×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Internet Explorer Antitrust Case Set To Expire

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the all-seeing-and-wise-benevolent-gov't-saved-us dept.

Microsoft 176

jbrodkin writes "The judgment in United States vs. Microsoft is on the verge of expiring, nearly a decade after antitrust officials ruled Microsoft unfairly limited competition against its Internet Explorer browser. Microsoft has two more weeks to fulfill the final requirements in the antitrust case, which is scheduled to expire on May 12. Although Netscape ultimately didn't benefit, the settlement seems to have done its job. From a peak of 95% market share, by some estimates Internet Explorer now has less than half of the browser market. Microsoft, of course, filed its own antitrust action against Google this week, and even commented publicly on the irony of its doing so, noting that Microsoft has 'spent more than a decade wearing the shoe on the other foot.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Expired and stagnant. (5, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685496)

The settlement did nothing. It was Mozilla and Firefox which revived competition in the browser market.

Re:Expired and stagnant. (4, Insightful)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685514)

The settlement did nothing. It was Mozilla and Firefox which revived competition in the browser market.

This. The field of web browser development was almost completely stagnant before Mozilla came along. Since then, the web has made massive strides in usability and function, which would not have been possible without Mozilla (and later Google). No antitrust settlement could have caused new browsers to emerge.

Re:Expired and stagnant. (4, Interesting)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685564)

I don't know if I need to remind you but Netscape was essentially Mozilla's code and they even said it in the EULA around 1994 or 95: "Remember, it's spelled N-E-T-S-C-A-P-E but it's pronounced 'Mozilla'"

Re:Expired and stagnant. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35685606)

Netscape however, quickly became junk compared to microsoft's offerings. It wasn't until firebird/firefox that mozilla finally had a decent browser.

Re:Expired and stagnant. (2, Interesting)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685622)

I don't know if I need to remind you but Netscape was essentially Mozilla's code and they even said it in the EULA around 1994 or 95: "Remember, it's spelled N-E-T-S-C-A-P-E but it's pronounced 'Mozilla'"

Netscape was Netscape Communications' code. "Mozilla" was simply a codename (and useragent) for the browser back in the day. When I said "before Mozilla came along" I was referring to when Netscape essentially died and forked off into what was formally and officially called Mozilla which later split into Firefox et al.

Re:Expired and stagnant. (2, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685874)

But their code was absolute shite until they forked it as F/OSS as Mozilla. I know the theory loved by the tinfoil hat wearing crowd here is poor wittle Netscape beaten to death by the big bad MSFT, but you know what? Speaking for myself and the countless greybeards that had been actual customers of NS (hell I probably still got my NS4 disc in one of my storage lockers somewhere) who all ended up switching to IE I can tell you that it wasn't that we liked IE per se, it was that NS 4 was shit. It wasn't even a good hearty morning log, it was a weak runny stream of foul smelling shit after a bad illness kind of shit.

Here, let me do my impression of running NS4 for all those that didn't have the "enjoyment" of running it back in its day: "Oh look I got my shotgunned modems all screaming, I got Win98 stripped down and humming like a tweaked out Chevy, i'm good to go baby yeah! Let me just fire up my new NS4.../NS4 crashes hard/...Huh. Probably just a glitch, it happens. So I'll just fire up NS4 and head to my favorite.../NS4 locks up/...Motherfucker! Maybe the site just has some bad code on it, wouldn't surprise me. So I'll just relaunch and choose a different site and.../NS4 crashes hard and BSODs OS with it/ $&^%$^%$&^$&^$!

And THAT, that right there, is why IE won. NS4 was a buggy pile of total shit and by the time they got the bugs ironed out enough for the product to actually be usable nobody used it anymore. Just like the old DBase II they released half assed not ready for alpha testing code and paid the price.

Was MSFT douchebags? Yep, old Bill was a nerd that had been shoved into too many lockers and took everything as a "kill crush destroy!" mandate, but NS wouldn't have disappeared so quickly if it had actually been anything but poo. look up MSFT talking about IE 4, which was before they had bundled anything, and you'll see them talking about how it was a fight to keep the server from overloading and how they were sending out over 150,000 copies on CD weekly. They were getting slammed because people were going out of their way to get IE and get off NS because the simple fact is in EVERY single way hat counts to an end user IE was better. It was faster, it was more stable, it used less memory at a time when 16Mb was common, and for awhile there it was even more standards compliant (anybody remember the NS blink tag?).

So lets give credit where credit was due, it was the Moz foundation that took the steaming pile of poo that was NS and hammered it into something usable by the masses. It took them awhile, and they had some serious growing pains like the 2.x.x branch memory leaks, but thanks to them we now have a wealth of choices, all for free. We have the Gecko based like Seamonkey, FF, and Kmeleon, we have the Chromium/Webkit based like Chrome, Comodo Dragon, SWIron, Chromium, Safari, and finally we have Presto in Opera that most people forget before Mozilla made third party browsers free was a for pay product.

So thanks Moz, while my users are in the process of being switched over to Chromium based Dragon for performance and security reason you still made non IE browsers free for the masses and gave us a wealth of choice. Thanks.

Re:Expired and stagnant. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35686030)

Netscape Communicator may have been unstable but nothing compared with the dire qualities exhibited by IE4. IE4 and Windows 95 were not even at an early beta level of stability.

  After installing IE 4.0 on Win95, you'd have to format c:\ because your system would be unusable.

Re:Expired and stagnant. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35686042)

BSODding an OS tells something about the host OS too.

Re:Expired and stagnant. (3, Interesting)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#35686246)

(anybody remember the NS blink tag?)

You mean that was not an html standard? I didn't know. And boy do I remember that... horrible. Makes the text involved so hard to read, especially when used on not a single word but a complete paragraph. My regard of the html standards board just went up :) At least they didn't invent that horror.

Re:Expired and stagnant. (0)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35687170)

Yep it wasn't in the standard, it was a wholly owned NS "invention" and part of what I called the "trilogy of terror" back then, Blink, Geocities, and Comet Cursor.

Since you remember those days I'm sure you remember the "fun" of having your PC damned near melt because a link took you to an "OMG Ponies!" Geocities page, where every third word blinked its puke purple text on a hideous pea soup green background and your CPU slammed into the red zone thanks to the giant fricking pocketwatch that suddenly appeared on the end of your cursor swinging like a giant snotball in the breeze...eeek!

I just hope the wayback archive backed up the whole thing complete with comet cursors so future generations will know how bad things really were! Anybody who think those stupid "punch the (blank) to win a (blank)" ads are irritating don't know shit unless they have witnessed the trilogy of terror! Back then I had one of those OCed to hell Celeron 300a chips, that bad boy was nearly double the speed at 550Mhz and rock solid, with an unheard of 96Mb of RAM and it STILL would scream and cry if I landed on a trilogy page!

So NS deserved its fate, for not only putting out a huge buggy POS that was slow as a slug and crashy as hell (another poster wrote his took 51 seconds just to get to the start page on his!) but for giving the evil that was the blink tag to millions of Geocities "artists" you deserved everything you got and THEN some. And I hope the idiot that actually wrote that code has to spend the rest of his life at Rent A Coder fixing buggy VB 6 crap for the rest of his days!

Re:Expired and stagnant. (2)

Andrei D (965217) | more than 3 years ago | (#35686382)

I still remember that, in my early days as a Linux user (circa 2000), I had a relatively decent machine. I was using Red Hat 6.2 with XFree86 and Window Maker at the time. Netscape was indeed slow, so I clocked it to see how long it takes to start (display the home page): 51 fucking seconds.

Re:Expired and stagnant. (1)

georgesdev (1987622) | more than 3 years ago | (#35686422)

I used Netscape on a Silicon Graphics workstation for many years. I loved it.
I only switched to Internet Explorer later, and on a PC.
Then I happily switched back to Firefox.
For embedded systems, I don't use Firefox, but that's another story.

Hairyfeet, why did you make us all LAUGH @ you? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35686662)

YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW THE DIFF. BETWEEN "static" and "dynamic" addressed adbanners, shown here (which even BestBuy techies know):

http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2061048&cid=35681060 [slashdot.org]

AND?

LMAO - YOU BLEW IT AGAIN, & on something ELSE even "Best Buy Techies" know, in DNS local client caches needing to be turned off in Windows with relatively "largish" HOSTS files:

http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2061048&cid=35686054 [slashdot.org]

Yes children - this is what "ITT Tech does for you", where "Pwuffesuh HaiwyPheet" here got his "FINE education" (LOL - NOT! (You're proof, living proof, it makes you a FUCKUP))!

OR, do the above links NOT show that much?

EVEN Funnier still??

You've trolled ME before in the past on HOSTS files, and made THAT same "blunder" before in the past:

http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2061048&cid=35686474 [slashdot.org]

And, tons more... like your "math" one!

http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2061048&cid=35667576 [slashdot.org]

From there downwards, you blew it totally, & with someone you stalk, troll, & libel in myself on HOSTS files posts, constantly!

APK

P.S.=> So - DO YOU STILL WANT TO KEEP STALKING, TROLLING, and yes, EVEN LIBELLING ME (as you tried here http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2061048&cid=35667932 [slashdot.org] and I shot you down cold, with facts here on that note -> http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2061048&cid=35668740 [slashdot.org] )?

Be my guest, but "it's YOUR funeral"... that's also FAR from the 1st time, & you blew it on the SAME damn points as before AND MANY MORE... lol! apk

Re:Hairyfeet, why did you make us all LAUGH @ you? (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 3 years ago | (#35686676)

Fuck yeah AC! You tell him!

Did he also shit on your pillow?

He's stalked me 4 months & libelled me too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35686790)

"Fuck yeah AC! You tell him!" - by Inda (580031) on Friday April 01, @05:32AM (#35686676)

WELL - You read from HERE on down, you decide:

http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2061048&cid=35667576 [slashdot.org]

---

"Did he also shit on your pillow? " - by Inda (580031) on Friday April 01, @05:32AM (#35686676)

LOL, no but I sure SHIT ON HIS, hard! He has had it coming for a LONG time man... glad I could give you a laugh, because he sure gave ME one (several there actually).

(Ordinarily I wouldn't do that, but he's a special case, as you can see from the post you replied to!)

APK

P.S.=> Thanks & you'll even see there YOU ARE NOT THE FIRST TO "SIDE WITH ME" ON THIS either!

(At least, it appears you are, because I am NOT sure what you mean by "did he shit on my pillow" (literally I do, lol, but I don't know all "memes" (gay word imo)))

However - How could you not after seeing his "fuckup" list here -> http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2063786&cid=35686662 [slashdot.org] , after all?

There, his own erroneous words & mistakes are present, repeated again from months to YEARS ago when he does this like the troll he is!

AND?

LMAO - That is only a SAMPLE, that "fuckup list"... if you go there, you will see there are FAR MORE, in the URL above where he started it with me!

(Again, not a first... more like a 12th & he makes the SAME screwups even as he did there above, today, albeit shown YEARS ago on HOSTS files!)

Man - talk about "not learning from your mistakes" & "insanity is repeating the SAME thing over & over again, expecting diff. mistakes", lol!

Given those time honored "old adages"?

Hairyfeet just must be insane - you tell me though, I am NOT a "shrink", though HE calls me 'insane' & 'crazy' all the time (he's no shrink either by the by)... apk

Re:He's stalked me 4 months & libelled me too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35687126)

If you ask me, you should see a shrink.

Re:Expired and stagnant. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35687016)

You seem to forget Microsoft's tactics at the time. "The job's not done until _______ won't run". In this case it was Netscape. Not all of Netscape's problems were Netscape's fault in the monopoly OS environment of the day. Both browsers were in their infancy and both had lots of problems. And the hardware wasn't much up to the task either. This greybeard remembers.

Re:Expired and stagnant. (2)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685712)

As a Chrome user I agree 100%. Mozilla got their shit together and stopped producing bloatware (Navigator, Communicator, etc) which split the market.

If it wasn't for Mozilla I don't think Chrome would exist.

Netscape was mainly to blame for their failure (2, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685558)

Yeah back then Netscape was actually WORSE than IE.

Microsoft may have stepped on their toes, but Netscape themselves were to blame for blowing away their own feet.

I used Netscape from 1.x till 4.7. And at the ending stages Netscape was inferior. It was slower in rendering and crashed more. Trust me I tried to look for alternatives to IE at that time.

Mozilla and Mozilla based versions of Netscape (e.g. Netscape 6) were crap too and not worth the megabytes of download. I tried Opera too but it just didn't fit with the way I did things back then.

Mozilla only got usable a few years ago (2005? 2006? Barely usable too - still had many memory issues back then) and that's when it started gaining marketshare.

If you think I'm trolling or talking shit, just look at Google Chome - it has gained so much share in a far far shorter time than Mozilla took.

Even nontechs/nonnerds are downloading and installing Google Chrome and recommending it to their friends.

FWIW, I'm currently using Mozilla for TreeStyleTabs, Noscript, Adblock Plus and Certificate Patrol :).

Re:Netscape was mainly to blame for their failure (2)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685628)

"Mozilla only got usable a few years ago (2005? 2006? Barely usable too - still had many memory issues back then) and that's when it started gaining marketshare." I would say sometime around 2004, it was the first time I used Firefox. I loved it instantly, tabbed browsing and everything. I wondered why everyone wasn't using it already. I don't know about memory issues, but it was already much more secure than Internet Explorer.

Re:Netscape was mainly to blame for their failure (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35685646)

If you think I'm trolling or talking shit

If a white man and a nigger both fall off a really tall building at the exact same time, who hits the ground first? The white man because the nigger had to stop and spraypaint MUTHAFUCKA on the wall. Like in those big bubbly looking letters.

Re:Netscape was mainly to blame for their failure (1)

kdsible (2019794) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685748)

And the purpose of your reply in context is to let us know u can spell. Well done you get monkey points.

Re:Netscape was mainly to blame for their failure (2)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685682)

Mozilla only got usable a few years ago (2005? 2006? Barely usable too - still had many memory issues back then) and that's when it started gaining marketshare. If you think I'm trolling or talking shit, just look at Google Chome - it has gained so much share in a far far shorter time than Mozilla took.

I've been using Firefox on and off since before 1.0. I had no problems with it back then. It was horrible compared to the standards of today, but it was still better than fucking IE6. I think we could attribute Chrome's rapid market share gain at least in part, though, to the fact that people are now aware of (and actively seeking) newer better ways to browse the web, and it has been backed by a multi-billion-dollar household name since the get go. Firefox really started the alternative browser trend, so it took a long time to gain steam.

As a former Opera developer during that era (4, Interesting)

LostMyBeaver (1226054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35686200)

I have to say that Netscape was our best friend. Their code has become such crap that it gave us the chance to not only catch up, but to run free.

Frankly, the lawsuit mentioned was one of the worst things ever to happen to many other companies. Mac, Linux and everyone else was completely left without a browser capable of performing online banking, reading news sites etc... The lawsuit caused Netscape to become a litigation company and their development just fell to pieces. Their server packages were amazingly bad and the day they added Javascript support and "layers" to their browser, everything just fell to pieces.

That left it up to us to come in and make waves. We became "the other browser" sure, our market share at the time sucked. Lars Knoll was still working on the first release of his amazing code.... imagine a browser written in such a way that the code was readable and manageable. But, what it really came down to is, Netscape's focus on litigation damn near ruined the entire computer market for anyone that wasn't willing to simply just become another Microsoft shop.

You want to know what REALLY killed BeOS? It was Netscape. We were too small to make the BeOS version, so we used a small Swedish company run by a group of incredibly bright and talented developers. Even now, years after Opera bought that company, the VP of engineering is the guy who ran that group, the guys making the screaming fast rendering contexts and other technologies which keep Opera in the top two at all times really has a lot to do with those guys. But, we just didn't have the resources to do it back then. As a result, Be would either have to make their own browser (they didn't have the manpower or inclination) or Netscape could have made one. But, without a reasonable browser, users had to reboot their machine into Windows to be able to run IE or Netscape to surf the web.

The world has changed... you can port FireFox or WebKit to a new platform in days (for a crap build, but still functional), if you can interest Opera (which typically isn't hard to do) they can port to a new platform as quickly as they can write a handful of classes and a new Makefile. The reason IE has lost market share isn't because the lawsuit did anything, it's because the other browsers are all equal to or better than IE.

That said, WebKit has become so good as of late that if Microsoft didn't have to support all the IE infrastructure that they do, switching to WebKit would be a great idea for them. Oh... well, there is another catch to that. If they did that, the whole world would be in an uproar complaining about how Microsoft is trying to be WebKit by absorbing it etc...

I don't think however that Microsoft is bothering to compete with other browsers anymore. Their developers have a competitive spirit and should, and they should be proud of what they manage to accomplish, but Microsoft doesn't really benefit at all from competing with other browser now. What's the market case for it? Really, there are now 3 great browsers on Windows (Opera, Chrome, FireFox) and Internet Explorer. They are all getting faster and faster, getting more features, the standard web can now do most of what needs to be done without non-standard extensions, in 5 more years, the web standards might even be as capable as Flash Player. There will always be a need for plug-ins if for no other reason but DRM. But, let's face it, Silverlight was proof that Microsoft isn't trying to alter the basics of the web anymore. They're not trying to make new Microsoft only extensions to the standards, but instead decided that a plug-in which could be run on all browsers would be good enough instead.

Oh, and Chrome and others let you even choose Bing and stuff over Google if you choose to. So, Microsoft still makes their money no matter what browser you use, even if it's Safari (why would anyone use that?) on Mac with Bing.

So, the business case for competing with the other browser vendors is just not there anymore. Internet Explorer is just another program which is a standard component of Windows which has some bonus features to tie it to the platform for things like Windows Update and such.

I've been pretty long winded... let me add some positive notes about the lawsuit.

1) It helped the major antitrust case against Microsoft a great deal. As a result, Microsoft is "open" now. They have set standards for quality documentation that no
one else comes close to living up to.

2) It set precedents regarding this type of anti-competitive behavior which may be used against Apple now (and probably Google too) that is in dyer need. All this focus on Microsoft as the bad guy for all these years has allowed two "unethical" (in my opinion) companies grow almost completely unchecked to be as big as Microsoft. Apple and Google are so damn big now, they don't even play the underdog cards anymore. They are peers of Microsoft and their business tactics are crap. Apple has mastered the art of treating their customers like morons and then making them pay for the pleasure of being abused. Google, well, compared to Microsoft, Google is pure evil. Microsoft tried to dominate the world by forcing their software on everyone. Google on the other hand is trying to simply take over all information and become the only place you can get it. Tell me something... when Google puts the libraries out of business and Google/Amazon put the book stores out of business, then what happens if Google ever goes out of business? The Google monopoly is FAR more dangerous than Microsoft ever was. Even now, if Google were to go bankrupt, it would be the biggest market disaster we've seen in decades. I'm not so upset with Google over the fact that they got big. I'm upset because if we lose them, we WILL have a major world crisis. They are too important now and THEY NEED competition.

3) Microsoft learned how to play dirty in a nice way. They sure as hell didn't stop. I mean, they pretty much just bought Nokia without even paying for them. They politically manipulated Nokia into taking on a new CEO which was obviously a Microsoft man to the core. Then shortly after taking him on, Nokia comes out and says "Yeh, we basically made Symbian because we didn't want to let Microsoft control our company. Symbian was such a disaster that we're trashing it now. We don't want to make a new OS from scratch because even working together with Intel, the project is just too damn big and risky. We're really good at making pretty phones, but we suck at running online services. So, now, left with the choice between Android where we'd have no control or Microsoft where we could work tightly with Microsoft who is also desperate to get their phone OS to sell, it's an easy choice.". So, it took Microsoft 12 years to do it, but they finally took over Nokia! As a result, it might be possible that Microsoft will be able to compete it the phone arena. It might be possible that Nokia can ship a phone that doesn't suck for the first time since the 6110. It was dirty and underhanded, but the result is, if this works, Apple may actually have some competition. (I don't count Android because it's less of a phone OS and more of a portable Google advertising engine).

4) People don't hate Microsoft as much as they used to. They've had to work very hard on their image. Too bad they'll never have a CEO of any interest again. They'll become like HP, Cisco or IBM. Companies run by guys which suits and ties and just don't get it. You know, guys that use buzzwords because things like technology is too complicated for them. People who think that the success of the system will depend on working with businesses but forget that it's twice as important to get the young people interested. If I were to point to the one thing which hurt Microsoft the most over the recent years, it has to be Windows Activation. If you make it too hard for people to pirate it, they'll look for an alternative solution. Piracy deterrents are ok, but piracy blockers are a problem. Piracy is one of the #1 marketing tools in software. "I pirated the program at home of the weekend boss... it's just what we need... I think if we bought this for the company, we could do a lot more, a lot faster". Microsoft killed that... people are so bothered by the hassles of pirating Microsoft products now that they're willing to spend hours trying to figure out how to use Linux. And I'm not talking about the intelligent techies, I'm talking about the "I would work at BestBuy on the GeekSquad, but I think I'll do better on my own" kids of guys. Microsoft is not the evil they once were. But, they're not as interesting either. They have definitely lost their cool... and yes... there was a time where they had it.

Re:Expired and stagnant. (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685794)

That, and the free UNICES turned out to be so useful as servers that Microsoft was not able to pwn the internet with its own "standards".

Re:Expired and stagnant. (3, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685820)

The settlement did nothing. It was Mozilla and Firefox which revived competition in the browser market.

Well, that's kinda the point, isn't it? Anti-competition measures, by their very definition, enable others to fairly compete on their merits without being strangled by monopolies. For Netscape it was already too late, and they weren't actually better than IE5+, even once the barriers were removed. When something that was better did finally appear (Mozilla, and ultimately Firefox), it competed on its merits - and the result is most impressive.

Oh, and Opera? In the relevant time period this was Opera 5 & 6. Back then it was a good browser - very fast, certainly, and with a nice set of UI features - but in terms of supporting newer web standards it was even worse than IE6 (which was actually pretty good at the time it was released... it just stagnated quick afterwards).

Re:Expired and stagnant. (1)

ndarsana (2031178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685908)

Thanks for sharing.

Re:Expired and stagnant. (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#35686050)

TFA and TFS both talk about "milestones" that have to be reached.

Unfortunately neither gives a clue on what those milestones are!

Anyone, please? I'm curious what the terms were (in simple human language, not legalese), and which MS reached and which not.

Re:Expired and stagnant. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35686462)

This is not true. Microsoft was rightfully paused in it's "embrace-extinguish-destroy" mode by the many cases brought against it in the US and the EU. They were not in the wrong in their appetite for crushing all that dared to compete. That is the natural idea of corporations and capitalism in general. But can you imagine a Microsoft in this day and age of lobbying and unlimited political contributions aka the Citizens United decision?

Microsoft will be looked back on as a quaint little company that didn't have the balls to just buy out the US govt. wholesale and have it's way with the world.

wrong (2, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685510)

I always thought the outcome of the anti-trust suit was completely wrong. Yes Microsoft was engaging in horribly unethical behavior, but what they did with Netscape wasn't very bad, really. They should have the right to bundle whatever software they want with the OS. The whole attempt to make it inseparable from the OS was a bit dodgy, but Google is essentially trying the same thing with Chrome OS.

The thing Microsoft did that was REALLY bad was not allowing OEMs to use Windows if they offered other operating systems, even if they still offered Windows. That is a clear and obvious abuse of a monopoly, and should be punished. And yet for some reason the focus was still on Netscape.

Re:wrong (1, Informative)

no known priors (1948918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685552)

To settle its own antitrust suit back in 2002, Microsoft had to agree to new Windows licensing requirements and "a prohibition on retaliation against OEMs for promoting competing middleware and operating systems." Although roughly nine out of 10 desktops and laptops still run Windows, Department of Justice documents say "these provisions are working as planned," and note that "Dell has begun to ship PCs loaded with the Linux operating system in place of Windows."

---
I have to say, it's all part of the same systematic tactics to crush competition. By forcing Netscape out of the market, MS could potentially sell more copies of IIS, what with the MSIE only extensions. Netscape was not just competing for browser share. Not to mention another quote: "Microsoft's anticompetitive activities also affected Sun's Java technologies. "

Also, the article talks a lot about Google. Microsoft is basically being hypocritical. But that's not news. It's not news that a corporation wants to be able to screw over consumers and competitor, but objects to competitor doing the same.

Personally I use Google search because it seems to work the best for me. However, I never let 'em set cookies, and rarely let 'em run JavaScript. I don't use any other Google tool on a regular basis ('cept for Maps). I don't trust Google, but I don't trust any big corporation. Fuck 'em all.

Re:wrong (2)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685584)

I don't trust Google, but I don't trust any big corporation.

Do you trust anyone? I mean really? Is there a reason to trust the little guys any more than the big guys? I thought our reason for having contracts was basically because we can't trust anyone.

Re:wrong (2)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685650)

You shouldn't say bad things about the Corporation. The Corporation loves you.

Re:wrong (2)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685734)

Is there a reason to trust the little guys any more than the big guys?

I think there is. While it is true that trust can be betrayed by anyone, there are differences between a small organization and a large one (small business vs large corporation). It is generally easier to get access to the owner of a small business as opposed to the CEO of a large corporation. In addition and also related, a large corporation will usually have more layers between the top and bottom strata of their workforce. This very often leaves (upper) management without any concept of a connection to the customer other than as a statistic. Company structure becomes more dependent on rules and less influenced by fairness and trust.

IMHO Big Banks, Big Business, Big Union, Big Government, Big Religion, all have very similar problems. Having too much trust is generally not one of them. They are like an evil patriarch that has hidden all of his wealth, lies on his death bed, and swears that if you don't do everything to keep him alive he will hurt your children.

Re:wrong (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685844)

Do you trust anyone? I mean really? Is there a reason to trust the little guys any more than the big guys?

Well, yes. Thing is, individual persons have ethics, and you can usually assess if they are compatible with yours when you meet with them and talk to them (sure, there are good conmen, but on average this still holds).

Corporations don't have ethics (aside from PR veneer). People constituting them do, but corporations are structured such that any ethical concerns are diluted over a large body of people where no-one in particular is blamed; and for those cases where a decision must be made at a single point, that's precisely the kinds of positions (usually high-level) where sociopaths thrive in corporate cultures. It's not that they're deliberately sought, it's that "selection of the fittest" within that environment produces such results.

So, yeah, I'll take the "little guy" - a person whom I meet and make a deal face-to-face - over a "big guy" any day, as far as chances of being screwed go.

Of course, there are only so much things the "little guys" can handle without growing bigger.

Re:wrong (2)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685886)

So, a couple of people here have responded saying that ya, they trust the little guys sometimes. But really, how much would you trust them? Would you do business worth a million dollars without a contract? What about 10 thousand dollars? What about five hundred. We don't even get married without a contract, and hopefully you are marrying someone you can trust at least as much as anyone else.

Re:wrong (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35686012)

Depends on how much I (think I) know that someone. On a few occasions, I have trusted people with what amounts to several thousand dollars.

Re:wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35685868)

No. Small/independent/dummy companies get away with glaring anti-consumer violations on a daily basis which would crush corporations like Google, Apple, and Microsoft. Big corporations get away with heinous anti-business tactics, which sometimes have the 'accidental' side effect of hurting the consumer. Both are bad but the former has a MUCH worse consumer privacy record. Just don't entrust corporations with your freedom because then you are completely fucked.

Re:wrong (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#35686128)

There is one reason to trust the big guys more than the little guys: the big guys have more to lose for doing things wrong.

In general one may assume that a business is there to do business, and make money, long term. Trust is one of their main assets: lose it, and you lose your business.

However the prerequisite for this is proper government regulation of businesses (big or small), and proper checks and balances, in an open society. When it comes to privacy these days the US government unfortunately can not be trusted any more, and with that US companies lose a lot of trust for me as well. European governments are better though also deteriorating recently. So I can understand you don't trust companies for that reason.

Re:wrong (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35687190)

Is there a reason to trust the little guys any more than the big guys?

A couple of reasons, yes:

First, small companies typically don't have large teams of lawyers on the payroll. This means that a lawsuit is as expensive for them as it is for you, so it's in their interest to resolve any problems before they get to the stage where you'd consider suing them.

Secondly, there is the idea of personal accountability. When I deal with a small company, I usually deal with a single individual who has the authority to make decisions. At the very least, I deal with someone who has a direct line to the person who can make decisions. When I deal with a big company, the person I talk to often doesn't even have a way of getting a message to the person who can actually make important decisions.

As a corollary to the second point, employees at small companies tend to feel that they have more of a personal stake in the company's reputation. This is especially true for cooperatives, where the shareholders are the employees. If your behaviour has a significant impact on the company's reputation, and your income depends on the company's reputation, then you have a strong incentive to not to harm that reputation.

Of course, there are exceptions in both directions, but all other things being equal I'd pick the small company over the large company.

Re:wrong (1)

cranil (1983560) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685604)

hmmm... what mail do you use?

Re:wrong (1)

no known priors (1948918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685830)

I use my own mail. I have a domain (or two) and I normally get my mail down via either POP or IMAP. I used to use Yahoo a lot, back in the day, but it seems the only people who email me there now are corporations I haven't given an email at one of my domains.

Yeah baby.

Re:wrong (4, Informative)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685560)

but they did allow OEM's to use other operating systems. The issue was that they gave preferrential pricing to OEM's that agreed to pay based on the number of machines they shipped, hence the best pricing came by licensing for every machine. bas

Re:wrong (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685912)

Now, my memory is that the contract was based on more than the number of machines they shipped. That's what Intel got convicted of not long ago. But Microsoft was going even farther, limiting OEMs.

I remember back then our purchasing manager told me about a conversation he had with some OEMs (we didn't want Windows), and they basically said they couldn't give us computers without Windows because of Microsoft. If you're influencing your resellers like that, then you are abusing your monopoly position. This is part of how they crushed OS/2 warp, which was a far superior OS at that time.

Re:wrong (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35686448)

No they couldn't give you a machine without a windows license, there was certainly nothing stopping them giving you a windows and OS/2 license as many of them at the time did, however the true issue was who the hell wants to pay for 2 OS's, the MS maneurve was certainly anti competitive but there was nothing stopping an OEM from shipping both apart from cost.

incidently OS/2 was not crushed from that, OS/2 was crushed as it was a resource PIG when computer resources were at a premium, and I say that as someone that loved it, used it and even convinced my then employer to convert our apps to it.

Re:wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35685574)

I'm not following the US anti-trust lawsuit but did OEMs/retailers even want to come forward? Such monopoly-practises reflect negatively on them too. So they had no incentive to testify against MS.

Re:wrong (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35685610)

I'm going to have to disagree on 2/3 of your arguments. First of all, yes what they did with Netscape was terrible. The anti-trust judgement was brought because it was a classic case of monopoly abuse. Microsoft used their exceedingly dominant position in Operating Systems as leverage to gain ground in the Web Browser market. Integrating IE into the OS really only did 2 things: 1) ensured that the average user would never look any further for a web browser (in fact, most new users weren't, until the last few years, aware that anything other than the blue 'e' existed for browsing the web) and 2) opened a number of security vulnerabilities due, in large part, to the browser's close ties to the OS.

Your evaluation of ChromeOS is, IMHO, completely off base. ChromeOS is a browser-based OS. The UI is a browser. That's pretty much it. Windows, on the other hand, was an OS which had a browser integrated for no other real reason beyond crushing the competition. It'd have been one thing if IE were simply free, however, I can still remember seeing boxes to buy it in stores. It was made free once they realized it was the only way to win. ChromeOS, in contrast, is simply banking on the fact that webapps are "good enough" for most people for most things at this point and that they can simply do away with the rest of the OS pretty much all together.

As for abusing their monopoly in regards to OEMs, I'll agree, though they aren't the only ones that engaged in this behavior in this market (see: Intel).

Re:wrong (0, Flamebait)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685720)

Windows, on the other hand, was an OS which had a browser integrated for no other real reason beyond crushing the competition.

I don't understand why everybody seems to think there were sinister intentions behind Microsoft's bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows. What does increased browser market share really accomplish? Let's imagine for just a moment a world in which Internet Explorer has never ever been bundled with an operating system, and Windows has never ever had an internet browser bundled with it. Do you think the world wide web would have had nearly the effect on the world as it has in actual reality? How many people would even know about that newfangled internet thing, and how many people would have taken the time to find a way to access it? Sure it would have caught on eventually, but the internet has only been around for 20 years or so and look how big of a part it has taken in everybody's lives. I submit that it would not have progressed nearly this far by now had Microsoft not given every Windows user a web browser out of the box.

Re:wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35685926)

Did you just say the eternal September is Microsoft's fault? And use that as a defense that it wasn't evil of them?!

Anyway, quite apart from the actual consequences, there's the actual allegation of anti-competitive behavior you haven't even addressed. MSIE was a product competing with e.g. Netscape. Microsoft was losing ground, so they shut the market down for everyone. Now we could argue all day about whether government meddling in anti-competitive behavior legislation is good or not (stereotypically, the ethical/idealist libertarian would say no, it's outside the purview of government, since no forcible usurpation is involved; the Austrian-school libertarian would say yes, because while a company may naturally and beneficially attain a monopoly in an area with positive returns to scale, it's not economically efficient for them to use profits from that to gain an unnatural monopoly elsewhere by dumping -- a great flamewar would ensue), but this is exactly what those rules are about.

Re:wrong (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35686080)

"What does increased browser market share really accomplish?"

Cross-promotion. Internet explorer had MSN set as it's default homepage. It had bookmarks set by default to Microsoft's sites and it's partners. Just open IE (I'm going to assume you never deleted them) and look at the ones included - MSN Autos, MSN Money, MSN Money, MSN sport, MSN news, Microsoft at Home, Microsoft at Work, Microsoft Store. I can't remember what the old IE6 did searchwise, but later on they would use IE to heavily promote Bing by making it the default search provider - perhaps the only reason anyone uses Bing at all, as there was no other reason to switch from the firmly established Google. Microsoft makes no money from IE directly, but it serves to drive customers to their commercial services.

Re:wrong (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685818)

I'm going to have to disagree on 2/3 of your arguments

ok, but let's look at history. Do you remember active desktop? Microsoft, once they discovered the internet, began to conceive that the desktop was just a portal to the internet, a window to the world, so to speak. They took it so far that filenames became and acted like links instead of normal double-click icons. They had the idea that software run on the desktop would be like a hybrid local/remote thing. This is where the name .net came from, even though a large chunk of the .net api has nothing to do with the net. They were trying to grab on the trend that became known as Software as a Service, then cloud computing. Microsoft truly bought into the hype of the early .com days.

And what is Google trying to do with ChromeOS? Basically the same thing, an OS that is hooked into the cloud. And my guess is it will be just as (un)successful. But I don't know the future.

Re:wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35685630)

he thing Microsoft did that was REALLY bad was not allowing OEMs to use Windows if they offered other operating systems, even if they still offered Windows. That is a clear and obvious abuse of a monopoly, and should be punished. And yet for some reason the focus was still on Netscape.

Sure - just remember to punish Apple as well. If Apple can choose who's allowed to install OS X and on what, Microsoft certainly has the same rights to do so.

Re:wrong (3, Insightful)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685922)

IANAL, but I've always figured this is allowed for two reasons.

1. Apple makes hardware that comes with a "special" OS on it. Nobody is stopping you from installing anything else.
2. Apple is unilaterally "hostile" to all other companies--they don't play favorites, they don't strong arm anyone into using their products, but they don't let anyone install OS X. Microsoft basically said, "If you work with anyone else, you can't do business with us." Apple just says, "You can't do business with us."

(There's also the fact that Apple's marketshare was and is a fraction of Microsoft's.)

I would be interested to hear with somebody who actually knows what they're talking about, though. What makes Apple's situation acceptable in the eyes of the law?

Re:wrong (1)

Cederic (9623) | more than 3 years ago | (#35686406)

(There's also the fact that Apple's marketshare was and is a fraction of Microsoft's.)

I would be interested to hear with somebody who actually knows what they're talking about, though. What makes Apple's situation acceptable in the eyes of the law?

I don't know what I'm talking about (see my posting history ;) but you've already answered your own question.

Apple weren't exploiting a dominant market position to prevent competition.

Re:wrong (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#35686442)

Apple don't have a monopoly on desktop operating systems though. They aren't using their market position to bully other companies to only use their software.

And Apple considers the ability to run another OS as a feature of the mac.

Re:wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35685660)

Hide a bigger lie behind a smaller lie...

Re:wrong (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35686064)

Don't forget their use of bundling to enter the media technology sector. The inclusion of Windows Media Player with windows killed off Winamp and just about every other small media player there was, and then they made sure their WMA format became established by including a WMA-only CD ripping capability with the OS. The WMA format is so horrible it failed to displace MP3 even with that advantage (It's the only audio file format I know capable of carrying a virus), but without that bundling it would probably be completly unknown. The same thing for Windows Movie Maker and it's WMV-only export capability. The intention to me seems obvious - get people to use the conveniently supplied tools and thus amass collections of WMA and WMV files, effectively tying them to the Windows platform and to Media Player - as it's legally difficult to have any other player read them. Microsoft patented the container, thus why Virtualdub had to drop support.

WMV can at least be defended for having one of the best video codecs available for low-bitrate at the time. Maybe Realplayer could compete for cramming video through dialup, but the player was a piece of bloated, painful adware.

Re:wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35686196)

You can twist anyway you want to defend Microsoft when you drop out a key elements and facts, like what is the OS, what meaning the OS does have for any other software to the computer and the user, what is the internet browser, what meaning a browser has for user.
What Microsoft really did with integration vs bundling. What was Microsoft market share on personal computer markets, on PC markets, on Intel-based PC's. What year it was when Microsoft did this and what was the market situation on those times. What were the technical situations on the software and what was the economical force what Microsoft had and used and so on.

Google is not doing same thing with Google Chrome OS as Google use Linux operating system in it. Google Chrome is not integrated to Linux operating system anyway, you could swap the Linux if wanted.
Linux is open source operating system, licensed as GPLv2 (only v2) and Google Chrome is open source web browser (with multiple licenses). Google does not have monopoly on Intel-based PC's (like what MS had, and I can only say, be accurate that PC != all personal computers, just the personal computer what the IBM created 1981 to compete on personal computer markets. In court it was designed that MS had monopoly on Intel-based PC's, but not on non-Intel -based PC's or other personal computers than PC, like Macintosh personal computers from Apple) and it does not have resellers or OEM's in its backpocket to force others not to install other than Google products.

Open Source (or should here actually say that libre software) is great because it does not allow anyone to rise to an monopoly situation. It is simply impossible as every client can start a competitive corporation and develop the software even further and sell it.

Microsoft situation at -90's were totally different than what Google has today. And at those times, Internet was totally different than what it is today... personal computers were totally different by those times and so on.

Re:wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35686452)

The whole attempt to make it inseparable from the OS was a bit dodgy, but Google is essentially trying the same thing with Chrome OS.

Really. In that case they've failed big time, because Chrome runs better on Windows than IE ever did on Linux (even with Wine). Chrome doesn't seem bundled with Chrome OS in any way.

Anti-trust is always bad (5, Interesting)

mfh (56) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685542)

Microsoft does some things right and other things really wrong, but never only one or the other... their forced efforts are always a sad uneven mixture of the two.

IE has always been terrible. Perhaps when Netscape was just starting out, IE may have been somewhat better from a UI standpoint only, with fancy hooks into the OS of the day... but standards trump bells and whistles and IE cannot compete against browsers coded correctly. This is typically because the philosophy of these other products available is to create something that delivers web content safely, rather than trying to control the internet by stifling web development into a proprietary lock-in scheme designed to generate wealth rather than deliver what people want.

Re:Anti-trust is always bad (1)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685644)

Not really disputing your main point but I think you took it too far; IE 5 was the best browser for a time, and IE 9 seems pretty strong, even if it's not the best.

Re:Anti-trust is always bad (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685708)

It is precisely the openness of Firefox etc that makes them better browsers.

If you want to debug your web application you are free to dive right into the browser's source in your debugger and figure out what they are doing with your content. IE will never have this capability (at least for the masses) whereas it can be easily enabled in firefox by simply installing the debug package.

Re:Anti-trust is always bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35685770)

I've never ever seen a need to jump into the actual browser source code to debug a web application.

Re:Anti-trust is always bad (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685920)

Wow really? Have you ever gone into the browser's source code? I've never even thought of trying that. Does it help??

Re:Anti-trust is always bad (1)

shriphani (1174497) | more than 3 years ago | (#35686038)

What ?

Re:Anti-trust is always bad (1)

Aphrika (756248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35686052)

I'm pretty sure that if you need to look at a browser's source code to fix a problem in a website, then you're doing it wrong.

IE has the F12 developer debug tools since IE6 and they do the same job as the Firefox ones as far as I'm aware.

Re:Anti-trust is always bad (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685762)

Indeed. I did most of my dicking around developing web pages when IE4 was out, not IE5, but IE4 was head and shoulders above Netscape from a developer's standpoint. Accordingly, it also was superior from a user standpoint because web pages which utilized IE's capabilities could offer a better experience.

Re:Anti-trust is always bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35685858)

IE5 is dead. Let it rest. IE9 is pretty strong my ass. It still can't parse XML and to in-browser XSLT normally. It kinda can but likes to break everything. Found <feed> element? Tough luck, no page for you! What are they using to parse it, regexps?

Must be using a different IE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35685710)

Of browsers, I liked IE up until they started changing things to the new funkadelic paradigm, a change which I cannot blame on Microsoft since Google and Firefox seem hellbent on doing the same thing.

And if you think that the philosophy of these other products is to create something that delivers web content safely...I pity you.

Google would be glad to lock you in. So would the folks behind Firefox. Even Opera would. I wouldn't even mention Safari.

They're EVIL and GREEDY. Never doubt it.

Re:Anti-trust is always bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35685828)

Microsoft does some things right

I would have challenged you to name one, but you did say 'things' .. as in plural.

Re:Anti-trust is always bad (1, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685852)

IE has always been terrible. Perhaps when Netscape was just starting out, IE may have been somewhat better from a UI standpoint only, with fancy hooks into the OS of the day [...]

You clearly have no idea what you're talking about.

Re:Anti-trust is always bad (2, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685860)

Perhaps when Netscape was just starting out, IE may have been somewhat better from a UI standpoint only, with fancy hooks into the OS of the day

In terms of web standards IE5 and IE6 were significantly better than competing versions of Netscape. And, no, this wasn't back when Netscape "was just starting out" (that was way before IE1!), but it was in the last days of Netscape.

trying to control the internet by stifling web development into a proprietary lock-in scheme designed to generate wealth rather than deliver what people want.

Um, did you miss the whole Netscape proprietary <layer> thingy, when there would be sites on the Net that would say "This website requires Netscape Navigator"?

Re:Anti-trust is always bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35686854)

IE has always been terrible. Perhaps when Netscape was just starting out, IE may have been somewhat better from a UI standpoint only, with fancy hooks into the OS of the day... but standards trump bells and whistles and IE cannot compete against browsers coded correctly. This is typically because the philosophy of these other products available is to create something that delivers web content safely, rather than trying to control the internet by stifling web development into a proprietary lock-in scheme designed to generate wealth rather than deliver what people want.

yet strangely enough it's a bunch of the proprietary stuff microsoft put in that became part of web-standard
going back to the day, netscape went with the whole 'layer' philosphy for dhtml
if you ever had to deal with them, you'd know that it was just horrible to work with
if you've ever had to do web stuff you can thank microsoft for:
- XMLHttpRequest (lord knows how much this is being used now)
- DOM (implemented much better than how netscape modelled the document)
- iframes (which is much better than rendering to a layer, but comes with security risks)
- content editable (seriously. they had it in ie5. other browser broght it out like 5 years ago)
- favicon (very fast way to spot you favourite site in a tab out of 10's/100's)
- effects (IE5+ used directx filters. other catching up by having these in css3 draft specs)
and even with how old IE6 is, it's flexible enough that you can extend it abilities to add transparent png's, rounded corners, and any number of css3 effects.
the only down side for it these days is it's javascript engine. but come on. the browser (and engine) is over 10 years old. what do people freakin expect?
the other main complaint is that it isn't compliant with standards released years after it's release. that would be like tv shows from the 90's look terrible because they weren't recorded in HD. and even then the point they highlight most with IE's weirdness is because of how it renders CSS2.0, which has been through 2 revisions in the years following being put into "recommendation" which was after IE6 was release. why the revisions? any number of clarifications of the spec which were way too open to interpretation. one of big culprits being how the "box-model" is to be implemented.

the main thing to complain about IE has been the lack of updates. microsoft took a bet that .NET connected apps would be the way to get in the future and put a tonne of effort into that. everyone else saw it different. with IE9 microsoft is shift some effort back on to the web stack.

Re:Anti-trust is always bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35687032)

Nope, not if "always" includes the antediluvian times, e.g. the 1990s. IE4 was the most advanced and best polished browser in its day, and there were significant improvements in IE5, but sometime around IE6 MS has decided theirs was the best browser OF ALL TIME! (ahem), and IIRC even disbanded the development team. Note that this was in a climate where "we have no security holoes LA LA LA I can't hear you" was considered proper attitude in the SW industry.

What we see now is MS trying to become relevant again, and pretending the IE6 situation is not their fault.

Netscape monopoly was bad too (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685664)

Yes the IE6 monopoly was bad for the web, but people forget that the Netscape monopoly from 1995 or so was bad too. It for example killed HTML 3.0 (which existed even before Netscape as HTML+), and delayed CSS adoption for years (the first draft of CSS dates back to around the time Netscape 0.9 was released) in favor of tags like <FONT> and <CENTER>.

Re:Netscape monopoly was bad too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35685714)

The CENTER tag came out before HTML 2.0 was ratified. It was needed because the ALIGN attribute didn't exist.

Yes, it was a Netscape extension, but it was a good one!

Re:Netscape monopoly was bad too (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685798)

It did exist in HTML 3.0 drafts, and while it was not supported in Netscape 0.9. Netscape soon afterwards implemented it.

Shoes that fit, or not! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35685696)

As far as I'm concerned, MS can stick that shoe up where the sun don't shine...

Should have been 3 Baby Microsofts (3, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685698)

Microsoft should have been split into 3 companies, but when George W. Bush rolled into Washington DC, he viewed every Clinton move as garbage and disregarded it. Really would have been a good thing for Microsoft, in the long run, one of the three was bound to ditch the crappy OS and build a better one without all the legacy garbage and bundling everyone's products for free.

Re:Should have been 3 Baby Microsofts (2, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685800)

but when George W. Bush rolled into Washington DC, he viewed the rule of law as garbage and disregarded it.

There; I've fixed it for you.

Re:Should have been 3 Baby Microsofts (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#35686744)

George W. Bush [..] viewed the rule of law as garbage

You mean, like most of recent US presidents? Clinton was half-decent, but Obama is Dubya-level bad.

Although we shouldn't single out the US too, it's a popular thing all around the world.

Re:Should have been 3 Baby Microsofts (4, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685804)

I blame Microsoft for creating a marketplace that made Linux popular. Yes, one of the biggest reasons why Linux became successful, especially on the server market, was because there was no viable alternative. That created the opening that allowed Linus' creation to grown and be nurtured for years completely ignored by Redmond. It was too small, and wasn't a threat. It was a toy, just a college kid's cute experiment.

Then the internet bubble hit, and it was expensive Netscape Server or Less Expensive IIS, and the pesky upstart OS and Apache, both FREE (libre, gratis), Small ISPs who couldn't afford Unix or Windows NT servers started using it. And against all odds, it became popular. Holes were patched quickly as they were found, showing how nimble Open Source Code could be, and better than proprietary code that was constantly being hacked while websites waited for updates from the vendors.

I know, I was there, in one of those ISPs (Yay Slackware). Since then, I've done Debian, SuSE, RedHat, Yellowdog, Ubuntu and a couple roll your own distros. I credit, almost entirely, the monoculture that was Microsoft, for the rise of Linux. Not because I like Microsoft, but rather because I can look back and see the utter apathy that the monoculture rested upon.

Re:Should have been 3 Baby Microsofts (3, Insightful)

doktor-hladnjak (650513) | more than 3 years ago | (#35686124)

Don't forget the implications of the BSD/AT&T lawsuit in the early 90s on the rise of Linux. Even Linus himself has admitted that had 386/BSD been available to him (i.e., not caught up in a major lawsuit which delayed development and release of other BSD derivatives), he probably would have never written Linux.

Re:Should have been 3 Baby Microsofts (2)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 3 years ago | (#35686202)

I credit, almost entirely, the monoculture that was Microsoft, for the rise of Linux.

Really ? Because it's not like Linux was being used for tasks that Windows would frequently have been seriously considered for.

Linux was displacing commercial UNIX systems (Solaris, et al). Windows was displacing Novell servers in SMBs. These are mostly distinct and separate markets.

Re:Should have been 3 Baby Microsofts (1)

ShoulderOfOrion (646118) | more than 3 years ago | (#35686250)

What drove me to Linux back in the late '90s was the increasingly expensive software development environment. They killed off all the inexpensive $10-$99 C/C++ compiler vendors, then ratcheted up the cost of Visual Studio to the point where hobbyists, individual programmers, et al, couldn't afford it. Not to mention the outrageous MSDN subscription fees. When it became obvious that only corporate developers were welcome to code for Windows, I ditched it and haven't looked back.

You mean the AT&T solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35685910)

How's that worked out for the rest of us? A bunch of companies merging and renaming and otherwise making money but doing nothing that much better?

I'll pass. Especially without an FCC to mandate inter-compatibility among the company's products. Or are you going to implement that too?

That'd cause anybody nightmares.

Truthfully,though, the only thing that came out of that Anti-trust case is Microsoft now has a DC lobbying firm. I'm not sure that's a desirable outcome, but it's what we got.

Huzzah.

Re:Should have been 3 Baby Microsofts (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35686072)

And from an investor point of view, Microsoft is worth more broken up into its constituent parts than as a whole. Entire forests of deadwood.

"Lion Food" in the Jargon File is out of date. It should be Microsoft managers now.

--
BMO

Re:Should have been 3 Baby Microsofts (3, Insightful)

devent (1627873) | more than 3 years ago | (#35686326)

Funny, because this "legacy garbage" is the only reason why Windows is still so popular. In addition, the "legacy garbage" (aka ActiveX, ask the people in South Korea why they can't use anything but IE. http://blog.mozilla.com/gen/2007/09/21/update-on-the-cost-of-monoculture-in-korea/ [mozilla.com] ).

How about they build a new Windows, without the 'legacy garbage' and every mom and pop need to buy all the software they all love and use again for no reason other than the older version doesn't run on the new Windows?

Would be nice if Windows would start to compete with other systems on fair grounds and not how well Windows application can be run on the different systems (which no matter how well your system is, Windows will always run Windows applications better).

After decades we finally have somewhat of a fair ground where Microsoft Office needs to compete on fair grounds and not how well the office suites can open and save Microsoft Office documents. But of course that move was undermined by Microsoft with their OOXML format.

Yes, Microsoft should have been split up and the new companies should have been under control by the feds. Further, the APIs and the document formats should be opened up, for Wine, Samba, and OpenOffice. The judgment did in fact nothing at all and you can see how well the governmentcooperation relationship is doing.

Re:Should have been 3 Baby Microsofts (1)

robmv (855035) | more than 3 years ago | (#35686970)

The same Apple did with Mac OS X, emulating OS 9 and deprecating old APIs gradually

Re:Should have been 3 Baby Microsofts (1)

devent (1627873) | more than 3 years ago | (#35687166)

Yes, would work, if there were only a fraction of Windows applications out there, like on the Mac. And If Windows would only be run on a few hardware components.

Re:Should have been 3 Baby Microsofts (2)

loosescrews (1916996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35686380)

Have you ever used a clean install of Windows? I don't think you will find anyone else's products bundled with it. Sure, Sony will bundle a bunch of crap with their computer, but that isn't Microsoft, that is Sony.

As others have said, the main reason that Windows is so popular is that it has great legacy support. In fact, I find it a refreshing change compared to Apple who completely changed platforms requiring everything to be recompiled. Now that is fragmentation.

Re:Should have been 3 Baby Microsofts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35686988)

Microsoft should have been split into 3 companies, but when George W. Bush rolled into Washington DC, he viewed every Clinton move as garbage and disregarded it. Really would have been a good thing for Microsoft, in the long run, one of the three was bound to ditch the crappy OS and build a better one without all the legacy garbage and bundling everyone's products for free.

Microsoft should have been split into 3 companies, but when George W. Bush rolled into Washington DC, he viewed every Clinton move as garbage and disregarded it. Really would have been a good thing for Microsoft, in the long run, one of the three was bound to ditch the crappy OS and build a better one without all the legacy garbage and bundling everyone's products for free.

nice stuff.
manual article submission [blurbpoint.com]

heels (-1, Offtopic)

Censisi (2028582) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685810)

This product is a combination of essential skin nutrients, moisturizers, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal oils. Together these ingredients work to relieve dry and cracked http://www.womensnikehighheels.com/ [slashdot.org] " style="color:red">nike heels, leaving your feet smooth, soft and healthy. The product is made from 100 % safe, high quality ingredients. You don't have to worry about any side effects. Millions of people the world over have used nike high heels Tastic and they say ithas completely absolved them from the problem of dry and cracked heels.This product comes in a bottle with a roll on applicator so that you can apply the balm on problem areas with ease. Within days you will see that your skin is no longer dry, flaky, itchy or chapped. nike high heels Tastic is not just for the http://www.womensnikehighheels.com/ [slashdot.org] " style="color:red">nike heels . You can use it on the dry skin on your elbows, knees and knuckles too. Now you can confidently wear stylish sandals and short skirts because dry chapped knees and cracked heels are no longer a problem.You can find several foot care products in the market. They all promise soft and smooth http://www.womensnikehighheels.com/ [slashdot.org] " style="color:red">nike heels but which ones really deliver their promise? jordan heels Tastic is the best foot care product, but it's not sold at the local stores and shopping malls.Remember, this wonderful product is not available in stores. You can only get it by placing an order at their official web site. The product will be delivered at your home. There are attractive offers like buy one get one free and free gifts. Silky soft, smooth nike high heels are just a click away so, visit their web site and place your order now.

2 weeks ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35685872)

Sorry but May 12 is not in 2 weeks .

April fools right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35685938)

These mother fuckers JOKE about this? "Shoe's on the other foot!" Ha ha ha! That's a good one Stevie! If anti trust is something that they can basically yada yada away then it's obviously not serving it's purpose. Companies have too much money and too much power. Execs are basically laughing at us.

The settlement did its job?!?! (2)

Tracy Reed (3563) | more than 3 years ago | (#35686362)

"Although Netscape ultimately didn't benefit, the settlement seems to have done its job"

Sure, so much competition was restored to the browser market by the settlement that Mozilla/Firefox had to be built FOR FREE by thousands of people and then given away FOR FREE for TEN YEARS to get where we are now!

IE vs Something (4, Insightful)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 3 years ago | (#35686766)

This was a poor anti-trust suit which didn't address the real problem at the time - Microsoft giving OEMs rebates for NOT installing other OSes. IE had very little to do with the bad practices at MS. In the interim, yes Google really has been much more anti-competitive in a myriad of ways, but nothing as prominent as Intel paying to NOT have AMD chips or Ma Bell charging you more because they owned everything.

I sometimes wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35686794)

Were equal amounts of trust and antitrust made at the Big Bang?

Krymzn (forgot my login details today)

Enough with the Bill Gates icon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35686956)

Bill Gates hasn't been with Microsoft for almost 5 years. About time to change the icon. Or you could give equal time to Apple and continue with the ST:TNG theme by making a nice icon of Steve Jobs as a turtle-neck wearing Ferengi. I'm sure Quark would approve of his company's methods at securing profit, and I could really see Jobs quoting the Rules of Acquisition.

This is not a joke. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35686964)

Long live IE6! I love IE6. It's comfortable. And I have to use IE8 on one of my computers, and it is just awful. I don't know what Microsoft was thinking (when it came to IE8).

Long live IE6! IE6 forever! (And it doesn't mean websites have to explicitly support it. Just don't ban users from accessing the sites like at least one site, which I won't mention, does.)

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?