To date, opening up Windows for the world to see has been a deal-breaker for Microsoft. But if the software package's secrets are revealed as part of a temporary injunction, they'll stay revealed regardless of the case's outcome a fact that must have Bill Gates and his Redmond techies shaking in their sneakers. The other consequence of the leaked proposal (which Justice hasn't confirmed or denied) that could push Microsoft to the bargaining table is the potential diminution of its executives' stock portfolios. On news of Justice's intentions, Microsoft stock dropped 15 percent in pre-day trading Monday morning, setting a 52-week low.
Earlier this month, when Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson found that Microsoft had abused its monopoly power, the firm vowed to appeal an apparent attempt, at least in part, to quell investor concerns over the future of the firm. The appeals process is expected to drag on for at least two years, an eternity in tech time. But on news of the proposed remedy, investor concerns appear to be in full force once again. Before 10 a.m. on Monday, Microsoft had dropped more than 12 dollars per share to $66.63. After steady gainst throughout the second half of last week, the NASDAQ finished down over 161 points Monday, or roughly 5 percent. It's hard to imagine that not serving as some sort of wake-up call to the Microsoft brass.