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Comdex day 3: McNealy plays Judge Jackson

Comdex day 3: McNealy plays Judge Jackson

If Microsoft's courtroom fate was up to Scott McNealy, the software behemoth would have to agree to four conditions or be broken up, the chairman and CEO of Sun Microsystems said at Comdex yesterday.

McNealy was asked what he would do to Microsoft if he were US District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, the presiding official in the US Department of Justice's case against the software giant.

McNealy outlined four actions that he said Microsoft must agree to or be structurally prevented from doing. He said Microsoft must agree to transparent pricing and to eliminate exclusionary terms, so that Microsoft's customers aren't threatened.

In addition, Microsoft must open up its APIs (application programming interfaces) for Office and Windows, the two product areas in which Microsoft has a monopoly.

Finally, the company must agree to refrain from using "monopoly money" to buy into other areas, such as "AT&T and magically selling millions of copies of that [Windows] CE thing that no one wants", McNealy said.

McNealy was doubtful that Microsoft would agree to those conditions. "I don't think they'll buy into that, and if they don't, get the chainsaw out," McNealy said. "If I was a betting person, I would say [the court is] going to break them up."


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