"In his opening keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show
in Las Vegas tomorrow, expect Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates to
surprise the audience by showing a Microsoft-branded PC along with
the X-Box video game console, and perhaps other new hardware
products. While the company denies any plans to actually produce
and market a Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT) PC, I think otherwise. Here
is my theory."
"It's entirely possible that Microsoft will release a
branded computer to compete with the likes of Dell (nasdaq: DELL),
Gateway (nyse: GTW) and IBM (nyse: IBM). Why? Microsoft cannot be
happy that its partners no longer toe the line. Dell and others now
sell computers with the Linux operating system, which competes
with Microsoft Windows. Previously, this was verboten. But since
the U.S. Department of Justice brought antitrust charges against
Microsoft, computer makers feel they can veer from Microsoft's
often tyrannical sales agreements."
"Evidence that Microsoft is planning a sneak attack on the box
makers is mounting. First, there's Gates' keynote at CES. Besides
the X-Box game console, Bill Gates is expected to show a prototype
computer dubbed by the company as merely a "concept" machine
similar to what automakers do. The difference here is that
Microsoft is not in the business of making computers. Why show off
a concept machine?"