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Subject:  This is absurd. Date:  4/29/2000  10:03 PM
Author:  DBCoward Number:  32253 of 157291

I must be a little slow, so I am asking my fellow fools to help me understand the government's proposal.

It seems to me that the entire thrust of it is this : If Office were available on Linux, all would be right with the Universe.

The theory as I understand it goes like this:
a)Windows is a Monopoly because everybody uses it
b)Everbody uses it because they need to run Office and it only runs on Windows (Please ignore the fact that it also runs on the Mac)
c)They need to run Office because the companies they work for have standardized on it
d)The companies have standardized on it because it offers a cheap way of getting access to a whole bunch of useful applications (Word, Excel, etc)
e)No one else has a good suite of applications, so teh companies are forced to use Office
f)If we make Microsoft make Office run on Linux then companies can still use Office without having to use Windows (Please continue to ignore the fact that Office runs on the Mac)
g)If the companies don't have to use Windows to run Office they will change to Linux.
h)Therefore we will have competition for Windows
i)Therefore Windows is not a Monopoly

As I missing anything here or is this the gist of the arguement?

Now, looking at that theory I see a few problems:
1)Office has been available on the Mac for years, yet companies didn't switch to Macs. Why?
2)Why is Microsoft being punished because StarOffice and Corel's Office suite are crap? Because if I understand the arguement listed above it all boils down to the fact that there are no good Office suites available on anything but Windows. So somehow Microsoft is in the wrong because they make a good product?
3)Windows offers just a few bits of functionality above and beyond support for Office 2000. Have you ever tried to deploy Linux to 40,000 desktops? Trust me, you don't want to. I've done it with Windows 2000. Remote Install Service, IntelliMirror, etc are incredible. It features like those that makes most of the Fortune 100 companies I work with loyal to Windows, not "just" support for Office 2000.
4)Rather than break the company up it would seem to me that the government's remedy could be replaced with "Write a version of Office for Linux." Excuse me but I don't recall asking the government to set business policy for our nation's largest companies. What's next, telling CitiBank to give loan to the homeless? How about asking Ford to make a car powered by horse manure? Does anyone else think that this is stupid?

Regardless of whether you think Microsoft is evil or not, this remedy is retarded.


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