Government Wants Two Microsofts

Friday April 28th, 2000

The U.S. Government has issued what it feels is the best remedy to keep Microsoft from leveraging it's monopoly any further. Microsoft part 1 would be just the operating system, and part 2 would take control of applications like IE and Office. Microsoft has until May 10 to submit their comments on this.

This bodes well for the Web developer community. Up to the present day, the IE development team has worked to support Microsoft's developer customer base, not Web developers in general or standards compliance goals. This is clear in the posts from Microsoft representatives on the WSP Standards mailing list.

With no guarantee that their browser will be included on any PC distribution, would the IE team not be forced to deal with standards compliance and interoperability? If they had to compete at the same level as their competitors, would it not bring about a change in attitude? And with no OS monopoly revenues to support browser development, I wonder if Microsoft would be forced to act as Netscape did -- turning to Open Source and the developer community for assistance.

Microsoft's IE development team has created a de facto platform built on numerous proprietary extensions and tight OS integration. With the loss of this tight integration, and with new platform competition from Mozilla's XUL, would the IE team acknowledge the necessity of cross-platform interoperability? Or would they stay a Windows-and-Mac-only development team that lacks interoperability across even those two platforms?

What do you think?

#12 Actually it doesn't!!!

by Dan6992

Sunday April 30th, 2000 9:15 PM

You are replying to this message

Actually it says...

"the Operating Systems Business and the Applications Business shall be prohibited from:"...

"licensing, selling or otherwise providing to the other Business any product or service on terms more favorable than those available to any similarly situated third party."

Which means the Applications Business could license IE's source to the Operating Systems Business for integration as long as they provide an equal and no-bios option to other businesses. But like I said who would want it? There is also another section that says...

"Microsoft shall not, in any Operating System Product distributed six or more months after the effective date of this Final Judgment, Bind any Middleware Product to a Windows Operating System unless:

i.Microsoft also offers an otherwise identical version of that Operating System Product in which all means of End-User Access to that Middleware Product can readily be removed (a) by OEMs as part of standard OEM preinstallation kits and (b) by end users using add-remove utilities readily accessible in the initial boot process and from the Windows desktop; and

ii.when an OEM removes End-User Access to a Middleware Product from any Personal Computer on which Windows is preinstalled, the royalty paid by that OEM for that copy of Windows is reduced in an amount not less than the product of the otherwise applicable royalty and the ratio of the number of amount in bytes of binary code of (a) the Middleware Product as distributed separately from a Windows Operating System Product to (b) the applicable version of Windows."

Which means there are restrictions but not complete prevention of the integration of IE!