Dear Windows-Help.NET Subscriber,
On June 7, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson filed his Final Judgment in the Microsoft antitrust trial. Also released was a Memorandum and Order, in which U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson made some harsh comments at Microsoft: "... Microsoft has proved untrustworthy in the past." and "... Microsoft as it is presently organized and led is unwilling to accept the notion that it broke the law or accede to an order amending its conduct."
The order is for Microsoft to be broken up in two parts: one part to produce/market the various Windows OS versions, and the other part handling Office & other applications software together with Internet Explorer and MSN.
In an official statement, US Attorney General Janet Reno said: "Our efforts will protect competition and ensure that consumers will have improved products in the marketplace."
Many are predicting that the price of the Windows OS will fall. But at least several people disagree. The government's chief expert economic witness during the trial estimated that an extra copy of Windows in use would lead to the sale of about $160 in other software for Microsoft. With a separate Windows company and an Applications company, and Windows company no longer benefiting from that $160 anymore, it seems questionable, to say the least, to suggest that the breakup will lower the price of Windows for consumers.
While it will take quite some time before any breakup would be executed, the Final Judgment also calls for "Provisions In Effect Until Full Implementation of the Plan of Divestiture", and these are to be implemented in 90-days time. Roughly these call for:
- MS can't require OEM's to license other software to be able to license Windows
- Pricing for all OEM's should be uniform
- OEM's are free to change the boot sequence, startup folder, Internet connection wizard, desktop, preferences, favorites, start page, first screen and other aspects of the OS
- MS needs to disclose the Windows API's, Communications Interfaces and Technical Information to ISV's, IHV's and OEM's
- Restriction on Binding Middleware Products to Operating System Products
Microsoft Corp. meanwhile issued a Press Release saying that it plans to appeal and seek stay of the ruling. Bill Gates added: "This is the beginning of a new chapter in this lawsuit. We have a very strong case on appeal, and we look forward to resolving these issues through the appeals process and putting this case behind us once and for all."
S P O N S O R
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