It’s Happening Over There And Will Be Here Soon

When discussion of the “end of the PC-era” broke out recently there were lots of opinions but little data. Sure, there were niches discovered like Japan where ~10% of Internet users used smart thingies and did not own a legacy PC. There seemed to be two large camps:

  • those claiming the legacy PC was the anchor to all IT with those gadgets just being accessories, and
  • those claiming the legacy PC was dying and the new smart thingies were the new “personal computer”.

Evidence is accumulating:

Face it. This is the way things are and it’s temporary. The trend to small cheap computers is increasing… With that there will be a decline in the ubiquity of that other OS, you know, M$’s. So far M$ has failed to gain traction in this market and it’s clear why. Mobility is about freedom and M$ is about slavery, tying users, licences, revenue to those legacy PCs. If people can do what they want, play media and browse the web without being one of M$’s slaves, they will gladly take freedom.

This is mostly about consumers. So far there are very few cracks in Wintel when it comes to business but that will change very soon. Businesses are complaining that they can’t hire enough local talent because of the educational system or quotas on visas, and soon they will have to deal with more users of IT who prefer to work with Free Software rather than what M$ forced on the world. What will they do then? Shut down? Migrate to Free Software? It’s the right way to do IT. My bet is that businesses will encourage staff to do IT any way that works and that excludes M$ in more ways every day.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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18 Responses to It’s Happening Over There And Will Be Here Soon

  1. oiaohm says:

    bw the problem is when you go across to the EU counts you find there was the evidence to prove Microsoft customising protocols they did not own and using non documented functions to give their products competitive advantages.

    Both the USA DOJ gave up on for being too complex to present before a count.

    The EU actions have bigger effects on Microsoft anticompetitive actions than the DOJ did.

  2. bw says:

    “The only mischaracterization of remarks I see is that of a Microsoft apologist twisting words and using partial truths along with ad-hominem quips (“lowly self”) in an attempt to distort the truth.”

    Then you are not very perceptive, George. Try to find something that shows that the bulk of these charges by the Department of Justice and the various states was not dismissed and that the only outcome was a mild rebuke for doing unnecessary things that were not permitted under the Sherman Act. Try to put more substance in your whining.

  3. The only mischaracterization of remarks I see is that of a Microsoft apologist twisting words and using partial truths along with ad-hominem quips (“lowly self”) in an attempt to distort the truth.

  4. bw says:

    One more thought occurs to me after re-reading the previous posts is that there was a fourth charge levied by the Department of Justice in regard to Microsoft illegally blocking Netscape’s access to market by means of exclusive dealing and inclusion of IE in later versions of Windows. Judge Jackson himself decided that charge had no merit and it was dismissed in the original case.

    The other charges, as you note in your cite, were attempting to monopolize browsers, tying the browser to the purchase of Windows, and a list of monopoly maintenance actions. The first two, as you cite reveals were reversed (the monopolizing of browsers) or found not valid (tying on the “per se” theory). Only the latter issues of monopoly maintenance were thought to be viable.

    The remand of the tying charge was dropped by the Justice Department and the states since they could not show any illegal activity outside of the actual shipping IE with Windows. The monopoly maintenance charges were made fairly tame by the appeals court finding that none of them actually helped Microsoft maintain their monopoly and were not in need of any corrective action beyond simply saying for Microsoft to quit doing that. In the end this huge case ended up as a few proscriptions of things that Microsoft had mostly quit doing anyway.

    “A tempest in a teapot” as the saying goes.

  5. bw says:

    “So, bw wishes the world to believe M$ is an innocent party when in fact they are vile criminals”

    You mischaracterize my remarks on your way to an erroneous conclusion, Mr. Pogson. Microsoft was clearly guilty of the various things that the second district court trial found to be violations of the Sherman Act. I only said that what ever you were citing in the first trial as Findings of Law by Judge Jackson were made null and void by the appellate court. That is what “vacate in full the Final Judgment” means. Do you agree?

    “Vile criminals” gets no support here, either, since being enjoined to follow a few limits on their practices in a civil suit hardly qualifies as any finding of criminal behavior. It is more akin to getting a speeding ticket and having points applied to your license that could ultimately result in losing it if you were not careful to avoid violations in the future. That stigma has been erased with time and Microsoft is currently not under any court-supervised review.

  6. bw, referring to the remedy portion of the trial, claims “victory”, with “it means that whatever Judge Jackson said, forget about it.”

    A further examination of the appellate ruling shows, “Microsoft does not deny the facts found by the District Court, nor does it offer any procompetitive justification for pressuring Intel not to support cross-platform Java. Microsoft lamely characterizes its threat to Intel as “advice.” The District Court, however, found that Microsoft’s “advice” to Intel to stop aiding cross-platform Java was backed by the threat of retaliation, and this conclusion is supported by the evidence cited above. Therefore we affirm the conclusion that Microsoft’s threats to Intel were exclusionary, in violation of 2 of the Sherman Act.

    Of the three antitrust violations originally identified by the District Court, one is no longer viable: attempted monopolization of the browser market in violation of Sherman Act 2. One will be remanded for liability proceedings under a different legal standard: unlawful tying in violation of 1. Only liability for the 2 monopoly maintenance violation has been affirmed–and even that we have revised.”

    So, bw wishes the world to believe M$ is an innocent party when in fact they are vile criminals.

  7. bw says:

    “the record is there for the public to read and make their own opinions”

    Maybe Jesus could get away with that, but not your lowly self or even Mr. Pogson. You all have to use the opinion of the court, whatever you might want to say as your own does not count in the least. The opinion of the appellate court that transcends Mr. Pogson’s musings is directly stated as:

    “We vacate in full the Final Judgment embodying the remedial order, and remand
    the case to the District Court for reassignment to a different trial judge for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”

    If you cannot translate that yourself, it means that whatever Judge Jackson said, forget about it. Pogson can take those documents off his tinyurl list.

  8. Robert Pogson wrote: The district court’s finding of law were that M$ broke the Sherman anti-trust act with the browser shenanigans. M$ went way beyond competing on price/performance in every product line from the OS to the office suite.

    Out of curiosity doing a simple ‘net search, I came across cyber.law.harvard.edu/msdoj/2002/Lit11-1.pdf containing the
    Civil Action No. 98-1233 (CKK) MEMORAND
    UM OPINION. Here is what Page 11 had to say: Of these license provisions, the appellate court concluded that, “with the exception of the one restriction prohibiting automatically launched alternative interfaces, all of the OEM license restrictions at issue represent uses of Microsoft’s market power to protect its monopoly, unredeemed by any legitimate justification.”

    After doing a little reading, found Appendix B, Final Judgment. It had this to say, The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit having affirmed the Court’s finding of liability against Microsoft for violation of § 2 of the Sherman Act and the state law counterparts to § 2 of the Sherman Act in the states of California, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Utah, and West Virginia, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia, and having remanded to this Court for an order of remedy; and Upon the record of trial and all prior and subsequent proceedings herein, it is this 1st day of November, 2002, hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED as follows….

    Part III gets into prohibited conduct, which includes middleware (i.e., browsers), makes for some interesting reading.

    Seems to me that Justice Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, United States District Judge who’s name appears at the end of the document as the writer concluded Microsoft had maintained a monopoly.

    Anyway, the record is there for the public to read and make their own opinions. It sort of reminds me of a saying told by Jesus Christ more than once, He who has ears to hear, let him hear! (Mark 4:9)

  9. bw says:

    “Nope. The district court’s finding of law were that M$ broke the Sherman anti-trust act with the browser shenanigans.”

    Within some fair interpretation of “broke” and “shenanigans” that is true, but you failed to note that a) the appeals court ruled that the district court erred in coming to that conclusion and b) the district court itself agreed that the monopoly power was legally obtained as the result of fair competition and c) the appellate court ruled that the monopoly maintenance acts found to still be in violation of the Sherman Act had no effect on competition and there was no corrective action ordered as a result.

    You have to read the whole thing, not just the parts that you like the sound of. Judge Berra said it best, though, “Nothing is over until the fat lady sings!”

  10. ram says:

    American companies make money in old fashioned ways: they either steal it, or have their bankster mates print it. They don’t invent or manufacture hardly anything anymore.

  11. bw, having skipped history, wrote, “Microsoft has a legally acquired market position as well. Whatever expansion may have taken place was also deemed as legal years ago.”

    Nope. The district court’s finding of law were that M$ broke the Sherman anti-trust act with the browser shenanigans. M$ went way beyond competing on price/performance in every product line from the OS to the office suite. Even now they are presenting negative ads about Google. What’s with that? Why don’t they just stick with how wonderful their product is? There is a law against besmirching the brand of the competition.

  12. bw says:

    “There was a 32 bit version of AMOS made by Western Digital long before the first IBM XT…”

    Doubtless other instances of using long word lengths in processors existed in other dark crevices of the world, too, but the good idea was introducing more processor capability to the mainstream. If you snooze, you lose to the early bird who catches the worm or didn’t you know that?

  13. Bob Parker says:

    BW ranted “Windows 95 was a very good idea and it brought the world to 32bit computing. It may have had bugs, but it provided much more effective and beneficial use of PCs to individuals and business. It was a masterfully great idea.”

    It was better than what went before yes. Apart from crashing every 5 minutes. Win 95B had a bit more stability.
    Yes it did allow 32 bit applications to run but kernel32.exe was 16 bit code so typically a Microsoft lie.
    There was a 32 bit version of AMOS made by Western Digital long before the first IBM XT was ever made so “Microsoft brought 32 bit computing to the world” is just pure crap.

  14. bw says:

    So much misunderstanding in so few words!

    “Was it when they decided to sabotage DR-DOS?”

    Windows was Microsoft’s own product, developed by them and has proven to be an innovative achievement that is responsible for the bulk of their success today. Back in the formative years they contemplated making it work only with their own MSDOS product, but did not do so. DR-DOS died when Windows 95 eliminated the need for a separate DOS product. That was a better idea, too.

    “Was it when they decided to bundle the OS with the PC?”

    The actual idea to do this was more likely the idea of the OEM who would have seen a pre-packaged system product as much more efficient in distribution. Relying on an untrained customer to properly gather a variety of components and successfully merge them together to form a system was a shaky idea and the OS preload with automatic start up was a good idea. You have to agree with that!

    “Was it when they decided to sabotage Netscape”

    Netscape was originally offered a large piece of the pie as I remember, which was probably a bad idea for Microsoft, but they turned it down, which proved to be a bad idea for Netscape but a good thing for Microsoft. Other than that, what do you see bad about competition in the browser market?

    “or shipping alpha software to millions of PCs through OEMs?”

    You are just venting here. No such thing ever happened. You are carried away with your ranting.

    “How about shipping Lose ’9x with tens of thousands of bugs and no security?”

    Windows 95 was a very good idea and it brought the world to 32bit computing. It may have had bugs, but it provided much more effective and beneficial use of PCs to individuals and business. It was a masterfully great idea.

    “Vista? “8″?”

    These releases have served their purposes fairly well. They have given the Microsoft detractors something to crow about while they continue to ignore Microsoft’s frequent trips to the bank to deposit their profits. They have put a stake in the ground as well, pointing to new paradigms in PC usage.

    “The history of IT is littered with M$’s bad ideas and they sold them because IBM granted them a monopoly and M$ illegally expanded it”

    Then you just do not understand how the world turns. The various initiatives from Microsoft over the years sold because they were the best choice for the most people. Some things have faltered as well, for example MS Money or MS Bob. Those were, indeed, bad ideas.

    Microsoft has a legally acquired market position as well. Whatever expansion may have taken place was also deemed as legal years ago. It was a good idea for Microsoft to retain the right to sell MSDOS to other OEMs. That idea was the foundation for today’s PC market.

  15. bw wrote, “The history of man has been that people with better ideas profit extensively from being able to sell their inventions to their contemporaries.”

    When was the last time M$ and its leadership had a “better idea”? Was it when they decided to sabotage DR-DOS? Was it when they decided to bundle the OS with the PC? Was it when they decided to sabotage Netscape, or shipping alpha software to millions of PCs through OEMs? How about shipping Lose ‘9x with tens of thousands of bugs and no security? Vista? “8”? The history of IT is littered with M$’s bad ideas and they sold them because IBM granted them a monopoly and M$ illegally expanded it.

  16. matchrocket says:

    “Altruists invariably finish last and never become a factor in the economy.”

    FLOSS is a major factor in the economy. It can be altruistic but it doesn’t have to be. You’re a troll bw, it’s your job to promote uncertainty about FLOSS. A tiresome, weary and undrewarding job.

  17. oiaohm says:

    bw there is a problem.
    ‘Altruists invariably finish last and never become a factor in the economy.’

    This is very much not true. TCP/IP was an Altruist gift. It is the most dominate network protocol.

    History does have some Altruists finishing first.

    –If you really understood corporate life you would know that IT departments are all about absolute control. They are not about to give everyone in the company free rein to fiddle and diddle with their own chosen device and go mucking about in the company data as they please.–

    That is the problem you don’t have absolute control of MS windows because you are dependant on MS activation servers.

    You have just described the major force behind open source.

  18. bw says:

    “My bet is that businesses will encourage staff to do IT any way that works and that excludes M$ in more ways every day.”

    I doubt that very much. The history of man has been that people with better ideas profit extensively from being able to sell their inventions to their contemporaries. These ideas are either developed directly or acquired legally by those with the funds to do so. Altruists invariably finish last and never become a factor in the economy.

    There is a lot of money to be made in tablets and smart phones, certainly, and the early returns show Apple well in the lead in that regard, followed at a distance by Samsung with a host of others being clearly also-rans or already dropped out. The same people will make the money. Investors who hold Apple and Samsung and Google and even Facebook stock are the same people who own IBM and Microsoft and Oracle. They have all the bets covered and always win since they own the race itself. Only schmoes and chumps take sides. The winners just take the prizes.

    If you really understood corporate life you would know that IT departments are all about absolute control. They are not about to give everyone in the company free rein to fiddle and diddle with their own chosen device and go mucking about in the company data as they please. Successful companies are not about saving money, they are about making money and managers demand to be in charge. An iron fist in a velvet glove is their style.

    They don’t hate Microsoft, they admire Microsoft and want to be just like them. Even IBM. Even Google. Apple too. Oracle for sure.

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