Feeds

Compaq's Capellas offered as MS character witness

Will he take the field with Bill at the appeal?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

MS on Trial It's now all over bar the sentencing. Microsoft handed in its final arguments yesterday, and given that there's very little in the the judge is likely to agree with, he's quite capable of ruling on remedies today, or tomorrow. Effectively, Microsoft's latest filing is an investment for the appeal process, when the company will try once more to gather its friends - notably Mike Capellas of Compaq - around it.

The filing faces two ways. First of all, Microsoft continues to deny everything, to accuse the government's proposed remedies of being completely outrageous and inappropriate. But on the other hand, as Microsoft is the only party to the trial that doesn't think Microsoft is guilty, and Microsoft doesn't make the rules, it needs, somehow, to argue for the blunting of the remedies. So it wants longer to implement them, it wants them muted in nearly every single instance, and it wants any court-ordered restrictions on it to expire after four, not ten, years.

The government suggested giving Microsoft four months to come up with a breakup plan, while Microsoft wants a year. It describes the changes it wants made in the government's proposals as correcting "ambiguity and vagueness," but generally these corrections count as desperate clarifications on steroids in Microsoft's favour.

The company wants, for example, the restrictions on price discrimination to be thrown out, and to be able to carry on striking cosy marketing deals with PC manufacturers. These, the dreaded MDAs (Market Development Agreements) are of course the secret deals used in conjunction with confidential pricing schedules to control the OEMs via carrot and stick. This is some clarification.

In its last pitch it made a desperate bid to reopen the trial, calling new witnesses, and this was of course refused. It's tried this again in the form of an "additional offer of proof" intended to show that the government's proposals are defective. This is to a great extent a marker for appeal; Microsoft wants to be able to argue that the judge didn't give it the time and opportunity to refute the government properly.

But dare we hope that the witness list will play in a higher court? Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer were among the ones proposed last week, and Bill in the box would be a treat. Mike Capellas too may not entirely grasp what he's getting into. As Compaq CEO Capellas argues that it's just plain wrong that a company that ships as many PCs, and puts as much money into Windows R&D, as his does, can't get involved in close marketing deals with MS and can't get the pricing discounts it so richly deserves.

Of course the complicity of top executives of major PC companies in these arrangements, which effectively keep Microsoft's rivals and lower tier PC manufacturers in check, is a subject worth examining in itself. And Compaq's relationship did come under some scrutiny earlier in the trial. Perhaps Mike would be advised to check out some of the links below before stepping into the lion's den. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
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
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

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
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.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
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.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.