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(fwd) Trip Report: Nader's conference on Microsoft

  I got this through Phil Agre's Red Rock Eater News Service :
  >[I've enclosed Cem Kaner's report on the "Appraising Microsoft" conference.
  >I particularly recommend Cem's own paper (which is not focused specifically
  >at Microsoft) on impending changes to the Uniform Commercial Code that are
  >strongly biased in favor of software vendors.  Those who are studying the
  >legal issues in the Microsoft Wars may also benefit from a new law review
  >article by Bryce J. Jones II and James R. Turner, Can an operating system
  >have a duty to aid its competitors?, Jurimetrics 37(4), 1997, pages 355-394.
  >Several people have sent me URLs for useful online news articles about the
  >Microsoft Wars, but I have managed to lose them all.  If you resend them by
  >early next week, I'll package them for the list.  And anyone else with URLs
  >for high-quality reports on the subject are invited to send them along.]
  >This message was forwarded through the Red Rock Eater News Service (RRE).
  >Send any replies to the original author, listed in the From: field below.
  >You are welcome to send the message along to others but please do not use
  >the "redirect" command.  For information on RRE, including instructions
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  >Date: Mon, 01 Dec 1997 05:05:27 -0800
  >From: Cem Kaner <kaner@kaner.com>
  >Subject: Trip Report: Nader's conference on Microsoft
  >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.
  >=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D Economics =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
  >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
  >        competitors.
  >    (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.
  >=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D The Threat =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
  >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
  >        causes.
  >        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
  >        http://www.microsoft.com/corpinfo/11-10Filing.html,
  >        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
  >         http://www.appraising-microsoft.org/day2rm.html.
  >        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
  >        http://www.appraising-microsoft.org/day2rm.html,
  >        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
  >        Encarta.
  >=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D The Lawsuits =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
  >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.
  >        http://www.caldera.com/news/npr/complaint.html
  >        (I haven't found an online source for the response from
  >        Microsoft.)
  >   (b)  The Department of Justice action over the bundling of (or
  >        integration of) Internet Explorer 4.0 with Windows 95.
  >        http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases3/micros2/1236.htm
  >        http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases3/micros2/1237.htm
  >        http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases3/micros2/1277.htm
  >        http://www.microsoft.com/corpinfo/doj/doj.htm
  >        http://www.essential.org/antitrust/microsoft/microsoft.html
  >   (c)  Sun's lawsuit alleging breach of contract involving JAVA.
  >        http://www.sun.com/announcement/counterclaimdoc2/
  >        http://www.sun.com/smi/Press/sunflash/9711/sunflash.971118.1.html
  >        http://www.microsoft.com/corpinfo/java.htm
  >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
  >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=92s view,
  >                 Microsoft should be forced to sit on its hands while
  >                 competitors attempt to take away one of the most important
  >                 aspects of Microsoft=92s 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. =B615. 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. =B6 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
  >=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D Remedies =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
  >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
  >P.O. Box 1200           Santa Clara, CA 95052             408-244-7000
  >Author (with Falk &  Nguyen) of TESTING COMPUTER SOFTWARE (2nd Ed, VNR)
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