I think it's looking real good for Microsoft. Here's why:
The DOJ hasn't presented any evidence of actual anti-trust type
behavior; that is, evidence that Microsoft has bullied people or
companies into doing what they want. The only evidence they have is
the integration (or tying, as the DOJ calls it) of IE into Windows.
However, regardless of MS's intent, the Appellate Court of DC ruled
that this particular tying is legal.
The DOJ is presenting an amazing amount of irrelevant evidence. For
The definition of an OS - Completely irrelevant. There's nothing
within the laws regarding product tying that takes the definition of a
product into account. A monopoly can legally tie two products
together without the two products being viewed as one product.
Apple/Quicktime issue - Completely irrelevant. Even if Microsoft had
done what was claimed, Microsoft would be guilty of leveraging their
Office monopoly. However, Office was dropped from the suit. At no
time did Microsoft ever leverage their OS monopoly against Apple.
AOL agreement - This was a huge mistake for the DOJ. They actually
state (in their charges) that Microsoft forced AOL into an agreement.
Then the AOL prez gets on the stand and states that they used IE for
technical reasons. Further, AOL just bought Netscape and it's clear
that the agreement between AOL and Microsoft will not be renewed.
Sure, Microsoft has it all over AOL. Yeah right.
Java? Well, regardless of merits of Microsoft's Java arguments, it
looks like Microsoft has the Judge in their corner on this one.
The DOJ has also made confusing statements. For instance, they claim
that the price of the operating system has remained the same, proving
that MS has a monopoly. But then they claim that IE isn't free, but
paid for in the price of the OS. Well excuse me, but if I pay for IE
in the price of Windows, then the price of Windows must be less than
previous OSes. If the price of the Windows is the same as previous
OSes, then IE must be free. Sorry DOJ, you can't have it both ways.
Am I wrong? Where's the evidence? Where's the e-mail from a
Microsoft VP saying "make AOL use IE" or "force those ISPs to sign an
exclusive agreement." ? They're just not there.
I predict that Microsoft will lose the trial because of emotion, but
will win on appeal, where they actually consider the evidence (or lack