No longer just Microsoft, an octopus/squid-like issue
Summary: Analysis of how Microsoft continues to live and prey on society even if Microsoft Corp. gets demoted and fractured
The destruction of Yahoo! by Microsoft is mostly forgotten by now and one who covered it in Murdoch’s press says that Microsoft is scrambling for corporate changes which may include firing some managers (many have fled). To quote:
According to sources close to the situation, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is likely unveil his plans to restructure the tech giant to a larger group of senior execs by July 1.
That prospect has many top managers at the company worried, since Ballmer has been making these significant plans with limited consultation with the wider leadership group at the software giant. Instead, he has been working with only a small group of his direct reports and also some Microsoft board members, numerous sources said.
That’s meant most senior execs have largely been left out of the decision-making process related to Ballmer’s goal of centering on solidifying Microsoft into the “devices and services company,” which he wrote about in his annual shareholder letter last October.
Citing this article, Tim writes: “First up is that on July the 1st there are to be big changes at Microsoft. Now we could speculate, but I think the time has long since past where Microsoft will regain its former “glory” and now can only sit back and watch itself being ridiculed and its market share in a plethora of services, software and tech be eaten away by competition.”
Devices are a very weak area for Microsoft, Linux being the clear leader. All that Microsoft can do about it is legal action or threats of legal action for extortion purposes; there is no hope of actually competing without dirty tricks (we covered this before), not even with Microsoft’s proxy, Nokia. Jean-Louis Gassée says that “Microsoft and Nokia won’t beget a Google-Motorola clone” in this new article from The Guardian. He argues that:
Many saw an acquisition as an inevitable next step, that by acquiring the Finnish handset maker Microsoft could “finish the job” that it started when it licensed a special Windows Phone to Nokia. It would be a blessed union of two vigilant, watchful companies: Microsoft had watched as Android and iOS made its own OS a distant also ran; Nokia, once the world’s largest mobile phone maker, couldn’t help but notice that Google and Apple had killed its handset business from both the high and low ends.
The restructuring of Microsoft would be just applying lipstick to a pig. Whenever in the past Microsoft spoke of “reorg” it was a PR move or damage control amid departure of key executives or closure of divisions/efforts. Microsoft’s PR agencies will be very active next week policing coverage of whatever Ballmer says will have to change. One sure thing is, as the Microsoft nemesis departs from this world, Microsoft has not changed its ways and it will continue to extort Linux using some software patents. Whether Nokia gets saved by Linux or not (e.g. an acquisition in China) it is too early to tell, but for the time being Nokia should be treated like Microsoft’s mobile division, acquired covertly. Yahoo is similar in that regard, the search side in particular. It is unfortunate that a lot of decent companies are going to disappear as Microsoft detonates its business, piece by piece.
Judge Jackson was alerting us that Microsoft had grown too big owing to its criminal activities, but sadly enough, due to yet more dirty dealing, Microsoft managed to stay in one piece, devouring over time even competitors like Corel and Novell.
As a timely reminder:
Eventually, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit removed Mr. Jackson from the case. Mr. Jackson’s decision to divide Microsoft was also overruled by the appeals court and the case was finally settled in 2001.
During the time the case was before Judge Jackson, we considered him to be something of a hero and we still think that true today. As we’ve relived our memories of the case since the announcement of his death, we realize that we followed this case without benefit of Pamela Jones or Groklaw to help us understand the proceedings. We can’t help but wonder how our understanding of the case would’ve been enhanced with her handling the play by play.
Microsoft is not dead yet. It receives favours and subsidies from governments and it also provides back doors into its software, Microsoft has become a highly political establishment, just like the Gates Foundation. Until this hydra which also includes Intellectual Ventures is gone, the technology we have will be slower to evolve and products more expensive, e.g. due to patent tax. Now that Apple and Microsoft work together on an similar agenda we must recognise that the threat is not merely one brand but a bunch which are controlled by some of the same people. █