We weren't going to post any more articles on Microsoft's
adventures in the American court system, but this article from
Linux Journal was so good that we're presenting it to you. Bryan
Pfaffenberger takes a dispassionate and analytical tone in
dissecting the recent court decision and explaining what it means
for Linux users.
"Microsoft has clearly decided to play hardball with Linux ,
and that isn't good news; after all, this is a company that does
business by 'cutting its competitors' legs off,' as one industry
observer recently put it. If the appeals court did its job, it
finally clarified what a company possessing a monopoly may legally
do and what it may not do in the information technology
marketplace. If the court did its job really well, it defined how
to deal with antitrust issues in a high-technology market in a way
that doesn't threaten to stifle technological innovation. The good
news is this: the appeals court may have succeeded on both counts.
Maybe, just maybe, Microsoft's executives will figure out that the
game is up."
"Of course, the tale isn't fully told yet; the case could go to
the Supreme Court. Even if the appeals court ruling stands,
Microsoft could simply choose to ignore the rules and try to squash
Linux by whatever means necessary. Still, it's worth considering
exactly how the ruling alters the legal terrain: if Microsoft is
engaging in potentially illegal actions against the Free Software
community, it's up to the community to sound the alarm. For free
software advocates outside the US, it's equally important to grasp
what's at stake; antitrust regulators in Europe and elsewhere are
waiting for US leadership."