U.S. V. Microsoft: The Inside Story of the Landmark Case

Joel Brinkley, Author, Steve Lohr, Joint Author McGraw-Hill Companies $24.95 (452p) ISBN 978-0-07-135588-9
The federal government's antitrust lawsuit against the world's best-known software maker created headlines and sound bites all over the world. Journalists Brinkley and Lohr, who covered the case for the New York Times, offer a giant, information-packed survey of the case's ups and downs so far, along with analyses of its prehistory and profiles of the main players and witnesses, among them Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson and the government's star lawyer, David Boies. Six chapters take the controversy from 1995 (when Assistant Attorney General Joel Klein joined the Justice Department and started looking at Microsoft's behavior) to 1998 (when the lawsuit was filed) and up to the present. While the bulk of each chapter consists of reprinted Times articles on the trial, each with the date on which it ran, a new and detailed essay explaining part of the case, often relying on new interviews, opens each chapter and new summaries and explanations are interspersed as well. Seven new paragraphs about AOL and its senior v-p, David Colburn, introduce two articles about his testimony in October 1999. Next comes a short new essay about some lawyers' unfamiliarity with computers, a quick (new) intro to an Apple exec and then a longer (reprinted) article about his testimony. The case itself is currently hanging fire as Bill Gates and his allies appeal Judge Jackson's far-reaching order to break up the company. When it's all over, other writers, media critics, techies and legal experts will no doubt weigh in with more analytical books on the topic. This volume, though necessarily repetitive, will remain an invaluable source for those who want to study the court case and its public reception as it unfolded day by day. (One-day laydown, Aug. 21)
Reviewed on: 07/31/2000
Release date: 08/01/2000
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