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By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-05-30 Print this article Print

The question from consumers perspective was whether AOL would succeed in restoring competition to the Internet browser market, he said, adding that nothing in the announced settlement did anything to lessen Microsofts monopoly grip on the browser market. Instead it "gives AOL Time Warner $750 million in cash and announces joint activity that was likely to cement Microsofts power over the Internet. "Although it appears that AOL Time Warner is not required to use Microsoft technology exclusively, this signals to other media content providers that Microsofts technology is well on the road to being dominant, so they also should use Microsofts proprietary digital rights management software to ensure that AOL subscribers will be able to access their content. It also signals developers not to attempt to make competing encryption products—Microsoft already is in the process of locking up this market," he said.
Consumers will have little choice but to use Microsofts products, while Web site developers, music companies, and movie studios will be forced to use Microsofts proprietary standards, he said. "They will all be caught in the middle, at the mercy of a monopoly whose power is growing. We urge the Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the State Attorneys General to scrutinize it carefully to determine whether it is anticompetitive," he said.
While the future of AOL Time Warners Netscape group has been called into question by the deal, Richard Parsons, the chairman and CEO of AOL Time Warner, said in a conference call with reporters on Thursday that at this point the company did not intend to get rid of the Netscape unit, located in Mountain View, Calif. While Internet Explorer works very well, AOL Time Warner is still exploring other opportunities with Netscape, he said. But some enterprises are not concerned about the potential demise of Netscape. Dave DeBona, a technical consultant for a retailer based in Columbus, Ohio, is confident that even if Netscape is eventually dropped there are other browsers available to provide competition for Internet Explorer. "The settlement also certainly signals a significant about face by AOL, potentially relegating Netscape to the die-hard faithful. But, even though we install IE internally as the standard browser, our application architecture demands for browser agnostic applications," he told eWEEK on Friday. Latest Stories by Peter Galli:

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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