Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Five years after trial, can M$ stand up to Google?

Filed under
Microsoft

What I remember most about the Microsoft antitrust trial that I covered for Fortune magazine was how momentous it felt - surely, the antitrust trial of the century. The rest of Washington was obsessed with Monica Lewinsky. Not us. We pored through e-mail messages suggesting that Microsoft had wanted to "cut off Netscape's air supply"- Microsoft's efforts to crush Netscape was at the heart of the case - and wondered if U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson would have the nerve to break the giant in half.

As it turns out, he did have the nerve. But he made several fatal mistakes - including talking secretly to the news media - and the District of Columbia Circuit, while upholding his finding that Microsoft had abused its monopoly power, took the case out of his hands and sent it to another judge. Once the Bush administration took power, the new Justice Department quickly settled on terms largely favorable to the company.

Here we are five years later, and the technology landscape is drastically transformed. Google, founded just as the trial was getting under way, is now widely (and correctly) viewed as the most serious threat to Microsoft's desktop hegemony since Netscape. And Linux, the open-source operating system, has made real inroads in the server market that Microsoft had counted on for growth.

Among competitors, Microsoft is still respected but not feared the way it used to be. It has become a sluggish, bureaucratic company that, for instance, is going to be at least a year late with a new operating system, called Longhorn, that the world needs to make computing more secure. Its stock has not moved in years.

On the other hand, Microsoft still has the same two powerful desktop monopolies it had before the antitrust trial: the Windows operating system and the Office suite of applications.

That now makes me wonder: When you come right down to it, did the antitrust trial of the century make a whit of difference?

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

Ninja Blocks prepares to begin shipping, announces major Ubuntu IoT deal

Ninja Blocks has begun shipping the Ninja Sphere and announced it has signed up as a key partner for Canonical’s Ubuntu Core embedded device operating system, as it opens its first office in the US. The startup launched in 2012, when it was selected to participate the Startmate accelerator program, and also smashed a Kickstarter campaign for its first product, which was also called Ninja Blocks. Read more

Netrunner 14.1 – Main Edition (Frontier)

The “14.1” indicates an updated and polished release of Netrunner 14 LTS on the same underlying base. Since 14.1 is using the same base “trusty” like Netrunner 14, there is no need for users of 14 to migrate: Simply updating from the shared backports ppa of the Frontier release cycle should give the same result, while keeping customizations in place. Read more

Wayland 1.6.1 & Weston 1.6.1 Released

Bryce Harrington, the former Canonical employee part of Ubuntu's X/Mir team turned Samsung open-source employee, has issued the first maintenance update for Wayland 1.6. Wayland 1.6.1 and the reference compositor Weston 1.6.1 were released on Friday night by Harrington. The Wayland 1.6.1 stable update has just over a dozen changes and they're mostly tiny bug-fixes/corrections but there is also improved handling for some error situations between servers and clients. The brief Wayland 1.6.1 release announcement can be read on the Wayland mailing list. Read more