“Microsoft was originally supposed to be broken up into pieces after it was branded a monopoly by a federal judge in November 1999. But Bill Gates won a reprieve in November 2001, after an appeals court rejected the breakup and Microsoft agreed to a settlement. Rather than busting up Microsoft, the deal blocks Microsoft from hindering rivals who would build applications that run on Windows–and Jobs has been using that ruling to turn Apple into a Windows software powerhouse ever since,” Brian Caulfield writes for Forbes.
“For starters, Apple can now do all sorts of things with its operating system that are off-limits for Microsoft. In January 2001, it introduced Apple iTunes, software for buying and managing multimedia content that is now baked into every Apple. In January 2003, it introduced a browser, dubbed Safari. In 2005, Apple released a version of its OS X operating system with a slick, built-in search feature dubbed Spotlight,” Caulfield writes.
“Better still, from Apple’s point of view, Microsoft has to keep its doors wide open to whatever Apple product Jobs cares to give away. That’s helped Apple’s iTunes software crush Microsoft’s alternative among users of the Windows operating system. ‘It’s like giving a glass of ice water to somebody in hell,’ quipped Jobs at this month’s D: All Things Digital conference in Carlsbad, Calif.,” Caulfield writes.
“Meanwhile, lawyers for Google and every other potential Microsoft target keep Gates in check. Microsoft crushed upstart browser company Netscape in the late 1990s by building a free Web browser into its ubiquitous operating system. Google is determined not to let Microsoft do the same to it by building Internet search into Windows,” Caulfield writes.
“For Apple, the endgame, of course, is selling more hardware, not dislodging Microsoft as a software monopoly. The trouble for Microsoft, of course, is that Apple can just keep giving away the software, because that’s not where it makes all its money. Meanwhile, since the 2001 deal, Microsoft’s shares are down more than 3%,” Caulfield writes. “Maybe Microsoft would have been better off breaking itself up.”
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Michael” for the heads up.]