Why There's No Microsoft Settlement
Lawyer for Microsoft: Okay, so we're agreed. My clients will agree to charge everyone the same price for Windows, we'll allow people to remove Internet Explorer from the desktop...
Lawyer for the Department of Justice: Without the Trial by Fire.
MS: ...without the Trial by Fire. And, in what I want to stress is a major concession for us, we agree to "stop" bundling applications software with the OS. So if we're in agreement...
DoJ: Wait wait. Hold on. What was that finger move?
MS: What finger move?
DoJ: What's the last concession again?
MS: We're going to "stop"--
DoJ: That finger move! The quote marks!
MS: Oh, it's just a habit I picked up in Madagascar.
DoJ: They put quote marks around the word "stop" in Madagascar?
MS: Culture shock. Go figure.
DoJ: Hey, they're in the consent decree, too! Why did you put quotes around "stop" in the consent decree?
MS: Oh, well, that's because we're using the legal definition of the word "stop."
DoJ: What legal definition?
MS: Um. Our legal definition.
DoJ: What's YOUR legal definition?
MS: Oh, it's in the contract someplace. It's just a minor clarific--
DoJ: "Wherever in this document the word 'stop' appears in quotation marks, it shall be taken to mean 'not stop.'"
MS: Well, it's a little more complex than--
DoJ: No deal.
MS: Hey, we've already agreed to do more than the judge would ever order if we're found guilty!
DoJ: That's what you said when the only concession was "We'll allow people to change the colors of the browser icon if they want." No deal. (Storms out of room.)
MS: (Takes out cell phone, dials.) Hello, get me the editor. Hi, this is an anonymous source at the Microsoft Settlement Talks. Well, it looks like the Department of Justice has rejected Microsoft's sweeping concessions once again...