MozillaZine

Full Article Attached Microsoft Violated Sherman Antitrust Act

Monday April 3rd, 2000

In his ruling today, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson found Microsoft in violation of the Sherman Antritrust Act, stating that "The Court concludes that Microsoft maintained its monopoly power by anticompetitive means and attempted to monopolize the Web browser market".

Microsoft's problem was that they had lost all credibility with the judge, and thus he had no option but to side with the facts presented by the government.

Click here to read an excerpt at ABCNews.com.

Here's a link to the ruling. Click "Full Article" below for some of our own excerpts. More to come, as we go over the ruling in more detail.


#1 Ding Dong the witch is dead!

by generaltao

Monday April 3rd, 2000 3:51 PM

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Ceeeeeelebrate good times, come on! *girate* What a day!

#2 Well said!!!

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Monday April 3rd, 2000 3:59 PM

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"Internet Explorer is not demonstrably the current "best of breed" Web browser, nor is it likely to be so at any time in the immediate future."

#3 Really?

by rjc999

Monday April 3rd, 2000 4:35 PM

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It surprises me how people here are not objective. Mozilla looks like a winner, but trying to act like Netscape4 is superior to IE4 is ridiculous. It's clear that Netscape management dropped the ball and that MS programmers developed a superior browser. Mozilla changed that, but anyone looking at the original Netscape4 source code released has to admit it was a mess, and there was no way they were going to compete without a total rewrite.

Netscape refused to "componentize" their browser so AOL could, for instance, embed it as the rendering engine in the AOL client software. This more than anything gave MS an advantage. If I was CTO of AOL, I would have rejected Netscape too.

IE4 was clearly better than Netscape4. It supported incremental reflow, had faster Java, had "real" dynamic HTML, not just layers tricks, supported a much better "plugin" technique, had support for more standards (XML, CDF, OSD, ...), etc.

It's one thing to believe that MS hurt Netscape by giving away the browser to free, but it's totally another to act like Netscape had the best, most superior technology. As far as I can tell, Netscape failed to rewrite the original rendering engine, so each release of Netscape (2,3,4) was merely more monolithic hacks patched into the same base.

IMHO, NS got "beat" fairly and squarely. They had a bad business model which was to sell browsers. On the server side, they got beat by Apache and IIS. MS is being persecuted for this, but I think the failure of the company was inevitable given their execution.

#4 Re: Really?

by unapersson

Monday April 3rd, 2000 4:40 PM

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That may be true as far as web developers are concerned, but as far as the average user was concerned they were just as good as one another. The average user didn't go, "oh, netscape 4 has inferior CSS support, I'm switching to IE". Instead they were pushed onto IE by its inclusion in the OS.

#7 Bad business model

by rjc999

Monday April 3rd, 2000 5:51 PM

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Your response indicates irrational zealotry.

Yes, it was a bad business model. Why? Because people don't want to pay for browsers. Neither do people want to pay for TCP/IP stacks (Trumpet Winsock anyone?) These are COMMODITIES. A HTML rendering engine is a commodity. As a programmer, I expect to be able to write code as simple as "new an HTML widget, display this document in it", I don't want to launch an external browser.

Mosaic was already free. Netscape needed something better than selling browsers.

You'll note that Sun doesn't make significant money licensing Java. If Sun tried to "sell" the Java VM, it would kill it, the same way General Magic killed TeleScript.

Netscape realized it's media strategy too late. They could have been a Yahoo/Excite/Lycos/AOL, but their management was too stuck on the browser/server model.

If an open-source project released a browser for free, would you still be whining? The Apache project almost singlehandedly destroyed Netscape's server market. (Rightly so, as a consultant having to use Netscape Enterprise Server for years, I can attest to how utterly lame Netscape's advancement and customer service was. Until iPlanet for example, Netscape's Java/JavaScriptVM was limited to only 16 megabytes of RAM, even if you had 1 gigabyte on your machine)

You can whine about MS all you want, but Netscape was a POORLY run company, period. Their code was sloppy, and they failed to deliver on any of their promises. I've been programming for 15 years, and Netscape's browser design (at the source code level) is CLEARLY messy, and clearly the result of Netscape's management trying to ship things too fast, instead of redesigning the browser, and rewriting it from scratch. (which is what MS has done no less than 3 times now, including their upcoming CSS engine) Netscape practically invented the concept of shipping Alpha quality code as a product.

Worse, Netscape added plenty of proprietary extensions on their own. Let us not forget: TABLE, BGCOLOR, MULTICOL, LAYER, ILAYER, FRAME, Javascript Style Sheets, INPUT type=file, BLINK!!, etc.

But while MS added extensions, atleast their extensions were better. ActiveX is clearly better than the EMBED tag. Both are insecure plugins, but EMBED's method of installation sucks for the end user. Netscape added their own extensions to Java, or don't you remember Netscape Capabilities model, Netscape IFC, or Netscape Fireworks.

IE4's version of DOM is leaps and bounds above Netscape's. IE4's DHTML, and components are far more useful and elegant than the competing Netscape layer-hack script libraries.

I don't need to look at Microsoft's competitive practices, all I need to do is look at NS's business plan like I was a venture capitalist, and frankly, it stunk. Just look at Netscape's original SEC S-1 filing. Did they accomplish anything they outlined? Their execution as a company stunk too.

Did Microsoft hasten their demise? Probably. Do I care? No. I'm glad they were forced to release the code in desperation so the public could review how crappy it was and force them to rewrite/fix it.

There is far too much concentration here on making MS the enemy or "punishing them" There needs to be more focus on, how as a company developing software, Netscape failed. Take off the rose colored glasses for once.

Be glad that the future development of the browser is not out of NS's hands, because had they succeeded as a company, you might be paying $39.95 for a closed-source spaghetti coded browser.

#14 Css does matter to the end user...

by Stromgol <rochette@autray.net>

Monday April 3rd, 2000 8:43 PM

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The first thing someone I know told me when he tried IE4 for the first time was : "Look those link change color when my mouse goes over them... How cool!"

He didn't know it but this was brought to him by IE and its a:hover support...

#11 Re: Re: Really?

by rgelb <nospam@nospam.com>

Monday April 3rd, 2000 7:13 PM

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No, it is true even as far as everyday users are concerned as well. By version 4.x any piece of software should be able execute its primary responsibility - displaying web pages - without crashes. To this day, NS 4.x crashes on regular basis. IE 4.0 crashed a lot less. IE 5.0 hardly ever crashes. That is why NS 4.x was a crappy product. Not too long ago, I've had enough of it and completely switched to IE.

#21 Re: Re: Re: Really?

by WillyWonka

Monday April 3rd, 2000 10:24 PM

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> IE 5.0 hardly ever crashes.

Maybe for you, but for me IE 5 crashes WAY more than Netscape. It even takes down netscape with it. When I click file save as explorer.exe freezes and I have to end task it. When I do, the program that I was trying to save with also goes down.

When I go into windows\system I get javascript errors (Active desktop and web view are turned off). I cannot left or right click on a file. I can't copy a file in or out of that directory via windows (I can through dos) because of this.

Gotta love that stable, integrated browser.

Of course, I'm the only one I know with these problems.

#32 Re: Re: Re: Re: Really?

by Dan6992

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 12:53 AM

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Try checking the option that says "launch browser in separate process" this will help prevent IE from taking down the entire OS. However notice I said "help", because even this will not prevent all occurrences of IE taking down the OS.

#37 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Really?

by arnoudb <arnoudb@dds.nl>

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 7:48 AM

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Or try switching to Windows2000. The only thing that crashes under Win2K is Moz :(.

#43 Re: Switch to w2k

by WillyWonka

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 10:49 AM

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HAHAHA Thats a good one.

I run win2k at work. Its SSSLLLLOOOOWWW. I have had people walk up to my machine and asked me why it was displaying windows so slowly. I told them I just upgraded to win2k from nt4. (They weren't surprised)

BTW Mozilla does run on the win2k machine.

I gave win2k to a friend (after all its free software) and he did a fresh install... he says its much faster than nt 4... but then again he doesn't have to reboot into 98 every time he plays a game now.

The thing that really annoys me about w2k is the 3! progress meters as its loading. You have the text based progress bar when windows is first loading dos You have the graphical one at 640x480 (similar to 98) then when the mouse cursor finally pops up you get another one similar to the barber pole in the mac version of Nav4 (or mozilla) Then you get the login screen...

One of the funny things is my computer at work is called THATCOMPUTER when I installed win2k and dropped down the domains combo-box I get this:

Domain 1

Domain 2

THATCOMPUTER (This computer)

hehe... It happened by accident too!

#44 Re: Re: Switch to w2k

by rgelb <nospam@nospam.com>

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 10:59 AM

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Maybe a reinstall of IE is in order. I use IE on many different computers and it hardly ever crashes.

#46 Re: Re: Re: Switch to w2k

by WillyWonka

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 12:37 PM

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An uninstall is in order in my case.

I've tried reinstalling it a few times. Last time I reinstalled it was because it always thought I was in offline mode. Even though my computer is always connected and offline mode was unchecked. IE5 is just as bad as a Mac G3 (Sorry mac users, I just had a REALLY bad experience with one)

#47 Re: Re: Re: Switch to w2k

by WillyWonka

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 12:37 PM

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An uninstall is in order in my case.

I've tried reinstalling it a few times. Last time I reinstalled it was because it always thought I was in offline mode. Even though my computer is always connected and offline mode was unchecked. IE5 is just as bad as a Mac G3 (Sorry mac users, I just had a REALLY bad experience with one)

#53 Re: Re: Re: Switch to w2k

by mcrist

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 4:23 PM

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Exactly! That's always the answer when you encounter problems with M$ software. Are you aware of what that does to your support costs?

#52 Re: Re: Re: Really?

by mcrist

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 4:19 PM

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My experience across a VERY large Windows installed base of both browsers is completely opposite. IE4.x crashes much more often and frequently takes the whole OS down with it.

#26 Re: Re: Really?

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Monday April 3rd, 2000 11:59 PM

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If this is true then why does Mozilla think people will use Netscape 6 because of its "standards support"?

#5 Nope, sorry, WRONG

by Kovu <Kovu401@netscape.net>

Monday April 3rd, 2000 4:55 PM

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The court did not EVER state IE was better than IE, and I, one of the "people here" who you call "unobjective" never states such either. The court said, in a nutshell, that IE was no better than the competition, including but not limited to Netscape, and certainly not "better" to the point that it deserved that sweeping of a market share.

IMHO, your opinion is uninformed.

#8 Re: Nope, sorry, WRONG

by rjc999

Monday April 3rd, 2000 6:02 PM

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At the time the case went to court, Netscape still commanded over 50% of the market. If anyone had a monopoly, it was Netscape.

And don't forget that atleast 20% of IE's marketshare came from AOL. And there is one FUNDAMENTAL reason why IE is the better browser than Netscape when it comes to embeddeding it in applications: IE's rendering engine is a component. Netscape's is a monolithic browser.

AOL wanted to use Netscape, but AOL can't change the look-and-feel of AOL's client without upsetting their user base, which gets confused if you move even a single menu button.

Netscape either didn't have, or didn't want, "just their rendering engine" to be used behind-the-scenes to replace AOL's TurboWeb renderer.

IE's HTML control is almost a no-brainer drop-in that allows any developer to integrate a browser in their app easily. Netscape is no where near the same level of effort.

If I was making decisions at AOL, I would have decided to use IE too, whether it was an MS product or not. It offered competitive features, but a much quicker and less risky development model.

Netscape lost AOL because Netscape didn't pay attention to the needs of developers. Gecko won't suffer the same fate, because Gecko can be used independently of the chrome/browser functionality.

Like I said, you cannot totally lay the blame of Netscape's demise on MS. If it wasn't MS, it would have been Spyglass, Opera, or an open-source project that killed them.

#6 NS got beat fairly?

by mozineAdmin

Monday April 3rd, 2000 4:56 PM

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"IMHO, NS got 'beat' fairly and squarely. They had a bad business model which was to sell browsers."

This is contrary to the judge's ruling. You cannot abstract out Microsoft's anticompetitive practices and make presumptions about how Netscape would have fared in the market.

Since when was simply *selling* a product a bad business model? Creating a product for a profit is bad business? Well, maybe in an environment when a predatory monopolist gives away a competitive product for free to close out competition.

IE4 was never "clearly better than Netscape 4". Their ActiveX system is *still*, to this day, a major security risk. Their DOM may have had more functionality, but it was not a compliant implementation (and still isn't). Their Java had proprietary extensions. Their UI is a mess. Their app was bloated, and overtook the operating system, forcing a load of DLLs at bootup, to make IE appear faster when started.

IE was, in many ways, designed not only to insinuate itself into the user's Operating System, but also to block Netscape's competition. What would have happened if IE remained just a browser, and not an Operating System extension? Would they have "won" the browser wars? We'll never know.

In Judge Jackson's words, Microsoft has done "violence" to the competitive process. How can that be ignored?

#9 Re: NS got beat fairly?

by ttielkes <t.r.tiekes@zap.a2000.nl>

Monday April 3rd, 2000 6:32 PM

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>Since when was simply *selling* a product a bad business model?

Since it became clear that HTTP/HTML were going to be the frontend of millions of applications.

No one pays for using shared libraries, tpc/ip stacks, pull-down menus or filemanagers. All these things are universal, and part of any end-user operating system.

If in 3 years XPCOM/XUL/etc makes TrollTech (software firm that *sells* a cross-platform GUI toolkit) go bankrupt, should they sue you?

>Their ActiveX system is *still*, to this day, a major security risk. All binary code is a risk. ActiveX is the same as plugins, exept a couple of generations ahead. The new Mozilla plugin model will incorporate some IE4+ ActiveX ideas.

>Their DOM may have had more functionality, but it was not a compliant implementation (and still isn't). It was pre-DOM.

Netspace 6 won't comply to DOM3 either.

>Their Java had proprietary extensions. Where exactly are the "official" standards for Mozilla's "Blackwood"?

>Their UI is a mess. ?

>Their app was bloated. ?

>IE was, in many ways, designed not only to insinuate itself into the user's Operating System, but also to block Netscape's competition.

I have Mozilla, Netscape 4, Netscape 4.7 and IE5 installed. No problems here.

>What would have happened if IE remained just a browser, and not an Operating System extension?

What would have happened if my car manufacturer wouldn't sell wheels with the car, but told me to go to a wheel manufacturer?

#10 Bad analogy

by pulp

Monday April 3rd, 2000 7:13 PM

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>What would have happened if my car manufacturer wouldn't sell wheels with the car, but told me to go to a wheel manufacturer?

I think that your other points are good but the car analogy isn't a good one. To the best of my knowledge, cars have always had wheels and all cars require wheels to work.

OS's only recently have had browsers integrated into them and all OS's do not require browsers to work.

#17 That's because there IS NO DOM3...

by jesusX <jesus_x@mozillanews.org>

Monday April 3rd, 2000 9:11 PM

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You say:

"Netspace 6 won't comply to DOM3 either."

No one complies to DOM3. There IS no DOM3. DOM2 isn't even done yet. DOM1 has been done for a year and a half, and no product in existence complies 100% with externally created specification.

Also, just to be pedantic, your car analogy doesn't work. My original copy of Win95 didn't have a browser, and yet I was easily able to complete work. I'd like to see you drive a car with no wheels. As the other gent said, it's like a high end sound system. Take it out, and the car SHOULD still work.

#19 drivers don't have compitition

by johnlar <johnlar@tfn.net>

Monday April 3rd, 2000 10:05 PM

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<i>Anyone who can't see that a Web browser is as much as a commodity as a TCP/IP stack, or an ethernet driver is blind IMHO</i><br> A TCP/IP stack is an TCP/IP stack, there is little difference between them. There is a difference between bundling an advances program that has compitition and is not standardized, and bundling some standard drivers/stacks. Unless there is something wrong with the driver generally you don't try to get the latest and greatest version to conform to the lastest types of TCP/IP. Yes a web browser is a commodity, word processors are important commodities, but to this day Word is still sold seperatly, do you know why, because they have got you locked into Word through other means.

#22 Wrong

by rjc999

Monday April 3rd, 2000 10:25 PM

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There was competition for TCP stacks before windows. Trumpet sold one, Hummingbird sold another, and FTP Software sold ye another.

Furthermore, not all stacks are created equal. Some don't support IPsec, and some don't support multithreading/SMP very well, leading to scalability problems. But no one can do without a TCP/IP stack nowadays. You can't even DOWNLOAD one without TCP/IP given the death of customer support BBSes.

Not bundling a Web browser is like not bundling the GUI. Why aren't you complaining about GDI? I mean, MS could easily have allowed X11 to be installed on NT instead of GDI.

In fact, given NT's microkernel architecture, a Unix clone could have been run on top of NT. How far do you take this?

Fact: Almost all new applications are either Web based, or, are client-side, but with significant Web-oriented GUI components. Take apps like Outlook99, or Quicken99, which have alot of web-oriented pieces in them. In the future, many client-side apps will be XUL.

Not including an HTML rendering component with the OS is like not including a GUI toolkit. It's ridiculous. People would have to download browsers to even use their computer. But without a browser, they'd have a tough time finding or downloading a browser in the first place.

If all future apps start to use XUL, then an XUL library will have to be bundled with the OS.

Where are the complaints about Linux? The average Linux distribution gives away everything and bundles *everything*. It hurts people who try to sell web servers, it hurts Novell, it hurts small database vendors who can't compete with MySQL/Postgres, etc.

Linux people don't complain because they realize that many of these companies have to change their business model. They can't sell software anymore in their market. That's reality. That's what happened to Netscape. No one wants to pay for Web browsers anymore, and people don't want to waste time downloading and installing them.

Netscape is a casuality of this fact. The fact that the company didn't adapt is their problem.

#25 Re: Wrong

by jim

Monday April 3rd, 2000 11:20 PM

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Linux people don't complain in respect to bundling of software (e.g. Apache) for two reasons.

1. Software like Apache typically can be uninstalled. With RPM this is a snap.

2. Linux itself is not a company in itself. Since bundling occurs further downstream it isn't a probem. By this I mean there is choice (which distribution you choose to run).

I believe this is important since IE can be difficult to uninstall with Windows.

Also downstream solution sellers like Compaq are pressured by Microsoft to not alter Windows.

These two issues make a world of difference I believe.

#27 "Drivers don't have compitition" At HP t

by jesusX <jesus_x@mozillanews.org>

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 12:07 AM

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I don't use Word. I don't even own a copy of Word. I use Windows, and do "normal word processing functions" several times a week, and yet I'm not tied to Word. No, I don't use WordPro or Word Perfect. I use a DTP program, because I find it much less limiting than word processors. People who truly do "think outside the box" or, in non buzzword terms, think for themselves, find many solutions outside of the 'norm'. Your argument about being locked in not only fails you in this instance, it strengthens the case against MS, in the illegal compulsion of consumers to buy their products.

As for IE, why not include a barebones browser, like Wordpad is a barebones WP program, or Paint is a barebones image creation app (did you know it now handles JPeGs and GIFs? does that mean Photoshop should be free?), and then let people get the full IE later, if they CHOOSE to, like they can CHOOSE a Netscape product or Opera.

BTW: I bought Opera. Three months ago. I love it. Yet I still use NS. Have I been suckered into buying a 'commodity' item? (BTW: this word is being misused here, but anyway) No, I bought a quality product.

Your argument falls flat.

Oh, and drivers are part of a product, just like a power cord or connector cords, etc. It's required to work the product. And even so, HP sells, yes SELLS, enhanced drivers for some of their products. How's THAT for your argument?

#24 Re: That's because there IS NO DOM3...

by ttielkes <t.r.tiekes@zap.a2000.nl>

Monday April 3rd, 2000 10:47 PM

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"There IS no DOM3".

There wasn't a DOM1 when IE4 was released. Take a look at the W3C DOM Level 1 document.

A good part of that document results from the input of Microsoft members of the W3C.

A good part of that input results from their experiences with IE4.

#28 Re: Re: That's because there IS NO DOM3...

by jesusX <jesus_x@mozillanews.org>

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 12:09 AM

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First, no matter if Bill gates wrote DOM1 all by himself while in a coma, there still is no DOM3.

Second, they contributed to a standards body. Fine, good even. They don't fully adhere to it. Fine, no one's perfect. They have their own DOM which doesn't work right, BAD.

#31 Re: That's because there IS NO DOM3...

by ttielkes <t.r.tiekes@zap.a2000.nl>

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 12:31 AM

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>First, no matter if Bill gates wrote DOM1 all by himself while in a coma, there still is no DOM3.

From the W3C DOM pages: "The DOM Working Group is currenlty working on requirements for DOM Level 3. They will be available for public review during April 2000."

>Second, they contributed to a standards body. Fine, good even. They don't fully adhere to it. Fine, no one's perfect. They have their own DOM which doesn't work right, BAD.

A great deal of Mozilla's behaviour will be "non-standards-compliant" within, say, two years. Not because Mozilla fails *now*, but because the standarization process will have advanced *then*.

Same story for Microsoft Internet Explorer, except 3 years back in history.

#41 Re: Re: That's because there IS NO DOM3...

by FrodoB

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 9:13 AM

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There's a distinct difference here that you seem to overlook....

IE 5, if your argument is to hold water, must conform to standards that have been previously written. No one expects Netscape 4.0 to conform to specs that were finished after it was written (4.72 is another story, but we have Mozilla to count on for that). Likewise, IE 4 shouldn't be expected to conform to unfinished DOM specs. But by the time IE 5 was released, the DOM 1 specs had been out for a year or more. If your argument is to hold water, IE 5 MUST comply with older specifications. Certainly, browsers written before the release of the specs can't be expected to be compliant. But browsers written YEARS after the specs are released cannot be expected NOT to conform with the specs (yes, I know, it's a double negative; it's there for emphasis). I would throw the blame equally at Netscape for this, but they decided to go with Mozilla and aim for compliance in the future instead of adding it on top of an architecture that couldn't handle it in the present (we're talking late 1998, not early 2000 in this context). If MS decides to do the same (make a new rendering engine that actually complies to the W3C specs [even Tasman doesn't, and it was hyped for exactly that reason!]), then I have no problem here. Hell, it would solve a bunch of browser compatibility problems (if we could write to the specs and have them guaranteed to work on 95% of desktops, life is good).

#48 Ie5 works just fine with DOM1

by ttielkes <t.r.tiekes@zap.a2000.nl>

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 1:00 PM

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IE5 complies to the W3C HTML DOM1 just fine.

When I load XML in IE5, it complies to the XML DOM1 just fine.

#49 Here's a nickel, buy a clue.

by jesusX <jesus_x@mozillanews.org>

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 1:20 PM

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"The DOM Working Group is currenlty working on requirements for DOM Level 3. They will be available for public eview during April 2000."

Ahh, so it should exist soon then. Well, I guess that it means that it doesn't exist YET. Quit while you're behind.

"A great deal of Mozilla's behaviour will be "non-standards-compliant" within, say, two years. Not because Mozilla fails *now*, but because the standarization process will have advanced *then*."

Of course. Just like IE3 is useless today. Anyone with a brain in their head can see this. Two years from now, we'll be running NS 8.0, or Moz 3.

You're really making no headway. You're as blind as MS, refusing to admit that the sun is already up when it's noon.

#18 Ok for others to give away stuff, but not MS?

by rjc999

Monday April 3rd, 2000 9:56 PM

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Anyone who can't see that a Web browser is as much as a commodity as a TCP/IP stack, or an ethernet driver is blind IMHO.

In fact, the Web paradigm is commodifying operating systems too. It doesn't really matter which OS you are running, or browser, as long as it can display the relevent standards correctly, which is why things like WebTV and an internet-toaster can even be made workable.

Sorry, but no matter how much you blame MS, the fact of the matter is, browsers were going to be commodified and become free, period.

What gets me is that there is no whining that Apache pretty much destroyed Netscape's revenue stream on the high end (servers/business clients), and Apache is effectively bunded with a free OS (Linux, *BSD)

Anyone "buying" Linux/BSD gets Apache for free, already configured and setup, and ready to go.

Microsoft faced MASSIVE demands from developers who wanted easy to use libraries to access HTTP, parse HTML, display HTML, parse XML, etc etc. They *HAD* to bundle the libraries the same way they have to bundle MFC. Java bundles a (poor) HTML engine in Swing, Perl bundles several HTTP/HTML related classes, etc. It's only natural. All programming platforms suffer from bundling and bloat. Just look at Java 1.2 vs Java 1.1 vs Java. Or Perl/Python's distribution. Or Linux, which bundles basically any piece of software for which source exists, and then some.

End users want a computer that is setup for the internet when they turn it on. That means no having to install browsers, TCP/IP stacks, etc. Many computers nowadays have a keyboard button that launches the browser.

Developers on the other hand, want to be able to reuse components of a web browser. On Windows, this means the IE control, and the wininet library.

Netscape did not have a sustainable business model. They had the razor blade, but no blades to sell.

#33 Re: Ok for others to give away stuff, but not MS?

by RvR <mozillazine@mozillazine-fr.org>

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 2:41 AM

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heh, are you kidding ?!!

> What gets me is that there is no whining > that Apache pretty much destroyed > Netscape's revenue stream on the high end > (servers/business clients),

Apache is NOT a product ! it's not sold by a company, it's made by a community of developers, so why would they whine against their own common work !?!

> and Apache is > effectively bunded with a free OS (Linux, > *BSD)

anyone can and is allowed to bundle Apache with its OS, even MS could ship Win32 with Apache. can I bundle IE with Linux or BeOS or whatever ? NO. I'm sorry, but your comparison is ridiculous...

#50 Wrong

by rjc999

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 2:33 PM

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Look, IE is not part of the NT Kernel or Win95 kernel, and if you so desired, you could rip out IE. You would lose Explorer for dealing with browsing your filesystem, but you can stick to Cygnus's GNU utilities, like bash for Windows, or even COMMAND.COM.

You can say "libhtml.so can be uninstalled". But so what? Just *TRY* uninstalling libgtk.so for example. 100% of your GTK apps won't work, including the GNOME "explorer" clone. If *ALL* the standard linux applets depended on libhtml.so for displaying a GUI, then you could NOT removing libhtml without disabling alot of functionality.

You could theoretically rip-out GDI.EXE and replace the desktop with another shell. It's been done. You could also rip out X-Windows from Unix.

So are you claiming that X-Windows isn't part of the OS? I would claim that it is an essential part of any Desktop Linux and can not be removed, even if it is possible to remove it.

When the vast majority of programs start to depend on a library, it cannot be removed because it would break everything. In the case of IE's libraries, most of Win98/Windows2000 is now HTML/HTTP/internet enabled. You cannot remove these libraries without disabling things like online-help, clickable links inside apps, WebDAV/WebFolders support, etc.

The term "operating system" is a loaded word. Is the OS simply the Kernel? Linux people seem to think OS == Kernel, and that if you simply booted to /bin/sh, you'd have a working OS.

In my opinion, an OS is the sum total of all the neccessary pieces to provide a standard user experience. If most apps and users depend on transparent HTML access, than it is part of the OS.

GNOME and KDE are following suit.

#42 Re: Ok for others to give away stuff, but not MS?

by FrodoB

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 9:29 AM

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If what you say was the entire story, there's no problem. It would be wrong to complain about standard libraries on an operating system.

But that's not the whole story. The difference between Windows and Linux (distroes; Linux itself is JUST the kernel and the drivers) in standard libraries is that it's possible to switch libraries transparently on Linux. Libhtml.so is not integrated into Linux the same way that IE is integrated into Windows. IE is installed into explorer.exe, and takes over the entire interface, making it impossible to uninstall IE at all. Libhtml.so is just a library that isn't mission critical to operation of the OS. Sure, it's nice for apps, but a large body of people can function without it. Apache can be uninstalled and replaced. Java's HTML component is only loaded into memory if you specifically want it; I work on Jazilla, which uses a renderer independent of Sun's standard one and that never loads the latter into memory. I'd have no problem with IE's DLLs being bundled if they were JUST standard DLLs (addons to a core), but MS chose to make them totally replace the UI, with no recourse if they fail to do the job they're asked to do. THAT'S the difference between IE and Windows and standard things installed with distroes with Linux.

#23 Re: Bad analogy

by ttielkes <t.r.tiekes@zap.a2000.nl>

Monday April 3rd, 2000 10:45 PM

Reply to this message

Ok. I agree the "car&wheels" is a bad analogy.

But it won't be in a few years. People will grow up using browsers and the internet. I think in a decade the term "browser" will be forgotten.

Look around you at the profound changes the internet brings.

People that have never used a computer before now order books on the web. Take a minute to think about that.

Microsoft can't control the internet and they can't control the shift in the general computing model that it is bringing.

But putting a browser in their OS is the most natural thing in the world.

I highly recommend all mozillazine readers to take a look at this short, but insightfull, piece written by Dave Winer of Userland Software: <http://davenet.userland.c…999/11/06/theAncientGeeks>

#12 Re: Re: NS got beat fairly?

by sleepy

Monday April 3rd, 2000 7:39 PM

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"No one pays for using shared libraries, tpc/ip stacks, pull-down menus or filemanagers. All these things are universal, and part of any end-user operating system."

You pay for those when you buy a box of Windows. If you disagree, a car manufacturer could make a similar ridiculous claim, "yeah sure the car is $30000, but all the V6 engine, leather seats, and all that gimmicks are free!"

"If in 3 years XPCOM/XUL/etc makes TrollTech (software firm that *sells* a cross-platform GUI toolkit) go bankrupt, should they sue you?"

XPToolKit is never targeted to cut off competition. MS devoted millions of dollars in development and marketing of IE just to give it away for free, which doesn't make any business sense. Their strategy clearly is to cut off competition. Would you spent all your life-savings to develop a product and give it away?

"What would have happened if my car manufacturer wouldn't sell wheels with the car, but told me to go to a wheel manufacturer?"

Anyone would takes an OS class should know the difference between the kernel and user apps. Browser is clearly not a part of the OS, but wheels are integral part of a car. Your analogy is invalid.

#20 Arbitrary distinction

by rjc999

Monday April 3rd, 2000 10:10 PM

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"Following your line of reasoning, any software can be part of the OS, and thus must be free. The browser has been, and will continue to be, an adjunct to the OS, and an application, not part of the OS itself. It's simply not low-level enough to qualify as part of the Operating System. "

Is MFC part of the OS? How about GTK/QT on Linux? Is GDI on Windows part of the OS?

You claim that IE isn't part of the OS, but the pieces of IE *clearly* are OS components that every modern application needs:

1) URI protocol handler registry (so that file:, http:, ftp:, dav:, gopher:, etc can all be treated abstractly by the user interface)

2) modules for handling HTTP, FTP, GOPHER, SMTP, POP, IMAP, WebDAV, etc. I would argue that protocol libraries should be distributed as part of the OS since all applications need them.

3) HTML and XML parsers. Undoubtably useful for all of today's applications.

4) A Java VM. Java should be so ingrained in the OS that there is no end-user difference between running Java code, or native code. In terms of libraries, a given app shouldn't care what language a component is written in. This cannot be done with Java unless the OS's component dispatch mechanism knows about it.

5) A standard GUI component that can display HTML documents, definately useful, since most documentation/help is now in HTML format, and progressing away from DOC or WinHelp. Would you prefer a proprieaty help scheme?

6) modules to handle caching, security, network configuration (proxying, etc). This works alot better when it is in the OS. That's why setting up a connection under Win98 is way easier than under Unix. Plug your notebook into a LAN, and in most cases, everything will autoconfigure, including proxies.

Take these components, add them together with a scripting language to provide the CHROME, and you have a browser. Browser CHROME is trivial. Most of the work is in the HTML rendering engine.

Given the developer demands that an easy to use rendering component be built into the OS (Konqueror under KDE, IE control on Windows, Cyberdog [used to be] on MacOS), I just can't see the browser being a value-added product that is sold.

The inability of people here to see that Netscape wasn't a viable long term business, coupled with inevitability of an open-source replacement confuses the hell out of me, given the anti-MS whining.

Netscape was dead on the server side before AOL integrated IE, and they were dead on the client when they stopped innovating and didn't rewrite their rendering engine fast enough. Whether or not it was MS that killed them, or an open-source Konqueror or Opera is irrelevent.

Hell, even the ICEBrowser and HTMLWindow Java components have a better rendering engine than Netscape 4.

#13 Re: Re: NS got beat fairly?

by mozineAdmin

Monday April 3rd, 2000 7:50 PM

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"No one pays for using shared libraries, tpc/ip stacks, pull-down menus or filemanagers. All these things are universal, and part of any end-user operating system."

They're packaged with the OS, but not part of the OS. There's a difference.

Following your line of reasoning, any software can be part of the OS, and thus must be free. The browser has been, and will continue to be, an adjunct to the OS, and an application, not part of the OS itself. It's simply not low-level enough to qualify as part of the Operating System.

"Netspace 6 won't comply to DOM3 either."

This doesn't change the fact that IE's DOM isn't standard, and that IE is not a "better browser" because of its DOM implementation.

"Where exactly are the 'official' standards for Mozilla's 'Blackwood'?"

Mozilla allows the ability to use any Java environment that implements the OJI interface. Proprietary? Maybe - but it's a proprietary solution that allows for a more open browser/java integration, and more choice for the consumer. Microsoft's Java implementation is meant to lock people in to their version. And it's also Open Source, so any other browser manufacturer can implement it.

"I have Mozilla, Netscape 4, Netscape 4.7 and IE5 installed. No problems here. "

But your OS has parts of IE in memory constantly, even if you're not running it (even if you never started it). And you don't have a choice in the matter. For me, that's a problem.

"What would have happened if my car manufacturer wouldn't sell wheels with the car, but told me to go to a wheel manufacturer?"

That's not a valid analogy. Here's a better one. Your car manufacturer sells you a car with a 5 speaker sound system with a subwoofer, and tells you that it's free. You decide to remove it (or install a system from a different company) only to find that the existing one is hardwired into your ignition, and if you remove it, your car won't start. And you find out later that even though car prices across the industry have fallen over the past 5 years, the price of the car you bought has stayed the same.

#30 Re: NS got beat fairly?

by ttielkes <t.r.tiekes@zap.a2000.nl>

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 12:22 AM

Reply to this message

>They're packaged with the OS, but not part of the OS. There's a difference.

I don't see it. I have a WinNt and Debian workstation. Sometimes I use a PPC. Those things I mentioned are present/part of/packeged with all those operating systems.

>Microsoft's Java implementation is meant to lock people in to their version.

It allows people to use Windows specific services. The Perl packages on my Linux workstation allow the same thing. If I use Linux 2.2 kernel specific libraries from CPAN and than have trouble running my code on the OpenBSD office server, I don't complain. Same thing for any Java programmer using Microsoft tools.

The servlets I build in Visual J++ on my WinNT workstation run just fine on Debian, accessing the Postgres DB on the Win2000 box.

>But your OS has parts of IE in memory constantly... [snip]

Any OS has stuff running that some person could object to. Again, KDE's HTML renderer won't be reloaded every time it's needed either.

Your distinction between "OS and kernel" is highly academical in my view. I have a Nokia telephone with an embedded WAP/WML renderer. Next wave of mobile devices any internet appliances will all have XHTML 1.1 Basic or better browsers embedded in the OS.

Ok, my car analogy was flawed, take this one:

10 (or something) years ago, the Compact Disk players were a novelty. After some years though, every stereo set you buy has one. How *essential* something is, is determined by how it is *used*. 5 years ago, a internet browser wasn't essential. It is now.

#34 Re: Re: NS got beat fairly?

by nrosier

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 2:52 AM

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> Ok, my car analogy was flawed, take > this one: > 10 (or something) years ago, the > Compact Disk players were a novelty. > After some years though, every stereo > set you buy has one. How *essential* > something is, is determined by how it > is *used*. 5 years ago, a internet > browser wasn't essential. It is now.

Stop trying to find an analogy... this one sucks too. I still can buy a stereo without CD-player, buy another CD-player and connect it to the stereo and listen to all the music I want to. And even if the stereo already came with a CD, I could remove it and replace it with one of another company. (I'm talking about a stereo, not one of those cheap, all-in-one pieces of junk). And whatever stereo I decide to buy, I still can listen to all of the music I want to. With some exceptions, you can only run M$ crapware on a M$ OS.

#15 Re: Really?

by basic <_basic@yahoo.com>

Monday April 3rd, 2000 8:58 PM

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> It surprises me how people here are not objective.

Huh? Do you read minds or something? Most of us haven't even posted anything yet.

> Mozilla looks like a winner, but trying to act like Netscape4 is superior to IE4 is ridiculous.

Who said that NS4 is better than IE4? Both have their problems. IE has 2 extra counts against them, activex security problem (which most people don't turn off) and stuck to W98 (not very productive when one is not using IE). This does not make IE4 a worst browser than NS4, but it does not make it a better one either.

> It's clear that Netscape management dropped the ball and that MS programmers developed a superior browser.

True that NS didn't see it coming, but to say that MS dev a superior browser? Nah! I wouldn't go that far. I doubt IE would have become popular had MS not put it on those W95/98 CDs.

> Mozilla changed that, but anyone looking at the original Netscape4 source code released has to admit it was a mess, and there was no way they were going to compete without a total rewrite.

Are you saying that you have seen the IE source code and found that it was better? ( not that I have seen it but I would not say that it was NS's messy code that brought it down)

> Netscape refused to "componentize" their browser so AOL could, for instance, embed it as the rendering engine in the AOL client software. This more than anything gave MS an advantage. If I was CTO of AOL, I would have rejected Netscape too.

Well, I sometimes wonder what difference would that have made. MS still had that all powerful desktop...

> IE4 was clearly better than Netscape4. It supported incremental reflow, had faster Java, had "real" dynamic HTML, not just layers tricks, supported a much better "plugin" technique, had support for more standards (XML, CDF, OSD, ...), etc.

Don't give me that DHTML vs layers thing. Layers could very well have been THE DHTML of today. As for standards... please, don't kid me...

> It's one thing to believe that MS hurt Netscape by giving away the browser to free, but it's totally another to act like Netscape had the best, most superior technology.

I'm not sure who you are refering to.

> As far as I can tell, Netscape failed to rewrite the original rendering engine, so each release of Netscape (2,3,4) was merely more monolithic hacks patched into the same base.

As far as I could tell, NS did not have the intention of rewriting it. As for it being monolithic hacks, I don't see how that caused NS to loose market share, after all MS did the same with IE5...

> IMHO, NS got "beat" fairly and squarely. They had a bad business model which was to sell browsers. On the server side, they got beat by Apache and IIS.

They did not have the perfect business model but it wasn't so much a bad idea to sell browser, Opera is doing ok are they not?

> MS is being persecuted for this, but I think the failure of the company was inevitable given their execution.

Everyone can speculate, since it did not happen otherwise. I "speculate" that the "failure" of NS would have happened had MS not given out their browser for free. But who knows, that did not happen. And I'm glad, cause now we've got Moz. Thanks Microsoft for making Netscape open their source code. Someday MS might even be remembered as the greatest contributer to Moz ;-)

#51 More M$ revisionism

by mcrist

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 4:13 PM

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Hey RJC,

Nice bit of M$ revisionist history on your part, but..

>but trying to act like Netscape4 is >superior to IE4 is ridiculous.

Why so? "superiority" is a rather subjective concept. In my experience supporting VERY large installed bases of both, I found NS4 far more stable than IE4. By that measure, I would rank NS4 "superior"

>Netscape refused to "componentize" >their browser so AOL could, for >instance, embed it as the >rendering engine in the AOL client >software.

I believe this is inaccurate. My recollection of the court testimony was that Netscape did offer to make the modifications requested by AOL, but AOL went with IE because they wanted to insure that the AOL icon remained on the Windows desktop.

>"real" dynamic HTML, not just layers every bit as proprietary as anything done by Netscape in the layers space.

> support for more standards (XML, CDF, >OSD, ...), etc.

Your kidding right? Please review commentary by the Web Standards Project on IE 4's level of compliance.

> It's one thing to believe that MS hurt >Netscape by giving away the browser to >free, but it's

This doesn't require a big leap of faith, it's well documented in the court proceedings, much of it based on Microsoft's own internal documents.

> IMHO, NS got "beat" fairly and >squarely.

You're clearly ignoring the facts in the case.

> They had a bad business model which >was to sell browsers.

They were quite profitable until M$ came along, so I'd say it was a good business model at the time.

>On the server side, they got beat by >Apache and IIS.

Enterprise Server always has been and is still vastly superior in most respects to either Apache or IIS. Most folks simply aren't motivated to crunch the numbers and do a proper TCO analysis to arrive at an informed conclusion.

#16 fairly and squarely

by petejc <pete@mozdev.org>

Monday April 3rd, 2000 9:05 PM

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If browsers were trains, then microsoft owned most of the tracks.

A train without a track is pretty useless . . .

pete

#29 Reminder

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 12:15 AM

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I believe Microsoft lost a preliminary battle in a trial before, and then an appeals court decided that they do not have to accept the conditions of the ruling. That could happen again.

I wonder what I must have to be immune to United States law too. Could it be money? How easy is it to buy a part of the judical system? Are the courts listed on NASDAQ? Die, Microsoft.

#35 Today is a dark day ...

by danielhill <danielhill@hotmail.com>

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 5:28 AM

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Microsoft didn't bully anyone to get in their position. All the competition was worse than Windows. Not that I am saying Windows is any good, it's just the "least crap".

So successful companies are punished for being successful. Because Netscape are incompetent and cannot compete, they must suck up to the government.

Only in America, folks ...

#40 This isn't about IE, it's about Microsoft.

by Rick_g

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 9:07 AM

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Microsoft wasnīt punished for being succesful, but for using that success to crush its competitors. IE might be the best browser, but that doesn't give Microsoft the right to include it with the OS. (For a fair competition, there would have to be a Netscape operating system (WinMoz?). Now THAT would be interesting.

Letīs remember that Gates didnīt play fair, starting with his stealing of Macīs ideas for a GUI. Worst of all, its operating system implementation was terrible. And because of the UNDOCUMENTED features (MS-DOS), etc. very few users could use OS/2 or other operating systems because they weren't 100% MS-DOS compatible (ever heard of DR-DOS? you get the idea).

The reason why free (or at least cheap), good operating systems arenīt in our machines is because Microsoft keeps inventing new standards and gives them to big companies, so we can't develop any good, windows-compatible OS because the commercial programs would demand MS-exclusive features (registry, system Tray, etc..)

And i can remember a freeware DOC2HTML that got sued by Microsoft and had to be removed from the web.

Maybe i could disagree with the government... IF AND ONLY IF Microsoft really gave us good products (this program requires VBRUN300.DLL - ugh!)

OK, now that i exposed my end-user point of view, let's celebrate.

:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

#36 Yawn, yawn, yawn.

by leafdigital

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 6:53 AM

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I was intensely bored with all this crap.

Six months ago.

Now it's beyond boredom. I'm even getting bored of being bored with it. That's how bored I am.

I do not care. At all. Not one teeny bit. :)

In any case, it won't affect Mozilla. Let's hope AOL use their own near-monopoly-power to tip the browser-share balance by shipping a Mozilla-based browser with AOL 6. That's what'll make a difference.

--sam

#45 Have to agree

by sab39

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 11:15 AM

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Although many mozilla supporters are no doubt among those cheering this ruling, I'm really not sure that MozZine is the place for it... after all, it's not exactly "Mozilla news or advocacy"...

The release of 6.0b1 tomorrow... now *that* will be news :)

Stuart.

#38 Why Microsoft is being punished

by Quelish

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 8:09 AM

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Microsoft built a better browser than NS 4.x...I cannot contest that, nor can anyone else thinking with a clear head. Tying it to the OS is actually pretty cool in concept -- something Netscape should have pursued further.

What people have to realize here is that Microsoft is being punished for their business practices: They punished OEM's for installing NS onto systems, they made deals with companies to lock out competition, and they even enticed other businesses with case rewards for switching to a product that was free in the first place. Speaking of a free product...they used their stranglehold on the OS market to leverage giving away their browser for free. Even if it is a better browser than NS, how could NS compete against that?

Microsoft is not successful solely on the quality of their software. They used their 90% share of the world's PC's to release software that would further cement their hold on the market. Many businesses have started out with great products only to be bought by Microsoft so that they could include it in Windows and reap the profits from sales. Had those businesses refused, Microsoft would no doubt find ways to crush them. Anyone remember Pen Windows? THAT's the issue here.

If Microsoft wanted to avoid all this mess, they should have welcomed the competition from Netscape. They should have allowed OEM's to put both browsers on systems. They should have not forced businesses to sign exclusionary agreements. They should have produced a compliant version of Java. In short, they should have played fair to begin with. But they didn't, and the DOJ has nailed them on it.

Will they win in appeals court? Who knows? That's going to take a long time to play out. What's important now is that the battles of the past have been lost but the war is not over. Netscape still stands a chance at regaining their market share. The folks at AOL are the kings of free software, and you can bet that they'll take advantage of the ruling to rain on Microsoft's parade. Eventually we'll see Mozilla as AOL's browser of choice (thanks to the modular engine). We'll see Mozilla running on systems that Microsoft doesn't bother writing code for. We'll see Mozilla running where we don't even recognize it's Mozilla.

As long as there are those of us around that believe in the open source nature of Mozilla, it will never die, and Microsoft will never have a 100% hold on the browser market. IE got help taking over thanks to Microsoft's share of the OS market. Netscape may once again take over thanks to the DOJ. God Bless America!

#39 Pen Windows note

by uksi

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 8:44 AM

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For those don't know the Pen Windows reference, here's an old Time magazine news story ('95):

<http://www.time.com/time/…/950605/950605.cover.html>

Search for "Pen Windows" in the document. The relevant paragraph is:

Fueling the debate--and industry gossip mills--are fresh details of Microsoft's hard-nosed business dealings. In a new book called Startup (Houghton Mifflin; $22.95), for example, GO Corp. founder Jerry Kaplan tells how in 1989 his company, hoping to persuade Microsoft to write some software for GO's pen-based computer system, gave Gates and his developers a demonstration of how it worked. Microsoft said it wasn't interested. But two years later, the company unveiled a competing system called Pen Windows that bore an uncanny resemblance to GO's design, even using the same "gestures" to insert and delete characters. Microsoft calls the account "factually inaccurate."

#54 What's the point?

by k3davis

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 6:47 PM

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This whole thing means next to nothing for MS. They could have settled, but it wasn't in their interest to do so. After 2-3 years of appeal and a few million dollar lawsuits, they are still the holder of nearly all standard operating systems, and will continue to get rich, stay rich, be rich.

A company of that size laughs at things like this. I hardly see how this will affect anything at all in the long run.

Microsoft stock still rated at "BUY" by most investor groups. Get it while it's cheap.

- a un*x user ;-)

#55 an aside...

by k3davis

Tuesday April 4th, 2000 6:52 PM

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It would be interesting to see MS open the Windows source code. I imagine it would be the only code uglier and more impossible to make use of than the original Netscape 4.x. ;-)

#56 WOOHOO! (n/t)

by Hendy99 <gbhendy1@bigpond.net.au>

Wednesday April 5th, 2000 10:09 PM

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.