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Microsoft / DOJ Settlement

Filed under the:  department.
Posted by:Ryan on Friday, 02 Nov, 2001 @ 6:57 PM
 
Submitted News

Ok. So the DOJ and Microsoft seem to have reached a tenative agreement. While I am not about to say that its anywhere near as much as microsoft deserves (they are already guilty, so why do they get off so easy?), there is one interesting point. Actually, its the first one.

A. Microsoft shall not retaliate against an OEM by altering Microsoftís commercial relations with that OEM, or by withholding newly introduced forms of non-monetary Consideration (including but not limited to new versions of existing forms of non-monetary Consideration) from that OEM, because it is known to Microsoft that the OEM is or is contemplating:

1. developing, distributing, promoting, using, selling, or licensing any software that competes with Microsoft Platform Software or any product or service that distributes or promotes any Non-Microsoft Middleware;

2. shipping a Personal Computer that (a) includes both a Windows Operating System Product and a non-Microsoft Operating System, or (b) will boot with more than one Operating System; or

3. exercising any of the options or alternatives provided for under this Final Judgment.

In otherwords, the bootloader license that microsoft uses to stop alternative operating systems from being bundled by OEMS is as good as dead, assuming there isnt a hidden loophole soemwhere else in the agreement. This is /great/ news for the alternative OS community, although it does not help alleviate any of the other monopolistic issues (bundling, etc). The word is that the states are not planning on signing the agreement, and may continue the case without the DOJ. This would mean that not only does Microsoft have to follow this agreement, but they also become subject to whatever punishment is given to them by the trial with the 17 various states. So cheer up.. it may turn out ok after all. :)



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