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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.


#7 Bad business model

by rjc999

Monday April 3rd, 2000 5:51 PM

You are replying to this message

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.