New Poll Request

Saturday February 27th, 1999

A new PCWeek article states that many antitrust specialists are now believing that the government will not only win its case against Microsoft, but withstand an appeal as well. What will the remedy be?

Our next poll will be "If you needed to propose a remedy at the end of the Microsoft trial, it would be to ______." This time, however, we're doing the poll a little differently.

We'd like you to submit to us possible answers to the remedy question. We'll take our favorite responses, and use ten of them in the poll. If they require extra explanation, we'll do a little news piece to accompany the poll that explains the choices in detail.

So, for now, what we need from you is this: Send email to with your possible remedy for Microsoft's antitrust violations. It should contain a title, _as short as possible_, that describes the remedy (so it fits in the poll space). It should be followed by a short description of the remedy for clarity.

Your remedy can be as useful or as silly as you like. No rules. If you propose castrating Bill Gates in a public display, it might be illegal, but it may be intriguing enough to make it into the poll.

#37 Tp: Zoloft

by J. Maynard Gelinas <>

Sunday March 7th, 1999 11:47 AM

You are replying to this message

Zoloft Wrote: "Windows would be 'nationalized'" I'm not really sure what you mean by that, but if you mean the same as it it would become a 'permanent fixture', I disagree.

No I mean nationalize as in the government taking the property of a private corporation or individual without compensation. Regardless of Microsoft's illegal behavior, I seriously doubt the government could justify taking Microsoft's intelectual property and giving it away for free. However, I'm not a lawyer, this is just MHO about the law as a layman. But I don't think I would support such a move even though I strongly support free software.

Zoloft Wrote: I would argue that their APIs could be considered their intellectual property just the same.

No. An Applications Programming Interface is _not_ source code, it's a specification. That's like saying all mystery, romance, or science fiction genre are the property of Avon or Dell (book publishers). No, the source content can be copyrighted, but not the API. Now, they may wish to keep the API private, but I think that since Win32 is on the majority of desktop computers today the DOJ has a good argument that the specification should be open and managed by a separate body such as IEEE (or some other industry consortium like X/Open or whatever). Were that to happen the Win32 API would be taken from the hands of Microsoft (though I'm sure MS would still be a player) and made available to anyone who joined the organization. And this doesn't have to be free. Open _doesn't_ imply free! Just that the specification is open and available to anyone willing to fork over a fee to the organizing committe.