Feeds

DoJ barrage creeps closer to Bill

The ghost of memos past reappears as further delays loom

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

The latest skirmishing in the Microsoft antitrust case has resulted in a deal between Microsoft and the Department of Justice (DoJ) to put the trial back by another three weeks, until 15 October. The adversaries both spoke to Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson about this on Friday, but he has yet to agree. According to the judge’s original schedule, the trial should have begun last week, but it has been beset by arguments and changes of tack by both parties. Microsoft has been complaining about ‘new evidence’ from the DoJ which it says takes the case in an entirely different direction, while Microsoft itself has caused some confusion by subpoenaing a clutch of adversaries in an attempt to show anti-competitive collusion in the Unix marketplace. But although further delay is probably in Microsoft’s interest, given that the company originally wanted a much longer period to prepare its case, Friday wasn’t entirely a good day for the company, which saw the DoJ’s attack move towards Bill Gates himself. DoJ lawyer David Boies presented a note by Gates from a January 1996 meeting with AOL boss Steve Case, which indicated that AOL would standardise on Internet Explorer in exchange for “favourable placement in the operating system.” This was a key victory for AOL, which had been battling feverishly to blunt the impact of Microsoft’s rival online system, MSN, since the launch of Windows 95 a few months before. MSN had originally been intended as the preferred mechanism for Windows 95 users to get online, and had itself attracted the DoJ’s interest because of this the previous year. By giving AOL parity, or something close to parity, Gates could therefore be seen as sacrificing his own online plans in order to get the largest online system in the world on-side. This is what Boies argues happened: "They were even willing to put a bullet in the head of something they had a lot of hope for," he said. Boies also pointed to a Gates email responding to a suggestion that Office programs be designed to work as well with Netscape Navigator as with Internet Explorer: “That’s wrong – I disagree with that,” is the wording Gates used, but what this meant is still open to some interpretation. Gates is clearly not saying (not here, anyway) that his programmers should go out and make sure Navigator doesn’t work with Office, and could argue with some justification that it’s no business of his to ensure a rival product works better. But Microsoft’s control of the operating system, and its integration of Explorer in the operating system, gives it some responsibility to provide companies like Netscape with the information they need to make their products work with Microsoft’s products. Where Microsoft’s responsibilities in this area begin and end has always been murky and fluid, even to Microsoft, so it’s a useful point of attack for the DoJ. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.