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Microsoft's Cracked Windows: How The World's Technology Juggernaut Lost Its Buzz And Became The 'Underdog'

Dec 17, 2010, 18:33 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bianca Bosker)

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"Facebook's chief executive Mark Zuckerberg recently took the stage at a joint press conference alongside another large technology company. He described his partner using a once-unthinkable designation.

""The thing that makes Microsoft a great partner for us is that they really are the underdog," Zuckerberg said. "Because of that, they're in a structural position where they're incentivized to just go all out and innovate."

"Microsoft as underdog. At the beginning of this decade, this description would have been ridiculous, like referring to the Yankees as an unsung, longshot baseball club. From the spread of personal computing through the dawn of the World Wide Web, its software governed the desktops of more than nine in ten desktop computers. Microsoft was so dominant that it became a symbol of monopoly power run amok, supposedly snuffing out innovation. Its rivals affixed pejorative labels like "Death Star" and "Evil Empire," accusing Microsoft of exploiting its control of the desktop to smother any and all potential competitors. Antitrust authorities in Washington and Brussels pursued a veritable crusade to break Microsoft into bite-sized pieces."

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