Boston Globe: All or Nothing?

[ Thanks to Jonathan M. Prigot for
this link. ]

“For months, the conventional wisdom has been that Microsoft
shareholders would stand to gain, not lose, from a breakup into
‘Baby Bills.’
After all, holders of American Telephone and
Telegraph shares benefited handsomely from government-ordered
divestiture in the mid-1980s. … Yet yesterday Microsoft shares
fell 15.6 percent… a slight softness in revenues was the
surprise. That and news accounts that the government was
considering a move to force the company to sell off the bulk of its
software applications…”

“What might the market know about the prospects? It’s just
possible that it’s saying that the government has been right all
along – that without Microsoft’s monopoly on operating systems to
depend on, the company’s software applications such as Office
cannot stand on their own.”

“What’s really closing in on Microsoft, then, is not so much the
government as the open-source software movement – vendors who
publish their software’s source code to emphasize interoperability
and then make money by helping people use their systems.”

Complete Story

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