The Briefs That Aren't (6/14/00)

Our brains are on overload, what with this sudden flurry of activity on "Redmond Justice" of late. There have been more briefs flying around on that show than on the Spice Channel. (Er, so we're told.) Microsoft filed for a stay of the judge's ruling, the judge said not until the appeal was filed, Microsoft filed the appeal, and the government filed for a Supreme Court intervention-- all within the course of a day. While we appreciate the action-packed show, we hope the writers will ease up a bit, because trying to follow the intricate twists and turns of the plot lately is commanding far more brain power than we're used to expending over the summer season. (If you need a polar opposite on the brain-taxing scale in order to restore balance, NBC's showing "Suddenly Susan" reruns.)

The latest development in the case is that the government is asking Microsoft to reply to its "Let's Get The Supreme Court In Here" brief by this coming Monday. According to a CNET article, Microsoft has agreed-- in a splendid gesture of magnanimous compliance. See, Microsoft is actually entitled to "eleven calendar days" in which to craft its response, so by filing on Monday instead, it's actually giving up a sizable chunk of brief-lengthening time. Wasn't it sweet of those guys to say "Okay, we'll do it by Monday"? Actually, what they really said was (deep breath): "Notwithstanding that rule, Microsoft will file its response to plaintiffs' motion within the four business days suggested by plaintiffs in their submission filed on June 12, 2000, a schedule to which Microsoft previously has informed the Court it is willing to adhere." Why use six words when you can use forty-two?

In fact, that brings up an interesting side-point: Microsoft is filing some very long briefs in this case. According to The Register, Microsoft's stay appeal was thirty-nine pages long-- almost twice as long as the maximum allowed. But it's okay, because the company made up for the nineteen extra pages by filing a whole separate "Motion for Leave to Submit an Overlength Motion for Stay Pending Appeal." The way we see it, either Microsoft's lawyers have a pathological hatred for trees, or the company's penchant for releasing bloatware has trickled down into the legal department. Next thing you know, they'll be issuing service packs for the courtroom filings. And charging for them.

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The above scene was taken from the 6/14/00 episode:

June 14, 2000: Can't catch Steve in New York next month? Cheer up-- you'll get another chance at Seybold San Francisco in August. Meanwhile, disturbing rumors of a Microsoft buyout of Bungie float across the ether, even as the Redmond giant files some lengthy briefs in its bid to avoid a breakup...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2356: The Man In Demand (6/14/00)   Jonesing for a dose of that live, in-person, unfiltered-by-streaming-media Reality Distortion Field action? Hey, who isn't? But fear not-- the Stevenotes are stacking up fast and fierce. We're only about a month away from the annual Macworld Expo throwdown in the Big Apple, and as you all know, Steve's scheduled to amaze and delight us all...

  • 2357: Scariest Thing Yet (6/14/00)   So you thought Bill in a sweater was scary? Well, if you're a fan of Mac games, there's a rumor going around that's about a kajillion times worse. Microsoft has been messing with the Mac platform for a long time now, and for the most part we at AtAT have rolled with the punches, but this time it's all-out war...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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