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Red Herring: Microsoft knows it’s time for change

“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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