Bonum Certa Men Certa

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

"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:

Comments

Recent Techrights' Posts

Microsoft-Connected Sites Trying to Shift Attention Away From Microsoft's Megabreach Only Days Before Important If Not Unprecedented Grilling by the US Government?
Why does the mainstream media not entertain the possibility a lot of these talking points are directed out of Redmond?
Windows Has Fallen Below 5% in Iraq, GNU/Linux Surged Beyond 7% Based on statCounter's Stats
Must be something going on!
Read "Google Is Not What It Seems" by Julian Assange
In this extract from his new book When Google Met Wikileaks, WikiLeaks' publisher Julian Assange describes the special relationship between Google, Hillary Clinton and the State Department -- and what that means for the future of the internet
Julian Assange: Factual Timeline From an Online Friend
a friend's account
Breaking News: Assange Wins Right to Challenge Extradition to the US
This is great news, but maybe the full legal text will reveal some caveat
Brittany Day, Plagiarist in Chief (Chatbot Slinger)
3 articles in the front page of LXer.com right now are chatbot spew
Guardian Digital, Inc (linuxsecurity.com) Has Resorted to Plagiarism by Chatbots, Flooding the World Wide Web With Fake 'Articles' Wrongly Attributed to Brittany Day
busted
 
[Video] Just Let Julian Assange Go Back to Australia
Assange needs to be freed
Microsoft Windows Used to Have Nearly 100% in China and Now Google Has 50% (With Android)
Will China bring about a faster "fall" for Microsoft?
The WWW declares the end of Google
Reprinted with permission from Cyber|Show
Gemini Links 20/05/2024: CMSs and Lua "Post to midnight.pub" Script Alternative
Links for the day
Brodie Robertson - Never Criticise The Linux Foundation Expenses (With Transcript)
Transcript included
Links 20/05/2024: Protests and Aggression by Beijing
Links for the day
Can an election campaign succeed without social media accounts?
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Fact check: relation to Julian Assange, founded Wikileaks at University of Melbourne and Arjen Kamphuis
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Gambia: Windows Down to 5% Overall, 50% on Desktops/Laptops
Windows was measured at 94% in 2015
Links 20/05/2024: Microsoft Layoffs and Shutdowns, RTO as Silent Layoffs
Links for the day
The Issue With Junk Traffic in Geminispace (Gemini Protocol)
Some people have openly complained that their capsule was getting hammered by bot
Peter Eckersley, Laura Smyth & the rushed closure of dial-up Internet in Australian universities
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Meme] Bullying the Victims
IBM: crybully of the year 2024
Ian.Community Should be Safer From Trademark Censorship
We wish to discuss this matter very quickly
Microsoft and Its Vicious Attack Dogs (Attacking Women or Wives in Particular)
Sad, pathetic, destructive people
Upcoming Series About the Campaign to 'Disappear' the Father of GNU/Linux
Today we have Julian Assange's fate to focus on
A Month From Now Gemini Protocol Turns 5
June 20
Colombia: From Less Than 0.5% to Nearly 4% for GNU/Linux
it's not limited to this one country
Rumour: Well Overdue Red Hat Layoffs to be Announced in About 3 Days
we know they've planned the layoffs for a while
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 19, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, May 19, 2024
Gemini Links 20/05/2024: Updated Noto Fontpacks and gemfeed2atom
Links for the day
GNU/Linux in Georgia: Looking Good
Windows down from 99% to less than 33%
Tomorrow is a Historic Day for Press Freedom in the UK
Take note of the Julian Assange case
Hiding in a Forest Without a Phone and Hiding Behind the First Amendment in the United States (US)
some serial defamer is trying to invert the narrative
Links 19/05/2024: Iran's President Lost in Helicopter Crash, WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Awaits Decisions in Less Than a Day
Links for the day
Links 19/05/2024: Microsoft Investigated in Europe
Links for the day
4 Old Articles About Microsoft/IBM SystemD
old but still relevant
Firefox Has Fallen to 2% in New Zealand
At around 2%, at least in the US (2% or below this threshold), there's no longer an obligation to test sites for any Gecko-based browser
Winning Streak
Free software prevalence
Links 19/05/2024: Conflicts, The Press, and Spotify Lawsuit
Links for the day
GNU/Linux+ChromeOS at Over 7% in New Zealand
It's also the home of several prominent GNU/Linux advocates
libera.chat (Libera Chat) Turns 3 Today
Freenode in the meantime continues to disintegrate
[Teaser] Freenode NDA Expires in a Few Weeks (What Really Happened 3 Years Ago)
get ready
GNU/Linux is Already Mainstream, But Microsoft is Still Trying to Sabotage That With Illegal Activities and Malicious Campaigns of Lies
To help GNU/Linux grow we'll need to tackle tough issues and recognise Microsoft is a vicious obstacle
Slovenia's Adoption of GNU/Linux in 2024
Whatever the factor/s may be, if these figures are true, then it's something to keep an eye on in the future
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 18, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, May 18, 2024
Links 19/05/2024: Profectus Beta 1.2
Links for the day
Site Archives (Not WordPress)
We've finally finished the work
[Meme] The EPO Delusion
on New Ways of Working
EPO Representatives Outline Latest Attacks on Staff
Not much has happened recently in terms of industrial action
Links 18/05/2024: Revisiting the Harms of Patent Trolls, Google Tries to Bypass (or Plagiarise) Sites Under the Guise of "AI"
Links for the day
Links 18/05/2024: BASIC Story, Site Feeds, and New in Geminispace
Links for the day
GNU/Linux in Kyrgyzstan: From 0.5% to 5% in Eight Years
the country is almost the size of the UK
Justice for Victims of Online Abuse
The claims asserted or pushed forth by the harasser are categorically denied
[Meme] Senior Software Engineer for Windows
This is becoming like another Novell
Links 18/05/2024: Deterioration of the Net, North Korean IT Workers in the US
Links for the day
Windows in Lebanon: Down to 12%?
latest from statCounter
[Video] 'Late Stage Capitalism': Microsoft as an Elaborate Ponzi Scheme (Faking 'Demand' While Portraying the Fraud as an Act of Generosity and Demanding Bailouts)
Being able to express or explain the facts isn't easy because of the buzzwords
Links 18/05/2024: Caledonia Emergency Powers, "UK Prosecutor's Office Went Too Far in the Assange Case"
Links for the day
Microsoft ("a Dying Megacorporation that Does Not Create") and IBM: An Era of Dying Giants With Leadership Deficits and Corporate Bailouts (Subsidies From Taxpayers)
Microsoft seems to be resorting to lots of bribes and chasing of bailouts (i.e. money from taxpayers worldwide)
US Patent and Trademark Office Sends Out a Warning to People Who Do Not Use Microsoft's Proprietary Formats
They're punishing people who wish to use open formats
Links 18/05/2024: Fury in Microsoft Over Studio Shutdowns, More Gaming Layoffs
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 17, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, May 17, 2024
Links 18/05/2024: KOReader, Benben v0.5.0 Progress Update, and More
Links for the day