Feeds

MS trial hell will never end: Bristol verdict turns to dust

Screwing Unix back on the charge sheet?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Microsoft's sole antitrust trial 'victory' (if you don't count the class action dismissals) has crumbled to dust. US district court judge Janet Hall, who earlier this year awarded Bristol Technology $1 million, has now whacked Microsoft with $3.7 million in costs, and opened the way for a new trial.

Bristol CEO Keith Blackwell said it was a good way to start a Monday, but we think he meant getting $3.7 million, rather than kicking off another antitrust suit. But he still might.

Bristol's previous antitrust suit against Microsoft was basically a legal screw-up. The jury was given a form to help them disentangle the issues, but perversely (as we'd say in UK legal parlance) checked the first box to the effect that Bristol hadn't successfully defined a relevant market. No relevant market, no suit, basically (see links below for more detail). Bristol got a derisory $1 for nailing Microsoft on one minor count, and Judge Hall seems to have been trying to make amends ever since.

She first upped the damages to $1 million, and is sending out some pretty strong signals by awarding Bristol costs, albeit not the $6 million Bristol asked for.

Essentially, the evidence presented by Bristol in the trial consisted of the smoking pistols, withholding of air supply and general despicable conduct we've all become familiar with in the past few years. Because of the jury's decision that there wasn't a defined market to harm, none of this evidence was valid.

But at least morally (and despite crowing over the 'victory') Microsoft looked guilty as hell. And if Bristol decides to come round for another go, we should be able to see what effect the learning process has had on both sides. Frankly, we have to tell you we thought the Bristol trial transcripts spoke of a pretty ramshackle, second eleven kind of approach by all parties, and if it's back on, it'd be a help if they got their acts together and made it better reading. ®

Related stories

MS could still be found guilty in Bristol antitrust case
Analysis: How MS used the WISE Trojan Horse against Unix
Bristol case: how MS escaped the guilty verdict

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
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
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
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.