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Red Herring: Microsoft knows it's time for change

Nov 12, 1999, 16:44 (5 Talkback[s])

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"As a betting man, I'd put more than even money on the hunch that Microsoft...knew the judge was going to issue a finding of fact against the company."

"It's not that Bill Gates could bully an opinion out of a U.S. District Court Judge ahead of time, but rather that the Microsoft legal team expected to take it on the chin when the finding of fact was issued. The real question is: does it matter any more?"

"Microsoft is already well on its way to adjusting to changes in the software industry. Just a few months ago, Microsoft President Steve Ballmer said, "Literally, if you go out seven to ten years from now, not only our business but every software business will have to remake itself into what I call a 'software service company.'"Just as the Department of Justice was hammering away at Microsoft for controlling the desktop, everyone, including Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates, realized that the desktop could be a thing of the past. And it's not just passing threats from Linux or further inroads by Sun Microsystems...or even tempting alternative gizmos from companies such as Apple Computer...that are giving Microsoft this reality check. It's the massive explosion of the Internet that's causing everyone in the market to pause and think -- particularly Mr. Gates. In fact, if the obvious assumption is that no single player can have monopolistic control o! ver the Web the way that Microsoft had control over the desktop, then what's a poor billionaire to do?"

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