U.S. Vs Microsoft: The Inside Story of the Landmark Trial

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9780071355889: U.S. Vs Microsoft: The Inside Story of the Landmark Trial

-- The United States v. Microsoft is one of the most watched trials of the century. The implications of this battle will affect everything from electronic commerce to network communications.
-- Available just weeks after Judge Jackson issues his final remedy, making this the first book available that contains inside analysis on the implications of the outcome and the overall battle.
-- Complete, unaltered story of the trial told by the most respected newspaper in the world, The New York Times.
-- U.S. v. Microsoft offers readers the inside scoop on this infamous trial -- from fascinating behind-the-scenes information to insightful analysis of the day's events, the ruling, and how the case affects entrepreneurs and capitalism.

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It had all the elements of a Perry Mason television drama: big, powerful protagonists; shady witnesses; carefully argued points of law; leading players we loved to hate; rabbit-out-of-the-hat revelations; an irascible judge. And for much of the late 1990s, it held our attention (if not always our comprehension) like a flickering computer monitor. US v. Microsoft, the nation's biggest antitrust trial since the break-up of Ma Bell almost 20 years earlier, played itself out before us in many fascinating ways. Whether you were a techno-geek who spent his off-hours tinkering with the Windows registry for relaxation, a state attorney-general concerned about the near total dominance of the Windows operating system for the world's PCs, a student of the human character, a corporate PR counsel, a manager at a dot-com, or just someone who wondered why her PC seemed to crash more times than a Ford Pinto, there was something in the case of US v. Microsoft for you.

Now two journalists have produced an eyewitness account of this landmark trial. Joel Brinkley and Steve Lohr covered the story for The New York Times from the beginning. Given that, this book is likely to become the definitive work on the case for the general reader. Brinkley and Lohr pull together a comprehensive chronology of the events that led up to the trial and the judge's proposed remedy: the break-up of the world's largest, richest and most powerful software company. They frame their reportage (much of which is reproduced from their Times news stories) with fresh commentary and analysis of key events and biographical portraits of the players on both sides. It's all here: the damning internal e-mail messages; the botched technical demonstrations used to counter the government's proposed remedies; Microsoft's competitors twisting the knife on the witness stand; the infamous videotape presentation before the court by Bill Gates; Judge Jackson's incredulity at some of the testimony.

And while the final verdict may yet be years away, the case of US v. Microsoft will provide many salutary lessons for both governments and large companies--many of which in the high-tech world are growing bigger every day. --Alan J White

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