Friday, June 29, 2001

Reactions to Microsoft Ruling The consensus seems to be that the court upheld abuse of monopoly power, but did not support the breakup remedy. Fair enough. Microsoft is now exposed to state law suits (asking for damages from monopoly rents) but whether any new remedy will redress their repeated abuse of monopoly power is unclear.

It is also clear (but less widely reported) that Microsoft sees the demise of software-as-product, with scarcity created by liscensing, and is moving to software-as-service, with scarcity created through authentication. This strategy places it beyond GPL and opensource, and the only company out there with distribution/connectivity to oppose it in creating an networked authentication infrastructure is Time Warner/AOL.

The structural opposition to this (instead of the commercial opposition) actually comes from shifting the locus of network control back to the edges. Microsoft can either hold all personal information in its central servers, OR customers can hold it all on their nodes at the edge of the network.

RIP Jim Ellis Some sad news today. Usenet creater Jim Ellis passed away yesterday :(. After all but vanishing, Usenet has come back and is the best it has been in years on Google.


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