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MS Wins a Victory on Appeal

Jackson does not.



4:09 pm on Jun 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

A federal appeals court just unanimously reversed the break-up of MS. [foxnews.com]

The court was not pleased with Judge Jackson and his comments about Gates and MS, and has remanded it back to a lower court that is NOT Jackson's. While this doesn't appear to put MS back where they were before the legal action, it certainly changes the whole break-up deal.

(This news is just now breaking, and in fact, the short story that is up now was only a headline 3 minutes before I started this thread. It is 2 paragraphs now. I imagine it will flesh out in a few minutes.)


4:11 pm on Jun 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Stock trading was halted but it's expected to rise maybe $4 per FOX News on TV.


4:56 pm on Jun 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I have a feeling this is why MS delayed smart tags.....if smart tags were in use why'll this trial was ungoing, The states would have some powerful evidence of MS' abuse of powers.


5:24 pm on Jun 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I was thinking the exact same thing Seth. It has to work into the equation some how. They have been clear that SmartTags would make a return appearance in XP - probably as soon as service pack one. They are masters at this sort of thing.


5:32 pm on Jun 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Actually, the case has been considered from a very differemt angle. From the verdict [microsoft.com]:

After carefully considering the voluminous record on appeal--including the District Court's Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, the testimony and exhibits submitted at trial, the parties' briefs, and the oral arguments before this court--we find that some but not all of Microsoft's liability challenges have merit.

Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part the District Court's judgment that Microsoft violated s 2 of the Sherman Act by employing anticompetitive means to maintain a monopoly in the operating system market; we reverse the District Court's determination that Microsoft violated s 2 of the Sherman Act by illegally attempting to monopolize the internet browser market; and we remand the District Court's finding that Microsoft violated s 1 of the Sherman Act by unlawfully tying its browser to its operating system. Our judgment extends to the District Court's findings with respect to the state law counterparts of the plaintiffs' Sherman Act claims.

We also find merit in Microsoft's challenge to the Final Judgment embracing the District Court's remedial order.

There are several reasons supporting this conclusion. First, the District Court's Final Judgment rests on a number of liability determinations that do not survive appellate review; therefore, the remedial order as currently fashioned cannot stand. Furthermore, we would vacate and remand the remedial order even were we to uphold the District Court's liability determinations in their entirety, because the District Court failed to hold an evidentiary hearing to address remediesspecific factual disputes.

Finally, we vacate the Final Judgment on remedies, because the trial judge engaged in impermissible ex parte contacts by holding secret interviews with members of the media and made numerous offensive comments about Microsoft officials in public statements outside of the courtroom, giving rise to an appearance of partiality. Although we find no evidence of actual bias, we hold that the actions of the trial judge seriously tainted the proceedings before the District Court and called into question the integrity of the judicial process. We are therefore constrained to vacate the Final Judgment on remedies, remand the case for reconsideration of the remedial order, and require that the case be assigned to a different trial judge on remand. We believe that this disposition will be adequate to cure the cited improprieties.

In sum, for reasons more fully explained below, we affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand in part the District Court's judgment assessing liability. We vacate in full the Final Judgment embodying the remedial order and remand the case to a different trial judge for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.


6:26 pm on Jun 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It is possible that a new judge will issue a Final Judgement on remedies that is very much like the one vacated. It is also highly possible that a new judge will never have an opportunity to issue a new Final Judgement - the "new" DOJ and M$ will settle.


7:30 pm on Jun 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

"the "new" DOJ and M$ will settle"

That is definitely a good possibility........

"Since Bush took office in January, more than seven months after Penfield's breakup order, he has given no indication of how he would handle the mammoth suit he inherited from President Clinton except to say that he is, in general, "unsympathetic" to lawsuits."

"Microsoft was one of a dozen corporate sponsors of a $20 million Republican Party fund-raising dinner that Bush attended Wednesday night"



9:02 pm on Jun 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Bill Gates was just on MSNBC and gave a little speech.

He basically said he won and talked about the new WXP and officeXP coming up. He indirectly said that this ruling will thwart all attempts at further suits.

All systems are a go and full steam ahead is pretty much the gist of the speech.


9:05 pm on Jun 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The kind of court decision was all but coming anyway when Bush took office.


9:08 pm on Jun 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

The new judge can turn down a settlement agreement if he so desires. The interesting thing will be to see which judge gets the case. They are not decided at random but assigned. That will be the real decision point.


9:24 pm on Jun 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

What is Gates referring too since the courts affirmed that they were still guilty of anti-trust crimes?? All that has changed is that the punishment of the company will not be decided by Jackson due to bias but another judge.

Gates is just putting on a spin.


12:05 am on Jun 29, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

MS got a lot less out of this than was previously expected. It appears the judges found unanimously that MS repeatedly violated antitrust law, and they only remanded the tying issue. Both of those are huge surprises. The wording with regard to Java was particularly harsh.

As for a settlement, that's unlikely. The Department of Justice is only one of a number of plaintiffs, and MS's donations to both of the major political parties aren't likely to get them a settlement on terms remotely resembling what they've demanded in previous negotiations. It's pretty much going to come down to what kind of judge they get at the district court level. Microsoft has lost the antitrust case, but how badly? Nobody knows yet.

The affirmation by the appeals court of Judge Jackson's findings also makes it much easier for civil suits to succeed.


12:09 pm on Jun 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

yep JamesR, talk about the Masters of the masters of the spin doctors. BG has to be one of the best.

You have to kind of admire the guy though. The richest man in the world. Made all the right moves to get there. Knew who, when, and where to twist things waaay back when to get what he wanted.

Now, his main goal is to rule the internet and rule the users of it to get what he wants.

Can we blame him for trying?

King Bill. :)


12:24 pm on Jun 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Most of you sell some kind of advertising space with a banner or link that leads to another site.

You even get paid from the advertiser to do this. wow.

Now, all you have to do is write a word or two that you know to be a good keyword, and without having to stick in the laborious a href= tag, can have a link made for you by the king that takes your visitor to a site blessed by the king, AND NOT get advertising monies for it. WOW.

Where do we sign up?

<added>OH, that's right, we don't have to sign up. It's a mandatory opt-in feature.</added>


1:15 pm on Jun 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I am very sad about the decision of the court.

I do not like MS products that I consider about the worst!

Do you remember the history of the software?

In the Word processor area there was an excellent program, called Word Perfect; with the program you had excellent manuals and superb phone-assistance.

After that MS offered at lower price Word.
Today Word has about no manual and poor, phone terrible assistance: you will spend the first 5 minutes calling to repeat three times your license numbers etc. After that, in fact, you can only discover a bug in the products that is maybe the faulty of the computer or of another products...
And now it costs a lot.

Do you remember Lotus 123?
Do you remember DBIII?

And what is Window? It is the ugly copy of the MAC!

Do you remember Hotmail?

The best products I know ARE NOT Microsoft: think about anything regarding graphic and Desktop Publishing or web publishing..

The problem is that Microsoft gains too much from its products and it forces you to update.

Another 2 cents:
The last version of MacAfee Antivirus has a small bug; it seems that the McAfee Vshield is not abilitate to scan your email attachements if you are using Eudora; IT SEEMS, but in fact no problem; with Outlook no problem at all.

And what about the last version of Acrobat? They advertise it with "full compatibility with MS Office"!
Oh my God: Adobe had been forced to stick to MS!

I am sure that without Microsoft we would have better software.


1:34 pm on Jul 3, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Without microsoft, we'd probably be using mac's and not only was the software for mac's monopolized, the hardware was too... someone was going to be king, does it really matter who?

If you think microsoft support is bad, try one of their major competing operating systems... linux, whenever there is a problem I start out knowing I'm pretty much screwed, going to spend countless hours trying to find the answer to my problem, and in the end probably won't have any luck. All of microsofts bad traits are reflected in almost every single company out there, microsoft is just a recognizable name to pin the blame on. Why doesn't anyone bash Nike, the company that puts a shoe together for about 37 cents, and sells it for $100...


5:13 pm on Jul 3, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Hi MaliciousDan!

>If you think microsoft support is bad, try one of their major competing operating systems...

This happens thanks to the Microsoft monopoly.
Before the monopoly any software house had a good support.

In these days Microsoft can give bad support: you have not too many alternatives.
Other software house have not enough resources to offer good support.

Are you happy with Microsoft products?


8:59 pm on Jul 3, 2001 (gmt 0)

Well, however you feel about MS products, this does not seem over.

*G is trying to nudge this discussion back on topic..*

From Rencke's quote, it seems the case was reversed because the appeals court thought the judge was biased going into the case, not because Microsoft was right in their practices.

I think this is a major point.

I have to say I agree with the ruling: a judge should not be biased going into *any* case.

The appeals court said this case was not over, but should go to a different judge who was not biased. Although, how could they find someone who is completely unbiased one way or the other? This has been in the media so much that everyone has an opinion.

The really sad part about this is that they are going to have to start all over, with a verdict one way or the other not happening for years to come.



7:46 am on Jul 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The really sad part about this is that they are going to have to start all over, with a verdict one way or the other not happening for years to come.

I agree, grnidone, despite the motion filed Friday 13, July 2001, by sundry attorneys and solicitors general from the DoJ. An extract from the motion [ecfp.cadc.uscourts.gov] follows:

"In light of the exceptional importance of this case, and the strong public interest in prompt entry of a decree providing an effective remedy for Microsoft's illegal conduct, the United States and the State Plaintiffs respectfully move that the Court direct the Clerk to issue the mandate immediately.

1. As the Court recognized in deciding at the outset to hear the appeal en banc, this case is of "exceptional importance." ... The Court has since found that Microsoft had a monopoly with respect to Intel-compatible PC operating systems, that Microsoft behaved anticompetitively, and that its anticompetitive conduct contributed to maintenance of its monopoly power, in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act. Microsoft's operating system affects millions of businesses and hundreds of millions of consumers worldwide. Delay in imposing an effective remedy inflicts substantial and widespread consumer injury and needlessly prolongs uncertainty in the computer industry. In a dynamic marketplace, speed is of the essence in remedying the effects of unlawful exclusionary conduct designed to crush nascent competitive technologies. In these circumstances, the public interest is plainly served by allowing the proceedings on remand to go forward as quickly as possible."

Couldn't have put it better myself :-)… and it serves as a wonderful rejoinder to Redmond’s cynical offer to allow XP users the choice to exclude the browser from the OS. As most of MS’s antitrust case rested on OS / browser indivisibility, their newfound ‘willingness’ to heed the findings of the court show these assertions to have been plainly based in obfuscatory strategy rather than fact.

The downside is that I do not see this motion going anywhere and the Beast of Redmond will continue its inexorable march to Internet dominance. The closure of ListBot to the public, the VeriSign alliance and just about every move Microsoft now makes shows it is well on the way to imposing .Net and Hailstorm on tens of millions of gullible organizations and their minions – for a considerable fee of course. Whether or not the Windows Product Activation (WPA) code has been bust or not is beside the point. We are on our way to a corporate sector that pays to play – in every respect. The implications for Search, if unclear, will be far reaching. We thought GoTo’s model an ugly hybrid. Their deal [biz.yahoo.com] with Microsoft and subsequent showing in MSN results shows just what small fry they are (see this [webmasterworld.com] thread for more). AOL’s imminent move to globalizing through buying [theregister.co.uk] into more conventional media doesn’t generate much hope that they will be much of an adversary for Redmond in the long run. As The Register puts it:

”AOL-Time Warner is looking to expand its media operation into Europe and IPC is an excellent way in. Sadly, if it does take over the company we can look forward to loads of crap pieces about how great certain products that AOL-Time Warner owns are.”

Happily, though, given to all of us is the facility to choose. We can either elect to bow to Bill or we can tell him where to shove it. Insofar as we have to further the commercial interests of our clients, we need to remain aware of .Net’s potential to further e-commerce.

As users, however, the Internet and Web are far greater than that patch dedicated to the furtherance of pecuniary gain at the expense of quality development and interaction. Independent developers will continue to thrive, alternative platforms and Web services will come into being and, at the end of the workday, there will be plenty of space in which to relax, be creative, and do whatever it was we were doing before someone hung up the sign “Paradise is closing down”.

In other words, bad as the situation is, all is not lost. I do feel though that, as SEOs, we’re paying too little attention to new developments in the MS case and more speculation on future scenarios dominated by HailStorm would not be out of place in a forum like this.

Edited by PageCount to include the following:

The implications of .Net continue to tumble from the collective IT psyche. Stewart Alsop paints a particularly vivid and horrific picture in the July 23 (!), 2001 edition of Fortune.com [fortune.com]. See The Monopoly Has Just Begun [fortune.com].


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