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.

#38 Re: Well, this is a bit lame

by strauss

Friday November 2nd, 2001 10:50 AM

You are replying to this message

> The biggest joke is that if Microsoft blatantly ignore this consent degree (like they did the last one) then it just gets extended for two years. <

And they certainly will. The whole reason the draconian breakup penalty was originally imposed is because Microsoft has blatantly flouted every conduct remedy imposed on them. That's not going to change. After a while you have to give up on conduct remedies and go for structural remedies instead. In Microsoft's case, there might as well not be any conduct remedy unless the company is actively placed under constant judicial review of every strategic and tactical decision, and that's just not feasible -- the courts can't run a company that large.

This is grim news for the rest of the software industry.