Judge Rules MS must give States Access to XP Source Code

  • Posted: 19 February 2002 12:21 PM



    Once a bunch of code geeks working for 9 different states get to dissect that puppy, who knows what they’ll learn.

    I would never say this about another company, but I wouldn’t be at all depressed if copies of the source became widely available on all manner of Internet sites.

    Thoughts? Comments?


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    Posted: 16 February 2002 07:37 PM #1

    This is a HUGE deal, more later. 


    Editor - The Mac Observer

    Favorite (but less relevant than it used to be) Quote: Microsoft’s tyranny lies not in its success, but in the way it achieved and maintains that success.

  • Posted: 16 February 2002 08:08 PM #2

    awesome. i’ll love to check out that code!


    A Mac Daddy in a new level.

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    Posted: 16 February 2002 08:42 PM #3

    Ding dong, the witch is dead.

    Well, not quite, but it’s the way I’m feeling about it right now!


    Great wits are sure to madness near allied.—John Dryden, "Absalom and Achitophel"

  • Posted: 16 February 2002 09:51 PM #4

    This is simply awesome. Go Judge Kotelly! (or whatever her name

    I think this may help MS more than it will hurt them, should they allow it to happen. Not in a “Help keep the monopoly alive” kind of way, but if MS were to create a bare-bones version of Windows, it might help them see the error in their “bundle and interweave everything together, for great justice!” ways. I remember hearing about a product called “98lite” a while back. It was, IIRC, an installer that would install a copy of Windows 98 without all the extraneous “value-added” crap. So you ended up with Windows without IE, WiMP, etc. integrated. It was supposedly much faster and uhm, stabler.

    Plus, I love the idea of programmers across the country looking at Microsoft’s code and laughing. (Wouldn’t mind the code getting “leaked” and seeing a product called Transems [get it?] showing up either…)

    This is a great first step. Maybe MS won’t get off as easy as we’ve been thinking.


    Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!

  • Posted: 17 February 2002 12:15 AM #5

    I think this is great, hopefully now someone will show that the ‘IE is a fundamental part of Windows’ line is the bollocks that it is.

    I wouldn’t be upset at all if someone accidentally posted the source code to usenet. MS deserves everything they get. Go non-settling states!

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    Posted: 17 February 2002 12:57 AM #6

    Yeah, kudos to the states that had the guts to keep on with the fight, but I don’t think this will result in lots of folks getting to see the source.

    I do hope that some folks are able to really go over the code from top to bottom to prove some other allegations too, but that is probably outside the scope of this situation.

    Also, don’t forget that MS can, and probably will, appeal this as far they can.


    Editor - The Mac Observer

    Favorite (but less relevant than it used to be) Quote: Microsoft’s tyranny lies not in its success, but in the way it achieved and maintains that success.

  • Posted: 17 February 2002 04:10 AM #7

    Just let some state employee put the code on the web. I mean there are enough people out there in the Open Source world who could get the bugs out of XP and make it better and then post it under GPL


    Tjeerd van Hoytema

    Join us at irc.macobserver.com #macobserver

  • Posted: 17 February 2002 12:17 PM #8

    OOh my.

    The sad thing is they have soooo many grounds to negotiate here for protecting their stuff.  These potential ‘leaks’ and other issues are enough of a reason for them to look for ways to keep it super-secretive.

    I have loooowwwww hopes.

    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Raena on 2002-02-17 16:17 ]</font>


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  • Posted: 17 February 2002 06:56 PM #9

    I’m worse than Raena. I believe that Microsoft will thrive and prosper for years after this DOJ speed bump.

    Line up for your Borg implants, folks. Come and get your “666” branded into your foreheads…


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  • Posted: 18 February 2002 05:12 AM #10

    Anyone who has had to deal with corporate management will know that M$ will continue to thrive. All these bozos know is what the other corporate management bozos know, and the only info they trust comes from M$ salespeople. Oh, and Andersen consultants.



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  • Posted: 18 February 2002 05:15 AM #11

    I love the concept of MS having to reveal its code, but I don’t think it is going to happen. If MS is forced to reveal Windows code, what are these states supposed to do with it? By forcing Windows code to be released, is this simply a punishment or is there something technical the states can do with it? These are questions that need clarification.

    I dislike Microsoft’s tactics, the concepts they push and the general lack of innovation they offer. Unlike the government, and the many supporters of the U.S. Gov’s anti-trust litigation, I don’t believe MS is a monopoly. Microsoft is a successful company, and for that reason alone, they should not be considered anything more. Do I hate Microsoft? YES! Do I hope they fall apart? YES! Do I hope these states force them to release their code? YES!

    Apple and others should be helped by MS releasing its prized Windows code. Until it actually happens, I am not going to get excited.

    Mitch Featherston


    Hmmm… software.

  • Posted: 18 February 2002 05:47 AM #12

    Erm, I don’t want to bash some people’s hopes here, but the Windows source code is being disclosed to the States STRICTLY FOR USE IN COURT.  This does not constitute a real punishment for Microsoft. The judge just feels that the Staes should have access to the same level of info as MS does.



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    – King Baudouin I of Belgium

  • Posted: 18 February 2002 11:50 AM #13

    Yeah.  It doesn’t mean that a whole bunch of geeks will be running around with Windows code (although that could do a lot to speed up the end of the universe).  I think, however, that Microsoft will do anything in their power to keep the states from getting the “important” code—the code which will seal their guilt.


    Brad Smith
    The Mac Observer

  • Posted: 18 February 2002 02:18 PM #14

    Although this sounds promising, I doubt it’s being imposed as a penalty.

    Which is too bad.  Corporate punishment is not something that gets discussed much (unless you’re a student-union socialist), but the twin examples of Microsoft and now Enron graphically illustrate the dangers of allowing corporate cash to wield um, ‘undue influence’.

    If ever there was a corporate entity immune to fines, it’s Microsoft, and they have shown time and again that they consider “behavioural remedies” to be painless and insignificant restraints.  And because of the limited-liability nature of corporate law, there’s rarely a human being available to be blamed and jailed for the really egregious stuff.

    I had already given a fair amount of thought to the subject before the Microsoft suit materialised;  I had already come to the conclusion that some form of forfeiture would be necessary in any effort to genuinely punish a “corporate citizen” (dunno about you, but I find the very notion obscene).  In the case of Microsoft, I’ve long advocated that they forfeit Windows.

    Windows, in the hands of the open-source community, would quickly become a stable and worthwhile operation system, free to become just exactly as popular as it deserves.  Microsoft would then be freed to produce (if possible) software that could compete on its own merits.  PC makers would be free to sell what they want, the way they want.

    No Windows, no monopoly.  No problem.


    Unscrewing the inscrutable since 1951

  • Posted: 18 February 2002 02:33 PM #15

    No windows, no monopoly, no problem, no chance.  That does seem like the ideal remedy though.  I wonder how analogous that is to the ATT split. 

    I don’t really know what the states hope to get out of this.  It would take months to find anything incriminating in source code, unless of course they also hire all of the people who understand the code to show them how it works.  In the mean time MS can thumb their noses saying, why haven’t you found anything yet huh? huh?  But I suppose at the rate this trial is going they’ve got plenty of time. 


    All statements are to be taken with a grain of salt