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If you hadn't already noticed, Microsoft have been in the courts lately. Judges want MS to split into two parts - one side developing Windows, and the other side developing applications like Office and Internet Explorer. They are to be two separate companies - no swapping of details between them that other companies can't have - no inside information. About time too. It's not really fair that the leaders in the operating system (Windows) should be the leader in office suites, internet browsers, games, etc. Obviously, if the company makes the operating system, they will know all the secret ins and outs, so they will make applications to a higher standard than other companies can. Of course, this isn't fair. And it's having its effects. Look at Netscape Navigator - that's been battered out of the competition by Internet Explorer. Lotus' Smartsuite has been trampled by Microsoft Office. As for simulator games, who has the market? Microsoft. Already, the idea of a combined operating system and web browser has been thrown out of the drawing offices by the courts. Allowing this integration would definately kill off any other browsers in the market - who would need another browser when the operating system is a browser? Are we seeing a pattern here? Sure looks like it. The American DOJ are using plain common sense and an idea of fair play to give others a chance. That's what competition's all about.
A lot has been written on the internet and in newspapers about Microsoft, it seems that you are either a diehard enemy of the company or an evangelical supporter. The argument is played out across websites and in business IT magazines, and it’s all a bit silly really. Grown IT Professionals arguing about UNIX/Linux vs Windows seem to be recapturing the arguments of their youth about whether the C64 or the Spectrum was the best computer! A far more sensible way of looking at things is to evaluate what Microsoft have done, what is good and what is bad and from that come to a conclusion about their rating as a company. When you do this you can make a sober decision about them. Microsoft have had a lot of abuse heaped on them for producing buggy software. It is true that they have often not paid the sort of attention to detail that they should have done – but other Software firms can hardly gloat on this point either! One of the problems the IT industry faces is too often it is prepared to release a sub-standard product and later release an “upgrade” which fixes all the problems and which users have to pay for. Microsoft have done this sort of thing, but no more so than other firms, yet they are singled out for opprobrium. The reason for this is quite simply ubiquity. Everyone knows Microsoft’s products because they are everywhere, and everyone is familiar with some of the problems as a result. They are in effect and easy target. However, Microsoft gained its market share for a couple of simple reasons: The alternatives to MS products are either more expensive or less user friendly (or both). The alternatives to MS products are less visually appealing. These are crucial as most IT Systems need to be able to be used by non-expert staff, and with the oft quoted IT skills shortage, the easier new software is to use, the better. It is at this point in the argument that the US DoJ case
against Microsoft is brought up, with the anti- camp calling “guilty” and the pro- camp twisting their words and the law so that Microsoft can be called “innocent.” In my opinion, there is no doubt that Microsoft are guilty as hell of abusing their position to get Netscape. But that is a matter for the courts to decide and it does not affect the arguments about their software in the slightest. My own opinion is that at the moment Microsoft Software offers the best solution for small to medium sized companies (I cannot speak of the big company sector of which I know nought), because it is easy to use, there is minimum training required for non-IT staff and there is plenty of software available. That may change, and I am keeping a close watch on how things are changing, so that if and when they do, I can make another sober decision on this issue.
Microsoft: An overpowering company who shouldn't have been split up by the US government, but should instead have been disolved. Let's take the example everyone knows: WINDOWS Advantages: Provides a fairly easy interface to running programs Disadvantages: Win 98 can't run Dos-based games properly because it doesn't use DMA channels for sound. It is unstable (even version B) Doesn't like running Netscape The last disadvantage will make people think it is Netscape's fault, but when used on LINUX, the program runs extremely smoothly, and very rarely goes wrong. It is about time that program Developers stopped designing specifically for Windows, and for a wider range of OS's, so that the public have the ability to choose which one to go for and aren't penalised for having to choose Microsoft.
I am sorry i f i offend any microsoft haters by saying this but i think that everyone should leave off microsft! I really do think that the US courst have been unfair with microsoft, with the anti-trust case and all! I think that the reason that micrsoft software is on over 805 of computers in the world is because it is the best around. If it was not good then people would not use it! Like shampoo..... If it dont clean your hair then you dont use it aand you change to something else! This is the same with microsoft! If people didn't like it and it didn't do the job then they would stop using it! Do you get my point??
There are only three opinions people hold about Microsoft, not counting those without an opinion. Some people hate them, the majority, some people like them and in the tiny minority there are those who hat Microsoft with a justifiable reason. I would like to think I belong in that latter category. Although I don't like Microsoft I would have to take their side in the recent US Department of Justice legal action. Windows comes bundled with WordPad, Paint etc. so why is it wrong that it should come with a web browser? If Netscape can claim that it lost them money, which in all fairness it did, then does that mean the makers of TextPad can claim that it is wrong for Notepad to be included with Windows. Considering the popularity of Solitaire I think playing card manufacturers could be onto making a lot of money. I will add that I use Netscape as my browser of choice, although as they are now owned by AOL it is hard to sympathize with them. The reasons why I don't like Microsoft are simply because they are very bad at what they do and this has spread throughout the computer industry. I remember when I had my Atari ST with 1Mb or memory (although I did upgrade to 2.5Mb). It had a 8 MHz processor and a 720K floppy disk drive. I still managed to get a couple of applications on one disk and run them at a reasonable speed. My DTP program did take four disks but that is under 3 Mb and includes the fonts. The fact was that with limited resources programmers tried to make squeeze every size and performance advantage out of their code. Today nobody cares and instead people are expected to upgrade. I have installed Windows 98 and used up half a gigabyte of disk space. I know that it takes a lot of effort and code writing an operating system that has to account for very different hardware but clearly something has gone wrong, especially when you consider that not everything in installed to the hard disk, you still need to get the Win
dows CD out whenever you buy new hardware. Look at the size of Office etc. too. Windows 95/98/ME all still operate over DOS, it's just been hidden. Isn't this just laziness? Would you be able to release a new car, claim how much better the performance is but still use the same engine as you have been using for the last fifteen years. Microsoft have a monopolistic position with regards to operating systems. The raise of Linux has been remarkable but whether it can make it onto a home PC for the non technical literate remains to be seen. There are people who have difficulties using the Windows interface, I can't see them mounting volumes in a command shell. Without any competition they have been able to be sloppy. With operating system dominance they have been able to take a commanding position in the office suit market. They are now doing the same with web browsers and email clients. The only way other companies can compete is by putting all their attention into features and getting the programs released quickly rather than spending that bit of extra time for optimizing for size and speed. If you wait too long everyone will already have the Microsoft product, there'll be more books and support and so why would a new customer pick the new unused application instead of the popular one? It is well known that you should never buy a program when it is first released because of all the bugs they will contain. While it is impossible to trap every bug you should at least try and finish the program. There were two versions of Windows 95 and Windows 98, excluding the service packs and various bug fixing patches. I don't see Microsoft being too successful being a problem, this is a capitalist society and that's just the way it goes. Their products are overpriced though - £400 for Office just because you want a database! Windows 95 may be a copy of the Mac interface, but it in turn stole a lot from Digital Resear
ch's GEM. All that matters is that software companies make easy to use and reliable programs. Microsoft may have achieved the former, although I would contest that to some extent, I would not call them reliable. And that you need to upgrade hardware every time a new upgrade comes out is unnecessary. Faster computers should be seen to run faster but because of bad software you need a faster computer just to stop slowing down.
Microsoft's breaking up - the moment people like you and me have been waiting for. It time to stop them from making money, they've made enough... That's the way I used to think, until something struck me. Don't get me wrong, I've not changed my mind. I am just wondering how this break-up is going to affect me and the software world in general. I have heard of the suggestions made of the break-up, and I feel that there is probably a better way of doing it. I think we should stop Microsoft's expansion, but at the same time don't destroy what they have already built, (which I believe eventually means a loss to the software world) by taking the Office Suite from the operating system for example. Microsoft Office is very much a part of the operating system, essentially all Windows based application should have the look and feel of the operating system itself. But what should be taken apart are the operating system and internet related features. Like taking Internet Explorer from Windows, it is perfectly acceptable and wouldn't definately foil the Internet strategy that Microsoft just launched. This break-up of Microsoft should be carefully thought of, as it should not bring too great a loss to the software industry cause at the end of the day, it is not about politics, it is about the consumers.
Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational computer technology corporation with almost 80,000 employees in 102 countries and a global annual revenue of US $51.12 billion (2007).