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copyright 1997, Rex Ballard

After the Fall - Microsoft's Future

Life isn't over for Microsoft, but they will be sharing with some other players.

Rex Ballard

June 10, 2000

The Judge has Ruled - What now.

Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson has ruled, not only is Microsoft a Monopoly, but it's executives face criminal charges if they attempt to go back to "Business as Usual". .
 

Immediate Impact

The exact wording of the Judges Ruling indicates that the illegal practices such as forbidding dual-boot systems, sabatoging other systems, and forbidding these practices. These were ruled illegal during the findings of Law and Microsoft just turned around and told OEMs that they would only get "Medialess Windows 2000" which trashed the MBR and could not be recovered if it was corrupted by a third party operating system install.

Microsoft constantly in Contempt of Law

Microsoft's flagrant disregard for every aspect of the law, from 1987 to present is astonishing. They have violated the spirit and intent of every ruling, every settlement, and every negotiated "Deal" with "partners", with the Federal Trade Commission, with the DOJ, with Sun, with Novell, with IBM, with nearly every contract, Microsoft has demanded that the other side give up critical advantages only to exploit the negotiated deal with a loop-hole that renedered the contract meaningless.

Let the Punishment Fit the Crime

The Judge was acutely aware of Microsoft's ability to create meaningless contracts, and each of Microsoft's proposals were frivolous attempts at creating a meaningless settlement, a meaningless remedy, and a meaningless ruling.

Why Micrososoft WON'T win on Appeal

Microsoft will have a hard time getting the apellate court to see thing it's way, since the Microsoft executives, including it's Chairman, CEO, and top marketing executives confessed to Extortion, Blackmail, and Fraud on repeated occaisions. Their justifications of trying to protect their monopoly from Piracy, Competition, and loss of intellectual property won't carry much weight with the appeals judges.

Antipiracy is no longer a valid defense for Microsoft.

The Piracy arguement might have held some weight if there weren't 500 million machines licensed with Microsoft software before they every left the OEM's door.  Microsoft eventually became the world's largest company.  Bill Gates was the world's weathiest man.  The few cases of Piracy Microsoft has successfully proven have been against immigrant families running small shops and barely able to speak english.  They get out of court settlements.

The only valid competition, to Microsoft, is total domination by Microsoft.

Competition - the only significant competitor was the Apple Macintosh and Microsoft controlled that with Microsoft Office. Even the WindowsCE was loaded with a miniature version of Office.  Each time Microsoft cites competition, it brings up markets where Microsoft has been able to capture a substantial market share from an established market.  Appearantly Microsoft believes that it's fair market share is 95% of all information technology markets.

The Intellectual Property Rights of WHOM?

As for Microsofts' intellectual property rights, it's hard to be sympathetic here either. Nearly ALL of the technology used by Microsoft to get access to the Internet was stolen from the UNIX community who wrote TCP/IP stacks, Mosaic, and Java applets with the intent of breaking Microsoft's monopoly. When NCSA agreed to let Spyglass sell "Branding Rights" we were talking about changes in to the icons, bookmarks, and selection menus. Microsoft's IE was a clear violation of the intentions of the people who created it - including Marc Andreeson.

Locked out but totally exploited.

Furthermore, Linux, which had been developed by thousands of developers, promoters, designers, testers, and support staff had been locked out for over 7 years. Even more ironic was that Microsoft repeatedly exploited the innovations of Linux, announcing them as their own proprietary innovations.

Damage everywhere but nobody "hurt"?

To claim that no one was harmed is a bit rediculous. In addition to the numerous witnesses who were called during the DOJ trial, there are at least 200 companies that were once great leaders in a highly competitive industry that are now decimated and the few skeletons that are left are locked out of the marketplace. Some have been on the verge of bankruptcy or have been absorbed by hostile takovers.

Microsoft and the Internet

Microsoft responsible for "New Economy"?

Perhaps one of the greatest travesties in this case is Microsoft's claim