C. Other Middleware Threats

78. Although they have been the most prominent, Netscape's Navigator and Sun's Java implementation are not the only manifestations of middleware that Microsoft has perceived as having the potential to weaken the applications barrier to entry. Starting in 1994, Microsoft exhibited considerable concern over the software product Notes, distributed first by Lotus and then by IBM. Microsoft worried about Notes for several reasons: It presented a graphical interface that was common across multiple operating systems; it also exposed a set of APIs to developers; and, like Navigator, it served as a distribution vehicle for Sun's Java runtime environment. Then in 1995, Microsoft reacted with alarm to Intel's Native Signal Processing software, which interacted with the microprocessor independently of the operating system and exposed APIs directly to developers of multimedia content. Finally, in 1997 Microsoft noted the dangers of Apple's and RealNetworks' multimedia playback technologies, which ran on several platforms (including the Mac OS and Windows) and similarly exposed APIs to content developers. Microsoft feared all of these technologies because they facilitated the development of user-oriented software that would be indifferent to the identity of the underlying operating system.

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Findings of Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, Nov. 5, 1999

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