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NewsBytes: Group Pegs Windows Breakup Cost: $30bil

Feb 26, 2000, 04:11 (22 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dick Kelsey)

"Consumers and the information technology industry will pick up the tab for a $30 billion increase in software costs if Windows is broken up, according to a paper written on behalf of the Association for Competitive Technology.

"'People are living in a fool's paradise if they think that the Windows standard will remain intact if the product is divided among multiple companies,' said economist Stan Liebowitz, a professor at the University of Texas at Dallas. 'Just look at what has happened with the Unix and Linux operating systems, where competing versions are nowhere near compatible. This example provides absolute and directly relevant evidence of what we would see in a fragmented Windows marketplace.'"

"Liebowitz says arguments that competing versions of Windows will produce only minor changes are unsupported. 'Even with just one company producing Windows, we've seen an average 20 percent increase in functionality a year. It will be impossible for competing operating systems to remain compatible with one another while they are adding functionality at these rapid rates.'

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