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Thanks for posting the excerpts from the findings of fact. It is abundantly clear that Judge Jackson's preferred solution would not be a Microsoft breakup or a massive fine, but his usurpation of Bill Gates's job. Even though I have experienced none of the problems the learned jurist describes(I may simply have not been bright enough to pick up on the performance decrements), I am sure that the aggregate damage done to millions of users was truly devastating. This reminds me of a notice for a class-action lawsuit I got several months ago. Because a monitor I had bought supposedly did not deliver the d.p.i. it promised, I could collect all of $16, even though I had noticed no problem. The Microsoft lawsuit belongs where that letter went, in the trash, because it is headed for a similar result: more money and power for lawyers (now THERE'S a monopoly). There was never a consumer groundswell against Microsoft because there was always an easy solution: buy a Mac. Undoubtedly many had their gripes about Windows, but decided to stick with it for one reason or another (less expensive hardware, ability to upgrade your own hardware, more software, etc.). Judge Jackson, a true elitist, believes that those people are so stupid that they must be protected from themselves. Just as war is too important to be left to the generals, the free market is too important to be left to the consumer. The various high-tech industries now amount to 25% of GDP, so the government must intervene to protect our economy. Well, with any luck that 25% can be reduced to 1% after just a few years of "Micro"management by Jackson and other anointed persons. Antitrust is much more subjective than other areas of law,and decisions are colored by one's political biases and attitudes toward capitalism in general. To a redistributionist, any business that leaves its competitors in the dust has ipso facto gained an unfair advantage.
If Netscape, Sun Microsystems et al. had spent their energy in competing with Microsoft instead of whining to the Justice Department, we all would be a lot better off. Instead, we are once again reminded of Orwell's description of politics as "the defense of the indefensible" as we edge closer to the Ultimate Monopoly, the one for which emigration will be the only remedy.
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