News flash: Judge bars Microsoft from bundling browser!

A U.S. District judge agrees with the Department of Justice and has issued a temporary court order preventing Microsoft from requiring that hardware manufacturers bundle Internet Explorer with Windows 95. The order, issued Thursday by Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, is part of a 19-page decision that he handed down today. In it, he wrote that Microsoft "shall 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 pre-install any Microsoft Internet browser software...pending further order of \[the\] court."

Other items in the decision include:

  • The DOJ failed to provide sufficient evidence that Microsoft violated its 1995 consent decree.
  • Microsoft will not be held in comtempt for violating its consent decree.
  • The DOJ request to release Microsoft licensees from their non-disclosure agreements was denied.
  • Microsoft will not be assessed a $1 million a day fine.
  • A "special master" will hear further evidence to determine whether Microsoft has violated other anti-trust laws.
Justice comes swiftly for once. And this time, the message is clear: though the DOJ didn't get all of the conditions they asked for, Microsoft is now barred from bundling Internet Explorer with Windows 98.

Stay tuned for more information tomorrow

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