TV-PGDecember 20, 1997:
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From the writer/creator of AtAT, a Pandemic Dad Joke taken WAYYYYYY too far

The 90-Second Rebuttal (12/20/97)

AtAT's learned a bit more about the next episode of "Redmond Justice," thanks to the hardy newshounds at Bloomberg News. Everyone's favorite courtroom drama may take a decidedly anti-Microsoft spin in its next installment, due to air on January 13th. At that time, Judge Jackson will preside over a hearing to determine if Microsoft should be found in contempt of court for ignoring Jackson's temporary injunction.

Apparently Jackson decided to lasso a technician and try to remove Internet Explorer from Windows 95 himself. Ninety seconds later, he had accomplished what Microsoft had claimed was well-nigh impossible-- IE was uninstalled. Did the process render Windows 95 unusable? Says Jackson, "To all appearances, Windows 95 functioned flawlessly as it was intended to operate." Now it's up to Microsoft to prove otherwise. But Microsoft's defense is that Jackson ordered all of IE removed, and what Jackson did certainly doesn't qualify. Jackson didn't order that IE just be removed from the desktop, or rendered unusable-- they were ordered to remove "the software code that Microsoft itself now separately distributes at retail as Internet Explorer." Those were his exact words.

So the central issue, then, is going to be whether Microsoft can be held in contempt for "innocently" obeying the exact letter of the temporary injunction in such a way as to completely skirt that injunction's obvious intent. They may be setting themselves up for a big-ass fall, though. I mean jeez, didn't Microsoft's lawyers ever watch the Brady Bunch? Remember when Greg weaseled out of a grounding by insisting that he was following the "exact words" of the punishment? If you ask us, Microsoft's going to end up washing Judge Jackson's car in the middle of the night. Serves them freakin' right for not watching the classics.

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Turning Against Jobs? (12/20/97)

A scant two days before the end of our 90-day Jobs Progress Countdown, Mac OS Rumors mentions the undercurrent of dissatisfaction and impatience growing among Mac users, and especially Apple stockholders. The latest PR drawback--Apple's announcement that a CEO will not be named before the year's end as originally planned--is being blamed on Jobs' refusal to step down from the board of directors; no one wants the job if it means that Steve will be looking over their shoulder.

Rumors points out that Apple's product line, while improved, is following a similar schedule to that set out by the ousted Amelio, and still no profit has been made. Stockholders are upset that Jobs refuses to step down in order to bring a good CEO on board who can make an effective turnaround. Jobs claims he would need to advise any new CEO in order for the appointment and turnaround to be successful.

Steve asked that we give him ninety days to make some progress. And some progress has been made, to be sure-- but the bottom line is, Apple is still a long way from returning to profitability, and its stock is slipping towards a ten-year low. The question is, how much longer should the stockholders wait?

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One War is Over (12/20/97)

What the?!... Okay, what's up with Microsoft and SGI collaborating on a new 3D API, code-named "Fahrenheit?" We just read about this over at MacCentral, and it just doesn't sound possible. Microsoft's Direct3D vs. SGI's OpenGL has been the ongoing 3D API war for so long, we've grown to take it all for granted. (Apple's Quickdraw 3D, unfortunately, never really seemed to be in the running-- at least not in any cross-platform sense.) A truce just didn't seem to be in the cards.

This is scary. If SGI teams up with Microsoft to combine high-performance graphics applications running on standard Windows NT workstations, Apple stands to lose a good chunk of one of its only remaining niches. However, if Apple gets on the stick and finally implements OpenGL on the Mac (and fosters the development of GL-accelerated 3D video cards on the Mac end), they may be able to hold their ground. We've been hearing rumors of GL support in Rhapsody for the longest time, but Apple still hasn't announced a formal commitment. We wish they'd drop the other shoe and tell us that GL is coming, and fast.

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