eJudging Microsoft in PDF: Verdict in the InBox
Emailed district court rulings showcase eGovernment potential

1 November 2002

By Kurt Foss, Planet PDF Editor

If, as some recent reports suggest, Microsoft may be plotting an assault on PDF with its own electronic forms authoring tool (XDocs), could it be in part because they've grown tired of seeing court rulings with their name on it distributed in Adobe's portable document format? There was a fresh batch today, in case you missed the news that the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia judge hearing the latest appeal in the latest monopoly/antitrust cases against Bill Gates and company issued her final rulings.

I learned about the much-anticipated legal decisions today not from the news media -- print, broadcast OR online -- covering the trial, and which of course began churning out the details as soon as Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly's rulings were announced and made available. Nor was I in DC eagerly awaiting first word of the outcome.

No, I was in fact at the keyboard minding my own Planet PDF business when I got the first inkling a decision had been. The breaking news arrived via email, as seems to be more and more common these days.

Actually, it was much more than an inkling -- and not merely in the form of a few words of gossip from some tuned-in tech head either. Rather, it was an electronic message directly from the district court. This was no mere headline service. Attached to the email were the actual rulings themselves: seven separate PDF files containing various aspects of the judge's final decision in the cases.

MS Final PDFs via email

We hear the term "eGovernment" bandied about a lot these days, for better and for worse. The general notion is that the various branches of the government -- at all levels -- is trying to harness new technologies to better serve its "customers," first and foremost U.S. citizens. To my mind, this is a classic example of effective eGovernment at work.

And there's more to this tale of efficiency than just the arrival of today's official rulings in PDF. I'd even been alerted a day earlier with the following message:

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
E. Barrett Prettyman
United States Courthouse
333 Constitution Avenue, N. W.
Washington, D. C. 20001

NOTICE CONCERNING OPINION RELEASE
At approximately 4: 30 p.m. on Friday, November 1, 2002, United States District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly will issue Opinions in the Microsoft cases.

  • At that time, copies of the Opinions can be downloaded in PDF format from the U. S. District Court's homepage, http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/.
  • Electronic notice, including a PDF version of the Opinions, will be sent to registered parties and other participants in the case via the Court's electronic case filing (ECF) system.
  • PDF versions also will be e-mailed to subscribers of the Court's e-mail notification service ("listserve") for the Microsoft case. Interested persons can subscribe to the service by going to the Microsoft Case link on the Court's homepage and following the instructions for e-mail notification.
  • The opinions will be distributed in electronic format only and will not be distributed by fax under any circumstances.

Simply by signing up a few month's ago at the district court's Web site for its new email notification service for receiving official news related to the Microsoft cases, I was able to benefit from this excellent example of proactive eGovernment. I suspect Bill Gates received personal copies a little sooner than I did, but probably not by much. If he did -- and if his were also in PDF -- he might have noticed one other thing that would surely annoy him more even more than PDFs.

Microsoft case PDFs doc info

Based at least on these documents, the court appears to use Corel Word Perfect -- not Microsoft Word -- for its word processing needs, from which it directly generates the PDFs. All of the official opinions for all of the Microsoft cases remain available for download, too.


MORE INFO

To Top


PDF In-Depth Free Product Trials Ubiquitous PDF

Debenu Aerialist 11

The ultimate plug-in for Adobe Acrobat. Advanced splitting, merging, stamping, bookmarking, and link...

Download free demo

Debenu PDF Tools Pro

It's simple to use and will let you preview and edit PDF files, it's a Windows application that makes...

Download free demo

Two Passwords Are Better Than One: The Low-Down On PDF Security

For people who don't spend their time looking at PDF files in text editors*, PDF security is a sometimes misunderstood beast.

For example, those document restrictions that PDF files sometimes have -- no Printing, Content Copying, Page Extraction, etc -- are essentially useless unless the PDF also has a User Password.

January 09, 2014
Platinum Sponsor



Search Planet PDF
more searching options...
Planet PDF Newsletter
Most Popular Articles
Featured Product

Debenu PDF Aerialist 11

The ultimate plug-in for Adobe Acrobat. Advanced splitting, merging, stamping, bookmarking, and link control. Take Acrobat to the next level.

Features

Adding a PDF Stamp Comment

OK, so you want to stamp your document. Maybe you need to give reviewers some advice about the document's status or sensitivity. This tip from author Ted Padova demonstrates how to add stamps with the Stamp Tool along with related comments.