ZDNet: Would MS breakup harm Apple?

“Take the proposed break-up of Microsoft, in particular the
much-discussed separation of its productivity applications business
from the rest. The motivation here would be to break the hidden
ties between Windows and Office. Fine, but Office Inc. would by
necessity operate a different business model than Microsoft as a
whole would. That could easily force the newly independent company
to consider its support for the Mac carefully indeed. Perhaps it
would be better off devoting its development efforts to a Linux

“The one aspect of a break-up that might help Apple would be the
spinning off of Windows itself, or rather leaving Microsoft
offering just the operating system and little else. The advantage
here lies in PC vendors choosing alternatives to Windows, such as
Linux or Solaris, Sun’s version of Unix. Over time, with
a wider variety of operating systems on offer up front,
the coupling in buyers’ minds between the PC and Windows would be
broken. That would leave the Mac as one hardware/OS combination
among many, and therefore less likely to be dismissed as
“incompatible with the industry standard.””

“Unless, of course, Linux became the de facto industry
, though an Intel version of Mac OS X might work
wonders in such a situation. Or Windows’ dominance is maintained
simply because so many people have gotten so used to it. Just
because investors appear to be dumping Microsoft stock in droves
doesn’t mean users will.”