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Trip Report: Nader's conference on Microsoft

  I posted this report to a software developers' list that I subscribe to,
  but realized that some of you might also be interested in it. Hope you
  enjoy it.
  Two weeks ago, I was a speaker at Ralph Nader's "Appraising Microsoft"
  conference in Washington. This is my trip report. This memo is a set of
  conference notes, not a scholarly or research paper. The conference itself
  is now at http://www.appraising-microsoft.org. (You can download the
  conference on real audio. There are a few bugs in the recordings, so maybe
  you'll wait for a few days after I send this memo.)
  My own paper was on competition within the software industry in general,
  focusing on how the Uniform Commercial Code revisions will reduce
  competition. My belief is that this statute, if enacted, will have a greater
  long term anticompetitive effect than anything done by Microsoft. You can
  find my paper at http://www.badsoftware.com/nader.htm.
  I don't have an axe to grind for or against Microsoft. I do business with
  them, with their competitors, and with some of their (some satisfied, some
  dissatisfied) customers. Overall, I've been impressed with the company and
  with their products. On the other hand, Ralph Nader is a hero of mine. I
  work regularly with Todd Paglia, the lawyer that Nader has assigned to
  monitor the Uniform Commercial Code software law proposal. I consider him a
  friend, and trust him. Paglia's boss, Jamie Love, was the primary organizer
  of the conference and has turned into a harsh critic of Microsoft. I've seen
  Love's work on some other issues and consider it excellent. He has high
  credibility with me.
  Personal computing put tremendous power into the hands of individuals.
  Microsoft is one of several companies that helped create this information
  processing revolution, bringing the power of computers to "the rest of us."
  Microsoft certainly profited from this, it was definitely part of the
  movement to empower individuals with computers. Watch IBM/Lotus's "Work the
  Web" commercials and you'll see the contrast that I have in mind between
  companies like Microsoft and Apple and companies that saw small computers as
  an extension of the centralized computing mandarinates that served the huge
  organizations that could afford them. 
  At many levels, I look at the dispute between Nader and Microsoft as an
  unfortunate quarrel between organizations that should be friends.
  These notes reflect my biases, but they don't try to spin the conference
  favorably toward Microsoft or Nader. Nor am I going to try to tell you who
  is right or wrong in this dispute. I don't know. My goal instead is to look
  for a rational basis underlying the heat and spin we've been seeing. 
  ========== Economics ==========
  I'm not an economist. Maybe you've heard of network effects and tipping and
  the phenomenon of increasing returns, but these expressions were new to me.
  I've seen the effects, but not the scholarly discussions. Nader's conference
  included a couple of economists (you can see the list of speakers at
  http://www.appraising-microsoft.org) who walked us through this.
  I've talked with several folks about this conference over the past two
  weeks, including several who are very sympathetic with Microsoft's position.
  One comment that I've heard a few times is, "So what? What's wrong with a
  monopoly?" My answer is that the US economic and business regulatory
  structure is based on a fundamental assumption of competition in the
  marketplace. Competition drives prices, quality, and ongoing efforts to
  satisfy customers. It is a fundamental spur to innovation. I'm not going to
  walk through the evils of monopolies--read a university textbook on
  economics, like Samuelson, and you'll get the picture. I've been told that
  Microsoft would never commit the worst abuses of monopoly power and I'm far
  from being convinced that the current Microsoft management would commit
  those abuses. But monopoly power lasts a long time. Companies change over
  time. WordStar changed after it imported management from Sperry to take it
  public. Apple changed after it imported a president from Pepsi. Corporate
  cultures change.
  It also bears mention that Microsoft is far from being the only business
  that the Department of Justice has made antitrust cases against. For a list
  of current cases (with descriptions and official documents), see
  The main antitrust laws in the US were written near the turn of the century.
  William Howard Taft and Teddy Roosevelt, for example, were famous
  TrustBusters. These laws were based on assumptions about how monopolies were
  created and sustained that aren't always correct. In particular: 
      (a) there's a bias that competition within a market
          is a good thing--it's better to have three companies at
          30% market share than one supremely dominant company 
          (say, 70-90% market share) with one or a few powerless
      (b) Another example is the (economic) law of diminishing 
          returns. When a company supplies a product, its per 
          unit costs might initially decline (economies of scale), 
          but eventually they rise as you exhaust the local pool 
          of labor and other resources. 
  These assumptions don't always fit an information economy. Laws based on
  these assumptions have to be carefully applied or we will have bad results.
  (1)	Network Effects
  If you're the only person in the world with a telephone then it's not very
  useful. You can't call anyone. As more people get phones, the value of each
  phone increases. This is the "network effect."
  The network effect creates a powerful push toward a standard. Think of the
  VHS versus Beta competition. Some movies came in beta, some in VHS, some in
  both. The total selection of movies in stores was depressed by the fact that
  stores had to keep double inventory (beta and VHS). When consumers figured
  out (however they figured it out) that VHS was going to be the winning
  format, they flocked to VHS and abandoned beta. This phenomenon is called
  "tipping" (like, tipping the scales). The result was that lots more movies
  were available on VCR and so even fewer people bought beta. Result: beta is
  There are two types of competition--competition IN the market and
  competition FOR the market. Competition IN the market is like Ford vs. GM.
  They both make cars. The popularity of Fords doesn't disproportionately
  reduce the value of GM cars. Both might be able to sustain a 30% market
  share for a long time.
  Competition FOR the market is like VHS vs. Beta. There's a network effect.
  The more people who adopt one format, the more movies there will be for that
  format, the more VCR players, etc. The weaker standard dies.
  I am often told that beta was the technically better standard. Let's suppose
  this is true. The defeat of beta by VHS illustrates another aspect of
  network effects--competition doesn't necessarily pick the best product or
  standard.  Dominance goes to the one that is marginally or apparently more
  popular, whether it is better or not. (No buyer wants a technically superior
  VCR that can't play any of the new movies.) There is nothing sinister about
  this. Eventually, the market collectively makes a decision. Adopting a
  lesser standard can be much more efficient than continuing to fight over
  which not-yet-a-standard is best.
  Several things that we (mass-market software publishing staff) know about
  marketing fit into this model. If the goal is to capture the entire market
  by virtue of creating a public perception of dominance in the marketplace,
  then tactics like these are important:
     (a)  being first to market
     (b)  cutting a competitor's first-to-market advantage by
          announcing really cool vaporware
     (c)  other strategic advertising that undercuts competing
          products at critical times
  The market for operating systems is a network-type market. If an operating
  system is perceived as relatively unpopular, fewer people will write
  applications for it, fewer people will make or sell computers to run it,
  fewer third party support organizations will form to support it, fewer
  schools will teach it, fewer employers will expect experience with it, etc.
  In a network-type market, it is no surprise to see one company with a 90%
  market share. If three companies (who make incompatible products that follow
  incompatible standards) had 30% market shares, we would probably look at the
  situation as unstable, rather than as desirable. If people ever come to
  perceive one of the competitors as more popular than the others, it will
  skyrocket in popularity, and the popularity of the others will decline.
  There are several estimates of Microsoft's share of the operating system
  market. My understanding is that 90% of the world's computers run Microsoft
  Windows. That's well beyond the 70% threshold often used to class a company
  as a monopoly. But we should expect this as a normal consequence of the
  operating system market. SOMEBODY has to own the OS market. It just happens
  that this week, the owner is Microsoft.
  Competition in the OS world is competition by paradigm shift. We should
  expect the successful competitor to Windows to displace it, not to
  peacefully co-exist with it.
  Of course, many operating systems could compete with each other if we
  changed the nature of OS's or applications to make them more compatible. To
  illustrate the point, there was a time when document transfer between MS
  Word and WordPerfect didn't work. That incompatibility created a need to
  standardize on one product or the other. Today, you can have WordPerfect, I
  can have Word, and we can co-author a book. The difference in file formats
  is a nuisance, but it's not a huge deal.
  So another way that MS could lose its monopoly on the OS market would be a
  magic wand that lets applications run on any operating system. At this
  point, different people could run different operating systems without much
  loss of benefit. (Some people think this magic wand's name is JAVA.)
  (2) Increasing returns
  The argument was made at Nader's conference that in the software world, the
  marginal cost for new copies of the software is relatively small. The main
  cost was the R&D cost in birthing the puppy. The per-customer cost of
  support declines as more people call in (the ansswer books are cheaper to
  research and write, plus the network effects. The company that is
  established in a field has a cost advantage over a smaller or newer player.
  Therefore, a company that is selling many copies of its products will have a
  cost advantage over a smaller competitor.
  I'm not sure that I buy this. In many companies (Microsoft seems to be a
  remarkable exception), the collective corporate IQ seems to be inversely
  related to the company's size.
  ================ The Threat =================
  I'm not an antitrust lawyer; some of my comments on antitrust law could be
  naive or downright mistaken. Similarly, I am not intimately familiar with
  the fights between Microsoft, Sun, Sybase, etc.
  We start from the fact that Microsoft has a monopoly on operating systems of
  currently sold machines. There isn't necessarily anything wrong with this,
  but it gives cause for concern if Microsoft abuses the power that it gains
  out of the monopoly.
  The notion of "Monopoly Leveraging" runs as follows:
          A traditional claim for monopolization occurs
          when a firm uses its monopoly in one market to
          actually monopolize another market, or to grab
          most of that market.
          Monopoly leveraging doesn't require full monopolization
          yet. Instead, this occurs when a monopolist in one
          market uses that monopoly to gain a competitive advantage
          in another market. It's probably the case that current
          courts will require evidence that the monopolist is
          attempting to use leveraging to gain an advantage
          that will turn into a monopoly.
  It was repeatedly stressed at the conference that it is important for
  Microsoft to expand into new markets because (it was said) their business
  model depends heavily on rapidly expanding revenues and a rising share
  price. Microsoft's market valuation is huge. To keep the stock price rising
  will be be very challenging. The analogy that was repeatedly drawn is that
  Microsoft is like a great white shark. It has to keep moving and it has to
  keep feeding.
  You don't have to agree with this assessment of Microsoft's situation to
  understand that there are a lot of businesses out there who feel like
  endangered smaller fish. The shark analogy expresses a genuine fear.
  Microsoft has been expanding in three areas that have caused concern:
     (a)  Applications
          Microsoft now dominates the market in word processing, 
          spreadsheets, and several other applications. It 
          is not unlawful for MS to dominate the Office
          market if it got there simply by making better products 
          and marketing them better.
          Arguments have been made that MS gives its internal  
          applications groups more information about the operating 
          system than it gives to competitors, making it faster, 
          easier and cheaper to produce application software at 
          MS than it would be to produce equivalent software at 
          a competitive company.
          It's important to recognize something here. Whether
          or not MS withheld information unfairly, or used
          private information unfairly, there are many people
          who firmly believe this is true, and they have a rational
          basis for that belief. Just as the shark analogy is a
          noteworthy expression of genuine fear, the undocumented
          DOS (etc.) discussions reflect genuine anger.
          I didn't hear a serious claims that there is enough
          evidence to support a lawsuit for monopolization in 
          the application market. But a red flag goes up, and
          should go up, when a monopolist gains dominance in
          second, third, and umpteenth markets. 
     (b)  On-line Industries
          Microsoft is expanding into several on-line sales
          situations, such as Expedia and sidewalk.com. The
          concern is that these services will become the
          dominant services within their categories.
          It certainly is not, and should not be, unlawful for MS 
          to expand into on-line markets. The concern is that 
          Microsoft is using its dominance in the operating 
          system market to give itself a leg up on this.
          The problem is the use of the channel bar in IE 4. When 
          you install IE 4, this appears on your desktop. You can 
          click one to arrange travel, for example. You have a 
          choice of on-line travel agencies, but the first choice 
          presented is Expedia. Travel agencies have a lot of 
          experience with on-line travel reservation systems. In
          fact, these have been the subject of antitrust action
          themselves. On the old systems, you'd see all the
          United Airlines flights first, or all the American
          flights first (or whatever--depends on whose system you
          were using). Even though a better priced flight or a
          better timed flight might appear later in the list,
          over 50% of the flights sold were the first ones listed
          on the screen and over 90% appeared on the first screen.
          Whoever presented their information first got the sale.
          By controlling the desktop, Microsoft can arrange so that
          its information conmes first in any competitive listing
          of online services.
          As another note, Nathan Myrhvold, Microsoft's Chief 
          Technology Officer, said that Microsoft wants to collect
          vigorish on every transaction over the internet that 
          uses Microsoft technology. (See Wall Street Journal,
          June 5, 1997, "Microsoft Moves to Rule On-Line Sales.")
          "Vigorish" refers to a fee for bringing the two parties
          to the transaction together. ("Vigorish" is an interesting
          word to use. I've always and only heard it used in 
          connection with gambling or with organized crime. It's
          not the best word to use if you want to win the hearts 
          and minds of a bunch of prosecutors.)
     (c)  Content
          Microsoft is moving into online and broadcast content 
          into ways that some people find disturbing. One concern 
          is whether MS is likely to abuse its entry into content.
          Microsoft's Encarta is now the world's best selling 
          encyclopedia, derived from (blech, ptui) Funk & Wagnalls.
          Encarta is certainly much improved over the original,
          but it is a testimonial to Microsoft that it can turn
          Funk & Wagnalls into the bestseller.
          One of the more amusing tidbits at the conference
          involved comparing an old Funk & Wagnalls entry for
          Bill Gates with Encarta. According to one of the 
          speakers, both entries were quite similar, except 
          for a final sentence. In F&W, Gates is characterized 
          as a determined competitor. In Encarta, that goes 
          away and he said to be best known for being a 
          philanthropist, making big donations to charitable 
          Whatever the full story is behind the Encarta entry,
          we all know that companies often say nice things 
          about themselves and their executives. Big deal.
          Microsoft responded in surprising detail on this
          point. This is one of (only) 7 "myths" that 
          Microsoft claims to have "debunked" at 
          http://www.microsoft.com/corpinfo/myths.htm. According
          to this press piece, Microsoft wrote both entries.
          The identification of Gates' charitable work was
          merely an update. (Confusing everything, MS quoted
          from Encarta 98 to illustrate its point, but I think
          the speaker used Encarta 97.) 
          This illustrates a problem in interpreting so much of
          this material. When I read the MS response to the 
          Department of Justice papers, at
          some of it seems like real baloney. On the other
          hand, some of the statements made by MS critics
          are plenty questionable too.
          A frequently repeated claim during the conference was
          that MS abuses its power by threatening publications
          that it will pull advertising if they publish 
          certain pieces. Some of these claims were nonspecific
          and I finally rose to challenge speakers to either
          be specific on this charge or to stop making it. 
          (The audio for some of this is at
          I spoke in the Questions section of the Government
          Antitrust Enforcement Activities, at minute 9:53
          of the RealAudio clip). Graham Lea responded that
          he had personally been a victim of this and that
          Bill Zachmann (spelling?), formerly of PC Week had 
          also been a victim of this and that Microsoft had 
          publicly admitted it. Two additional speakers, John 
          Perry Barlow and Wendy Goldman Rohm, were quite 
          specific in these types of claims. You can hear 
          more details in the recordings of their talks, at 
          in the Microsoft and the Media section.
          If these claims of pressure on the media are true,
          then I think that concerns about the fairness of
          news coverage by companies owned by Microsoft
          are well justified. I'd be more interested in a 
          detailed MS response to this one than to the
          attention they paid to that silly example from
  =========== The Lawsuits ==========
  Microsoft has a lock on the operating system market until and unless someone
  else takes it away from them.
  Three different actions were discussed in detail at Nader's conference:
     (a)  Caldera's lawsuit alleging monopolization in the DOS market.
          (I haven't found an online source for the response from 
     (b)  The Department of Justice action over the bundling of (or
          integration of) Internet Explorer 4.0 with Windows 95.
     (c)  Sun's lawsuit alleging breach of contract involving JAVA.
  I'm going to start with the Caldera suit.
  (a) The Caldera / Digital Research Lawsuit.
  Digital Research invented CP/M, which was one of the operating systems in
  common use before IBM PC's came onto the market. IBM chose Microsoft, not
  Digital Research, to create an operating system for the PC. MS supplied
  MS-DOS and PC-DOS for Intel-based machines. DR published CP/M-86, Concurrent
  CP/M-86 and Concurrent DOS for this market. Later, it published DR DOS, at a
  time when MS appeared to have a lock on the PC OS market. Its sales,
  especially of DR DOS 5.0, were significant but they eventually diminished.
  In this period, Digital Research sold itself to Novell, which eventually
  sold the DOS operating system and related assets to Caldera. Caldera sued MS
  for antitrust violations related to the competition between MS-DOS and DR-DOS.
  Caldera did a remarkably good job of presenting its case at the conference
  and in its complaint, bolstered with information from Andrew Shulman
  (Undocumented DOS, etc.).
  I was surprised by the strength of the presentation because I'm a skeptic
  about this suit. I started doing testing in the DOS applications market in
  1983 and had experience with some of the early 8086 offerings for PC's, plus
  later experience with DR DOS 5. I didn't develop a lot of respect for these
  offerings. As to Novell, the other acquisition that I think of when I think
  of Novell is WordPerfect (which I used in preference to Word until I gave up
  on getting a reliable Windows version.) You'll recall that Novell bought
  WordPerfect for about $1.1 billion and sold it for about $100 million a year
  later. Maybe Novell had a bit to do with the failure of DR-DOS too.
  Despite my opening bias, I think that Caldera makes a few points that are
  worth considering.
  First, MS set up a per-processor license agreement with OEMs. If you made
  such an agreement with MS, then you paid for a DOS license for each computer
  you sold, whether you bundled DOS with that particular machine or not. I
  remember discussion of this at the time that MS was selling these licenses.
  The problem that I remember was that several companies were selling compuers
  with pirated copies of MS-DOS. This agreement was a simple method for
  resolve some serious disputes. I have no idea whether MS even thought about
  or cared about Caldera (then DR) in creating this licensing arrangement. I
  wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that MS worked out the arrangement
  without any consideration of DR, one way or another. However, the result was
  apparently to the detriment of DR's sales.
  Second, MS put code into at least one beta version of MS Windows that gave
  an error message on detecting DR DOS (or on not detecting MS DOS) as the
  operating system. According to Caldera's complaint, MS made it clear that
  Windows 3.1 would not be compatible with DR DOS. If this is true, then I
  would expect OEMs to avoid DR DOS. Again, I think that there's an
  interesting question of intent here. A smaller company building a beta test
  version that would widely circulate might well build environmental checks
  into the product that are more restrictive than the final product, and it
  might well do that without documenting this to the beta testers. The fact is
  that in beta testing, like all other testing, there are only so many
  variables that you want to be manipulating at once. Forcing some temporary
  simplifications on the world is not unreasonable.
  It's entirely plausible to me that MS acted relatively innocently with
  respect to DR DOS, perhaps refusing to make allowances for DR DOS, but not
  actively seeking to harm DR.
  The problem is that it doesn't matter to a cockroach whether you're actively
  seeking to harm it or not. If you step on it, you squish it. If you have
  monopoly-sized shoes, you're required to look where you're going.
  Caldera makes other points, more sympathetically to its case.
  (b)     Bundling of Internet Explorer 3.0 / 4.0
  Government action is partially a response to law and partially to public
  opinion. To the extent that the DOJ -- or any other antitrust agency --
  perceives significant and rational public fear and anger over a problem,
  that agency will seriously consider getting more active in a dispute that is
  clearly within its domain.
  Here's the language of the consent decree that Microsoft agreed to, and
  which was entered by a federal court as a Final Judgment on August 21, 1995.
  This settled the last dispute between MS and DOJ (the Justice Dept).
          E. Microsoft shall not enter into any License Agreement 
          [with an OEM] in which the terms of that agreement are 
          expressly or impliedly conditioned upon:
                (i) the licensing of any other Covered Product, 
          Operating System Software product or other product 
          (provided, however, that this provision in and of itself 
          shall not be construed to prohibit Microsoft from 
          developing integrated products). 
  Unfortunately, the decree doesn't define "integrated products."
  Is IE an integrated part of the operating system, in which case it is
  appropriately bundled with Windows 95, or is it a standalone application, in
  which case compulsory bundling with IE is probably unlawful under the
  agreement/consent decree? (Unlawful, because MS requires OEMs to include IE
  with Win 95).
  You have to decide the anwser to that question.
  What's not in dispute is that MS thinks that browser war is critical to MS
  because a high-functionality browser can replace much of the functionality
  found in a high-functionality operating system. For example, here is this,
  from MS's response to the Justice Department's (DOS's) petition:
                   As the DOJ notes (see, e.g., DOJ Mem. at 32), strong and
                   well-financed competitors of Microsoft such as Sun
                   Microsystems and Netscape are seeking to render Windows
                   95 and other Microsoft operating systems obsolete by
                   creating so-called "middleware" layers that obscure the
                   underlying operating system. Apparently in the DOJ’s view,
                   Microsoft should be forced to sit on its hands while
                   competitors attempt to take away one of the most important
                   aspects of Microsoft’s business. 
  We used to have a model of operating systems that including a relatively
  thin operating system layer, then a user interface layer (such as windows),
  then an application layer. Win 95 erases the separation between the system
  layer and the UI layer. Win 98 will erase a separation between the system
  and an application, the browser.
  How far does this go? 
  As far as I can tell, MS' position is that it goes as far as MS wants it to
  go. If MS wants to integrate the word processor, spreadsheet, desktop
  publisher, and lots of computer games into the oerating system, that's none
  of the Department of Justice's business.
  I don't think that it makes technical sense to stretch the definition of
  "integrated" this far. But as to what's allowed under the consent decree,
  enjoy your reading.
  (c)     Sun v. Microsoft
  The story goes that Java is a perfectly cross-platform language. Write a
  Java program once and you can run it on a bunch of different machines,
  without modification. I don't program in Java and I have no independent
  knowledge of the truth or falsity of this claim. Some colleagues tell me
  that it's reasonably close to true, others tell me that there are some
  significant problems.
  Let's suppose that Java really is platform independent.
  Sun claims that IE 4.0 and Microsoft's SDK for Java are not compatible with
  Java. In the language of the complaint:
          The "SignatureTest" results show that the set of public 
          APIs for the "java" class libraries implemented in 
          Microsoft's IE 4.0 have been modified by Microsoft to 
          delete various classes to the "java." class hierarchy, 
          and to add and delete various methods and fields in the 
          "java" class declarations. Schroer Decl. ¶15. These 
          non-conforming modifications were not previously disclosed 
          to Sun by Microsoft and result in the failure of IE 4.0 to 
          pass the JCK 1.1a "SignatureTest." Id. ¶ 17.
          In addition to IE 4.0's failure to pass "SignatureTest," it 
          also fails to pass any of the 343 required tests for the RMI 
          class library, and all 239 required tests for JNI.
  In terms of the significance of this dispute, Java could be the language
  that will allow competitors of MS to create an application layer that is
  largely independent of the underlying operating system. This is the same
  issue as the one I mentioned above, with the browser.
  If it doesn't matter what the underlying operating system is, then on an
  Intel platform it could as well be an updated version of DR DOS as Windows 95.
  ========= Remedies ==========
  So what are the people asking for?
  Well, Caldera wants lots of money. Maybe some other court orders too.
  A few extremists spoke of exterminating Microsoft, but I don't think that
  this is the goal of the antitrust actions.
  Most of what I heard involved some fairly simple demands:
     (a)  Let OEMs sell MS Windows 95 without showing the IE
          icon. If they prefer to steer people to Netscape, or
          to require customers to download the browser of their
          choice, let them.
     (b)  Let Sun define Java. Microsoft shouldn't screw around 
          with this definition, because that creates a risk that
          Microsoft will be able to sabotage, rather than fairly
          compete with, its competition.
     (c)  MS should be required to share OS information with
          competitors, to the extent that it uses this information
          in the development of its own products. (This one will
          be tough. Even if MS wants to do this, the paperwork
          load of assuring that it is always done is not going to
          be minor, and it may force MS to change its development
          practices in ways that interfere with its ability to
          do good work quickly.)
     (d)  ***Something*** (I don't know what) should be done to
          make sure that the IE 4 channel bar doesn't give
          MS-based services an unfair advantage over the others.
  Well, that's the end of my report. I hope that you found it interesting
  and/or useful.
  -- Cem Kaner
  Cem Kaner, J.D., Ph.D.  		              Attorney at Law   
  PO Box 1200, Santa Clara, CA 95052	              kaner@kaner.com
      Please read my book, "Testing Computer Software" Thomson Press.
  This communication is not legal advice or a legal opinion.This message
  does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and me. 
  Please do not act on any law-related information in this message 
  without seeking the advice of your attorney.
  Cem Kaner, J.D., Ph.D.				       Attorney at Law 
  P.O. Box 1200           Santa Clara, CA 95052             408-244-7000
  Author (with Falk &  Nguyen) of TESTING COMPUTER SOFTWARE (2nd Ed, VNR)
  This e-mail communication should not be interpreted as legal advice 
  or a legal opinion.  The transmission of this e-mail communication 
  does not create an attorney-client relationship between me and you.
  Do not act or rely upon law-related information in this communication 
  without seeking the advice of an attorney. Finally, nothing in this
  message should be interpreted as a "digital signature" or "electronic
  signature" that can create binding commercial transactions.
  Cem Kaner, J.D., Ph.D.				       Attorney at Law 
  P.O. Box 1200           Santa Clara, CA 95052             408-244-7000
  Author (with Falk &  Nguyen) of TESTING COMPUTER SOFTWARE (2nd Ed, VNR)
  This e-mail communication should not be interpreted as legal advice 
  or a legal opinion.  The transmission of this e-mail communication 
  does not create an attorney-client relationship between me and you.
  Do not act or rely upon law-related information in this communication 
  without seeking the advice of an attorney. Finally, nothing in this
  message should be interpreted as a "digital signature" or "electronic
  signature" that can create binding commercial transactions.