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MSNBC: Resolving the Microsoft Mess: Level the playing field with Linux

Nov 30, 1999, 22:24 (12 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Eben Moglen)

[ Thanks to John Hinrichsen for this link. ]

"Linus Torvalds, the Finnish programer who created the Linux operating system, could hold the solution to the Microsoft monopoly mess."

"Control of the APIs, Judge Jackson held, meant that Microsoft could indefinitely exclude any competing operating system, thus allowing Microsoft to charge higher prices than it would have been able to charge in a competitive market. To maintain control of APIs, Microsoft had to eliminate products, like Netscape's Internet browser, that threatened to take over some tasks performed by the operating system. The "browser wars," Judge Jackson determined, were part of a larger strategy by Microsoft to use its monopoly power to protect its monopoly position...."

"To make Linux a full competitor with Windows would require small changes in Microsoft's rules for dispensing information about how others' programs use the Windows APIs. If those and similar legal and technical obstacles are removed, Linux-based systems would be able to run all programs written for Windows computers. Existing users could switch operating systems without changing the programs they use every day. As Judge Jackson found, there is no alternative competitor on the horizon anywhere close to achieving that level of compatibility with Windows."

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