Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

M$ remains unrepentant, says antitrust judge

Filed under
Microsoft

Microsoft Corp. is still trying to "leverage" its Windows operating system monopoly to control all software markets, said the former judge who ordered the company's breakup in the U.S. government's landmark antitrust case.

"Nothing has changed, to my observation, in the five years that have elapsed since my decision," said Thomas Penfield Jackson, who retired last year as a federal judge. He said the settlement of the government's case hasn't diminished Microsoft's power in the marketplace or changed its business strategy of trying to expand its monopoly.

"Windows is an operating-system monopoly, and the company's business strategy was to leverage Windows to achieve a comparable dominion over all software markets," Jackson said yesterday in Washington at a conference sponsored by the American Antitrust Institute.

Jackson's 2000 decision ordered the breakup of Microsoft, but in 2001, a U.S. appeals court overturned that element, leaving the company intact. It upheld his findings that Microsoft illegally protected its Windows monopoly for personal computer operating software by squelching competition from rival Netscape Communications Corp.'s Web browser.

The Bush administration, which inherited the case from the Clinton administration, settled with Microsoft once the company agreed to let computer makers promote rival software products.

Jackson defended his decision to grant the Clinton administration's request to break up the company. "The Microsoft persona I had been shown throughout the trial was one of militant defiance, unapologetic for its past behavior and determined to continue as before," he said.

Jackson said he "had no illusions that an order less drastic than that advocated by the government would meet with Microsoft's even grudging submission."

Jackson didn't criticize the settlement negotiated by the Bush administration, which drew objections from half the 19 states that had joined the Justice Department in suing Microsoft.

Still, he noted that Microsoft hasn't "fared so well in Europe." Antitrust enforcers ordered it to sell a Windows version without a music and video player and to grant competitors access to information on the operating system's inner workings.

"Microsoft has won the browser war in the United States," Jackson said, noting that Netscape's Navigator, now owned by Time Warner Inc., "has only a small fraction of the browser market."

Microsoft spokeswoman Stacy Drake said the company won't comment on the former judge's remarks.

Microsoft supporter Jim Prendergast disputed Jackson's description of the software industry. "Five years later, the industry has certainly been competing as vigorously as ever," said Prendergast, president of Americans for Technology Leadership, a pro-Microsoft group. "You can run three or four different browsers that are widely available now on your laptop. The settlement was a much more reasonable approach" than Jackson's breakup remedy, he said.

The appeals court that overturned Jackson's breakup order also disqualified him from overseeing further proceedings in the case because he had granted interviews to reporters during the trial. In his speech, Jackson said the appeals court "concluded that my indiscretions in allowing two journalists to confer with me in chambers, off the record, during the trial disqualified me from presiding over further proceedings."

Writer Ken Auletta, who wrote a book about the Microsoft case, based in part on interviews with Jackson, quoted the judge as comparing Microsoft executives to members of a drug gang because of their unrepentant attitude in court.

The judge who replaced Jackson on the case, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, rejected calls by the states for tougher antitrust remedies.

Jackson said the breakup would have promoted competition by creating a company that sold software applications, including Internet browsers and another that sold operating systems for computers.

"The rationale was to enable the divisions to compete -- the former for applications from independent software suppliers as well as with its now independent counterpart, and the counterpart to write applications for nascent operating systems that might someday offer worthy competition to Windows."

Jackson said he ordered the breakup without more hearings because each side would continue to produce "equally eminent experts" who "were in good faith in almost total disagreement about every issue in the case."

"Time, moreover, was on Microsoft's side," Jackson said. "Microsoft would continue to do what it had been doing until some court told it to stop. A remedies trial would postpone that indefinitely."

By JAMES ROWLEY
BLOOMBERG NEWS

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Manjaro Linux 17.0.2 Arch-based operating system is here with GNOME, KDE, and Xfce
    Many Linux snobs push the Arch operating system as the greatest thing since sliced bread. In fact, some members of the Arch community (not all of them) can be downright mean and unpleasant to non-users. Not using Arch? Ugh. Peasant! In reality, while Arch is a fine OS (stable and fast), it can be very hard to install and set up, and quite frankly, often not worth the hassle. People have lives to live, and sometimes it is easy to forget that an operating system and associated computer are tools -- not a religion.
  • [Older] Friends, syslog-ng, Package Hub, ARM: openSUSE conference 2017
    Being a long-time openSUSE user, I visit the openSUSE conference not only to present on one of its components – syslog-ng – but also to meet friends and learn about new technologies and the plans for the upcoming year. Some talks, like those about Package Hub, were very interesting and important also from a syslog-ng perspective. Of course, I also joined a few talks for my personal interest, like the one on the new ARM devices supported by openSUSE.
  • UK Army to Use Red Hat OS, Automation Platform for Private Cloud Needs
  • Linux-ready PC/104 board runs on 6 to 7 Watts
    Win Enterprises announced a “MB-83310” PC/104 SBC with a Vortex DX3 SoC, GbE, Fast Ethernet, SATA, M.2, and a -20 to 70°C operating range.
  • [Older] The Turtlebot 3 has launched
    If you’re familiar with ROS (Robot Operating System), chances are you’re also familiar with the Turtlebot. The first version of the Turtlebot was created back in 2010 to serve as an inexpensive platform for learning ROS. This was followed in 2012 by the Turtlebot 2, which has since become the reference platform for learning ROS. We have a number of them here at Canonical, and we love them, although we have one issue with them: they’re just a tad too big. Taking them on a plane requires one to decide what one loves more, one’s belongings, or the Turtlebot, and to check the other.
  • Ubuntu ranked as 2nd most used IoT OS by Eclipse Foundation survey
  • Conjure-up dev summary: Week 25
    We recently switched over to using a bundled LXD and with that change came a few hiccups in deployments. We've been monitoring the error reports coming in and have made several fixes to improve that journey. If you are one of the ones unable to deploy spells please give this release another go and get in touch with us if you still run into problems.
  • We're looking for Ubuntu 17.10 wallpapers right now!
    Submissions will be handled via Flickr at the Ubuntu 17.10 Free Culture Showcase - Wallpapers group, and the submission window begins now and ends on July 3rd.
  • Atollic TrueSTUDIO, the leading commercial GNU/Eclipse IDE for ARM devices is now available for use on Linux workstations
    Atollic TrueSTUDIO IDE has rapidly become the preferred Eclipse™/GDB/GCC-based software development environment for developers working with ARM-based devices. The Linux hosting announcement is expected to widely increase the popularity of this tool.
  •  
  • Security-Focused Purism Librem 13 & 15 Linux Laptops Go Mainstream with Qubes OS
    Purism, the social purpose corporation focused on designing and manufacturing privacy-conscious hardware and software products, announced the general availability of their security-focused Purism Librem 13 and 15 laptops. Until recently, both Purism Librem 13 and Librem 15 laptops were available only as made-to-order, which means that those who wanted to purchase either model would have to order it first and then wait a few months until the device arrived. And now, the company finally managed to scale the production to hold inventory of the laptops.

Newly-Built Software for Slackware

  • What if gcc 7 gives you headaches?
    In Slackware-current we use version 7.1.0 of the gcc compiler suite. These advanced compilers can sometimes be quite a bit more strict about what they accept as valid code. As a consequence, you will regularly run into compilation issues with software. Not just the software made with the scripts on slackbuilds.org, but also some of the software in the Slackware core distribution requires patches in order to get them to compile. Until now, I have been lucky to find the patches I needed in the repositories of other distributions, or else developers patched their software themselves. But there will be corner cases where solutions and patches are not readily found, or the developers will simply not support gcc 7. Pale Moon is such a piece of software where the developers recommend compiling with gcc 4.x or as a last resort, gcc 5.
  • Plasma 5 for Slackware – June release
    Slackware64 14.2 users will have to wait another day, but I have uploaded my latest set of Plasma 5 packages for Slackware-current to the ‘ktown’ repository. KDE 5_17.06 contains: KDE Frameworks 5.35.0, Plasma 5.10.2 and Applications 17.04.2. I based this new release on Qt 5.9.0 (at least for Slackware-current… for 14.2 I will stick to Qt 5.7.1). NOTE: I will no longer be releasing Plasma 5 packages for 32bit Slackware 14.2.
  • LibreOffice 5.3.4 packages for -current
    When looking for package updates in preparation for a new Slackware Live PLASMA5 edition, I noticed that the Document Foundation had released LibreOffice 5.3.4 without updating their blog with the news – it’s only mentioned on the download page. I have built and uploaded Slackware-current packages for libreoffice-5.3.4. If you are on Slackware 14.2 you will probably have to skip this one, as I will not have time for compiling packages the coming weeks (allocates one virtual machine for one day per build, since I can only check on progress in the evenings). The package for -current needed to be (re-)built anyway because of the library issue with Slackware’s updated libGLEW which prevented Impress to start.

Tizen and More Android Leftovers

OSS: FOSS in Mappano, Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP), Blender in Class, Kodi Jobs, Innersource

  • Italian municipality calls for sharing of IT solutions
    The council of Mappano (Italy) is calling for public administrations to share their IT solutions. The Mappano municipality is starting from scratch, and the new council has decided to build its IT infrastructure, and offer its eGovernment services, using free and open source software.
  • Windstream joins Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) project to accelerate adoption of open standards for SDN/NFV automation
  • Locks in the classroom – 2017
    For the fifth year now, our grade nine students have been doing 3D modeling using Blender. Our students finished up their first assignments over a month ago, but it’s taken this long for me to get the top models together. So, with no further delay, here are the top models from each of the three grade nine classes (click on the pictures for Full HD renders).
  • Set the WABAC to 1984: Henry Spencer getopt, and the roots of open source
    I excavated a bit of hacker history from old memories today. Not dead history either, but an important beginning of some large good things. Here’s how it happened. I got email from a person requesting me to identify a source for the following allegedly famous quote: “All operating systems eventually turn into Unix
  • Traveling “Kodi Repair Men” Are Apparently a Thing Now

    With all the chaos and upheaval in the Kodi addon scene recently, many 'pirate' devices have stopped performing as they did before. This is a problem for the thousands of people who bought their devices ready configured, since they have no idea how they work. Enter the traveling 'Kodi repair men,' who will fix your box in the pub or even your own home.

  • [Older] Does Valve really own Dota? A jury will decide
    The case could also take an interesting open source-based turn thanks to a September 23, 2004 forum post that could be seen as Eul giving up his claim on any rights to Dota. "From this point forward, Dota is now open source," he wrote. "Whoever wishes to release a version of Dota may without my consent, I just ask for a nod in the credits to your map." This post "might mean that anyone had permission to build their own versions of Dota on any platform—and to sell their versions of Eul’s creation," as Breyer puts it. Or it might simply mean that Eul was just granting a "limited license" intended for other mod-makers, not for standalone games based on Dota.
  • Innersource: A Guide to the What, Why, and How
    In a nutshell, ‘innersource’ refers to bringing the core principles of open source and community collaboration within the walls of an organization. This involves building an internal community, collaborative engineering workflow, and culture.
  • PDP-8/e Replicated — Introduction
    I am creating a replica of the DEC PDP-8/e architecture in an FPGA from schematics of the original hardware. So how did I end up with a project like this? The story begins with me wanting to have a computer with one of those front panels that have many, many lights where you can really see, in real time, what the computer is doing while it is executing code. Not because I am nostalgic for a prior experience with any of those — I was born a bit too late for that and my first computer as a kid was a Commodore 64.
  • [Older] PyCon Pune 2017
  • [Older] My lightning talk in Django Girls PyCon
    In the weekend before PyCon US, we had a Django Girls PyCon workshop in Portland on 12th-13th May. On 12th there were a few lightning talks, and installation before the actual workshop started on 13th.
  • Dreams don’t cost a penny, mumma’s boy :)
    In the dream, I am going to a Debconf, get bursary and the conference is being held somewhere in Europe, maybe Paris...
  • First Round Talks of Fedora + GNOME at UPN
    Today our local group has traveled many miles to the north of Lima to present our lately work by using Fedora and GNOME as users and developers. Thanks to the organizers of the IT Forum to invite us and support our job as Linux volunteers and very nice potential contributors to GNOME and Fedora and the group we have formed.