US DOJ v M$ was a great trial. It came close to cutting M$’s illegal monopoly over desktop operating systems off at the knees. The Judge in that case has died. He recommended that M$ be broken up, unbundling the company if not the product…
“When a Microsoft lawyer complained that too many excerpts from Bill Gatesâ€™s videotaped deposition â€” liberally punctuated with the phrase â€œI donâ€™t rememberâ€ â€” were shown in the courtroom, Judge Jackson said, â€œI think the problem is with your witness, not the way his testimony is being presented.”
So close and yet so far thanks to other judges in the politically stacked courts and in a government run by heavily lobbied politicians of USA. The case should have been the beginning of the end of the monopoly but instead M$ was allowed to agree to keep its monopoly by crossing off a few items from its rapidly growing list of dirty tricks. You can read all the details in US DOJ v M$. The documents are still on the web. I even have my own repository of the trial exhibits. They are a goldmine of M$’s perfidy.
Here’s an example. M$ paid ISPs for each user they switched to using M$’s browser. That wasn’t about selling a product. It was about locking in users to a monopoly.
“We are trying to ï¬gure out how to incent ISPs to move their installed base (as opposed to new customers) to IE. With Netcom we will refund them $9 from the ISP referral server bounties for every existing customer they move to IE.”
see US DOJ v M$ Exhibit 86.
How a crime of global proportions became an agreement not to do a short list of things is beyond me, but it is what it is. Fortunately the world can and does make wonderful software like Debian GNU/Linux so we don’t need M$ at all any more and they are sliding into irrelevance.
What US courts failed to do, the world will eventually fix.