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Byte.com: Jerry's Take On The Microsoft Decision: Wrong!

Nov 08, 1999, 17:53 (41 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jerry Pournelle)

"Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson has given his findings of fact: 98 pages worth in the single-spaced Times New Roman 12 point I printed it out in. Superficially, it seems comprehensive, and I have heard people who ought to know better say it is a brilliant analysis of the computer industry. Far from that, it is both foolish and a disaster...."

"The worst harm the document can establish is that they believe Windows 98 ought to cost about $30 less than it does. That may or may not be true, but to me, it would clearly be a disaster if the government, through courts, special masters, or a "Software Fair Practices Board" set software prices for the rest of us. If Microsoft prices their OS too high, I'll buy a Mac. Make it high enough, and Linux will take off like a rocket -- not that it's not doing that anyway. But don't let the government set prices...."

"Gates can hire the legal talent to tie this case in knots and keep anything from happening for years. By the time it gets to the Supreme Court, it will be heard by justices not yet appointed who will be called upon to decide issues so remote to what is then current in the industry as to take a historian to recall what the shouting is about. By then, Microsoft may or may not have the dominant position it has. If it does, it will be because Microsoft has kept up with the technology, taken account of competition such as Apple and Linux, and come out with products that consumers prefer to the competition. It will be because Microsoft is running scared, as it always has."

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