Salon.com: The Microsoft resistance

“Each time the technology industry slumps — as it did
in the early ’90s, when Microsoft’s Windows cemented its
now-overwhelming lead on Apple’s Macintosh — Microsoft can make
hay; it sits on a pot of roughly $36 billion, and in recessions,
cash is king. As the Wall Street Journal recently put it, for
Microsoft, an economic downturn means “It’s time to wrest important
new markets from its weakened rivals”: The company can turn up the
marketing heat and the research budgets even as its competitors
order up layoffs and spending cuts. And it can buy up promising new
technology start-ups at bargain prices.

If you are among those who thought Microsoft’s behavior deserved
sterner treatment in the courts, as I am, is there any alternative
to outrage and despair? Of course. Microsoft has been dubbed the
Evil Empire so often it’s a cliché, but as George
Lucas and Ronald Reagan would both remind us, evil empires lose in
the end. In Microsoft’s case, resistance isn’t necessarily futile
— in fact, whether or not it ever succeeds in changing the fact of
Microsoft’s market control, taking some defiant steps can improve
your computing life and work, right here, right now.

That’s what supporters of Microsoft who dismiss such complaints
as knee-jerk whining — or sectarian fanaticism in the religious
wars of computerdom — don’t get about the critique of Microsoft
that’s widely held by many industry observers: It’s not about
mindless anti-Microsoft bias; it’s a sane and pragmatic response to
the negative aspects of Microsoft’s monopoly that continue to warp
the computer industry’s growth and development.”

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