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I must be a little slow, so I am asking my fellow fools to help me understand the government's proposal.

It seems to me that the entire thrust of it is this : If Office were available on Linux, all would be right with the Universe.

The theory as I understand it goes like this:
a)Windows is a Monopoly because everybody uses it
b)Everbody uses it because they need to run Office and it only runs on Windows (Please ignore the fact that it also runs on the Mac)
c)They need to run Office because the companies they work for have standardized on it
d)The companies have standardized on it because it offers a cheap way of getting access to a whole bunch of useful applications (Word, Excel, etc)
e)No one else has a good suite of applications, so teh companies are forced to use Office
f)If we make Microsoft make Office run on Linux then companies can still use Office without having to use Windows (Please continue to ignore the fact that Office runs on the Mac)
g)If the companies don't have to use Windows to run Office they will change to Linux.
h)Therefore we will have competition for Windows
i)Therefore Windows is not a Monopoly

As I missing anything here or is this the gist of the arguement?

Now, looking at that theory I see a few problems:
1)Office has been available on the Mac for years, yet companies didn't switch to Macs. Why?
2)Why is Microsoft being punished because StarOffice and Corel's Office suite are crap? Because if I understand the arguement listed above it all boils down to the fact that there are no good Office suites available on anything but Windows. So somehow Microsoft is in the wrong because they make a good product?
3)Windows offers just a few bits of functionality above and beyond support for Office 2000. Have you ever tried to deploy Linux to 40,000 desktops? Trust me, you don't want to. I've done it with Windows 2000. Remote Install Service, IntelliMirror, etc are incredible. It features like those that makes most of the Fortune 100 companies I work with loyal to Windows, not "just" support for Office 2000.
4)Rather than break the company up it would seem to me that the government's remedy could be replaced with "Write a version of Office for Linux." Excuse me but I don't recall asking the government to set business policy for our nation's largest companies. What's next, telling CitiBank to give loan to the homeless? How about asking Ford to make a car powered by horse manure? Does anyone else think that this is stupid?

Regardless of whether you think Microsoft is evil or not, this remedy is retarded.

Cheers,
DBC
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well said.

Yes this is completely absurd, to add salt to the wound let's look at the states that are suing. Could it possibly be that each of these states are home staes to msft competitors; gee, what a coincidence. It's also amazing that the gov't brought suit because msft bundled the browser with Windows; so the gov't had to step in and stop this "monopolistic behavior".

Incredibly, the remedy is to split msft into two pieces with one piece being a monopolistic OS company that can bundle the browser.

Someone help me, what am I missing ????


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Hi Slow,

I was trying to digest your reasoning, and
along the way discovered what may be some
flaws in the logic.  So to help . . .

You wrote:  ( my comments indented )
=============================================
As I missing anything here or is this the 
gist of the arguement?

The theory as I understand it goes like this:

a)Windows is a Monopoly because everybody uses it
---> Not exactly, but I can follow along for now
---> (remember, it is not Windows but MS that
--->  is being charged with Monopolistic practices)

b)Everbody uses it because they need to run Office 
  and it only runs on Windows 
(Please ignore the fact that it also runs on the Mac)
---> Funny how many people have been ignoring the
---> the MAC platform.  Might have something to do
---> with the way Steve Jobs monopolizes the rights
---> to produce anything "mac".  This means that the
---> Macintosh platform is a single vendor solution
---> and by definition not an 'open' platform.

c)They need to run Office because 
  the companies they work for have standardized on it
---> This is a fair statement.

d)The companies have standardized on it because
  it offers a cheap way of getting access to 
  a whole bunch of useful applications 
 (Word, Excel, etc)
---> Not exactly true.  While partially true
---> (it is realtively cheap, considering the
--->  UNIX type competitive products), cost was
---> not the driving factor in most corporations
---> standardizing on Microsoft Office.

---> You may be too young to remember the days
---> when Microsoft actually HAD competition for
---> that market segment (Word processor, EMail,
---> Spreadsheets, Presentation, etc., etc. ).
---> What convinced the competition to go away
---> and the corporations to 'standardize' on
---> Microsoft products?

---> I believe the government has a case that
---> the business practices (bundling agreements,
---> strong-arm tactics, feature set binding to
---> special operating system features, etc. )
---> gave both the Hardware vendor community, 
---> and the business and private sector the
---> impression that you would be left owning
---> the electronic equivalent of a "betamax"(r)
---> if you decided to purchase anything but the
---> Microsoft product in that category, or 
---> market space.

---> Microsoft followed up strong bundling campaigns
---> with undercutting prices (along with direct
---> marketing for converting competitors 
---> customers over to their own products)
---> succeeded in erroding any simblance of
---> marketshare needed to continue a market
---> strategy to compete with the Giant.

---> I grant that none of the marketing
---> efforts were wrong in themselves nor
---> mis-guided from a business perspective.
---> My argument is that they would not have
---> had the leverage to pull it off if they
---> did not have the OS card to play also.

---> There was an old saying at the MS OS group.
---> Back when competition for the spreadsheet
---> market is what kept MS up at night.
---> "The code isn't done, until LOTUS won't run!"
---> ( remember when Lotus owned that space? )
---> ( remember when WordPerfect owned the 
--->   word processor market? )

e)No one else has a good suite of applications,
  so teh companies are forced to use Office
---> When you forcibly drive funding away from
---> projects, it's funny how they no longer seem
---> to have all those nice features.

f)If we make Microsoft make Office run on Linux
  then companies can still use Office without
  having to use Windows 
 (Please continue to ignore the fact that 
  Office runs on the Mac)
---> I think this is a relative Red Herring issue.

---> MS is not very scared of Linux in the short
---> term.  But if the applications group was free
---> to de-centrally define it's own product strategy
---> I believe you would see those products become
---> some of the 'best-of-breed' on alternative OS
---> platforms.

---> I would certainly buy a Visual Basic for UNIX,
---> or a SQL Server for UNIX.

g)If the companies don't have to use Windows
  to run Office they will change to Linux.
---> See response to logic step (f) above.

h)Therefore we will have competition for Windows
---> It is not so much competition for WINDOWS the
---> OS, but freedom to innovate in general that
---> building the wall between the OS group and
---> the applications group could help to foster.

i)Therefore Windows is not a Monopoly
---> Remember, not WINDOWS . . . Microsoft !
---> And it is not that they ARE a monopoly,
---> but that they HAVE engaged in monopolistic
---> business practices, and that is illegal.

---> At least that is what the government thinks
---> they have established at law.  
---> I for one think they have a case.

---> The issue is, we all like Microsoft products.
---> Microsoft gets it 90% right most of the time
---> and that is good enough for us, especially
---> at the bargin basement commodity prices
---> they seem to leverage out of the old
---> 'we make it up on volume' strategy.

---> We do not want Microsoft to go away hurt
---> (and thereby hurt us the consumer, or worse
--->  yet, the US economic boom so many of us are
--->  presently benefiting from).

---> We do not want to see the government try to
---> make two wrongs seem like a 'right'.
---> What dangerous legal precedents are they
---> possibly establishing?  Who is next?

---> What to do, what to do . . . 

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DBC asks:

"1)Office has been available on the Mac for years, yet companies didn't switch to Macs. Why?"


Maybe because Microsoft has made some really terrible releases of Office for the Mac in the past. Maybe because the Mac version has traditionally lagged behind the Windows version. Maybe they think an office suite should have a DATABASE, which the Mac version doesn't have. (Pretty glaring omission, don't you think? Who ever heard of an office suite without database? That's what Microsoft sells to Mac users.)




"Regardless of whether you think Microsoft is evil or not, this remedy is retarded."


The nature of the split sure has me scratching my head. If they want to get rid of the Windows monopoly, then they ought to ask for that, by asking for the Windows division to be split. What they are actually asking for is something that is like flipping a coin, maybe the monopoly will go away and maybe it won't. But the conduct remedies that are proposed make plenty of sense.

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Sounds like betamax VS VHS the betamax machine owners are still crying they had the better system
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DBC, you are indeed slow.

Microsoft is being split up because Microsoft has become a criminal enterprise which repeatedly and consistently breaks the law, just like Elian's uncle in Miami.

Considering that Microsoft has developed a culture and standard operating procedures taken from John Gotti and his predecessors, so much so, that Bill Gates has become Godfather of the Internet Mafia and that the Godfather has made it clear that the Internet Mafia is not about to change its ways, it is inconceivable that a Fortune 500 company or any other company would permit Windows 2000 to be installed on any of its systems unless the IT manager is getting a kickback from the Internet Mafia - just like OEMs and ISPs are getting kickbacks for excluding Navigator from the desktop.
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I agree with most of what you said. Microsoft
has been Monopolistic. They should be punished.

But separating the two groups will not make Unix
more viable than the techie crowd that already
uses it. I feel the market share owned by microsoft
is too big for LINUX to catch up and overtake.
Always has always will.

See:
http://community.metamarkets.com/thread.jhtml?b=57&id=9976


And I'm sure happy MFST employees are going to
rush out and start writing code for the other
OS crowd that caused them pain...sure ...










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amasciulli: ...Microsoft has developed a culture and standard operating procedures taken from John Gotti and his predecessors,...

The DOJ hasn't charged any Microsoft executives with felony offenses such as murder and/or conspiracy to commit murder which were S.O.P. for Gotti.

Fang Award Second Class for venomous spewing

:(==

Randall
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Randall,

I believe John Gotti and the rest of the Italian Mafia begin negotiations with potential competitors with, "I have an offer you can't refuse," which was Bill Gates' initial offer to Netscape.

I believe that Godfather of the Internet Mafia is most fitting for Bill Gates. The only question that remains regarding his morality is whether he would have become a drug lord if IBM had not signed a deal to give away the software world for PCs to Microsoft.

Keep in mind, hardly anyone had ever heard of Bill Gates and Microsoft before the IBM deal. But very many people had heard of CPM and were using it. And many more were using Apple.
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DBSC said:
Regardless of whether you think Microsoft is evil or not, this remedy is retarded.

ericb888 said:
The nature of the split sure has me scratching my head. If they want to get rid of the Windows monopoly, then they ought to ask for that, by asking for the Windows division to be split. What they are actually asking for is something that is like flipping a coin, maybe the monopoly will go away and maybe it won't. But the conduct remedies that are proposed make plenty of sense.

I say:
Think for a minute. Despite vengeful rhetoric from Judge Jackson and Microsoft's competitors, the trial was about whether or not Internet Explorer is an application or an OS component.

DOJ lawyers and the Judge subjectively decided that IE is an application, that it's illegally bundled with Windows, and that it should be removed.

Every action they've taken, including this one, are designed exclusively to remove IE from the OS.

If you consider their goal is not to eliminate any monopolies but to force IE into shrinkwrap then then they probably believe this is the best possible and even the least destructive solution.

Whether it's a disappointing solution for you and Microsoft's competitors is entirely irrelevant to them.
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gauldingcay said:
Sounds like betamax VS VHS the betamax machine owners are still crying they had the better system

I say:
You're exactly right! Betamax was a better system for anyone who wanted a maximum of 30 minutes playing time per video cassette.

And Sun/Oracle/IBM/Linux are better systems for anyone who wants to do all their work with dumb terminals and batch processes.

If you actually wanted to watch *movies* or do actual *personal computing* on the other hand...
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And Sun/Oracle/IBM/Linux are better systems for anyone who wants to do all their work with dumb terminals and batch processes.



All (sans IBM) have burgeoning, growing markets---and they hold spots that MS wants to be in. Not because of yesterdays tech, but because they produce the tech that companies today need to use.

MS has some good products, but they are NOT "All-World class products". The guys who run around here spouting off facts that say so are victims of the MS marketing machine. That was a really interesting way those chose to dismiss Apache's market share...and SO many bought into it...
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Keep in mind, hardly anyone had ever heard of Bill Gates and Microsoft before the IBM deal. But very many people had heard of CPM and were using it. And many more were using Apple.

Not strictly true. MS wrote the BASIC interpretors that were standard in most of the pre-IBM generation of PCs, including (if memory serves) the Apple II. Most people saw the Microsoft copyright notices as soon as they fired up their machines.

IBM only went to MS for the PC's OS because Gary Kildall of Digital Research (who sold CP/M) wouldn't deal with them. This is well documented in Cringley's book, among other places.


What concerns me about this is that the federal government seems to want to dictate what should be included in the operating system. If we'd been having this discussion ten years ago, we may have ended up with a situation where the GUI was seperate from the OS - where do you draw the line? It seems logical to me that browsing a network should be a component of the OS, whether that network is local or global, and that IE belongs in the OS. Netscape had a failed business model (owning the browser, not the OS), they should just accept it and move on.

MS have been very naughty, to be sure, and should be punished for thier dubious marketing practices. However, it would be disastrous if the baby were thrown out with the bathwater, and MS (and others, come to that) were inhibited in what they offered in terms of total solutions.
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Netscape had a failed business model (owning the browser, not the OS), they should just accept it and move on.


Actually, it was WORSE than that! Netscape didn't even "own the browser"!!! Since the concepts and basic software were already "in the public domain", Netscape could not patent the browser! Without patents, their "business model" was a sitting duck!

Of course, MSFT couldn't patent the browser either, so they decided to give it away and/or incorporate it into the OS -- it could NEVER be a GOOD product without patent protection!!!

Netscape had no legal recourse for their ambitious, but flawed, "business plan" except to cry "Bully! Bully! Bully!"

Sheesh! Give us a break!


OleDoc
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DavidInnes wrote:

...Sun/Oracle/IBM/Linux are better systems for anyone who wants to do all their work with dumb terminals and batch processes.

http://www.pietrzak.org/enlightenment.html


John
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DBCoward wrote:

(On the government's proposed remedy)
It seems to me that the entire thrust of it is this : If Office were available on Linux, all would be right with the Universe.

Not quite, but let me go through your points first.


a)Windows is a Monopoly because everybody uses it

Nope, competitors to Windows don't exist because Microsoft crushes them before they get very far off the ground.


b)Everbody uses it because they need to run Office and it only runs on Windows (Please ignore the fact that it also runs on the Mac)

Nope, everybody uses it because (at least until Linux came along) there weren't any other OSs you could get for your PC. (And Microsoft's licensing restrictions with the major PC builders ensured that nobody else was going to get a foothold, either.) Hard to build a business selling an operating system when there's no way to make money from it. (And yes, you can ignore the Mac, since Microsoft controls the key software categories on it as well.)


c)They need to run Office because the companies they work for have standardized on it

This is true, because the data standards for Office are not transparent; Microsoft does not publish them, and competitors are hit-or-miss on how well they can guess how to read the files Office writes.


d)The companies have standardized on it because it offers a cheap way of getting access to a whole bunch of useful applications (Word, Excel, etc)

No, the companies have standardized on it because there isn't much of a choice left. What else are you going to use?


e)No one else has a good suite of applications, so teh companies are forced to use Office

Yup.


f)If we make Microsoft make Office run on Linux then companies can still use Office without having to use Windows (Please continue to ignore the fact that Office runs on the Mac)

No. In theory, if we make Microsoft split Office from Windows, then perhaps other producers of office products may be able to sell their products for Windows without immediately getting crushed; and if Office finally gets ported to other OSs, they may have a chance (if you could run Office on BeOS, more people might be interested in BeOS). (And yes, you can ignore the Mac, since it is a Microsoft-controlled platform as well.)


g)If the companies don't have to use Windows to run Office they will change to Linux.

No, it doesn't matter at this point, everyone is going to switch to Linux regardless of what Microsoft or the government does. ;) It's the best way to get out of under the controlling influence of both of them!


h)Therefore we will have competition for Windows
i)Therefore Windows is not a Monopoly


Yeah, I don't quite believe the government remedy will fix everything either. But it isn't about Linux.


John
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And Sun/Oracle/IBM/Linux are better systems for anyone who wants to do all their work with dumb terminals and batch processes.



gettinbranded: All (sans IBM) have burgeoning, growing markets---and they hold spots that MS wants to be in. Not because of yesterdays tech, but because they produce the tech that companies today need to use.

MS has some good products, but they are NOT "All-World class products". The guys who run around here spouting off facts that say so are victims of the MS marketing machine. That was a really interesting way those chose to dismiss Apache's market share...and SO many bought into it...


Maybe I just haven't had enough coffee but, again, I just don't understand this. Are you talking here about the server market or the desktop market? MSFT holds no monopoly over the server market. To even assume so is absurd. The only point at issue here is MSFT having a monopoly over "Intel-compatible PC based Operating System" [nice, narrowly defined market there, DoJ) to stifle competition on the desktop. Then, in turn it used that "monopoly" over "Intel-compatible PC based Operating System" to drive Netscape out of business (oh wait, Netscape is still in business! It's a multi-billion dollar company! The consumer got these products free! But I digress....)

Are you talking servers here or are we talking desktops? Maybe I've just totally confused the definition of "Apache's market share". Could very well be.
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OleDoc: Actually, it was WORSE than that! Netscape didn't even "own the browser"!!! Since the concepts and basic software were already "in the public domain", Netscape could not patent the browser! Without patents, their "business model" was a sitting duck!

Hmm, is this true? Wow. I didn't know that.

Of course, MSFT couldn't patent the browser either, so they decided to give it away and/or incorporate it into the OS -- it could NEVER be a GOOD product without patent protection!!!

Interesting point, Doc. I had no idea these companies never held any patents on these browsers.

Netscape had no legal recourse for their ambitious, but flawed, "business plan" except to cry "Bully! Bully! Bully!"

On this I completely agree. Even without the issue of patents (which I didn't know) their business model was completely flawed and thier only recourse was to go running to the DoJ. If they took this to court as Netscape v. MSFT they'd be dead ducks. (In fact, they couldn't because you have to show "harm." A billion dollar buyout by AOL hardly constitutes harm.)




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I had no idea these companies never held any patents on these browsers.


I'm sure they must have some patents on some of the pieces of the browsers, but NOT the basic concepts/ideas that would be desirable for a lock on the product.


OleDoc
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I believe John Gotti and the rest of the Italian Mafia begin negotiations with potential competitors with, "I have an offer you can't refuse," which was Bill Gates' initial offer to Netscape.

The difference is the implied follow up. "Because if you do refuse..." There is a world of difference between murder and kneecapping and hardball business practices.

Keep in mind, hardly anyone had ever heard of Bill Gates and Microsoft before the IBM deal. But very many people had heard of CPM and were using it. And many more were using Apple

Bill Gates was in the national limelight in 1976 when he sent out his letter "An Open Letter to Hobbyists" and he spoke in some national convention.

The IBM deal was in 1981.

The only question that remains regarding his morality is whether he would have become a drug lord if IBM had not signed a deal to give away the software world for PCs to Microsoft.

This is way over the line.

Fang Award First Class

:(===

Bye bye.


Randall
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What concerns me about this is that the federal government seems to want to dictate what should be included in the operating system.

There is hope. The appeals court has tried to step away from making those decisions. When they overruled Jackson on the tying issue they said that adding functions to the OS was OK if there was a benefit to the end user.

I am sure that whatever happens on appeal that there will be some latitude for improving the OS by adding features.

If we'd been having this discussion ten years ago, we may have ended up with a situation where the GUI was seperate from the OS - where do you draw the line?

Maybe I'll beat PieterzakFool here. That is still the way Linux draws the line. I can install Linux and choose which one of several GUIs to install. (Actually I can't but that is another story) So in Windows a GUI crash takes everything down but a GUI crash in Linux takes down the GUI. This is a big reason for Linux's stability. But either way the user has stopped working.


Randall
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Funny how many people have been ignoring the the MAC platform. Might have something to do with the way Steve Jobs monopolizes the rights to produce anything "mac". This means that the Macintosh platform is a single vendor solution and by definition not an 'open' platform.

This is COMPLETELY untrue. Apple cooperates in full with software vendors. Given your logic, AppleWorks would be the most popular office suite for the Mac. But is it?

No. MSFT Office is.

If Apple were "monopolizing" their OS code, they could make it very difficult for competitors to successfully produce software for their platform -- which they don't. MSFT does -- but Apple doesn't. They compete with Adobe for video editing, MSFT for office suites, etc.

Jobs wants the BEST software available for the Mac regardless of who writes it. That's not to say that he doesn't want Apple to be the best, but he's not squashing his competitors illegally because he doesn't have any ideas of his own.


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DBCoward wrote:

<<Regardless of whether you think Microsoft is evil or not, this remedy is retarded.>>

You are 100% correct, the proposed remedy by the 17 AG's and DOJ is not only retarded but idiotic. It doesn't really hurt MSFT or the future of the two MSFT companies. It's gonna be a windfall for MSFT stockholders. It doesn't even solve the 'competition problem' that the DOJ had been advancing. It's just legal posturing and nothing more.


My predictions (if I am wrong all you guys can flame me):

1. Jackson will not extend MSFT's request for added time for a response.

2. Jackson will not follow this remedy, he will offer his own remedy.

Let's see what happens next.






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rhowes said:
...in Windows a GUI crash takes everything down but a GUI crash in Linux takes down the GUI. This is a big reason for Linux's stability. But either way the user has stopped working.

I say:
In other words either way the user has to start over. How how this differs from rebooting is academic...

("Well sir, technically the tumor that killed your golf partner wasn't cancer.")
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DavidInnes wrote:

"In other words either way the user has to start over. How how this differs from rebooting is academic... "




Not entirely, because if the whole OS crashes you can also end up with filesystem corruption, and I'm sure most users can tell the functional difference between a hosed filesystem and a working one.

Furthermore, if you have a large background job running--say you're running a job to do some complex calculations that take a week to complete--then if the GUI crashes the background job keeps chugging along, whereas if the OS crashes you may have just lost three days worth of processing.

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Sera said...

"Are you talking here about the server market or the desktop market? MSFT holds no monopoly over the server market. To even assume so is absurd. The only point at issue here is MSFT having a monopoly over "Intel-compatible PC based Operating System" [nice, narrowly defined market there, DoJ) to stifle competition on the desktop. Then, in turn it used that "monopoly" over "Intel-compatible PC based Operating System" to drive Netscape out of business (oh wait, Netscape is still in business! It's a multi-billion dollar company! The consumer got these products free! But I digress....)

Are you talking servers here or are we talking desktops? Maybe I've just totally confused the definition of "Apache's market share". Could very well be.


I was responding to a post by DavidInnes that basically painted Microsoft as the supplier of the "greatest software" for tomorrows needs, bar none. I was just telling him that a lot of the stats and propaganda he bases his beliefs on are smoke and mirrors---a result of the highly competant MS marketing machine. I used Apache as an example.

Ya know Sera---thats a business Microsoft ought to think about getting into---marketing. They can spin and sell as well as anyone out there. I bet a spinoff would be very profitable...
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me: But either way the user has stopped working.

DavidInnes: In other words either way the user has to start over. How how this differs from rebooting is academic...

Isn't that what I said? Or are you just agreeing with me?

Randall
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How how this differs from rebooting is academic...

Sorry, hit submit instead of proof.

My point was that the user has stopped working.

There is another side effect of a GUI taking down a whole OS that has to do with multitasking. I may have another program running in background or in another window. If one instance of the GUI crashes it need not take down the other. But if a GUI crash takes down the entire OS all tasks crash and possibly work is lost.

In a network environment a complete crash can affect users that are not even on that computer. This is more likely in a peer network like I have at home. A GUI only crash will leave network services running.

A forced reboot is a much more severe occurance than restarting a GUI, or delaying a reboot until the OS can be shut down in an orderly fashion. (shutting down a file system instead of rebuildiong it at reboot)

I am known on this board as a Microsoft fan and overall defender, but by no means does that mean that I do not recognize product shortcomings.

Randall
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Not entirely, because if the whole OS crashes you can also end up with filesystem corruption, and I'm sure most users can tell the functional difference between a hosed filesystem and a working one.

Furthermore, if you have a large background job running--say you're running a job to do some complex calculations that take a week to complete--then if the GUI crashes the background job keeps chugging along, whereas if the OS crashes you may have just lost three days worth of processing.


Sigh, once again eric says in two paragraphs what takes me four or five.

Now if we could agree on the DOJ results I could stop posting altogether.

Randall
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rehowes:

Not entirely, because if the whole OS crashes you can also end up with filesystem corruption, and I'm sure most users can tell the functional difference between a hosed filesystem and a working one.

Furthermore, if you have a large background job running--say you're running a job to do some complex calculations that take a week to complete--then if the GUI crashes the background job keeps chugging along, whereas if the OS crashes you may have just lost three days worth of processing.

Sigh, once again eric says in two paragraphs what takes me four or five.

Now if we could agree on the DOJ results I could stop posting altogether.


I have to reply to you since I am ignoring eric:

(couldn't resist..) if you have journaling support - such as the one on Windows for example...you'd recover even in case of hardcore crash - whether it's a UI or bogus driver or something else. Linux has (currently) 2-3 different journaling systems in beta - can't agree on which one to use...it's not in production kernel yet though...

Now, Win2K got rid of most of the problems that would occur with UI - I don't know if it even makes sense to go over details on this board - will get criticized anyway. We've covered it in one of the threads a couple of months ago. Bottom line is - performance vs. stability - MS chose performance for Win9x - and moved UI drivers in kernel. Therefore, any bogus driver would get executed in kernel mode - bypassing any security and memory management protection (that would happen for user mode programs) and if that driver has problems - memory leak, invalid address reference or something - bang - thing goes down.

In Win2K, things are slighly different. Model is still the same - except now you have to satisfy more stringent memory manager - that won't allow a lot of things (reusing released ptrs etc) that would be working in Win9x; You also would have to run your driver through driver signing utility and memory checker - that would make sure your driver is not as bad as you think it is :)

The good side of it is - DirectX, games, etc..UI is moved in kernel mode, no context switch, life is good.

Granted, if you had task running for weeks, you'd probably put a label on that system - production - and would want to make sure that

1) Only software that needs to run there is installed
2) There is a process in place to make sure nobody does anything with the machine
3) You don't play quake/half-life or anything else on that machine :)


Flame away!!
Filter = ON (100%)
Protection = ON (100%)
Shield = ON (100%)
Heavy armor = ON (100%)


-Oleg
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artalex,

You said:

---> You may be too young to remember the days
---> when Microsoft actually HAD competition for
---> that market segment (Word processor, EMail,
---> Spreadsheets, Presentation, etc., etc. ).
---> What convinced the competition to go away
---> and the corporations to 'standardize' on
---> Microsoft products?

---> I believe the government has a case that
---> the business practices (bundling agreements,
---> strong-arm tactics, feature set binding to
---> special operating system features, etc. )
---> gave both the Hardware vendor community,
---> and the business and private sector the
---> impression that you would be left owning
---> the electronic equivalent of a "betamax"(r)
---> if you decided to purchase anything but the
---> Microsoft product in that category, or
---> market space.

Actually, this is a gross misrepresentation of what actually happened about a decade ago. The problem really started with two misguided decisions at Lotus Development Corp. and a third at Wordperfect Corp.

In the first significant misstep, Lotus -- which did not produce versions of its products for the MacIntosh environment -- decided not to develop a spreadsheet for Windows until two years after Microsoft released Windows 3.0 -- which became ubiquitous almost instantly. Remember that Microsoft had stated quite clearly that the company would focus on Windows a couple years earlier, after handing OS/2 off to IBM (initials which long have stood for "I've Been Misled"). Microsoft migrated the Excel business products to Windows around that time, and thus had working products ready for those who needed them. When Lotus finally did make 1-2-3 work within Windows 3.0, it produced a very clunky Windows wrapper around the DOS version rather than a real Windows program. The consumer's choice was obvious.

The second blunder at Lotus was a decision to squander the company's available cash on misguided lawsuits, first against Brown Bag Software (which sold a "clone" of 1-2-3) and subsequently against Borland International for violating alleged copyrights on the Lotus 1-2-3 menus. In a classic case of "Judge shopping," Lotus file both cases in Boston where Judge Robert Keaton ruled in the company's favor. Brown Bag, lacking the means to appeal, promptly went under. Borland, however, cut its development funding and subsequently sold some of its products to other companies to raise the necessary cash to appeal. The U. S. Court of Appeals (First Circuit) in Boston, recognizing that a bona fide "clean room" process would produce a menu system identical or virtually identical to that of Lotus 1-2-3, overturned Judge Keaton's ruling and dismissed Lotus's claim of copyright infringement of the menus in 1-2-3. Basically, a "work-alike" program (that is, a spreadsheet which produced the same results with the same keystrokes) would have had to put the choices in the same order on each menu because 1-2-3 allowed the user to select any choice with the cursor and "Enter" keys. Also, it would have to represent each choice in the menu with a word that begins with the same first letter as the word in the Lotus 1-2-3 menu since 1-2-3 allowed the user to select any choice by pressing the first letter of that choice. Thus, using the "File" menu as an example, the copyright issue reduced to a question of how many synonyms for "Print" begin with the letter "P" or for "Save" begin with the letter "S" in the customary terminology of the computer business. In short, the appellate court (rightly) there are not enough synonyms to justify a claim that identical menus constituted evidence of illegal copying. Borland's spreadsheet product, Quattro Pro, had configurable menus -- a significant new technology at the time -- so it was plainly evident that Borland did not copy Lotus's source code to implement the menu system.

The unfortunate effect of Lotus's lawsuit against Borland was to drain the R&D funds of both companies. At the time, Lotus still owned the market and Borland's product was a formidable competitor. Borland also offered a popular line of software development tools, including compilers for both C/C++ (TurboC) and Pascal (TurboPascal), neither of which it could migrate to Windows 95 due to the R&D funding pinch caused by the lawsuit. Lotus, meanwhile, acquired the Ami word processor for Windows and introduced its own SmartSuite. Unfortunately, the relatively new 1-2-3 for Windows was "too little, too late" and well behind the competition (Excel). Bankrupt, defeated, and lacking its competitive edge, Lotus sold out to IBM and has virtually vanished from the market. Borland initially worked out a deal with Wordperfect Corp. to bundle Quattro Pro with WordPerfect in the PerfectOffice suite (in response to Microsoft's release of Microsoft Office), and subsequently sold Quattro Pro to Wordperfect Corp. when it could no longer support development. Thus, we lost viable competition to Microsoft in both the spreadsheet market and the compiler market.

The faulty decision at Wordperfect Corp. was similar to the first faulty decision at Lotus. Lacking a viable Windows word processor to which to migrate from Wordperfect, WordPerfect users migrated en mass to Word for Windows. As they say, the rest is history.

Microsoft did make a wise strategic marketing decision around that time by bundling Word for Windows, Excel, and Powerpoint as Microsoft Office and offering the bundle for half the price of the products purchased separately -- with the restriction that the three products were licensed together for use on a single machine. Microsoft also astutely simplified migration from the leading products in each category -- a "must" for any program that is not the industry leader -- thus making it easy for customers to change.

Here we should note that Microsoft did -- and still does continue to -- sell Word, Excel, and Powerpoint as separate products, as required (or potentially required) under federal antitrust law.

Finally, it's important to note that several computer manufacturers did offer both SmartSuite and the Borland/Wordperfect suite bundled with new machines, either as an alternative to or instead of Microsoft Office. Unfortunately, the leaders had slipped so that Microsoft had a clearly superior product. The consumers made their choices, much as they chose VHS over BetaMax.

Norm.
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gettinbranded said:
I was responding to a post by DavidInnes that basically painted Microsoft as the supplier of the "greatest software" for tomorrows needs, bar none. I was just telling him that a lot of the stats and propaganda he bases his beliefs on are smoke and mirrors---a result of the highly competant MS marketing machine. I used Apache as an example.

I say:
Hmm. I thought I was saying only that after this DOJ-proposed breakup there would be little economic incentive for desktop application vendors, including MSOffice, to port to Linux.

I certainly said nothing about Microsoft being the supplier of the greatest software for tomorrows needs. I don't even know what that means.

By the way, can you name another single indispensible Linux app that's indispensible to the 21st Century *besides* Apache?

And can you name a single other Linux innovation?
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olegik wrote:

"if you have journaling support - such as the one on Windows for example...you'd recover even in case of hardcore crash - whether it's a UI or bogus driver or something else. Linux has (currently) 2-3 different journaling systems in beta - can't agree on which one to use...it's not in production kernel yet though..."



A journalling filesystem does not guarantee that files won't be corrupted, only that the filesystem itself won't be corrupted. There's a difference. If you're running a database and it's in the middle of writing 10 megs of data and the journal log is only 5 megs, if the system crashes only part of that data is going to be written to the file. The file allocation table will be okay but the internal structure of the database file will be inconsistent. Too bad you're ignoring me; you might learn something. ;-)

And of course while NT has journalling in the form of NTFS, 98 does not.

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DavidInnes wrote:

"By the way, can you name another single indispensible Linux app that's indispensible to the 21st Century *besides* Apache?"


Well, if you're going to count apache, you might as well count sendmail too. Not that I would elevate *any* software package to the level of being "indispensible" to the 21st century...



"And can you name a single other Linux innovation?"


Who said Linux was innovative? It's not, at least not technologically. It's a very clean and well-done implementation of a time-tested system. It's a good product, but it's not innovative. The difference between Microsoft and Linux on this score is that Microsoft makes the claim that it is a great innovator, whereas I don't see Linux folks doing that.

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OleDoc: Actually, it was WORSE than that! Netscape didn't even "own the browser"!!! Since the concepts and basic software were already "in the public domain", Netscape could not patent the browser! Without patents, their "business model" was a sitting duck!

Sera1: Hmm, is this true? Wow. I didn't know that.

OleDoc: Of course, MSFT couldn't patent the browser either, so they decided to give it away and/or incorporate it into the OS -- it could NEVER be a GOOD product without patent protection!!!

Sera1: Interesting point, Doc. I had no idea these companies never held any patents on these browsers.

There was (and probably still is) a "National Center for Supercomputing Architecture" (NCSA) located on the campus of a college in the midwest (it's in Champagne, Illinois, if I remember correctly) that developed a browser named Mosaic and distributed the executable version free of charge for several operating systems and environments including Windows 3.x, Windows 95/NT, MacOS, and a few flavors of Unix to give a "jump start" to thw World-Wide Web. NCSA also sold the source code to Mosaic, for a price, to anybody who wanted to produce a derivative product. Both Microsoft and Netscape bought Mosaic source code, and their respective derivative products are of course Internet Explorer and Navigator. NCSA dropped support and further development of Mosaic once browsers became readily available from other sources. Nonetheless, the reality is that NCSA had entrenched free browsers long before either Microsoft or Netscape entered the market.

I tried Netscape Navigator when NCSA stopped support and development of Mosaic, having used Mosaic for a couple years, and did not like Navigator at all because certain elements of the program seemed counterintuitive, user hostile, or unstable. While these problems probably have been fixed, my own experience at the time was that Internet Explorer did not suffer from the same deficiencies. Since then, I have had no reason whatsoever to switch.

Norm.
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el'-e-phant (n): a mouse designed by a committee and built to government specifications.

Norm.
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ericb888,

If you are writing a program "to do some complex calculations that take a week to complete," you write the program to save a "restart" file to disk periodically. If implemented correctly, the "restart" file allows the program to resume execution of the run at the point where it was written in the event of a system crash, regardless of the cause of the crash. There are two reasons for this:

>> 1. There is no such thing as an operating system that is totally immune from a system crash (though tests over the course of several months have shown that Hewlett-Packard's version of UNIX is better than most), and

>> 2. Even if the operating system does not crash, external problems such a loss of power can have similar consequences.

I guarantee that you don't want to restart a job from scratch when you are six days into a seven-day run.

Norm.
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Norm wrote:


"If you are writing a program "to do some complex calculations that take a week to complete," you write the program to save a "restart" file to disk periodically. If implemented correctly, the "restart" file allows the program to resume execution of the run at the point where it was written in the event of a system crash, regardless of the cause of the crash. There are two reasons for this:

>> 1. There is no such thing as an operating system that is totally immune from a system crash (though tests over the course of several months have shown that Hewlett-Packard's version of UNIX is better than most), and

>> 2. Even if the operating system does not crash, external problems such a loss of power can have similar consequences."






All well and good if the software you have will do that. The software we use doesn't do that. Fortunately, it's running on Unix machines, and out of our 12 or so Tru64 machines we probably see three or four software-related crashes per year. The machine on my desk at work hasn't been rebooted in 6 months, and that last reboot was to swap in a larger hard disk. The machine I added the old drive to has also been up since then. Of course, maybe the fact that the software we have is written for Unix is the reason the authors didn't bother with the sorts of safeguards you mention.

From what I have seen, very little software takes the safeguards you suggest. I've run some very long video processing jobs on a Mac, and that's a real pain in the neck, because not only do these programs not have this type of safeguard, they are also susceptible to the fact that the Mac is nowhere near as robust as Unix or even NT. If it crashes, you have to start over.

As for power failures, I have a UPS. :)
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"(couldn't resist..) if you have journaling support - such as the one on Windows for example...you'd recover even in case of hardcore crash - whether it's a UI or bogus driver or something else."

You are talking about NTFS, correct? That's true, and I won't argue it. However, there are a variety of opinions on whether to make your machine NTFS or FAT32. Some people don't think that NTFS allows you to do anything off a boot disk if your boot record gets fragged, for instance. Others argue that the boot should be NTFS, and all other data and apps should be on other partitions on NTFS, so that any crash you could just reinstall the OS anyway. In any case, most people I know tend to use FAT32. It's not impervious by any stretch of the imagination. I'd think it's quite safe to say that even now a majority of windows sytems are vulnerable to filesystem crashes.

"Linux has (currently) 2-3 different journaling systems in beta - can't agree on which one to use...it's not in production kernel yet though..."

Should I comment? hmmmm. You tend to denigrate people who bash MS, but it seems every chance you get you knock Linux for something. Ok, I prolly shoulda held back anyway.

Rob Nelson
ronelson@vt.edu
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rev2217 http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1180128007035034&sort=postdate

Fascinating post, Norm. This certainly puts the lie to the dubious claim that Netscape "invented" the browser market and had it arbitrarily stolen away from it by that beast MSFT. (Oh sure, I know the hard core techies will drop from the ceiling, as usual, and say "we never said that." But it has been so implied.)

I have known about Mosaic, Spyglass and a list of a few others but really never knew the fundamental roots of the browser itself. So Netscape basically took NCSC's creation, as did MSFT, and ran with it. Good. Ya know, I'm not going to draw any conclusions right now (I'm too tired.) I'm just going to let this one rest. Thanks much for the history back to this later, I'm sure. (One would have thought from listening to all these stories that MSFT stole Netscape's intellectual property or at the very least absconded with it.)

Sera
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nelson:

"(couldn't resist..) if you have journaling support - such as the one on Windows for example...you'd recover even in case of hardcore crash - whether it's a UI or bogus driver or something else."

You are talking about NTFS, correct? That's true, and I won't argue it. However, there are a variety of opinions on whether to make your machine NTFS or FAT32. Some people don't think that NTFS allows you to do anything off a boot disk if your boot record gets fragged, for instance. Others argue that the boot should be NTFS, and all other data and apps should be on other partitions on NTFS, so that any crash you could just reinstall the OS anyway. In any case, most people I know tend to use FAT32. It's not impervious by any stretch of the imagination. I'd think it's quite safe to say that even now a majority of windows sytems are vulnerable to filesystem crashes.


check out www.sysinternals.com for utility to boot to NTFS from floppy.

I don't quite understand your argument here. NTFS (and new FS in Win2K) provide all necessary means to restore your HD to a good state. If people don't understand or don't want to use these features - don't blame the system. NTFS is not readable from Win9x (unless you get driver from the site mentioned above) but if you want to get ACLs, high level security, journaling support and bunch of other useful thingies - NTFS is the way.

Linux has (currently) 2-3 different journaling systems in beta - can't agree on which one to use...it's not in production kernel yet though..."

Should I comment? hmmmm. You tend to denigrate people who bash MS, but it seems every chance you get you knock Linux for something. Ok, I prolly shoulda held back anyway.


??? What did I say? I merely stated the fact that Linux currently does not provide journaling support in OS. It is by the way one of the very important features required by IT departments in many companies. It's also a standard feature in many commercial OSes.

How exactly did I denigrate anything or anyone here? If you want more information, visit any Linux news site and read more about journaling there.

You are so obsessed with someone hurting your little Linux that sometimes simple criticue is considered a sin...

-Oleg

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"check out www.sysinternals.com for utility to boot to NTFS from floppy."

I didn't say that I particularly believed it. Just that NTFS is not entirely prominent. Someone else noted that it's not available at all on 9x, which is something of a problem.

If I can dig it out, I'll provide a link to "The Filesystem Page". It's basically a table with OS's against filesystems and drivers for each. ext2 for windows, ntfs for windows 95, ntfs for os/2, etc. Some people might be interested...

"How exactly did I denigrate anything or anyone here?"

You seemed to imply that it was a bad thing that during a beta one version of an fs wasn't agreed on. I apologize, I'm kinda wigged out tonight. A bit of knee-jerk reaction. I'm going to bed now :)

Rob Nelson
ronelson@vt.edu
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to ericb:

heh, I found bug in Fool.com MB :) I can still see your replies in "Replies to my posts" section :)


A journalling filesystem does not guarantee that files won't be corrupted, only that the filesystem itself won't be corrupted. There's a difference. If you're running a database and it's in the middle of writing 10 megs of data and the journal log is only 5 megs, if the system crashes only part of that data is going to be written to the file. The file allocation table will be okay but the internal structure of the database file will be inconsistent. Too bad you're ignoring me; you might learn something. ;-)

As always, you just want to bash around. Who said anything abou JFS and files connection? Internal structure of your database file should be maintaned by database server, right? So what the hell has that got to do with anything i said? And more importantly, what would I learn here?

See, in any post you write - ask yourself a couple of questions - who is my intended audience and WHY am I posting something here - just to have another star next to my name? Just to generate more garbage for people to read? Just to say something bad about a company? I mean c'mon - I have vested interest in Microsoft, I work with their products, I like it - THAT's WHY I POST HERE. You - do you own shares? do you have specific problems with the products? did you have a company that was making killer product and then Microsoft came and too it away from you? Be honest - why do you waste time spitting over the company?

What is the purpose of your statement here:
And of course while NT has journalling in the form of NTFS, 98 does not.

? Are you happy with it? Are you telling us something we didn't know? Is it something of use to people? I mean - read the freaking manual, go to microsoft's home page - I am sure you'll find all of that and above.

I am glad I ignore you. This way I save more time to improve my professional skills and enjoy my life outside of work and this board - something we all have to learn to do sometime.

-Oleg
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DBC,

You are right on the mark!

In a similar vein, Alan Abelson wrote a wonderful article this week in Barrons lampooning the government's thesis. I suggest you read it. Alan makes a great case that the proposed remedies would result in HIGHER costs to the consumer, LESS innovation and continued FULL EMPLOYMENT FOR LAWYERS.

If you subscribe to Investors' Business Daily you would have found similar sentiments expressed there over the past few months.


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This is typical of the type of convaluted logic that MS is counting on. There are plenty of "better" suites written by a number of companies then windows office suites. The problem is that MS makes almost impossible to run these suites with their OS. In fact Windows and Office are an amalgm of other companies work and ideas.
In fact Iam still waiting for an original idea to come from MS.

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While most people seem to have hit on the key aspects of the Microsoft case, true or not, many seem to be employing more of their own emotions than facts.

Microsoft has a monopoly and uses that monopoly advantage to crush competitors in new fields such as the internet.

Microsoft has established themselves with Windows by charging companies like Dell outrageous fees if they want to only put Windows on certain computers and not others. Thus, if you own a company and want to buy from Dell, it's much easier to use Windows, regardless of what might work better.

Microsoft has established Internet explorer by not only bundling it with Windows, but by pushing around companies like Apple. Microsft made office 98 for the mac in return for being able to include Internet Explorer as the only pre-installed browser on every new Mac sold.

There are countless other examples of how Microsft has used its monopoly to crush competition, something our economy is founded upon. Regardless of wether Microsoft makes a good product or not does not matter because there are few other choices, none of which continue to have funding because they have been wiped out by Microsoft.

Microsoft should be broken apart, in order to promote competition but it should not be punished for its success. The Sherman Anti-Trust act is supposed to protect consumers not harm bussinesses. I do not blame Microsft for how well it has done at removing its competition, after all the reason capitalism works is the drive competitors have AGAINST each other.

The reason it has been suggested to break Microsoft up into an OS side and an Application side is because it will not harm either company but will remove some of the monopolistic leverage. Microsft is in fact big enough to be broken apart into at least ten companies and each still be a world leader.
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DBC,

Looks like your are a diehard Microsoftie.

Ever heard of Lotus 123, word perfect and dbase etc. I guess most argue that they are good products. Microsoft and the geek empire copied (innovated in their words) all these products and started the office suite with few useful hooks into their OS and captured the whole world. The same hooks are not available for the rest of the world.

If i wanted to develop some products on Windows, i am at a dis-avantage because the OS is not open to the world. I guess world is missing on the innovation out there. Govt has a valid point there. You may agree or not.

cheers
rkbandi
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I want to take the opposite view:
Splitting up Microsoft is necessary and the best available remedy.
Why ?
Because Microsoft has in the past used its operating system Windows to blackmail computer companies (compaq etc) into bundling certain programs with their computers.
Microsoft has done this to stifle competition to its other products, and undoubtedly will do so in the future, if nothing is done. If the government action fails completely, things will probably get MUCH worse because then Gates will consider himself untouchable.
Since Microsoft has been developing both the operating system AND the programs that operate on it (Office etc) and since it is the only company to know the source code, this has put it into a position to match its products together ideally, while hindering those of others.
Thus, a remedy is necessary.
Now why a breakup ?
A breakup is the most market-friendly option.
The alternative, whatever you may think of, is bureaucratic. A breakup will produce more competition, more INNOVATION instead of stifling it which is what would happen if you left Microsoft intact while tying it down by restrictive regulation.
The monopoly, and Gates` unscrupulous abuse of it have restricted competition and innovation. The breakup will reduce the power of Microsoft a lot and will thus restore competition and innovation.
It will probably even benefit share holders.

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Whether MSFT has a de facto monopoly is not the issue. The issues are whether they attained that position through practices intended to stifle competition to the detriment of the consumer, and whether they use their power as a monopoly to stifle competition in ways that hurt the consumer.

Now reread those parts about "the consumer".

That's where you have to begin if you want to understand the situation from the perspective of the court, the Justice Dept., and the consumers who feel hurt by MSFT's practices.



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Thank you. Finally somebody who makes sense. The justice that ruled on
this case does not understand anything. Bill Gates is being punished definitely for
making a half way decent product and then marketing it so everyone uses
it. Isn't that the American way. When Ma Bell broke up it was because
nobody else was allowed to enter in. netscape and other companies have
always been allowed. They just aren't fast or good enough. Bill Gates
should not have to split up his company, the company he worked hard to
get, just because of some whineres out there that can't take the heat. My
advice to the losers is to quit whining and start competing.
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I couldn't agree MORE with this post. GREED and AVARICE have served to justify questioning the validity of anti-monopolistic laws we have had in place--not often ENFORCED. We should be THANKFUL that judge had the SPINE to take on the richest man in the world--who is trying to imply He is Above the Law.
I say NO. To all you "softie" investors--try and expand your focus a couple inches beyond your noses (and your OWN portfolios) to consider the Greater Good. Unchecked monopolistic practices by ANY corporation is BAD. It is NOT "free market" capitalism. What is the underlying credo in the defense of Bill Gates and MICROSHAFT? If you can rise to be Number One--You Da Man! You call the shots.
No way. We have So Few avenues to STOP unlimited Corporate Greed in the country, let us pause and appreciate the few examples that DO arise.
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No. of Recommendations: 5
The problem with Office is that it is a proprietary standard. Microsoft is no longer competing in the Office Suite arena feature for feature. They are competing on Office file format compatibility. Office Suites have not significantly advanced since 1995. Yet Microsoft will charge my company $250,000 to upgrade from Office 97 to Office 2000 for around 1000 users.

Phasing in Linux + a low end Office Suite would work for half of our users. However, the barrier to entry is file formats. Other office suites can't read Powerpoint, Excel and Word files with 100% accuracy. Our power users would be distributing files in Office format, and our Linux people sometimes wouldn't be able to open them properly. This locks us into Microsoft Office until a competing suite can read Microsoft's file formats, which they will change every 2 to 3 years with new releases. It might NEVER happen unless the DOJ breaks the monopoly by requiring Microsoft to open their file format. I agree breaking them into separate companies won't do much.

As to "3)Windows offers just a few bits of functionality above and beyond support for Office 2000. Have you ever tried to deploy Linux to 40,000 desktops? Trust me, you don't want to. I've done it with Windows 2000. Remote Install Service, IntelliMirror, etc are incredible. It features like those that makes most of the Fortune 100 companies I work with loyal to Windows, not "just" support for Office 2000."

Windows is a nightmare. I have to reformat my Windows NT drive every 3 months. Once you add enough applications you eventually have problems you will never be able to diagnose. The error messages you will get are garbage. Explorer will just crash with no error messages. How will I diagnose that with no error message? I can't. I have to format and start over.

I install 3 or 4 new apps a week on my Linux box and have not had to reinstall in 8 months. No DLL hell. You could NEVER do that with Windows. It is great that your very large corporation can afford all the gadgets to deploy Windows 2000 on 40,000 desktops. Not every corporation can.

I see Linux as much easier to manage. It has built in remote control in X Windows and it is VERY scriptable. My company would abandon our Windows / Office duo in a heartbeat if Linux had an Office suite that could convert MSOffice files and their was a Novell client for Linux that worked better than Caldera's.

We evaluate the Linux solution every 6 months to see if it is feasible. We are tired of paying $250 for 3 new features in the next version of Office as is everyone else...

Eventually our company will not upgrade to the next version of Office for 3 new features. I hope you sell your MSFT stock before then.

CleverFox
Senior Information Security Analyst
Employee of Large Corporation to remain nameless
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The test of someone else's inteligence is how much they agree with you. I could not agree more. The fact is that the people in Justice are building a career out of the microsft case. I would bet that 80% of the microsoft team will not work there in two years.
Further, there must be some kind of a disease that infects everyone when they move to Washington. A bad case of the stupids.
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> b)Everbody uses it because they need to run Office and it only runs on
> Windows (Please ignore the fact that it also runs on the Mac)

For your information, I worked in area of business that loved Macs - the imaging and graphic arts world. I worked on a machine that was top of the line. Fast chip and loaded with memory. And what broke it? MS Office, of course! This was truly amazing, since these were simple apps compared to Adobe Photoshop and others.

The problem is that Microsoft product on the Mac did a really poor job of memory management. It's a pretty simple concept - what ever memory is allocated must be deallocated otherwise the computer's available (free) memory becomes less and less until finally there's no space for other programs. This is amazingly bad engineering practice and can be avoided with good programming discipline. I'm sure Microsoft didn't do this intentionally, but I'm also sure they didn't try very hard to eliminate it.

I know that it is hard for stockholders to be objective when they see their investment decline, but if you care to do some research you would see how many of Microsoft has used it's marketshare and OS dominance practices have eliminate many competitors. That doesn't mean that the company doesn't put out some good products, however. I love Word, but MS Windows seems so backward compared to other operating systems.
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Ditto.

What's even more stupid, is that it all started over a free browser! Does this mean they are going to break up AOL for wasting all that money and dumping all those CD on everyone's door steps? Gee, I hope so.

Officials sitting back saying "hey, this company is making something EVERYONE wants and uses and we can't scam enough money out of it (besides taxing them all to death)? Let's break 'em up! The heck with what the public wants. Yeah, let's.

Give me a break, please.
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I agree with my fellow fools. The government is over-stepping thier duties here. Microsoft should be allowed to inovate and do as they please without interference from outside forces. If we are all to be told how we can condust our business and our daily lives, where is our freedom? Another prime example of our tax dollars at work. Again, the waste generated by the government is tremendous! Who is paying the legal bills generated by the government? What is consuming so much time? Why has this not been addressed in the past if it is a "real" problem?
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I live in Microsoftville, Washington, and have for all of my life. I've watched Boeing wither and nearly die in the early 70's only to recover and dominate. And I've watched Microsoft change the landscape of wealth and emunication forever.
Yes they have a monopoly.
Yes they have used preditory policy to seek out and destroy competition, as well as to seek out an employ competent personel.
That is the nature of business in our "free" market economy. Paul & Bill, and now Steve & Bill, with help from thousands of loyal and talented professionals, simply do it better.
Spilt or no split, they will continue to do it better and I, for one, have the ability to share my opinion with you because of the ease of use of all my Microsoft products.
Could someone else have made it this easy? Maybe. But they didn't...
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2)Why is Microsoft being punished because StarOffice and Corel's Office suite are crap? Because if I understand the arguement listed above it all boils down to the fact that there are no good Office suites available on anything but Windows. So somehow Microsoft is in the wrong because they make a good product?

Microsoft is not punished for making good products, they were punished for withholding infos from their competitors that gave them unfair advantages.

Flame me if you want to, but the facts remained that up until the migration of word processors to windows, Word perfect has beaten microsoft word hands down in every aspect. Then came the word for windows and word perfect for windows, somehow, the quality of wordperfect for windows dropped dramatically. It is widely known in the industry that Microsoft word used undocumented features in the windows to gave them a few advantages in those applications. Microsoft couldn't beat the competition in DOS because the dos is so easily reverse engineered. So any undocumented dos fuctions were widely known by most in the software industry. Besides, dos has been available for too long. When microsoft switched to Windows, they withhold the undocumented features for their competitors. And the competition suffered a quality penalty. In fact, the first version of wordperfect for windows is worse than the latest wordperfect for DOS in terms of performance.

I am not against Microsoft or anything like that, just stating the facts.

I have always used Word perfect(it's better) over Microsoft word up until the word/wordperfect for windows came out, and other similar situations happened with other microsoft apps.

It is okay if you gained market shares by having better products, but it is not okay if you have better products by an underhanded/illegal methods. Especially in this case microsoft has the control of the underlying OS which made them that much easier for them to have unfair advantages.
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It's not stupid, its called political bullshit or more politely "Washington's Organic Fertilizer". Hey a new brand name and the price should be competitive because there is no shortage of it.

This kind of decision making is why judges and lawyers should stay out of business and leave business to those who have a clue how business operates.
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For me the irony of the MS break-up by the Justice is that, at least on the DoD project I worked on, all documents going to the government were required to be in a MS-Word format. We had been using Word Perfect, and many of us thought it was a superior product but go figure. r
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Very good deduction. Couldn't have said it better. I guess that's why I read the posts first. I'm not afraid to find people who are smarter thinkers out there. George
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Artalex,

I could not agree with you more, I find it infuriating
that people completely fail to appreciate that it is
Microsoft's unreasonable business practises that are 
the problem and it has little to do with the software
they choose to bring to market.

So long as they are free to stifle competition and 
undermine other companies efforts to compete - then
they will be free to churn out sub-standard
applications until hell freezes over

Andy
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No doubt the views you are expressed are tailored to your customers who are able to keep paying for endless overpriced upgrades and built-in obsolescence generated by Microsoft Windows monopoly. However, there are millions of retired folk out there like myself who are sick of being unable to read e-mail attachments that are only readable by the latest "Microsoft Office" version! I am a firm believer in the 'Free-market place' and do not look kindly on 'Big Government' intervention except when the laws of the country are being violated. However, I do draw a distinction at companies that have grown so big and so powerful that they can thumb their nose at Congress and the Adminstration of the laws that govern the country. What good is a free-marketplace without healthy competition? It is the overt suppression of competition that this issue is realy about. Where do you think the price of long distance telephone calls would be today if the government had not put the brakes on AT&T? Spare my sympathy for the vocal Microsoft shareholders, even if the company is split they will still be laughing all the way to the Bank! No doubt the arrogance of Gates will permit him to acquire all the legal help, obscene amounts of money can buy to delay the outcome as long as possible. Let us pray however, in spite of the odds justice will prevail. Matthew Gould
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Artalex has done an outstanding job of putting the peices together for those who have not followed the march of Microsoft and the competition over the last several years.

To reiterate, it is not the fact the Windows OS is a monopoly. Pretty much everyone agrees that is not necessarily a bad thing, as it sure makes the business world simpler. The bad thing is and has been, the strong arm tactics of Microsoft in forcing hardware manufacturers to bundle their software with the operating system. Why do you think that you never see a major computer manufacturer offering the Corel suite (or others) to be preinstalled? It is because Microsoft has told them they will lose their discount on buying Windows if they do such a thing.
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Did you all notice who was invited to the Bill Clinton ha ha joke nite in DC the other night- it weren't Bill G! but some of the big contributors can you guess who they were?

Its about get Bill for your friends- that's the way the Clinton's work. Gag me with a spoon!

RCP
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Well written post there. I am a Microsoft investor and user, and while I am not so knowledgable about monopoly theory, and Bill Gates' attempts to "crush competition", I think the Government is 100% wrong regarding this case.

The object of competing (in life, in business, in sports, in investing, etc.) is to win. Bill Gates is an enormously smart guy, hard working, and driven. He did everything within the confines of the law, and now the "Justice Department" (what an oxymoron that title is)comes down and says "you stifled competition, rewarded companies that pushed your product, and punished companies who didn't" (paraphrased).

Well excuse me, but when he was forming his company from nothing, he was competing against IBM and Hewlett Packard, two pretty good competitors then and now. Microsoft wasn't always the 800 lb. gorilla that they are today; they competed and won, and won too big for the Clintonista's.

The moral of the story? Grow, and prosper, but don't do it too much, or (for the good of the consumer)we {your friend, the Government}will have to even things up, fine you for being fine businessmen/women, and break you up.

The consumers, both individuals and corporate/institutional, have already voted with their dollars; the marketplace has spoken, and people have chosen the Microsoft platform.

Fool on everyone. Write your Senator and Congressman/woman to tell them to lay off Microsoft. Free markets have spoken, now the "Justice Department" should listen.
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I suppose everyone has an option on this. Here's mine:

I do not think MS is evil, I tthink they've been taking unfair advantage in the marketplace, successfully squashing meaningful competition. I hope this is the thrust of the go'vts suit [altho Uncle Sam can go off into the wild blue at times...]

There is no meaningful competition to Windows, so I as a consumer and business person have no choice but to buy Windows and Office. I want choices -- choices make better products and lower prices.

MS writing a program or 2 for Linux does nothing to add to my choices. The basic problem seems to be MS has hogged all the market due to its practices. So those practices must stop. Who will step in to create a worthwhile choice? As always, opportunists. So the Gov't has a chance here to create opportunity.

THe path they've chosen thus far may not make sense, but the thrust is correct. Now if they can just fine tune.... [I assume economists with good track records are being consulted?!]
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This a great post!!!

You don't want to send your post to Wash., DC about the
Ford Motor Co. and Citibank - They might try it! Much
of the rest of their foolishness makes just as much
sense!!!

Keep on FOOLing along!

BillAde

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As I missing anything here or is this the gist of the arguement?

You are missing all the central arguements of the case. You obviously haven't read the court's Conclusions of Law. Here's one place to read them:

http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2504740,00.html
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FoolScrew said:
Flame me if you want to, but the facts remained that up until the migration of word processors to windows, Word perfect has beaten microsoft word hands down in every aspect. Then came the word for windows and word perfect for windows, somehow, the quality of wordperfect for windows dropped dramatically.

I say:
Ok, I'm going to flame you. You deserve to be flamed. Your only excuse for being so wrong is that you were so young before 1990 you could neither read nor write.

Here's how it really happened.
1) Microsoft wrote a version of Word for the Macintosh

2) WordPerfect Corp released another upgrade of their DOS product.

3) MacWord sold very well so Microsoft and released an upgrade.

4) WordPerfect Corp released another upgrade of their DOS product.

5) MacWord 2.0 sold so well Microsoft decided to take what they'd learned so far in the Mac market and try to build a Windows verion.

6) WordPerfect Corp released another upgrade of their DOS product.

7) After a very long painful process Microsoft released WinWord 1.0, which they had to bundle with a runtime-only version of Windows 2.1 because Windows wasn't selling. They also released another Mac version

8) WordPerfect Corp. released another upgrade of their DOS product.

9) After an even more painful development period Microsoft released a much improved WinWord 2.0, a (finally) usable version of Windows (for the brand new Intel 386 processor, and yet another version of MacWord.

10) WordPerfect Corp released another upgrade of their DOS product.

11) Sales of Windows and Word started going through the roof and finally started grabbing significant market share.

12) WordPerfect Corp released a version of WordPerfect for the Mac that completely mimicked their character mode product and almost completely ignored the GUI -- though they did support character selection with a mouse and the cut, copy, and paste functions.

13) Microsoft, on a roll, releases another version of WinWord, MacWord, and Windows 3.1. For the first time WinWord captures more than 50% of the word processing market.

14) WordPerfect Corp. buys it's first copy of the Windows SDK, breaks a fingernail on the shrink wrap, and complains that Microsoft's ownership of Windows gives them an unfair advantage. For old times sake they release another upgrade of their DOS product.

In other words, if Microsoft put any special code in Windows to make Windows WordPerfect perform poorly compared to WinWord they were wasting their time!!!
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Apparently you ARE slow. This case, for the millionth time, is about Microsoft ABUSING its competitive position by using ANTICOMPETITIVE practices to stifle competition. The court case clearly showed this to be the case. The case is NOT about the fact that Microsoft is the industry standard for both operating systems and business suites.

It is about Microsoft's C-O-N-D-U-C-T.

I for one am sick of the same argument posted again and again about how Microsoft is being picked on because it is successful. Get your facts straight.

Steve

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I couldn't agree with you more! You have hit the nail on the head with your assessment. This administration, using its Department of Justice (DOJ) strong arm, has made it their major agenda to break up Microsoft. I have never understood their motive, other than they are anti-big business or envy Bill Gates's success.

Microsoft has made a better mouse trap, and should be praised, not attacked. In a capitalistic/democracy, the market/people would decide which products they want based upon their spending habits.

As far as Microsoft producing an Office suite for Linux, I would tend to believe they would, if enough people were to use that operating system. Just as they did with the MACs. Althought MAC is a competitor operating system, Microsoft still supports it with applications because of the people/customer's demand.

Although this administration has openly portrayed themselves as moderates, behinds the scene and based upon their actions, are clearly socialists!!

I was very pleased by your email knowing that at least someone "gets it", and is not influenced by this administration's many spin doctors! I look forward to reading your future postings.

Al
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olegik wrote:

"As always, you just want to bash around. Who said anything abou JFS and files connection?"


The discussion was about what would happen if a system crashes. At least two people pointed out disk corruption. The response was that journalling filesystems prevent that. I'm simply pointing out that even with journalling you can still get corruption of file contents during a crash.

What alleged "bashing" am I doing here? I am simply pointing out something that applies to *all* journalling filesystems, including those on Unix operating systems. I've seen plenty of corrupted journalling filesystems on Unix systems, by the way.



"What is the purpose of your statement here:
And of course while NT has journalling in the form of NTFS, 98 does not."


The original point being made was that it's better to have a GUI crash that doesn't take down the whole OS, because then you don't have as much chance of having damaged files. The counterargument was "use a journaling filesystem". And my response to that is, what if you are using an OS like Windows 98 that *doesn't have* a journaling filesystem? In that case, you'd prefer that a GUI crash not take down the remainder of the OS. So, the purpose of my statement is to respond to a previous argument made in this thread. Is something wrong with that?

Really, I am not certain why you take such great offense to my comments, particularly the ones I have made in *this* thread. They seem pretty clear cut to me, and many of them apply to operating systems and filesystems in general, not just Windows. As you pointed out, Linux doesn't have built in support for journaling yet, and Mac OS has no journaling at all. And I believe Randall pretty much agreed with me on these things, yet you aren't complaining about him. Please don't let any disagreements we have over the DOJ lawsuit prevent us from discussing other things.



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Dear DBC,
Cheers, indeed. It's nice to hear something nice about big bad microsoft. You brings up some very good points. Perhaps it's the possibility that the DOJ may try and do just that (make business decisions in the field of technology instead of letting the market and talent decide) that makes the Nasdaq head south as this somewhat bizarre "case" moves forward. Can you imagine?
CDW
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Further, there must be some kind of a disease that infects everyone when they move to Washington. A bad case of the stupids.

That can be read two ways :)

Randall
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FoolScrew wrote:

" Then came the word for windows and word perfect for windows, somehow, the quality of wordperfect for windows dropped
dramatically. It is widely known in the industry that Microsoft word used undocumented features in the windows to gave them a few advantages in those
applications. "




Or, they simply refuse to make the APIs available in a timely manner to any company that doesn't play ball. IIRC their treatment of Netscape in this manner is part of the court record in the current DOJ suit.

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FoolScrew: "Microsoft is not punished for making good products, they were punished for withholding infos from their competitors that gave them unfair advantages."

Oh ... I do wish you hadn't said that!






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DBCoward: http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1180128007035000&sort=postdate

Regardless of whether you think Microsoft is evil or not, this remedy is retarded.

Cheers,
DBC


<smirk.> Great post, DBC. You deserve every one one of your 70 (and counting) recommendations.
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Agreed. The government's entire pursuit of Microsoft is retarded.
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"Maybe because Microsoft has made some really terrible releases of Office for the Mac in the past. Maybe because the Mac version has traditionally lagged behind the Windows version. Maybe they think an office suite should have a DATABASE, which the Mac version doesn't have. (Pretty glaring omission, don't you think? Who ever heard of an office suite without database? That's what Microsoft sells to Mac users.)"

Or maybe Apple's decision to remain a company that offers a harware/software solution makes the Mac prohibitively expensive given your return for the premium you would have to pay for the Mac. If there were a great need for a database for Mac, couldn't a firm fill this void in the market?

CowDog
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I'm sure they must have some patents on some of the pieces of the browsers, but NOT the basic concepts/ideas that would be desirable for a lock on the product.

It's my understanding that Netscape was based on the browser Mosaic which was a freeware browser. They (Netscape) licensed parts of the Mosaic browser technology from the university that created it.
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I have to agree with both (the original post and your comment about the MSFT DOJ team). This case is yet another example of "those in power always want more" (the government has slowly been creeping into EVERY aspect of our lives, their goal being TOTAL CONTROL). As far as I remember, I was never asked my opinion as to whether I've been "harmed" by MSFT ... the case would have been thrown out after a simple poll!

From the beginning, this entire fiasco has been a personal attack on the world's richest man disguised as a “citizen protection” lawsuit. As far as I know, Bill never gave into the "needs" of the government by giving to "special interest" groups – and this simply PO'd the government. Kudos to Bill! It's bad enough how much is stolen from him every year (and every other American ... in the form of income [effort?] tax). In my opinion, if the government really wanted to protect American citizens, the following would happen: Janet Reno would be fired, the IRS would be dismantled, the War on Drugs would end, frivolous lawsuits would be thrown out (especially those prompted by corporate cry-babies!), and our “great” leaders would know what THE CONSTITUTION means (of course, they'd have to read it for the first time)!! This lawsuit is just plain absurd! As if the states didn't join in simply for FREE MONEY … so taxes wouldn't be raised for their ever-expanding “needs.”

A more specific comment on the proposed “solution” (can someone please tell me one problem the government has ever successfully solved?): it's been mentioned that officials from each new MSFT company can only own stock in their company. Hmmmm, how can that be? Aren't they still FREE AMERICANS to do as they please? Or maybe not anymore?

In response to your comment: “Further, there must be some kind of a disease that infects everyone when they move to Washington. A bad case of the stupids” … I live in Washington, and haven't caught the “case of the stupids” … maybe that's simply because I'm a Libertarian? You are right, though … there is a huge proliferation of idiots here in DC; it just so happens most of them work on Capital Hill and for the DOJ (unfortunately it continues to spread into the suburbs and affect normal people, too)!!
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Amasciulli wrote sone nonsense about an "Internet Mafia"

Your rhetoric is grounded in nothing resembling reason or facts.

Microsoft is not being brocken up. The DOJ recommended this, but it has not happened yet and may not happen.

Your comparisons of Bill Gates and Microsoft to John Gotti and an "Internet Mafia" are the worst sort of garbage we have seen on this board since someone tried to draw a parralel to Adolf Hitler. You do many people a disservice with this type of rhetoric.

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The one point to keep in mind when discussing MSFT's supposed control of the desktop is: Most end user don't give a rat's a** what OS is on their pc! Most end users don't even want to know about the OS.

In part I agree. Afterall, isn't that the supposed goal of computer evolution - to make the inner workings of the system transparent and irrelavent to the user? (much like the way the telephone works - people have a general idea but don't know and don't care to know the details as long as it works well).

Most people just want their pc's for word processing, maybe spreadsheets, games, sending email and surfing the web. People with more specific (and usually technical) requirments already know what they want and will always choose specific products.

I'm not saying the Windows 95/98/2000 etc. is the best. But for what it does and what people want it to do it's much better than anything else yet available. As someone before pointed out, do you really want to try having thousands of users with Linux on the desktop?!
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>I must be a little slow, so I am asking my fellow fools to help me understand the government's proposal.Perhaps I can help you.Here is a point by point analysis:--------------------------------------------------------->It seems to me that the entire thrust of it is this : If Office were available on Linux, all would be right with the Universe.>The theory as I understand it goes like this:>a)Windows is a Monopoly because everybody uses itActually, they are considered a monopoly because their users have no viable alternatives, and they can ignore the market value of their product when choosing a selling price.>b)Everbody uses it because they need to run Office and it only runs on Windows (Please ignore the fact that it also runs on the Mac)Office is only one of many applications people may need. There are also compilers, databases, web servers, imaging software, and many other applications- all of which MS has tried to control via hidden API's, ignoring existing standards in favor of proprietary ones, agressive patents, and outright purchase of the competition.Macs are a different market (non x86 hardware), but the existance of MS products on it do make it more viable than it would be otherwise.>c)They need to run Office because the companies they work for have standardized on itWell, that's most of it. A company would be just fine with any other office program (besides MS Office), as long as it's document types were compatable. But since MS deliberately breaks compatability with existing standards as well as previous versions of their own products, this is impossible.>d)The companies have standardized on it because it offers a cheap way of getting access to a whole bunch of useful applications (Word, Excel, etc)This is incorrect. See the refute to c). MS Office is not cheap compared to counterparts with equal functionality, such as Word Perfect Office. It is only for the file fomat compatability that companies must go with MS.>e)No one else has a good suite of applications, so teh companies are forced to use OfficeNot true at all! Corel and Sun both have very good offerings.>f)If we make Microsoft make Office run on Linux then companies can still use Office without having to use Windows (Please continue to ignore the fact that Office runs on the Mac)If MS Office ran on linux, it would weaken the stranglehold MS Windows has on the OS market to some degree. However, it would do nothing to stop Microsoft's monopolies on Windows APPLICATIONS. In order to do this, they would have to open up their API's.>g)If the companies don't have to use Windows to run Office they will change to Linux.This may happen to some degree, but as I stated earlier in response to point b), MS Office is not the only barrier to entry in the market. Linux is making serious inroads against the MS server markets, particularly in the web server arena. However, Linux has such a small portion of the desktop market that most who write applications for it, do so for ideological reasons.>h)Therefore we will have competition for Windows>i)Therefore Windows is not a MonopolyThese last two conclusions are absurd, and don't really warrent much comment.-------------------------------------------------------Next, I'll examine the same poster's responses to the conclusions a-i which he/she felt the government came to:>Now, looking at that theory I see a few problems:>1)Office has been available on the Mac for years, yet companies didn't switch to Macs. Why?This is already addressed.>2)Why is Microsoft being punished because StarOffice and Corel's Office suite are crap? Because if I understand the arguement listed above it all boils down to the fact that there are no good Office suites available on anything but Windows. So somehow Microsoft is in the wrong because they make a good product?The competitors products are not crap. In fact they hold some advantageous features, such as greaty stability and far fewer security holes than MS Office. They're only real weakness is that MS is the standard, and MS keeps breaking file format compatability with all standards (including its own previous release's standards).>3)Windows offers just a few bits of functionality above and beyond support for Office 2000. Have you ever tried to deploy Linux to 40,000 desktops? Trust me, you don't want to. I've done it with Windows 2000. Remote Install Service, IntelliMirror, etc are incredible. It features like those that makes most of the Fortune 100 companies I work with loyal to Windows, not "just" support for Office 2000.As a matter of fact I have (if you can count 6,000). There's this little tool called rsync that does just what those services new to Win2k can do. It's been available for linux since 1993. In fact the remote configuration software available for Linux(actually unix in general) put Win2k to shame. Don't think that MS has actually innovated anything new just because their marketing tells you so.>4)Rather than break the company up it would seem to me that the government's remedy could be replaced with "Write a version of Office for Linux." Excuse me but I don't recall asking the government to set business policy for our nation's largest companies. What's next, telling CitiBank to give loan to the homeless? How about asking Ford to make a car powered by horse manure? Does anyone else think that this is stupid?I don't think the governments argument is stupid at all. MS broke the terms of their previous settlement, and the government is punishing them. You shouldn't be able to blatantly break the law... even if you are a very, very wealthy corporation. I am a programmer by proffession, and have worked both at companies wronged by MS, as well as companies owned by MS. I honestly don't know how any informed person could side with them in this case... unless they had quite a bit of their own money on it.I'm just as interested in making and accumulating money as the rest of the fools, but I don't think that justifies breaking the law. Neither does it justify supporting those who make fabulous profits by doing so.I hope you gained something from this techie-geek's perspective,MBW--------------------------------------------------------
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Here's how it really happened.

Spot on.

The only reason I bought Word was because I was tired of waiting for WP for Windows.

By the time WP had a Windows product that was superior (yes, superior) Word talked with Excel and WP had to go out and buy Quatro. They never caught up.

Randall
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Is someone perhaps forgetting that monopolies are illegal? Afterall, Microsoft is a monopoly, or at least an oligopoly. The question is, why are they being broken up? Do you think it is because they are the best at what they do, and therefore have created a huge market, and are the brunt of success? If you think this is the case, then go back to school and take Business 101. MS has crushed all competition by means that are very, very questionable. Definitely, they are not ethical. Other competitors have not been allowed to compete with microsoft. MS has dominated, not because they have the best product, because they don't (or maybe they do, we'll never know until others are allowed to compete), but due to sheer bullying. I will challenge anyone to come up with a popular software program, that can run completely MS free. And that has no problems in interacting with all of the MS products, since the majority of the world uses MS. I bet you can't. The break up is to make them small enough so that other companies can compete in a supposedly "free" market.

I, frankly, am a little pissed off at MS. Who knows what fantastic products may have been developed and marketed if they would not have crushed everyone in their sight.
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frazdog wrote:

"Is someone perhaps forgetting that monopolies are illegal?"



Monopolies are not per se illegal in the U.S.. Companies that maintain a monopoly position only through creation of better products are not breaking the law, and I can't imagine why anyone would seriously want to punish such a company.

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One thing MSFT has done is standardize the desktop. The MS standard is relatively universal. You may not like the MS standard but it is a standard.

Because of the MS standard you can pretty much be assured that files created one on PC can be read on another PC, most programs written on one Windows PC will run (more or less) properly on other Windows PC's, when you buy software off the shelf (MS or non-MS) it will most likely run well on your PC (I know there are sometimes installation and running problems but relatively few compared to the millions of PC users), etc.

Standards are very important in the software/computer world. Without a standard or at least a majority use the computer world would be a digital Tower of Babel.
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sounds like you have good logic. The only problem is that there is no competition to Office because MS used their monopoly power to kill any other entrants.
Therefore, according to your logic, since no other
suites exist, MS hasnt done anything wrong.
NOT!
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Monopolies are not per se illegal in the U.S.. Companies that maintain a monopoly position only through creation of better products are not breaking the law, and I can't imagine why anyone would seriously want to punish such a company.

The reason is because others cannot enter the market, which stifles, if not demolishes, competition. In a free-market, competition is what keeps it fresh and honest.

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The Oracle data warehouse where I work has not had a problem in 22 months. My last problem with Microsoft that required reboot was last Thursday.

I, for one, would love to follow the Sun/Oracle/Unix route. The GNOME interface is quite appealing. BeOS also looks promising.

Warren Eckels
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The Oracle data warehouse where I work has not had a problem in 22 months. My last problem with Microsoft that required reboot was last Thursday.

I, for one, would love to follow the Sun/Oracle/Unix route. The GNOME interface is quite appealing. BeOS also looks promising.


I only see words like would love to...,appealing, and looks promising. Why aren't you using them now, in full force?

Answer: Because you can't.
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ericb888: "Monopolies are not per se illegal in the U.S.. Companies that maintain a monopoly position only through creation of better products are not breaking the law, and I can't imagine why anyone would seriously want to punish such a company."

Bravo eric! It's nice to see that you finally see it our way. What price did you buy MSFT at? <smirk>

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do you really want to try having thousands of users with Linux on the desktop?!

Thousands of users with Linux would break my new desk. It could maybe handle the Linux, but the users would be just too much.

sorry

Randall
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ref the post from amasciulli:

What kind of inane rambling is this? If you don't like Microsoft, just say so. I've never understood why so many people take personal offense at Microsoft. Did MSFT cause some great, insurmountable hardship in your life? And I'm not sure where the Internet Mafia correlation came from either. Aside from MSFT's browser application, their share of the internet is not all that great. I don't know of anyone who uses MSN.
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AGREED! I lived in DC for three years, and basiaclly most of Washington is retarded. We really should expect more of our "leaders."
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re: The only problem is that there is no competition to Office because MS used their monopoly power to kill any other entrants.


WRONG! You may not be aware of this, or not reading other posts, but back in the late '80's, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer (and others) went on extensive road trips to convince others (Lotus, WordPerfect, etc.) to redevelop their products for the not-quite-nascent Windows product. They refused to do so, and look what happened.

Microsoft has always been open to competition, it makes them stronger. Those who have failed are those who refused to see the benefits of Windows in it's early days.
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>>Excuse me but I don't recall asking the government to set business policy for our nation's largest companies.

The Sherman AntiTrust act was written to address business policies for our nations largest companies in an effort to control practices which proved damaging to individuals and general commerce. Consumers and companies damaged by the pricing and strong-arm tactics of industry giants lobbied for this law in an effort to end current outrages and protect the interests of future generations.

I felt the need to post a rebuttal to your posting because the microsoft issue relates directly to the current land-grab mentality in cyberspace. Speaking as one consumer to another, I can not understand why you would prefer to be charged monopoly prices, run an operating system which only supports its own products which are also sold for monopoly prices, and on top of it all, know that without intervention, this will be the norm for the forseeable future. In addition to all these concerns, what will happen to all the innovative software which will not be written or implemented because of Microsoft's business practices?

Microsoft is the most prominent example of the bigger issue occurring in IT. Intellectual property patents, domain registration, marketshare battles, etc. are all examples of attempts to charge consumers for something which was free. Microsoft was not trying to own the web browser market by crushing Netscape, it was trying to control the future of access to the internet. Control of the browser meant control of site registrations, control of content viewed, control of direct marketing to users, in a nutshell, control and fees for each and every conceivable use of the internet. That one corporation could control the future of computing, its growth, its cost, its quality, is an unacceptable risk.

When you talk about the Mac platform as an alternative to the Windows operating system for business, you lose your credibility. Business software migrated from dos to windows where it has remained due to the dollar value of business vs. private/school use and to some degree the difficulty of seamlessly producing versions for two platforms. The Mac has remained the education platform and Windows the business platform with few softwares bothering to maintain cross-platform seamless software duplication. Few business ventures find versions of their software written primarily for Macintosh, and fewer businesses would choose to change their operating system when the disincentives are so great.

I also found your comments concerning ease-of-installation, amusing. Please do tell us about the vast networks of NT machines you support single-handedly while never having to visit the Microsoft technical help web-site.
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Microsoft most certainly did NOT write the BASIC interpreter. It was the first in a long line of PURCHASES that Microsoft made.
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I concur with many of the points you brought up. I am hopeful that the Justice Department's remedy does not deter companies from placing innovative and more user friendly additions to existing products at a "reasonable price to consumers" in fear that their lesser competitors (who did not take the initiative to compete in the market by designing and distributing comparable or better products at a similar or lower price) may whine to the government to even out the playing field before they even enter the game.

The distribution of a quality internet browser for free (namely MS Internet Explorer) when other companies are attaching a price to theirs (some of which are inferior), is a rarity, if not an anomaly, in a free market economy. Instead of letting individual consumers choose the products they want, Microsoft's competitor's have opted to use the courts to force consumers to take what they offer. Maybe the antitrust rules will change when our legislators determine how to generate tax revenues from the distribution of free goods. Until then, we can look forward to paying higher prices for inferior products.
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OleDocJ Date: 4/30/00 9:30 AM Number: 32333
I had no idea these companies never held any patents on these browsers.


I'm sure they must have some patents on some of the pieces of the browsers, but NOT the basic concepts/ideas that would be desirable for a lock on the product.


I believe that the "grandfather" of all of the browsers was created at the University of Illinois and called MOSEIC. Being written at the university, the concept is probably in the public domain


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And can you name a single other Linux innovation?

Well, I can name a few `innovations` that RUN on Linux*... but you're missing the point. GNU/Linux is an OPERATING SYSTEM. Not a company. How can Linux have "innovations"? What was the last "Innovation" of Windows 98?

For the record, I defy you to name a single solitary true innovation that Microsoft has ever come up with. By all accounts, the only product they have ever come up with truly in-house was "Microsoft `Bob`". Remember how "innovative" that was?


* The Gimp (Image processing software), Sendmail (MTA, Mail Transfer Agent) -- happens to handle over 90% of the internet's mail -- are a pair of innovative tools that were designed to run on Linux. The beauty of it is... they also run on Solaris, HPUX, AIX, SGI...
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frazdog: "I, frankly, am a little pissed off at MS. Who knows what fantastic products may have been developed and marketed if they would not have crushed everyone in their sight."

Yeah ... Well, I'm a littled p*ssed off at the Iroquois for trading with the white man.

Who knows what kind of tranquility we might be enjoying today?




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Microsoft most certainly did NOT write the BASIC interpreter. It was the first in a long line of PURCHASES that Microsoft made

Wrong.

You may be thinking of MITS.

Bill Gates and Paul Allen wrote a BASIC interpreter for the Altair. They then sold it to MITS.

At the time there were no other personal computer languages to be bought.

Randall
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Speaking as one consumer to another, I can not understand why you would prefer to be charged monopoly prices, run an operating system which only supports its own products which are also sold for monopoly prices, and on top of it all, know that without intervention, this will be the norm for the forseeable future.

I run Corel Office 8 on Windows 98. I also run Netscape Navigator. Whatever are you talking about?

In addition to all these concerns, what will happen to all the innovative software which will not be written or implemented because of Microsoft's business practices?

I write software for the Windows platform. Microsoft doesn't try to stop me, heck, they encourage me tremendously. They make it easy (and free) to write programs that use the heart of Internet Explorer in my own software to make a great user interface. I am amazed they let me do this - Netscape doesn't make it as easy as Microsoft does.

Microsoft is the most prominent example of the bigger issue occurring in IT. Intellectual property patents, domain registration, marketshare battles, etc. are all examples of attempts to charge consumers for something which was free.

Huh? You don't believe in intellectual property patents? I guess you don't have a clue as to the role of protection of intellectual proerty and innovation. Domain Registration? Domain registration free? THat was when the governement was in charge of the internet, and it had just a few users. They smartly liscensed the task away and gave it to private industry. If you can't afford to pay $70 or less to register a domain, you really have no business registering one - there's enough junk out there already.

Microsoft was not trying to own the web browser market by crushing Netscape, it was trying to control the future of access to the internet. Control of the browser meant control of site registrations, control of content viewed, control of direct marketing to users, in a nutshell, control and fees for each and every conceivable use of the internet.

Oh my God! Evil Bill is trying to take over the world! All I can say to this ludicrous assertion is that it sure didn't work out that way, did it? That battle (if it ever existed - and it didn't) was lost quite some time ago when all the web developers refused to try to accomodate all the silly HTML extensions the MSFT AND Netscape tried to include in their browsers in the long-forgotten browser wars. BOTH companies learned that noone will control the internet.

That one corporation could control the future of computing, its growth, its cost, its quality, is an unacceptable risk.

Which one corporation is that, exactly? Intel? AMD? the Bios makers? Yahoo? Red Hat? Apple? Sun? Citrix?
AOL?

When you talk about the Mac platform as an alternative to the Windows operating system for business, you lose your credibility. Business software migrated from dos to windows where it has remained due to the dollar value of business vs. private/school use and to some degree the difficulty of seamlessly producing versions for two platforms.

The Mac has remained the education platform and Windows the business platform with few softwares bothering to maintain cross-platform seamless software duplication. Few business ventures find versions of their software written primarily for Macintosh, and fewer businesses would choose to change their operating system when the disincentives are so great.


Hey, aren't you arguing that we don't need multiple platforms in every segment? Consumers naturally gravitate to certain platforms for different purposes. Why is the government trying to tell us business users we'd be better off with Macs?


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frazdog wrote:

"The reason is because others cannot enter the market, which stifles, if not demolishes, competition."



The mere fact that somebody has the ability to control prices and exclude competition (Supreme Court definition of a monopoly) does not mean that this power is being *used*. That is the key distinction. In and of itself, is okay (legally) to have the power to restrain competition and control prices; those things can be the byproduct of dominating a market through superior product design. *Using* that power is what is restricted.

I can't think of any great examples here, but Intel is a decent one. Intel has, at various times, had market share that approached what a court would probably call a monopoly share of its market. But, as far as I am aware, Intel does not threaten companies with higher prices if they use products from Intel competitors. So when AMD comes out with a better chip, AMD can gain market share based on the merits of its product. That is an example of a probable monopolist *not* engaging in illegal behavior. Another example would be a recent ruling that Hewlett-Packard has a monopoly over the market for replacement parts for HP printers (I find that market definition unnecessarily narrow, but that's beside the point). Despite having a monopoly, the court found that HP had not used its monopoly power to stifle competition. Thus, no violation of the law despite the presence of a monopoly.
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Vm2 says:

"I believe that the "grandfather" of all of the browsers was created at the University of Illinois and called MOSEIC. Being written at the university, the concept
is probably in the public domain"



The first browser I am aware of was developed at CERN, the European particle physics lab. Not surprising, since that's where the web was invented.
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gbondy wrote:

"The Gimp (Image processing software), Sendmail (MTA, Mail Transfer Agent) -- happens to handle over 90% of the internet's mail -- are a pair of
innovative tools that were designed to run on Linux. The beauty of it is... they also run on Solaris, HPUX, AIX, SGI... "



These are not Linux innovations. They happen to be software packages that run on top of Linux. Do you give credit to Microsoft for innovative third-party products that happen to run on Windows?

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Right on!!! If the government wants to open up a real monopoly, why not cable TV? A person who wants cable HAS TO USE THE CABLE COMPANY authorized for his area, no choices whatsoever -- and, as is now the case, whole cities are being denied ABC because you can't just call up your cable company and threaten to drop them, BECAUSE THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE. Now THIS is a monopoly --- are you paying attention Janet Reno??? Leave Microsoft alone. You don't fix something that ain't broke.
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How right you are! When will they tell the pharmeceutecals (?sp)that they can no longer produce drugs that they have developed without giving the formula to other producers.

How does this have anything to do with packaging Internet Explorer with the rest of their bundle? Wasn't that the initial cause for DOJ ( certainly a misnomer in this case)to start looking at MSFT.

Now, we split them and Bill Gates can't have anything to do with the company he started. What has that got to do with the justice of this situation. I am a COREL user - love WordPerfect and have since 2.1 - but must admit the MSFT effect has been a major benefit to the personal computer users of the world and the world in general.

Reno & Klein need to get a grip! Their plan benefits no one other than a few whiners in the computer/tech sector that can't compete without help. Next DOJ will tell University of Florida and FSU that they can't recruit Floridians to play for their programs.
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Don't forget what the English did to the Irish either.
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These are not Linux innovations. They happen to be software packages that run on top of Linux. Do you give credit to Microsoft for innovative third-party products that happen to run on Windows?

That's rather the point I was trying to make. "Linux" can't HAVE any "innovations". It's an OPERATING SYSTEM
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Wow, a genuinely interesting and informative thread--Linux/Microsoft bashing excepted, of course.

And thanks, GPSpilot, for posting the link to the actual decision. I agreed whole-heartedly with the original post, but it was interesting to read the government's side of it.

I think we may be seeing an abuse of the Sherman Antitrust Act, which was written for an entirely different business world. I guess you could say the Sherman Act doesn't port very efficiently into the Information Age. The ruling may conform to the letter of the law and to the evidence presented, but that doesn't mean it's RIGHT.

The plaintiffs in this lawsuit failed in the marketplace, plain and simple. Sun grossly oversold the potential of Java, which has now found its niche in Web development. Netscape had a good product at the beginning, but it has slipped to the point where Microsoft really has a demonstrably superior product--whether the judge sees it or not.

As an aside, Netscape's business model was pathetic. Had they developed software for building and hosting Web sites, and then given away the browser to build a demand for its revenue-generating products (can you say "Adobe Acrobat"?, they'd be making money hand over fist, regardless of whose browser eventually became the standard.

I hate to see companies that just plain lost turn around and use the law to beat up the winner. That's a perversion of our legal system.

And even if the judge's decision made sense, the proposed resolution wouldn't. What would breaking up the company accomplish, aside from violating the property rights of Microsoft and its stockholders? If it's bad for Microsoft to keep the Windows API so close to the vest, make them publish the darn thing. If it's bad for Microsoft to sanction PC vendors who include Netscape on their boxes, force them to stop.

And if Microsoft does, indeed, have a monopoly in desktop operating systems, it's a result of market conditions. There's nothing the government can do to change it.
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These are not Linux innovations. They happen to be software packages that run on top of Linux. Do you give credit to Microsoft for innovative third-party products that happen to run on Windows?

That's rather the point I was trying to make. "Linux" can't HAVE any "innovations". It's an OPERATING SYSTEM. Windows doesn't have any "innovations" either. GNU/Linux is a good implementation of the Unix operating system. By it's nature, it's not 'innovative'. There hasn't really been any operating system innovations since roughly 1973 and Xerox PARC.
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There hasn't really been any operating system innovations since roughly 1973 and Xerox PARC.


Simply not correct. When it comes to major innovations: Multiprocessor OSes, Distributed OSes (PARC did networked OSes, which is different), Real Time OSes, small device OSs.

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original poster: "Maybe because Microsoft has made some really terrible releases of Office for the Mac in the past. Maybe because the Mac version has traditionally lagged behind the Windows version. Maybe they think an office suite should have a DATABASE, which the Mac version doesn't have. (Pretty glaring omission, don't you think? Who ever heard of an office suite without database? That's what Microsoft sells to Mac users.)"

Um, ever hear of Clarisworks? Mac users don't need MSFT office. Claris, imho, is far superior. And, guess what? Mine was free. It comes with every version of the Power PC. (I use both the Mac & the PC.)

I don't know what the original point was here but the data base is included. Also, you can "save" any document from Claris into about 50 file formats to be opened by PC users using Maclink. It really isn't brain surgery here. By the way, Clarisworks' office suite is IMHO superior to MSFT office. What was your point?
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gomand wrote: http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1180128007035082&sort=postdate

From the beginning, this entire fiasco has been a personal attack on the world's richest man disguised as a “citizen protection” lawsuit. As far as I know, Bill never gave into the "needs" of the government by giving to "special interest" groups – and this simply PO'd the government. Kudos to Bill! It's bad enough how much is stolen from him every year (and every other American ... in the form of income [effort?] tax). In my opinion, if the government really wanted to protect American citizens, the following would happen: Janet Reno would be fired, the IRS would be dismantled, the War on Drugs would end, frivolous lawsuits would be thrown out (especially those prompted by corporate cry-babies!), and our “great” leaders would know what THE CONSTITUTION means (of course, they'd have to read it for the first time)!! This lawsuit is just plain absurd! As if the states didn't join in simply for FREE MONEY … so taxes wouldn't be raised for their ever-expanding “needs.”

A more specific comment on the proposed “solution” (can someone please tell me one problem the government has ever successfully solved?): it's been mentioned that officials from each new MSFT company can only own stock in their company. Hmmmm, how can that be? Aren't they still FREE AMERICANS to do as they please? Or maybe not anymore?



[emphasis mine.]

Great post! Couldn't agree more. It's time we stopped blaming the politicians tho and start putting the blame where it really belongs: on the morons who are electing them.

Americans truly have gotten the dictatorship that they deserve.
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cowdog: Amasciulli wrote sone nonsense about an "Internet Mafia"

Your rhetoric is grounded in nothing resembling reason or facts.

Microsoft is not being brocken up. The DOJ recommended this, but it has not happened yet and may not happen.

Your comparisons of Bill Gates and Microsoft to John Gotti and an "Internet Mafia" are the worst sort of garbage we have seen on this board since someone tried to draw a parralel to Adolf Hitler. You do many people a disservice with this type of rhetoric.



This is the kind of stupid and irrational posts that all Microsoft investors have to endure. Consider it our cross to bear. Really, it's kind of remarkable. If nothing else it should make you realize how lucky you are that a.) you have enough money to own this stock and b.) you aren't some loser that has to post on a message board about how Bill Gates is Gotti, Hitler, etc, you name it.

With this sort of "competition" is it any wonder they had to whine to the DoJ to get their "chance to compete"? It should be a real gift to the consumer to get to use their wonderful products.

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DavidInnes wrote:
> rhowes said:
>  ...in Windows a GUI crash takes everything down but > a GUI crash in Linux takes down the GUI. This is a > big reason for Linux's stability. But either way the > user has stopped working.
> 
>  I say:
>  In other words either way the user has to start > over. How how this differs from rebooting is
> academic... 

Well, first of all, you may simply need to restart the GUI, not reboot the machine.  While I agree that if you are using a word processor you will be closed down, your OS is still operating.  Say you are running a small business and your desktop doubles as a web server  (say, your intranet) -- users hitting that server won't affected.  The same is true if you are sharing disks, print services, etc.  While it would be great to be able to set up isolated machines to serve these functions, it may not make sense.  Why buy a second machine to do a job that can easily and reliably be done by the machine on your desktop?
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Aside from MSFT's browser application, their share of the internet is not all that great. I don't know of anyone who uses MSN.

MSN does not even work with Windows NT, some monopoly.

LINUX could grow up to be better than Windows. They do not have to worry about backward compatibility and could exploit the current problems with Windows. They could also make it more web-enabled, as well as, ...

Heh, I thought Microsoft was a monopoly for this. Let's break up LINUX!!!


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Sera1 wrote:


"Um, ever hear of Clarisworks? "


Sure. I use it all the time. It also doesn't correctly handle a lot of Microsoft Office documents.



"It comes with every version of the Power PC. "


Incorrect.



"What was your point?"


If you really care, why don't you try reading the original message instead of ignoring me?

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In fact I am still waiting for an original idea to come from MS.

The AutoCorrect feature (of Microsoft applications) is one of hundreds of very nice "original ideas" to come from Microsoft.

-Corey
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How is it that you managed to write a full page of single-spaced opinion on the Microsoft case without giving even passing mention to browsers or bundling? Talk about absurd!
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All well and good if the software you have will do that. The software we use doesn't do that. Fortunately, it's running on Unix machines, and out of our 12 or so Tru64 machines we probably see three or four software-related crashes per year. The machine on my desk at work hasn't been rebooted in 6 months, and that last reboot was to swap in a larger hard disk. The machine I added the old drive to has also been up since then. Of course, maybe the fact that the software we have is written for Unix is the reason the authors didn't bother with the sorts of safeguards you mention.

From what I have seen, very little software takes the safeguards you suggest. I've run some very long video processing jobs on a Mac, and that's a real pain in the neck, because not only do these programs not have this type of safeguard, they are also susceptible to the fact that the Mac is nowhere near as robust as Unix or even NT. If it crashes, you have to start over.


It sounds like you are using either (1) programs whose developers did not intend them to run for a week at a time -- in which case you probably have a tool that is not appropriate for your application -- or (2) programs that were very ineptly designed, in which case the inept development might also explain why it takes a week to do the calculation. (It's very easy to swallow CPU cycles with inefficient algorithms. As a developer, I cringe at the laziness of programmers who, for example, call a computationally intensive -- and inexact -- numerical integration routine for integrals that have mathematically exact -- and often easily derived -- analytic solutions that require considerably less computation.

BTW, there's another issue here, too. If your computational burden is so great that a run takes a week on a multitasking system, it probably would be much more sensible to run it as the sole task (which means without a GUI and multitasking kernel, too) on a dedicated machine. The gain in processing time often is an order of magnitude or more -- which means that the task could be done overnight rather than taking a week.

As for power failures, I have a UPS. :)

Yes, a UPS is great if a power outage does not last more than fifteen minutes or so. In my experience, though, it takes most electrical utility companies a couple hours to (1) find out that there's a problem, (2) identify and muster available crews and equipment, (3) get out to the site, and (4) start to figure out what parts they need, etc., when something really unexpected happens (car hits pole, lightening strikes transformer, etc.). The reality, in such situations, is that an UPS can only to buy you enough time for a controlled shutdown, and thus allow you to prevent loss of data. Of course, it would be moot if your software does not have a "restart" capability.

Norm.
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In fact I am still waiting for an original idea to come from MS.

The AutoCorrect feature (of Microsoft applications) is one of hundreds of very nice "original ideas" to come from Microsoft.

-Corey

How about the idea of commodotizing an opperating system and selling it through a channel. Driving competition? The business model Microsoft uses was clearly an original idea.

Innovation and ideas are not just building a better mousetrap, but can come in other forms as well.
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DBCoward writes (in part):

As I missing anything here or is this the gist of the arguement?

I reply:

I think you're missing something.

Disclosure: I have no position in MSFT, but my wife is long AAPL. In addition, my first case as a rookie lawyer was as part of the trial team (a very small part, I assure you) in Stac Electronics, Inc. v. Microsoft Corporation, representing Stac.

The rationale for the division makes sense to me. As I understand the government's legal theory, the chief evil in which Microsoft has engaged is leveraging its OS monopoly into an application monopoly. In other words, because Microsoft knows what upcoming versions of MS-DOS and Windows will and will not support, it has an unfair advantage over other developers when it writes applications. Because its OS division has access to its applications division, Microsoft can design future releases of its OS to protect profitable applications.

Breaking the OS component of the corporation away from the remainder will solve that problem. Application developers will all be on an even playing field when writing new software. If Microsoft has better programmers, or better programming techniques, it will prevail in the marketplace, but not otherwise. --Bob
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Megga-Dittos, I seem to see it the same way you do. And Thank you, this is one of the best posts I've ever read
gary
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Hold on,

<
Microsoft is being split up because Microsoft has become a criminal enterprise which repeatedly and consistently breaks the law, just like Elian's uncle in Miami.
>

Let's see, the only law anyone can point out that Microsoft broke are anti-trust laws.

A court has ruled that Microsoft broke those laws. Much like RICO they are rather ill defined and subjective.

If you carefully read the judges ruling MS is a monopoly because they make PC OSes and it would cost people money to switch. The same is true for the MAC. MAC customers are stuck buying MACs because it would cost people money to switch! (Interestingly about the same if not more money than in the opposite direction.)

The ruling is pure and simple flawed. As a Software Devleoper that has developed commercial software on UNIX, MAC, OS2, DOS, Windows 3.1, Windows 9X and Windows NT I can tell you that most people have no clue how much they have actually benefited from Microsoft and the fact that they develop applications and operating systems.

<
it is inconceivable that a Fortune 500 company or any other company would permit Windows 2000 to be installed on any of its systems unless the IT manager is getting a kickback from the Internet Mafia
>

I cannot see how anyone could make this statement out of anything but emotion. Windows 2000 makes so many common tasks so much easier than any other OS on the planet. The only drawback is that they have changed several UI components to standardize them.

The bottom line is the Microsoft situation is much more complex than any comodity situation that anti-trust law has dealt with before and we are seeing the effects of one emotional argument getting the better of someone who had to rely on the "trusted" opinion of clearly biased third parties.

Take some time to understand the realities. Many people don't like Microsoft for many reasons, some valid some not, but they have not done anything that has had a negative impact on consumers.

Have a good day!
Scott

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I have been involved with testing microsoft products for about 6 years now, and I think the justice dept is right in quashing their strong arm tacticts. The biggest innovation to come out of Redmond is a product whic actively kills its competition. Most of Microsoft's "Innovation" is focused on writing software which actively cripples competing software.
I'm sorry, but this is wrong. Read any of Andrew Schulman's "Undocumented" Books. If Microsoft were GM, you would only be able to use GM gasoline, GM Oil, GM Roads, etc.

HJ
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DBCoward has hit the nail right on the head. Never in all my born days have I heard of such bubbly-mouthed assinity as is coming out of the Justice Department about U.S. vs. Microsoft. Wasting millions of our revenue dollars because the other software companies have been out-forecast,out-planned,out-recruited and generally out-manuvered by Bill Gates and his colleagues. The leadership in D.C. is like a huge Cylops, only this monster has purposely gouged out its one blind eye because this administration lies about its free-market support when in fact it is gloating over it's heavy-handed handling of this travesty on application of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. They've just whetted their appetite. Wait until the Americans wake up when they realize they're a day late and a dollar short. Glory be!What a great getting-up day that will be!
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There are a lot of market segments in the computer industry. Microsoft dominates one segment, the desktop computer market. They do not dominate the server market but they are attempting to do so. They are not even players in the routing or switching market. They are a factor in the on-line services market but they surely don't enjoy the market that AOL does.

How did they come to dominate the desktop market?
The answer is they leveraged their ownership of the operating system and the open hardware platform of the IBM pc to their advantage.
The fact that they were chosen as the os for the p.c. was some luck and some business savy on Bill Gates part. (Yes Big Bill was around before dos and the p.c.) In fact he and his college room mate wrote the basic interpreter for the Altair. Microsoft was also a major applications supplier to cpm systems. But I digress.
The p.c. also came to dominate the Macintosh and other computers of the time due to the inability of IBM to prevent clones and third party suppliers of peripheral components from entering the market. In fact the only thing IBM owned was the ROM Basic and the BIOS.

Microsoft had many competitors along the way including Lotus and Word Perfect. IMHO both were better than the original incarnations of Excel and Word, but neither would compete today with Excel or Word.

However Microsoft through their manipulation of the operating system and the advanced knowledge of new operating system features was able to add features and power to their applications before their competitors. This led to an eventual perception that Microsoft products were better. It also led to a perception that by using Microsoft products a company would always be in sync with Microsoft and thus eliminate many of the headaches that come when the operating system changes and the old applications don't run any more.

Microsoft also used their operating system to ruin competitors as they did when they made it impossible to add Window 3.1 on top of DR DOS. It was later proved in court that this was an intentional action on Microsoft's part.

So Microsoft has built a dominant position in the desktop computer market through their competitiveness as a company. The key is 'as a company'. In other words as a company they made all their products work together as one competitive unit against all challengers. I can understand why Microsoft can't understand the action against them. Why shouldn't they be able to manipulate their operating system to work better with their word processor? As a company they have an obligation to do it, to keep their share holders happy.

Is this good for the consumer? One has to say yes in some ways and know in others. Is splitting them up the answer? I don't think so.

What possible solutions are available?
I suggest addressing the problem at the root. The operating system should be open to any developer, not to change as with Linux, but to use. The applications unit should not be privy to any part of the operating system any earlier or to the exclusion of any non-Microsoft entity. This way allows Microsoft to continue their innovation in the market place and allows their competitors access to the same information about the operating system as the Microsoft applications group. Then competitors can write applications based on the same information available to the Microsoft applications group.

By the way maybe the justice department might think about forcing AOL to release it's private method of implementing the instant messenge service so the rest of the world can communicate with AOL customers.

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I said:
Here's how it really happened.

rehowes said:
Spot on.

The only reason I bought Word was because I was tired of waiting for WP for Windows.

By the time WP had a Windows product that was superior (yes, superior) Word talked with Excel and WP had to go out and buy Quatro. They never caught up.

I say:
I would like to point out that WordPerfect Corp. did finally release a Windows version of the product but I think they waited till WinWord had topped 50% of the total PC-based wordprocessing market (DOS, Mac, and Windows.)

My extremely harsh charactarization of WordPerfect Corp's was in response to an egregiously misinformed assertion by a typical Microphobe that Microsoft beat WordPerfect by deliberately crippled "WordPerfect for Windows."

In fact WordPerfect waited 3-5 years after Microsoft released it's first GUI version of Word. And, understandably, it took them several releases to work out the kinks.

Much the same was true for Lotus Corp. Both companies chose to ride their DOS market champions into the ground. They weren't able (Lotus) or weren't willing (WordPerfect) to migrate to *any* GUI environment -- Windows, X, Mac, or Amiga -- until the roaringly popular GUI market was saturated.
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warning, long post
I don't understand your characterization of the government's case. I understood the governments main claim to be illegally tying of other Microsoft products to Windows in order to gain an advantage in markets where Microsoft does not already dominate.

I think the main logic goes something like this:
1) Microsoft has a monopoly on the operating system for desktop PCs.
2) Microsoft has used that monopoly to gain an unfair advantage in other markets.
3) The resulting actions has financially harmed competitors and deprived consumers of choice.

I am not a lawyer, but if these things aren't illegal, they certainly ought to be.

I have heard several arguments in msft's defense and would like to address them.
1) The gov shouldn't punish msft for making great software.
They aren't. Msft is not in court for making a great operating system or a great browser. msft is in court for combining a marginal browser with a dominant operating system to gain market share. The relative merits of the current versions are irrelevant. msft used a monopoly to gain a competitive advantage in the browser market. Period. Illegal.

2) There are nationwide economic benefits to the de-facto standardization resulting from msft's tactics.
I definitely agree with this. One productivity suite and user interface must save billions each year in training costs and productivity. However, there are costs as well. Choice is a big one. The economic damage to competitors is another. Innovation is another. Despite msft's claims, they have not innovated themselves nearly so much as capitalized on the innovation of others.

Finally, all the wailing over this remedy indicates to me that the government has gotten it right this time. Many companies are splitting up voluntarily(or faking it with tracking stocks). See T(multiple units), Rockwell, HP, ford, gm(multiple units), pepsi, ibm, sfe. Generally, i gather these actions have increased shareholder value. I have seen articles here on the Fool saying that msfts vast internet holdings are undervalued because they are overshadowed by the PC business. All these things lead me to believe that msft would be worth more as separate companies, unless . . .

Is it possible that softies fear Office would be less valuable if separated from the the operating system. If so, that seems to vindicate the government's case. If each of msfts components are capable of competing on their own merits, then you ought to be clamoring for the breakup.


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DavidInnes:

By the way, can you name another single indispensible Linux app that's indispensible to the 21st Century *besides* Apache?

And can you name a single other Linux innovation?



I think the proper question would be "Can you name another single *Open Source* innovation that's indispensible to the 21st century?"

How about Sendmail and BIND? How about the Internet and the World Wide Web?

Linux, Apache, etc. are all products of the Open Source development model. Given that Linux is just starting to go mainstream with corporate America (in a HUGE way), let's say we give it 2 years and then revisit your question re. Linux?
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hi DBC,
fantastic summary. you just spoke my mind.

as i see it the core idea seems to be that "MS must not be allowed to kill linux the way it laid waste java, netscape etc." and the remedy is so outrageously comical that there is going to be enough entertainment in the next couple of years!

btw, did people load up on MSFT at 65?

cheers,
s.
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ok here is one innovation from the unix world that i refuse to live without - the concept of piping.

can you give me the windows equivalent of writing:
"rwho|awk '{print $1}'|sort|uniq|less"
[that by the way prints in alphabetical order names of all users currently working on any machine in the network.]

looks frightening to the untrained eye? yes. the learning curve is a bit steep. but given a dozen or so lightweight constructs (grep, awk, sed, sort...) and piping, you can write "code" to do practically anything.

of course i have the option of switching to another operating system and downloading a special purpose utility that would do this for me. cool. but half an hour later, when i want to do the next thing, i've to download the next utility... i got rather tired of having to download a new utility *just* to be able to read info that was already lying somewhere on my box.

cheers,
s.
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If the government wants to open up a real monopoly, why not cable TV?

The cable companies bid for the rights/licenses to service a specific area (the money of course going to the FCC). Andyou could always go for dish TV.

But yes, I agree. It stinks.

And now that want us to switch to cable modems? If I don't like my ISP then I can just switch to another (been there, done that). There are dozens in most cities. If I go with a cable modem and I don't like the service I have to move!
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If you carefully read the judges ruling MS is a monopoly because they make PC OSes and it would cost people money to switch.

If we take it that the courts have just made a Common Law statement that whenever it costs you money to switch from product A to product B that forms a monopoly, then stand back! There are thousands of potential monopolies out there.

For example: If I want to (or are forced to) switch from my gas car to those new electrics that will cost me money. Therefore we can say the oil companies are a monopoly. If I have to buy a new HD TV soon that will cost me money so we can say that television is a monopoly. If my closest supermarket closes and it now costs me more to travel to the next closest supermarket, sounds like a monopoly to me!

(read as satire)
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I feel the same frustration DBC. Capitalism (in its true form) is only a term that can exist in a dictionary or encyclopedia. In the USA the government (in this case, The D. of J.) has to justify its own existence rather than do its job and represent us. I thought this was a republic!

Regards,
DDH
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I agree, I agree. And, as long as we're on the subject, since when was it illegal to give something you own away? If Bill Gates wants to give me a free browser, I say, "thanks, Bill."
I think Bill just forgot the first commandment of becoming a tycoon: Thou shalt pay a hefty tithe to the powerful.
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I agree 100%. This entire case is insane. If you create a product that everyone likes and market it better than your competitor then they can sue you for creating a superior product. Then the government will decide that you have had to much success so they will break you up in hopes of allowing a lesser product gain market share. Something is wrong with this picture. I am a systems engineer for a large company and I have the choice of which operating system I use. I have the choice of Linux, HP-UX, etc and I chose Windows. Windows is a superior product and those of us who deal with network and systems administration know this. I wish the government would give me some credit and allow me to make my own choice. I do not need them making it for me. If Linux were the superior O/S then IT administrators would start using the product. The computer industry is based on change and getting the best product avalible. Dell has been offering Linux ready PC's for a year or so and has yet to see any real commitment to Linux by the consumer. The government should worry about National Debt and taxes and let market compitition take care of business.

Cheers,
SFR
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The solution is rather simple really and one which Microsoft has probably entertained. Instead of selling the Windows operating system separately just bundle it in with the Office product or any other such Microsoft product. There is no law against providing the engine to drive software with the software and in the early version of Word this is what Microsoft did and it was not documentated.

In reality, this could back fire on the government as non Microsoft companies could be locked out and forced to develop their own operating system which might and might not be compatable with the engine Microsoft would be using. But then again if Microsoft stopped supplying the government with copies of Windows maybe none of this would have happened.

Now back to work,
Denny
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The solution is rather simple really and one which Microsoft has probably entertained. Instead of selling the Windows operating system separately just bundle it in with the Office product or any other such Microsoft product. There is no law against providing the engine to drive software with the software and in the early version of Word this is what Microsoft did and it was not documentated.

In reality, this could back fire on the government as non Microsoft companies could be locked out and forced to develop their own operating system which might and might not be compatable with the engine Microsoft would be using.


They could get away with it. If you buy a copy of WordPerfect, Corel tosses in a copy of Corel Linux for free.
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rev2217 said:

If you are writing a program "to do some complex calculations that take a week to complete," you write the program to save a "restart" file to disk periodically. If implemented correctly, the "restart" file allows the program to resume execution of the run at the point where it was written in the event of a system crash, regardless of the cause of the crash...

This is silly. The (software development) cost of all that effort is much greater than the potential savings. There are two workable solutions to this problem:

First, hardware and software fault tolerance. The fanciest recovery code can compensate for the down time, and if you are in a business where down time costs big bucks, you can't afford to do otherwise. (Who is in a position to field non-fualt tolerant applications today? Governments and Microsoft. Hmmm...)

Second, install databases, journaling file systems, etc., and write and run your applications in an environment where the database provides the reliability. (Yes, there are some "database" products out there which do not support transaction processing and data integrity, but that is not where the bulk of the business and the applications are.)

Of course, most forward looking companies do both. They run, for example, their web sites on severs where a disk, processor, power supply, etc. failure does not even require an interuption to operations to replace it.

So why do they put Wintel machines on their employees desktops? Is fault tolerance too expensive? No, in fact many PCs support a lot more hot swapping than any version of Windows will allow the user to access. (In some cases you can buy third party drivers that support hot swapping for peripherals where Windows doesn't.

The real answer is that Microsoft has used Word and other Microsoft application products as a tool to force people to use Microsoft Windows. In fact, they had a brilliant strategy where they convinced the secretaries, especially of top executives, that they should be using Microsoft Word for memos, letters, etc. Then by making it difficult, or in some cases, impossible to read those documents without the correct version of Microsoft Word, all the people who were blessed to recieve the wonderful wisdom from their PHB (pointy haired boss) electronically had to install the correct version of Microsoft Word to be able to read it. If that meant replacing that megapixel Sun Workstation on your desk with a 640x400 PC-clown, so be it. (I didn't have to, I had a secretary with a Macintosh. ;-) But when Word for Windows 2.0 came along, it almost put Apple out of business. Why? Because it could--and did produce word documents which would crash all versions of Word for the Macintosh. Since our department had all Suns and Macintoshes on the desktops, we had to buy a PC for the lab just to run Word for Windows 2.0 and print some of those documents.

Then Microsoft invested in Apple, and what do you know? All those compatibility problems stopped. And that is where the bite of the anti-trust case will be felt. The Justice Department indicated it was quite willing for the split of Microsoft to be postphoned-- eternally in Internet time--while appeals are being considered, but it wants the very damaging anti-competitive practices stopped now. Not only that, one of the clear intended effects of the breakup is to make any efforts to use the OS interface to favor Microsoft products over their competitors much more visible. (Of course, Microsoft would never use it's monopoly to harm Lotus/Netscape/AOL/Sun/Stacker/ Borland/... If you believe that there are a few thousand pages of testimony you need to read--and not just from this trial.)

And by the way, anyone who thinks that Microsoft didn't hurt Netscape in the browser wars wasn't paying attention. The reality is that Microsoft killed every other browser manufacturer except Netscape. Netscape held on by giving their browser away, and making money on their web server and web authoring products. And as for those who contend that Microsoft made the better browser, has IE ever had any significant presence on any non-Windows platform? Microsoft tried real hard to establish it elsewhere, but other than one Microsoft demo, I have never seen anyone use it on a Mac or any version of Unix.
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What is wrong with everyone?
The government wants to:
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What is wrong?
First its the tobacco business. I don't know any children who ever died from smoking. Then its the gun industry. Where will government intervention stop. I read posts about Microsoft price issues.
Microsoft never did anything to injur a consumer.The only ones not benefiting from Microsoft are their competitors. I'm sure our government is spending a sizeable amount of money to stick their noses in Microsoft's business. KEEP THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF CORPORATE BUSINESS. Maybe your business will be next. Will the government intervene every time a company becomes successful like Microsoft. If Microsoft is hurting business I would think it should be competitors filing class action suits.
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eachus,

Get real.

I do a lot of simulation development, and "restart" capability is a common spec wherever there's an expectation that runs may take several days. It actually is not all that difficult. The additional code consists of

>> 1. A routine that writes the current state of the simulation to a "restart" file,

>> 2. A routine to reload the simulation's state from a "restart" file,

>> 3. A trivial test on start-up that checks for a "restart" file and branches to the routine that reads the "restart" file rather than the normal initialization segment if it finds a "restart" file, and

>> 4. One or two trivial lines of code, depending choice of upon programming language, to delete the last "restart" file immeditately before the program terminates its execution.

This capability represents much less than 1% of the total development effort for a moderately complex simulation, so the first power failure or other system crash usually pays back its cost. Your statement that

This is silly. The (software development) cost of all that effort is much greater than the potential savings.

proves only your ignorance.

Your statement that

The real answer is that Microsoft has used Word and other Microsoft application products as a tool to force people to use Microsoft Windows.

is just as absurd, in that it completely ignores the actual hisory of the situation. Microsoft was an "also ran" in the office software market until a bunch of other companies dropped the ball. Many companies waited two or three years after Microsoft first introduced Windows 3.0 (the first real version of Windows) for (1) a Windows spreadsheet from Lotus Development Corp. and (2) a Windows word processor from Wordperfect Corp. At the time, 1-2-3 was the leading spreadsheet and WordPerfect was the de facto standard word processor. The real switch occurred only when (1) neither company responded to the demand for Windows products and (2) Microsoft astutely offered migration capabilities in new versions of Excel and Word. There's a saying, in business, that "If you don't take care of your customers, somebody else will." The "somebody else" happened to be Microsoft. In truth, though, it was Lotus's decision to squander the company's resources on a lawsuit against Borland (which it ultimately lost on appeal) that sabotaged both Lotus and Borland (a company that once produced both a credible spreadsheet named Quattro Pro, which Borland sold to Wordperfect to pay legal bills, and compilers for both C/C++ and Pascal that provided credible competition to Microsoft's development tools).

Also, the assertion that Microsoft is somehow forcing people to use Windows is about as false as saying that Microsoft is forcing people to use a computer with an Intel processor. The latter assertion obviously is not true, since Windows software will run perfectly well on AMD processors. In the same vein, it's very much possible to develop an operating system that would compete with Windows. As I have stated before on this board, there are three requirements for a commercially viable operating system (OS) that would compete with Windows.

>> 1. The alternative operating system must support the full Win32 API so that applications software will run on it without modification. This is imminently possible, since Microsoft has published the full Win32 API.

>> 2. The alternative operating system must run on standard (Intel and AMD) processors and should use either standard Windows 95/98 device drivers or standard Windows NT device drivers so that it's fully compatible with current hardware. Again, this is possible because Microsoft has published the full device driver interfaces for both operating systems.

>> 3. The alternative operating system must give the customer a reason to prefer it to Microsoft's products. On this point, there are quite a few options such as lower cost, a better (easier, more intuitive, or more robust, for example) user interface, additional security, or better stability (which should be easy if you really believe that Windows is as bad as some posters assert, though I'm not convinced that they are right).

In short, the alternative operating system needs to be fully interchangeable with Windows 95/98 or Windows NT/2000. Microsoft actually has proven that such an alternative operating system is possible with the introduction of Windows NT. Such a venture would require an appropriate level of financial backing (which means funding a team of about a dozen competent developers for a period of two or three years) and marketing, of course, but that level of funding is well within the resources of many corporations. The alternatives to date (Sun's misguided attempt to market an Intel version of Solaris, NeXT, Linux, etc.), have failed to meet these requirements. It is not Microsoft's fault that the would-be pretenders did not or do not understand the market, and consequently failed to produce viable products.

Incidentally, Apple was another company that stopped innovating when Steve Jobs left -- or, more accurately, was shown the door by inept new management. Preferring lawsuits to innovation, the new management promptly squandered the company's resources on a suit alleging that Microsoft's Windows product infringed Apple's copyrights on the MacIntosh GUI. Apple lost on two fronts, the court finding that the legal claims had no merit and the company failing to sustain its cutting edge in the market. Alas, Apple is actually showing some signs of life again now that Steve Jobs is back at the helm! Still, most potential customers have little reason to pay extra for a propriatary machine.

Finally, you don't remember NCSA Mosaic, do you? Your statement that

And by the way, anyone who thinks that Microsoft didn't hurt Netscape in the browser wars wasn't paying attention. The reality is that Microsoft killed every other browser manufacturer except Netscape. Netscape held on by giving their browser away, and making money on their web server and web authoring products.

again completely ignores historical fact. NCSA gave away Mosaic for free long before Netscape existed and long before any other other browser manufacturer introduced such a product. People are not going to pay for a product when there's a free alternative without a reason, and neither Netscape nor any other browser manufacturer provided a reason. Further, the NCSA product remained available -- free of charge -- through the first several releases of both Internet Explorer and Navigator. It was only when Microsoft and Netscape started innovating more quickly than NCSA that NCSA dropped the product. By then, the price of the browser -- FREE -- was already established. In fact, if anything, IE had the MOST restrictive license terms of any browser at the time since a free copy was restricted to run on a version of Windows.
As to your statement that

Microsoft would never use it's monopoly to harm Lotus/Netscape/AOL/Sun/Stacker/Borland/...

there is only one company in your list that did not screw up -- Borland -- and the company that killed Borland was not Microsoft but Lotus, with a copyright infringement suit in which the U. S. First Circuit Court of Appeals ultimately ruled in favor of Borland (the defendant) but not before legal bills had nearly bankrupted both companies. Shortly thereafter, IBM bought up the remnants of Lotus and Borland has continued to wallow. Let's visit the rest of the companies that you cite.

>> Lotus killed itself, along with Borland, when it lost the appeal in the lawsuit and thus could not recover legal bills.

>> Netscape started with a flawed business model from the start, since browsers were readily available for free (NCSA Mosaic, for example) long before Netscape introduced Navigator.

>> Microsoft actually provided Internet Explorer to AOL, along with rights to integrate Internet Explorer into AOL's front end. Nonetheless, AOL never really provided a qaulity service (remember the jokes about "America On Hold"). Worse still, AOL is still marketing dial-up access while the world around it is shifting to DSL and/or "broadband" access to the 'net, with standard web sites of AOL's content providers -- not Microsoft! -- providing the same functionality as AOL's content. It might be a great short, but not through any fault of Microsoft.

>> Sun's SPARCStation line never was viable on the desktop. Thus, Sun could not to generate as much R&D cash as Intel produced on sheer volume of sales (about ten times Sun's) and consequently lost the performance edge to the PC. The hope of making up the deficiency with a "virtual machine" environment, via Java, never had a chance, either, because a "virtual machine" is not anywhere near as efficient as native code. Again, Sun probably is a great short -- but through no fault of Microsoft.

>> Stacker was a classic example of a "band-aid" product, and such products invariably are doomed to oblivion as soon as the need for the "band-aid" goes away. In this case, that meant machines started coming through with disks that are big enough. Also, the product provided a feature that really does belong in the operating system -- as, by the way, did the early versions of Norton Utilities -- so Microsoft had every right to add that capability to various versions of Windows (or, in the case of Norton Utilities, DOS). Peter Norton understood this, and continued to add new capabilities to Norton Utilities so that the package would remain viable as Microsoft improved the operating system. Regrettably, the folks who produced Stacker did not. The result was, of course, that the company's prominence was a proverbial "flash in the pan" -- which is unfortunate for its investors.

The marketplace does not protect inept management, and neither should the legal system. All of these companies except Borland made their own beds, then got to lie in them.

I extend my appologies for the tone of this missive, but you really need to take off the "Microsoft is evil" blinder. Microsoft is on top of the applications market right now only because its competitors have acted very ineptly. A U. S. Court of Appeals has already ruled that Microsoft has the right to incorporate a browser into Windows, just as Sun incorporated a browser into Solaris, so the present decision probably will be shredded as soon as it reaches the same appellate tribunal.

Norm.
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Yamaneko wrote:

"The Oracle data warehouse where I work has not had a problem in 22 months. My last problem with Microsoft that required reboot was last Thursday. I, for one, would love to follow the Sun/Oracle/Unix route. The GNOME interface is quite appealing. BeOS also looks promising.

Warren Eckels"

Well - use your personal preference then! Promote and work with the systems you beleive in. Take a risk! Who knows - maybe you can gather market share to support these venues. Otherwise, what is your point?
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mikeandbarb wrote:

"AGREED! I lived in DC for three years, and basiaclly most of Washington is retarded. We really should expect more of our "leaders."

I disagree. We should expect more of our people. As I've stated before - the current President was elected by 9% of our voting population. More people need to be involved. Don't blame the "leaders" as you say, until the public at large is really involved in the process. I'm sick of the finger pointing when most people do not even vote, yet expect their wishes or desires to be promoted by these "leaders."
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Sammi:
Yeah ... Well, I'm a littled p*ssed off at the Iroquois for trading with the white man.


I hear the ghost of Peter Minuit recently visited Manhattan... seems he's now looking for the Algonquins to demand his beads back! They never disclosed to him that it would turn into such a behemoth!


OleDoc
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Norm said:

> I do a lot of simulation development, and "restart" > capability is a common spec wherever there's an > expectation that runs may take several days. It
> actually is not all that difficult. The additional > code consists of...
  {naive implementation details elided...}

  If you really are doing this in your simulations, there are a few gotchas that your version can run into.
First, what happens when the crash occurs during the write of a checkpoint file?  Best solution is to use
two checkpoint files, and on two different physical media to insure that a crash during checkpointing is not