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Mailbag: Microsoft Plays Monopoly

Microsoft is sounding an alarm over the Google/Yahoo ad deal, calling it a monopoly in the making. Coming from Microsoft, this might be ironic -- but not that surprising:

Ironic? No, it's about time. Turnabout is fair play.

This is just as ironic as when IBM got to finger-pointing at Microsoft during the Microsoft monopoly hearings. Youngsters might not remember IBM's own monopoly issues, but the rest of us do.

What goes around comes around. I think Microsoft is justified using the same arguments that have been used against it -- and the results should be the same if the legal systems are balanced as they claim.

Microsoft's enemies have used the monopoly chip against them and now they want to turn the tables on Google. Having politicians and the courts involved in this is not good for the consumer's pocket book or for technology innovation. I trust the market to make the corrections needed.

After reading your comments about Microsoft, the potential Google/Yahoo deal and the words "monopoly" and "ironic" in your column, another word immediately came to my mind: HYPOCRITE. Kind of like the pot calling the kettle black. Just like a terrorist calling the United States a bunch of murderers. Kinda of like sending a fat, overweight U.S. senator overseas to a Third World nation to investigate their poverty and hunger. Tennessee Williams said it best in "The Rose Tattoo," Act 3: "The only thing worse than a liar is a liar that's also a hypocrite!"

How long before we see Microsoft changing its trademark to a guy wearing a black hat, a tuxedo and a monocle?

Microsoft has suggested that Windows 7 will pretty much be based on Vista. Too much of a not-so-good-thing? Here's what some of you think:

Over the last months, I have read several news reports saying that Windows 7 will address the 'bloatware' that Vista has become by being more of a thin client that can be readily expanded. Now Veghte is saying it will be built on Vista? Did those reporters fall for more obfuscation?

As the world swings toward making more use of laptops and notebooks, Microsoft must understand that these devices are NOT readily upgradeable to have terabytes of RAM once Windows 7 releases. I have an old Dell Latitude at home that I'm not throwing away just because it can't support Vista; I'm moving to Ubuntu.

I think that Microsoft made a major stumble at the wrong time. Vista was way late and many of the great features were stripped in order to finally ship it. It was so slow and riddled with bugs and incompatibilities that it got extremely bad press. At the same time, Linux was making huge strides in compatibility and ease of use with Ubuntu, etc. A couple years ago, Linux wasn't in a place to compete at any level with Windows, but now it is much further along.

Microsoft making a big announcement that Windows 7 is based on Vista so you might as well upgrade to Vista now is going to backfire on the company, I think.

I saw in your post today that you included some Windows 7 information, and I wanted to clarify a minor point. In your post, you write the following: "Second -- and this is the first such official proclamation -- Veghte stated that Windows 7 is based on Vista."

There was a post by Chris Flores on the Windows Vista blog in May which disclosed this information.

Rick shares his thoughts on Microsoft's approach to standards:

I work in a part of the technology sector where collaboration and cooperation are essential. In my opinion, Microsoft sets itself up for the cheap shots in the manner it tries to collaborate or share with the technology community at large. It's one thing to invite the technology community to participate in the creation of a file standard, as opposed to developing a file standard and presenting it to the technology community for ratification or acceptance. The first approach is inviting and suggests willingness to accept outside review and input; the latter is easily construed as an obnoxious attitude ("Here it is, take it or leave it").

Still, a powerful argument against collaboration is that development speed suffers dramatically. Also in the mix is the fact that system changes are best made in the design phase and not the implementation phase. So when a non-Microsoft entity makes a valid observation or suggestion, Microsoft can ignore it on the grounds that it would be too costly to implement, opening itself up to criticism.

Robert is still wondering about Diane Greene's unexpected departure from VMware:

Seems to me that EMC overlooked a significant factor in that by letting Greene go, users who were accepting of VMware as "the best game in town" are now going to say, "Hmm, guess I should look at Microsoft and Xen and etc." The old law of unintended consequences may really come to bear.

And Charlie gets the final word (hopefully) on the Nick Hogan hate-train:

I agree with you -- Nick Hogan is a dirt bag. Here's a rule of thumb: There are no real heroes on "reality" TV. Most all of the participants are either losers, wannabes, has-beens or, as you put it, dirt bags.

Tell us what you think! Leave a message below or send an e-mail to [email protected].

Posted by Doug Barney on July 17, 2008