Microsoft Antitrust Settlement Is a Success!

 
 
By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2007-08-31 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Opinion: The Department of Justice has declared Microsoft's antitrust settlement to be a success, and if they say so, it must be true!

The IT nations long national nightmare is over. The Department of Justice, under the wise reign of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, has declared that the Microsoft monopoly has been broken by the antitrust settlement. Let the rejoicing begin! "The final judgments have been successful in protecting the development and distribution of middleware products and in preventing Microsoft from continuing the type of exclusionary behavior that led to the original lawsuit," declared Assistant Attorney General Thomas Barnett. He didnt have to tell us that, though. We all know its true! Look at all those software companies offering programs for Windows. For Microsoft Office alone, theres competition from Corels WordPerfect, Suns StarOffice, and OpenOffice.org. Why, for every thousand Microsoft Office users, there must be almost a dozen users of all three of the other major desktop office suites.
In particular, Barnett is so right about middleware on Windows. Just look at those Java-based programs on Windows. Why theres...Hmm...Well, Im sure theres big-time Java-based software for Windows out there somewhere. After all, its not like 99 percent of Windows development is done with Visual Studio. Heck, its no more than 98 percent! Tops!
And the DoJ is so right when it comes to browsers. Mozillas Firefox, Opera Softwares Opera and Apples Safari (OK, so it doesnt run on Windows, we cant expect government lawyers to know every in and out of technology) in July totaled 39.3 percent of all browsers used. That leaves a measly 61.7 percent for Internet Explorer. Click here to read more about the Microsoft settlement.
Heck at this rate, Internet Explorer may be the one needing legal protection. How dare those open-source developers create a popular, faster and safer browser! Dont they know whats good for Microsoft is good for the U.S. of A? Those free-software radicals are probably all Communists, anyway. When it comes to the desktop, the Department of Justice pointed to Dell and Lenovos recent decisions to begin shipping PCs loaded with Linux as examples that the OEM "distribution channel is open for Microsofts competitors." Thats so right! Only five years after Microsoft was so brutally handled by the courts, and major PC companies fnally started shipping a Windows alternative. Hows that fast work? I tell you when the DoJ gets it right, they get it right. Why, the W3Schools operating system numbers, which come from Web site visitor analysis, show that Linux has now taken a gigantic 3.4 percent bite from Windows fair share. And the Mac? Its now clawing 4 percent of the market from XP. Why, my God, thats more than Vista! Microsofts great, WOW desktop operating system. Vista only has 3.6 percent of the market. When, oh when, will the almost 90 percent of the population using XP and other out-of-date Windows do their duty and upgrade to Vista? Despite all this clear evidence that Microsoft is barely surviving against the evils of Steve Jobs and open-source software, seven state attorneys are still claiming that key provisions of the final antitrust judgment have had little impact on competition with Microsoft. What are they thinking! Why just this month, Steve Ballmer, Microsofts big honcho, said that, "The install base of Windows computers this coming 12 months will reach 1 billion." But, whats a billion more or less? And so what if Windows will run more PCs than there are cars in the world by the end of Microsofts fiscal year 2008, according to Ballmer? Why with a billion Windows-powered PCs thats only one Windows PC for every 6.5 people in the world. Ha! Thats no monopoly. Those state attorneys should be ashamed of doubting our mighty Microsoft corporate overlords. They should look at the good work Microsoft is doing in other countries. Why, in Sweden, for example, Microsoft is contributing money to poor companies. In return all Microsoft asked is that they vote for Microsofts Open XML format. Does that sound like something a power-mad, money-grubbing company with the morality of a great white shark in a feeding frenzy would do? Of course not! Here, have some of this Kool-Aid Ive been drinking. Some nice people from Redmond, Wash., sent it to me. Its so tasty! Go ahead, take a swig. Youll love it. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.
 
 
 
 
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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