The ruling by the European Union on Wednesday resurrects questions about the company's conduct from trials and court rulings past. eWEEK's Peter Coffee is troubled by the company's actions that damaged competition in many markets, beyond the browser.
This weeks European Union ruling, concerning charges that Microsoft has abused its market power, has resurrected questions about the companys conduct that have been largely ignored for more than a year.
Looking back over columns and news analyses that I wrote at various points of the U.S. antitrust case against Microsoft, I find that some of those 2001 and 2002 commentaries may still have some value in illuminating the difficulties faced by the EU in both crafting and administering a remedy.
The list below, running in reverse chronological order from the conclusion of the case to the initial Findings of Fact, examines Microsofts conduct and the consequences of the legal process from several different angles.
Initially, I felt that the Findings of Fact gave too much credit to Microsofts competitors for actually putting up a decent fight in the marketplace. The companys rise to monopoly was largely a result of offering products that more accurately reflected marketplace wants, and it is not unlawful to become a monopoly or even to remain one by that means.
Peter Coffee is Director of Platform Research at salesforce.com, where he serves as a liaison with the developer community to define the opportunity and clarify developers' technical requirements on the company's evolving Apex Platform. Peter previously spent 18 years with eWEEK (formerly PC Week), the national news magazine of enterprise technology practice, where he reviewed software development tools and methods and wrote regular columns on emerging technologies and professional community issues.Before he began writing full-time in 1989, Peter spent eleven years in technical and management positions at Exxon and The Aerospace Corporation, including management of the latter company's first desktop computing planning team and applied research in applications of artificial intelligence techniques. He holds an engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Pepperdine University, he has held teaching appointments in computer science, business analytics and information systems management at Pepperdine, UCLA, and Chapman College.