Readers react to Microsoft ruling

"A well-deserved slap on the nose"

By Salon Staff

Published June 9, 2000 7:28PM (EDT)

Are two Microsofts better than one?

I have labored in the computer business for over 13 years, and I am thrilled to death to see Microsoft get such a well-deserved slap on the nose. While I myself have never worked directly on a project with MS, the comments that I hear from friends and colleagues in my company and others who have were very consistent: MS was one big arrogant company that would use its monopoly power to bring you to heel. Their inability to think win-win, even in deals that were supposed to be partnerships, was frightening; their thinking was more like "Crash, Kill, Destroy." If you sold PCs, Microsoft set your policies, not you. A few years ago I changed jobs from coding to program management. When that happened, I had to give up my Unix box and get a PC running Windows NT. (My boss made me do it.) I used to reboot my Unix box maybe once a year, whether it needed it or not. My PC needs rebooting on a nearly daily basis and my home machine running Windows 98 is worse. Microsoft forced shoddy products on the industry and the consumer and had the nerve to tell us that they were "innovating"! I am glad MS finally ran into a bigger bully. They deserved it. Now if we just get the judge to throw Gates in jail for contempt of court.

-- Robyn Anderson

If Microsoft manages to buy their way out of this mess by political means, it will surely be detrimental to our current legal system. The facts in this case are overwhelming, as is the arrogance Microsoft has shown by totally rejecting the court's findings.

-- Joe Lerch

Will the new companies be referred to as "Baby Bills"?

-- L. Carlberg

Wait a minute -- I always thought antitrust enforcement was supposed to protect consumers. But the only reporting I've seen about the benefits of breaking up Microsoft is how it would help Microsoft's competitors. Sure, no doubt it would -- but would that really help consumers? As a consumer of telephone service, I'd much rather go back to the old monolithic Ma Bell system, so I don't have to constantly fend off attempts to slam my long-line service. Yes, AT&T's competitors thrived after the breakup, but we consumers haven't been helped one bit. Where is the evidence that I, as a happy consumer of Microsoft products, will be better served by splintering the company that has made it possible for me to enter the computer world?

-- Jeff Rice

People seem really angry that Microsoft Windows has become the standard operating system in the United States. Maybe I've been using computers too long, but I still remember the bad old days when a visit to the software store entailed searching for your brand of computer among countless other sections. Software was written for the Commodore 64, for the Apple II, for the Macintosh, for MS-DOS, for Windows, for Atari, for Amiga and many others. And the program you wanted was never available for the platform you had. Is this what people want to go back to? I remember longing for a day when we all used the same operating system. Now I have that, and despite Windows' many faults, I don't want to go back.

-- Joshua Belsky

I know that Microsoft is a monopoly when I can walk into a computer store and can't find software for my Mac.

-- A. Dean

Salon Staff

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