The Sleeping Giant (1/18/00)

Wow, and here we were losing hope in "Redmond Justice" because we thought we saw hints that Microsoft was getting ready to throw in the towel. Think about it-- the trial itself was a riotous comedy of errors, with the government scoring hit after hit against the Redmond Giant amid evidence of faked Microsoft videotapes, Microsoft witnesses being tripped up by their own email, etc. Come on, at several points the judge was laughing. That's not a good sign during a trial. And once Jackson filed his "findings of fact," any ambiguity about how he felt melted right away. Microsoft holds monopoly power, and misused said power to extend its hold into other markets. That was pretty much a "settle or die" signal, and we fully expected Microsoft to take it.

Sure, we knew that earlier settlement talks between Microsoft and the government were fruitless-- no fruit for anyone. But after Jackson appointed another judge as a mediator and the talks kicked into high gear, we figured that Microsoft would deal, rather than face what appears to be a sure loss. Bill Gates has also been making noises in the press about his willingness to settle, and even to consider such drastic remedies as a court-ordered company breakup. And then last week we got that whole thing about Gates stepping down as Microsoft's CEO. What was that all about? It looked to us like preparation for big changes. A settled breakup, perhaps?

Fished in!! Yup, Microsoft was just playing possum. An Inter@ctive Week article described Microsoft's latest filing in the case, and now it looks as though the company's going to go down swinging. In its latest proposed conclusions of law, the company claims that "even accepting the court's findings of fact, the plaintiffs still have not satisfied their burden under the governing law on any of their claims." They're taking this one to the mat, folks. They may have been willing to settle that Caldera suit, but when it comes to their freedom to imitate innovate, "settlement" is a four-letter word. (Just ask Word's character count.) So dig in, because this fight ain't over yet. After the inevitable loss, there's the appeal, the appeal of the appeal... we've got plenty of Redmond Justice action lined up for 2000 and beyond.

SceneLink (2040)
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The above scene was taken from the 1/18/00 episode:

January 18, 2000: It's end-of-quarter finances time, and you can join in the fun via live QuickTime streaming. Meanwhile, rumors swirl about spring and summer unveilings of that hardware we all expected two weeks ago, and leaving the settlement talks behind, Microsoft leaps back into the fray on "Redmond Justice"...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2038: The Money Man Speaks (1/18/00)   And here we are, mere hours away from the revelation of Apple's most recent end-of-quarter financial results. Frankly, our enthusiasm's a bit dampened; for one thing, everyone pretty much already knows that the numbers are going to look fantastic...

  • 2039: To Those Who Wait (1/18/00)   See, we knew if we could just keep blathering on and on about the mysterious lack of hardware announcements at Macworld Expo, eventually someone would float us some info just to get us to shut up about it already...

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