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.
#20 Arbitrary distinction
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.