The settlement is itself, nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Significantly, Microsoft can no longer force computer manufacturers to include MS products on their systems. Of course, there’s lots of ways of insinuating the same, without ‘forcing’ anyone to do so.
There are some comments around this settlement that are quite funny. The oddest is that this settlement has become ‘patriotic’ in that they (Microsoft and the Government) must put the country ahead of their differences.
Of course, while I don’t like how little Microsoft has been reprimanded (not even opening up APIs), I do like that this government has avoided the hypocrisy of of forcing draconian measures down Microsoft’s throat. What Microsoft, and indeed, and corporate/capitalist company should be doing, is getting as market share, as much control and as much influence as possible. This should be accomplished by virtually any means necessary. If you’re strong enough, you can even start bending, breaking and ignoring rules in place to protect the smaller companies. (you all see where I’m going with this, right?) The US Government sees itself in Microsoft’s actions. The US, on an political-economic scale, is a monopoly. It engages in all sorts of trade practices that no one else is allowed to engage in. It regularly ignores international agreements because no one can stop them from doing so. Could you image any major trading country enacting a trade embargo against the US? No, I didn’t think so. Capitalism is all about getting as much as you can for yourself/company/country. Setting internal limits on what people can do, while on a global scale you do the exact same thing seems totally hypocritical.
Anyway. I’m glad there’s a settlement. I’m saddened that it doesn’t do more. I’m amused by the political rhetoric that surrounds it. And I long for someone to censure the US like the US has censured Microsoft.