"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
"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..."
"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
"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
The Seattle Times: Microsoft Ruling Creates Opening for
"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