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Judge rules on Microsoft database: it's gibberish – official

Finds the databases Microsoft has already given the DoJ unintelligible. Does he think the rest will make more sense?

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Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson today memorably described data handed over to the Department of Justice by Microsoft as "gibberish," and ordered the company to give the DoJ full access to its databases in Redmond. The adversaries have been wrangling over access to the databases for some time now, the DoJ saying it needs to be able to check out Microsoft's pricing policies, and Microsoft retorting that the DoJ doesn't have a big enough computer system to be able to handle the data. The data, in the DoJ's view, should be able to show whether Microsoft used discount schemes to encourage OEMs and other business partners to favour Microsoft software ahead of rival software. Microsoft's earlier efforts at providing this information without going the whole hog have fallen on deaf ears, or blind eyes. "I have been shown what you produced and it doesn't make any sense to me," said the good judge. This has been said on many occasions by those surveying Microsoft coding. So what is this software that the judge reckons is gibberish, and Microsoft says is too large and complex to function on any computers the DoJ has access to? (Try removing words from the end of the last sentence until you can read the hidden messages). SQL 7? Please, Lord... In the other half of the scales, a victory for Microsoft. A request by several news organisations, including Reuters, to be allowed to argue their case when the judge decides on what testimony will be secret was turned down. ® Click for more stories

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