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.