One Seriously Bad Day (5/24/00)

If Microsoft's lawyers are good at anything (and, judging by their performance during the "Redmond Justice" trial, they aren't good at much), it's spinning bad news into good. It seems that no matter how badly they got thrashed in court, at the end of the day they were always able to address the media and say how great everything went. The Justice Department pointed out that Microsoft's videotaped evidence was fake? That was just a transparent governmental ploy to distract the judge from the real issues in the case. Microsoft's key economic witness contradicted himself several times during cross-examination? That's just his way of getting the government to let its guard down. How about when the judge laughed out loud at Microsoft's defense? Hey, the big fella wasn't laughing at them, he was laughing near them. And so on.

But as ZDNet reports (and thanks to faithful viewer Russ Maggio for pointing it out), Wednesday was not a good day for Microsoft, no matter what spin the lawyers choose to put on it. "No further process" was the phrase of the day-- meaning the judge was no more likely to grant Microsoft its requested seven-month extension than he was to don a rainbow wig and hold up a sign that says "Gates 3:16" for the rest of the trial. "This case has been pending for two years," said he, in response to Microsoft's last-ditch request for more time.

The good news for the gents from Redmond: Jackson wasn't overly pleased with the government's plan to split Microsoft into two companies. The bad news for Gates and friends: Jackson gave the government 48 hours to rewrite the plan, hinting strongly that he'd favor a split into three companies instead. Faithful viewer Jerry O'Neil pointed out that the New York Times has more on this particular aspect of Microsoft's bad day. Oh look, what's that? Why, it's the writing on the wall-- and it says Microsoft should really get moving on that appeal, because it's not likely to get away with just another slap on the wrist this time around...

SceneLink (2316)
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The above scene was taken from the 5/24/00 episode:

May 24, 2000: CNET loses its mind and proclaims Corel Linux to be just as easy to install as Mac OS 9. Meanwhile, Steve Jobs gets out of jury duty-- not because he's the CEO of two companies, but because his daughter's about to graduate from college, and Microsoft takes one on the chin as Judge Jackson says "no more process" and hints at a three-way breakup...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2314: Just Say No, Kiddies (5/24/00)   Look, questioning conventional wisdom is healthy and in the whole "think different" spirit and everything. After all, if we never challenged what we're told, we'd all be using Windows right now. But when setting out to question a belief that most people take for granted-- say, that the Mac OS is far easier to install than just about any other operating system out there-- it's vitally important to stay away from the psychotropic drugs, particularly if you're going to be publishing your thoughts online...

  • 2315: Lest Ye Be Steved (5/24/00)   Jury duty: the great equalizer of American society. It doesn't matter whether you're a plumber, a greengrocer, or the CEO of two high-tech companies-- sooner or later, your number will come up. Steve Jobs was reminded of that fact as he reported for his civic duty on Tuesday, as reported by a Yahoo Daily News article we first saw mentioned on MacNN...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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