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Re: Microsoft needs a help strategy

From: amicus_curious
Subject: Re: Microsoft needs a help strategy
Date: Sat, 24 Jan 2009 17:26:14 -0500

"Robert Heller" <> wrote in message news:1tOdnfxtXMHI7ebUnZ2dnUVZ_srinZ2d@posted.localnet...
At Sat, 24 Jan 2009 11:56:25 -0500 "amicus_curious" <> wrote:

"Rjack" <> wrote in message">
> With the advent of the Obama administration, it is generally
> expected that the Justice Department and the FTC will become much
> more aggressive in antitrust enforcement matters.
> With Microsoft's OS share hovering around 90%,
> how can Microsoft best subtly assist OSX and Linux in order to
> avert antitrust prosecutions under the new administration that will
> resemble those in the EU?
I think that the Obama administration is more likely to consider the adverse
effect of such silly prosecution on the overall economy.  Consider that
Microsoft is a large company that generates more than 60B worth of revenue
per year.  Why would the Obama administration try to hold them in check?
Why would they favor replacing that 60B company with a collection of open
sourcerers who rely on trade in kind and are adverse to such levels of
profits? Would destroying Microsoft help the economy? I don't think so and I doubt that Obama's advisors are going to recommend that course of action.

I don't think antitrust enforcement is going to 'destroy' Microsoft.  It
*will* allow *other* companies to be less 'timid' about possible Linux
offerings.  The antitrust enforcement will allow Dell, Gateway, or even
Wal-mart to more openly offer Linux-based computers, generally at a
lower cost, since they will be free of Microsoft's OEM licencing costs
or the 'costs' caused by Microsoft's 'harassment' tactics.  This can
only help the economy.  Yes, it might *slightly* hurt Microsoft.

There are several things wrong with your notion, I think. The first being that Microsoft is somehow not "allowing" other companies to be "less timid" about possible Linux offerings. It is a myth widely held amongst the Linux fans, I know, but there is absolutely nothing that Microsoft is doing to overtly prevent such a thing. Indeed, there is a direct agreement with the US DOJ that nothing in that regard shall be done as part of the overall settlement of the USA vs Microsoft case in the late 1990s. An oversight committee is in place to make sure. Do you think they are asleep at the switch? You probably do, but you are wrong.

Nor is the economy helped by lowering the cost of goods sold in commerce. That is just plain silly. Look at the housing mess. It is caused by a general decline in housing prices and the consequent reduction in homeowners' value. It triggered the credit mess when the values sank so low that the money owed on property was more than the property value, sparking owners to abandon their loans and their lots.

Microsoft is already hurting and is probably facing long term problems
(with or without the JOD or FTC enforcement).  Just because Microsoft is
large and just because the there are economic troubles is no reason for
the JOD or FTC to just 'slack off'.  Both departments should be doing
their jobs.

Microsoft's revenues were still up, although slightly, with the poor economy and the shortfall in profits is easily cured by cutting staff and regulating expenses. There is a lot of fat to trim. If you think that the job of the DOJ and FTC is to harass successful companies and are looking forward to Obama's wielding of the axe, you are sorely mistaken and will soon be disappointed.

Microsoft has absorbed the EU fines with ease since their prices in the EU are significantly higher than elsewhere in the world. They will stay in the
EU as long as it is profitable to do so and so far it has been.

Right.  There is little the JOD or FTC can do to *really* hurt
Microsoft anyway, no matter how agressive they enforce the law.  The
JOD or FTC enforcing law is not about hurting Microsoft (since
Microsoft has such deep pockets to begin with) as much as getting
Microsoft off the backs of other parts of the hardware and software
industry, so that these other parts (companies) can manage to survive
the current hard times and eventually grow, be profitable, and hire
people, which is how the current hard times will become good times.
Seeking to avoid hurting Microsoft or otherwise treating Microsoft
lightly is not going to do the economy any favors, since that *would*
mean seriously hurting the rest of the IT industry, which does not need
any additional 'hurt'.

You are incredibly naive.

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