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Comes v. Microsoft - Trial Highlights, Jan. 8, 2007 - Mr. Alepin Has a Jolting Experience
Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 07:09 AM EST

Something happened in the Iowa antitrust trial, Comes v. Microsoft, on January 8th, that I wanted to highlight. You can get the complete transcript, if you wish, from the www.iowaconsumercase.org website [Update: No longer in existence, having been removed on settlement, but all the documents are housed here on Groklaw], which provides daily coverage.

Plaintiffs' expert Ronald Alepin was still on the stand. Direct examination continued, and he was in the middle of explaining a number of technological terms and concepts to the jury, from the Court's Findings of Fact in the US antitrust trial, Findings which the jury in Iowa has been instructed they are to accept as true.

So he explained the blue and white screens of death, what a dual boot startup is, commingling code, and then tying or bundling, specifically tying Internet Explorer with the operating system. He explained how you can't use Add/Remove to get IE or Media Player off your hard drive, but that you can use SPAD, "set program access and defaults", to choose Firefox or another browser as your default browser instead of IE. However, IE remains on your hard drive.

Why does that matter? Alepin told an anecdote, something that happened to him over the weekend. He found using another browser a jolting experience. He was setting up a router for the legal team, so they could get their email there, because the lawyers were struggling with it, and lo and behold, the software that came with the router overrode his preference -- set for Mozilla's Firefox -- and insisted on launching IE instead. Not only that, but although he tried to override it, his system insisted on running IE instead of Firefox henceforth.

Here's the full exchange, with plaintiffs' lawyer Steven Lamb asking the questions:

Q. Then there's another one below add new programs. It says, add/remove Windows components. What is that, sir?

A. There are additional components, optional components of the Windows product that you can add or remove from your system, and you use that -- you use that button to get there and to choose what you want to add or remove.

Q. Does that completely remove them from the hard drive?

A. It completely removes them from your system if -- in earlier times it would, yes.

Q. How about now?

A. Now, for several of the components, it does not remove them from the operating -- from the hard drive at all.

Q. Such as?

A. Such as Internet Explorer and media player.

Q. Okay. And then down below there's something that says set program access and defaults. What is that?

A. Set program access and defaults is -- sometimes referred to as SPAD -- is a piece of software provided in the Microsoft operating system in, I believe, that allows the user to choose the -- to set his preferences or her preferences for certain types of middleware software, including the browser, the media player, the Instant Messenger, the -- an E-mail program. So those types of programs.

The set program access defaults function in the operating system allows you to set the default and to determine whether or not a user can -- whether or not access to the Microsoft software is to be allowed or not.

So you can choose, let's say, Netscape Navigator as your default browser, and then you can say do not allow access to Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

That's what set program access default function in the Windows operating system provides you.

Q. Okay. What is the technological impact of excluding Internet Explorer from the add/remove programs utility?

A. It should -- as a technical matter it should prevent the program from being accessed.

Q. Okay. So when it's not on add/remove programs, you can't get rid of it?

A. You can't get rid of it.

Q. Okay. And where is it now, in the add/remove Windows components?

A. No, I don't believe so.

Q. Where is it?

A. It's not there. It's available -- it's accessible -- I'm sorry.

It is accessible through the add/remove Windows components, but that simply performs the same function as the set program access defaults.

In other words, it doesn't remove the software from the computer disk. It doesn't remove it as the add/remove programs would do. It simply describes itself as saying remove access to the Internet Explorer.

Q. Okay. So that's true today; right? Internet Explorer is not an add/remove program utility?

A. It's not part of that, no.

Q. And you can't remove it from the hard drive; right?

A. Cannot remove it from the hard drive.

Q. So the bottom line is, no matter what you do, you can't get rid of Internet Explorer? A. You cannot get rid of it....

Q. Okay. How about in Europe? Can you get it in Europe without Windows media player?

A. You can get it without media player in Europe.

MR. LAMB: Your Honor, would this be a good time for a break?

THE COURT: No. Keep going.

MR. LAMB: No?

THE COURT: Keep going.

Q. Is there a more current example that you have or you've tried to either install software and you've had some difficulties in this same regard?

A. Yes.

Q. Can you explain to the jury what that was?

A. Well, over the weekend, I was -- Mr. Hagstrom behind you, Mr. Lamb, has a large room that we've been using to congregate, maybe watch the ball games over the weekend.

And Mr. Hagstrom purchased a router, a piece of networking equipment that would enable us to check our E-mail continuously over the weekend. And they -- he and a couple of his colleagues were trying to get the router to work.

And I can only watch people with boxing gloves try and install software for so long before I get up and have to do something about it. So I took the Net -- this is a Net Gear router product. And I took the CD, and using my computer I was going to install and configure the -- this piece of networking equipment for them.

And -- excuse me -- when you insert the CD, it auto starts or auto plays the content on the CD.

And the first thing that it did, said would you like to install or read the documentation. Of course I said I don't want to read the documentation, I want to install the software. So true to practices.

First thing I did was press the install the software button. And Microsoft's Internet Explorer showed up on the screen with the Net Gear software.

Q. Is that a problem?

A. Well, it's a problem because on my computer, my preference is set through the set program access defaults to Mozilla, a browser that's made by a company -- well, an organization called Mozilla, a Firefox browser.

And I checked this again. My set program access default said don't let the Internet Explorer start. Disable access to Microsoft Internet Explorer.

So I was quite surprised that Microsoft's Internet Explorer was, in fact, launched by the Netscape installation CD contrary to what I had established as the rules for operating on my computer.

Q. What did you do next?

A. Well, I tried to get the Internet -- I tried to get it to run using my Mozilla software, and it kept insisting on running using the Internet Explorer.

Q. What's the technological impact of that?

A. Well, the technological impact is that I'm not able to prevent the Internet Explorer from launching, from reaching out and getting onto the network and being active in spite of whatever policies I may have concerning access and how I want to control access and use on the computer networks.

The second thing is that because it's always there and it can always be activated, regardless of my choices and my preferences and my policies for my computer, a third-party company, a hardware vendor, in this case Net Gear, or a software company, knows that it's there and they will do what they just did, and that is reach out and grab the Internet Explorer on the disk installed in my computer.

Q. Okay. So you set your preferences through SPAD; right?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. And SPAD is what Microsoft designs to allow you to set your preferences or your choices; right?

A. Yes.

Q. And then ultimately Microsoft overrode your choices?

A. That's correct.

So, there you are, as an end user, and you may not have Mr. Alepin's tech savvy -- he likely was eventually able to figure out a fix eventually -- but the point is that even he was unable to prevent this unintended, jolting takeover of his computer.

Now, why might a person choose to use a browser other than IE? Well, it might be that you read in The New York Times some "Tips for Protecting the Home Computer," that IE has security issues, and you decided to take the Times' advice and use an alternative browser for your own safety:

Like Windows, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser is also a large, convenient target for code-writing vandals. Alternative browsers, like Firefox and Opera, may insulate users.

Or maybe you are one of the people who decided to accept CERT's advice in 2004 to stop using IE:

The U.S. government's Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) is warning Web surfers to stop using Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) browser.

On the heels of last week's sophisticated malware attack that targeted a known IE flaw, US-CERT updated an earlier advisory to recommend the use of alternative browsers because of "significant vulnerabilities" in technologies embedded in IE.

"There are a number of significant vulnerabilities in technologies relating to the IE domain/zone security model, the DHTML object model, MIME-type determination, and ActiveX. It is possible to reduce exposure to these vulnerabilities by using a different Web browser, especially when browsing untrusted sites," US-CERT noted in a vulnerability note.

So you made a conscious decision to use Firefox instead. But thanks to Microsoft's tying, you can't actually get rid of Internet Explorer, and here comes NetGear's software, which reaches into your hard drive, activates IE despite your deliberate wish not to take a chance using it and forces it on you, something that it can do because NetGear knows IE is still on your hard drive, even though you don't want it.

So, let's say you are not a techie, and you don't know how to fix that problem, so you give up and use IE. When the next malware issue does harm to your computer, who is to blame?

Do you see why it matters to be able to see the code on your computer *and* be able to control it, to modify it to make sure your computer does only what you want it to do? That, my friends, is why I changed to GNU/Linux, and it's why I really prefer to avoid binary blobs, period. I would rather do without some bells and whistles, thanks anyway, to make sure my computer is mine and responsive to my wishes. What happened to Mr. Alepin over the weekend can never happen to you using Free Software -- not unless you start compromising and deciding you can't live without proprietary, closed binary drivers and codecs and all that jazz. Mr. Alepin's testimony is important to stress, I think, so we don't forget that with closed software, you are not in the driver's seat.

But how did it happen that one can't remove IE even if one wishes to, using the Add/Remove tool Microsoft provides? Judging by Mr. Alepin's testimony, this isn't ancient history. It's a current issue. You might like to reread the Court's Findings of Fact in U.S. v. Microsoft, something the jury in Iowa is also doing, and here's the section on that very matter:

**********************************

2. Excluding Navigator from the OEM Channel

a. Binding Internet Explorer to Windows

i. The Status of Web Browsers as Separate Products

149. Consumers determine their software requirements by identifying the functionalities they desire. While consumers routinely evaluate software products on the basis of the functionalities the products deliver, they generally lack sufficient information to make judgements based on the designs and implementations of those products. Accordingly, consumers generally choose which software products to license, install, and use on the basis of the products' functionalities, not their designs and implementations.

150. While the meaning of the term "Web browser" is not precise in all respects, there is a consensus in the software industry as to the functionalities that a Web browser offers a user. Specifically, a Web browser provides the ability for the end user to select, retrieve, and perceive resources on the Web. There is also a consensus in the software industry that these functionalities are distinct from the set of functionalities provided by an operating system.

151. Many consumers desire to separate their choice of a Web browser from their choice of an operating system. Some consumers, particularly corporate consumers, demand browsers and operating systems separately because they prefer to standardize on the same browser across different operating systems. For such consumers, standardizing on the browser of their choice results in increased productivity and lower training and support costs, and permits the establishment of consistent security and privacy policies governing Web access.

152. Moreover, many consumers who need an operating system, including a substantial percentage of corporate consumers, do not want a browser at all. For example, if a consumer has no desire to browse the Web, he may not want a browser taking up memory on his hard disk and slowing his system's performance. Also, for businesses desiring to inhibit employees' access to the Internet while minimizing system support costs, the most efficient solution is often using PC systems without browsers.

153. Because of the separate demand for browsers and operating systems, firms have found it efficient to supply the products separately. A number of operating system vendors offer consumers the choice of licensing their operating systems without a browser. Others bundle a browser with their operating system products but allow OEMs, value-added resellers, and consumers either to not install it or, if the browser has been pre-installed, to uninstall it. While Microsoft no longer affords this flexibility (it is the only operating system vendor that does not), it has always marketed and distributed Internet Explorer separately from Windows in several channels. These include retail sales, service kits for ISVs, free downloads over the Internet, and bundling with other products produced both by Microsoft and by third-party ISVs. In order to compete with Navigator for browser share, as well as to satisfy corporate consumers who want their diverse PC platforms to present a common browser interface to employees, Microsoft has also created stand-alone versions of Internet Explorer that run on operating systems other than 32-bit Windows, including the Mac OS and Windows 3.x.

154. In conclusion, the preferences of consumers and the responsive behavior of software firms demonstrate that Web browsers and operating systems are separate products.

ii. Microsoft's Actions

155. In contrast to other operating system vendors, Microsoft both refused to license its operating system without a browser and imposed restrictions — at first contractual and later technical — on OEMs' and end users' ability to remove its browser from its operating system. As its internal contemporaneous documents and licensing practices reveal, Microsoft decided to bind Internet Explorer to Windows in order to prevent Navigator from weakening the applications barrier to entry, rather than for any pro-competitive purpose.

156. Before it decided to blunt the threat that Navigator posed to the applications barrier to entry, Microsoft did not plan to make it difficult or impossible for OEMs or consumers to obtain Windows without obtaining Internet Explorer. In fact, the company's internal correspondence and external communications indicate that, as late as the fall of 1994, Microsoft was planning to include low-level Internet "plumbing," such as a TCP/IP stack, but not a browser, with Windows 95.

157. Microsoft subsequently decided to develop a browser to run on Windows 95. As late as June 1995, however, Microsoft had not decided to bundle that browser with the operating system. The plan at that point, rather, was to ship the browser in a separate "frosting" package, for which Microsoft intended to charge. By April or May of that year, however, Microsoft's top executives had identified Netscape's browser as a potential threat to the applications barrier to entry. Throughout the spring, more and more key executives came to the conclusion that Microsoft's best prospect of quashing that threat lay in maximizing the usage share of Microsoft's browser at Navigator's expense. The executives believed that the most effective way of carrying out this strategy was to ensure that every copy of Windows 95 carried with it a copy of Microsoft's browser, then code-named "O'Hare." For example, two days after the June 21, 1995 meeting between Microsoft and Netscape executives, Microsoft's John Ludwig sent an E- mail to Paul Maritz and the other senior executives involved in Microsoft's browser effort. "[O]bviously netscape does see us as a client competitor," Ludwig wrote. "[W]e have to work extra hard to get ohare on the oem disks."

158. Microsoft did manage to bundle Internet Explorer 1.0 with the first version of Windows 95 licensed to OEMs in July 1995. It also included a term in its OEM licenses that prohibited the OEMs from modifying or deleting any part of Windows 95, including Internet Explorer, prior to shipment. The OEMs accepted this restriction despite their interest in meeting consumer demand for PC operating systems without Internet Explorer. After all, Microsoft made the restriction a non-negotiable term in its Windows 95 license, and the OEMs felt they had no commercially viable alternative to pre-installing Windows 95 on their PCs. Apart from a few months in the fall of 1997, when Microsoft provided OEMs with Internet Explorer 4.0 on a separate disk from Windows 95 and permitted them to ship the latter without the former, Microsoft has never allowed OEMs to ship Windows 95 to consumers without Internet Explorer. This policy has guaranteed the presence of Internet Explorer on every new Windows PC system.

159. Microsoft knew that the inability to remove Internet Explorer made OEMs less disposed to pre-install Navigator onto Windows 95. OEMs bear essentially all of the consumer support costs for the Windows PC systems they sell. These include the cost of handling consumer complaints and questions generated by Microsoft's software. Pre-installing more than one product in a given category, such as word processors or browsers, onto its PC systems can significantly increase an OEM's support costs, for the redundancy can lead to confusion among novice users. In addition, pre-installing a second product in a given software category can increase an OEM's product testing costs. Finally, many OEMs see pre-installing a second application in a given software category as a questionable use of the scarce and valuable space on a PC's hard drive.

160. Microsoft's executives believed that the incentives that its contractual restrictions placed on OEMs would not be sufficient in themselves to reverse the direction of Navigator's usage share. Consequently, in late 1995 or early 1996, Microsoft set out to bind Internet Explorer more tightly to Windows 95 as a technical matter. The intent was to make it more difficult for anyone, including systems administrators and users, to remove Internet Explorer from Windows 95 and to simultaneously complicate the experience of using Navigator with Windows 95. As Brad Chase wrote to his superiors near the end of 1995, "We will bind the shell to the Internet Explorer, so that running any other browser is a jolting experience."

161. Microsoft bound Internet Explorer to Windows 95 by placing code specific to Web browsing in the same files as code that provided operating system functions. Starting with the release of Internet Explorer 3.0 and "OEM Service Release 2.0" ("OSR 2") of Windows 95 in August 1996, Microsoft offered only a version of Windows 95 in which browsing-specific code shared files with code upon which non-browsing features of the operating system relied.

162. The software code necessary to supply the functionality of a modern application or operating system can be extremely long and complex. To make that complexity manageable, developers usually write long programs as a series of individual "routines," each ranging from a few dozen to a few hundred lines of code, that can be used to perform specific functions. Large programs are created by "knitting" together many such routines in layers, where the lower layers are used to provide fundamental functionality relied upon by higher, more focused layers. Some preliminary aspects of this "knitting" are performed by the software developer. The user who launches a program, however, is ultimately responsible for causing routines to be loaded into memory and executed together to produce the program's overall functionality.

163. Routines can be packaged together into files in almost any way the designer chooses. Routines need not reside in the same file to function together in a seamless fashion. Also, a developer can move routines into new or different files from one version of a program to another without changing the functionalities of those routines or the ability to combine them to provide integrated functionality.

164. Starting with Windows 95 OSR 2, Microsoft placed many of the routines that are used by Internet Explorer, including browsing-specific routines, into the same files that support the 32-bit Windows APIs. Microsoft's primary motivation for this action was to ensure that the deletion of any file containing browsing-specific routines would also delete vital operating system routines and thus cripple Windows 95. Although some of the code that provided Web browsing could still be removed, without disabling the operating system, by entering individual files and selectively deleting routines used only for Web browsing, licensees of Microsoft software were, and are, contractually prohibited from reverse engineering, decompiling, or disassembling any software files. Even if this were not so, it is prohibitively difficult for anyone who does not have access to the original, human-readable source code to change the placement of routines into files, or otherwise to alter the internal configuration of software files, while still preserving the software's overall functionality.

165. Although users were not able to remove all of the routines that provided Web browsing from OSR 2 and successive versions of Windows 95, Microsoft still provided them with the ability to uninstall Internet Explorer by using the "Add/Remove" panel, which was accessible from the Windows 95 desktop. The Add/Remove function did not delete all of the files that contain browsing specific code, nor did it remove browsing-specific code that is used by other programs. The Add/Remove function did, however, remove the functionalities that were provided to the user by Internet Explorer, including the means of launching the Web browser. Accordingly, from the user's perspective, uninstalling Internet Explorer in this way was equivalent to removing the Internet Explorer program from Windows 95.

166. In late 1996, senior executives within Microsoft, led by James Allchin, began to argue that Microsoft was not binding Internet Explorer tightly enough to Windows and as such was missing an opportunity to maximize the usage of Internet Explorer at Navigator's expense. Allchin first made his case to Paul Maritz in late December 1996. He wrote:

I don't understand how IE is going to win. The current path is simply to copy everything that Netscape does packaging and product wise. Let's [suppose] IE is as good as Navigator/Communicator. Who wins? The one with 80% market share. Maybe being free helps us, but once people are used to a product it is hard to change them. Consider Office. We are more expensive today and we're still winning. My conclusion is that we must leverage Windows more. Treating IE as just an add-on to Windows which is cross-platform [means] losing our biggest advantage — Windows marketshare. We should dedicate a cross group team to come up with ways to leverage Windows technically more. . . . We should think about an integrated solution — that is our strength.

Allchin followed up with another message to Maritz on January 2, 1997:

You see browser share as job 1. . . . I do not feel we are going to win on our current path. We are not leveraging Windows from a marketing perspective and we are trying to copy Netscape and make IE into a platform. We do not use our strength — which is that we have an installed base of Windows and we have a strong OEM shipment channel for Windows. Pitting browser against browser is hard since Netscape has 80% marketshare and we have 20%. . . . I am convinced we have to use Windows — this is the one thing they don't have. . . . We have to be competitive with features, but we need something more — Windows integration.

If you agree that Windows is a huge asset, then it follows quickly that we are not investing sufficiently in finding ways to tie IE and Windows together. This must come from you. . . . Memphis [Microsoft's code-name for Windows 98] must be a simple upgrade, but most importantly it must be killer on OEM shipments so that Netscape never gets a chance on these systems.

167. Maritz responded to Allchin's second message by agreeing "that we have to make Windows integration our basic strategy" and that this justified delaying the release of Windows 98 until Internet Explorer 4.0 was ready to be included with that product. Maritz recognized that the delay would disappoint OEMs for two reasons. First, while OEMs were eager to sell new hardware technologies to Windows users, they could not do this until Microsoft released Windows 98, which included software support for the new technologies. Second, OEMs wanted Windows 98 to be released in time to drive sales of PC systems during the back-to-school and holiday selling seasons. Nevertheless, Maritz agreed with Allchin's point that synchronizing the release of Windows 98 with Internet Explorer was "the only thing that makes sense even if OEMs suffer."

168. Once Maritz had decided that Allchin was right, he needed to instruct the relevant Microsoft employees to delay the release of Windows 98 long enough so that it could be shipped with Internet Explorer 4.0 tightly bound to it. When one executive asked on January 7, 1997 for confirmation that "memphis is going to hold for IE4, even if it puts memphis out of the xmas oem window," Maritz responded affirmatively and explained,

The major reason for this is . . . to combat Nscp, we have to [ ] position the browser as "going away" and do deeper integration on Windows. The stronger way to communicate this is to have a ‘new release' of Windows and make a big deal out of it. . . . IE integration will be [the] most compelling feature of Memphis.

Thus, Microsoft delayed the debut of numerous features, including support for new hardware devices, that Microsoft believed consumers would find beneficial, simply in order to protect the applications barrier to entry. 169. Allchin and Maritz gained support for their initiative within Microsoft in the early spring of 1997, when a series of market studies confirmed that binding Internet Explorer tightly to Windows was the way to get consumers to use Internet Explorer instead of Navigator. Reporting on one study in late February, Microsoft's Christian Wildfeuer wrote:

The stunning insight is this: To make [users] switch away from Netscape, we need to make them upgrade to Memphis. . . . It seems clear to me that it will be very hard to increase browser market share on the merits of IE 4 alone. It will be more important to leverage the OS asset to make people use IE instead of Navigator.

Microsoft's survey expert, Kumar Mehta, agreed. In March he shared with a colleague his "feeling, based on all the IE research we have done, [that] it is a mistake to release memphis without bundling IE with it."

170. Microsoft's technical personnel implemented Allchin's "Windows integration" strategy in two ways. First, they did not provide users with the ability to uninstall Internet Explorer from Windows 98. The omission of a browser removal function was particularly conspicuous given that Windows 98 did give users the ability to uninstall numerous features other than Internet Explorer — features that Microsoft also held out as being integrated into Windows 98. Microsoft took this action despite specific requests from Gateway that Microsoft provide a way to uninstall Internet Explorer 4.0 from Windows 98.

171. The second way in which Microsoft's engineers implemented Allchin's strategy was to make Windows 98 override the user's choice of default browser in certain circumstances. As shipped to users, Windows 98 has Internet Explorer configured as the default browser. While Windows 98 does provide the user with the ability to choose a different default browser, it does not treat this choice as the "default browser" within the ordinary meaning of the term. Specifically, when a user chooses a browser other than Internet Explorer as the default, Windows 98 nevertheless requires the user to employ Internet Explorer in numerous situations that, from the user's perspective, are entirely unexpected. As a consequence, users who choose a browser other than Internet Explorer as their default face considerable uncertainty and confusion in the ordinary course of using Windows 98.

172. Microsoft's refusal to respect the user's choice of default browser fulfilled Brad Chase's 1995 promise to make the use of any browser other than Internet Explorer on Windows "a jolting experience." By increasing the likelihood that using Navigator on Windows 98 would have unpleasant consequences for users, Microsoft further diminished the inclination of OEMs to pre-install Navigator onto Windows. The decision to override the user's selection of non- Microsoft software as the default browser also directly disinclined Windows 98 consumers to use Navigator as their default browser, and it harmed those Windows 98 consumers who nevertheless used Navigator. In particular, Microsoft exposed those using Navigator on Windows 98 to security and privacy risks that are specific to Internet Explorer and to ActiveX controls.

173. Microsoft's actions have inflicted collateral harm on consumers who have no interest in using a Web browser at all. If these consumers want the non-browsing features available only in Windows 98, they must content themselves with an operating system that runs more slowly than if Microsoft had not interspersed browsing-specific routines throughout various files containing routines relied upon by the operating system. More generally, Microsoft has forced Windows 98 users uninterested in browsing to carry software that, while providing them with no benefits, brings with it all the costs associated with carrying additional software on a system. These include performance degradation, increased risk of incompatibilities, and the introduction of bugs. Corporate consumers who need the hardware support and other non- browsing features not available in earlier versions of Windows, but who do not want Web browsing at all, are further burdened in that they are denied a simple and effective means of preventing employees from attempting to browse the Web.

174. Microsoft has harmed even those consumers who desire to use Internet Explorer, and no other browser, with Windows 98. To the extent that browsing-specific routines have been commingled with operating system routines to a greater degree than is necessary to provide any consumer benefit, Microsoft has unjustifiably jeopardized the stability and security of the operating system. Specifically, it has increased the likelihood that a browser crash will cause the entire system to crash and made it easier for malicious viruses that penetrate the system viaInternet Explorer to infect non-browsing parts of the system.

iii. Lack of Justification

175. No technical reason can explain Microsoft's refusal to license Windows 95 without Internet Explorer 1.0 and 2.0. The version of Internet Explorer (1.0) that Microsoft included with the original OEM version of Windows 95 was a separable, executable program file supplied on a separate disk. Web browsing thus could be installed or removed without affecting the rest of Windows 95's functionality in any way. The same was true of Internet Explorer 2.0. Microsoft, moreover, created an easy way to remove Internet Explorer 1.0 and 2.0 from Windows 95 after they had been installed, via the "Add/Remove" panel. This demonstrates the absence of any technical reason for Microsoft's refusal to supply Windows 95 without Internet Explorer 1.0 and 2.0.

176. Similarly, there is no technical justification for Microsoft's refusal to license Windows 95 to OEMs with Internet Explorer 3.0 or 4.0 uninstalled, or for its refusal to permit OEMs to uninstall Internet Explorer 3.0 or 4.0. Microsoft's decision to provide users with an "uninstall" procedure for Internet Explorer 3.0 and 4.0 and its decision to promote Internet Explorer on the basis of that feature demonstrate that there was no technical or quality-related reason for refusing to permit OEMs to use this same feature. Microsoft would not have permitted users to uninstall Internet Explorer, nor would consumers have demanded such an option, if the process would have fragmented or degraded the other functionality of the operating system.

177. As with Windows 95, there is no technical justification for Microsoft's refusal to meet consumer demand for a browserless version of Windows 98. Microsoft could easily supply a version of Windows 98 that does not provide the ability to browse the Web, and to which users could add the browser of their choice. Indicative of this is the fact that it remains possible to remove Web browsing functionality from Windows 98 without adversely affecting non-Web browsing features of Windows 98 or the functionality of applications running on the operating system. In fact, the revised version of Professor Felten's prototype removal program produces precisely this result when run on a computer with Windows 98 installed.


  


Comes v. Microsoft - Trial Highlights, Jan. 8, 2007 - Mr. Alepin Has a Jolting Experience | 428 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Off Topic
Authored by: DaveJakeman on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 07:21 AM EST
For other interesting things

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I would rather stand corrected than sit confused.
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Should one hear an accusation, try it on the accuser.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections Here
Authored by: entre on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 07:22 AM EST
If Needed

[ Reply to This | # ]

Is it not possible I wonder that the Netgear installation software
Authored by: billyskank on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 07:37 AM EST
is simply executing "iexplore.exe" directly. This would completely
bypass any default browser settings the user made.

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It's not the software that's free; it's you.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The transcript seems to have disappeared
Authored by: billyskank on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 07:47 AM EST
Odd.

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It's not the software that's free; it's you.

[ Reply to This | # ]

What happened here...?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 08:03 AM EST

From the article:

A. You can get it without media player in Europe.

MR. LAMB: Your Honor, would this be a good time for a break?

THE COURT: No. Keep going.

I wonder what happened here. Did the judge yawn or something?

[ Reply to This | # ]

NetGear Installation Software
Authored by: tuxi on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 08:22 AM EST

I have to wonder about Alepin and/or the router type. I've always configured routers by:

  1. connecting an ethernet cable to the router,
  2. getting an IP address by DHCP from the router, and
  3. connecting to the router from the browser of my choice
I've done this from Windows systems as well as from Linux systems. I never installed the router manufacturer's software.

---
tuxi

[ Reply to This | # ]

Market Share, Market Share, Market Share
Authored by: DaveJakeman on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 08:22 AM EST
Market Share has become Microsoft's Holy Grail. They don't care what they do to
their baby, providing they can maintain Market Share. Corrupted design?
Perfectly acceptable. Insecurity? Business as usual. Bugs? Just fine.

It's not only their marketing strategy that make them a dyed-in-the-wool
monopolist, it extends to software and hardware design, or almost every thought
they think. They've tasted the forbidden fruit of Market Share and for them,
there's no going back. Microsoft simply couldn't play on a level playing field.
It's part of their mindset; they simply have to tilt it their way. That's all
they know how. Playing fair would be as painful for them as eye-of-the-needle
compression, or for SCO to tell the truth. Even the Law won't stop them, or so
they think.

---
I would rather stand corrected than sit confused.
---
Should one hear an accusation, try it on the accuser.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Comes v. Microsoft - Trial Highlights, Jan. 8, 2007 - Mr. Alepin Has a Jolting Experience
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 08:22 AM EST
WOW!!! - all I can say is WOW!!

I hope the DOJ is watching and see what microsoft is doing to this industry.

No other industry lets these kind of shenanigans happen.

and here you have microsofts attempt to take over the internet with their media
codecs and interenet explorer only web pages.

[ Reply to This | # ]

No surprises here, it's clear why this happens
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 08:25 AM EST
Everyone who has a Windows machine has had this experience, and anyone with technical knowledge knows why it happens. In spite of what he says I don't think there's anything insidious about it, it's a technical issue.

Windows, like Linux, is a large and extremely complex system, and making convenient browser-driven installer software for it is a challenging task. Also, in spite of web standards, making installer pages that work on all versions of all browsers is extremely difficult because the browsers, even standards compliant ones like Firefox, do not all act perfectly according to the standards (which are of course also changing).

Third parties like NetGear *could* put n the extra effort to make sure that their installer and maintenance pages worked perfectly on all versions of all common browsers. But this would be a huge effort, much more than doing it for one Windows standard browser. So they save a lot of time and money making it work perfectly on IE, a component delivered with every Windows system.

Microsoft knows that many of them depend on this and so always keep a copy of IE around just in case it is needed by one of these third party systems, and the third parties fire up IE directly to be sure their installer works perfectly on the platform it w2as designed and validated on.

Windows is designed to work for everryone, not just techies, so the alternative, actually removing IE, just doesn't make sense. If IE were removed, when one of these third party installs started, it would fail and the user would be asked to download IE before they could continue. And the requirement is forced by the third party, not by WIndows. Windows' behavior on this is just trying to make life easier for the dumb users.

There is an exacly analogous situation in Linux. If you try to remove or not install Gnome from most Linux installations, many tools you might want to use (e.g. gwc) will refuse to install, or worse will die when run giving a cryptic message about a library you've never heard of (it doesn't say "Gnome", which is what it really depends on). So you have to install Gnome even though you don't want it (because KDE rules!), and you can't remove it because "third party" tools like gwc depend on it.

Most of us can handle this situation because we are tech-savvy and can notice that some long, cryptic missing library message really means "Gnome". But imagine a naive user - it would be hopeless. For the dumb user, the Windws solution makes more sense (and it would for Linux also, frankly).

Nothing insidious here, just a policy trying to make life easier for average users of a system designed for nebbishes and with many different product producers who cut corners (just as open source developers do).

J

[ Reply to This | # ]

Also add the EU decision
Authored by: Winter on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 09:09 AM EST

Also take a look at the 2004 final decision against MS in the EU (warning, long PDF).

Added to the GrokDoc Dirty Tricks page

Rob

---
Some say the sun rises in the east, some say it rises in the west; the truth lies probably somewhere in between.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Lurking IE
Authored by: ozbird on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 09:19 AM EST
I have a keyboard with a "Web/Home" button on it to launch your browser (or any other task, if you decide to reprogram the button's function.) I have Firefox installed and set as the default browser, and most of the time pressing the "Web/Home" button launches Firefox. So far, so good.

There is one notable exception, however. If Windows Explorer ("My Computer", for instance) is the active window, pressing "Web/Home" will always launch IE. As far as I can tell, this behaviour is impossible to override - and incredibly frustrating!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Comes v. Microsoft - Trial Highlights, Jan. 8, 2007 - Mr. Alepin Has a Jolting Experience
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 09:59 AM EST
For those having problems accessing the transcripts:

The website keeps crashing from all the traffic (thousands of hits a minute at
one point this morning). It also got slashdotted yesterday. The only thing to
do is keep re-booting it and wait for the permanent site to be finished, which
will handle the traffic much better.

Sorry about the problems.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Forced Middleware
Authored by: Jeff on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 10:08 AM EST
Personally, I really dislike being forced to install middleware, which is a
practice both Apple and Microsoft perform. When using XP or Mac OS X, I am
forced to install:

- an Internet client (Safari or Internet Explorer)
- an email client (Mail.app or Outlook Express)
- a media program (iTunes or Media Player)
- online chat program (iChat or Windows Messenger)

I really don't object to them being part of the default installation, as I think
it makes sense for less knowledgable users or for people who like them, but I
dislike the fact that I have no options for not installing them.

As an example, on my home XP box, I use the following programs:

- Firefox (instead of IE)
- Gmail (so no need for Outlook Express)
- Foobar2000/Media Player Classic (instead of Media Player)
- I don't IM, so no need for Windows Messenger

While I understand that it is totally geeky, it really irratates me that I have
programs installed that I don't need for and have chosen to replace with
alternatives. Both Apple and Microsoft can do better in this arena.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Comes v. Microsoft - Trial Highlights, Jan. 8, 2007 - Mr. Alepin Has a Jolting Experience
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 10:12 AM EST
You can't use firefox or any other browser for micro$oft updates (patches). I
went to the microsoft site and tried it and it said that it needed Internet
Exploder!!!

I have removed IE using the windows un-installer, but the icon for windows
update is still there!!!!!

Once again, and this is significant, micro$oft has locked us in using their
software!! What a bunch of c***.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Comes v. Microsoft - Trial Highlights, Jan. 8, 2007 - Mr. Alepin Has a Jolting Experience
Authored by: shiptar on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 10:56 AM EST
Well, Alepin's little story really does highlight how much MS has improved.

Does anyone remember trying to change the default browser on Win95 or 98? At
least the system doesn't crash anymore!

Joke people, turn off the flame throwers.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Comes v. Microsoft - Trial Highlights, Jan. 8, 2007 - Mr. Alepin Has a Jolting Experience
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 11:17 AM EST
Do you see why it matters to be able to see the code on your computer *and* be able to control it, to modify it to make sure your computer does only what you want it to do? That, my friends, is why I changed to GNU/Linux, and it's why I really prefer to avoid binary blobs, period. I would rather do without some bells and whistles, thanks anyway, to make sure my computer is mine and responsive to my wishes. What happened to Mr. Alepin over the weekend can never happen to you using Free Software -- not unless you start compromising and deciding you can't live without proprietary, closed binary drivers and codecs and all that jazz. Mr. Alepin's testimony is important to stress, I think, so we don't forget that with closed software, you are not in the driver's seat.
I think the next revolution in computing will occur when programmers realize that the user really wants to be in charge of their own computer. I work with embedded real-time applications. Downtime costs money. The way Windows is evolving, particularly Windows Vista, scares me. Windows NT was launched as a secure computing platform with C3 compliance. What happened to those promises? If we care about up-time, security, and reliability, should we install Windows???

The old "just buy Microsoft" advice is starting to where thin.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Exhibits posted!
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 11:42 AM EST
Exhibits are now posted

http://www.iowaconsumercase.org/

[ Reply to This | # ]

Just an observation...
Authored by: OrlandoNative on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 12:07 PM EST
PJ, you said

"That, my friends, is why I changed to GNU/Linux, and it's why I really
prefer to avoid binary blobs, period. I would rather do without some bells and
whistles, thanks anyway, to make sure my computer is mine and responsive to my
wishes."

However, I would note that while maybe technically correct, in *practice* a
"GNU/Linux" running computer is not necessarilly any more 'mine or
responsive' than any other. It all depends on the technical expertise of the
'user' or owner.

For example... ...not long ago, I wanted to update a particular GPL-licensed
program I use on Linux, Windows, and Solaris systems. Just this one package.
Unfortunately, upgrading this package would have ended up requiring me to
install about 35 other packages... ...some being updates, but a fair number
being actually new installs, since the 'upgrade' version now had bells and
whistles added that utilized these other applications in some way, but not in
how *I* tended to use it.

This is not uncommon.

You don't always have all that much 'choice' or 'control' over what's installed
and running even on a GNU/Linux system... ...not if you need certain particular
functions. Even though these 'additional' applications are, in essence, never
theoretically used.

True, I *do* have the freedom to go in and gut the source of the applications I
*want* to use, to take out the calls to other packages; and such; but
practically, no one - even a pretty tech savvy user as someone in my line of
work tends to be - is going to have the time to do so. So what ends up
happening? Either you go ahead and install everything - bloating your system -
or you find some other application to do what you want - and guess what? Most
of the time that application is going to be proprietary. Why? Because those
people write monolithic code... ...since every 'enhancement' is charged for
seperately. Thus, you only get what you paid for, which should be analogous to
what you actually need or want. Just like 'plugins' in a browser. You don't
NEED to have the plugins installed if you never use the function. Why more FOSS
applications (and their installers) don't follow the same philosophy is beyond
me.

So, IMHO, a typical GNU/Linux system, especially if it was installed from a
distribution, isn't much more 'user controllable' than your typical Windows
system. True, you can more easily go in and 'tweak' it with command line tools;
but the barrier is high... ...the 'ease of tweaking' is overshadowed by the
requirement that you know exactly what it is you're doing... ...else you could
end up with what is euphemistically called an 'unstable system' :D

While you can decry this lack of ability in binary supplied or proprietary
software; that very lack often ENHANCES system stability and useability, while
perhaps limiting some facet of user choice.

It's all a question of what it is you are actually after... ...a system that
will do (at a minimum) the functions you need to do (if not exactly maybe the
way you would PREFER to do them) or a system that may or may not - or may not
run at all - if you make a simple mistake.

I think that's a choice everyone should have the right -on their own - to make.

Note... ...I'm not deriding FOSS. I think the freedom it provides is great, but
along with freedom goes responsibility as well. What really bugs me is that
while many FOSS community developers and users insist on the freedom it gives,
their actions take this very freedom away in practice.

If we want to be able to make FUNCTIONAL use of that freedom, then we need to go
and hold FOSS projects to more selective standards. They should not just 'gob'
things. Interfaces to other packages/applications, unless absolutely required
by core functions, should not be manditory. Otherwise, we end up with the FOSS
equivalent of the 'bundling' we object to in Windows.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Comes v. Microsoft - Trial Highlights, Jan. 8, 2007 - Mr. Alepin Has a Jolting Experience
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 12:13 PM EST
I found the posted findings of fact pretty interesting from the standpoint that
some assertions are no longer true. On today's hardware, the disk space and
other resources required are negligible. Will the proceedings allow for any
modifications to the findings of fact to account for the current situation?

[ Reply to This | # ]

IT can happen on a Mac too
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 12:20 PM EST
Our Mac-based creative company was recently Borg-ed by a larger Windows- based organization, whose email platform is (ugh) Lotus Notes. Clicking on a link in an email will automatically launch IE, and as far as I can see, there is no option to switch browsers...even though IE is no longer supporting Mac!

Part of Microsoft's tattered legacy are Microsoft-certified developers and IT people who push MS-only solutions out of expediency, or a lack of interest in the wide world outside of the MS 'walled garden.'

[ Reply to This | # ]

Windows v Netscape
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 12:22 PM EST

"Alepin told an anecdote, something that happened to him over the weekend. He found using another browser a jolting experience. He was setting up a router for the legal team, so they could get their email there, because the lawyers were struggling with it, and lo and behold, the software that came with the router overrode his preference -- set for Mozilla's Firefox -- and insisted on launching IE instead. Not only that, but although he tried to override it, his system insisted on running IE instead of Firefox henceforth."

I had a similar experience in 2000 where Windows was set up to interfere with Netscape. After several attempts to fix the problem I switched to Linux and used the Linux version of Netscape. This was the experience that made me into a Linux advocate.

----------------------
Steve Stites

[ Reply to This | # ]

This is one reason I avoid Web-managed products
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 12:57 PM EST
I'd much rather SSH or Telnet or even hook up a serial cable and talk to the box
with Kermit. Even if I have to dust off my soldering iron and *make* the
appropriate cable. I'm currently in the market for a DSL modem and I have
already decided to ignore a certain brand since their product is Web-based (and
I already have another product of theirs with a Web UI that I absolutely
loathe.) Another brand with SSH and SNMP management looks like a clear winner,
in part because of their choice of management interfaces.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Comes v. Microsoft - Trial Highlights, Jan. 8, 2007 - Mr. Alepin Has a Jolting Experience
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 02:13 PM EST
The pending lock-in is in terms of 'codecs'; software that turns audio/video into files for distribution over the Internet, and then turns the files back into audio/video.

Microsoft are investing in codecs; making them easy to use; and then distributing them at no charge but only for use with Windows.

The consequence is, people producing and distributing audiovisual content over the Internet end up producing things that Linux users cannot access.

A more honest approach would be for a business investing in producing codecs to sell the codecs to anyone who wanted to buy them. But that isn't Microsoft's current model. Currently they are reinforcing Windows lock-in.

"Commercial codecs" is a business, but is different from "Commercial operating systems for Personal Computers". Leveraging a monopoly of one into a dominant position in the other has got corporations into trouble in the past.

So, if you are in the business of producing or distributing 'audiovisual content' ... maybe you are working for a distance-learning educational institution ... then please think. Not all of your target audience will want to buy Windows. Some will want Linux, some will have Sony Playstations, and so on.

It may be more awkward, or less efficient for you, in producing your material in a form that can be handled by an open-source codec such as Dirac or Vorbis; and you're unlikely to get any 'free' help from Microsoft.

But it can be done, and the long-term assurance that you and your clients will be able to access the material is worth its weight in gold.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Browser Specific ?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 02:50 PM EST
Has anyone else tried to print a Boarding pass from Delta Airlines ? Using
Firefox on Windows I got a jumble of stuff in the wrong place when printed, but
the Preview looked OK. My brother claimed it was the version of Java.
I got better results from Fedora Core 5 with Firefox but still not matching the
preview in spacing.
I get annoyed with this type of problems.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why are browsers free?
Authored by: hamstring on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 05:00 PM EST
Free browsers are, in my opinion, one of the only good things to come from the
Anti-Trust suit.

Microsofts plans were simple. Get rid of competition, then make a mint from
it.

Browser wars differed from other wars (Word processing, Compilers, Spreadsheets,
etc...) because at the time, Microsoft could not make "proprietary"
HTML. (That came later as ASP).

If Microsoft would have won that war, then we'd all be paying $100.00 or more
per PC to use IE on it. (I remember paying 39.99 for WordPerfect, right before
they closed their doors. Afterward, we had to buy M$ Word for 89.00)

---
* Necessity is the mother of invention. Microsoft is
* result of greed

[ Reply to This | # ]

Surprises from the Firewall Logs
Authored by: rand on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 05:08 PM EST
We have a small number of computers which have to run XP (because they run one
program which will not run any another OS, even W2000). Since varmints (ie, the
script-kiddies among our customers) have access to them, I have them blocked
every which way: they're on a separate subnet, they have no DNS entries, the
'Internet Options' and built-in firewalls set to block access to EVERYTHING, and
then they are individually blocked from any outside access at the main router.
Basically, they're allowed to interact with only one other machine on the
internal network.

Each one is then crippled as we can make them and still run the one program we
need to run. IE is as amputated as I can make it. We remove every pre-loaded
program which is not needed or even smells like it may not be needed. I
personally check the credentials of every process that shows up on the Task
Manager. We even clean out of the registry, removing as much as possible and
still be able to boot the machine.

Still, I get log entries every day that tell me something in those machines is
trying desperately use IE to phone home:

Tues, 01/09/2007 09:06:13 - HTTP dropped - Source: 192.168.x.xxx, 1073, LAN -
Destination:192.9.202.12, 80, WAN
Tues, 01/09/2007 15:27:30 - DNS dropped - Source: 192.168.x.xxx, 1034, LAN -
Destination:216.175.203.18, 53, WAN
Tues, 01/09/2007 15:27:30 - DNS dropped - Source: 192.168.x.xxx, 1034, LAN -
Destination:216.175.203.27, 53, WAN



---
The wise man is not embarrassed or angered by lies, only disappointed. (IANAL
and so forth and so on)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Alepin is wrong on one point
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 05:10 PM EST
Mr Alepin stated something incorrecet about SPAD.
The set program access defaults function in the operating system allows you to set the default and to determine whether or not a user can -- whether or not access to the Microsoft software is to be allowed or not.
Strictly speaking this is not correct. It does not determine whether access is allowed; this comment doesn't even pass the smoke test of having more than 1 non-IE browser installed.

It is setting the default browser (or email client etc).

I know that there is a setting for "Remove access to this application" that can be used for IE etc, however it does not prevent the user from running it (and by extension, does not prevent the system from running it). Instead, it tries to remove shortcuts to the app from the desktop, Start menu etc.

Call that one a bug.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft tech evangelist who called developers 'pawns' apologizes
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 05:12 PM EST
Microsoft tech evangelist who called developers 'pawns' apologizes

[ Reply to This | # ]

Intel Countersues Transmeta . . .
Authored by: billwww on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 10:37 PM EST
in a classic patent confrontation. Transmeta seems to have real patents licensed to AMD and others. Intel tries to use its muscle to force Transmeta to settle for little or nothing.

Here is the link.

Formerly addicted to Intel

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft did not override his choices
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 10:54 PM EST
Netgear did. Netgear decided that IE (exploder) was the best browser to use
with thier non-standard html enviroment presented by the router. They knew it
was on the hard drive (because it's "integrated") so they launched it
independantly of whatever SPAD settings the user selected.

Microsoft can share some blame for not making exploder non-executable if it's
disabled via SPAD. Netgear should take most of the blame here since the must
have launched the application (yes, it's an application and not part of the OS
despite what M$ says) directly and independantly of the SPAD settings.

I hate M$ as much as anyone else (probably more) but in this case, Negear is the
culprit. They caved in to M$ and used their "standard" for their
embedded web server (inside the router). To make the device work properly for
the customer, they had to use the M$ browser and they knew it was on the
computer because M$ had "integrated" it.

Netgear should have stuck to WWW consortium standards. Then their product
wouldn't care what browser was being used to access the configuration pages.

The real dirt in this story is whether or not M$ pressured Netgear to use
non-standard html instead of W3C html. Was it a simple matter of some
brainwashed software team leader, or was it something more sinister...

JSL

[ Reply to This | # ]

Removing IE from Windows -- An interesting tale..
Authored by: darkonc on Wednesday, January 10 2007 @ 11:19 PM EST
Back when MS was still trying to tie IE into WIndows, a friend of mine noticed something..

The first version of IE which "could not be removed" was (I believe) IE4. You could, in theory, remove it, but if you did so, the uninstaller left all sorts of bits and pieces behind that made your system unstable -- "ah, gee", Microsoft would say, "That's because it's too deeply tied into Windows".

But what my friend discovered is that if you used the uninstaller for the previous version of IE, it would uninstall IE just fine. It wasn't that the newer version of the Uninstaller was incapable of removing IE cleanly .. Microsoft had done something to break the uninstaller.

(nb: I may have my version numbers off by one).

---
Powerful, committed communication. Touching the jewel within each person and bringing it to life..

[ Reply to This | # ]

Comes v. Microsoft - Trial Highlights, Jan. 8, 2007 - Mr. Alepin Has a Jolting Experience
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 11 2007 @ 01:53 AM EST
How about uninstalling outlook express in windows 2000 ?. I tried to uninstall
outlook express but no success. I've even tried to delete the entire file in
folder that contain outlook express (c:program filesoutlook express) but it
always resurrect again.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Even if IE were removed, software would still require it
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 11 2007 @ 11:24 AM EST
So what if MS had a real way to uninstall IE.

Lazy developers would simply include the IE installer on their CD-ROMs, and if
IE was not installed, they would install it anyways.

You see things like this all the time for Acrobat Reader and other software.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Comes v. Microsoft - Trial Highlights, Jan. 8, 2007 - Mr. Alepin Has a Jolting Experience
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 11 2007 @ 10:32 PM EST
This is an article linked to from digg, you can learn more about digg at encyclopedia dramatica

Thank you,
Jeremy M. Gallen (The Duke of Otterland)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Ummm... Appeals Ruling anyone?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, January 12 2007 @ 09:30 AM EST
IIRC, The section you quoted about tying in the Findings of Fact has been
disputed by the appeals court, saying that the plaintiff failed to prove it's
case about tying and seperate markets for IE. How can this be used in a civil
trial when the appeals court basically said it's bogus?

[ Reply to This | # ]

from the transcript : Comes v. Microsoft - Trial Highlights,
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 15 2007 @ 09:07 PM EST
Well now we find out what Microsoft really thinks about us. Any woman would be offended by this attitude:

http://www.iowaco nsumercase.org/1.11.07_Transcript.txt Along about what I think is page 8049/8050 in the transcript:

" 17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. Okay. He goes on to say, I mean, all
19 through this presentation previously, I talked
20 to you about how you're using the pawns and
21 you're going to screw them if they don't do
22 what they want, and dah-dah-dah. You can't let
23 them feel like that. If they feel like that,
24 you've lost from the beginning.
25 It's like you're going out with a 8050
1 girl; forgive me, it goes the other way also.
2 You're going out with a girl, what you really
3 want to do is have a deep, close and intimate
4 relationship, at least for one night.
5 And, you know, you just can't let her
6 feel like that, because if you do, it ain't
7 going to happen, right. So you have to talk
8 long term and white picket fence and all these
9 other wonderful things, or else you're never
10 going to get what you're really looking for.
11 So you can't let them feel like pawns,
12 no matter how much they really are.
13 Sir, in your opinion, if Microsoft
14 follows the party line as put forth by
15 Mr. Plamondon, is that a dissemination, a
16 distribution of truthful information? "

[ Reply to This | # ]

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