Palm CEO Comments on Microsoft Ruling

For the benefit of those of you who have been living in caves, U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ordered the breakup of Microsoft yesterday. Carl Yankowski, the CEO of Palm Inc., said in a prepared statement that "Palm believes it is critically important to maintain a fair, competitive handheld market in which consumers determine standards based on their free choice of superior products in areas such as innovation, convenience, ease of use, design and price."

While this isn't exactly a rousing endorsement of the Judge's decision, it at least seems tepidly supportive.

In addition, the Judge ordered Microsoft to change its practices including fully disclosing to third parties its APIs. He specifically mentioned that the code Microsoft uses to allow handhelds to work with Windows must be disclosed.

Microsoft shall disclose to ISVs, IHVs, and OEMs in a Timely Manner, in whatever media Microsoft disseminates such information to its own personnel, all APIs, Technical Information and Communications Interfaces that Microsoft employs to enable any Microsoft software installed on one computer (including but not limited to server Operating Systems and operating systems for handheld devices) to interoperate with a Windows Operating System (or Middleware distributed with such Operating System) installed on a Personal Computer.
In theory, developers already had access to most of this information but generally not until after each version of the Windows OS was released. This allows Microsoft to release products that work with the latest version of Windows long before their competitors. This decision orders Microsoft to keep developers from the 20 OEMs with the highest volume of licenses of the Windows OS Products informed at the same time that Microsoft's internal developers are.

The decision defines an API as "interfaces, service provider interfaces, and protocols that enable a hardware device or an application, Middleware, or server Operating System to obtain services from (or provide services in response to requests from) Platform Software in a Personal Computer and to use, benefit from, and rely on the resources, facilities, and capabilities of such Platform Software. "

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APIs don't bother me...

Greg Gaub @ 6/8/2000 6:20:18 PM #
Honestly, I could care less if MS keeps all that crap to themselves, and only develops it's own software. The illegal activity that MS employs isn't so much their non-disclosure (which is part of it), but their sheer size, and ability to crush competitors who won't sell to them.

For example (there are many, but here's one), Real Networks developed a killer app. MS figured they should do it too, so they did. After RN turned down MS's bids, MS decided to (try to) crush RN. They gave away their software, players and servers and all, in an effort to lure content providers to the dark side. The ONLY reason they can do this at all is because they can AFFORD to do it. They are so filthy stinking rich, that they can create sub-standard software, give it away for free, crushing their smaller competitors who can't afford to give away their products, while they work to update the crap software to something useable.
There are more example of this, but this is the anti-competitive behavior that I dislike.

Some people say that the government is picking on MS simply because they are big. No. MS is a behemoth with no equal, which tries to crush compeitors who don't have the vast resources they have. That's what a monopoly is about. These people (who are against the split) never make the analogy that if they had a business of their own, how would they feel if another business decided to give away their competing product? If this were to happen with any other product than software, there would not be ANY argument against restricting or breaking up that company....

Anyway... I'm sure that was just babbling to most people.

PocketPC Commentary @ 6/9/2000 11:55:50 AM #
The following is an article that discusses how PocketPC is affected by Judge Jackson's ruling. In summary, it says, "No one knows". PocketPC wasn't specifically mentioned by the Judge so which company it belongs to is still up in the air." CLASS=NEWS TARGET=_NEW>



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