Thoughts and comments on the DOJ investigation

As you might expect, I received a lot of email about the DOJ investigation of Microsoft today. After sifting through all of this mail, and reading the numerous stories printed everywhere from InfoWorld to USA Today, I've hit upon a few interesting points:

  • Despite the fact that I am sometimes (incorrectly) labeled as a    Microsoft sycophant, I think the DOJ, not Microsoft, is right here.    On the other hand, products like Windows 95 OSR 2.5 and Windows 98    really negate the whole issue as far as I'm concerned.
  • The announcement occurred on the day Microsoft was to release its    quarterly earnings. Coincidence? Is the government trying to    purposefully hurt Microsoft's stock price? I think so. In fact, that    sounds like the basis of a nice little lawsuit to me.
  • Oh, the irony: One beautiful side-story no one touched on yesterday was    that PC makers nagged Microsoft so much about IE 4.0 and Windows 95 that    Microsoft is going to give them a special version of Window 95 called    OSR 2.5 that will *include* IE 4.0 right in the install code. Meanwhile,    the DOJ court filing is centered around complaints that Microsoft is    forcing them to include IE 4.0. Who is forcing who here? And more    importantly, which company, exactly, was it that complained to the DOJ?    I bet it wasn't a PC maker.
  • A correction from Bud Aaron: the 1994 consent decree does not    specifically mention software bundling; it required Microsoft to stop    collecting fees from computers that didn't have Windows installed. Of    course, the DOJ complaint does center around the bundling of IE 4.0,    which the District Attorney describes as "separate" from Windows 95,    using 15 pages of Microsoft documentation as evidence.
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