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?

#8 Things will change

by balram

Sunday April 30th, 2000 6:41 AM

You are replying to this message

First thing i'd like to say is, "How Many Microsofts Do You Want Today?"

Anyway, something like Windows going open source will be very bad in the short term; computing will be even more confusing to newbies than it is now, there will no longer be this all powerful base for the software industry. But in the long term it would be great, as it would start of another era of tremendous innovation, growth in technology and so on. It will also inevitably create a void on the OS shell front, a void that Mozilla can fill up. A Mozilla desktop from which you can run your Mozilla and native OS programs. Sounds great.

IE going open source will be great too. Mozilla would have real, fair competition. At least for a while, the browser battles will be fought on grounds of better software, not on monopolistic marketing strategies.