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Microsoft Corporation Message Board

  • stromboli5 stromboli5 Feb 1, 1999 10:09 AM Flag

    VERY DARK DAYS IN REDMOND

    It's almost enough to make you feel sorry for
    Microsoft. Nearly every day, Bill Gates appears on a TV
    screen in a Washington courtroom, evading prosecutors'
    questions and pleading amnesia in a most unconvincing
    fashion.

    Competitors and allies alike recount
    story after story of alleged bullying by
    Microsoft

    A judge in San Jose, Calif., rules that the company
    did indeed violate its software license agreement
    with Sun and will now have to re-engineer some
    products, including Windows 98.

    Meanwhile, rivals
    continue to conspire against the company. Giant, poserful
    firms including IBM, Sun, Oracle and Apple undertake
    what in many circumstances would be considered illegal
    collusion as they plot to wound the beast from
    Redmond.

    Closer to home, the news isn't much better.
    Microsoft sells its stake in Real Networks, Ending a
    difficult partnership with a company founded by a Microsoft
    alum and thereby setting the stage for a bitter
    David-and-Goliath battle that can only lead to more PR headaches.
    Pete Higgins, one of the inner circle of longtime
    Gates loyalists, decides to take some time offf,
    leaving the money-losing Interactive Media Group in
    little better shape than it was when he took it over two
    years ago.

    Meanwhile, it's suddenly become
    conventional wisdom in the technology world that personal
    computers as we use them- the$1,000-$3,000 multipurpose
    devices with Intel chips and Microsoft operating systems-
    are becoming passe, as network-connected computer
    "appliances" proliferate.

    It is starting to look as
    though 1998 will someday be seen as the year the tide
    turned against Gates % Co. By foolishly refusing to
    acknowlege its monopoly position and temper its behavior as
    the law requires of monopolists, Microsoft has
    finally succeeded in getting itself in deep trouble. And
    in situations like this, when it rains, it
    pours.

    As Gates' public image is transformed from
    brilliant visionary(NOT) to duplicitous schemer, will
    sought-after talent still view Redmond as the place to
    be?

    And will customers, chronically frustrated by the
    flakiness of computer technology, continue to spare
    Microsoft from blame?

    Damage, has already been
    done. Our reading of the law and the course of the
    trial so far lead us to predict that Microsoft will
    lose in the trial court.
    The question then becomes
    what the remedies might be. And from that perspective,
    Gates should actually be hoping that things go badly
    for his company in the market, If Microsoft seems to
    be on the downhill side of an incredible run, the
    Justice Department is much less likely to seek its
    outright breakup.

    Maybe Gates will help Linux kill
    Microsoft so that it looks weaker in court.

    or maybe
    Microsoft is just DOOMED??

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