Thanks to PJ, some excerpts appeared on GROKLAW today. They are worth remembering since some computer users today were not born in those days or were too young to follow the trial.
“412. Most harmful of all is the message that Microsoft’s actions have conveyed to every enterprise with the potential to innovate in the computer industry. Through its conduct toward Netscape, IBM, Compaq, Intel, and others, Microsoft has demonstrated that it will use its prodigious market power and immense profits to harm any firm that insists on pursuing initiatives that could intensify competition against one of Microsoft’s core products. Microsoft’s past success in hurting such companies and stifling innovation deters investment in technologies and businesses that exhibit the potential to threaten Microsoft. The ultimate result is that some innovations that would truly benefit consumers never occur for the sole reason that they do not coincide with Microsoft’s self-interest.”
Amen. Too many apologists for M$ forget that the harm that was done was not reversed in the “final settlement”. M$ strengthened its monopoly to the point where there were no threats for about a decade. Now that Apple and Android/Linux are taking an important slice of the pie, we might forget that a few ill-gotten $billions in the old days are now tens of $billions because all the exclusive deals that M$ forces on OEMs and retailers are now accepted as normal business practice. The monopoly is dying of old age rather than being executed. The result is that one or two decades of IT have been taxed, innovation has been stifled and now, in its old age, M$ is planning to tax the next generation of IT just because it has money and power.
Remembering the past should help us avoid a repetition. We shall see whether or not the message was learned. It seems the old “partners” of M$ are continuing to go along. It will take the new power houses of Google and Android/Linux to finish the battle between good and evil in IT.