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.

#52 bah

by Kovu <>

Saturday November 3rd, 2001 6:12 PM

You are replying to this message

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

I never claimed AOL killed the project, but they certainly didn't expand it. Microsoft drove Netscape into the ground as a company and AOL pretty much left it there. No, they didn't kill Mozilla altogether, they had future uses for it, but they certainly didn't expand Netscape at all, like they have the money to do. AOL maintained the status quo, and they didn't expand or capitalize on the Netscape brand like Netscape Communications would have if they had AOL's cash flow as a sole company. Instead, they downsized Netscape and went "under the radar".

> 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!"

No, I don't think they "did what I said they didn't do". Netscape 6 had pathetic marketing and promotion. I'd honestly wonder, although I can't prove, if AOL felt forced into releasing SOMETHING so that they weren't percieved to be doing what I think they've done: playing Netscape like a dead dog. Now they can say "Well we tried to compete with Netscape 6, didn't work, see what Microsoft has done to us?"

> 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?

That would be ripping up Microsoft, who is currently closing in on AOL's bread and butter with MSN. Obviously AOL wants the government to do as much as possible to hinder MSN and MSN Messenger from eating AOL's own properties alive.

> 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....

Yes, it is vague, Mr. Sarcasm. They're testing Gecko in CS but they can't even admit that CS 7.0 will use it? You really think they're going to scrap the project and go back to IE? I doubt it. I use it, and it's perfectly functional (aside from the support issues from the Web community at large). But the above statement leaves room for that possibility, confusing the issue. What they could have said was "Yes, CS 7.0 will use Gecko, so will future versions of AOL, but we're not done testing."