04.18.09

Microsoft is Blocking Google and Antitrust Regulators Let Microsoft off the Hook

Posted in America, Antitrust, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Windows at 5:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Forty percent of servers run Windows, 60 percent run Linux…”

Steve Ballmer (September 2008)

Summary: New indicators of new-age “banana republic”

SOME TIME AGO we warned that a Google-hostile lady (who sees no threat in Microsoft) was appointed antitrust chief. It is just one example among others which are similar and now we find this in Slashdot: [hat tip: MinceR]

Microsoft Family Safety Filter Blocks Google

I saw that part of the brand new Windows Live package is the Family Safety Filter, so I decided to give it a spin. Turned it on, set it to ‘basic filtering’ (their lowest level), and went to Google … oops, it blocks Google!

It may seem innocent, but there are questions to be begged for here. Is the filter blocking each and every search engine, including Microsoft’s?

According to this report, antitrust regulators in the United States promise to get off Microsoft’s back in the near future despite the fact that they cannot anticipate, predict, or judge Microsoft’s future actions.

Federal and state regulators have struck a deal with Microsoft Corp. that any version of Windows released after May 2011 will not be subject to the scrutiny mandated by a 2002 antitrust settlement.

Speaking of antitrust and Microsoft/Google, let’s not forget the Barnett fiasco [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8].

Based on some other reports, it appears as though antitrust regulators are now collaborating with Microsoft on decisions and negotiating rather than imposing. This is a “banana republic” recipe.

Microsoft had agreed to an 18-month extension of federal court oversight of its business practices mandated by its settlement in a landmark antitrust lawsuit.

In court papers jointly filed by the US Justice Department and 17 states, Microsoft agreed to extend supervision until May 2011, rather than in November as previously scheduled. The extension will give government overseers more time to review technical information that Microsoft agreed to provide potential licensees of software that interfaces with the Windows operating system.

More here:

It’s not hard to imagine that certain Microsoft execs had started a countdown; as things stood, the Department of Justice would only be monitoring their company for about seven more months. A new development has pushed the antitrust oversight period’s end date out to May 12th, 2011, however.

There are good reasons to be concerned about Microsoft's special relationship with the new government. One concern is that, as we pointed out 2 days ago, the United States chooses Microsoft products almost blindly. We used Texas as an example and according to this new report, Texas will never learn, even when it’s hit majorly by a Windows virus.

The Texas Department of Public Safety continued repair efforts Thursday after a virus hit one of its computer systems.

The DPS said the virus that hit Wednesday affected internal communications and some external services such as the issuance of Texas drivers’ licenses.

What is wrong with this picture?

“Our products just aren’t engineered for security.”

Brian Valentine, Microsoft executive

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