Microsoft's Breakup Solution
by Rick Smith (November 7, 1999)
This is probably what the government wants - to break up the "monopoly" and it is the operating system portion of Microsoft's business that everyone talks about.
The key strategy here is for them to do it themselves before the government forces the breakup so they can chose where to draw the boundaries. Imagine if the government ordains that one division was user interface, another was drivers, while another had add-on programs. Microsoft would drown in their own red tape communicating between groups.
If Bill (slyly) "concedes" and makes the grand gesture, Justice won't have a leg to stand on when they say it is not enough, since he would have voluntarily defused this "monopoly" while claiming that he acted only for the benefit of the world's computer users. This radical concession would not only allow him to keep important parts of Microsoft together but keep the government from touching the other effective monopolies he still has (word processor, spreadsheet, database, etc.) -- least for awhile.
© 1999 Rick Smith All rights reserved.