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>>> An excellent example is the newest Windows 2000 with 63000+ documented bugs. This is not finished software, not even beta but Alpha release. The claim is that there's a service pack whuch will be issued in July (read pay more!!!).

I read things like this and suddenly realize why so much of what I read about the tech industries looks like farce - it =is= farce.

I'll bet your only exposure to Windows 2000 is through anti-MS rants - I guarantee you that it's not through exposure to the product itself, since the product itself is by far the most solid, easy-to-install-and-use OS that MS has ever shipped. I've had it on my development machine since the final beta, and it's never crashed, runs significantly faster than '98 did, and installed in 30 minutes.

Microsoft is infuriating, from a technical point of view. They don't do anything like enough of what I think they ought to do. But all of this rant and rave about how unfair it all is ignores the facts:

The company in a position to have actually delivered a competitive operating system was actually bigger than Microsoft at the time - IBM with OS2. And they failed. Period. The OS didn't work well, IBM didn't market it well, and they were guilty of believing that everyone would buy it because of the IBM name, so they didn't bother to build a product they could actually sell. Are you seriously asserting that IBM couldn't compete? They could, of course - they had the money and the clout - they simply failed to.

Apple lost before they ever started. In all the hue and cry over MS, we've all forgotten that Apple threw away ownership of the desktop market by locking its OS down so hard that you couldn't buy a piece of software that ran on the Apple platform - they were the ultimate closed-source shop, and consequently committed business suicide. They've been trying to play catch-up ever since, but they threw away their own market placement without any help at all from Microsoft.

Netscape? What a joke. They were giving their product away, complete with source code. How can they scream about anti-competitive practices when their product was never positioned as a profit center to begin with?

Look, MS has done many, many ugly and illegal things in their history, and they deserve to be soundly spanked for those things. I was furious when they stole a compression product and shipped it with DOS without bothering to pay for it, for example. They've certainly behaved badly plenty of times, and I'm all for them getting the full force of the law they've broken right in their pocketbooks.

But the truth is that Microsoft's "competitors" for the most part weren't, and consequently destroyed themselves. That's the thing that has always mystified me about MS - they spent time and money engaging in anti-competitive practices when they didn't need to at all. Their "competitors" have historically been so inept that all MS really had to do was exercise patience.

From my point of view, the worst sin at MS is setting themselves up for this ridiculous lawsuit when they needn't have bothered.

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