I. BACKGROUND

1. A "personal computer" ("PC") is a digital information processing device designed for use by one person at a time. A typical PC consists of central processing components (e.g., a microprocessor and main memory) and mass data storage (such as a hard disk). A typical PC system consists of a PC, certain peripheral input/output devices (including a monitor, a keyboard, a mouse, and a printer), and an operating system. PC systems, which include desktop and laptop models, can be distinguished from more powerful, more expensive computer systems known as "servers," which are designed to provide data, services, and functionality through a digital network to multiple users.

2. An "operating system" is a software program that controls the allocation and use of computer resources (such as central processing unit time, main memory space, disk space, and input/output channels). The operating system also supports the functions of software programs, called "applications," that perform specific user-oriented tasks. The operating system supports the functions of applications by exposing interfaces, called "application programming interfaces," or "APIs." These are synapses at which the developer of an application can connect to invoke pre-fabricated blocks of code in the operating system. These blocks of code in turn perform crucial tasks, such as displaying text on the computer screen. Because it supports applications while interacting more closely with the PC system's hardware, the operating system is said to serve as a "platform."

3. An Intel-compatible PC is one designed to function with Intel's 80x86/Pentium families of microprocessors or with compatible microprocessors manufactured by Intel or by other firms.

4. An operating system designed to run on an Intel-compatible PC will not function on a non-Intel-compatible PC, nor will an operating system designed for a non-Intel-compatible PC function on an Intel-compatible one. Similarly, an application that relies on APIs specific to one operating system will not, generally speaking, function on another operating system unless it is first adapted, or "ported," to the APIs of the other operating system.

5. Defendant Microsoft Corporation is organized under the laws of the State of Washington, and its headquarters are situated in Redmond, Washington. Since its inception, Microsoft has focused primarily on developing software and licensing it to various purchasers.

6. In 1981, Microsoft released the first version of its Microsoft Disk Operating System, commonly known as "MS-DOS." The system had a character-based user interface that required the user to type specific instructions at a command prompt in order to perform tasks such as launching applications and copying files. When the International Business Machines Corporation ("IBM") selected MS-DOS for pre-installation on its first generation of PCs, Microsoft's product became the predominant operating system sold for Intel-compatible PCs.

7. In 1985, Microsoft began shipping a software package called Windows. The product included a graphical user interface, which enabled users to perform tasks by selecting icons and words on the screen using a mouse. Although originally just a user-interface, or "shell," sitting on top of MS-DOS, Windows took on more operating-system functionality over time.

8. In 1995, Microsoft introduced a software package called Windows 95, which announced itself as the first operating system for Intel-compatible PCs that exhibited the same sort of integrated features as the Mac OS running PCs manufactured by Apple Computer, Inc. ("Apple"). Windows 95 enjoyed unprecedented popularity with consumers, and in June 1998, Microsoft released its successor, Windows 98.

9. Microsoft is the leading supplier of operating systems for PCs. The company transacts business in all fifty of the United States and in most countries around the world.

10. Microsoft licenses copies of its software programs directly to consumers. The largest part of its MS-DOS and Windows sales, however, consists of licensing the products to manufacturers of PCs (known as "original equipment manufacturers" or "OEMs"), such as the IBM PC Company and the Compaq Computer Corporation ("Compaq"). An OEM typically installs a copy of Windows onto one of its PCs before selling the package to a consumer under a single price.

11. The Internet is a global electronic network, consisting of smaller, interconnected networks, which allows millions of computers to exchange information over telephone wires, dedicated data cables, and wireless links. The Internet links PCs by means of servers, which run specialized operating systems and applications designed for servicing a network environment.

12. The World Wide Web ("the Web") is a massive collection of digital information resources stored on servers throughout the Internet. These resources are typically provided in the form of hypertext documents, commonly referred to as "Web pages," that may incorporate any combination of text, graphics, audio and video content, software programs, and other data. A user of a computer connected to the Internet can publish a page on the Web simply by copying it into a specially designated, publicly accessible directory on a Web server. Some Web resources are in the form of applications that provide functionality through a user's PC system but actually execute on a server.

13. Internet content providers ("ICPs") are the individuals and organizations that have established a presence, or "site," on the Web by publishing a collection of Web pages. Most Web pages are in the form of "hypertext"; that is, they contain annotated references, or "hyperlinks," to other Web pages. Hyperlinks can be used as cross-references within a single document, between documents on the same site, or between documents on different sites.

14. Typically, one page on each Web site is the "home page," or the first access point to the site. The home page is usually a hypertext document that presents an overview of the site and hyperlinks to the other pages comprising the site.

15. PCs typically connect to the Internet through the services of Internet access providers ("IAPs"), which generally charge subscription fees to their customers in the United States. There are two types of IAPs. Online services ("OLSs") such as America Online ("AOL"), Prodigy, and the Microsoft Network ("MSN") offer, in addition to Internet access, various services and an array of proprietary content. Internet service providers ("ISPs") such as MindSpring and Netcom, on the other hand, offer few services apart from Internet access and relatively little of their own content.

16. A "Web client" is software that, when running on a computer connected to the Internet, sends information to and receives information from Web servers throughout the Internet. Web clients and servers transfer data using a standard known as the Hypertext Transfer Protocol ("HTTP"). A "Web browser" is a type of Web client that enables a user to select, retrieve, and perceive resources on the Web. In particular, Web browsers provide a way for a user to view hypertext documents and follow the hyperlinks that connect them, typically by moving the cursor over a link and depressing the mouse button.

17. Although certain Web browsers provided graphical user interfaces as far back as 1993, the first widely-popular graphical browser distributed for profit, called Navigator, was brought to market by the Netscape Communications Corporation in December 1994. Microsoft introduced its browser, called Internet Explorer, in July 1995.

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