Judge Mostly Approves Microsoft-DOJ Settlement in Antitrust Case

Friday November 1st, 2002

United States District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has issued her opinions in the Microsoft antitrust case. The ruling covers both Microsoft's settlement with the US Department of Justice and also the harsher remedies sought by the nine non-settling states. Slashdot has links to relevant documents in PDF format. From what we understand, Kollar-Kotelly has ruled that the Microsoft-DOJ settlement is in the public interest and recommended only a few changes. Most of the non-settling states' concerns have been rejected. Slashdot sums up the judgement as "a massive win for Microsoft." More stories at CNET and WinInfo.

UPDATE! Further articles can be found at Reuters, CNN/Money and BBC News.

ANOTHER UPDATE! The Register has a story on the ruling and an analysis piece that concludes that the settlement has too many loopholes to be effective. The New York Times also has a report and analysis (both articles require free registration). Finally, CNET has expanded its coverage of the ruling and Computerworld has a report with a variety of quotes.

Microsoft's opinion of the ruling is available in the Legal News section of their site. Documents include a brief statement and a transcript of a press conference held on Friday.

#3 Re: Netscape = Dead Dog

by schapel

Friday November 1st, 2002 7:20 PM

You are replying to this message

> ...Because if AOL for PCs switched to Gecko tomorrow, suddenly Netscape would have > like at least a 40 percent share...

Whoa! You're way off here. From looking at <…s/stat_trends.htm#browser> you can see that AOL browsers get only 5-6% of page access. And even if AOL released a version of Windows software that uses Gecko tomorrow, that wouldn't mean that suddenly all AOL users would be using Gecko. Users will tend not to upgrade if they have a working version of software. For example, even two years after Netscape 6 was released, more people use Netscape 4 than all Gecko browsers combined! Similarly, it would take years for most AOL users to shift over to the Gecko-based version.

I'll repeat this yet again -- while IE is shipped on all Windows and Mac computers, IE will have over a 90% share for the next several years. It doesn't matter what happens with Gecko-based browsers. Non-IE browsers need to fight for that less than 10% of the market that's left for them.

The best we can hope for is that non-IE standards compliant browsers are used enough that web developers realize they need to code to real web standards, not just for IE and Netscape 4. As long as that happens, why does it matter how many people use Gecko-based browsers?