August 15 has come and gone without anything happening in the legal imbroglio between Microsoft and Netscape. Microsoft, in a sternly worded letter dated July 30 from its legal department, demanded rival Netscape cease and desist publishing a "deceptive" pricing comparison chart on its Web site. The chart presents Windows NT Workstation as a legitimate platform for Netscape's Web server software.
Netscape not only did not remove the chart, but defiantly updated it to reflect Microsoft's new Windows NT Workstation 4.0 product. This was despite the fact that the Version 4.0 licensing agreement explicitly prohibits use of the operating system as a Web server platform.
"We do not intend to take the pricing chart down. In fact, we've enhanced it," a Netscape spokeswoman says. Netscape contends that its server software works just fine on Windows NT Workstation and customers should not have to pay hundreds of dollars more to run it on NT Server 4.0. The software maker has complained to the US Justice Department that Microsoft is violating antitrust laws by limiting customer choice with its "artificial" restrictions on the product's functionality.
Microsoft maintains that NT Workstation was never intended for server use and performance will suffer on that platform. But Microsoft apparently will not be filing any lawsuits in the immediate future. The company says it views this as "an education issue, not a legal one at this time".