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Three on Friday's Microsoft Ruling

Nov 04, 2002, 14:30 (45 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dennis E. Powell, Hiawatha Bray, Paul Andrews)

Linux and Main: Editorial: The Microsoft Ruling

"The ruling has considerable cardiopulmonary effects: It is both heartbreaking and breathtakingly stupid.

"And it more than ever stacks the deck against free and open source software, at a time when we can effectively be locked out.

"The company is now free to implement any protocol it cares to implement which makes it difficult or impossible for non-Microsoft operating systems and applications to perform many of the tasks for which computers are increasingly used. For a long time, the plea was 'I'd switch to Linux if only I could run Quicken.' Now we learn that some Linux users are barred from things like online banking and online bill paying solely because they are not Microsoft users. This situation, which was getting worse, can now get far worse, with a federal district judge's stamp of approval. Perhaps there will come a day when Judge Kollar-Kotelly rues her decision, but it is already too late for that to matter..."

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Boston Globe: Microsoft Unbowed

"However, Microsoft this year demonstrated that, in some areas, the company can be as ruthless as ever. Beginning last month, it introduced its corporate software licensing plan, called Software Assurance.

"Laura DiDio, an analyst at Boston's Yankee Group, said the new licensing plan has been a public relations fiasco. 'I think that was the straw that broke the camel's back for a lot of people,' said DiDio, who warns that Microsoft customers could be ripe for the plucking by any software business that can offer a practical alternative..."

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The Seattle Times: Microsoft Ruling Creates Opening for Linux

"Ze is realistic about Linux's impact on the Microsoft monopoly. Linux represents a tiny sub-percentage of overall desktop computer users. It is not as easy to install as Windows, nor does it support as many peripherals (monitors, printers, scanners and so on) or digital-content applications (music, photos, video).

"'I see a possibility that the number of Linux users will create critical mass, but it's a long way off,' Ze admits.

"But there is that chance. And it exists largely because of the Microsoft settlement..."

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