Monday, October 20, 2003


Seattle Post-Intelligencer: AP - High-Tech  

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: AP - High-Tech: "U.S., Microsoft fight over online music

Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates gestures as he delivers the keynote address at a Microsoft's Windows conference in New Orleans on May 6. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)
WASHINGTON -- Nearly a year after Microsoft Corp. agreed to end its anticompetitive conduct, the government is raising concerns the world's largest software maker is trying to use its dominant Windows operating system to influence where customers buy their music online.
If the dispute isn't resolved by week's end, it could become the first test of Microsoft's landmark antitrust settlement that was approved by a federal court in October 2002.
Lawyers for the Justice Department and 19 state attorneys general have formally complained to a federal judge about a design feature of Windows that compels consumers who buy music online to use only Microsoft's Internet browser and steers them to a Web site operated by the company.
Microsoft's design 'may be inconsistent' with the settlement, government lawyers wrote in court papers asking U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly to intervene if the problems aren't resolved.
The company said Monday it is willing to work with the government but does not believe the design is illegal. Online music purchases are expected to be one of the most-lucrative areas for Internet commerce.
'We believe that the use of Internet Explorer by the Shop-for-Music-Online link in Windows is consistent with the design rules established by the consent decree, and we will continue to work with the government to address any concerns,' spokeswoman Stacy Drake said."

So let me see, the government is upset because Microsoft programmed the 'Shop for Music Online' to use IE instead of whatever browser is the system default? Ooh, isn't THAT sinister. Let's all ignore the fact that this was coded into Windows long before the whole anti-trust thing wrapped up, okay? Oh, come on... just ignore the facts. Microsofthas to be wrong, because they're Microsoft...right?

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