ad info
   personal technology

 custom news
 Headline News brief
 daily almanac
 CNN networks
 CNN programs
 on-air transcripts
 news quiz

CNN Websites
 video on demand
 video archive
 audio on demand
 news email services
 free email accounts
 desktop headlines

 message boards





Microsoft case reaction


November 9, 1999
Web posted at: 11:04 a.m. EST (1604 GMT)

by David Orenstein, Mark Hall and Kim S. Nash

(IDG) -- Reaction to Judge Jackson's findings that Microsoft is a monopoly drew kudos from at least one major computer vendor and state attorneys general involved in the case. But as evident throughout the trial, corporate users said the opinion would not affect their plans.

John King, CIO at Filene's Basement Corp. in Wellesley, Mass., said his company a few years ago decided to use Microsoft's software for its stores, corporate servers and desktops, and e-mail and office productivity software. "Microsoft is going to continue to develop its product line," he said. "I'm not going to make any major changes at this point."

King noted that Microsoft will be able to stave off any remedies for months or years with appeals, and even when the government has broken up companies, it's questionable how much good it's done. AT&T's breakup in 1983, for example, has ultimately yielded to a new environment in which companies like MCI WorldCom Inc. can gobble Sprint Corp., forming new behemoths. "They're starting to get back together," he said.

VideoCNN's Rick Lockridge reports on the implications of the ruling that Microsoft is considered a monopoly.
Real 28K 80K
Windows Media 28K 80K

VideoCNN's Rick Lockridge looks at some of the history of the Microsoft antitrust trial
Real 28K 80K
Windows Media 28K 80K
  • Full report: U.S. v Microsoft, Findings of Fact
    Opinion: Microsoft ruling 'left me queasy'

    European users react calmly to findings in Microsoft case

    Microsoft case reaction

    Myths of the antitrust case

    Microsoft's dominance daunting, judge finds

    EU investigating Microsoft on antitrust charges

    Silicon Valley reacts to Microsoft 'monopoly'

    Special Report: Microsoft on Trial


    Boeing Co., called as a witness in the trial (see "Boeing in spotlight at Microsoft trial," link below), said before the judge's findings were released today that it was unconcerned with issues raised in the case.

    "Their practices that have come into question were not a problem for us," said Robert Jorgenson, spokesman for the Boeing's, shared services group in Seattle. "We use Netscape software for web browsing and email use... If there was undue pressure, it didn't work."

    Analyst David Folger at Meta Group Inc. in Stamford, Conn., agreed that it was competitors, rather than users, who will laud the findings. "I don't see this as affecting Microsoft's business," said Folger. "Some end users care about Microsoft's dominance, but that concern is much stronger among vendors. Microsoft doesn't service that badly its end users. Microsoft is very nasty and aggressive regarding its competitors."

    Count Caldera Inc. in that ballpark. A small software company in Provo, Utah, Caldera is suing Microsoft for alleged antitrust violations related to Microsoft's actions in the DOS operating system market in the early 1990s.

    "We think it's good. We think it's accurate. The judge made the right [finding] in saying they've got monopoly power," CEO Bryan Sparks said. "I don't think it could have gone much better." Caldera may be able to incorporate some of the findings in its own arguments when its trial starts Jan. 17.

    State attorneys general beamed about the judge's ruling.

    "The opinion really is a clean sweep for the perspective we presented at trial," said Elliot Spitzer, attorney general for New York. Iowa attorney general Tom Miller called the judge's ruling "strong, comprehensive and consistent."

    But Miller also acknowledged that Microsoft had already done the main harm alleged before today's ruling. "Microsoft has gotten pretty much where they wanted to in the browser war. That is pretty much over." But he also said that the lawsuit reined in Microsoft, keeping it from doing further damage to consumers.

    The attorneys general downplayed the likelihood that Microsoft would try to stave off those remedies with a long campaign of appeals. They said the appellate process is usually swifter than the trial. They also heaped praise on Jackson for running the trial so quickly, in comparison to the marathon IBM antitrust suit that lasted for a decade.

    Sun Microsystems Inc. said the judge's findings were supported by a "wealth of evidence." Moving forward, Sun said, Microsoft should be prohibited from "buying the distribution channels of the future (e.g. cable and wireless) and from buying rather than inventing technologies." It also said the government should make sure that the technical interfaces of Microsoft's monopoly software are open.

    "Sun believes it is important that steps be taken to ensure that one company is not allowed to stifle true competition in an increasingly networked and dynamic industry," the company said. "It appears that the factual record, as determined by the court, will amply support such remedial approaches."

    On the financial side, one analyst said, "Most people think there will be more wealth if they break [Microsoft] apart than if they leave it alone." Continued Jedd Dunas, managing director, at Bear Stearns & Co. in San Francisco: "The fact that its stock is only down three [dollars] in after market trading suggests that only a few people are panicked."

    CNNfn: Special Report: Justice vs Microsoft

    Microsoft, Gates saw low points as stock price climbed
    November 5, 1999
    The marketplace has changed, but will Microsoft?
    November 5, 1999
    Video: Microsoft and Justice Department News Conferences
    November 5, 1999
    What if Microsoft loses the antitrust case?
    February 19, 1999
    Opinion: Microsoft trial resembles TV courtroom drama
    January 25, 1999
    Group seeks refunds for bundled versions of Windows
    January 22, 1999
    CNNfn: Day 3 in Microsoft trial
    October 21, 1998
    Microsoft lawyer turns up pressure on Netscape chief
    October 21, 1998
    Microsoft competitors: Living in fear
    October 20, 1998
    Small company finds comfortable co-existence with Microsoft
    October 20, 1998
    CNNfn: Microsoft, DOJ timeline
    October 16, 1998
    Microsoft hit with Windows-related class-action lawsuit
    June 26, 1998
    Antitrust case stirs feelings for & against Microsoft
    October 19, 1998

    Boeing in spotlight at Microsoft trial
    Judge's findings favor government in case against Microsoft
    Myths of the antitrust case
    (PC World Online)
    Microsoft dismisses findings, expects vindication
    (PC World Online)
    Microsoft's dominance daunting, judge finds
    (PC World Online)
    EU investigating Microsoft on antitrust charges
    (Network World Fusion)
    Computerworld's Microsoft story archive
    (Computerworld) Microsoft legal news page
    Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
    External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

    Microsoft Corp.
    U.S. Department of Justice
    Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
    External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
    Enter keyword(s)   go    help

    Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
    Terms under which this service is provided to you.
    Read our privacy guidelines.