A Separate Peace (Or Was That Piece?)
Brooks: MS/AOL deal may mean the end for Netscape, but the browser wars have only begun.Microsoft and AOL have kissed and made up, patching the differences that stemmed from the hardball tactics that made Internet Explorer king of browser mountain. The $750 million that the deal will cost Microsoft is a great bargain, considering that it buys the continued use of IE in the AOL client application, wider distribution for its Windows Media technologies, and the potential for interoperability between MSN messenger and AOLs Instant Messenger software. Also, making nice with AOL Time Warner leaves Microsoft more free to fight the tougher antitrust battles that still lie ahead, such as the one with Sun Microsystemsa firm less inclined to jump so quickly into the sack with Bill Gates and Co.
In any case, $750 million is a drop in the bucket compared to the billions that Microsoft has banked. Unfortunately, that figure probably doesnt register as much more than a drop in the bucket for AOL Time Warner, either, compared to the billions in debt with which its saddled.