Consumer advocate Ralph Nader and his Consumer Project on Technology (CPT) have weighed in on the Microsoft antitrust trial with an announcement that the software giant should be required to remove Internet Explorer from Windows. Nader notes that the browser war with Netscape occupied much of the trial and, therefore, a solution regarding Microsoft's Web browser must be part of any solution to the case.
"\[The judge should\] require Microsoft to divest its operating systems into a separate company, and possibly to make further divestitures of its commerce services that Microsoft has sought to 'tie' to the operating system," says CPT director James Love. "To jumpstart competition in the operating-systems market, Microsoft also could be required to port its Microsoft Office product to at least two new operating-system platforms."
Microsoft, of course, disagrees.
"This proposal seems particularly groundless," said Microsoft spokesperson Mike Murray. "While we were disappointed in many of the court findings, the court itself found our actions benefited consumers and accelerated the growth of the Internet."
Actually, Judge Jackson found that integrating Internet Explorer into Windows did much to undermine the reliability of security of the operating system.
"The familiar 'blue screen of death' when Microsoft Windows freezes and crashes could sometimes be avoided if Microsoft weren't intent on forcing consumers to use its applications," says Nader