Attorneys General not involved in the current anti-trust effort sent a letter to Microsoft president Steve Ballmer protesting features of Windows XP they consider anti-competitive and possibly in violation of anti-trust law.
Microsoft immediately accused AOL Time Warner of instigating the letter.
First lets handle the stupidity of what these attorneys general did:
Microsoft found the first version of the document had been written by a lobbyist who works for an organization hostile to Microsoft. While this person had little involvement with AOL Time Warner, that's the target Microsoft wanted to attack on that particular day (and most other days).
How many times do we have to say it: don't use Microsoft Office for sensitive documents. Criminals have been caught because they used Office. Companies in negotiations have been stunned to find their opponents seemed to have insider knowledge. Public officials have been embarrassed when early "unrefined" versions of their statements have been published in detail. Here's why:
Now, on to the letter's actual content. Yes, Windows XP contains a lot of stuff that may be in violations of anti-trust law (judged by the rules set down by the Court of Appeals) and in violation of others' patents and copyrights. Writing letters to Microsoft won't get these violations corrected - they'll have to be taken to court again (and probably will be). If a court order tells them to take the offending stuff out, they'll probably defy that order. We'll probably get to see them defying court orders pretty soon now.
- Andrew Grygus
- Automation Access
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