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[P]
Microsoft's Future

By skim123 in News
Tue May 02, 2000 at 09:41:55 AM EST
Tags: Technology (all tags)
Technology

I know Microsoft topics have been discussed somewhat heavily lately, but please just take the time to read on...

Over the past couple of weeks there has been a lot of articles on Kuro5hin and Slashdot and similar news sites about Microsoft and their future. While we have heard a lot about breaking up Microsoft, it will probably still be years before anything is actually done. My question: What does the future of Microsoft look like? Will my children know of Microsoft? Will they be as big or bigger a year or two from now? Is Microsoft on its way out?


I find myself pondering over what Microsoft's future holds. If Microsoft remains at its domineering levels over the next decade, then, I think you'll agree, all this Justice Department "action" is in vain. So, what do you think the future holds for Microsoft? Perhaps once of these scenarios?

  • Microsoft broken into two companies, both grow, become monopolies in themselves, and MS keeps steamrolling ahead.
  • Microsoft is broken into two companies and both shrink in size and importance. Microsoft, still a large company, fails to dominate the market as they do today.
  • Microsoft is broken up into two companies, which slowly die off and are bought by larger companies. Five years from now, there is no such thing as Microsoft.

  • After appeals, Microsoft is kept intact. Over the years MS continues its astronomical growth.
  • Microsoft is kept intact and slowly looses its dominance over the years. While it is still a big company, it is no longer a dominant one.
  • Microsoft remains intact and slowly dies off.
So, which of these scenarios, do you think, is most probable? What other outcomes could occur?

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Microsoft's Future | 36 comments (36 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
I doubt anything will change at all... (none / 0) (#17)
by buzzbomb on Mon May 01, 2000 at 03:06:27 AM EST

buzzbomb voted 1 on this story.

I doubt anything will change at all. I think that even if DOJ splits MS into 10 different companies they'll still do the same shit that they currently do. Bill will get some of his "lap dogs" to head up the seperate companies and he'll still tell them all what to do. Not officially, of course. :)

Short Debate. Gore wins, M$ gets in... (none / 0) (#27)
by Saint Zero on Mon May 01, 2000 at 03:52:04 AM EST

Saint Zero voted 1 on this story.

Short Debate. Gore wins, M$ gets in trouble. Bush wins, they get off scott free.
---------- Patron Saint of Nothing, really.

Re: Short Debate. Gore wins, M$ gets in... (none / 0) (#32)
by skim123 on Tue May 02, 2000 at 01:28:11 PM EST

Gore wins, M$ gets in trouble. Bush wins, they get off scott free.

I don't see how the executive branch has anything to do with this. Maybe I am just naive.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
Re: Short Debate. Gore wins, M$ gets in... (none / 0) (#33)
by ramses0 on Tue May 02, 2000 at 01:49:08 PM EST

hey, you didn't use the 'i' with the umlaut over it... for shame! (you can get it by typing ï ;^)=

--Robert
[ rate all comments , for great justice | sell.com ]
[ Parent ]

Microsoft needs to be broken up! Th... (none / 0) (#14)
by scorpion on Mon May 01, 2000 at 06:47:52 AM EST

scorpion voted 1 on this story.

Microsoft needs to be broken up! The operating system unit will probably become reduced in size as it tries to compete and cannot. There control on the internet will also shrink because there products are not that good...It will be an intereting few years ahead.

Microsoft splits into two companies... (none / 0) (#22)
by Commienst on Mon May 01, 2000 at 07:24:11 AM EST

Commienst voted 1 on this story.

Microsoft splits into two companies whose market shares dwindle in the coming years. Things look like both MS offshots will file for bankruptcy until they find a small niche somewhere in the software world. Microsoft realizes now it goal of dominating the OS market and software in general is now unattainable so they change their goal to take the path that will reward it employees the most .

You forgot: ... (none / 0) (#1)
by rusty on Mon May 01, 2000 at 07:40:02 AM EST

rusty voted -1 on this story.

You forgot:

  • Microsoft continues to be irrelevant, happy people continue to use Linux


____
Not the real rusty
Havent we covered this before?... (none / 0) (#16)
by inspire on Mon May 01, 2000 at 08:37:46 AM EST

inspire voted -1 on this story.

Havent we covered this before?
--
What is the helix?

This won't generate any useful disc... (none / 0) (#26)
by heinzkeinz on Mon May 01, 2000 at 09:09:15 AM EST

heinzkeinz voted -1 on this story.

This won't generate any useful discussion. In most cases I wouldn't say this, but you will get a more intelligent assessment of Microsoft's future from the mainstream media than you will here. The analysts on CNBC have a better understanding of how business works than Kuro5hin's readers. A better topic would be what we think SHOULD happen and why, rather than what is likely to occur, as the latter will be mostly groundless speculation.

At some point, I'm gonna be really ... (none / 0) (#15)
by marlowe on Mon May 01, 2000 at 09:29:27 AM EST

marlowe voted 1 on this story.

At some point, I'm gonna be really sick of this whole subject. But I'm not quite there yet. Rounding up from +0.5.
-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --

Cool... let's all free-associate...... (none / 0) (#19)
by dlc on Mon May 01, 2000 at 10:02:51 AM EST

dlc voted 1 on this story.

Cool... let's all free-associate... "Microsoft"... "Break-up"...

(darren)

Re: Cool... let's all free-associate...... (none / 0) (#36)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue May 02, 2000 at 08:49:14 PM EST

Ooo, ooo, don't tell me, I know this one!

Um...  How about anagrams?

Sicromoft!  ...no, that's even nastier sounding...

I'm so Croft!  They're going to make a Tomb Raider clone!

Crimosoft!  They're a bunch of crooks, I knew it!

SimFortCo?  Fort Micos?  Somic Torf?  Okay, anagrams aren't working...

Um... um...

Soccer mom?  Their target audience?

"Breaking up is hard to do?"  That's why it takes so long?

Separating the software from the microcomputer doesn't make much sense, it'd
just be a toaster...  Hmm...

I know I'm missing something here....


[ Parent ]
I think the more important issue he... (none / 0) (#13)
by gnuchris on Mon May 01, 2000 at 11:09:18 AM EST

gnuchris voted -1 on this story.

I think the more important issue here, is to tell "Society", you know the less technical people, why MS is being split up... success is great, but the Ends don't Justify the Means.. it is the means MS used to gain this unprecedented success that is the problem, and I'm sure the common man just doens't understand
"He had alot to say, He had alot of nothing to say" -TOOL-

I think the biggest plus of this wh... (none / 0) (#29)
by flamingcow on Mon May 01, 2000 at 11:14:13 AM EST

flamingcow voted 1 on this story.

I think the biggest plus of this whole situation has already happened; terms like "Linux" have now entered into people's minds. To make good news, the media has begun to discuss alternatives to Microsoft. It doesn't matter what will happen, MS will roll ahead like the mamouth that it is. However, people are starting to realize that they're not all thats out there.

The most likely outcome, I believe,... (none / 0) (#12)
by Ozymandias on Mon May 01, 2000 at 11:41:35 AM EST

Ozymandias voted 1 on this story.

The most likely outcome, I believe, is that Microsoft will be split into two companies, OS and Applications. Both will suffer an immediate decline, as their main sales point - integration - will cease to exist. OS will (probably) either die completely or refocus, losing the Server lines and business line and becoming solely a specific-use OS (Windows CE/Pocket PC, X Box, etc.) and possibly a home-user OS. Applications declines with it, then takes off again as they also refocus on various markets; decent office applications and browsers for *nix, Palm and Pocket PC applications, and Internet Applications. All of those markets have plenty of room, and the Applications-half of Microsoft will still be able to bank on their name and history.

Another issue to discuss - where in the hell does the government get off interfering in the market like this? This trial is not about harm to consumers; this trial is about certain companies failing to compete in the market, and deciding to win in the courtroom instead. A dark day for ALL industry, and for the consumer as well.
- Ozymandias

Wars (none / 0) (#34)
by zotz on Tue May 02, 2000 at 03:49:41 PM EST

In the wider world, if one strong country is making war on smaller countries, they will often get together and fight a unified war to defeat their larger foe.

It is my understanding that this is NOT LEGAL in the business world under the US laws. If I am right, if both sides break the laws, things may work out, if both sides obey the law, same thing, if one side obeys the law and one side breaks it, that is a different game.

The laws exist, if you don't like them, fight to have them repealed. If you choose to break them, even if you believe they are unjust, you know you are runnin the risk of punishment.

Now, if you make the case that you are being treated unjustly, and can convince people to lobby for your pardon, make your case.


zotz forever! ~~~the raggeded~~~

bslug.org
[ Parent ]

Monopoly breaks the market controls (none / 0) (#35)
by error 404 on Tue May 02, 2000 at 06:03:42 PM EST

When a company is not a monopoly, the market prevents the company from doing
the things Microsoft did. But when a company becomes a monopoly, the market can
no longer effectively prevent abuses.

If Microsoft weren't a monopoly and said (as they used to, before the trial) to
the retailers (computer manufacturers, in this case) "you can't sell out
product wholesale because you sometimes sell your product (computers) without
our product or sometimes sell a product made by a company we want out of
business" the retailers would say "Don't let the door hit you on the ass.
Next." 

That is why the govornment steps in. Because the mechanism that usualy controls
companies is broken.

Not a  dark day for the industry. Far from a dark day for all industry -
anti-trust laws have been around for about a century, and the software business
is more business than software. This is, in the wider picture, business as
usual. A new thing in the software business, but old hat for most businesses. 

Innovate to make money, and everything is cool. "Innovate" to crush potential
competition, and you better be able to prove (not "oops - did we say that was
evidence? that was just a demo" video) that your innovation makes the product
better for the customer. The IE "integration" was a joke.  There were no,
repeat, NO, benefits to the user that Microsoft could show the court. Had they
been able to show (Microsoft had plenty of time, lawyers, and engineers - if
they couldn't show it, it wasn't there) that there was any point to it other
than as an attack, the trial would have ended differently.

The fact is, the "innovation" of integration was a simple matter of breaking
Windows and putting the fix in the browser. That is an abuse of the user.

If Microsoft didn't have an OS monopoly, the competing OS companies would have
eaten them for lunch when they tried it. No competition, so the govornment
stepped in.


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]
I think it's very unlikely M$ ... (none / 0) (#25)
by Rasputin on Mon May 01, 2000 at 11:59:46 AM EST

Rasputin voted 1 on this story.

I think it's very unlikely M$ will be split up, given the current attitude of "let the market police itself" in the US. Events and attitudes in the rest of the world are not likely to impact this in the short term. Whether M$ continues to dominate or fades into the background will really depend on the remedies that eventually end up being enforced after the findings. It's almost impossible to guess what might happen, as everybody is focused on the "baby bills" to the exclusion of other possible outcomes. As well, M$ will probably remain the choice for the "least common denominator" computer user in the near term. I remember how painful it was supporting people in their move from Wintendo to OS/2, which is actually a short step. Linux and BSD are at least an order of magnitude more difficult to handle (I can't comment on BeOS because I've never used it). In the slighly longer term, as computers fade into the background M$ will fade with it, assuming their inability to dominate the palm-top and general "appliance" computers continues.
Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat.

You forgot to add "15 years from no... (none / 0) (#10)
by eann on Mon May 01, 2000 at 12:30:21 PM EST

eann voted 1 on this story.

You forgot to add "15 years from now, Microsoft hires professional annoying people Paul Reiser and David Arquette to star in their commercials".

I'm curious what people think, too. Can we expect the Supreme Court to rule against the DoJ?

Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. —MLK

$email =~ s/0/o/; # The K5 cabal is out to get you.


Argh! Another microsoft story *feel... (none / 0) (#5)
by henrik on Mon May 01, 2000 at 01:03:09 PM EST

henrik voted -1 on this story.

Argh! Another microsoft story *feels his head exploding* Splatt!!

Akademiska Intresseklubben antecknar!

Find out when it happens.... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
by Velian on Mon May 01, 2000 at 01:04:46 PM EST

Velian voted -1 on this story.

Find out when it happens.

Personally, I would like to see Mic... (none / 0) (#21)
by pdubroy on Mon May 01, 2000 at 01:08:26 PM EST

pdubroy voted -1 on this story.

Personally, I would like to see Microsoft broken up. Why? Not because they engaged in predatory business tactics. I suppose if I were a commercial software manufacturer, I might. But I'm not, so I don't. I would like to see Microsoft broken up, but only so that we can get some better commercial software out there, and get rid of some of the horrible "standards", ie. "best viewed with IE5", "please submit in Word format", "works with all operating systems - Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT". Anyhow I am mostly sick of hearing about this stuff, and I don't really care what Microsoft looks like in 20 years, as long as they don't carry too much political power.

Sorry, I don't see any reason to do... (none / 0) (#7)
by evro on Mon May 01, 2000 at 03:01:21 PM EST

evro voted -1 on this story.

Sorry, I don't see any reason to dote on this... we'll have plenty of time to discuss MS in the "big picture" in the years (and decades, I'm sure) to come.
---
"Asking me who to follow -- don't ask me, I don't know!"

Even if the court case is thrown ou... (none / 0) (#2)
by bmetzler on Mon May 01, 2000 at 03:31:37 PM EST

bmetzler voted 1 on this story.

Even if the court case is thrown out today, it's not in vain. A MS has lost a lot of ground in the last year because of the trial that they'll never get back.
www.bmetzler.org - it's not just a personal weblog, it's so much more.

An interesting approach... not what... (none / 0) (#20)
by warpeightbot on Mon May 01, 2000 at 03:46:06 PM EST

warpeightbot voted 1 on this story.

An interesting approach... not what *should* happen, but likely what *will* happen. Personal prediction: Microsoft becomes irrelevant. As the *nix community solidifies itself under tools such as autoconf and Gnu Make (this includes MacOS 8, btw), Microsoft will slowly but surely become That Other API.... efforts such as Mozilla and Corel Office 2000 seem to bear this out. Either they will learn to write for our platform (notice the use of the singular), or die. They must learn the same lesson IBM did: Taking over the world is impossible. You must go with the flow, or be left behind. What is the One True Platform, you may ask? I'll tell you: I don't know. But I'll bet it takes pieces from Gecko, X11, Linux, Mach, BSD, MacOS, and maybe even Be.... and I Ga-Ron-Tee it will have at least one incarnation under the GPL.....

Very good pole options, not as absu... (none / 0) (#31)
by Mantis on Mon May 01, 2000 at 04:23:08 PM EST

Mantis voted 1 on this story.

Very good pole options, not as absurd as on slashdot. Mantis

Sorry, but I'm truly sick of this s... (none / 0) (#24)
by Decklin Foster on Mon May 01, 2000 at 04:41:02 PM EST

Decklin Foster voted -1 on this story.

Sorry, but I'm truly sick of this story. Post something new when there is *more news* about it.

Sorry, this isn't anything I haven'... (none / 0) (#3)
by Inoshiro on Mon May 01, 2000 at 05:21:00 PM EST

Inoshiro voted -1 on this story.

Sorry, this isn't anything I haven't seen a hundred times before.

Besides, I prefer to talk about real technology, not just some company which managed (by marketting hook and OEM deal crook) to dominate the market.



--
[ イノシロ ]
What ever happened with IBM? Weren'... (none / 0) (#23)
by nicktamm on Mon May 01, 2000 at 07:09:05 PM EST

nicktamm voted 1 on this story.

What ever happened with IBM? Weren't they placed under some restrictions for being a monopoly in the '60s? They seemed to end up okay (and well respected) over time. Could the same thing happen to Microsoft?
Nick Tamm nick-k5@echorequest.net http://www.nicktamm.org

Finally--an even-handed, honest ass... (none / 0) (#28)
by leshert on Mon May 01, 2000 at 09:47:25 PM EST

leshert voted 1 on this story.

Finally--an even-handed, honest assessment of the possibilities. Any one mentioned (and probably more) can be supported. Release the hounds!

I predict the following: ... (none / 0) (#30)
by MoxFulder on Mon May 01, 2000 at 11:15:28 PM EST

MoxFulder voted 1 on this story.

I predict the following: Microsoft is kept intact and slowly looses its dominance over the years. While it is still a big company, it is no longer a dominant one. Of course, I'm betting heavily on open source here ... ;-)

"If good things lasted forever, would we realize how special they are?"
--Calvin and Hobbes


Literally, I haven't cared about Mi... (none / 0) (#4)
by Demona on Tue May 02, 2000 at 12:18:58 AM EST

Demona voted 0 on this story.

Literally, I haven't cared about Microsoft since I stopped using their operating systems. Now if only we could ditch Intel and the PC Bios...

Ugh, ugh, ugh. Enough already.... (none / 0) (#8)
by fluffy grue on Tue May 02, 2000 at 03:32:27 AM EST

fluffy grue voted -1 on this story.

Ugh, ugh, ugh. Enough already.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]

I think it's been discussed enough.... (none / 0) (#9)
by TomG on Tue May 02, 2000 at 03:56:53 AM EST

TomG voted -1 on this story.

I think it's been discussed enough.

I bet you microsoft will do an IBM... (none / 0) (#6)
by kraant on Tue May 02, 2000 at 05:38:46 AM EST

kraant voted 1 on this story.

I bet you microsoft will do an IBM
--
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...

Microsoft broken into two companies... (none / 0) (#18)
by soulhuntre on Tue May 02, 2000 at 07:49:46 AM EST

soulhuntre voted 1 on this story.

Microsoft broken into two companies, both grow, become monopolies in themselves, and MS keeps steamrolling ahead.

Microsoft's Future | 36 comments (36 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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