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Just in time for Xmas – Microsoft Monopoly

Board game or bored game, you decide

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The company behind the world's most popular board game has denied it is considering changing its name after Friday's ruling by the Department of Justice that Microsoft is a monopoly. A spokeswoman for Hasbro, which produces the ever-popular game Monopoly*, said there were no plans to rename it "Microsoft" in recognition of the Seattle software giant's new found status as a competition-crushing company. Some, though, might think that Hasbro has missed a trick. Microsoft's single-minded pursuit to dominate the software market is just a modern twist on the ruthless, property-purchasing capitalist board game** that has become such a firm favourite, especially among families. And the idea's not quite so stupid as it seems. Monopoly is already available in many different countries and languages; there's even a Star Wars edition. Just think, instead of trolling around a board buying properties, gamers would sit astride a mouse, keyboard or other such trinket, to try and monopolise other computer companies and their products. Once a company was suitably monopolised, gamers would acquire "panes" to put on these virtual properties. Four panes would make a window, and the object of the game would be to try and fill the board with as many Windows as was humanly possible. Of course, there would still be the usual "community choice" or "chance" pitfalls -- and everyone involved in this mucky business would want to make sure they had a get-out-of-jail-free card... you know, just in case. ® * More than 200 million sets of Monopoly have been sold since the game was devised by Charles Darrow in 1934? ** You'd be hard pressed to find a game of Monopoly on Cuba. When he came to power President Fidel Castro order that all Monopoly sets should be destroyed. Did you know...? The UK Monopoly Championships are being held this week at Liverpool Street Station in London.

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