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CNET Industry views proposal as too little, too late

Apr 29, 2000, 16:46 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ben Heskett, Mike Ricciuti)

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"The government's move to break up Microsoft, a virtually unthinkable possibility not long ago, has been cast as a sweeping action that heralds a new era of hard-line antitrust regulation."

"Microsoft's competitors are still competing against the same parts of Microsoft. Linux companies compete against the operating system company, applications companies compete against the Office company," said Ted Shadler, an analyst with Forrester Research. "It's kind of status quo, really--I don't see how it accomplishes anything."

"Others say the move may ultimately do more harm than good to the software industry, creating a two-headed beast whose dual agenda will make it better equipped to compete against the likes of IBM, Oracle, Sun Microsystems and a bevy of Linux-based systems firms on a variety of new fronts. And that, Meta Group analyst Steve Kleynhans says, could create the opposite of what the government is seeking."

"Breaking up Microsoft only makes them more competitive. It's too late for this," said software industry veteran Chris Stone, a former executive with Microsoft competitor Novell. "Allowing Microsoft to start porting its applications to Linux, Unix, et al, only makes matters worse. The reason we have choices in applications is because Microsoft only built this stuff on Windows--now the Feds are going to break them up and help create a $6 billion apps company. How big do you think that monopoly is going to be?"

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