CRN: The Microsoft Breakdown

“In an effort to protect us against ourselves, our
government has decided that they know more about creating and
marketing software than the most successful software company.

Without getting into how this all happened (you’ll get plenty of
that elsewhere) or whether it will, in fact, happen at all, I
thought it might be more interesting to dwell on what life might be
like in five years, if the government gets its way.”

“Breaking up Microsoft into separate operating system (OS) and
applications companies is intended to give consumers more choices
(more non-Microsoft choices, that is). But the Law of
Unintended Consequences says that
separate MS OS and
application companies, each optimizing for their shareholders’ best
interests will obliterate most of their smaller competitors.
Microsoft could become a major Linux player, for instance, or a
major force in the Unix market.”

“As Microsoft struggles to get a stronger foothold in the
handheld market, which it has all but lost to Palm, a decision to
let it optimize applications separately could permit it to become
the applications Czar of the platform, leaving its need to be
platform-specific to Windows behind and optimizing familiar Windows
applications to the information appliance platforms of choice. No
need to learn another application for your portable device–a
freed-up Microsoft can now offer your Palm a familiar, friendly
Office applet!”


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