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The Register: MS' Penalties for Selling Linux--Not Punishment, As Such

Jul 09, 2003, 17:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Lettice)

"Massachusetts, pursuing its lonely appeal against the Microsoft antitrust settlement, says it is looking into whether the company has punished a computer maker for promoting Linux, and is thus in breach of the settlement. One might observe that the Microsoft-DoJ deal was so liberal from the company's point of view that it would surely take a great deal of thought and effort to be in breach of it, but we have, largely, been here before.

"And in all probability, anything Massachusetts does smoke out in the way of a case will run into the sand, as happened the last time. Massachusetts says that Microsoft may have retaliated against the unnamed company for its activities in pushing Linux, but what is retaliation? In a nice tidy and simple world it involves something absolutely clear-cut such as a threat to kill your firstborn, burn your house down, or nailing a dead cat to your door. Trust me on this, Massachusetts will find no dead cats, smoking or otherwise, because in the wonderful world of Microsoft OEM sales it is much more complex; there may be something that you and I might think of as pretty close to 'retaliatory action,' but it will not be something that Microsoft's lawyers will find themselves unable to argue a case for..."

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