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NY Times: For Microsoft, the Challenge to Windows Is in Middleware

May 29, 2000, 19:09 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Steve Lohr)

"The government's antitrust suit against Microsoft has provided plenty of surprises the last two years. But surely one of its most remarkable byproducts is that a nerdish bit of computer plumbing called middleware has emerged as the star of the case and a focus of public-policy debate in the Internet age."

"In his legal ruling last month, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson had no doubts about what so frightened Microsoft that it repeatedly violated the nation's antitrust laws. "Middleware," he wrote, "threatened to demolish Microsoft's coveted monopoly power."

"And when the Justice Department and states suing Microsoft called earlier this month for the company to be split in two, the rationale for such a harsh remedy was largely to make the world safe for middleware -- a layer of software that acts as a technology translator between the basic computer operating system and the various applications programs that people use to carry out tasks."

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