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SF Gate: Fixing Microsoft - A three-step plan to make Bill Gates play fair

Feb 04, 2000, 17:03 (14 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Hal Plotkin)

[ Thanks to George Mitchell for this link. ]

"... the only predictable outcome of a Microsoft breakup would be the creation of a new set of even more intractable problems for both computer users and the software industry."

"There is, however, a much simpler three-step reform that would much more reliably bring Microsoft back into full compliance with the law."

"First, Microsoft should be required to fully disclose all details about the application programming interfaces (APIs) for each new version of its operating system (OS)."

"Second, Microsoft should not be allowed to sell or give away any new application software that uses any new or revised APIs until at least six months after those APIs have been publicly disclosed."

"Third, the judge hearing the case, or some other competent judicial panel, should be empowered to legally restrain Microsoft from selling applications in any given vertical market for five years whenever a competitor in that market demonstrates that Microsoft's competing applications take advantage of API specifications that were not fully disclosed."

"Microsoft officials have been... vociferously protesting a breakup of their company recently. My guess is that, in reality, it has become exactly what they would like to see happen."

"By changing APIs regularly, a process some programmers call "gratuitous complexity," Microsoft has been able to make competing software applications obsolete at will."

Complete story.

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