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.

#50 Re: Nope, I think it's AOL

by strauss

Saturday November 3rd, 2001 4:56 PM

You are replying to this message

> But what speaks volumes is the fact that AOL has really NOT pushed Netscape at all, or even tried to, in any real way, anywhere. <

What do you call spending tens or hundreds of millions of dollars developing it?

> A company who built fame on shoving its product down everyone's throats is, for some strange reason, seemingly entirely incapable of distributing Netscape anywhere. <

They packaged it, promoted it, and made it available for free download. The only thing is, people don't want it at its current stage of development. The premature 6.0 and 6.1 releases have made things harder for later, better versions. They've done just what you said they didn't do, and it's hurt the project quite a bit. Classic markjeting-think: "I don't want it good, I want it Thursday!"

> Did the Microsoft deal say that AOL couldn't make a worldwide ISP using Netscape? I doubt it. Why haven't they tried doing so? <

Because they don't have a browser as good as Internet Explorer yet, and they couldn't handle the technical support costs or customer migration that would have followed a Mozilla-based AOL release at the current stage. Now that Mozilla may be approaching that point, they're giving it a test run on CI$ to see if it flies. Doing that before about 0.9.4 would have been even more foolish than releasing NS6.[01] was.

> Why? Because if AOL "undid" the damage Microsoft had done to Netscape, the trial would be irrelevant. <

That's a pretty silly conspiracy theory. How would this bizarre, expensive, years-long subterfuge butter AOL's bread? Where's the ka-ching?

> when asked about when the Compuserve 7.0 version would be out, AOL said something vague like "we have no idea when CS 7.0 will be out, or what browser it will use. We're still testing." or something like that. <

An inscrutable, cryptic, even oracular statement. It couldn't possibly mean they're still testing, after all....