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May 6, 2002—In this issue:
1. NEWS AND VIEWS
- Microsoft Remedy Hearings: Ballmer Won't Testify
- Microsoft Simplifies Cable Plans
- Cast Your Vote for our Reader's Choice Awards!
- Win a Personal Cinema Card at the Connected Home Virtual Tour
3. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
1. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, firstname.lastname@example.org)
In another deft legal maneuver, Microsoft announced late last week that the company won't call CEO Steve Ballmer to the stand in its antitrust remedy hearings, again denying lawyers for the nonsettling states a chance to introduce potentially incriminating email evidence. That move brings the remaining number of Microsoft witnesses to just four and dramatically shortens the hearings, which were expected to continue into late May. Now the hearings could end as early as this week.
"We believe the remaining issues we need to address in our case will be covered by these \[four remaining\] witnesses," Microsoft said in a statement issued late Friday. The move leaves four remaining witnesses: Microsoft executives Jim Allchin and Linda Averett, computer science professor John Bennett, and economics professor Kenneth Elzinga.
Legal experts agree that Microsoft's continual trimming of its witness list indicates that the company is confident the judge won't approve sanctions that go beyond the company's settlement with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and nine other US states. The nine nonsettling states refused to sign that settlement and sought harsher remedies; these hearings will determine the outcome of that quest.
After years of work and mounting pressure from cable companies, Microsoft recently decided to scale back its plans for complicated TV set-top boxes and develop the type of simple, interactive program guide software that cable companies have been asking for all along. Microsoft announced the result of this effort—the Microsoft TV Interactive Program Guide (IPG)—Monday morning at the National Cable & Television Association (NCTA) convention in New Orleans. Although the new product represents a humbling experience for the company, Microsoft believes that this version of its TV software will finally take off.
"With the Microsoft TV IPG, we’ve brought renewed energy, focus and breadth to the Microsoft TV platform," said Moshe Lichtman, vice president of the Microsoft TV Division. "We’ve been working closely with our customers to create software from which they can derive the most value, both in leveraging their current installed base of set-top boxes and as they begin to provide more advanced \[interactive TV\] services. With Microsoft TV Advanced and now the Microsoft TV IPG, we are providing deployable solutions that support the range of set-top boxes from the most basic digital boxes to the most advanced."
Cable companies can deploy the Microsoft TV IPG on existing set-top boxes, dramatically lowering their costs. The software lets users search for TV programs by name, show type, or channel, and obtain more information about programs than they can with most current cable TV systems.
Which companies and products do you think are the best on the market? Nominate your favorites in four different categories for our annual Windows & .NET Magazine Reader's Choice Awards. You could win a T-shirt or a free Windows & .NET Magazine Super CD, just for submitting your ballot. Click here! http://www.winnetmag.com/readerschoice
If you think you've already seen the Connected Home Virtual Tour, think again. Browse through the latest home entertainment, home networking, and home automation options and check out our special feature on wiring your home. Sign up for prize drawings, too, and you might win a free personal cinema card, courtesy of VisionTek and nVIDIA. Take the tour today!
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