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.

#47 Re: AOL's dead dog

by strauss

Saturday November 3rd, 2001 9:34 AM

You are replying to this message

Failure to come out with a browser sooner certainly has been a major factor in handing the browser market to Microsoft, although Microsoft bundling strategies might have been almost as effective with an earlier Netscape release as part of AOL.

What I'm not understanding in your message is the finger-pointing at AOL as opposed to Netscape. Do you think AOL didn't want to come out with a browser sooner than 2002? AOL were told by Netscape that the complete rewrite of the browser from scratch would allow them to ship a serious competitor in 1999. This was a silly claim then and even more so now in hindsight, but AOL can hardly be painted as the aggressor for simply believing something told to it by Netscape, or for pumping tens (probably hundreds) of millions of dollars into Netscape to let it do what Netscape wanted to do. Responsibility for the delay must be pointed at the responsible parties in Netscape technical management -- although I've come to think that phrase may be an oxymoron.