Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Five years after trial, can M$ stand up to Google?

Filed under
Microsoft

What I remember most about the Microsoft antitrust trial that I covered for Fortune magazine was how momentous it felt - surely, the antitrust trial of the century. The rest of Washington was obsessed with Monica Lewinsky. Not us. We pored through e-mail messages suggesting that Microsoft had wanted to "cut off Netscape's air supply"- Microsoft's efforts to crush Netscape was at the heart of the case - and wondered if U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson would have the nerve to break the giant in half.

As it turns out, he did have the nerve. But he made several fatal mistakes - including talking secretly to the news media - and the District of Columbia Circuit, while upholding his finding that Microsoft had abused its monopoly power, took the case out of his hands and sent it to another judge. Once the Bush administration took power, the new Justice Department quickly settled on terms largely favorable to the company.

Here we are five years later, and the technology landscape is drastically transformed. Google, founded just as the trial was getting under way, is now widely (and correctly) viewed as the most serious threat to Microsoft's desktop hegemony since Netscape. And Linux, the open-source operating system, has made real inroads in the server market that Microsoft had counted on for growth.

Among competitors, Microsoft is still respected but not feared the way it used to be. It has become a sluggish, bureaucratic company that, for instance, is going to be at least a year late with a new operating system, called Longhorn, that the world needs to make computing more secure. Its stock has not moved in years.

On the other hand, Microsoft still has the same two powerful desktop monopolies it had before the antitrust trial: the Windows operating system and the Office suite of applications.

That now makes me wonder: When you come right down to it, did the antitrust trial of the century make a whit of difference?

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) Enters Final Beta Freeze

"As of nowish, the archive is frozen for 14.10 Final Beta preparation, and will continue to be frozen from here until Final release next month. As with the previous release, we have a bot in place that will accept uploads that are unseeded and don't affect images. Don't take this as an open invitation to break Feature Freeze on those components, this is just to reduce the burden on the release team, so we only review the uploads that need very serious consideration," notes Canonical's Adam Conrad. Read more

Second Bugfix Release for KDE Plasma 5 Arrives with Lots of Changes

"This release, versioned plasma-5.0.2, adds a month's worth of new translations and fixes from KDE's contributors. The bugfixes are typically small but important such as fixing text which couldn't be translated, using the correct icons and fixing overlapping files with KDELibs 4 software. It also adds a month's hard work of translations to make support in other languages even more complete," reads the announcement. Read more

Qt 5.4 Will Support Applications Under A Wayland Compositor

The QtWayland support for Qt 5.4 is considered a technical preview with support of QWidget-based apps being less than ideal, the QtCompositor API in QtWayland not seeing a release for Qt 5.4, and other work still needs to be pursued. The QtCompositor API for the QtWayland module is what's needed for those out there wishing to write their own Wayland compositors using Qt. Qt's support for XDG-Shell is also less than complete and there's also not any official sub-surface protocol support for QtWayland. Read more

Run anywhere again: Java hooks up with Docker

Applications can more easily be redeployed on servers or made available on public clouds using Docker. "You configure it once, and once it's configured, it's very easy to [roll it out] in multiple places," Azul President/CEO Scott Sellers said in an interview. Although others have offered Java via Docker, Azul says its open source Zulu JVM is the first Docker-based Java offering to be officially certified as Java-compliant and fully supported. "This is really needed in order for enterprises to deploy Java on Docker in real production environments," Sellers said. Read more