Microsoft and Federal Government Reach Tentative Settlement

Wednesday October 31st, 2001

MSNBC is reporting that Microsoft has reached a tentative settlement with the Federal Government. The deal calls for a 5 year consent decree that forces Microsoft to release Windows without a variety of currently bundled programs like Internet Explorer, MSN Messenger, and Windows Media Player.

As you may know, the US Government has had consent decrees before, and Microsoft has completely ignored them, we feel. As in the past, we expect the version of Windows without the bundled packages to be almost identical in price to the current version of Windows. The last major question remaining is whether the State Attorneys General agree with the deal. We hope they do not, and push for much harsher punishment.

#26 A bit narrow, but...

by Kovu <>

Thursday November 1st, 2001 9:41 PM

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I think that if this matches the final settlement, it's a lot better than what we've got so far, which has been nothing. Nothing is what we'd continue to get if the case dragged on any longer. In the original order by Jackson, the version of Windows shipped without all the crap in it would have to cost as much less as the percentage of the amount of code that was removed. I'd buy it.

This does nothing to solve the OS monopoly that they have, though, but this case was based not on that monopoly, but the abuse of that monopoly in the browser market. It's a narrow settlement, in a way, but the case scope was narrow, too (too narrow, in my view).

Anyway, I'd be happy if:

A) The government settled and restricts Microsoft B) The states carry the torch and possibly get later, larger restrictions.

Better that than let Microsoft drag the case out another two years with no penalties at all.