It is now safe to turn off your computer?
Wanna buy my M1cro$oft shares?
Heheh, it seems like the all consuming, omni-present ogre might be showing signs of crumbling, or at least being slowed down on its bloody minded engulfment of the entire planet and solar system. I understand that Mr G. and his cohorts have been in the US courts many, many times before, but it seems (to me at least) that the 'chips are down' for that company we all love to hate.
I don't want to bash M1cro$oft
Ok.. perhaps a little (who could resist such a tempting target?). Let's look at how M$ have managed to continue its world domination scheme for so, so long...
Firstly, most people who investigated the world of PCs and Operating-systems didn't have a f***ing clue what they were talking about, even now I scream at the wooden 'idiot box' whenever I see some TV presenter or interviewer try to act tough with some suited salesman from the M1cro$oft realms. No matter how much research they do, they don't really understand the subject fully enough to think on their feet. How many times have you watched an interview with the foul, evil one himself Gill Bates where the interviewer just sits there and nods, occasionally reading a question from their clipboard? Overall it's more like a 30 minute advert for the lastest buggy bloat-ware than a tough investigation of the dubious practices of M$.
Secondly, the company has enormous money to hire thousands of the best lawyers. I can remember hearing about the cost per day of a trial (somewhere in the Millions of dollars mark) and then hearing that M1cro$oft was earning 4...10 times this amount per day, so in short it wasn't worth Bill crawling out from under his rock in the morning to go into court. Most companies cannot compete in terms of resources or counting lawyers. M1cro$oft just has to pad out the legal proceedings and before long the smaller companies are forced to either quit or face financial ruin. (There is also a third, degrading option: let M$ buy them off like a cheap tart with an out of court settlement).
Thirdly, most new PCs had/have the Windoze OS already installed. This means new users are sucked into the Windoze upgrade black-hole. Let's face it, after learning and using the OS for a year or so, they will have a large collection of software packages for Windoze 9x/2000. Now do you think the users will ditch all their software (and their own data files) and move to Linux or BeOS?? It's like biology and the nurturing imprint idea, where an infant animal will assume the first thing it sees is its mother/father.
Fourthly, Mr G and some of the company act like a predator, leeching the innovations (and sometimes certain algorithms or web-browser-like ideas) off other companies. Yet at the same time the company puts on a "Hey, it's a highly competitive marketplace out there... Who knows.. maybe some new company just starting up will be the next M1cro$oft". Behind closed doors we all know how they truly see and attack other companies. Firstly M$ sees a company with a technology it likes (as in the case of NetScape and their truly innovative internet browser), then M$ says something like: "We would like to license your product, BUT before we hand over any cash you MUST tell us all the technical details about how it works... if you don't, then we will simply 'clone' it outselves..". Think this is pure fiction? Then just remind yourself about the strange disappearance of a certain disk-compression in DOS 6.xx.
Fifthly, the innovation line simply doesn't wash. Look back to the very first days of M$ and you will see how many cloned offerings that Mr G. used to establish his company with. With DOS being a quick and dirty rip of a more expensive OS and of course, Windows. It was a term used by those pioneers at Xerox's Palo Alto to describe their W.I.M.P.S (or W.H.I.M.P.S) system of using graphical Icons, overlapping windows, mice, pointers and menus instead of a command line prompt. It seems incredible that M$ was given the term "Windows" to use for its own product when you consider it's (a) A widely used term in programming and OS'es and (b) M$ didn't invent the term OR invent GUIs.
So, is the end really nigh?
Finally the US courts have ruled that they have been breaching anti-competitive laws. This is all thanks to NetScape. I hope they get the justice they deserve. The M$ shares have lost billions (about 15%) and with new OSes slowly gaining ground and Mr. (Ali) G himself taking a slightly more backseat in the company we may [Start] to witness the break up of M1cro$oft.
It's bad that this has taken so long, just consider all the small developers and companies who have fallen by the way-side over the years. The usual 'let's be best friends until we find out all your software secrets' seems to have backfired when M1cro$oft tried to merge with NetScape during 1995 in respect to the Internet. Of course NetScape complained to the Dept. of Justice and that's the reason why I'm happy today. :) And let's not forget to give some credit to Sun Microsystems with their Java crusades, keeping the polluting M$ out.
Smile, you're on Candid Camera!
Today I watched a clip of Gill Bates and his courtroom interview concerning the 'Java japes' and man, was it funny to see him trying to act dumb.. Saying things like, "I have no idea what you're talking about when you say 'ask'." Duh!!
Is M1cro$oft the monopoly-monster? Or is Gill Bates simply misunderstood? One thing is for sure, the legal proceedings look like continuing for a long time to come. Great news for the lawyers eh? Reports are that M$ really wanted to settle out of court, but the G. man so he would not change the bundling of software. He also finds the idea of a court looking into his company as offensive... Hmmm... as a user/coder/consumer I find naff, bloated, crappy software offensive especially when its the OS in question.
Its like driving along a freeway (motorway/autobahn) in your new Porsche but you can only go at 5mph/kmph because you keep expecting holes to suddenly appear in 'the road ahead'.