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|The World After Windows|
What If Microsoft Loses?
Let's say that Microsoft loses to the 9 dissenting States in the anti-trust case.
What are the implications to the desktop if Microsoft must strip out the middleware or really stops selling Windows?
1 AOL-Time Warner can begin to take back market share with its Netscape browser. Is this good for the consumer? We are talking AOL now. How much will the Netscape and IE browers cost?
2 Some computers will ship with Real, some QuickTime and others with MS Windows Media Player. Is this good for businesses that want to deploy video?
3 Some computers will ship with AOL's IM, others with Yahoo's and others with MSN's IM. As each competes for market share will inter-operatablity die?
4 Microsoft makes all Office products available to Free Unix or Linux systems. What will be the upgrade price that Microsoft charges?
When a middleware product doesn't work, whom do you contact to get the problem resolved? Do you call Dell or Gateway or HP because they are the integrators? You can't call MS if they have been barred from this area or stop selling Windows.
Now if the value of Windows Operating System drops, how does Microsoft pickup the slack?
1 Do they raise the prices of the Office Products?
2 Do they become a competitor to RedHat and sell Linux?
3 Do they push FreeBSD and its Business oriented licensing? (Remember they have a FreeBSD version of .NET and C# already shipping.)
I think Microsoft has 38 to 40 Billion in cash (probably wrong amount but whatever the number is, it is huge.) How will they spend it to get the company to recover from the Windows anti-trust loses?
Why are the States trying to get prior restraint against Microsoft in technology not involved in the suit except to stop this kind of major technology shift?
How much less will you be paying in the future once the economy of scale is removed from the Operating Systems market? Remember no evidence has been submitted to show how consumers will benefit from the prior restraints the States want.
>>>1 AOL-Time Warner can begin to take back market share with its Netscape browser. Is this good for the consumer? We are talking AOL now. How much will the Netscape and IE browers cost?
Personally I dont care as long as it is w3c compliant and has a good DOM for scripting.
>>>2 Some computers will ship with Real, some QuickTime and others with MS Windows Media Player. Is this good for businesses that want to deploy video?
All 3 currently stink...Flash will win in this area anyway because of it's plug in availability in the handheld market.
>>>>3 Some computers will ship with AOL's IM, others with Yahoo's and others with MSN's IM. As each competes for market share will inter-operatablity die?
AOL already bought the market.
>>>4 Microsoft makes all Office products available to Free Unix or Linux systems. What will be the upgrade price that Microsoft charges?
This is a viable option, however, I can see where other alternatives that use the same file formats for much less will pick up steam in the business world. It's already happening.
Let's face it...Microsoft's real enemy is their approach to extracting money from businesses with their *ahem*, "licensing" fees. It's also gonna be a problem for other big ops like Oracle. Besides the desktop os stuff is irrelevant at this point...why do you think .NET is so important to M$? Handheld devices will pick up the ball from here.
I have faith that the free marketplace will fill any void left by the emasculation of Microsoft - there may be a period of instability and increasing prices, but market forces will prevail.
Imho the real question is how will this affect the overall marketplace, where successful companies are penalized for being successful. Whether Microsoft is a "monopoly" is irrelevant. The only thing that will matter in the future is whether large companies can pay off the right politicians to keep the government off their backs - that was Bill Gates' mistake - he chose to ignore the politicians, (he didn't donate large sums to Bill Clinton), and Clinton's liberal buddies in the tech marketplace saw an opportunity to take him down. Does anyone honestly believe that if Bill Gates had donated large sums of money to Bill Clinton and the DNC, that Microsoft would be in court today?
The real monopoly is government, and its ability to autocratically single out maverick (non-donators) companies - they set up their "gas station accross the street" and use public money and the courts to pummel industries into submission. Think "cigarettes", think "pharmaceuticals", think "HMO's", think "SUV's" (coming soon). The money that certain states sued the cigarette industry for was supposed to be used for smoking prevention and healthcare, but it was recently revealed that fully 15% of that money has been invested by those same state governments in cigarette industry stocks!
How long will it be until some industry types contact some political types about Google "monopolizing" the SE industry? If Google increases its domination in the market look for accusations of "unfair business practices" soon to follow. Google better open its wallet to the right politicians now...
"Does anyone honestly believe that if Bill Gates had donated large sums of money to Bill Clinton and the DNC, that Microsoft would be in court today?"
You could debate that M$ donations to John Ashcroft are getting them off easy with the justice department... But as you see, that isn't stopping individual states from going after them.
M$ isn't in trouble for being successful. M$ is in court for using unacceptable business practices to extend their monoloply.
|When Apple Computer chose a rival Web browser over Microsoft's, Gates called Apple's chief executive to ask him "how we should announce the cancellation of" Microsoft's translation of the Office business suite for Apple's Macintosh computers. Gates did agree, under questioning, that the states' proposal would have stopped him from making that threat to Apple. |
The states wouldn't be going after Microsoft if Janet Reno hadn't started the ball rolling.
One man's defintion of unfair business practices is another man's defintion of out-competing competitors. So Gates threatened Apple - big deal! Is Apple gone? The last time I checked the "mono" in monopoly = one.
Again, if the heads of Apple and the other big tech companies that went whining to Bill Clinton were not big liberal buddies, do you honestly think Microsoft would be in court today?
This is not about industry monpolies - it is about government interference in the marketplace. The real monopolies are politicians and government bureaucrats arbitrarily deciding who should win and who should lose.
Break ups can be good for business, the baby bells are doing just fine.
IBM spun off a few winners as well.
The best strategy is to break it up yourself instead of allowing the gov't. to do the surgery.
I agree wholeheartedly, as long as the government keeps it hands off.
"Is Apple gone?"
No, but if Apple went against gates and M$ pulled all support for macintosh they could very well be....
"Bill Clinton were not big liberal buddies, do you honestly think Microsoft would be in court today?"
Absolutely... I think if the justice department didn't act... the states would have acted on their own... Also, lets not forget that the US isn't the only country investigating M$ for abusive practices...
>No, but if Apple went against gates and M$ pulled all support for macintosh they could very well be....<
So what you are saying is that if Gates acted like a monopoly Apple would not exist. Thanks for making my point for me.
I think that there is little doubt that Microsoft will survive.
The bigger issue as I see it, is that the consumer will be impacted negatively by increased cost and the need to re-tool and re-train.
Can anyone see an upside for the consumer that outweighs the downsides if the States win?
Who wins if the States win besides AOL-Time Warner and Sun?
>Who wins if the States win besides AOL-Time Warner and Sun?
How about the new companies that produce programs with many less security flaws?
"Thanks for making my point for me"
Not sure were you got that from. I was actually saying that because M$ IS a monoply, Apple was forced to use IE. If they didn't comply, the M$ monolply would have destroyed them.
"the consumer will be impacted negatively by increased cost"
That will just be the initial impact (this has also happened in the past when monoplies were broken up). Once competition is restored prices will begin to drop...
The most recent monopoly that comes to mind is Network Solutions; nice consumer impact.
Is anyone here paying $35.00 for a domain name anymore?
Right on John! My guess is that the only folks still paying for netsol are those that REALLY think their renewal notice is an invoice<questionable practice> and pay them even after transfer. I have transferred dozens of domains, each after receiving the notice, and still get bills months later. Less savvy web operators would probably pay them- out of fear (several of my clients ALMOST did!).
M$ will survive, and continue to thrive despite bad decisions. I don't think the cases will change their behavior at all. "Windues" is here to stay - software as a service.
Heck they're dancing close enough with the feds that the government might as well put them in charge of cybersecurity. It is flaws in M$ products that make virii on a mass scale viable. (Gee, all those patches are released fairly quickly.. perhaps they could be implemented before release to the "beta" customers! Nah, there's not profit in quality/security assurance.)
If Apple had the firepower to last in court, instead of being "paid off and propped up" it would have been a completely different desktop world.
I daresay I have come to like some M$ products, after coming from MacLand (I still own three Macs, and love them) but their blatant disregard for law, arrogance and intimidation in the marketplace is deplorable.
"How about the new companies that produce programs with many less security flaws?"
How about Opera? You may buy a different browser for $39 if you wish. It didn't take an anti-trust suit to allow Opera Software ASA to exist or to bring their product to market.
Netscape has been able to bring their v 6.0 browser to market without this case being settled.
The long awaited Open Source Modzilla browser is now shipping.
None of these needed the State's settlement to allow them to produce their products, so why would new companies require it?
We need to drop our anti-Microsoft biases long enough to figure out whether what is being suggested as a solution will benefit the consumer or not. How will the economy be affected?
This suit is not about stopping new small companies from developing products in the marketplace. It is a battle for market share between AOL-Time Warner, Oracle, Sun and Microsoft.
They are trying to win in the courts what they lost in the marketplace.
Now if you impact Microsoft, you impact the consumer and all the businesses involved in delivery services based upon Microsoft products.
If Microsoft loses I lose too. My certifications for Microsoft products are diminished.
If nothing can change in the Windows product line during the six months that Microsoft gets to re-tool their Operating System, my clients will be frozen. They won't employ me or the consultants my company contracts.
Having just suffered from the terrible 9/11 attack, financially I and a lot of other small consulting businesses cannot survive another major stoppage.
This is a food on the table issue for a vast number of people. Have you thought it through?
Well you can thank Bill Clinton for the dot-com crash - it coincided exactly with his attack on Microsoft. I'm not saying that a correction wasn't necessary, but it did not need to be the crash that it was.
Get ready for the tech stocks to get hit again if the government wins. The market justifiably doesn't like government meddling.
"How about Opera? You may buy a different browser for $39 if you wish. It didn't take an anti-trust suit to allow Opera Software ASA to exist or to bring their product to market."
Look at it from a different perspective. What if Dell computers decided that Opera was a superior product, because of this, they decided to ship all their new computers preinstalled with Opera. M$ hears of Dell's plan and Bill Gates make a personal phone call to Michael Dell telling him that if they ship their computers with Opera installed, M$ will no longer supply Dell with Windows. This would effectively destroy the #1 computer manufacturer in the world. Although Opera is currently surviving, with the current market conditions, there is absolutely no way they could gain a majority market share even with a superior product.
"This is a food on the table issue for a vast number of people"
I agree, but it's not only for those people who depend on M$.. think about those whose business was destroyed by M$
"you can thank Bill Clinton for the dot-com crash"
That's odd... I always thought it was becuase over valued companies with horrible business plans and no feasible way to make profits didn't work...
I didn't realize Microsoft, Sun, Apple, Nortel, and hundreds of other mega companies were "over valued companies with horrible business plans and no feasible way to make profits".
I don't consider them dot coms...
Nevertheless, by far the majority of money lost in the dot-com crash was by investors of large, established companies. Add all the dot-coms you refer to up and they were but a drop in the bucket. Do you really believe the stock market went south simply because the dot-coms went belly-up? Microsoft was far bigger than all of those dot-coms combined. When it nosedived it hit almost every mutual fund in existance, either directly or indirectly, which triggered a selling spree accross the board. The dot-coms were just swept away in the action.
"...Well you can thank Bill Clinton for the dot-com crash - it coincided exactly with his attack on Microsoft..."
You are joking right?
Correlation does not imply causation. (Statistics 101)
Bill Clinton only looked after the US right?, not the world.
The dot com crash only proved that private enterprise can stuff it up by themselves quite easily thankyou...
The great contemporary example of Greed is not Good
Oh I had to stick in a few comments! If we all were sitting around a table I would be able to shoot off a load of comments.
While they will be around for many years to come, I know they are worried at holding their place in the market. A fact: IBM and AOL have invested a great deal of money and technology into the next PC OS. This will keep Microsoft on their toes.. See if people will buy into the new OS. AOL and IBM have been working on their new OS, when it is complete Linux should have their own user friendly sweet desktop. Then their is Lindows.com (Recently Microsoft tried to sue them and lost - they are trying again. REALLY REALLY SILLY LEGAL FIGHT!) Just shows me how worried Microsoft really is about their place in the market. Lindows by the way is a Linux based Windows :)
Not worried about Apple either. Even without Big Brother M$ Apple will be fine without Microsoft - A few applications like FreeOffice solves the MS items Apple would loose. An their is AppleWorks, and a bunch of others popping up here and there. Of course non as powerful as Office. I doubt Microsoft would pull Apple support - they would be dumb to! Microsoft has development group MacBU, which Microsoft is spending a lot of time and dollars into Mac software. Anyway it is good money for them, and keeps them in Apples door. :)
However - now Unix based Mac OS X - Mac users can expect to see more software then prior Mac OS. OS X is still a baby and many users can't keep up with all the new doors that are open for Mac heads. Not much to say more about Mac - don't want to turn this into a bashing match. I look at it as whatever gets the work done! Mac is in the game for a long time.. reborn!
Either way if Microsoft looses or wins. They will fall behind. Linux is growing up. Although I think because of sticky issues with Linux group - it will only slow the progress on IBM, and AOL's new OS. I think we should not be surpised when one day we see "PC users now have a CHOICE!" That is the day when Microsoft will begin to chew their nails.
Oh heck! I don't know.. So much information not enough energy to type it out. :P :)
Man, I have to start coming in to these discussions so late... I forget some of my comments by the time I get to the bottom!
seth_wilde - Do you honestly think MS would drop support for either the Mac or Dell if they supported another browser? MS is facing an increasingly harder task of getting people to pay for new software. They are so desperate, that they are risking alienating businesses with their crazy new licensing scheme. How could they afford to lose the business they get from Apple. Worse yet, how could they afford to lose the number one pc manufacturer? If Dell was spurned by MS and switched to Linux, it wouldn't be long before the market was 50/50 Windows/Linux.
And even if MS cut lesser companies like Apple, there are Windows emulators that Mac users could install (and most businesses do, I would think) to run the MS software...
And speaking of unfair business practices, why does everyone gang up on MS and ignore Intel? If anyone is guilty of strongarming suppliers, it is Intel. When AMD was making up marketshare (before the low-quality, high hype P4's started widening the Mhz gap), Intel penalised any chipset manufacturers who were making AMD chipsets. They went as far as to occasionally deny Intel chipsets, and often delayed shipments.
I agree wholly with cyril_kearney - if you don't like it, don't use it. There are plenty of competitors out there for any product, and you get to vote for your choice with your dollars. That is what capitalism is based upon.
AOL - They have nothing to complain about. They are doing everything they can to become MS's biggest competitor. In the next 5-10 years, desktops will virtually disappear, as seen in the plans of .NET etc. AOL, with it's huge parent co. and user-base, is in a great position to compete with MS. If they can kick MS in the shins early on with this lawsuit, they can have a headstart in the race.
Sun - Come on. No one needs to support your product if they don't want to. This company whines more than Bengal fans on draft day (although Bengal fans have a right to!) For Sun to first get a court order over how MS distributes Java, then whine when MS says, "To hell with it then, we just won't bother with you since you're suck a pain in the neck," is not only laughable but pitiful. No company echoes society's sense of entitlement more than Sun.
In summary, let the market decide what is right. Let the consumer vote with his/her money.
After denials, Gates finally admitted in his testimony April 24th that it might be possible to create a modified version of Windows for personal computers.
|The nine litigating states want the software giant to provide a basic version of Windows, without applications such as the browser Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player, so that computer makers can install rivals' software. |
According to the report in Financial Times [news.ft.com] some stripped-down versions of the software are already in place.
It's an interesting possibility, looking toward some plateau of equalization, in view of the ongoing woes developers have creating cross-browser compatible web sites, difficult enough without users being force-fed browser updates.
The tie-in of Internet Exploder shouldn't even be an issue. The states remedy: instead of Windows bundling an extremely useful app (like notepad, calc, or solitaire!), we have the pc makers deciding for consumers which browser they get. Sure, the consumer can then d/l IE if they want, but why not let IE be bundled and have users/pc makers have a choice of installing extra software.
Let me extrapolate the OS/browser issue to pda's. Let's say that Palm gets a 95% share of the market. Should the government require that Palm can't ship their own stylus so that other companies who make them can compete? Oh, and they can't bundle a protective case or keyboard, as there are companies that make these, too.
Or if you want to extrapolate to the car industry its like saying that if Ford managed to dominate the market, they couldn't sell cars with their own brand of air conditioning because other air conditioning companies were being penalised.
The fact that you would get a better car because the aircon was an integral part of the original design seems to be forgotten.
Ford would certainly need to use their own engine and transmission, but if factory installed air conditioning provided open security holes for vandals and thieves until and if the owner installed patches at some undetermined time in the future, if and when they became available, it might benefit consumers to opt for a less integrated system that wouldn't provide such easy access.
There's a difference between what's integral to functioning and could include little harmless additions to functionality, and what could be considered peripherals.
Marcia, I used air conditioning as an example, I could just as easily have used suspension, a car doesn't really need it, but the ride without it would be extremely painful.
And even given the situation that you propose is it not better to give the consumers the choice of having the integrated system or not rather than imposing that they have the non-integrated version.
The States did not produce any evidence to show how consumers in their States were harmed. None.
The technology sector of the stock market has plummeted as a result of this case. This has harmed the stockholders and the lost equity has harmed many companies.
Now, a large number of businesses that rely on performing services for clients that use Microsoft products will be impacted if the States prevail.
Who wins in this case besides a few large companies like AOL-Time Warner, Sun and Oracle? They will win in the courts what they couldn't win in the marketplace.
When Standard Oil was broken up the resulting companies sold as much oil as before.
When ATT was broken up the resulting companies handled as many phone calls as before.
This case is not about breaking Microsoft in half with each half continuing to earn as much as before. This case is aimed at reducing Microsoft's market advantage. They want to make Microsoft less viable.
That is what the prior restraint part of the case is all about. That is why they want to transfer Microsoft's IE intellectual property to AOL-Time Warner, Microsoft's intellectual property on IM to AOL and Yahoo, Microsoft's intellectual property on streaming media to Real.
They want to restore the Java Virtual Machine that Sun sued to get removed, so that Sun can keep its marketshare.
>>>>The technology sector of the stock market has plummeted as a result of this case. This has harmed the stockholders and the lost equity has harmed many companies.
Is that what really happened?
>>>>This case is aimed at reducing Microsoft's market advantage. They want to make Microsoft less viable.
There's an old adage...it seems to be tried and true..."What goes around, comes around".
Then there's this...
Kinda blows the inseparability defense apart.
I must confess I feel sorry for all the people who have invested so much time and energy into learning the M$ way...MCSE's and the like. I can only assume they feel threatened.
If we were all back in kindergarten....M$ would get an "F" in "plays well with others". I guess you dont get to be the richest man in the world by being a nice guy.
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