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Forbes: Breakup Could Help Innovation--Microsoft's

Apr 28, 2000, 21:12 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David Einstein)

[ Thanks to ken chaney for this link. ]

http://biz.yahoo.com/fo/000428/mu2638.html "By separating the Windows operating system from the rest of the company, the government hopes to re-ignite innovation in the software industry. Without a giant monopoly to bully competitors out of business, the thinking goes, smaller companies will be free to develop products able to challenge Microsoft Word, Excel--even Windows itself."

"That's probably not going to happen. Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT - news) has such a lock on the market that its products have become industry standards people can't live without. Windows 98 comes with virtually every new personal computer, and that's not about to change, even with the growing popularity of Linux. Moreover, Word, Excel and PowerPoint are used by so many people in so many places that the Microsoft Office suite, which includes those programs, has driven competitors into the ground. And splitting the folks who make Office off from those who make Windows won't change that. The damage is already done."

"However, a breakup could prompt Microsoft to revive its own creative spirit--something that's been lacking since the introduction of Windows 95. You don't need a degree in computer science to know that the latest version of Windows 98 is nothing more than a tuned-up version of the operating system that hit stores five years ago. The story's the same for Office, which has undergone no major changes in recent years. Nor has Microsoft delivered any exciting new software for the consumer. It just keeps updating the old stuff, like the Encarta encyclopedia, Publisher and Flight Simulator."

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