Bracing For A Series Finale (11/1/02)

Can it really be true? Dare we admit even the remotest possibility that, in just a few short hours, the antitrust courtroom drama known as "Redmond Justice" might finally be skidding to a close? After what we're pretty sure has been 73 years on the air, the show just might broadcast its long-overdue series finale later today, and frankly, we're not at all sure how to cope with that startling fact.

Truth be told, we had long ago accepted the fact that Microsoft's incessant stalling tactics and the already-glacial pace at which certain aspects of the U.S. justice system often move pretty much meant that this whole antitrust thingy would never end; indeed, our brains have long since filed "Redmond Justice" into the dank corner of our minds where we store symbols of grand immutability and cosmic permanence. Death and taxes? Check. Endless vistas of stars shining against the infinite backdrop of the night sky? Double check. Microsoft never actually getting punished for violating antitrust law, despite the findings of fact having been handed down nearly three full years ago? Oh, you betcha.

But as faithful viewer Kevin Creighton notes, a CNET article reports that Judge Kollar-Kotelly intends to reveal today at 4:30 PM EST whether or not she's decided to accept the proposed settlement between Microsoft and the Department of Justice. And she's also going to tell us what punishment for Microsoft she deems fit in the continuing case pursued by the nine states who refused to sign on with a settlement proposal that amounted to little more than a warning "never to be naughty like that again, wink wink." In one fell swoop, the judge might end "Redmond Justice" just ten hours from now.

Of course, if she doesn't approve that settlement, well, there's more drama to follow, what with still more appeals and taking the proposal back to the negotiating table. And we're somewhat consoled by the fact that if "Redmond Justice" does end today, it's a pretty safe bet that Microsoft's going to get hauled back into court in maybe five years' time on new antitrust charges. Still, it could be the end of an era. We're going to have to bake a cake or something...

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The above scene was taken from the 11/1/02 episode:

November 1, 2002: All the rumormongers fall in line and predict new SuperDriveless PowerBooks and iBooks coming this Tuesday. Meanwhile, the premier of a Canadian province seems just a little bit too impressed with Maine's student laptop program, and "Redmond Justice" may be winding to a close, as the judge prepares to rule on the proposed settlement later today...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3813: A Consensus... Of Sorts (11/1/02)   It's official: the latest round of November 5th rumors has finally reached a state of Rumoric Convergence. You know how, early on in an Apple rumor's life cycle, there are typically seven or eight variations on the same general theme?...

  • 3814: Imminent Border Incident (11/1/02)   Attention middle-school students of Maine: keep your state-provided iBooks in sight at all times. Handcuff those babies to the limb of your choice. Sleep with one eye open and one hand on your trusty Louisville Slugger, if need be...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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