Feeds

IBM evidence shows how MS controls PC OEMs

The Norris dossier provides the most detailed evidence yet

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

MS on Trial In 1995, IBM paid Microsoft $40 million for Windows. In 1996 it was $220 million. In 1997 $330 million. In 1998, $440 million. Annoyance over this thumbscrew process is probably the real reason why Garry Norris is giving rebuttal evidence for the DoJ with the clear blessing of IBM, and giving us such a cornucopia. Norris, who was IBM's chief negotiator with Microsoft before and after the introduction of Windows 95, lived up to expectations in his direct examination by Philip Malone of the DoJ. His evidence provides the most damning account in the trial so far of Microsoft's exploitation of its Windows monopoly, and how it controls OEMs. This is the most detailed account anywhere of Microsoft's strategies and tactics in such matters, and even seasoned Microsoft watchers will be surprised at the extent to which their suspicions of Microsoft's business practices were confirmed. Norris has handwritten notes and computer records of the period - not exactly a kiss-and-tell diary, but solid contemporary evidence of Microsoft's actions. They were so good that they went entirely unchallenged by Richard Pepperman, for Microsoft. At the same time, what we see from the testimony is the inability of some senior IBM executives when faced with Microsoft's uncompromising abuse of ethical business behaviour. It was like the Corps Diplomatique trying to deal with threats from a gang of street fighters. So far as OS/2 was concerned, nothing new emerged, and the enigma remains as to whether IBM did change its policy towards OS/2 in a direct response to Microsoft's desires to eliminate it, or whether it was a consequence of Microsoft's actions. Even in the latter case, IBM could have found a way to keep OS/2 competitive if it had wanted to do so, but failed. The new revelations mostly concerned IBM's acquisition of Lotus, and Microsoft's reaction. Judge Jackson listened very careful to the testimony, and asked a number of questions for clarification. After this evidence, there can be no doubt that Microsoft should be prevented from ever again abusing its dominant position by having to publish an OEM price list, with only volume discounts allowed. It would also be necessary to ensure that the prices are set at a fair level and not subject to discounts refereed by Microsoft, as is the case with its so-called MDAs. The mechanism for this would need to be worked out, but it should not be beyond the capability of the courts. ® Complete Register trial coverage

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
French 'terror law' declares WAR on the INTERNET itself, say digi-rights folks
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité: Two out of three ain't bad
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.