05.19.08

Gemini version available ♊︎

A Decade After US Anti-trust Ruling, Microsoft Likely to Topple Itself

Posted in America, Antitrust, Courtroom, Finance, Google, Microsoft, Novell at 11:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“We need to slaughter Novell before they get stronger….If you’re going to kill someone, there isn’t much reason to get all worked up about it and angry. You just pull the trigger. Any discussions beforehand are a waste of time. We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger.”

Jim Allchin, Vice President, Microsoft

They say that regulation is needed to ensure that the Trust is every now again weakened or dissolved. While a new target for severe anti-trust action seems to be Intel (we will not focus on this here), Microsoft seems to be gradually undoing its own business not due to regulation, but due to its own failures and "hubris-infected" leadership. Let’s recap some timely interesting figures.

When you assess the financial state of Microsoft (MSFT), then you are rather likely to think about the value of the stock, but it rarely tells the full story. It merely represents the combination of public and potentially private holdings in the stock. Chairman Gates has been loosening his grip on MSFT for the past 2 years, based on reports that were published after obligatory disclosures. It’s a gradual process, which is also mandatory for one with a personal stake in the company (prevention of inside-trading and the likes of that).

“Chairman Gates has been loosening his grip on MSFT for the past 2 years, based on reports that were published after obligatory disclosures.”Watching the graphs of MSFT, you will most likely miss a very important factor and a hidden ingredient. It was only mentioned in isolated places in the press way back in 2006. One would need to at least point out that Microsoft has been pumping approximately $36,000,000,000 of its own savings into its own stock since then. It’s important because it means that real investors have been departing. If they didn’t, the stock would go up through the roof. The stock, therefore, does not tell the truth and it's not a function of might.

Assume that we’ve agreed that the stock says too little. It’s not an encouraging sign. But that’s not the whole story. The degradation, as recently described even by Cringely, affects other forms of financial balance. Microsoft has been left with just about $26 billion the bank (Apple is a close second this latest technology survey) and it has also lost $30,000,000,0000 in terms of market cap since February, which is when the bid for Yahoo was made. If Microsoft buys significant portions of Yahoo (and returns money that investors expect), it could find itself in debt.

The company’s grip on its core business is evidently slipping too. That’s where long-term hopes continue to reside because newer businesses (or separate divisions) generally lose heaps of money. Had they been an isolated entity, they would have gone bankrupt by now. One of the latest noticeable articles about the key issue was published some hours ago and it states:

I call it the “tyranny of the installed base.” I saw plenty of it when I worked at minicomputer Data General in the 1990s. Customers want bug fixes and enhancements to their existing products–even if it’s some legacy database that fewer and fewer people used with each passing year. The result is that lots of resources get sucked into supporting the “old stuff,” leaving that much less energy, money, etc. for the “new stuff.”

But the real issue here is more insidious. A company, especially a public company, can’t really “Just Say No” to that installed base and tell them to take their business elsewhere. Imagine if you would this scenario: Ballmer wakes up next Monday morning after having an epiphany over the weekend. He walks into Redmond, tosses a few chairs for emphasis, and announces that Microsoft is going to immediately discontinue selling and developing its Windows operating system and Office products because they’re mired in the past and have become too much a distraction from what’s really important–its online services business.

The point to be made here is that one needn’t necessarily rely on regulators alone. The market is able to see the abuses and — in accordance — raise its nose in the face of Microsoft’s offers. Just watch the retorts of Yahoo!

Moreover, Microsoft’s stubbornness in this dilemma, where it struggles keep its cash cow’s expansion (similar to Novell's dilemma), turns out to be rather suicidal because it leaves the door open for competitors in tomorrow’s generation of software.

By all means, none of this will ever change the fact that Microsoft has abused and corrupted. It carries on to this day. It has all been learned and filed, no matter how much denial and history-rewrite attempts are being made. Bill Gates wants to control the museum of computing, but he can be trusted as much as leaders that spread self-glorifying sculptures of themselves around town. And then there’s the 10-year anniversary of a significant court ruling that brought a gold mine or a treasure trove filled with smoking guns.

When the government and 20 states filed their antitrust lawsuit, they charged Microsoft with exerting a ”choke hold” on rivals while denying consumer choice.

The lawsuit we filed today seeks to put an end to Microsoft’s unlawful campaign to eliminate competition, deter innovation, and restrict consumer choice. In essence, what Microsoft has been doing, through a wide variety of illegal business practices, is leveraging its Windows operating system monopoly to force its other software products on consumers.”

That reads like a blast from the past. I spent the better part of two years watching lawyers for Microsoft and the trustbusters argue before the bench. Beyond the day-to-day, though, this was fundamentally a debate about the future of the desktop at a time when the Windows operating system was under challenge from the Internet.

Bill Gates and his closest managers truly feared what would happen to Windows if Netscape’s browser became the preferred conduit to the Internet. The court ultimately found Microsoft guilty of predatory behavior, but the company avoided potentially crippling, worst-case sanctions.

For more information about Microsoft’s slightly older market abuses, there’s always Groklaw’s brilliant coverage and accumulation of exhibits.

Recent news:

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

A Single Comment

  1. max stirner said,

    May 20, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Gravatar

    down with babylon!!!

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 18/1/2022: Deepin 20.4 and Qubes OS 4.1.0 RC4

    Links for the day



  2. Links 18/1/2022: GNOME 42 Alpha and KStars 3.5.7

    Links for the day



  3. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 17, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 17, 2022



  4. Links 17/1/2022: More Microsoft-Connected FUD Against Linux as Its Share Continues to Fall

    Links for the day



  5. The GUI Challenge

    The latest article from Andy concerns the Command Line Challenge



  6. Links 17/1/2022: digiKam 7.5.0 and GhostBSD 22.01.12 Released

    Links for the day



  7. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 16, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 16, 2022



  8. Links 17/1/2022: postmarketOS 21.12 Service Pack 1 and Mumble 1.4 Released

    Links for the day



  9. [Meme] Gemini Space (or Geminispace): From 441 Working Capsules to 1,600 Working Capsules in Just 12 Months

    Gemini space now boasts 1,600 working capsules, a massive growth compared to last January, as we noted the other day (1,600 is now official)



  10. [Meme] European Patent Office Space

    The EPO maintains a culture of illegal surveillance, inherited from Benoît Battistelli and taken to a whole new level by António Campinos



  11. Gemini Rings (Like Webrings) and Shared Spaces in Geminspace

    Much like the Web of 20+ years ago, Gemini lets online communities — real communities (not abused tenants, groomed to be ‘monetised’ like in Facebook or Flickr) — form networks, guilds, and rings



  12. Links 16/1/2022: Latte Dock 0.11 and librest 0.9.0

    Links for the day



  13. The Corporate Cabal (and Spy Agencies-Enabled Monopolies) Engages in Raiding of the Free Software Community and Hacker Culture

    In an overt attack on the people who actually did all the work — the geeks who built excellent software to be gradually privatised through the Linux Foundation (a sort of price-fixing and openwashing cartel for shared interests of proprietary software firms) — is receiving more widespread condemnation; even the OSI has been bribed to become a part-time Microsoft outsourcer as organisations are easier to corrupt than communities



  14. EPO's Web Site Constantly Spammed by Lies About Privacy While EPO Breaks the Law and Outsources Data to the United States

    The António Campinos-led EPO works for imperialism, it not only protects the rich; sadly, António’s father isn’t alive anymore and surely he would blast his son for doing what he does to progress his career while lying to staff and European citizens



  15. Links 16/1/2022: Tsunami and Patents

    Links for the day



  16. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 15, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 15, 2022



  17. Links 16/1/2022: Year of the GNU/Linux Desktop and Catch-up With Patent Misinformation

    Links for the day



  18. Patrick Breyer, Unlike Most German Politicians, Highlights the Fact That Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent Are Incompatible With EU Law

    A longtime critic of EPO abuses (under both Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos leadership), as well as a vocal critic of software patents, steps in to point out the very obvious



  19. Links 15/1/2022: Flameshot 11.0 and Libvirt 8.0

    Links for the day



  20. Blogging and Microblogging in Geminispace With Gemini Protocol

    Writing one’s thoughts and other things in Geminispace — even without setting up a Gemini server — is totally possible; gateways and services do exist for this purpose



  21. Links 15/1/2022: Raspberry Pi in Business

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 14, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, January 14, 2022



  23. Gemini Clients: Comparing Moonlander, Telescope, Amfora, Kristall, and Lagrange (Newer and Older)

    There are many independent implementations of clients (similar to Web browsers) that deal with Gemini protocol and today we compare them visually, using Techrights as a test case/capsule



  24. 2022 Starts With Censorship of Christmas and Other Greetings at the EPO

    The nihilists who run the EPO want a monopoly on holiday greetings; to make matters worse, they’re censoring staff representatives in their intranet whilst inconsistently applying said policies



  25. Links 14/1/2022: FFmpeg 5.0 and Wine 7.0 RC6

    Links for the day



  26. White House Asking Proprietary Software Companies That Add NSA Back Doors About Their Views on 'Open Source' Security

    The US government wants us to think that in order to tackle security issues we need to reach out to the collective 'wisdom' of the very culprits who created the security mess in the first place (even by intention, for imperialistic objectives)



  27. Links 14/1/2022: EasyOS 3.2.1 and Qt 6.3 Alpha

    Links for the day



  28. Scientific Excellence and the Debian Social Contract

    The Debian Project turns 30 next year; in spite of it being so ubiquitous (most of the important distros of GNU/Linux are based on Debian) it is suffering growing pains and some of that boils down to corporate cash and toxic, deeply divisive politics



  29. Links 14/1/2022: openSUSE Leap 15.2 EoL, VFX Designers Are Using GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  30. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 13, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 13, 2022


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts