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Going back to the central issues

  Dear all,
  	after the recent explosion of informationally
  empty messages, I would like that we all cool down and
  get back to the central issues, which is
  	"appraising microsoft/ microsoft strategy"
  and, for the people who have serious reasons to consider
  MS a serious danger, the course of action which is best suited
  to limit this danger.
  [start skippable part]
  I do not have the time to read 30 or more messages a day with
  recursive quotations and whose value is ever decreasing, and
  I think many feel the same way. I also wonder if the real reason
  for the various mis-poster to be here is just to make us loose
  our time. I am sorry for them, but I am filtering them out right now.
  I found this list extremely valuable to me (before): I discovered
  many informations and many people sharing partly my views... let's
  try to get back to the first days :-)
  Also, if you go to MS page, you will understand why mr. Gates refused
  to attend the conference: they are naming it a "gathering of angry competitors"
  Good move. After all, this guy was a failed lawyer, no?
  [end skippable part]
  ==> Now, for a possible course of action <==
  => Legal
    If the legal US system is not completely blind/naive
    (and I have hopes, after the recent issue on tobacco companies),
    I think they could understand a *demo* proving factually the *possibilities*
    of illegal/harmful action coming out from an integrated
    OS/Application system produced by the same manufacturer and
    connected to an Internet dominated by information servers
    built by the same manufacturer.
    This *possibility*, in view of the principle that you cannot
    *trust* with absolute power anybody, should form a sound basis
    to enforce a split-up of the OS company from the Application company
    and the Server company.
    [Well, it really depends on the US system: I once bought a car in
     Ithaca (NY) and had to pass an inspection. To my utmost surprise,
     the "inspection stations" are also "repair stations" and your only
     freedom is to go and see different inspection/repair stations.
     That is *not* freedom: my car got 4 different incompatible diagnostics
     and I just choose the less expensive, not knowing the true diagnostic.
     *in France* an inspection station has *no* ties with repair stations,
     so you get an objective diagnostic, then you are free to fix your car
     wherever you want. If your federal government is less naive than the NY
     one, there could be some chance.]
     I am thinking of a replay of the demo by the german hackers who showed
     how ActiveX+Win95+Internet Explorer+Money(or Quicken) allow to write
     web pages that allow to transfer silently money from your account to
     other ones [without you knowing anything]. If MS owns 
       + OS
       + Browser
       + Application (Money)
       + Server (the bank server for example)
     it is technically *possible* for it to steal micromoney from everybody without
     *anybody* knowing.
     Would this demo be enough to convince non-technical people in a jury
     of the necessity for a split-up?
  => technical/educational
  well, this will wait for another post... have to go :-)
  --Roberto Di Cosmo
  LIENS-DMI                   E-mail: dicosmo@dmi.ens.fr
  Ecole Normale Superieure    WWW   : http://www.dmi.ens.fr/~dicosmo
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