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IT-Director: Is AOL About To Take On Microsoft?

Apr 11, 2000, 16:40 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Snark)

"Following the recent judgement against Microsoft, the time may be right for some competitors to take Microsoft on directly. One clear possibility is that AOL may do so. In particular it may try to re-establish the Netscape browser."

"Early last year we were tipping AOL as "the next Microsoft" because it had clearly occupied a number of strategic positions in respect of the Internet. In particular we were impressed with its purchase of ICQ and its dominance of "chat" software. Chat software is the precursor to Internet telephony and whoever owns the biggest directory stands a good chance of taking the biggest part of the market. We were unsurprised to watch AOL manipulate its market position to try to deny Microsoft a part of that market. In an ironic change of roles, Microsoft was calling for open standards while AOL was ignoring the call."

"Now that Microsoft is perceived to be wounded, there is little reason for AOL not to become more aggressive. If AOL doesn't re-ignite the browser battle now, it will inevitably do so if its new Internet appliances catch on."

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