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Microsoft Businesses

States Claim There is No Match for Microsoft 533

Bergkamp10 writes "State antitrust regulators have dismissed companies such as Google and Mozilla Corp, and software technologies such as AJAX and SaaS as "piddling players that pose no threat to Microsoft's monopoly in the operating system and browser markets". According to the report ten US states, including California, New York and the District of Columbia have called for an extension of monitoring of Microsoft's business practices until November 2012. They claim that little has changed in the OS and browser spaces since the 2002 antitrust case ruled against Microsoft. In their most recent brief, the states countered Microsoft's contention that Web-based companies — Google, Salesforce.com, Yahoo, eBay and others — and new Web-centric technologies constitute what Microsoft dubbed a "competitive alternative to Windows." Not even close, said the states, claiming that while these companies' products provide functionality for users they still rely on Operating Systems and browsers — the two spaces where Microsoft dominates. Experts were apparently even more damning, claiming competition in the market has not been restored since 2002 and that the collective powers of Google, Firefox and Web 2.0 are about as effective as a one legged man in a butt-kicking contest when it comes to unsettling Microsoft's monopoly of the market."
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States Claim There is No Match for Microsoft

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  • Money! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by subl33t ( 739983 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @11:11PM (#21513633)
    The governments of these states will no-doubt still gladly accept campaign contributions from Microsoft...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Prod_Deity ( 686460 )
      that, and still continue to use MSFT products. if these states would walk the walk by using alternatives, I'd be with them. but, I have a feeling that it's just a lot of talk, and nothing will happen.
      • Re:Money! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by notamisfit ( 995619 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @11:55PM (#21513949)
        But according to the states, there are no viable alternatives.
        • by falconwolf ( 725481 ) <falconsoaring_2000@yah o o . c om> on Thursday November 29, 2007 @01:15AM (#21514467)

          there are no viable alternatives.

          The thing is is there are viable alternatives however MS lobbyist keep using FUD to scare states from using these, including open source, alternatives. I'm typing this in Firefox running in Tiger, no I didn't upgrade to Leopard even though I have the dvd, on a MacBook Pro. For my office suite I use NeoOffice, the Mac centric version of Open Office. With it I can open and save documents in MS Office 2007's .docx format.

          Falcon
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jimicus ( 737525 )
            There are viable alternatives for the individual with a few hundred documents at most.

            What they're talking about is viable alternatives for the government department with thousands of documents, dozens of databases and systems which interact with each other and the outside world which have been built up over the course of many years.

            Yes, there are alternatives. But the sheer quantity of work involved in rolling them out is immense. I suspect many of these states want a drop-in alternative where they can h
            • by HalAtWork ( 926717 ) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @10:09AM (#21517331)
              If they want a drop-in alternative then they have to have documentation on the specifics of the files and protocols they want to interface with. MS provides no such thing and the states aren't making it clear that this is what MS should do, as EU is doing.
            • by marcello_dl ( 667940 ) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @10:20AM (#21517463) Homepage Journal
              It's very sensible to underline the amount of work involved in a migration. However I think we're missing the point.

              Wouldn't it sound terribly fascist if your public administration got a parking lot manufactured by Smart which accomodates only the measures of Smart vehicles, thereby forcing all employees and visitors to get a smart? yet we accept similar stunts in software.

              Isn't it right to devote resources to make public property accessible to people with disabilities? Didn't we rightfully devote resources to ensure equal opportunities regardless the gender? So I want equal opportunity for operating systems and applications, provided they try to adhere to open standards. I'm helping even people who prefer to stay locked in, as I'm forcing MS to fight and have better pricing.
    • F*****g corrupt governments. Taking a company's money, and as soon as the people make one little complaint, they stab 'em in the back!
  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @11:12PM (#21513641)
    We won't know that there is competition in the marketplace until another monopoly has replaced Microsoft's monopoly. Just as we did not know there was competition for IBM until Microsoft's PC monopoly replaced IBM's mainframe monopoly.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by lseltzer ( 311306 )
      We may not *know* it till then, but it might exist nonetheless. For instance, maybe OS X and Linux don't have a real chance of displacing Microsoft in the OS market, but are they effective competition? By that I mean that they are viable alternatives.

      Judge Jackson specifically said they weren't. Think about the implications of this. It says that people really have no choice. And yet there are plenty of people reading this thread who have chosen to use these products instead of Windows. I don't see why this
      • by empaler ( 130732 )
        There's also alternatives to the 8/16-hour sleep cycle, but they're just not viable to the general populace. It's the choices of those people.
      • by jhfry ( 829244 )
        Competition assumes that there is a viable alternative... though Linux and OSX are alternatives, are they viable?

        Imagine that your the CIO of a fortune 500 company... could you standardize on either product and get business done effectively? Not likely, without a least a few windows machines around to handle proprietary software, to handle document compatibility issues, etc.

        I think that the day is very near... essentially there are only a few areas where MS products are so dominate in the marketplace that
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Jake73 ( 306340 )
          ...and 4. reliance on software which creates a derivative reliance on Microsoft Windows.

          Most companies rely on a significant amount of software which is only available for Windows. The competition for these pieces of software on non-MS platforms is not noteworthy.

          Consider graphic design... Adobe (and similar) products aren't available on Linux (but are for Mac). Don't even try to argue for Linux-based alternatives.

          Consider engineering/architecture... 3D design packages and PCB design packages are all Wind
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            Yeah, you are completely right...

            There is no Linux alternative to Illustrator, InDesign and GoLive, especially when Bridge is considered. I would hate to have to think about trying to composite a book on Linux, and implementing a decent RIP with color management on Linux? Hiring a developer makes the $20,000USD Xerox or Heidelberg would charge for a decent system seem like nothing.

            As for 3D design: Vectorworks does OK, but it's no AutoCAD. And I have been wanting a high-end Mac PCB package with a decent pSp
            • by Jake73 ( 306340 )
              And the irony in it all is that the "free" alternatives would cost these companies so much more than just joining the borg.

              Love it or hate it, the brilliance of Microsoft was embracing and coddling the developer.
      • by NMerriam ( 15122 )

        For instance, maybe OS X and Linux don't have a real chance of displacing Microsoft in the OS market, but are they effective competition? By that I mean that they are viable alternatives

        There's a difference between being effective competition (on a marketwide level) and being a viable alternative (on an individual level).

        Judge Jackson was not evaluating Linux or the Mac OS on their technical merits. He was simply stating the fact that neither competes directly in the primarily OEM market for consumer and

        • Is Microsoft a monopoly because no one can compete with it, or can no one compete with Microsoft because it is a monopoly?

          • by NMerriam ( 15122 )

            Is Microsoft a monopoly because no one can compete with it, or can no one compete with Microsoft because it is a monopoly?


            At various times in the past decades, each has been the case more than the other. Both factors reinforce the other, as well, which is the whole point of placing restrictions on how monopolies may compete.
      • by wizardforce ( 1005805 ) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @01:00AM (#21514357) Journal

        Think about the implications of this. It says that people really have no choice. And yet there are plenty of people reading this thread who have chosen to use these products instead of Windows. I don't see why this isn't competition.
        we are not the average PC users, most of us are deities in comparison to the average PC user- we know how to make most everything work on OSX and *nix where the average person would most decidedly not. PCs are 90%+ of the time pre-installed with Windows leaving joe average to 1) refuse the EULA, 2) request removal of Windows [ship back to manufacturer I suppose] 3) install an alternative OS like Ubuntu or Mandriva which requires basic knowledge of partitioning, software installation and such. So for the average person there is no choice. Even for /.ers especially gamers, there is a significant deficiancy in software written for alternative OSes. Because it's cheaper to develop a software package for one or two OSes at most rather than support a tiny but growing number of alternative OS users. [Mac about 5-10&, windows 90+% linux .3-2% BSD... tiny]
    • by Total_Wimp ( 564548 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @11:38PM (#21513815)
      As far as I know, Microsoft doesn't make a single PC. IBM's monopoly was replaced by a thriving wealth of hardware and software companies plus a monopoly for the OS. I would even add that the OS is only a fraction of the cost of a PC, so it's very arguable that IBM was replaced by what is for the most part a vast open market.

      Note, this doesn't mean I think Microsoft's monopoly is good. It's very bad for the industry. Just pointing out that when you break up a monopoly (and I believe market forces broke up IBMs) then you do have a chance for improvement.

      TW
      • I would even add that the OS is only a fraction of the cost of a PC

        It used to be, but as hardware prices have fallen and Windows prices have risen, that has changed. Now the OS is often the single most expensive component of a computer.

    • We won't know that there is competition in the marketplace until another monopoly has replaced Microsoft's monopoly.

      We will know there's competition when we have choices as to what apps, OSes, and other software we use and still be able to create, view, and share documents whether word processing docs, spread sheets, or webpages.

      Falcon
  • No OS competition? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by coppro ( 1143801 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @11:14PM (#21513653)
    As much as I don't think the antitrust monitoring should be removed, and as much as I hate to say it: Apple is hard competition.
    • Indeed. One of the experts mentions:

      "Competition in the market for Intel-based PC operating systems has not been restored by the five-year term of the Final Judgment," he concluded.

      Pondering that quote, I really don't want the world of computing to go back to the way things were back in the early 1980s. There were so many types of computer systems and operating systems to choose from. Shall I buy a TRS-80? IBM PC? Amiga? Apple Macintosh? Atari ST? It was really annoying. Right now, we're realistically down

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by xjlm ( 1073928 )
        I recently read where the advent of a $200 pc running Ubuntu or some other distro may soon overtake Apple's #2 spot. Most people only want simple interactive capabilities out of their computer anyway - surf the 'net, exchange email, and maybe watch some video. And I don't know about anyone else, but the price tag has always put me off of looking any further at a Mac. Problem is, most folks have never even heard of Linux as a viable alternative.
      • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @12:32AM (#21514189) Journal

        Pondering that quote, I really don't want the world of computing to go back to the way things were back in the early 1980s. There were so many types of computer systems and operating systems to choose from. Shall I buy a TRS-80? IBM PC? Amiga? Apple Macintosh? Atari ST? It was really annoying. Right now, we're realistically down to Windows and Mac OS (Yes, I'm typing this on a Linux machine), and that's much better than the jungle we had back then.


        Part of the problem back in those days, particular from the late 1970s through the mid-1980s was that sharing of information was quite difficult between platforms. Create a file on a Commodore 64 and you'd probably have a bitch of a time transferring it to someone running an Apple 2 or a TRS-80 Model IV. Yes, we had some widely used operating systems like CP/M, but they tended to run on more expensive hardware than the home computers of that period. Even if you had a modem, it was probably 150 or 300baud, which made non-trivial file transfers a rather excruciating experience.

        By the end of the 1980s and into the early 1990s, we had faster 2400bps and 14.4k modems, LAN hardware had come down in price quite a bit allowing heterogenerous networks, and the need for interoperability in the small and mid-sized business markets pretty much weeded the systems that didn't play well together, not to mention platforms that didn't have decent business and/or desktop publishing software. Good systems like the Amiga died a slow death, leaving us with Microsoft's dominant position and Apple in an extremely distant second.

        However, the fact is that we have a platform-independent networking system in TCP/IP and its various child protocols like HTTP, the need for document interoperability has dispensed with a lot of the weird ASCII dialects that had plagued earlier generations of computer users. We are at a point where we could probably do reasonably well with a large number of platforms, providing that they adhere to some basic standards. Does it matter now whether you compose a document in ODF in OpenOffice.org, open and modify it in KOffice, and then send it off to Bob using some other ODF-compliant wordprocessor? It shouldn't, but Microsoft has pursued a consistent policy of undermining any attempt at open standards, right down to silly little ones like messing up bottom posting of email.

        A healthy market, with open standards and basic compliance to them, could support any number of hardware platforms and operating systems. An extremely large number of hardware platforms have been using *nix and enjoying this for decades, but Microsoft has stunted the PC, and everyone ends up having to reverse engineer their protocols and formats, and playing a constant game of catch-up. That's not the way it should be. Systems should compete on their merits, not on how effectively the companies that create them can create lock-in.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by nine-times ( 778537 )

          We are at a point where we could probably do reasonably well with a large number of platforms, providing that they adhere to some basic standards.

          I think this is especially the case considering that most of the platforms these days have settled on doing things in a pretty unix-y kind of way. Many file formats are the same, there are a lot of similarities in directory structures, and even a lot of programs and tools can by shared across different operating systems. I can run OpenOffice in Gnome on Solari

      • by andreyw ( 798182 )
        ... I agree. Also, the claim is preposterous. It is my humble opinion that the competition is certainly not stifled by MS (Vista vs 10.5 anyone), and that the competition is doing good. However, even if there WEREN'T competition in the market (...but there is! on the desktop and server), then that would not necessarily mean MS was at fault for that.

        On the server, as far as "Intel-based" is concerned, we have -
        1) OS X Server
        2) *BSD
        3) *LINUX
        4) Solaris
        5) OpenVMS

        On the desktop we have -
        1) OS X
        2) Linux desktops
    • by svunt ( 916464 )
      Apple is not an OS vendor, it's a hardware vendor that bundles an OS with the machine. The fact that OSX isn't made to install on anyone else's hardware puts it in a decidedly different commercial space.
  • I agree (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Alexx K ( 1167919 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @11:16PM (#21513657)

    Unfortunately, however, no matter how much people monitor and complain, the corperate-friendly USA will just give them a slap on the wrist and say, "Bad Microsoft! Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to get back ot using internet Explorer and Windows Messenger, and bombing those damn terrorists!"

    • by bahwi ( 43111 )
      Exactly. The state of the nation is very anti-capitalism right now, even if they call it such. Kids 30 years from now will be complete socialists/communists. Having one company for everything is not the way to go, and government subsidies to support this free market(given only to the company in power) doesn't help either.
  • Own worst enemy. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by palegray.net ( 1195047 ) <philip.paradis@[ ... t ['pal' in gap]> on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @11:18PM (#21513683) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft is Microsoft's own worst enemy. While I applaud the intentions of the Justice Department in attempting to impose a longer period of fine-grained monitoring on Microsoft's activities, I think they're missing most of the "big picture" here. Popular news and media outlets are routinely running stories about the slow adoption of Vista by major corporations and small businesses alike. New sales of Office are apparently lagging, too. Basically, the old story of "what we have now is good enough" is, in many cases, happening all over again.

    My personal opinion is that by the time consumers are truly "forced" into another Microsoft upgrade cycle, viable and attractive product alternatives produced by Google and others will already be gaining significant ground. Even in the face of what many consider corrupt business practices on the part of Microsoft, the market is deciding the best route, albeit slowly. It just so happens that the market is finally starting to feel the evolutionary push of technology moving in leaps, rather than a slow progression.

    • Popular news and media outlets are routinely running stories about the slow adoption of Vista by major corporations and small businesses alike. New sales of Office are apparently lagging, too.

      That might be true, but my guess is that there are only slightly fewer that are running stories about the inevitable adoption of Vista in time. "We" (as a society) have no practical other choice. This is the entire point of trust-busting. To put it bluntly, we're paying a lot for shoddy crud products and we have no

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Nobody in my household uses any products from Microsoft at home, period. We're on Ubuntu. Got my wife switched over a while back. I know we're the exception, not the rule, but I've been meeting more and more people like us over the last year or so. Change might take time to start, but once it gets rolling things tend to evolve very rapidly.

        Now, I am forced to use Win32 apps at work, but I'm in the military, an organization that takes a long time to change anything once it's implemented. If I were still a
      • We use "shoddy crud products" like Windows because it's jam-packed with features that corporations love, and corporations represent something like 50% of all computer users. Until Linux or OS X have complete, functional, integrated competitors to: Active Directory, Exchange/Outlook (including portable device syncing), SQL Server, Office (*all* the functionality of Office, not just the subset offered by OpenOffice), Sharepoint (*all* the functionality of Sharepoint, not just the subset offered by wikis)... u
    • Microsoft is Microsoft's own worst enemy. While I applaud the intentions of the Justice Department in attempting to impose a longer period of fine-grained monitoring on Microsoft's activities, I think they're missing most of the "big picture" here. Popular news and media outlets are routinely running stories about the slow adoption of Vista by major corporations and small businesses alike. New sales of Office are apparently lagging, too. Basically, the old story of "what we have now is good enough" is, in m

    • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @02:50AM (#21515113)
      Microsoft is Microsoft's own worst enemy.
      Popular news and media outlets are routinely running stories about the slow adoption of Vista by major corporations and small businesses alike. New sales of Office are apparently lagging, too.

      Microsoft had a spectacular first quarter.

      Tremendous strength in Windows, Office, and Server products. Revenues in each division up 20%. Microsoft Q1 2008 By The Numbers [microsoft-watch.com]

      Office 2007 at retail "sells like gangbusters."

      Office commands 17.4 percent of all PC software dollar volume, including PC games. When people go to the store to buy software, there's a good chance they'll end up buying Microsoft Office." PC Software's Great Year [microsoft-watch.com] [October 20]

      The October OS Platform Stats [w3schools.com] from w3Schools are suggestive;

      Vista at 6%. Up 4% from March 07.
      Linux at 3%. Up 1% from March 03.
      OSX at 4%. Up 2% from March 03.

      • by robot_love ( 1089921 ) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @05:56AM (#21515941)
        Thanks for the dose of reality, westlake.

        FOSS software, despite the best hallucinations of the slashdot crowd, isn't making a dent in MS where it counts: the Bottom Line. We need to wake up, people! We are not doing enough to break this monopoly. And it will have to be the geeks that do it, because the government won't. I realize I'm ranting, but I just get so frustrated by this smug sense of inevitability that is so often on display here. Do you think MS will go down without a fight? Do you think that a company with almost limitless cash is going to be threatened by anything less than all-out war from the FOSS community?

        Here are the facts:

        - No one is going to do anything about MS's monopoly.

        - The monopoly will get worse.

        - The only people who have a chance to break it are the geeks.

        - Even then it would take a united effort from all of us.

        - ...however we've got our heads jammed so far up our own asses that all we can do is argue about who's license is more free.

        I defy anyone to disprove any of my facts. Go ahead and mod me down. MS wins again.
  • I'm confused (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dedazo ( 737510 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @11:26PM (#21513741) Journal
    Does this mean that every time someone says Microsoft is a "convicted monopolist" I can say Google is a "piddling little player"?

    Isn't that... bad?

    • by jstomel ( 985001 )
      In the OS market? No, it's accurate. In the search engine market google is a major, though not quite monopolistic, player.
    • by bahwi ( 43111 )
      In the OS and Browser war, yeah. I still can't even find the famed Google Kernel and if you whois gbrowser.com it doesn't appear to be google anymore, so yeah, piddly little player in a non-existent way. Same as I am a piddly little dictator in Minnesota. :)
  • by DeathElk ( 883654 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @11:46PM (#21513871)

    ...as effective as a one legged man in a butt-kicking contest

    There's a one legged guy in the town where I live, he lost his leg in a motorcycle accident. He's a nice guy, friendly and all. I've seen him kick a piñata to pieces with a single roundhouse kick. He landed awkwardly, but it had the desired result.

    The moral is: never underestimate the one-legged guy!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by UbuntuDupe ( 970646 ) *
      That wasn't a one-legged guy. That was Chuck Norris, with one leg tied behind his back. And he was only kicking the piñata because it looked at him the wrong way.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @11:50PM (#21513903)
    They're a convicted monopolist, how the hell is 'monitoring' going to make a difference? Hurry up and actually do something already. The EU are imposing fines, the US is just 'monitoring' them....
    • First, they're not a "convicted monopolist". How that phrase annoys me. Second, what should the US do? Microsoft isn't breaking any laws.
      • Ok, but EXCEPT anti trust, bribes, illegal threats, libel, deliberate fraud, privacy violations, abuse of the patent system, and corrupt behaviour abroad, .. what laws have Microsoft ever broken?
    • by Nimey ( 114278 )
      That could depend on who is elected President in '08. Recall that Justice pulled the experienced lawyers off the Microsoft case after Bush took office, and one could expect another Republican president to similarly ignore what MS does.
    • by jkrise ( 535370 ) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @01:27AM (#21514571) Journal
      Exactly! What the continuance of the monopoly has conclusively shown is that the 'monitoring' is the biggest failure in the whole process. Did the monitoring committee look into why the market has rejected Vista?

      Did they bother to find out why Vista needs so much hardware resources and makes existing hardware obsolete?

      I think the regulators must force Microsoft to open source Windows 2000 and Office 2000 - the entire source code. Anyone should be free to modify Win2K and O2K and make a good desktop OS that needs just 128MB RAM to run - without breaking every known hardware and software - like Vista does.

      In a year, we will see lots of genuine competition.
      • And I suppose if that shining example of coercion fails, we can waterboard Bill Gates until he tells us all the secret Windows APIs? Maybe have Ballmer stand on that thrown chair with live wires in his hands until he reveals those 235 patents Linux is supposedly infringing? Really, the only difference is that the preceding two don't engage in the hypocrisy of pretending to support a "free market."
        • by jkrise ( 535370 )
          "And I suppose if that shining example of coercion fails, "

          Do you really honestly believe an operating system and a document editor need more than 64MB of RAM to run? What Microsoft has managed to do in the absence of competition is to continue to spread the myth of "Upgrade and you shall be liberated".

          Even the EU remedy has been only to release the specs for some protocols, not the source code itself. If Microsoft is forced to release the exact source code ALONG WITH the documented protocols, under an 'Ope
  • by failedlogic ( 627314 ) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @12:14AM (#21514053)
    MS is very successful at its current market 'initiatives' (forgive me, I'm not a business major). In this I would account for its major divisions like OS, Software applications, Servers, Xbox, and Internet.

    Suggestions even 5 years ago that Xbox would beat or rival Sony and Nintendo in the console market was unheard of, the point being, that Microsoft has a 'monopoly' on a large and diverse business and consumer userbase. Apple comes out with the iPod. There was already a 'healthy' competition with MP3 players but when MS saw the numbers the iPod was making Apple, I think it saw a great opportunity. Ditto, I think the iPhone, the Blackberry and other PDAs, etc.

    If the government can somehow restrict it from going into new markets and letting some healthy competition grow, I don't see this as being a bad idea. The threat isn't MS entering other areas of business in itself. The problem is its huge cash reserves. The money and technology component, I see, remain exclusive to MS. IBM have a ton of cash too - but IBM has changed its core businesses instead of trying to gobble up small and major competitions in a wide array of industries. (yes, the irony IBM is making the chip for the XBox 360 ... its late and couldn't come up with a better example).
  • So does that mean the fines, etc. brought against Microsoft were a failure? That they should have been much steeper?
  • by asifyoucare ( 302582 ) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @12:54AM (#21514327)
    Sure Microsoft is strong in these areas, but it is the Office suite that locks people in. If you had your applications and web sites still available, would you particularly care which browser or OS was being used? I think not.

    The office suite market is a natural monopoly once a single player becomes dominant, because of the need for everyone to exchange documents. It is also the means by which the Office upgrade cycle is enforced - you need to read documents from third parties who have already upgraded.

    This is why Microsoft must resist ODF any any other initiative that allows effective document interchange. Only the very powerful, such as governments, can currently insist on exchanging documents in a format other than MS Office.

  • Our slap-on-the-wrist "punishment" has done jack-shit for 5 years. I know! Let's extended for another 5 years! That ought to do it!
  • by red crab ( 1044734 ) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @01:34AM (#21514633)
    The problem with these so called "Experts" and "Business Analysts" is that they simply lack the foresight to see into the distant future. Based on some petty statistics, they can predict the business trend for a next couple of years but they simply can't tell what's going to happen 10 or maybe 15 years down the line. Take them 20 years back, and these same "experts" could never have been able to predict that Microsoft would become such a behemoth as it is now.

    So simply shut your eyes and ears when "experts" say some thing. Ten years from now they would be saying: Well, there is nothing that can displace Linux from the desktops. OS "XYZ" (some futuristic OS not Microsoft) is not remotely capable of offering a competition to Linux's monopoly and blah blah blah.
  • by gsgriffin ( 1195771 ) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @01:39AM (#21514669)
    I personally just love it when avid Apple user chime in on a Microsoft monopoly issue. Please explain this to me. If Apple continues it method of marketing (which for most all of its products is extremely closed...you must buy their OS AND hardware or their iPod AND their iTunes or their phone AND the service with it), what would we all be saying if Apple had a 95% market share today? Wouldn't it be extremely monolopolistic and be taken to court as no OS or other hardware manufacturer could compete in that market AT ALL!!! At least Microsoft doesn't block other broswers from working and has an open market for CPU and hardware AND you can load other OS on the hardware that you don't have to buy from MS.

    Don't you think that Apple will continue its marketing scheme? What if we lived in an alternate reality where Apple was 95% of the market? Don't you think they would be accused of the same thing but even more so? Stop your envy of market share Apple!!! You're no better in the way you do business.
  • All it means is that he has to work harder at kicking ass. In the end, ass is still kicked.

    I mean that both literally AND metaphorically.
  • by dank zappingly ( 975064 ) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @02:27AM (#21514997)
    I don't know if there is something that I am missing here, but why is it that I can go to the store and buy the shiniest new video game with realistic physics and lighting for about 50 bucks, but if I want an office suite I have to pay $300? I am a non-programmer so maybe someone could enlighten me, but it seems that an office suite that is updated every year or so should require fewer man-hours to make than any game. My papers sure don't look any better this year than they did the last. I tried to use wordperfect, and it seemed to work worse than it did ten years ago. Isn't this the first thing the government should be looking out for? I bet Microsoft could charge $20 for Office and still make money. I mean who really cares about Internet Explorer, it's free.
  • by HerculesMO ( 693085 ) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @11:45AM (#21518567)
    Is *NOT* the operating system. We all know that Apple makes a better OS. Linux *could be* a better OS if it had some more polish (sorry /.ers).

    You need to break the monopoly of financial and other business institutions relying on Excel and Microsoft Office. Don't tell me about Pages or Keynote or whatever other software there is. Sure, it's easy to use, very pretty... but Office is a product that Microsoft doesn't fuck around with, and produces (and I'm waiting for my hateful comments) -- AWESOMELY. It's the best software that Microsoft makes. Office 2007 is a great step forward in usability, stability, intelligence, and workflow. You can't interoperate your Pages information with your Keynote information, or vice versa. But in Excel, highlight some cells, copy, and dump it into a fully editable Word document. Then take a Visio diagram and dump it into the same Word Doc -- still editable. Collaborate easily on Sharepoint (now also part of Office). With Groove, you collaborate even further at the same time. And it's all stable, clean, and simple to use software with a powerful macro language (though I'm sure it's not the best) that allows you to automate and get information from different APIs (just walk into any financial institution and you'll see HUGE spreadsheets that download information out of Reuters and Bloomberg, email folks about updates, send updates to Blackberries formatted properly, etc).

    Break THAT monopoly, and Windows won't even matter.

    And don't mention Open Office. It's a joke compared to MS Office right now.

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