__/ [ nessuno@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ] on Saturday 02 December 2006 10:07 \__
> Today in Iowa, attorneys have once again taken Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT
> - news - people ) to court over anti-trust charges associated with
> its Windows operating system. In addition to the age-old complaints
> about squeezing out competitors and price-fixing, there is a twist:
> This case alleges that by bolting together Windows and Internet
> Explorer, Microsoft produced software that gummed up people's
> The opening statement by Iowa attorney Roxanne Barton Conlin is
> expected to last three to four days. She plans to show the entire
> 10-hour deposition given by Gates in 1998 to attorneys for the U.S.
> Department of Justice....
> One minor victory for Microsoft: Gates and Ballmer need only make one
> trip to Iowa and so will answer questions from both the prosecution and
> defense on the same day--potentially disrupting the "flow" of the
> plaintiff's case.
> Complaints about lack of choice and high prices have been the theme
> song of most of the legal complaints against Microsoft. The Iowa case
> also alleges that Microsoft's software caused "drained memory,
> decreased speed and an increased incidence of security breaches and
> bugs" in its customers' computers....
> The plaintiff lawyers contend that Iowan customers of Microsoft are
> entitled to as much as $329 million in damages as compensation for
> Microsoft overcharges between May 1994 and June 2006. The lawyers are
> also seeking compensation for the time people have had to spend
> repairing security breaches--a figure that they put at a minimum of $50
> million. "The illegal bolting of Internet Explore to the Windows
> operating system created a larger 'attack surface'" and made the
> operating system more vulnerable, asserts Richard Hagstrom, co-lead
> counsel for the plaintiffs. "The damages are based on what people
> need to do to protect themselves from security breaches."
I'm sure a few software coupons will sweep it all under the carpet. Stifle
competition, eliminate choice, increase prices, increase revenue, then use
some of that revenue to quiet down the mob (and bribe a politician or two,