Friday, December 07, 2001

.NET is Microsoft's Internet Fork As Andrew Grygus points out, .NET is Microsoft's attempt to build new revenue streams now that the PC industry is a spent force (and will remain that way as Microsoft allows no desktop innovation from the hardware side, and is incapable of innovating itself). And in Microsoft fashion, this means building a monopoly and extracting monopolist rents. Sadly, the Internet is very far from being a monopoly, which is why .NET is essentially a fork that will split the Net into two camps, neither speaking to one another.

The Liberty Alliance is one telling instance of this split. It has Microsoft on one side, and Sun+Rest of World on the other. ZDNet, in typical clueless fashion, asks Microsoft to join the alliance, not understanding that this is antithetical to Redmond's corporate strategy.

I suppose it's good to see the States continuing anti-trust remedy negotiations and the Senate speaking to folks like Lessig about whether the DoJ settlement was too lenient. Perhaps we may see some sanity, perhaps not. Sooner or later, the government will figure out that monopoly power in the software world is about interoperability and bundling. Microsoft's insistence on "freedom to innovate" directly translates into "freedom destroy new markets that threaten our monopoly by bundling in products under proprietary standards." Any settlement that does not address this issue is worthless.


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