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GtterRedmondung: MS sees Apocalypse following breakup

Destruction of economy, starvation, plagues of boils...

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MS on Trial The Potomac will foam with blood, Silicon Valley will be turned into a vast dust-bowl, the US economy will be destroyed and starving software developers will head back East, choking the Interstates with convoys of BMW Z3s. This isn't quite what Microsoft says will happen if it gets broken up, but its court filings of yesterday stop only marginally short of plague of boils territory.

"Millions of consumers, including hundreds of thousands of companies, have benefited from Microsoft's software," the company says, arguing for the breakup proposal to be tossed out. "Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that the entire United States economy has benefited from Microsoft's efforts."

If the courts were to "tear asunder" Microsoft, the "principle assets", the employees, would flee. "People will not work where they do not want to work, and they will not be productive if forced to work in conditions they find unsatisfactory. As a result structural relief here threatens not simply temporary dislocation and inefficiency, but much more profound damage to Microsoft and its ability to deliver quality software products at the rapid pace demanded by the competitive software industry.

"If Microsoft's developers were to quit because of the uncertainty and chaos that would inevitably flow from a breakup... THE COMPANY'S ENTIRE BUSINESS WOULD BE DESTROYED. [our shouting] More importantly [surely impossible? - Ed], consumers and numerous other companies in the industry with which Microsoft works would suffer enormous harm."

There you go then, Microsoft will be destroyed, along with all its customers, factories will grind to a halt... But not until it's broken up, right? No, it's worse than that, because even the threat of breakup will cause massive damage. With the threat of a breakup "hanging over its head like the sword of Damocles while this Court conducts proceedings on remedies," Microsoft may lose irreplaceable employees, and "third parties may be unwilling to enter into routine business agreements [isn't this usually the case? - Ed] with Microsoft while ITS CONTINUED CORPORATE EXISTENCE REMAINS IN DOUBT. [our shouting again]"

So there you go people - every time you even think about breaking up Microsoft, a developer dies and the US economy trembles. So stop it, OK? ®

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