You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Browser beef brews

Judge to hold tech hearing in Microsoft flap

The ongoing court wranglings between the U.S. Dept. of Justice and software giant Microsoft Corp. took something of a left turn Friday, when the federal judge hearing the Justice Dept. antitrust complaint set a meeting for Jan. 13 to decide just how hard it is to uncouple Microsoft’s Web browser from its operating system software.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, in setting the date for the meeting (between technical specialists from both sides), noted in an aside that, with some help from court personnel, it took a mere 90 seconds for the judge to uninstall the company’s Internet Explorer browser from a computer running its Windows 95 operating system.

Lawyers rush in

Microsoft attorneys were quick to point out that “removing” the browser’s icon from Windows 95’s “desktop” actually removes less than 10% of the files associated with it. It is the company’s position that Jackson’s previous preliminary injunction, which compelled Microsoft to “decouple” the browser from the operating software, is impossible because the two sets of programs are tightly bound together.

Nevertheless, it is being widely surmised in the media that the Justice Dept. senses a weakness in Microsoft’s position, as it announced Friday it has retained noted antitrust attorney David Boies to work specifically on the Microsoft matter. Veteran litigator Boies not only successfully defended IBM from antitrust charges in the 1970s, he also helped the federal government prosecute erstwhile junk-bond kingpin Michael Milken in 1991.

Power players

And even heavier hitters lurk in the anti-Microsoft dugout, if back-channel rumors swirling around Washington prove true: News sources on and off the Internet are reporting that former Senate Majority Leader and 1996 Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole, who now works privately for a Washington legal/lobbying firm, has been retained by an anti-Microsoft tech coalition of Silicon Valley heavyweight companies.

There’s no official confirmation (or denial) of this yet; but Sun Microsystems, one of Microsoft’s fiercest rivals, reportedly has retained the services of another Washington insider: Jody Powell, White House press secretary during the Carter administration.

More Digital

  • T-mobile - Netflix - John Legere

    T-Mobile Passes Netflix Price Hike Through to Subscribers

    T-Mobile is getting ready to raise prices for subscribers who have taken advantage of its “Netflix On Us” promotion: The mobile carrier will begin charging existing customers who have participated in the promotion an additional $2 per month to account for Netflix’s recent price increase. Consumers will see their bill go up starting on 6/2. [...]

  • Oona King

    Snap Hires Google Exec Oona King as First VP of Diversity and Inclusion

    Snap continues to fill out the ranks of its revamped leadership team: The Snapchat parent tapped Oona King, most recently Google’s director of diversity strategy and a former member of British Parliament with the Labour Party, as its first VP of diversity and inclusion. King, who starts at Snap on June 11, is also the [...]

  • Chrissy Teigen

    Chrissy Teigen to Rule Over Small-Claims 'Chrissy's Court' in Show for Jeffrey Katzenberg's Quibi

    Chrissy Teigen is going full-on “Judge Judy” in a reality show ordered by Quibi, the mobile-video subscription start-up venture founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg. In each episode of “Chrissy’s Court,” the model-influencer will reign as the “judge” over one small-claims case. Like the reality TV shows it’s patterned after, the plaintiffs, defendants, and disputes are real [...]

  • IGTV-Landscape

    Instagram's IGTV Adds Support for Horizontal Videos — but Still No Monetization

    Instagram is still searching to find the right recipe for IGTV, the long-form video service it debuted nearly a year ago. In the hopes of encouraging usage of IGTV, Instagram is breaking the original design that allowed only vertical video– to now support horizontally oriented videos as well. It’s a change that bows to the [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Facebook Took Down 2.2 Billion Fake Accounts in Q1

    Facebook saw a huge jump of bots trying to create fake accounts during the first quarter, with the company revealing Thursday that it took down 2.19 billion such accounts over the first three months of this year. “We’ve seen a steep increase in the creation of abusive, fake accounts on Facebook in the last six [...]

  • Netflix Unveils Lonely Island Musical Tribute

    Netflix Unveils Lonely Island Musical Tribute to Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire

    The Lonely Island comedy troupe has dropped a half-hour Netflix special featuring a musical tribute to baseball greats Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. “The Lonely Island Presents: The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience” features Andy Samberg and Akiva Schaffer as the former Oakland Athletics teammates who became known as “the Bash Brothers” for their prowess at [...]

  • Rotten Tomatoes

    Rotten Tomatoes Revamps Movie Audience Scores to Focus on Verified Ticket Buyers

    Rotten Tomatoes is dramatically changing its Audience Score methodology for movies: The site’s standard user rating will now reflect only moviegoers who can prove they’ve bought a ticket to see it in a theater. It’s another troll-fighting move by Rotten Tomatoes, designed to curb coordinated “review bombs” aimed at pushing down the Audience Score for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content