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Microsoft Government The Courts News Politics

Opening Statements Begin in Microsoft - Iowa Case 241

cc writes "The Des Moines Register is reporting that opening statements have begun in the Microsoft-Iowa antitrust case. The Register reports that the Plaintiffs have shaped their case around nine stories involving competitors from IBM to Linux. Microsoft attorneys say Gates is expected to testify in January, and company CEO Steve Ballmer will likely appear in February. Both men are expected to be on the stand for about four days. Unlike previous antitrust cases against the software giant, the Iowa case is seeking additional damages for security vulnerabilities. Plaintiffs allege that Microsoft's bundling of IE with Windows caused harm to consumers by increasing the consumer's susceptibility to security breaches and bugs. The case is one of the largest antitrust cases in history, encompassing millions of documents and Microsoft's business practices during the last 20 years."
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Opening Statements Begin in Microsoft - Iowa Case

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  • and..,.? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by User 956 ( 568564 ) on Friday December 01, 2006 @11:25PM (#17077272) Homepage
    Plaintiffs allege that Microsoft's bundling of IE with Windows caused harm to consumers by increasing the consumer's susceptibility to security breaches and bugs.

    Apple does the same thing with Safari. Or does that not count? If bundling is bad, hold everybody to the same standard.
    • Re:and..,.? (Score:4, Funny)

      by Atlantis-Rising ( 857278 ) on Friday December 01, 2006 @11:27PM (#17077294) Homepage
      Sssh! This is slashdot! We'll have none of your rational thinking here!
    • Re:and..,.? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by irtza ( 893217 ) on Friday December 01, 2006 @11:34PM (#17077330) Homepage
      How much harm has come from Apple bundling Safari? How much harm has come from Microsoft bundling IE? In court, damages play a significant role in deciding whether or not to prosecute. It is up to the state to see if significant harm has come of an action. Also, there are different standards for monopolies and non-monopolies. Is this fair? Yes, especially when corporations are nothing more than legal entities that obtain their monopoly status through government protection. There is nothing wrong with the government undermining large corporations for the greater good. The notion of corporations exist to serve the public good and must be regulated to that end. Apple has done little to damage the market place, so even if they do participate in bad practices, it may not be worth the effort from the standpoint of politicians to persue a case against them. I see nothing wrong with their decision to go after microsoft.... mainly because I have no stock in the company
      • How much harm has come from Microsoft bundling IE?

        Good question. Why don't you tell us?

        And while you're pondering that, I posit that Microsoft's decision to bundle IE is what ultimately gave us the development of Firefox. There's a silver lining in every cloud, chief.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by chromatic ( 9471 )
          I posit that Microsoft's decision to bundle IE is what ultimately gave us the development of Firefox.

          There'd be fewer members of MADD if drunk drivers hadn't killed their loved ones too, but I'm not sure you ought to defend vehicular manslaughter.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Psykosys ( 667390 )
            There's be fewer posts to Slashdot if it wasn't so easy to write a far-stretching analogy.
        • I'd say Hitler's prosecution of the Jews and other minorities led to greater acceptance of minorities. Does that mean Nazi war criminals shouldn't be prosecuted when found?
        • Re:and..,.? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by MemoryDragon ( 544441 ) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @08:41AM (#17079594)
          Speaking of finanical harm, web development usually is like that 50% of the time is spent to bring the application up to the requested specificatoon the rest of the 50% is spent on bending the html code to make it work on ie as well. I am not talking about the harm done by the security leaks and that Microsoft simply stopped development for six years after gaining enough market share to have a monopoly, I am talking about the financial harm done to pretty much everyone paying for web development because IE has to be supported!
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        How much harm has come from Apple bundling Safari? How much harm has come from Microsoft bundling IE? In court, damages play a significant role in deciding whether or not to prosecute.

        Sure, but there has to be a crime in the first place. Configuring your software in a way that displeases some people is not a crime in any sense, even if it is insecure (warranties/guarantees/etc. aside, but Microsoft has never guaranteed Windows is impervious anyway). In the end, "harm" has only come to those who bought the product and used it (generally without proper precaution, I might add). Should I sue a pen maker if I poke myself in the eye?

        Also, there are different standards for monopolies and non-monopolies. Is this fair? Yes, especially when corporations are nothing more than legal entities that obtain their monopoly status through government protection.

        Microsoft is not a monopoly. A monopoly is, from Oxford Di

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by unapersson ( 38207 )
          "Microsoft is not a monopoly. A monopoly is, from Oxford Dictionary, a company or group having exclusive control over a commodity or service. Microsoft does not have exclusive control at all. They have very significant control, but anyone can and many have come out with a competing product. Not all that many people are looking for one, but they can and do exist."

          What about the high street consumer PC market? As far as those shops go alternate operating systems may as well not exist, you'd struggle to buy ev
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sumdumass ( 711423 )

          Sure, but there has to be a crime in the first place. Configuring your software in a way that displeases some people is not a crime in any sense, even if it is insecure (warranties/guarantees/etc. aside, but Microsoft has never guaranteed Windows is impervious anyway). In the end, "harm" has only come to those who bought the product and used it (generally without proper precaution, I might add). Should I sue a pen maker if I poke myself in the eye?

          The crime would be leveraging a position in a specific mar

        • Re:and..,.? (Score:5, Informative)

          by goonerw ( 99408 ) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:50AM (#17078870) Homepage
          Microsoft is not a monopoly.
          The DOJ's Findings of Fact in its Anti-Trust case against Microsoft at the turn of the century says otherwise:

          33. Microsoft enjoys so much power in the market for Intel-compatible PC operating systems that if it wished to exercise this power solely in terms of price, it could charge a price for Windows substantially above that which could be charged in a competitive market. Moreover, it could do so for a significant period of time without losing an unacceptable amount of business to competitors. In other words, Microsoft enjoys monopoly power in the relevant market.

          From http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm [usdoj.gov]
          • Re:and..,.? (Score:4, Informative)

            by swillden ( 191260 ) * <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Saturday December 02, 2006 @11:34AM (#17080336) Homepage Journal

            The DOJ's Findings of Fact in its Anti-Trust case against Microsoft

            Just one clarification, because I see this error being made frequently on slashdot of late. The above should read "The Court's Findings of Fact in the DOJ's Anti-Trust case against Microsoft".

            The DOJ is part of the executive branch of the Federal government. It does not include the court system and the judges, it includes the FBI, US Attorneys, etc. You may know this and have been simplifying, but I've seen many posts that clearly assume the judges work for Ashcroft (and in some cases they act like they do, but they really don't, or aren't supposed to).

        • by jotaeleemeese ( 303437 ) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @05:42AM (#17079020) Homepage Journal
          I am sick and tired of people *still* ejaculating such nonsense.

          For them it is like the court case that found MS guilty of abusing its monolopic position in the PC OS market never happened.

          If you are a MS shrill at least start from a stand that recognizes reality, and not a version you dream about but which is patently false.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Mateo_LeFou ( 859634 )
            "For them it is like the court case that found MS guilty of abusing its monolopic position in the PC OS market never happened."

            That may be because the 2001 settlement took all of the teeth out of the remedy, so MS may as well have been acquitted.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by alshithead ( 981606 ) *
      The issue might be better viewed as bundling two products that are riddled with security holes together. Two bads = bad squared! You certainly can't claim the same of Apple.
    • Re:and..,.? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 02, 2006 @12:03AM (#17077574)
      WHOA there, not so fast cowboy! Safari (like Firefox and unlike mickeysofts internet exploder) can be R-E-M-O-V-E-D from the system. Internet exploder cannot be removed (Old Billy Gates swore on a stack of bibles himself) that there was no way, no possible way in hell that anyone on this green earth could possibly in any way remove internet exploder from windows. The microsoft people are cheerful to remind people not to remove internet exploder (not that there is any possible way to do it), and replace it with firefox. Don't look behind the curtain, don't look at the wizard that is controlling this land, this Oz. So that's the difference. As a software engineer, I know better, but the judge didn't, so bundling is what microsoft did, not apple, nor the linux distros (because the latter two are easily removed). Microsoft swore to their eternal damnation that its not possible.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by paxswill ( 934322 )
      Key difference: You can delete Safari, and Mac OS X doesn't break.
      • Re:and..,.? (Score:5, Funny)

        by drsmithy ( 35869 ) <drsmithy@gmailQUOTE.com minus punct> on Saturday December 02, 2006 @01:41AM (#17078100)

        Key difference: You can delete Safari, and Mac OS X doesn't break.

        No difference. You can do the same in Windows. Deleting iexplore.exe is trivial and harmless.

        • Re:and..,.? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Arker ( 91948 ) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @03:02AM (#17078484) Homepage

          No difference. You can do the same in Windows. Deleting iexplore.exe is trivial and harmless.

          That's because iexplore.exe is NOT Internet Explorer. It's just a shell. You cannot remove the actual code, and the many security breaches it contains, without causing serious problems.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            Safari.app is also just a shell, it does not contain the WebKit.framework (used by the help system, and mail, among other things) which does all the actual rendering. So in this sense the two browsers are similar, save that OS X Finder doesn't use the webkit framework for normal browsing. It makes sense to put the rendering in a library as nowadays a lot of apps want to do it. The result is that removing WebKit.framework from OS X would similarly break the system.

            I think the real problem here, and the thing
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Arker ( 91948 )

              I removed mail.app long ago because I couldn't convince it to quit parsing html. I can remove webkit and my system still works fine. Contrast this to a windows machine and there's a world of difference. Even on Windows 98, where it was, despite the manufacturers testimony under oath to the contrary, possible to remove IE completely, this required patching several system binaries and breaks many applications. Later versions, to the best of my knowledge, will refuse to function at all without IE.

              I agree th

        • by l3v1 ( 787564 )
          No difference. You can do the same in Windows. Deleting iexplore.exe is trivial and harmless.

          Hopefully the judge - and/or the investigators - will have a bit more knowledge about that.

    • Re:and..,.? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by thestuckmud ( 955767 ) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @12:14AM (#17077628)
      Apple's practice of bundling of Safari with OS X is very different from Microsoft's IE policy.

      First, as I recall, Apple provided IE when I bought my old PowerBook. Safari had to be downloaded separately. Microsoft dropped IE support for OS X in 2003, leaving Apple unable to offer an up to date IE.

      Second, Safari is an application like any other. I could uninstall it like any other app, but it happens to be useful and reliable (though Firefox is my browser of choice). Conversely, IE holds a privileged position in Windows and cannot be removed easily.

      Third, Apple has not used Safari to crush competitors.

      Does that cover it?
      • by rm69990 ( 885744 )
        Good points, but I got one more.

        Fourth, Apple is not a monopoly in the desktop market, and has a small share of the market, so it would be absurd to sue them under antitrust laws anyways.
        • Well lets add another point. Apple didn't always give the browser away with their OS installs when everyone else was charging for it in an attempt to gain control of the market.

          This was the prime reasoning for IE integration. And the claims thay IE was always free are false, You used to have to buy the plus pack to get it.
      • by kjart ( 941720 )

        Conversely, IE holds a privileged position in Windows and cannot be removed easily.

        It's my understanding that IE has a privileged role because it is used to render HTML in other places in the OS - help files and whatnot if I'm not completely mistaken. This seems like a fairly logical reuse of existing code, and I recall that it was due to engineering reasons that IE was bundled in the first place.

        I do think it was a mistake, but it's harder to remember why now. All operating systems include browsers now

        • You should also remember Netscape used to be a commercial product that people paid for. When MS bundled IE for free it seriously dented their income. More importantly, by bundling it free they seriously damaged their ability to grow. They may have had 90% of the market at one time, but that was long before the surge in use of the internet. It was that surge MS took advantage of, rather than converting existing users.
          • by kjart ( 941720 )

            You should also remember Netscape used to be a commercial product that people paid for. When MS bundled IE for free it seriously dented their income. More importantly, by bundling it free they seriously damaged their ability to grow. They may have had 90% of the market at one time, but that was long before the surge in use of the internet. It was that surge MS took advantage of, rather than converting existing users.

            Yes, and I agree with you completely on this point - this is obviously what MS got in trou

        • by penix1 ( 722987 )

          It's my understanding that IE has a privileged role because it is used to render HTML in other places in the OS - help files and whatnot if I'm not completely mistaken. This seems like a fairly logical reuse of existing code, and I recall that it was due to engineering reasons that IE was bundled in the first place.
          I do think it was a mistake, but it's harder to remember why now. All operating systems include browsers now - offering any kind of OS without some sort of web browser would be fairly ridiculous

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by spisska ( 796395 )

      Apple does the same thing with Safari. Or does that not count? If bundling is bad, hold everybody to the same standard.

      Not quite. Apple ships an OS that has a browers already installed. However, Apple has never claimed that Safari is an integral part of the OS, that it cannot be removed, that the web browser and file browser are the same thing, or that allowing competing products equal access to system resources will somehow prevent innovation.

      Microsoft claimed all of this things, which is partly why th

    • Yes it is. when you consider that Apple has caused countless crashes, untold data loss and unmeassured pain with the numberless invasions of the main operating system via the unmitigated horror they call their bundled browser. Adding the theft of network bandwidth caused by the leigons of zombied machines out there attributable to the unclosed ports, and other such security circumstances that to any marginally trained security professional would seem are trivial to address issues it is horrible what
    • Apple does the same thing with Safari. Or does that not count? If bundling is bad, hold everybody to the same standard.

      The real question is, would Apple be bundling a web browser if their biggest competitor hadn't? After all, Apple must stay competitive. If a company like Microsoft is gaining business by illegally bundling extra products, there is nothing that can be done but to follow suit. Thus Microsoft could be help accountable for Apple's bundling.

      Something to ponder: What browser was bundled with Mac

      • by Coryoth ( 254751 )

        Futhermore, let's consider what would have happened once web browsers were so ubiquitous that they'd be bundled with new computers anyway. Who would that web browser software have come from? Would it have been Microsoft and Apple, or would it have been third party competitors like Netscape, SpyGlass, and Opera? Would Microsoft and Apple have swallowed the cost of bundling third party software, or would the PC manufacturers have paid to bundle the software to improve sales?

        In fact it is not inconceivable, gi

    • Re:and..,.? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rm69990 ( 885744 ) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @02:18AM (#17078316)
      If you want to hold Apple to that standard, you'd better be damn rich so you can buy a hell of a lot of Macs, because Apple will need more than 3 or 4% of the Desktop market before they can be charged under Antitrust laws. You know, the ones that apply to Monopolies, as in, companies that have more than 3 or 4% of a market. Seems like a simple concept to me personally....
    • It really isn't the same thing. With apple you can remove safari. With microsoft you cannot (well not with a lot of things breaking). There isn't really any third party vendors of apple computers but if there are/were, I havn't heard of any of them being forbiden to install competing browsers before resale of the OS. Apple themselves may have not installed anything but what they wanted but we don't buy computers from microsoft either.

      The comparisons are so far off base it is almost funny when you hear them.
  • Dupe! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Toveling ( 834894 ) * on Friday December 01, 2006 @11:26PM (#17077278)
    When will the editors learn? I about read this on ./ years ago...
  • by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Friday December 01, 2006 @11:27PM (#17077290) Journal
    Though I'm always glad to see someone take MS down a peg, I am not sure that it would be a good thing to have them successfully sued for vulnerabilities. If it works out to simply a refund for every valid registered copy of Windows, ok, since that would be a zero sum for F/OSS should it also happen to say Firefox or a version of Linux. There are so many ways to have vulnerabilities, and punitive damages might lead to things worse than the current patent system as far as hindering new technologies and features etc.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by NineNine ( 235196 )
      That also means that OSS projects won't ever be able to sell software because none of them can take the hits from punitive lawsuits like the big boys (MS, IBM, Sun, Oracle) can.
      • It certainly wouldn't be good for software development generally. All corporate development and all free-software development that's funded or backed by companies would stop.

        However, if the industry really did get paralyzed by liability and litigation, free software in its purest form (without any corporate support) is basically immune. You set up a SVN or CVS server in some neutral jurisdiction (*cough* Sealand *cough*), and then have the developers work pseudonymously. Since more FOSS development is done
    • You're right to be concerned, but I think in this case Microsoft is being punished not for the security vulnerabilities but for the security vulnerabilities that were made mandatory by anticompetitive practices. So... any damages you introduce as the result of illegal activity can be prosecuted, but if it wasn't caused by illegal activity, it probably doesn't fall under the precedent of this case.
    • by Guppy06 ( 410832 )
      "Though I'm always glad to see someone take MS down a peg, I am not sure that it would be a good thing to have them successfully sued for vulnerabilities."

      Then maybe you should rethink your priorities. If F/OSS projects are unwilling to publish if they are unable to escape liability for security flaws, how is that better than Microsoft's stance and do you really want to rely on such software for security? Trying to limit liability in any field often sounds nice until you end up the victim.

      This may or may
  • by Avillia ( 871800 ) on Friday December 01, 2006 @11:32PM (#17077322)
    Microsoft will split into 20 different seperate corporations, each for a tiny part of the business that Microsoft does daily, and each of them will sue another other for patent infringement.

    What a very merry christmas that would be.

    *Attorneys getting millions,
    *Patent reform instantly getting gallons of attention,
    *The EU being able to smash the pulp of each company for a fraction of the fine, them being too small to withstand intense govermental legal pounding,
    *States and Feds quickly getting cold feet about the stability of the Windows platform,
    *Tech stocks going into a brief chaos generating freefall and then building up around Open Source, Apple, and Web 2.0,
    *Richard Stallman laughing his living ass off,
    *The MPAA and the RIAA going "Oh Shit!" when PlaysForSure and WMDRM falls under patent litigation and likely makes them litigants by the same logic that SCO can sue random companies using Linux,
    *The State of Iowa becoming a hero in the 21st century, erecting a giant statue of every AG who helped the motion there and spreading out technical industry aside from being centered mostly in the West Coast and, to a lesser extent, the East Coast. (Sure, that's awesome, but it spreading out would benefit the national economy, even if Silicon Valley isn't the hottest place to say you live in anymore.)

    Ah... One can dream...
  • by EvilRyry ( 1025309 ) on Friday December 01, 2006 @11:35PM (#17077338) Journal
    OK, its fairly obvious microsoft abuses its monopoly status but theres really nothing wrong with bundling a browser with the OS, except that they make it unremovable. Even then, not too terrible IMO.

    Why can't we get into some real abuses? Like leveraging their monopoly on the desktop market to try to get into other markets (servers, portable media devices and formats, office suites, etc, etc) and their lack of compliance with standards in preference to their own undocumented formats. This is the real problem and is strengthening their stranglehold on the market. They really need to be sat down and told to play nicely with the rest of the software world.
    • Although Internet Explorer is a piece of crap, I can understand why its nearly impossible to remove.

      If it could be removed, how many people do you think would accidently delete it, and cut themselves off from the internet. What then? They can't download a new browser.

      Or, what if a computer was infected with a trojan which uninstalled IE? Try finding a fix when you can't get online.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Lets at least make the complaints current. I think Iowa should go after microsoft for the Novell Deal. They should not be allowed to intimidate competitors. As a penalty for their previously outlined transgressions, they should lose the right to sue companies for infringing their patents. if the patents were obtained from the profits of an illegal monopoly, they shouldn't be able to further profit from them. They already have such a leg up on the industry in a number of ways, they should be held back in som
      • Lets at least make the complaints current. I think Iowa should go after microsoft for the Novell Deal.

        Your sentiment is easy to identify with, but in the American legal system, cases can take years before they get underway (look at the SCO cases, for example). So even if you try to make them 'current', the case will always end up being about something (at least) a few years in the past.
  • by ZDRuX ( 1010435 ) * on Saturday December 02, 2006 @12:00AM (#17077548)
    Is it the browser they're going after? Or is it the OS itself? Either of which would make no sense since that would basically make every software company liable for any exploits or holes uncovered in their software that would allow people or viruses to sneak through your computer.

    If they are suing because of the "bundling" problem, then isn't/hasn't this been already done (or still ongoing)?

    I would say that all these people "chose" to use Windows of their own free will, and I know someone in /. will come and tell how their monopoly basically "forces" people to use their products, but in the end - the choice is up to the end-user.

    As much as I don't like some of Microsoft's bussiness practices, I hope this case ammounts to nothing in the end, because it could prove to be costly to everyone, not just MS.
    • Is it the browser they're going after? Or is it the OS itself? Either of which would make no sense since that would basically make every software company liable for any exploits or holes uncovered in their software that would allow people or viruses to sneak through your computer.

      Not true. It'd make any software company that introduced security flaws as a direct result anticompetitive practices liable. They should be.

      I would say that all these people "chose" to use Windows of their own free will, and I know someone in /. will come and tell how their monopoly basically "forces" people to use their products, but in the end - the choice is up to the end-user.

      My mom doesn't know that Windows isn't built into the hardware of her computer. She doesn't know Windows isn't a processor type. When she buys "a computer" all she knows is she can get a Mac or a PC. The separation of OS from hardware is, to non-geeks, a totally new idea. They have a machine and it gives them pretty pictures. That's a computer.

      I hope this case ammounts to nothing in the end, because it could prove to be costly to everyone, not just MS.

      That's wrong on

      • It astonishes me that anyone would stand up for them.

        There are some people who belive in the the inherent right to private property, and the importance of maintaining those rights, no matter who the subject is. Private property being inviolate is critical to a civilized society. I do not think that the government has any right, whatsoever, to take private property for completely arbitrary reasons, especially when those reasons are revolve around punishing hugely successful people or organizations out of
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Almahtar ( 991773 )
          Or, heaven forbid, I actually gained all of my possessions honestly. Tell me, if someone gains their "private property" by unjustly taking that which should belong to others, isn't it "a completely arbitrary reason" to say "well crap... they did practically steal this, but they got it before we caught them, so ok!"?

          If someone wins a bike race by pedaling fastest I completely agree that nobody has the right to take that medal (that "private property") from them. If they win it by throwing a wrench in eve

          • So who makes up the rules as to what is "Fair"? Seems pretty arbitrary to me. Hell, it seems completely immoral to me, actually: A company becomes so incredibly successful that most of their competitors go under, so that success is attacked by the very government that is supposed to protect private property. Fucking twisted, if you ask me.
            • That is, unless that company has been convicted of intentional patent infringements and anticompetitive practices via their own correspondences (which, to ice the cake, they lied about in court). I encourage you to Google the proceedings of the late 90's antitrust proceedings. There is documented evidence of clear-as-day correspondence between MS executives to knife their business "partners" (Sun is an example) in the back, matched with sworn-in-court testimonies otherwise. I'm not trying to undermine yo
      • by drsmithy ( 35869 )

        It astonishes me that anyone would stand up for them.

        Are you similarly astonished by the quote "I may disagree with what you are saying, but I will defend to the death your right to say it", as well ?

        • To a limited extent. We have to realize that the words we're saying will affect the opinions and actions of others. Given that we have a responsibility to research our stances before persuading others to adopt them by our endorsements.

          I'm all about peoples' right to voice their opinions, but if we encourage everyone to speak up before they've really looked at the facts with an objective (as objective as a person can be, of course) eye, we encourage ignorant, rash decisions.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dunbal ( 464142 )
      Either of which would make no sense since that would basically make every software company liable for any exploits or holes

            Why does it make no sense? We doctors are liable for any mistakes we make, if you can prove negligence or incompetence. Why should it be any different for software programmers?
      • by dodobh ( 65811 )
        *Shrug*. You will need to get your software stack certified. As an end user. Doctors don't build humans cell by cell, or even organ by organ.

        Now, if there was a human assembly plant, with different organs coming from different places, people adding and removing organs on their own, upgrading organs willy nilly, would the plant operators be liable for bugs introduced by using unsupported third party extensions?

        Doctors are mechanics. In computer terminology, helpdesk.
  • Go Iowa! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bnfmsgeek ( 1034578 )
    Finally some work done on this case. Go Iowa!!! Sorry, but being an Iowan I've just found it so excited that such a large case is happenning in my own home state. I mean the case is litterly just a few hours away from here. That's just 2 TWIT podcasts away! I think I may go sit in at the trial when Gates is witness. P.S. A couple of months ago I got this email... didn't think it was real at first and was just another phishing scheme until I looked it up. Thought you might like it. http://docs.google.com/ [google.com]
  • Damages (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sakusha ( 441986 )
    I am infuriated that the plaintiffs are limited to Windows users. The description of the lawsuit says the state is suing on behalf of anyone who purchased Windows during a certain time period. However, the damages go way beyond that limited set of people. I've never purchased or used Windows, but I see the damage from the illegal Windows monopoly every single day. Every time I check my email, I am flooded with spam from compromised Windows zombies. Every time I try to purchase new MacOS X software, I am lim
  • by twitter ( 104583 ) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @12:41AM (#17077796) Homepage Journal
    Even in court, M$'s strategy is not to build something useful but to disrupt and destroy the opposition. If it's going to be decided on "bully" they had better learn how to talk about their strategy. Witness:
    Microsoft lawyer Rich Wallis, ... Microsoft can question him when plaintiffs' lawyers are finished with him. The ruling is a strategic win for Microsoft, Wallis said, because it will allow the company to begin presenting its defense before the plaintiffs have finished their case. That could be important in a lengthy trial, because it will disrupt the flow of evidence and testimony against Gates and Microsoft, he said.

    More dirty tricks, before they event start.

  • ...and company CEO Steve Ballmer will likely appear in February. Both men are expected to be on the stand for about four days.

    That will be one sweaty, and very abused chair.

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