What happened to laissez faire ideals, free market and all that.

    In a laissez faire system, there is no concept of intellectual property law. Laissez faire is based on the natural laws of scarcity. Microsoft's monopoly is based on artificial scarcity established by our corporatist government through intellectual property laws.

    Whether corporatism is the best course for our nation I will leave to other threads. I only intend herein to correct your misuse of the terms "capitalism" and "laissez faire."
  • by dackroyd ( 468778 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @12:43PM (#6367780) Homepage

    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 gunman has fallen down).

    If the gunman keeps standing and holding the gun despite being shot, the armed police will keep shooting them, and yeah five or so bullets in the chest tend to be fatal....

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

    by iabervon ( 1971 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @12:47PM (#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.
  • by dydxjessedydt ( 590130 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @01:01PM (#6367912)
    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...
  • by GoofyBoy ( 44399 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @01:02PM (#6367917) Journal
    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.

  • by Space cowboy ( 13680 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @01:09PM (#6367955) Journal
    Where's Britian ?

    If I remember my history rightly, the SS was:
    • more-or-less non-accountable.
    • military rather than civilian.
    • a large organisation with immense political connections.

    The ARU is a small (there are less than 100, as far as I know) organisation, that is very much accountable for its' actions. Every bullet shot has to be accounted for, as in: "I shot this bullet now because ..." in an incident report. It's also civilian, not military.

    If it wasn't accountable, I wouldn't have made the comment about the outcry over the "excessive" bullets used to kill people. See the other post in reply to my original comment for an explanation (I wasn't aware of the reason, myself).

    You might call Britain a police state for other reasons, but to compare the SS to the ARU is simply untrue. In any event, I far prefer the idea of a small number of trained armed policemen to the idea of every man/woman in a police uniform having a gun at his/her hip....

  • by careysb ( 566113 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @01:10PM (#6367967)
    If the government has determined that M$ is an illegal monopoly, how come that can't declare that all future software purchases made by the government be non-M$ ?
  • Re:Insightful??? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by GoofyBoy ( 44399 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @01:11PM (#6367970) Journal
    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.
  • by xenocide2 ( 231786 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @02:01PM (#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 TheZax ( 641389 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @02:29PM (#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...
  • Re:RTFA (Score:2, Interesting)

    by AstroDrabb ( 534369 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @04:08PM (#6368827)
    How the hell is this informative? This is some MS weeine skirting around the issues. MS got off very easy because of "persuasion". They can't even comply with the settlement. Please tell me where all these formerly hidden API's are now published? Oh, and if they say they have now release ALL API's, how in the hell are we to know they are not lying? Do we have the source code to be certain that all API's are released? Also, please tell me how not offering IE anymore and making it a "fully intergrated" part of the desktop compling? As if that was not enough, they are doing the same thing with MS Media Player. It is "integrated" into MS windows 2003. How is this in compliance? It is just MS trying to kill off user choice for a browser, media player and anything else no-ms. MS will not stop until every software application is MS only running on an MS OS, Or a "real" judge finally breaks them up just like Ma Bell. Any endevour they get involved in is not to offer a product for consumers and to compete. It is to use whatever monopolistic practices they can to completly remove the competiton so there is no choice but the MS choice. You keep being an MS-Weenie(tm) and in 5 to 10 years the only choice you will have with an "MS Solution" is what resolution to run your desktop at.
  • by defile ( 1059 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @04:16PM (#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 Bob9113 ( 14996 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @07:03PM (#6369632) Homepage
    That's called Fascism [not corporatism].

    I recently read that one of the big communist or socialist writers (Marx maybe?) said that fascism could be better called corporatism, so I see your point. OTOH, I think there is a strong conception (supported by the definitions of fascism at that fascism is "a political theory advocating an authoritarian hierarchical government" - that fascism is about concentration of power with a small group.

    In the US, we are moving toward a subset of fascism where the corporations and lawyers are the concentrated group. As such, while I agree that "fascism" is an accurate term, I feel that it is not sufficiently specific. For example, India's caste system and Australia's lack of representation of Aborigines also fit the above definition of fascism, but are not corporate oriented.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle