Microsoft Breakup Imminent? GNU/Linux Wins

Posted by tadelste on Mar 26, 2006 12:01 PM EDT; By Tom Adelstein
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Who will buy the pieces of Microsoft after the final breakup? No one would want the operating system. A leveraged buyout for the Office group seems likely. Oracle looks like the winner in the business services business and it's the auction block for the rest of the company. The DRM and codecs go to Real Networks.

Text of the CDC v IBM case in the article body.

With Ballmer threatening to sue for intellectual property violations, what would become of Linux? Who would become destined for the Computer History Museum at Mountain View? If anybody cared, then it would be Microsoft taking its place in the museum way back where no one could see it.

Can you think of any villain in today's genre comparable to Microsoft?

So in a interview with Forbes Ballmer does his "Paper Machines and Phantom Computers" routine.

Well, I think there are experts who claim Linux violates our intellectual property. I'm not going to comment. But to the degree that that's the case, of course we owe it to our shareholders to have a strategy. And when there is something interesting to say, you'll be the first to hear it.

This is the same kind of thing for which IBM wound up in an anti-trust action in 1968 and something for which Judge Sporkin blasted Microsoft in his 1995 edict:

"This Court cannot ignore the obvious. Here is the dominant firm in the software industry admitting it `preannounces' products to freeze the current software market and thereby defeat the marketing plans of competitors that have products ready for market. Microsoft admits that the preannouncement is solely for the purpose of having an adverse impact on a competitor's product. Its counsel states it has advised its client that the practice is perfectly legal and it may continue the practice. This practice of an alleged monopolist would seem to contribute to the acquisition, maintenance, or exercise of market share. . . . February 14, 1995

Microsoft admits that the preannouncement is solely for the purpose of having an adverse impact on a competitor's product. Microsoft's lawyers said it was perfectly legal. Now that Vista has a projected date of February 2007, do you wonder if they have announced their product for the past 2.5 years to freeze people from going to the competition?

Note: Unfortunately, the entire text of Civil Action No.: 3-68-312 ControlData Corporation, Plantiff, vs International Business Machines, Defendant does not exist on the Internet at least anywhere reasonably available. However, we have reproduced for our readers' consideration, the text of section 23 items (a)-(e) with the original commentary from the complaint.

Pay particular attention to item (c) and consider if that looks familiar to you in today's situation.

23. Defendant IBM, directly and through its subsidiaries, has willfully acquired and maintained monopoly power in the computer markets and submarkets, or has had the specific intent to obtain such power, in that it has consciously, deliberately, or intentionality engaged in the following acts, behavior, conduct and practices, among others:
Development. Delivery, and Performance of hardware and Software— ‘‘Paper Machines and Phantom Computers’

(a) It has misrepresented the status of design, development, production. and performance of certain of its computers, and programs or software for certain computers, particularly with regard to the capabilities and availability of large size computers, time sharing computers, and compatibility between models of computers. all for the purpose or with the effect of depriving customers of the opportunity to accurately evaluate competitive computers, thus obtaining or retaining customers for itself and depriving Plaintiff and other manufacturers of sales;

(b) It has, as a means of obtaining or retaining customers and depriving Plaintiff and other manufacturers of sales, offered to lease, sell, or make delivery of, and has entered into agreements to lease, sell, or make delivery of computers, software or programs which were not yet in production, for which it was not ready to commence production, and as to which it had no reasonable basis for believing that production or delivery could be accomplished within the time periods specified by such offers or agreements;

(c) It has, having prematurely announced and marketed its computers to deprive its competitors of sales and due to computer development and production deficiencies arising from such prematurity, frequently changed and delayed its previously announced or promised delivery schedules as well as announced or introduced changes in, or cancellations of, certain types or models of computers, their specifications and alleged capabilities, thereby creating confusion in the market and, at great cost to its competitors and its customers, deferring procurements until its competitive deficiencies could be discovered or overcome and maximizing its revenues on outdated computers on lease;

(d) It has repeatedly entered into contracts, commitments, and letters of intent in which it was obligated to furnish computers and software and, having deprived its competitors of such sales, has then failed to fulfill the obligations undertaken in such contracts. commitments, and letters of intent;

(e) It has consistently induced customers, upon the execution of a contract with it, or even prior thereto, to expend substantial sums of money preparing data, training personnel, preparing a site for the computer, and preparing for the use of certain software or programs, all for the purpose or with the effect of irrevocably tying the customer to its computer irrespective of actual delivery or performance of the computer or software thereby precluding said customers from acquiring computers from Plaintiff and other manufacturers;

The actions of Defendant IBM alleged in the foregoing subparagraphs (a) through (e) were taken with knowledge of and to take advantage of its dominant position in the computer markets and submarkets, Because of the large dollar investment in computers their complexity, the difficulties of verifying claimed specifications of undelivered products, and a history of rapid technological obsolescence of computers, customers in the computer markets and submarkets readily rely upon representations and promises of Defendant IBM. This is particularly true when the representations concern a new product line of computers allegedly meeting all needs of customers and compatible from smallest to largest.

What course does Microsoft have when it can't deliver its next operating system on time and on budget? They try to scare people from going with GNU/Linux. But perhaps they have been announcing vaporware all along.

A New Face of War: Economics

Analysts have argued that the US and Russia won the battlefields of Europe and Japan in the last world war. I remember footage of Omaha beach among others: The surf ran red with blood of allied troops. The color of the ocean on the beach ran blood red.

But, by the US assisting in the economic recovery of Japan and Germany, we lost the new era of warfare: Economics. The US turned over its manufacturing to those countries. Those countries'enterprises inherited the distribution channels and substituted their products as the producer. The main advantage of the US had to do with distribution. We had more navigable rivers and sea ports than any country in the world and still do.

Our stupid President wanted to let a middle-east country own US ports. People have said that he's ignorant and ridiculous. Now, it's no longer an opinion. He's beyond the worse things his critics can say about him. Here's another thing, I'm a precinct worker and have taken on the job of alternate election judge. I'm a member of the Republic party. So, for me to say this takes some serious risks. I consider our country deserted by my party's leader.

Microsoft should overtly sue Linux for intellectual property violations and do it now or shut up. No one would care much either way. But, Linux has vocal advocates and the Internet. Congress beware. We'll either get what we want or take you down. Did you hear that senator Kennedy? Imagine hundreds of thousands of pissed off Linux advocates digging up your voting records, ties to special interests and trips paid by lobbyists. Keep the DMCA in place and keep the Free Software community in check and see what happens.

Microsoft Survived But Not on Technology Superiority

Think about this scenario. Microsoft gets broken up. Who on earth would covert their operating system? What is it without a monopoly keeping it in place in the market?

All those brilliant commentators invading Free Software community sites will have no rebuttal. Their sound bytes remind me of boxers who have had their brains damaged. They don't know the first thing about Windows desktop extensions and how difficult they are to program and secure the system. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

How dare those crackers consider themselves technologists. They don't have a clue about how to make an operating system work. All they can say about Windows is "it's still number one and I like it". Well, enjoy your evolved DOS system.

Superior Technology - Linux

Anyone worth their salt as either a userland programmer or a kernel hacker will tell you: GNU/Linux ranks far ahead of Windows technologically. This doesn't even begin to become a sustainable argument for Microsoft's own programmers.

GNU/Linux has inherit benefits and draws the best of the best. As Eric Raymond once wrote:

Hackers are naturally anti-authoritarian. Anyone who can give you orders can stop you from solving whatever problem you're being fascinated by - and given the way authoritarian minds work, will generally find some appallingly stupid reason to do so. ..

Authoritarians thrive on censorship and secrecy. And they distrust cooperation and information-sharing - they only like "cooperation" that they can control. So, to behave like a hacker, you have to develop an instinctive hostility to censorship, secrecy, and the use of force or deception to compel responsible adults.

Is the Break-up of Microsoft Inevitable?

Ask yourself how long a monopoly can continue to disrupt the market, export jobs and fail to deliver? The exporting of jobs bothers me the most. Conservatives and Liberals have to take this on as a bi-partisan effort.

I really do not mind Intel and IBM helping less developed countries establish technology to benefit the people in those places. I do mind Microsoft and others sending jobs overseas and then bringing the products back to sell to our own people. I consider that treason, especially with chronic unemployment among the technology industry.

Yesterday, I went to a CompUSA to ask about a Linux computer. Linspire says that CompUSA will sell thier products. Ooops! "We don't do Linux at CompUSA". Yet, I watched a salesman telling a customer how great Windows XP Pro would work on the $3000 laptop computer the customer wanted. Having studied the market, I know the system. It came from Taiwan. IT cost the people who put their label on the system approximately $300.

Hello Consumer affairs division of the Attorney General's office. You will get a visit from me on Tuesday. Everyone get ready. The longest journey begins with but a single step: quote from Asian enlightened master.

Hey you screwballs who apologize for my activism. Soon.

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Subject Topic Starter Replies Views Last Post
Microsoft employees call for Ballmer to go henke54 4 1,789 Mar 27, 2006 2:42 PM
I don't want to see Microsoft broken up Skapare 20 2,045 Mar 27, 2006 12:56 PM
Bring it on Monkey Boy, Bring it on number6x 1 1,598 Mar 27, 2006 10:39 AM
One Senario jimf 10 1,678 Mar 27, 2006 7:59 AM
may be not rittmey 1 1,522 Mar 27, 2006 4:39 AM
Here's an article on the problems of monopoly production. Bob_Robertson 1 2,144 Mar 26, 2006 5:42 PM
smiley icons jsusanka 1 2,384 Mar 26, 2006 5:04 PM
FUD and Treason grouch 1 1,838 Mar 26, 2006 3:03 PM

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