The media played up the lawsuit Netscape filed against Microsoft a couple of days ago. The allegation is that Microsoft damaged Netscape by preventing the Netscape browser from competing fairly in the marketplace. Presumably the damages are the lost profits from the Netscape browser. I was amused by the assumption that Netscape will be awarded hundreds of millions of dollars (or billions, in some news reports) for its lost profits. […] continuedRead more
Microsoft has launched a new web site that centralizes all support services. The MS Knowledge Base, an essential tool for tech professionals, is always visible, reducing the amount of back and forth work that’s necessary to go through articles searching for a solution. There’s also links to the download sites and support newsgroups. […] continuedRead more
This is a good article by an industry analyst about Microsoft. He examines three announcements that caused pundits to claim that Microsoft was attempting to undermine competitors by leaving specific functionality out of Windows XP. Looked at more closely, the simple-minded conspiracy theories don’t make any sense; the reality is more nuanced. […] continuedRead more
The recording industry has cozied up to Microsoft’s WMA technology, which can contain all of the “digital rights management” tools that will limit your right to listen to music on your computer without continuous payments. Microsoft is chasing their money and plans to cooperate fully. Here’s a quote from the license agreement for Windows Media Player 7.1 that ought to strike fear into your heart:
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Digital Rights Management (Security).
The settlement talks are creeping along, perhaps heading towards a conclusion. Lots of potholes on that road. But let me suggest something that’s occurred to me about the proposed settlement.
One settlement demand is that Windows be offered in a stripped-down version without the allegedly “anticompetitive” addons – Media Player, Windows Messenger, and the like. […] continuedRead more
The Santa Rosa Press Democrat has somebody working their Business section with an anti-Microsoft grudge. The paper has been more and more bold about printing articles bashing Microsoft as if they’re straight news items. It’s confusing to people – a combination of misinformation and half-truths, with no indication that there’s another side. […] continuedRead more
The Justice Department announced today that it will not seek a breakup of Microsoft into separate operating systems and applications businesses. Instead, the government will focus on “conduct-related” provisions. Presumably this helps the sides inch towards a settlement, although the Justice Dept. rattled its saber a bit by stating it intends to ask the court to “investigate developments in the industry since the trial concluded.” My guess is that Windows XP won’t be the real target. […] continuedRead more
I’ve had an odd feeling of unreality reading the news reports about various politicians, competitors, and special interest groups calling for delays or changes in Windows XP. The Press Democrat reprinted a poisonous, vitriolic tirade from the Wall Street Journal on the front page of the Business section a couple of days ago, with very little to indicate that it was anything other than a straight news story. […] continuedRead more
Here’s an article about Kodak’s contention that Microsoft is using its monopoly power unfairly to “pry its way into new businesses” with Windows XP. A lot of companies are currently getting a sympathetic ear in the press with their complaints about Microsoft, and this looks like a perfectly good example of what the fuss is all about. […] continuedRead more
If you want a headstart on tomorrow’s headlines, here’s an article about today’s appeals court ruling vacating the remedies ordered by Judge Jackson and remanding the case back to a different trial judge.
Microsoft also backed away from the controversies about the “smart tags” feature planned for Windows XP. (See the June 19 item below and this article about today’s decision.) People raised the specter of Microsoft trying to take control of the Internet. […] continuedRead more
After months of speculation, Microsoft has now confirmed that Photodraw has been discontinued. There’s no obvious replacement. Photodraw was perfect for quick work with photos and clip art. Nothing on the market comes close for ease of use or breadth of features. We can keep using Photodraw – it’s not broken, and it works fine after upgrading to Office XP – but this announcement means that there will be no new release to deal with Photodraw’s shortcomings. […] continuedRead more
Oh, this is a nasty one. According to this article, Microsoft sends information about its Hotmail subscribers – email address, city, and state – to InfoSpace, an Internet white pages service. InfoSpace then combines this information with the subscribers’ telephone numbers and home addresses. The result is a user database that spam advertisers use to generate junk mail. […] continuedRead more
More and more online merchants are signing up to accept payments through Microsoft’s Passport system. It’s an important part of Microsoft’s long-term goal to take over the Internet and collect fees for every online transaction. I signed up. If you have a Hotmail account, you’re already plugged into the Passport system. […] continuedRead more
Microsoft has revamped its bCentral web site, a collection of services and resources for small businesses. One interesting example is the offer to design and host a web site from scratch for $399. That’s the price for a custom design with a generic but relatively professional look, and five pages of content. […] continuedRead more