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CCIA: Microsoft Windows 2000: Blueprint for Domination

May 25, 2000, 13:15 (25 Talkback[s])

[ Thanks to Douglas D. Darnold for this link. ]

[ This is a white paper published by the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), which, along with the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), filed the "friend of the court" brief in the Microsoft antitrust trial that resulted in judge Jackson's asking the DOJ to rewrite its penalty recommendations to include a three-way split of Microsoft - LT ed. ]

"Microsoft recognizes the importance of the network market and is moving aggressively to control that market much the same way it moved successfully to control the market for desktop operating systems and Internet browsers. With the introduction of Windows 2000, Microsoft has provided us with a "crystal ball" into the future of the company and, perhaps, its opportunity to leverage its desktop operating system monopoly into dominance of several other significant adjacent markets. The positioning, packaging, and business practices surrounding Windows 2000 lead Windows and Microsoft on an unmistakable and -- for consumers and others in the software market -- daunting course. Microsoft executives say Windows 2000 is "so strategic that Microsoft is going to bet the company on it."

"This is the third time that Microsoft has used "convergence" to move into adjacent markets. The first incident occurred when Microsoft "converged" DOS with the Windows Graphical User Interface (GUI), which allowed them to create a proprietary interface standard for the GUI by leveraging it's monopoly operating system. ... The second convergence was merging the code of Internet Explorer with Windows 98. ... For these reasons and others documented in this paper, Windows 2000 deserves careful scrutiny. Microsoft's aggressive push for businesses to adopt Windows 2000 - both on the desktop and server - will almost certainly result in Microsoft gaining the necessary foothold to springboard itself into dominating the server market."

"The implications of Windows 2000 for consumers and businesses are monumental. The concern is not simply about whether choices exist among word processing programs or browsers. It is about design and control of the most fundamental patterns for computing, networked communications, electronic commerce, and more. It is about forcing consumers to accept products they don?t want or need, and preventing other innovations from ever seeing the light of day. And it raises serious questions: What opportunities will be available? What information will be accessible? At what cost?"

"By bundling business-critical functions in Windows 2000 Professional - rendered useless with the presence of a non-Windows 2000 Server, but fully functional when coupled with a Windows 2000 Server - Microsoft is using its monopoly position on the desktop to springboard into another position of dominance in the server market. These are the same tactics used by Microsoft to leverage Windows to gain browser dominance with Internet Explorer."

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