More Microsoft Madness

By: Mario Rodrigues

Date: January 12, 2002

In yet another episode of alleged law breaking, Microsoft failed to inform federal judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly that it had lobbied members of Congress in relation to its ongoing antitrust case.  In its defense, Microsoft made the flaccid excuse that it did this because AT&T did the same thing in its antitrust case back in the early 80's.

In related news, Microsoft sought to stop the media and the public from hearing pre-trial witness interviews related to the ongoing antitrust case.  Microsoft no doubt fears that if these interviews are held in open court, it will serve as a public relations fiasco.

In more antitrust news, Microsoft suffered a defeat in the proposed settlement of the private class-action lawsuits.  The judge agreed with the opponents and ruled that the proposed deal would be anticompetitive.  He added that the $1 billion value did not fall into "the range of possible approval."  This could prove to be very expensive for Microsoft.

On Thursday, VHJ reported the possible threat of "Lindows" to Microsoft.  Microsoft seems to be taking this seriously as it has filed a lawsuit against Lindows, a company that produces a Linux distribution of the same name that is designed to run both Linux and Windows programs.  Microsoft contends that the company is trying to confuse Lindows with Windows.  The suit asks the court to order the start-up to stop using the Lindows name and also seeks unspecified monetary damages.  Lindows has now responded with an open letter to Bill Gates which also shows the logos side by side.  I have to say, I can't see the confusion.

Also on Thursday, VHJ reported on an online poll fraud by Microsoft.  ZDNet ran that poll and is now running another: "Do you plan to use Linux in 2002?"  ZDNet asks about Linux use at home, at work, both, or neither.  Currently, the "both" option is way out in front with 64% of the vote [ed: interesting, considering the generally lower level of knowledgeable and experienced readers the struggling ZDNet is sometimes associated with].  It will be interesting to see if this trend continues and if Microsoft is able to resist meddling again before the poll closes on Jan 27.

If you feel angry about Microsoft's conduct, read VHJ's commentary, "Fair Justice for Microsoft?" and register your concerns.


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