I had a good laugh when I heard that attorney generals are calling for an extension in Microsoft’s antitrust settlement.

Right now things look grim for Microsoft on all fronts. Long ago Linux proved it ran better than Windows, now it looks better too. Internet developers prefer Linux as their web server of choice, again for performance, but also for cheap scaling.

Future growth compounds Microsoft’s problems. The developing markets, when told to stop using pirated versions of Windows instead will choose free alternatives.

Then there is the Google. Google is chasing after Microsoft’s core desktop applications with AJAX-powered web apps. Microsoft has failed miserably (so far) to enter the online advertising market. They are giving away billions attempting to catch up.

The New York group’s filing centers largely on what it calls the “indisputably resilient” monopoly that Microsoft holds in the operating system realm. The attorneys general said they were “mindful” that Windows’ approximately 90 percent market share in client operating systems is not the only test for how successful the antitrust agreement has been. But they added, “the absence of meaningful erosion in Windows’ market share is still problematic for the public interest.”

What is the public interest anyways? I build my sites on Windows, my servers run Linux. Others developers code in Ubuntu, power up OS X on their Mac to Photoshop, and then put everything together on Windows (XP, given how problematic Vista is, sticking with the trend that begin with Windows 95.) Thats not a monopoly.

5 thoughts on “Microsoft still a dangerous monopoly?

  1. Lots of people underestimate Microsoft and their Webserver. IIS6 is a rusty and old Webserver, they stopped developing it a long time ago.

    The release of Windows 2008 Server together with IIS7 is a very big improvement and a new world for ASP.NET Developers, though, even PHP developers (see Zend cooperating with MS for build in fast-cgi PHP support: joeon.net/archive/2007/10/10/Microsoft-and-Zend-taking-PHP-on-Windows-to-the-next.aspx)!

    Right now IIS6 is already gaining on Apache — blogs.techrepublic.com.com/networking/?p=307 and IIS7 has way better chances to improve this even more due to rich features.

    More and more people choose ASP.NET for professional websites over php already as it’s way more productive and with IIS7 ASP.NET is finally getting very powerful and speedy rewriting features out of the box which was the big missing point as you had to use custom solutions for that.

    My dedicated Servers are 50% Linux and 50% Windows 2003 Server at the moment, for myself I predict 90% Windows 2008 Server and 10% Linux some months after the w2k8 release.

    I almost sound like a MS Fanboy huh?

  2. Andrew’s points are well taken. MS is in a very precarious position because at the moment they have these monopolies on OS and office apps, but everyone in the industry can see these being totally demolished over the next few years and MS hasn’t done anything to prove to anyone that they can hold onto these.

    MS is going to be slaughtered over the next couple of years and their bones will be picked over by hundreds of small competitors. In a decade they’ll emerge as an also ran in the middle of the pack.

    Grim outlook, but I think that forces already in play have so much inertia, it can’t be stopped.

    • Given what Microsoft’s stock did today I feel like an idiot for writing this post! But thats why I am not a stock trader ;)

      I don’t think Microsoft will go extinct, but like you say middle of the pack. Still, thats not a dangerous monopoly.

  3. The desktop “monopoly” is maintained primarily through file formats. Microsoft understands that wholeheartedly, which is why they’re putting so much time and effort making sure their OOXML format gets ratified worldwide.
    Should they lose the file format war, they’ll find it exceptionally difficult to maintain that 90% market share.

    On the other hand, I don’t personally believe that Linux is ready for prime time. Have you ever tried installing a sound driver, only to find out there’s 24 missing dependencies?

    As for the struggle between Apache & IIS, the numbers mentioned by Andreas represent the millions of parked domains that are run on IIS. Microsoft recently brokered a deal with GoDaddy to ensure all of their parked domains are run on IIS instead of Apache.
    So in practice, IIS is not gaining marketing share on Apache. Not to mention lighttpd has also been gaining ground.

    Lastly, it was folly of Microsoft to clamp down on piracy in developing nations. It’s much easier for those nations to switch to open source alternatives than to deal with Microsoft’s inconvenient copyright protection. The “guilty until proven innocent” approach is going to backfire on them in the long run.

  4. I think it’s high time Microsoft got put in it’s place.There getting to big for their britches.
    They think they own the net.One may have to have the disc to start off with but one can use other means of working on the net.
    They have problems they can’t handle.One has to go through how many things before they get to whom they need to discuss the problem and even then it’s a hassle.
    What’s this what’s that.You need a path for this and that.What’s the error.None of this are this problem.You need support and it’s going to cost you.Bull to that.You have the disc put it’s not a real microsoft one there for you pay.

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