On the Remedy Phase of the Microsoft Antitrust Trial
Two states and two industry groups are appealing
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly's November 1st verdict:
the CCIA (Computer and Communications Industry Association),
and the SIIA (Software and Information Industry Association).
The judge has issued her verdict. Links (thanks to slashdot):
the earlier proposed settlement
the final order
into similar formats, then did a line-by-line comparison.
My impressions of the changes:
Unfortunately, the disclosure requirements were not modified to allow
Open Source projects to take adavantage of the information disclosed,
so Samba and Wine will have to go on reverse-engineering.
- it takes effect in 3 months, not 12
- MSFT may not even threaten retaliation
- replacement bootloaders are less restricted
- third party middleware is less restricted in size and appearance
- makes it harder for Microsoft to force partners not to promote competitors products
- When Windows offers choice of MSFT or non-MSFT middleware, it must be an *unbiased* choice
- Makes choice of middleware more meaningful by removing exceptions that let MSFT
use its own middleware in some cases
- removes a requirement that vendors license stuff back to Microsoft
- Compliance provisions are much simpler and more straightforward
- "API" is defined more liberally
- Judge reserves a few more rights to intervene later
- Microsoft has to pay plaintiff expenses.
Also, versions of Windows other than plain old Windows XP are not covered,
so Microsoft Windows XP Tablet Edition and Microsoft Windows XP Media
Edition can have any amount of new APIs in them without having to disclose
them to anyone.
Tunney Act Comments
Until January 28th, 2002, the DOJ accepted Tunney Act comments
on the proposed settlement;
The 47 "major" comments were posted by the DOJ at
42 of them oppose the PFJ; 5 support it.
My Tunney Act comments are online here as
'On the Proposed Final Judgment in United States v. Microsoft'
and at the DoJ as
About 2300 people signed
an open letter to the DOJ
(mtc-00028573.htm) supporting my comments.
Jeremy White, founder and CEO of Codeweavers, wrote
"A confession of shame, and a call to action"
about this issue from his vantage point in the business of providing
Windows-compatibility for non-microsoft operating systems. It's well
worth a read.
Here's the government's full reaction to the comments:
- "Who gave Microsoft control of your IT costs? You did" -- zdnet, 31 july 2002
- "It's time to break the Microsoft monopoly" -- 30 May 2002, NetworkNews -- abusive audits represent an abuse of monopoly power
- "Microsoft Urged Linux Retaliation" -- 14 May 2002, Reuters
- "Compulsory Windows: for Macs, and people without PCs?" -- 7 May 2002, The Register
- "Battering down Gates' defense" -- 30 April 2002, CNET News.com
- "Was Gates Lying?" -- 29 April 2002, TidBITS
- "Microsoft Exec: OEMs Must Not Install Linux Besides Windows" -- 28 April 2002, Kuro5hin
- "Bill Gates' witness-box message: hurt Windows, and you hurt the world" -- 26 April 2002, the Economist
- "The Microsoft penalty that isn't", by Bruce Perens -- 15 April 2002, News.com
- WatchingMicrosoftLikeAHawk.com -- "Every Move They Make, We'll be Watching Them". Up to date news clippings.
- Gateway Testifies that even under the proposed settlement, Microsoft has extreme power -- ZDnet, 26 Mar 2002
- How the DoJ will make all 30000 public comments available
- DoJ latest antitrust press releases
- DoJ press release describing revisions to the RPFJ in response to comments, 28 Feb 2002
- "Microsoft, Feds OK significant settlement changes", Salon (AP), 28 Feb 2002
- "Enron and Microsoft: New Economy industrialists show a common characteristic: disdain for the law.", Computer User, 25 Feb 2002
- "HP, Gateway: MS Seattlement terms screw us too", The Register, 21 Feb 2002
- "Settlement already benefitting Microsoft?", news.com, 21 Feb 2002
- "Caldera case expert to review Windows XP source code", The Register, 21 Feb 2002
- "Govt, Microsoft Want SBC Barred From Settlement Hearing, Newsbytes, 20 Feb 2002
- "Microsoft's next scandal: More questions about secret DoJ negotiations", Newsforge, 20 Feb 2002
- Salon reports Microsoft Paid Attorney General Ashcroft $20,000 - but Ashcroft refuses to recuse himself from the case. 14 Feb 2002.
Microsoft's Budget for Lobbying Bigger than Enron's, Feb 13 2002, ZDNet
- Comment tally: 15000 opposed, 7500 in favor.
2800 of the responses were form letters, 3000 were substantive, and only
45 were major,
AP / Yahoo. Also covered by
7 Feb 2002
Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee says
settlement full of holes, 4 Feb 2002
- ZDnet reports judge asking for joint status report, 1 Feb 2002
- Wired's article about the Tunney Act comments, 29 Jan 2002
- news.com's article about the Tunney Act comments, 28 Jan 2002
- the Associated Press's article about the Tunney Act comments, 28 Jan 2002
Supposedly this issue (and my open letter) were mentioned
on public radio sometime around 6PM PST Jan 28th. Can anyone
send in a URL for the program or a transcript? Thanks...
- discussion on Slashdot.org, 23 Jan 2002
Other Critiques of the Proposed Settlement
- Townsend, Townsend & Crew's Tunney Act comment, 28 Jan 2002 (any formatting errors are mine, as I converted this from the original Microsoft Word document)
- The FSF's
Tunney Act comment, 28 Jan 2002
Tunney Act comment, 28 Jan 2002 -- points out in its introduction
that the Competitive Impact Statement tells the judge she must
approve the PFJ even if it doesn't really restore competition!
- J. Scott Kasten's Tunney Act comment, 26 Jan 2002
- Steve Waldman's Tunney Act comment, 26 Jan 2002
- Consumer Federation / CalPIRG's Tunney Act comment, 25 Jan 2002 -- strongly condemns the Proposed Final Judgment
Act comments filed by AAI Advisory Board members Robert Litan and Roger
Noll and economist William Nordhaus, American Antitrust Institute, Jan 2002. (75 pages). A strong, well-reasoned critique. Highly recommended reading.
- Interview with Judge Robert H. Bork, Linux Planet, 23 Jan 2002
- Jeremy White's "confession of shame, and a call to action", 22 Jan 2002
- Scott Rosenberg's article in Salon, 16 Jan 2002
- Boston Globe column by Thomas Reilly, Attorney General of Massachussetts, 15 Jan 2002
- James Mathewson's column at Computer User, 1 Jan 2002
- Ganesh Prasad's essay at LinuxToday, 1 Jan 2002
- Dennis Powell's essay at LinuxPlanet, 12 Dec 2001
- My original essay on the States' proposed remedy,
and reactions from the Wine community, 10 Dec 2001
- Zimran Ahmed's open letter, 10 Dec 2001
- Robert X. Cringely's column at pbs.org, 6 Dec 2001
- NetAction's comment, 6 Dec 2001
- Ralph Nader's open letter, 5 Nov 2001
- Dan Gillmor's column of 2 Nov 2001
- Analysis of a Sell-Out, by the Computer and Communications Industry Association, 1 Nov 2001
- The Microsoft Antitrust Trial and Free Software, by the Gnu Project, March 1999 -- containing three very interesting suggestions for the settlement.
- Lewis A. Mettler's ongoing commentary on the trial - a bit hotheaded, but many good bits
Important Trial Documents
- Openlaw: The Microsoft Case (Probably the most comprehensive site on the topic)
- Microsoft EULAs give Microsoft the right to install upgrades on your computer -- Ed Foster, Feb 10th, 2002
- "States Want More From Microsoft" -- here's a key quote:
The DOJ's settlement was brokered by Bush administration appointee
Assistant Attorney General Charles A. James, head of the DOJ's antitrust
division. But career officials at the Justice Department, who had pursued
the case since the beginning, displayed their apparent displeasure with
the agreement by not signing it.
- Free Software Matters: Microsoft, Antitrust, and the Movement by Eben Moglen, July 2000
- Wired's archive of Microsoft antitrust stories
- fsl-discuss -- Free Software Law - General discussion mailing list
Ethics in Computing - out of date, but good coverage of issues related to Microsoft antitrust issues
- Netaction's Microsoft archives (covering 1997 through 1999;
useful both historically and for links to more up to date sites)
- msfree.com - a resource site about
alternatives to Microsoft; scroll down to "MS on Trial"
- ProComp - The lobbying group
funded by opponants of Microsoft
- Microsoft's New Subscription Plan in CIO magazine, which describes an exclusionary licensing practice:
"But Microsoft did have one other carrot to dangle: the Enterprise
Agreement, which gives discounts on licensing-as much as 50 percent-and
automatically enrolls customers in SA (Software Assurance). But joining means CIOs must
also sign a contract that bars them from using any competitive products."
Maryland licenses Microsoft Software Statewide for $13/pc/year - one
example of an educational version of the Enterprise Agreement
Sites covering Be's antitrust suit against Microsoft
Sites covering Netscape's antitrust suit against Microsoft
Sites Covering the Private Class Action Suits against Microsoft
Sites covering Caldera's antitrust suit against Microsoft
Sites covering the 1994 antitrust case of US vs. Microsoft
Other antitrust cases against Microsoft
Standards Bodies and Windows APIs
No neutral standards body has yet officially defined
the entire 13000 or so Windows APIs
provided by current versions of Windows.
There are, however, standards for
the Win16 subset (ECMA-234) and part of the Windows APIs related
and for parts of Microsoft.NET.
Independent Implementations of Windows APIs
Here are the non-Microsoft implementations of the Windows APIs that
I'm aware of. None of them implement the entire 13000 or so Windows APIs
- Wine - an open source implementation
of the win16 and win32 APIs. Implements just enough to actually let you
run many applications. See toastytech.com/guis/wine.html for screenshots of IE4 and IE5 running
under Wine. Open source. Under very active development.
- ReactOS - a project to build
an operating system kernel compatible with Windows NT. GPL. Under active development.
- Project Odin - builds on Wine and Open32 to allow running Windows apps on OS/2. Open source. Under active development.
- COMSource -- The Open Group's implementation of COM/DCOM for Unix; includes a compliance test suite. Closed source.
- Open32 - IBM's implementation of the 800 most important
Win32 APIs for OS/2. Closed source. No longer being developed.
I've set up
a mailing list
for discussion about what changes need to be made
in the proposed settlement.
24 Oct 2003