Still, many lawyers were less certain that the judge would find the company in violation of the provision of the Sherman Act that bears on combining one product with another. While we are not prepared to exclude the possibility that some form of conduct remedy could be beneficial, the ones proposed thus far would appear to do more harm than good.
It remains to be seen, though, whether there will ever be a sustained stream of full-featured applications written solely to middleware APIs.
The second argument has to do with standardization. Typically, one page on each Web site is the "home page," or the first access point to the site.
Although Microsoft's campaign to capture the OEM channel succeeded, it required a massive and multifarious investment by Microsoft; it also stifled innovation by OEMs that might have made Windows PC operating systems easier to use and more attractive to consumers. Decision-makers at Microsoft are apprehensive of potential as well as present threats, though, and in the implications of the symbiosis between Navigator and Sun's Java implementation were not lost on executives at Microsoft, who viewed Netscape's cooperation with Sun as a further reason to dread the increasing use of Navigator.
A program written in Java and relying only on APIs exposed by the Java class libraries will run on any PC system containing a JVM that has itself been ported to the resident operating system.
Unfortunately, ever since the Microsoft case there has been remarkably little oversight of the technology sector, despite the obvious signs of corporate consolidation and outsize market power. We have yet to see such a rebuttal.
Netscape's assent would have ensured that, for the foreseeable future, Microsoft would produce the only platform-level browsing software distributed to run on Windows.
Options range from imposing restrictions on Microsoft's conduct to breaking up the company.
In our view, it is quite clear that Microsoft has violated the law and harmed consumers. The pattern is familiar.One of the reasons the BeOS can even attract that many users despite its small base of applications is that it advertises itself as a complement to, rather than as a substitute for, Windows. Since Microsoft can sell so many copies of each new operating system through the sales of new PC systems, the average price it sets for those systems is little affected by the fact that older versions of Windows never wear out. One reason for this is the fact that no single type of information appliance, nor even all types in the aggregate, provides all of the features that most consumers have come to rely on in their PC systems and in the applications that run on them. The user base of the new system may be small, but every user of that system who wants such an application will be compelled to use the ISV's offering. If Microsoft was found to have made it unreasonably difficult for consumers to uninstall Internet Explorer and use a competing browser, the company's practices would be deemed anti-competitive. Fortunately for Microsoft, however, there are only so many developers in the world willing to devote their talents to writing, testing, and debugging software pro bono publico. For example, Be, Inc. But as the Court also found above, it is not clear whether ISVs will ever develop a large, diverse body of full-featured applications that rely solely on APIs exposed by servers and middleware. Then in , Microsoft reacted with alarm to Intel's Native Signal Processing software, which interacted with the microprocessor independently of the operating system and exposed APIs directly to developers of multimedia content. The government produced its own videotape of the same process, revealing that Microsoft's videotape had conveniently removed a long and complex part of the procedure and that the Netscape icon was not placed on the desktop, requiring a user to search for it. The Internet links PCs by means of servers, which run specialized operating systems and applications designed for servicing a network environment. And this suggests that, if one were imposed, the government might face difficult enforcement questions. To date, though, legions of ISVs have not followed the lead of these first movers. He is now in private practice.