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Judge blasts MS bid to monopolize music devices

Purely accidental that

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Some flunky lacking an adequate grasp of Microsoft's deep commitment to fair business practices innocently wrote an offensive license forbidding non-MS media formats on portable devices compatible with Windows media, the company explained to miffed anti-trust judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly during a status hearing Tuesday.

Microsoft had attempted to bully those portable music device makers hoping to cash in on iPod/iTunes popularity into using Windows Media Player software exclusively, or not at all, in their designs. This is a clear violation of the wrist-slapping that Judge CKK had administered at the conclusion of the company's anti-trust lawsuit, which she oversaw.

"I want to know how this happened," Judge CKK is quoted by the AP as saying. "It seems to me at this late date, we should not have this occur."

Microsoft legal beagle Rick Rule explained that a "lower-level business person," ignorant of the anti-trust settlement's provisions, had blundered. And this after at least ten days' time to concoct a plausible excuse.

In spite of this preposterous explanation, the government has declined to pursue the matter, on the basis of no-harm-no-foul. Since the company backed down from its iron-fisted license, and the rule of law has been restored, there's no reason for anyone to give this unfortunate incident a second thought. ®

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