Alas, this is more of a political issue than most people realize.
Microsoft has taken advantage of their monopolistic position and indulged in unfair business practices and should be penalized for that. But breaking up the company will penalize not only Microsft but consumers as well.
Remember, if it weren't for the browser wars, we'd still be buying Netscape or IE for $39.99 at CompUSA. Let's not forget that!
Personally, I doubt that the company will be broken up. A change to a Republican presidency will almost assure that this doesn't happen.
I think you're very correct. Maybe I run around with head in the sand a little too much.
I was speaking with a knowledgable (in life, not the MS necessarily the MS case) friend, and he told me that Microsoft is lobbying George W. Bush like no man's business to get him to throw out the anti-trust case. Same thing Regan did for IBM in 1980.
This is human tendency to compete another. I think Microsoft play a healthy competition and
prove to ability do anything in desktop applications.
Nobody knpws if Microsoft think to stop developing of windows
This is a tough one. I've heard industry insiders say that there are three unavoidable things in life, when you're in the computer business: Death, Taxes and Microsoft.
There's no question that Microsoft is a bully and fierce competitor to anyone that is actually a competitor to them. Problem is that they are so big, and in so many businesses that they basically compete with everyone from Logitech to IBM to AOL.
I remember the computer world of 97% IBM compatibles, and let me tell you, I have *no* desire to go back there. Things generally work together now, and I am fearful that we will lose this without a single vendor dominating the industry.
So, I think MS should be broken up, but I don't think OS's and everything else is a reasonable split. MS must have 50 business units (or more). They should be forced to sell some of them, and the rest should be broken into maybe a dozen groups that have the potential to compete effectively in their respective markets.
As it currently sits, Microsoft will simply make MSOffice a development platform (as they've been moving toward for a long time), and move their installed based of developers to support that initative. So you'll run an NT or Linux or Solaris server, but you'll need a $30,000 MS-Office Application server to support the "easiest" methods of development
What will breaking up Microsoft Achieve?
Won't the current heads of departments become the possible company CEO's. If this is the case isn't the software development going to continue in the same vain. I don't think that having Microsoft as a big mother company has stopped truly inovative programming and development coming from other companies.
Unfortunatly the situation has happened that Microsoft has appeared to supress development of some software by the purchase of developing companies and technologies and incorporating it into there main suites.
Bring on a more component based development.
I just don't think that we as the end users/developers are going to gain one whit from a breakup of Microsoft
I never really thought that this MS lawsuit would come this far. It must be a serious problem when the government is so hard on this case. Personally I think the worlds businesses needs competition to improve on their products (innovation) and sell them at a fair price to the user. It is fairly obvious that MS main interest is to get as much money as possible, after all its a private driven company and not some charity institiution. Everyone agrees that it would be nice to have only one OS to relate to, one platform, one currency, one people, but is this really possible in a market driven world?
I personally believe MS could have done so much more with their resources if they had some real competition. Being a programmer I really think that their Win32 API is a hack of an API, and their OO wrappers (MFC) are bad compared to real OO based libraries. As for price, I really think it is strange that the OS still cost as much as it has since the beginning. Usually, when a company have more customers, they decrease the price of their product. It is quite evident that MS is using its position in the market to get hold of as much of our money as possible.
This ruling will probably not help the situation though. Only real competition or "a democratic force" controlling the OS development will help this situation. After all MS will only become a monopoly split up into several companies. They wont necessary compete with eachother. Actually I think this division could be a benefit for the company since it will be in interest for one division to sell their product to another.
I'm not an enemy of MS, and I think their OS has actually been selected by the people because it is easier to use than most of the competition. However, I think it could be even better and I don't feel my money is going into developing a better product
I think an interesting question is: if MS is a monopoly, how did it become one?
Macintosh has it's OS (albeit tied to hardware) and Unix has ben around forever. Is MS being punished simply becuase it was the first to mass market an OS with a simple UI that could be used on cheap hardware? Or is it MS's behaviour once it found itself in it's enviable position that is the cause of all this
>> Is MS being punished simply becuase it was the first to mass market an OS
>> with a simple UI that could be used on cheap hardware?
I don't think so. I think it's being punished because the ones that are judging MS don't even know how to turn on a computer and have no idea how the computer technology market moves and evolves.
>> Or is it MS's behaviour once it found itself in it's enviable position that
>> is the cause of all this?
Sun, IBM, Oracle, etc, etc, etc... are like drooling vultures over the soon to be (in their dreams) MS corpse. But they don't realize that that blind and deaf beast that they awoke will bite their own asses soon enough. I wonder were will the USA's economy be after our technology advantage dies?
I don't thing the split of Microsoft will do any good for the user community or the software developers.
There is more than one reason to justify that:
- There will be 2 monopolist instead of one. That
would clearly not improve the situation of the end user.
- The allready complicated process of staying current in
app versions, system services versions and the DLLs
common to both would become an even bigger nightmare.
- The already 4 different plattforms (ore more, if you
also have to support CE) are already resource consuming
enough to test for. An open whatever approuch would
only create more derivates of the plattform, making it
more resource intensive to support all of them.
Tying of the applications into the OS will be much more difficult. API's that are now not public will have to become public. Microsoft will not be able to turn around and introduce more hidden API's legally. It would indeed level the playing field somewhat. Microsoft is and has been leveraging all that it has in order to completely dominate whatever they set their hands to. Period. None of us mean anything to that company except as something to exploit.
There can be alternative software that can be really good, but that becomes nearly impossible in dealing with a company that leverages all of its' products. And uses internal API's and interfaces that are not published. You can literally be shut out. Completely. Microsoft wants to control the whole shooting match. Do you want them to decide for you what you are going to do with your talents as a programmer? Well, they already are.
The writing is on the wall, but it can sure be hard to see with all of the smoke. Hasn't anyone noticed that MS is really good with smoke? I don't hate MS, just the things they do and the way that they go about it. Right now I derive a living via MS products. I shudder at the thought. And not because of the proposed breakup
>> API's that are now not public will have to become public... Microsoft will not be able to turn around and
>> introduce more hidden API's legally.
Can you please give us a list of the "hidden" API's present in MS' operating systems? Or are you just repeating the lame and overdone "Excel's use of hidden API" argument?
>> None of us mean anything to that company except as something to exploit.
The last I knew about MS is that it was business and not a charity or religious order.
>> Do you want them to decide for you what you are going to do with your talents as a programmer?
If (and when) MS platforms aren't viable for making a very decent living, I'll turn to Linux, Java, BeOS, or whatever is making money at the time. I have a family to support and also have some expensive hobbies.
>> Right now I derive a living via MS products. I shudder at the thought
Me too. And I'm doing very well and I hope you're too. Be grateful an stop complaning
It seems that the other companies that you listed are also guilty of Microsoft-like tactics (as though Microsoft invented them). The name of this game is complete domination so that you don't have to adhere to outside standards but rather create your own and control the market completely. Where you go is where everyone else has to go whether or not you have a true technological marvel. Microsoft is NOT a company to be envied. Neither are any of these other companies you have mentioned. They have all been absolutely disgusting at one time or another. It is NOT to satisfy the consumer needs and desires that these companies are operated or run. It is for the almighty dollar and how they can CONTROL the market to get more. Even down to controlling you if they can.
That kind of company and business is not good for anyone in the long run. Except for those at the receiving end of the money chain if you don't count the consequences. Everyone gets stepped on at that company's convenience. Everything seems fine as long as you go with the flow until their flow goes against you, for whatever reason.
>> Microsoft-like tactics (as though Microsoft invented them).
Haven't you heard of IBM and their tactics in the 60s and 70s? And they were more influential in their time than MS is now.
>> That kind of company and business is not good for anyone in the long run.
I didn't say it was good. I said MS was being punished by the wrong people for the wrong reasons. The biggest problem with the DoJ vs MS case is that our justice system is based on precedents. And the US has the largest number of sharks (read "lawyers") per-capita than any other country in the world.
>> You haven't been around too long, have you?
I've been a professional developer since 1984. Is that long enough for you
Obviously it is as you say, the users have selected Windows. And in many ways it is the best OS around simply because of the software and hardware selection available. It is as I said, developers and manufacturers want their life to be simple and concentrate on one platform.
I think the issue is more about the dangers of a monopoly where a company can take advantage of it. Naturally, a new PC buyer is always faced with Windows as the first OS, usually they don't know others exist. They simply do not care, and I assume this is why MS consistently are trying to make Windows a "granny-can-use-it" OS, generally forgetting all about the experienced user (who knows what an OS is all about). This is of course an excellent marketing strategy. But does it make Windows any better? How about the future? Will the prices for Windows and MS software go up, since they have a monopoly?
People claim that MS has used their market position in malicious ways, like "forcing" manufacturers to install Windows as OS. Forcing people to use their software rather than others. A user generally doesn't care if Word is coming from MS or another company, as long as he is using a document format that most others understand. So why can't MS be divided up? As I said I think the division can be a benfit for the users, simply because they have a smaller chance of "forcing" users into using a particular vendors software.
As a side note, I am not against having Explorer as a central part of the OS. Windows got easier to use with the new explorer like interface, so it essentially improved the OS. However, at the same time there was no reason to look at other browsers, after all you already had one installed (this is true fo 95% of the users). So companies like Netscape got pushed away because they were developing software FOR Windows. This can hardly be any good since it is the platform/OS producer that creates competing software for the same OS. Naturally MS has the advantage because they can make the OS into whatever they want.
Lets imagine the simple Notepad application got the same treat? What if Notepad became an all powerful programmers editor, and it was free, it came with the OS. Would people actually think about downloading another companies software? Of course not (well aside from the 5%)! So MS would eventually kill off companies developing software for their platform/OS. This can hardly be any good for the future of software companies?
It's not like its the end of the world. But I still think this is a moral issue that needs to be taken seriously now that we are in the IT-revolution.