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.

#51 Re: Re: Stable Full Interfaces

by Kovu <>

Saturday November 3rd, 2001 5:30 PM

You are replying to this message

You make a good point, but the settlement states that Microsoft has to publish APIs no later seven months prior to the last beta (pre-release candidate) of a major product release, which is defined as any release with one or less numbers after the "point" in the product. Thus, IE 6.5 will be covered, IE 6.51 will not. I suppose Microsoft could well start using two digits constantly, but that would confuse users and be a bad marketing move.

I don't know, after reading the settlement it doesn't seem too bad to me. The committee that's appointed (TC) actually has a great deal of power, and in addition to a two-year extension, the settlement does also specify "or any other remedies the Court finds necessary".

Still, I don't see mention of the "clean version" of Windows I was hoping for. Looks like all it forces is Microsoft to allow people to disable access to features. That kind of sucks. And yes, I've had my default browser reset by Frontpage98, I think, or another program.

Note though that this settlement addresses the fact that Microsoft used to totally disallow dual-booting, and this forces them to stop that. Before, their license would not allow people to change the boot sequence at all. I think that's a good thing, at least.