Legal Opinions | Editorials
| Grass Roots Action
Much of our economy, culture, and lifestyle in the future is going
depend on software. Software will be involved in providing your news
and entertainment, facilitating your banking and shopping, and
controlling your communications with others. How would you feel if
that software came from a single dominant, arguably unethical, and
largely unaccountable source? Or would you rather have a plurality of
equally viable competitors, each struggling against each other to
bring you the best value at the lowest price?
We argue that Microsoft has effectively become that single
software monopoly depicted in the previous paragraph. Indeed, many
people now feel that they have no choice but to buy Microsoft
products. Microsoft has mastered public dishonesty, deceptive
marketing, manipulation of standards, and business practices well
outside what most consider ethical in order to monopolize the most
profitable segments of the entire software industry. Indeed, in
Microsoft's current position, they don't have to offer superior
products or technologies -- they just have to keep sabotaging their
competition from their monopoly position.
But many people don't realize how strategically Microsoft has
positioned themselves to gain control over a significant portion of
our mass media, cultural resources, and economic system. You can
already see the influence they have on the computer press, where
serious journalists avoid discussing the issues explored on this
page, and exposing the mediocracy of Microsoft's products, for fear
of damaging their careers.
"Microsoft's goal is domination of the global
information business, which is to say all business. Phone
companies, cable television companies, post offices, stock
exchanges, banks, treasury departments -- all of these are viewed
by Microsoft as future competitors."
-- Robert X. Cringely, from PBS
There are plenty of sites on the web expressing hate and other
negative opinions about the company. Hopefully this one attempts to
focus on stuff that actually has some factual value.
Information about legal actions against Microsoft.
- The Findings of Fact
by Judge Thomas P. Jackson
A United States district judge made his first in a series of
rulings in the U.S. vs. Microsoft anti-trust trial. The U.S.
Department of Justice asserted that Microsoft used it's monopoly
power in personal computer operating systems to foreclose
competition in the web browser market. The Judge finds that
Microsoft did this and more...
US-DOJ's Evidence Against Microsoft
A mountain of damning evidence collected by the United States
Department of Justice illustrating how Microsoft has abused its
monopoly power in order to remain in a dominant industry position
and to deny consumers of choice.
Mountain Arts vs. Microsoft
Blue Mountain created a
web site through which customers can send customized, interactive
greeting cards to other Internet users via electronic mail.
Because Microsoft has a competing greeting card service,
Microsoft's Outlook mailer, which is part of the
Internet Explorer application, and WebTV, a TV-set-top
internet service and device, were programmed to reject Blue
Mountain greeting cards. Microsoft claims this is an error, but
refuses to fix it.
Injunction Forces Microsoft to Stop Breaking
This link will take you to the actual text of U.S. District
Judge Ronald Whyte's injunction prohibiting Microsoft from,
"...reproducing, distributing or selling SDKJ 2.0 and 3.0,VJ
6.0, IE 4.0 and Windows98 in their current
Hans Reiser has filed a civil suite against Microsoft for
Illegal Tying of operating system components. This is a rather
long page, but it's surprisingly full of damning evidence.
- Court Injunction
Prevents Microsoft from Bundling Internet Explorer
United States District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson orders
Microsoft to, "...cease and desist... from the practice of
licensing the use of any Microsoft personal computer operating
system software (including Windows 95 or any successor version
thereof) on the condition, express or implied, that the licensee
also license and preinstall any Microsoft Internet browser
software (including Internet Explorer 3.0, 4.0, or any successor
U.S. Department of Justice asks for $1 Million per Day
The United States Department of Justice determined that Microsoft
bullied PC makers into delivering Microsoft's web browser as part
of Microsoft Windows. This document announces the DOJ's petition
to have a federal judge find Microsoft in contempt of the 1995
Caldera, a Linux vendor, bought DR-DOS, a superior alternative to
MS-DOS. And has filed suit against Microsoft for civil damages
relating to Microsoft's actions to shut DR-DOS out of the PC
operating system market. The case was settled out of court,
with much of the evidence sealed.
- Judge Stanley
The U.S. Department of Justice arrived at an agreement with
Microsoft to to get Microsoft to stop certain anti-competitive
business practices. In this memo, the judge argues that this
agreement didn't go far enough.
- Netscape's Letter
Netscape's complained to the Deputy Attorney General of the United
States over Microsoft's attempt to use their dominance in the
desktop operating systems market to squeeze Netscape out of
Editorials about Microsoft's (lack of) ethics and its position in
the computer industry. In order of the editor's impression of their
San Jose Mercury News Covers the Microsoft Antitrust
Award winning daily news coverage of the Antitrust trial US-DOJ
vs. Microsoft. Includes links to excellent commentary by
Antitrust attorney Rich Gray.
Microsoft Safe for Capitalism
James Gleick, a New York ISP founder and columnist for the New
York Times Magazine wrote this thoroughly insightful analysis of
Microsoft and their role in the information age.
to Do About Microsoft
Consumer activist Ralph Nader, and his colleague, James
Love, have been studying the damage Microsoft has done to
consumer choice for a long time. Here are some of their more
recent comments on the subject. They recently organized the
Microsoft conference in Washington, D.C.
VS. MICROSOFT: The Case of the Missing PC Makers
In this article from Business
Week, commentators Amy Cortese, Susan B.
Garland, Steve Hamm explain Why the government couldn't
persuade any PC makers to testify against Microsoft.
boss wary of Microsoft
This Associated Press article reports on a new book in which the
chairman and chief executive of Walt
Disney Co. says the Redmond-based software company "may be our
most daunting competitor."
lessons: Skunks, Microsoft, and Bill Gates' 1998 Antitrust
Computer networking pioneer Bob Metcalfe tries to break the
news to Bill Gates that he's going to have to have a change of
heart because the Department of Justice is not going to let
Microsoft continue to get away with being a corporate bully.
Are Programs (or... How To Make Money In the Software
Although John Walker's article is now a couple of years old, it
presents a chilling picture of a likely future where the big
software vendors effectively become extortionists -- charging us
for software as a monthly subscription instead of software as a
tangible product. (Read this and then see if you still believe
it's O.K. to let one company totally dominate the industry.)
- Excerpts from
Unauthorized Windows 95
Andrew Schulman is a senior editor for computer reference book
publisher O'Reilly & Associates. In his
book he describes a number of techniques Microsoft has used
not to improve their product, but to deliberately sabotage
Mr. Schulman's reverse engineering of Microsoft Windows has
revealed many of Microsoft's gross lies and distortions about
it comes to judging Microsoft products, the devil is in the
Nicholas Petreley writes a Microsoft watchdog column for
Infoworld Magazine called
Down to the Wire. In this article he exposes how much
Microsoft lies about everything they do.
Tom McNichol wrote this article in which he explains how
Microsoft's corporate philanthropy may be great marketing, but
lacks any real generosity.
-- Or Office 1984?
Andrew Leonard loves his new Microsoft software, but
he has his doubts about whether it's good for him, us, or
Fast Lane to The Internet
Jonathan Marshall and Jon Swartz, Staff Writers for
the San Francisco Chronicle, expose Microsoft's dastardly,
anti-competitive plan to use their dominance in desktop operating
systems to force a small competitor out of the internet software
Who Controls the Bootloader
Scott Hacker explains how the central point of Microsoft's
domination over the commodity PC is the boot loader, not the
browser. He explains how the DOJ totally missed this most crucial
point in its anti-trust case, and how BE
could have made a decent federal case of it.
Grass Roots Action
What individual people can do to help save the dwindling
alternatives in the software business.
To many this might sound downright heretical. It would be like
telling some people to stop eating meat, they wouldn't be able to
think of anything else to eat. Indeed, there are people who don't
know that there is any other kind of computer than an Intel-based
PeeCee running Microsoft Windows. However, the only way to stop
them from getting more control over your life is to stop giving
Page updated December 7, 2001.
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1996-2000 by Steve Sergeant, Copyright 2001 by Effable
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