Feeds

How Web 2.0 evangelists make the Microsoft monopoly stronger

Delusions of grandeur

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Microsoft, you'll recall, agreed to a gentle program of regulatory oversight in the US five years ago. Now that program is up for renewal, Microsoft says it doesn't need to any more oversight. Why not? Because of the software as a service revolution!

The war of words has been ongoing for some time. Marco Iansiti from Harvard Business School has been making the 2.0-case for Microsoft. Two experts, John Kwoka and Ronald Alepin, have been deployed to rebut it on behalf of the Ten States.

On November 6, both parties filed an update.

Microsoft filed a supplemental written by Iansiti: you can download it here PDF 660kb, 12pp]. It's a must-read.

"The Internet as an alternative platform is ubiquitous," he claims. Microsoft also adds that the pace of innovation since 2002 has risen - and Web 2.0 is proof.

(Yes, all those lame excuses for websites that are mercilessly lampooned by Uncov, are actually bleeding edge innovation. Fancy that! )

According to Iansiti, Google, Salesforce.com, Mozilla and Tim 2.0'Reilly's mighty army of JavaScript-typing, buzzword-spouting monkeys are all cited as proof that Microsoft doesn't need to be regulated at all.

But if Microsoft prevails, then even the small fissures opened up by the "Seattlement" may soon close the door on new opportunities, the States Fear.

"The 'Internet Platform' ... does not even exist, much less constitute for the foreseeable future a practical or viable alternative to the desktop platform," responds Alepin, in a filing made the same day.[PDF, 223kb, 32pp]

(Props to IDG's Greg Keizer -the only reporter to follow the arguments).

Such worries aren't shared by the Web 2.0 cultists however - they either don't have any worry cells in their heads, or their worry cells are fully preoccupied with persecution fantasies about the dying record industry, or telecoms companies.

These evangelists think that Microsoft is dead, dying - or at the very least, irrelevant. This utopian optimism has affected others, too. CNET blogger Matt Asay voiced similar thoughts in a recent Open Season podcast here. Listening to Matt, Microsoft belonged to a distant era, such was the magical power today of "open source". He didn't really care how it was regulated.

( This is an odd position to take. One of the small concessions Redmond was forced to make was to agree to document and license its protocols. It's a tiny crack in the monolith, and it has permitted a small number of MS-compatible open source companies to spring up. Zimbra, for example, was acquired by Yahoo! for an improbable $350m. Zimbra's is a rock-solid open source email service, but its inflated valuation is because it also offers a very limited Exchange-compatible client. )

Nor does the happy-go-lucky Digg crowd, many of whom weren't born when the first FTC investigation began in 1991.

Who are you kidding?

Not to labour the point, here are some inconvenient facts.

OS innovation has never been slower: Windows and Mac users have never had to wait longer between OS releases. They've never been unhappier, either: many users of the latest incarnations of these operating systems - Vista and Leopard - feel like abused guinea pigs. And Microsoft and Apple? Never wealthier, thank you very much.

So this is what the 2.0 revolution looks like: a concentration of power with the people who had it already. ®

Share your hallucinations with the author here, please.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.