Quick, Change The Channel (11/4/02)

Alas, this is the way the show ends-- not with a bang, not a whimper, but something even less compelling: a settlement. "Redmond Justice" fans, who originally came to the show years ago because it offered a fiery mix of courtroom drama and political intrigue so volatile it could strip the paint off a '64 Chevy Malibu, are understandably nonplussed. For our money, we consider it the weakest series finale since The X-Files limped off into the sunset, and that's really saying something; we really didn't think anyone could ever come up with an ending more disappointing than "Aliens are coming in 2012, oh no!" But geez, at least "The Truth" had Cigarette Smoking Man turning into a crispy critter. What did the settlement have to offer drama fans, short of the giggle factor of hearing Microsoft refer to the deal as "tough but fair"?

So, unless those nine holdout states choose to appeal the judge's decision (which, at this point, would be less an act of beating a dead horse than one of embalming said horse, getting it fixed up all pretty for an open horse casket, and then hitting it with eight or nine Tomahawk missiles), this here is the fat lady singing. Faithful viewer chollyhead pointed out a Reuters article which delivers the anticlimax: Microsoft basically gets away with, if not murder, then at least "moider."

For having committed multiple acts of extreme naughtiness for which the company has shown absolutely zero remorse, Microsoft now has to (shudder) allow PC manufacturers to "hide some Microsoft icons on the Windows desktop." But wait, there's more! Microsoft must also sell Windows under a "standard license" so as not to strong-arm any manufacturers who might not cooperate completely with the Microsoft World Domination Plan, and indeed the company is "prohibited from retaliating" against manufacturers who choose non-Microsoft products. Oooooo. That'll be particularly effective since, as faithful viewer Kevin Burk points out, the "corporate compliance committee" responsible for ensuring that Microsoft plays fair for the next five years apparently consists entirely of Microsoft board members. ('Strue-- an Associated Press story backs that up.) As Professor Shane Greenstein of Northwestern University puts it, "The lesson everyone learned here is just stay out of Microsoft's way." Well put-- and that's clearly the lesson that antitrust law is meant to teach, right?

The good news, of course, is that with the feds off its back, Microsoft is finally free to innovate-- and innovate it will, as evidenced by the company's latest incredible release of Microsoft Movie Maker. Faithful viewer Chris Osborn notes that the product now supports FireWire! Thank heaven Judge Kollar-Kotelly didn't choose to stifle the Redmond Think Tank, because really, without Microsoft, who would ever have come up with such a thing?

SceneLink (3818)
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From the writer/creator of AtAT, a Pandemic Dad Joke taken WAYYYYYY too far


The above scene was taken from the 11/4/02 episode:

November 4, 2002: New iBook specs and pricing are floating around out there amid reports that Apple's November 5th announcements have been bumped to November 6th. Meanwhile, Apple readies two more retail stores for grand openings this Saturday, and the "Redmond Justice" finale shows that you can lose every battle and still win the war...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3816: Hey, What's One More Day? (11/4/02)   Heads up, youse guys-- Apple's playing schedule hockey again. No, we don't really know what that means, but what we meant it to mean is that the rumored PowerBook and iBook updates that we've all been expecting this Tuesday may not be coming on Tuesday after all...

  • 3817: Hurtling Toward Turkey Day (11/4/02)   Another weekend, another Apple retail store or three. If you're down with the happening happenings, you already knew that Apple was launching three new locations over the weekend: Southdale in Edina, Minnesota; Keystone in Indianapolis; and Fashion Show in fabulous Las Vegas (where faithful viewer ManiACal Mike showed up to the party in tremendous style)...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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