Feeds

Sun, AOL take MS HailStorm to the Feds

Raining stones

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Sun and AOL have selected HailStorm as the new battleground in the ongoing antitrust case against Microsoft, according to The Industry Standard.

HailStorm is Microsoft's platform for B2C web services, only unlike anything resembling a competitive marketecture, it drives traffic through Microsoft's own servers.

Sun and AOL Time Warner appear to have got a hearing at least, according to the Standard, which reports that States generals met Microsoft's antagonists last Friday. The Attorney General for Connecticut Richard Blumenthal is quoted as declaring that "some of the same kinds of antitrust issues seem to be raised," in HailStorm.

However from Blumenthal's qualifier - "we really need to think and learn more about it before we can even reach a tentative conclusion" - it sounds like the States have done little to anticipate the Microsoft plan (even though it's a full eighteen months since Microsoft developers learned about the plumbing for .NET, and longer since Gates and Ballmer started talking about MegaServices).

With conventional wisdom suggesting that the appellate court will reject Jackson's break -up plan, and that the Bush administration will be less likely to pursue harsh alternative remedies, it appears that the States will be at the forefront of continuing action against Microsoft.

Crucially, and this tends to get overlooked, Jackson declared Microsoft a monopoly first, then ruled it had breached anti-trust law, and finally decided the punishment. Regardless of what happens to the latter two judgements, the first still stands and provides the basis for further actions.

However even given that starting point, Sun/AOL-TW will have to make some convincing arguments. Now that Microsoft is engaged in its most ambitious integration plan to date shouldn't be too difficult to prove. .NET services will be bundled into XP, and applications will become service offerings in their own right. But that's not in itself illegal.

The strongest defence Microsoft will be able to point to is that it doesn't have a monopoly of web services; in fact, no one does. And there's no compelling reason for anyone to use HailStorm services unless Microsoft forecloses other distribution mechanisms. For example, if it only lets you use Office or Windows OS services via .NET.

And the irony of AOL, which fended off AntiTrust questions about its merger with Time Warner by making the flimsiest of promises to open up its instant messaging monopoly, won't be lost on many folk. ®

Related Link

The Industry Standard: Legal storm brewing over Microsoft's HailStorm

Related Story

Pay-to-Play: Microsoft erects .NET tollgate

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.