The sound you just heard is the other shoe dropping. In this case, the other shoe is lovingly crafted out of cement by the DOJ, as it prepares to see Microsoft (at least as a single company) sleep with the fishes.

Yes, just in case you spent the day under a rock with a bucket on your head and a pound of cotton in each ear, Judge Jackson ordered that Microsoft be split into two separate companies. But wait, there's more!

What some are saying is even more important than the breakup is the interim restrictions on Microsoft's conduct ordered by the judge. Unlike the breakup order, which may not actually be effective for years, these restrictions will kick in 90 days from now if Microsoft can't get a judge to grant an emergency injunction, and will remain in effect for three years.

Among the juicier bits is a requirement that MS license Windows to OEM's under uniform prices, requiring MS to open certain portions of its Windows source code to allow third parties to improve their products' Windows compatibility, and barring Microsoft from linking middleware (such as a browser) to the OS without providing end users the ability to break such a link.

If you want to read the full skinny, has got you covered. First, there's this story about the today's events covering what the said, what effects it will have, and how Microsoft feels about it (I'll give you three guesses). Then there's this article that gets the opinion of various people in the industry as to what effect a break-up would have on the marketplace at large. One interesting note here is that some experts think that two Microsoft companies would be in an even better position to dominate the industry than one.

Finally, has the full text of the ruling here, though their article template makes it look pretty silly. Instead, go here to see it with the proper formatting.

The judge also issued a separate memorandum explaining why he ruled as he did, and basically he sounded really hacked off that Microsoft steadfastly refused to admit it had done anything wrong in the face of mountains of evidence to the contrary. The stance apparently convinced the judge that no remedy except for a breakup would be effective. He also claimed that Microsoft had proven "untrustworthy" in its compliance with a previous court ruling.

Meanwhile, Bill Gates marches on with his indignant cries of the government stomping all over Microsoft's right to innovate. He has already announced Microsoft's intent to appeal the ruling, and says that MS has a "very strong case on appeal." Umm, OK. Bill, if you're reading this, ship me some of whatever you've been smoking. It must be some crazy stuff.

Whenever a new development occurs in the anti-trust case, I like to pop over to and see what kind of propagand... er... unique viewpoint on the subject is being presented. Here's the latest sample. Always good for a chuckle.

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