Government Wants Two Microsofts
Friday April 28th, 2000
The U.S. Government has issued what it feels is the best remedy to keep Microsoft from leveraging it's monopoly any further. Microsoft part 1 would be just the operating system, and part 2 would take control of applications like IE and Office. Microsoft has until May 10 to submit their comments on this.
This bodes well for the Web developer community. Up to the present day, the IE development team has worked to support Microsoft's developer customer base, not Web developers in general or standards compliance goals. This is clear in the posts from Microsoft representatives on the WSP Standards mailing list.
With no guarantee that their browser will be included on any PC distribution, would the IE team not be forced to deal with standards compliance and interoperability? If they had to compete at the same level as their competitors, would it not bring about a change in attitude? And with no OS monopoly revenues to support browser development, I wonder if Microsoft would be forced to act as Netscape did -- turning to Open Source and the developer community for assistance.
Microsoft's IE development team has created a de facto platform built on numerous proprietary extensions and tight OS integration. With the loss of this tight integration, and with new platform competition from Mozilla's XUL, would the IE team acknowledge the necessity of cross-platform interoperability? Or would they stay a Windows-and-Mac-only development team that lacks interoperability across even those two platforms?
What do you think?
Monday May 1st, 2000 11:28 AM
You are replying to this message
Apparently you didn't already know, but Office is already moving to XML.
As a side note, Microsoft has been the open source movement's foil since its existence. If we force Microsoft to behave, we also have to be ready to accept it, as any other vendor. If Microsoft (legally!) makes a better mousetrap because of the breakup, then we have to recognize that. No sense beating a behaving horse.