Feeds

Structural remedies: splitting Microsoft up

intro

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Structural remedies can involve the breaking of the company into two or more separate companies, either vertically by product group, or horizontally by creating in effect Babysofts that compete with each other and start with identical products. Structural remedies are attractive because they do not require supervision by a court, but many Americans would resist any attempt to break up what they regard as a national treasure, and there's a real danger that this kind of measure might destroy the company. Plus, there are sound arguments that break-up in either of these ways would not be in the interests of users. A vertical split would merely create smaller monopolies, and not address the core problem of lessening barriers to entry. Breaking Microsoft into Babysofts would probably result in the fragmentation of  Windows. Whether we like it or not, Windows is a fact of life, and those who suffer are entitled to see an improvement, not a worsening of the situation. The only structural remedy that could work is total divestment, but this very likely to be politically unacceptable in the USA. Microsoft could be divided into quite a few parts, and then auctioned. There would need to be some safeguards, such as only allowing a company to hold one of the parts. General problems with remedies Because of the time that it is likely to take the Supreme Court to decide an appeal - and reports that this could happen by the end of this year are ill-informed - technological evolution may well prove to be a more effective determinant than any imposed remedy, although a glance at history shows that technological change is not that fast, other than for relatively few early adopters. The unmemorably-named Next Generation Windows Services may get the direction of a technology shift wrong, but further judgement on this will have to await for some harder data, promised for the Spring, but probably next month when Microsoft has a strategy day. Remedies need to be put into effect quickly: as Judge Jackson observed on Tuesday, the economy is being damaged by the present situation, so the matter should be settled as quickly as possible. Of course, when Microsoft really has its back to the wall, it may just agree terms for a settlement, but as the possible remedies get fleshed out and the consequences are fully realised, this is less likely unless a shareholder revolt forces this on the board. It is also possible that Microsoft would itself decide to split itself into separate companies while the courts are deliberating, which could create a complex legal situation. ® Back to previous part Back to first page Additional Information: Recording of first Appraising Microsoft Conference Day 1 Recording of first Appraising Microsoft Conference Day 2 Transcript of second conference

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.