WinInfo Daily UPDATE, November 4, 2003

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1. In the News
- Massachusetts Opens Appeal of Microsoft Ruling
- Microsoft Turns to IBM for Next-Gen Xbox

2. Announcements
- 2004 Date Announced: Windows & .NET Magazine Connections
- Order Windows & .NET Magazine and the Article Archive CD at One Low Rate!

3. Event
- Don't Miss Our 4 New Web Seminars

4. Contact Us
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

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==== 1. In the News ====
by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Massachusetts Opens Appeal of Microsoft Ruling
Today, the state of Massachusetts opens its appeal of the Microsoft antitrust ruling in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Court. Massachusetts will argue that Microsoft's settlement with the US government and several US states is fundamentally flawed, as the company's behavior since the settlement has shown. In addition, the state will argue that US District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly misunderstood the technical aspects of the case, handing the software giant a soft remedy that doesn't address the concerns the original case raised. And in a separate but related case, two industry trade groups will also appeal the Microsoft settlement to the same group of appellate court judges, arguing that the settlement isn't in the public interest.
"\[The settlement\] fails to stop Microsoft's illegal conduct and does nothing to restore competition to the monopolized market or to prevent Microsoft from engaging in similar means to the same unlawful end," wrote Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas Reilly in a brief related to the appeal. Predictably, Microsoft disagrees. "The settlement is a proper one--tough but fair," said Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith. "It was a technical and legally complex settlement, not an approach that makes sense for one government to upset after 20 other governments have already agreed to its terms."
Although it might seem that Massachusetts and the two trade groups face an uphill struggle, recent events have conspired to cast doubts on the settlement's potency, a possibility that even the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and Judge Kollar-Kotelly have publicly questioned. For example, only nine companies have licensed the Windows communications technologies the court required Microsoft to provide, and lawyers are now investigating why; Kollar-Kotelly has given the lawyers until January to report. But Reilly says this problem demonstrates "most clearly the ineffectual nature of the court's remedy," and he'll ask the appellate court to require Microsoft to unbundle from Windows programs such as Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) and Windows Media Player (WMP).

Microsoft Turns to IBM for Next-Gen Xbox
In a surprise announcement yesterday, Microsoft revealed that the company has chosen IBM, not Intel, as the microprocessor supplier for its next-generation Xbox game console, which will likely be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2004 in January. The deal is the second one for IBM, which Sony also recently chose to supply the microprocessor for its next-generation PlayStation system. Most intriguing, however, is the announcement's vagueness: Neither company will say whether the chips involved are x86-compatible, like those in the current Xbox, or whether IBM will supply chips based on Power PC technology, an incompatible but technically sound alternative.
"Microsoft is already developing the software and services that will drive the Digital Decade," said Robbie Bach, senior vice president for Microsoft's Home & Entertainment Division. "By combining our vision, software experience, and \[resource and development\] resources with IBM's computer and semiconductor technologies, we plan to deliver unprecedented and unparalleled entertainment experiences to consumers while creating new engines of growth for the technology and entertainment industries."
IBM Fellow and Chief Technologist Bernie Meyerson says the new Xbox technologies will be based on IBM's most recent state-of-the-art processors, leading some people to think that a Power PC chipset is in the works for the next Xbox. If so, backward compatibility with the millions of Xbox software titles currently in circulation is in doubt; Sony rode the strength of backward compatibility with its PlayStation 2 system and isn't currently the market leader. What Microsoft would gain by cutting off early adopters from their existing software libraries is unclear. In related news, video game competitor Nintendo announced that its recent GameCube price cut has had the desired effect. After dropping the price of its console from $149 to just $99 last month, Nintendo saw sales of the GameCube rise dramatically, outselling the Xbox for the month. Nintendo sold 37 percent of all video game consoles in October in the United States, compared with just 21 percent for Xbox and 42 percent for the PlayStation 2. GameCube sales have risen month over month since August, whereas Xbox sales have fallen somewhat; PlayStation sales have fallen quite dramatically in the same time period, but the system still maintains a sale lead.

==== 2. Announcements ====
(from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

2004 Date Announced: Windows & .NET Magazine Connections
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==== 3. Event ====
(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine)

Don't Miss Our 4 New Web Seminars
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