Feeds

DoJ rebuts MS filing, pulls Gates up on email deletion

Reads like it was prepared by somebody who'd been burned once. Funny

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

MS on Trial Last week Judge Jackson called for one final encore of filings - at the Department of Justice's request - before he delivered his final verdict. The DoJ's filing is now in, and Microsoft's response is due on Wednesday, but although the DoJ ostensibly wanted to deal with legitimate issues raised by Microsoft, its filing is shot through with the kind of wording you'd expect from an outfit that's been burned once already.

At the start it accepts various changes suggested by Microsoft, but they're not what you'd call major amendments. For example, get a load of this: "Plaintiffs do not object to clarifying this definition accordingly, i.e., by changing 'personal computer' to 'Personal Computer.'" A major concession, right?

Having got this out of the way, the rejections scroll on for page after page. They're dealt with point by point, but the bottom line is that "Microsoft's other proposals consist largely of changes that would create loopholes and permit Microsoft to continue to engage in anticompetitive practices like those found by the Court or otherwise to frustrate or undermine the purposes of the Final Judgment."

Rewind to the consent decree, and to the critical clause covering integration; at the last minute then, Microsoft contrived to insert a wording that (in the opinion of The Register and the court of appeals at least) gave Microsoft carte blanche to bolt anything it liked onto the operating system, and still call it an operating system. The DoJ's filing today speaks volumes about its determination not to get fooled again - every last wriggle from Microsoft is dealt with, prefaced by wording along the lines of: "This proposed change is unnecessary."

The detailed rejection of every last possible bolthole and wriggle suggests that maybe the judge's decision to call for one last round of filings wasn't positive for Microsoft after all. Today's filing repeatedly points to how Microsoft's proposals would allow the company to continue to terrorise PC companies, screw it competitors and do pretty much what it wants to do.

A couple of (relatively) new grenades have been lobbed in though. We rather liked: "The date (April 27, 2000) on which the determination is made as to the assignment of Intellectual Property is not arbitrary (it is the day before Plaintiffs' Proposed Final Judgment was filed), and Microsoft's proposal would allow the company to shift assets before the Plan of divestiture is implemented to frustrate the effectiveness of the Final Judgment." (our italics) Good heavens, do you think a reputable company like Microsoft would pull a stunt like that?

And then there's the waspish suggestion that Microsoft execs might (once bitten) start systematically deleting email: "In his deposition, Gates testified that 'most people here delete most of the e-mail they receive every day,' 'I don't keep most e-mail I receive,' 'I delete 98 percent of my e-mails,' and 'Q. You never preserve messages that you send? A. I don't preserve them. There is the extremely rare case, which I've done almost never, where you copy yourself on the e-mail.' See Attachment 1, Gates dep. 9/2/98 at 589:21 - 590:20. See also Attachment 2, Engstrom, 2/23/99pm, at 18:12-19:9 (on 'a routine basis, I delete all mail . . . two months old.').

You might, from the eye-level of a normal (relatively) person, reckon that having to keep all of your email is excessively burdensome, but get real - do you think any spam gets through to Bill Gates? It's significant that a company of Microsoft's size and heft is still attempting to establish a justification for erasing company records, but the justification is spurious. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
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.