Feeds

Judge Jackson tames the Beast

How about a three-piece Microsoft?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

MS on Trial It was an interesting day in court. Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson started things off by refusing to hear Microsoft arguments to dismiss the government's case, but headed swiftly into a surprising discussion of the merits of breaking the company into three divisions rather than two as proposed by the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

"I intend to proceed to the merits of the remedy," he said in reply to Microsoft lawyer John Warden's assertion that the festivities should be confined to hearing a motion to dismiss the government's proposal, and to setting a schedule for further proceedings.

And then he said some very funny things. "The effect of a bisection will in effect create two separate monopolies," Jackson observed. The judge wondered if perhaps we would all be better off with the company's browser and ISP business standing on its own legs too.

Jackson had been doing his reading, and praised as "excellent" a brief of amici curiae, humbly and no doubt selflessly submitted by the Computer and Communications Industry Association and Software and Information Industry Association, in which the tripartite Beast is envisaged.

Trisection was "something we very seriously considered," DoJ lawyer David Boies allowed. But it would be too complicated and time-consuming to accomplish, he reckoned. "We thought that the two-part divestiture would be simpler to implement," he said.

"[Your current proposal] is anything but simple to implement," the judge retorted. "[Microsoft] will not be a willing participant."

Clearly Jackson is leaning towards ordering a break-up and reckons that if it's going to be a nightmare whether in two or three parts, the government might as well get as much as bang for the buck as possible.

Microsoft's Warden begged to differ. "There is absolutely no precedent for what has been proposed here," he whinged.

The DoJ and the states countered that Microsoft's alternative remedies are toothless. The company's proposals are "full of trap doors and escape hatches," attorney Kevin O'Connor warned.

After an hour's recess, Jackson returned to the bench and thrilled the audience by ordering the DoJ to submit a revised proposal including the mechanics of a three-part break-up, and to have it in by Friday. Microsoft will be given only 48 hours to submit a response, Jackson added.

As for "further proceedings", Jackson will have none. He wants the DoJ proposal, the Microsoft reply, and then he will rule.

That's any time after next Tuesday, when Microsoft's answer will be due. The man is not fooling around. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.