Microsoft Pays Netscape $750 Million to Settle Antitrust Suit
Thursday May 29th, 2003
Several people wrote in to tell us that Microsoft has agreed to settle the private antitrust suit filed against it by Netscape Communications Corporation last year. Microsoft will pay AOL Time Warner, Netscape's parent company, $750 million to end the litigation. In a related agreement, Microsoft will give AOL a seven-year royalty-free license to use Internet Explorer and a long-term license to use its Windows Media 9 Series technology. The two giants have also agreed to work together on digital media initiatives and establish interoperability between the AOL Instant Messenger and MSN/Windows Messenger networks. In addition, Microsoft will give AOL more technical information about Windows and help AOL to distribute its software to some PC vendors.
CNN/Money, CNET News.com and Bloomberg.com all have articles about the settlement. More details are available in Microsoft and AOL Time Warner's joint press release.
Update! Further reports are available from Slashdot, MSNBC, PC Magazine, InfoWorld, InternetNews, ENT News, EE Times and the Associated Press (via InformationWeek). Meanwhile, CNET News.com asks if the IE licensing deal means the end of Netscape.
Another Update! CNET News.com now has an entire special coverage section on the deal, which includes a longer updated main article. The Bloomberg.com report has also been revised and other stories can be found at Wired News, BetaNews and Reuters.
Another Update! Microsoft's PressPass site has a transcript of a press conference call with Microsoft's Bill Gates and AOL Time Warner's Richard Parsons, which has been extensively referred to by many media reports. A collection of soundbites from Bill Gates is also available.
Another Update! Matt Kraai writes: "Salon is carrying an article on the Microsoft/AOL TW settlement and its effect on Mozilla. I found it via Boing Boing." To read the article, you'll either have to subscribe to Salon Premium or view a short ad, which will give you access to Salon for the day.
#38 Sad to hear such defeatism!
Friday May 30th, 2003 7:39 AM
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At the moment there are still far too many web sites out there which just do not work on Gecko. Of course this is not a problem with Gecko, but with incompetent web designers, or designers without the time/money/inclination to redesign from old 'cross browser' (read of course IE/NS4.7) code to standards compliant code. It is also a little unforgiving of certain things which IE users would not notice - such as servers serving the wrong MIME types (e.g. trying to display a JAR archive as it was served as text/plain).
Linux does have a good chance of encroaching on Windows territory as far as the desktop goes, but not until a lot of choice is taken away from the user! Knoppix Linux for example is very easy to install on the desktop, and picks up almost all hardware attached to the PC. However, the general desktop user will get very confused over the sheer quantity of programs installed, and even what most of them do (what is EMACS? GIMP?)!
Linux needs a dedicated project to setting up a usable desktop for the average user - one desktop environment, the cream of the crop of the software, and maybe rename some of the software to reflect better what they do (Mozilla Browser and Mozilla Mail will work, GIMP would be better as GNU Image Manipulator).
Anyway, we know that at least Mozilla has a loyal fanbase - which is growing. I have converted a good handful of people from IE!