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.

#34 Re: Stable Full Interfaces

by pallando <>

Friday November 2nd, 2001 8:54 AM

You are replying to this message

Well, I've read the proposed settlement: <…nov01/11-02settlement.asp>

The relevant section seems to be: D. Starting [...] Microsoft shall disclose [...] the APIs and related Documentation that are used by Microsoft Middleware to interoperate with a Windows Operating System Product.

Where part of the definition of "Microsoft Middleware Product" is: the functionality provided by Internet Explorer, Microsoft s Java Virtual Machine, Windows Media Player, Windows Messenger, Outlook Express and their successors in a Windows Operating System Product

So the "Full" bit seems to be covered.

But I see no mention of Stability in there. So expect to see applications written to those APIs break with every release of windows.

I also see no mention of how the OS interoperates with the middleware. In other words, there is nothing to stop the OS expecting Internet Explorer, by name, rather than using some generic give-me-this-persons-default-webbrowser() method. How many of you have installed a patch from Microsoft and found that your default web browser has mysteriously been reset to IE?