November 10, 2003

The Leopard Cannot Change its Spots

Chuck Talk writes "The more that Microsoft Corporation tries to establish the fact that it is "in compliance" with the Final Judgment of the Antitrust Settlement, the more it becomes apparent that they have no such plans. The recent review by Judge Kotar-Kotelly for compliance revealed several ongoing issues with Microsoft's compliance, including the Windows Media Player, and the licensing of Microsoft Communication Protocols. Now, as the plans of the future release of the next version of Windows become evident, it is apparent that Microsoft intends to destroy more of its rivals in the application developer space.

The one thing you can say is that Microsoft does learn from the success of others. Not content to allow any other company to have a successful business upon its operating platform, Microsoft has continued to move forward with plans to once again change the underlying APIs to its Windows platform base and add additional costs for rival companies and profits for Microsoft as they move forward with the scheduled Longhorn release. Further, they have added onerous licensing practices that will eventually erode the ability of both hardware developers and other software companies to effectively compete against their proprietary lock-in.

There are several classes of application developers and providers who are being targeted by Longhorn. Longhorn is far more than simply another upgrade to the Windows operating system. It is in effect a set of technological changes so profound that it will threaten the very existence of entire sections of the software application developer markets. The very fact that so many targets are becoming evident should not be taken as paranoia. Nothing in the final judgment that exists today will stop Microsoft from using every means at its disposal to simultaneously take out any competition it can from anyone that it perceives to be successful and a possible threat to its current market dominance.

The problem with litigation is that it is many years behind the development process, and does not effectively deal with the company's future plans, for it is clear to anyone within the industry or even those who can observe what it going on with a critical eye that they have plans for pushing out a great deal number of companies on a scale never before seen in this market. If successful, they will totally dominate the markets and we will no longer have any choice in the marketplace."

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