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Old 10-01-2003, 02:25 AM   #1
ThunderBunny
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Exclamation Live in California? Microsoft may owe you a computer!


According to the following news story from CNET:

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Linux seller Lindows.com said Tuesday that it will continue to help Californians process legal claims against Microsoft, despite a challenge by the software giant.
An attorney representing Microsoft sent Lindows a cease-and-desist letter late last week objecting to the company's MSfreePC site. The site offers to process claims on behalf of current and former California residents who qualify for proceeds from the settlement of a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft. Microsoft attorney Robert Rosenfeld said claims submitted by the Lindows service won't qualify under the terms of the settlement and demanded that Lindows remove the site.

In a letter sent to Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, Lindows CEO Michael Robertson said the MSfreePC site performs a valuable service for consumers and will remain in operation. He challenged Microsoft's objections to the service, particularly the assertion that claims need a physical signature to be valid.

"You seem to have no objections when digital signatures are used to attempt to build Microsoft's profits, such as with MSN, Expedia or .Net," Robertson wrote. "I would also point out that Microsoft uses digital signatures to bind people to their restrictive end-user licensing agreements. It is hypocritical for Microsoft to endorse digital transactions to bolster your business but resist them whenever it may negatively impact your bottom line."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"msfreepc.com"
 
Old 10-01-2003, 02:38 AM   #2
Darwin
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Got to love it when anyone hits CraproSoft where it Hurt$. Even if it is Lindows
 
Old 10-15-2003, 08:22 PM   #3
Kurt M. Weber
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The settlement against Microsoft shouldn't have happened in the first place, because Microsoft has yet to do anything wrong.
 
Old 10-15-2003, 08:37 PM   #4
TexasDex
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Whether MS has actually broken a law is a matter still open to debate, but the fact remains that it has rode the ragged edge of our legal system, abused it's position, and still prevents legitimate competition (I have had sooooo many problems with WinXP and older versions of jbuilder it's not funny)
It has broken ethical laws, and besides that, Windows sucks.
 
Old 10-15-2003, 08:38 PM   #5
Kurt M. Weber
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Actually, whether or not it has broken a law is irrelevant--all of the laws Microsoft is and has been accused of breaking should not exist.

Microsoft has done nothing unethical. It is a creator of a product making that product as it desires and demanding that those who wish to use that product use it under its terms or not at all. Nothing unethical about that.
 
Old 10-15-2003, 10:45 PM   #6
speter
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Actually, it is relevant. Whether you think the law is good or not, it is what rules this land.

Steve
 
Old 10-15-2003, 11:43 PM   #7
Cruxus
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kurt M. Weber
Actually, whether or not it has broken a law is irrelevant--all of the laws Microsoft is and has been accused of breaking should not exist.

Microsoft has done nothing unethical. It is a creator of a product making that product as it desires and demanding that those who wish to use that product use it under its terms or not at all. Nothing unethical about that.
Your freedom is my slavery. Pure free-market capitalism is as bad as pure, command-economy communism. Do you really want to pay a toll to drive a car on one specific road and then pay another toll to access another? Do you want to be paid a wage that would barely enable you to survive because minimum-wage laws would infringe on the freedom of the market? On the same token, would you want a centralized "dictatorship of the proletariat" to tell you want your wants and needs are and then force you to work more and more to meet some five-year plan to force the rapid change of your country?

The state's sole reason for being is to see to the welfare of the people who compose it. Governments should enact laws that further this cause, and antitrust laws do exactly this. A good government cannot ignore the plight of the poor, the weak, the ignorant, and the will of the majority of the people under the aegis of "libertarian principles."
 
Old 10-16-2003, 12:10 AM   #8
Dhimani
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kurt M. Weber
Actually, whether or not it has broken a law is irrelevant--all of the laws Microsoft is and has been accused of breaking should not exist.

Microsoft has done nothing unethical. It is a creator of a product making that product as it desires and demanding that those who wish to use that product use it under its terms or not at all. Nothing unethical about that.
Whoa! Wait a minute........Microshaft has done nothing unethical? What about them stealing someone else's operating system back in the late '80s/early '90s? You know about that computer called the Macintosh? Microshaft basically ripped off the Mac OS, tweaked it a little, and had the gall to claim windows was an original idea! Granted, Apple was too naive to have the Mac OS copyrighted, so that was their fault too. Then, a few years later, there was the settlement where Microshaft was caught trying to edge other operating systems out by forcing computer manufacturers to pay them every time a computer went out, regardless if windows was pre-loaded or not (source: OS/2 Magazine, June 1994). Next, how about the windows '98/internet exploiter fiasco? Tell me, when was there ever an issue where two independent, unrelated products that did not rely on each other for operation were ever bundled together and then passed off as being "unseparable" and that they cannot operate without being together as one product, thereby taking a viable competitor like Netscape and pushing them to the brink of oblivion? Too bad for them that AOL/Time Warner bought Netscape...that had to really frost ol' Billy Gates! Do I have an axe to grind with microshaft? You bet! There isn't another company on the planet that would pull the crap that they do and NOT get the book thrown at 'em!

Last edited by Dhimani; 10-16-2003 at 11:27 AM.
 
Old 10-16-2003, 03:25 PM   #9
Kurt M. Weber
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dhimani
Whoa! Wait a minute........Microshaft has done nothing unethical? What about them stealing someone else's operating system back in the late '80s/early '90s? You know about that computer called the Macintosh? Microshaft basically ripped off the Mac OS, tweaked it a little, and had the gall to claim windows was an original idea! Granted, Apple was too naive to have the Mac OS copyrighted, so that was their fault too.
There you go.
Quote:
Then, a few years later, there was the settlement where Microshaft was caught trying to edge other operating systems out by forcing computer manufacturers to pay them every time a computer went out, regardless if windows was pre-loaded or not (source: OS/2 Magazine, June 1994).
Nothing wrong with that...if they want to include such a requirement as a condition of allowing OEMs to install its product on their products, it has every right to do so. Microsoft makes Windows; therefore, it has every right to distribute it under whatever terms it wishes.
Quote:
Next, how about the windows '98/internet exploiter fiasco? Tell me, when was there ever an issue where two independent, unrelated products that did not rely on each other for operation were ever bundled together and then passed off as being "unseparable" and that they cannot operate without being together as one product, thereby taking a viable competitor like Netscape and pushing them to the brink of oblivion?
It's Microsoft's product to design and build as it sees fit.
Quote:
There isn't another company on the planet that would pull the crap that they do and NOT get the book thrown at 'em!
No company should...Microsoft has done nothing wrong.
 
Old 10-16-2003, 04:36 PM   #10
Cruxus
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kurt M. Weber
There you go.

Nothing wrong with that...if they want to include such a requirement as a condition of allowing OEMs to install its product on their products, it has every right to do so. Microsoft makes Windows; therefore, it has every right to distribute it under whatever terms it wishes.

It's Microsoft's product to design and build as it sees fit.

No company should...Microsoft has done nothing wrong.
Isn't there something wrong when a company that already has market dominance uses its resources to clone anything innovative in its industry and, using its superior number of resources and greater marketshare, have its clone product destroy any chance for the competing product's survival? Let's count the carcasses Microsoft has left through this business practice: Lotus, Borland, Netscape, WordPerfect, Watcom, the various developers of the computer encyclopedias, and many others. It has tried, unsuccessfully at the moment, this tactic on AOL, Intuit (Quicken), RealNetworks, TiVo, Apple, and other companies.

It is true that, in capitalism, companies are supposed to compete with one another; but this goes beyond the usual competition, in my opinion. Imagine that you developed a program that does something innovative, and you took the appropriate legal measures to protect the idea. Within months of your product's 1.0 release, Microsoft has a a similar product in development, and they're throwing all their weight on it. Within two years, Microsoft's clone is bundled with the new release of Windows; and you can't sell your product, even with the improvements you've made in a valiant effort to compete with the giant. Your company is pretty soon dead or festering off on the side somewhere, and after that Microsoft has no incentive to fix bugs in their clone of your product or add useful new features.

And this is the only moral way to do things, in your opinion? Wow! If we lived in your ideal world....
 
Old 10-16-2003, 04:50 PM   #11
Kurt M. Weber
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So would you rather tell people that they can't develop their product as they please or release it under whatever conditions they please?

Doing that is just evil and is never justified in any circumstance, regardless of the result.
 
Old 10-16-2003, 06:23 PM   #12
Dhimani
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There is such a thing as "competition", you know. I have no problem with microshaft being a competitor in the pc software market, but when they go beyond that and use the tactics they have in the past in order to gain a monopoly, thereby violating antitrust laws, that's where I draw the line. It's pretty obvious that microshaft doesn't want to play the game as other companies do, they'd rather play a different game, one in which they gain a monopoly through predatory business practices. Their internet exploiter browser did not gain market dominance through the merits of the product, rather because it was illegally tied to winblows '98. Even executives at AOL admitted at the antitrust hearing that they bundled IE with AOL not because it was a better product, but because it would get them an icon on the winblows desktop. I believe the exact quote I read was, "We would have bundled cockroaches if it would have got us an icon on the Windows desktop." Microshaft itself achieved market dominance with winblows in much the same way--not because it was a superior product, because there were better OS's out there. Computer manufacturers had to pay microshaft for winblows, even if they loaded something else--such as OS/2. So guess what, they said to hell with it, cut their costs, and pre-loaded winblows on everything that went out. In the consent decree in 1994, microshaft was told basically that practice was a violation of antitrust law and that computer manufacturers were only obligated to pay microshaft for actual copies of winblows that were loaded, not for every machine that went out the door! Those are just two examples of tactics used by a company that supposedly has done nothing wrong, but yet the government has recognized that those same tactics are violations of federal antitrust laws and are considered predatory business prcatices.
 
Old 10-16-2003, 06:59 PM   #13
Kurt M. Weber
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dhimani
There is such a thing as "competition", you know. I have no problem with microshaft being a competitor in the pc software market, but when they go beyond that and use the tactics they have in the past in order to gain a monopoly, thereby violating antitrust laws, that's where I draw the line. It's pretty obvious that microshaft doesn't want to play the game as other companies do, they'd rather play a different game, one in which they gain a monopoly through predatory business practices.
Like what?
Quote:
Their internet exploiter browser did not gain market dominance through the merits of the product, rather because it was illegally tied to winblows '98.
So Microsoft isn't allowed to design its product as it wishes? That's hardly right.
Quote:
Even executives at AOL admitted at the antitrust hearing that they bundled IE with AOL not because it was a better product, but because it would get them an icon on the winblows desktop.
If Microsoft required such action as a condition of adding something to their product, well, that's Microsoft's prerogative. It's Microsoft's product to design as it wishes.
Quote:
I believe the exact quote I read was, "We would have bundled cockroaches if it would have got us an icon on the Windows desktop."
OK, your point?
Quote:
Computer manufacturers had to pay microshaft for winblows, even if they loaded something else--such as OS/2.
So what? If Microsoft required such action as a condition of allowing them to use the product MICROSOFT produced for those purposes, then that's Microsoft's prerogative. It's Microsoft's product to distribute as it wishes.
Quote:
In the consent decree in 1994, microshaft was told basically that practice was a violation of antitrust law
Then obviously that law is invalid and needs to be repealed.
Quote:
and that computer manufacturers were only obligated to pay microshaft for actual copies of winblows that were loaded, not for every machine that went out the door!
So Microsoft doesn't get to dictate the terms under which it distributes what it has created? That's hardly right.
Quote:
Those are just two examples of tactics used by a company that supposedly has done nothing wrong, but yet the government has recognized that those same tactics are violations of federal antitrust laws and are considered predatory business prcatices.
Illegal != (wrong || unethical). A lot of things are illegal that shouldn't be since there's nothing wrong with them. The actions of Microsoft are among them.
 
Old 10-16-2003, 08:15 PM   #14
Dhimani
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Originally posted by Kurt M. Weber

So Microsoft isn't allowed to design its product as it wishes? That's hardly right.

If Microsoft required such action as a condition of adding something to their product, well, that's Microsoft's prerogative. It's Microsoft's product to design as it wishes.

If Microsoft required such action as a condition of allowing them to use the product MICROSOFT produced for those purposes, then that's Microsoft's prerogative. It's Microsoft's product to distribute as it wishes.



My rebuttal:

They lose that right to distribute such a product if it violates the law, pure and simple.

Last edited by Dhimani; 10-16-2003 at 08:18 PM.
 
Old 10-16-2003, 08:35 PM   #15
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But, since those laws violate Microsoft's rights, then those laws are invalid.
 
  


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