June 10, 2002

The second Clone War, this time with software

Gerry Patterson writes: "Microsoft has always endorsed the doctrine of Attack being the best form of Defence. In the Battle for the Desktop, last century Microsoft chose the battle field and fought from a position of strength. It ended in a rout. The First Clone War was also fought and won in a similar manner. Microsoft at first fought by proxy, providing others with munitions, at first surreptiously and then openly. When the time came to show their hand, Microsoft once again chose the field and fought from a position of strength, defeating it's old technology rival decisively.

Now it appears the Second Clone War is about to begin.
Significantly these are not firmware clones as in the previous conflict, but software clones and the battlefield is a dominion that Microsoft had supposedly secured last century. The PC Desktop. It is curious therefore, that with the DOJ still not completely relinquishing it's bull-terrier-like grip on Microsoft's nether regions, and powerful old foes like IBM lining up with new opponents such as HP, Sun and Time Warner on the Open Source Side, that Microsoft should choose security as the theme of it's opening gambit. Security is probably the weakest link in the Microsoft chain. Does Microsoft know something that the rest of the world doesn't? Do they have a secret weapon?

Or have they just lost the plot?

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