Judge: Microsoft kneecapped Sun

Thanks |CEMAN...A federal judge on Thursday compared Microsoft's behavior toward Sun Microsystems to the 1994 knee-clubbing of Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan. In a third day of preliminary hearings into whether Microsoft's Windows operating system should resume carrying Sun's Java software, U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz did not hide his skepticism about Microsoft's behavior.

"Isn't there a social value in being able to participate fairly in a market, undistorted by your competitors?" Motz asked Microsoft's final witness. University of Chicago economist Kevin Murphy had testified that Microsoft's past misdeeds did not justify a must-carry order on Java. Such an order would be "messed up," robbing Microsoft of some of its incentive to improve Windows.

Motz at that point compared Microsoft's acts against Java to the assault on Kerrigan by the ex-husband of rival skater Tonya Harding.

Microsoft, which had promoted an incompatible form of Java that worked best on Windows and had taken other steps to hinder Java, was like a baseball team that had stolen game signals from the other side, Motz said.

"In a way, what is being asked is not for me to engineer the market, but to un-engineer the market (that Microsoft has distorted)," Motz said.

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News source: ZDNet

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