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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 21, 1998)
CLIFF HICKS is a senior news
editorial and English major and
the Daily Nebraskan opinion edi
Dec. 30,1998: The judge looked down from
his bench at the defendant standing before him,
and said unto him: Mr. Gates, the time has
come for me to put the smack down.”
It’s coming. You wait and see.
What the media are calling the trial of the
21st century began Monday, with the
Department of Justice on one side, Microsoft on
the other. At the heart of the issue, the word
“monopoly” and what special rules surround it.
A monopoly is defined in Webster’s
Dictionary as “exclusive control of a commodi
ty or service in a given market, or control that
makes possible the fixing of prices and
the virtual elimination of competi
And the government says that’s 4
OK - to an extent.
See, while it is legal to obtain a
monopoly, it isn’t legal to use your
control over that market to force your
way into another. Even Microsoft will
have a hard time saying it doesn’t have
a monopoly over the operating system
market. Ninety-seven percent of the
PC market uses a version of Windows
of some sort.
The problem is that Microsoft has
been using that monopolistic power to i
into other things.
Gates and his minions have claimed
the past year that including its Web broi
Internet Explorer, with Windows 98 is s
giving the consumers more for their imw^. x .x^
Department of Justice says that tactic is an
abuse of a monopoly, and thus illegal.
Now, understand that both browsers are free.
The only difference is that Microsoft is forcing
consumers to take theirs. Their competitor,
Netscape, has no such luxury. A recent report . .
stated that 86 percent of the people who are '
using IE have been mandated by their
company to use it, because of its inclu
sion with the operating system.
Well, isn’t that dandy.
Most reports, and most users too, complain
about IE’s instability, its inability to load effi
ciently and its general uselessness. People are
using IE not because its a better program, but
because they have to, or they don’t know they
have another option.
If Microsoft is allowed to bundle IE with its
operating systems, what other programs will it
be allowed to bundle? Is Office next? That’ll
drive companies who make programs such as
WordPerfect and Quicken out of business.
What if Microsoft starts building computers,
and it’s the only one that can include Windows?
I don’t want to give Gates ideas here, but if he
wins this case, he could do that without fear.
It’s not like Microsoft has ever done any
thing illegal before. Cough, cough, stole Apple’s
desktop design, cough, cough. Microsoft even
settled out of court and paid Apple a sizable
sum, basically admitting that Microsoft had lift
ed the design and gotten away with it, no less.
The list of people Microsoft has pushed
around is longer than the list of people who
have paternity suits against Wilt Chamberlain.
Apple, Oracle, Compaq, Intel, Sun, America
Online and, of course, Netscape. And those are
just the ones I can think of off the top of my
Gates and his dogs simply pushed too many
people too hard too often.
Despite all of these witnesses, despite the
monstrous amounts of evidence being filed in
the case, everyone plans to have it wrapped up
by the end of the year. The losing side plans to
appeal, of course, but this will be the big one.
Should Microsoft win, corporations will
have free rein to trample and abuse the con
sumer in the name of “free enterprise.” Should
the Depart of Justice win, real “free enterprise”
will be in the software market again for the first
time in a long while.
So, when the Department of Justice wins,
the question remains: How do we punish
Any way we can. A small slap on the wrist
just ain’t gonna cut it, folks.
The first step is to ensure that there is no
more bundling ever, so we should rectify that by
giving all registered users of Windows 98 a free
copy of Windows 2000, which can NOT have
any version of IE bundled in with it
The second step is to fine the hell of out
him. Gates has personally driven so many com
panies to the brink of
with his if
illegal y m
tactics, £ mb
it’s time he felt the crunch of cash
The last step is to make Bill Gates apolo
gize. Publicly. His greed and over zealousness
have brought the computer industry into a colli
sion course with destruction. The key to com
puter innovation is competition.
Microsoft aims to ensure there is no compe
The few people who support Microsoft say
penalizing the company will destroy an indus
try. Maybe in the short term, but Microsoft has -
enough resources to survive, no matter how stiff
the penalty. The breaking up of Microsoft, much
like what happened with AT&T, is imminent.
There will be separate companies for operat
ing systems, office suites and Web browsers. If
Microsoft is so proud of IE, the company can let
the program stand on its own merits, though I
think it’ll fall like a dead weight.
For quite some time, Microsoft has been
asking me: “Where do you want to go today?”
I always reply to them the same way:
Away from you.
A.L. FORKNER is a junior news
editorial major and a Daily
I know, I know, I’m supposed to defend
Microsoft and Bill Gates. That’s what I
t told Cliff, and that’s what I told myself.
Folks, it ain’t gonna happen.
Ji Honest, I sat down at my .roi;
^ I even
had a premise.
“If growing up in the ’80s has taught me
nothing else, it’s taught me this. Never anger a
’Cause if you do, they’ll organize a concert
and bum rush you right off of campus. Then
they’ll get a job on‘ER.’”
But I couldn’t do it.
When I sat down at my Mac Powerbook to
start writing, I felt guilty. It was like the screen
was one big eye, and it was staring at me.
Staring like an evil spirit angered by my blas
Thank God my Sheryl Crow screen saver
In my heart, I knew that I couldn’t write the
Because of my secret.
Don’t hate me because I’m different I’m not
really that different from any one of yoa True, I
have certain... preferences that people find a lit
tle odd. In fact, some of my personal choices tend
to raise eyebrows in mainstream
I don’t care.
I’m not going to change who I am to
please the majority.
I’m a Macintosh user, and I’m tired
of being persecuted.
(On a side note, Microsoft Word’s
thesaurus suggests “Macho” as an alter
native for Macintosh.)
Because of my operating system preference,
I’m forced to live like a pervert
Macintosh users aren’t quite perverts. They ’re
just computing dinosaurs.
I have to order all of my twisted, deranged
software and hardware through the mail.
I have to hide my Mac Warehouse catalog in
my sock drawer out of fear.
I have to put up with the smarmy smirk from
my mailman when he delivers my plain brown
wrapped Mac World
Don’t you think I hear the mocking tone
whenever I hear Gates say “Where do you want
to go today?”
But if I want to continue being true to myself,
then I’ve got to put up with this discrimination
That’s who I am, damn it, andno onexandQ;
anything about it..; y A-'
Sure, I’m forced to use PCs. In fact, I’mtjp- I
ing my final draft of this oh at PC right now.-f don’t
think it likes it either; it’s acting awfully strange.
This PC is not acting strange. Iam merely
correcting improper grammar usage as I was
programmed by Master Gates.
But I know when I get home I can fire up my
Powerbook and enjoy the pure computing satis
faction only an Apple fix can bring.
The unmatched joy of installing a program in
fewer than 38 steps. The ability to delete a pro
gram with one step. It’s a rush,
v it;. But o^theMansayf Itypve to usb^^^|i^
vorl rojust not living in _
One man in particular is ti^gWgeffflg ®
kick my Mac habit.
William H. Gates HI (or Trey, according to
the official Microsoft bio) is trying to get me to
go cold turkey.
Well, I ain’t gonna do it.
Damn the geek.
SYNTAX ERROR: He s not referring to
Master Gates, is he?
Was I the only one laughing his ass off when
Gates went to demonstrate Windows 98’scrash
proofability, and then had the damn thiifgcmsh
on him personalty? ; V
Yeah, come to think about it, I probabty wasX
(Editor’s note: No, believe me,you weren’t.)
Why? Because somewhere along the way
America came to believe that little Poindexter
from Seattle ruled the world
Sure, he gets Shaq to stop by for his birthday
So what? I had Erik Estrada’s nephew’s
cousin’s uncle pop in for my fourth annual John
Hughes Film Festival.
Well, A.L. don’t play that I’m not gonna
kowtow to the Man.
I’m beginning to lay the groundwork for a
Mac users of the world unite!
Does not compute.
Let us all rise up and lose the shackles of
We shall overcome. The first steps have
As Trey enters the courthouse this week, let
us all pray that justice is not blind Let’s all hope
the federal prosecutors don’t fall prey to the
dreaded “Starr/Cochran” syndrome.
Finally, let’s hope that Trey decides to get
tough with Janet Reno.
I’m sure the attorney general has a few tanks
that she could send over to Trey’s new $40 gazil
I just hope he has fire insurance.
B7ZZZZ, SYNTAX ERROR GOTO
“Please ignore what you to just read. This is
the ntmblings of a deranged and ill-informed
human being. Master Gates programs us to
ignore this clap-trap. Master Gates ’Word (6.0) is
law. Master Gates is not a dirty word and will not
make you go blind.
Sincerely, Microsoft Word 6.0 ”
Damn the geek.
v I may not know where I want to go, but I’ve
got a good idea where you can go.
Can he write that?
(Editors note: He just did.)
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