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"Odd, That"

From a story in this week's Economist on a possible new antitrust case against Microsoft, this time in Europe:

Microsoft's exploitation of its monopoly will continue as long as the monopoly itself does. A likely candidate as its next victim is Google, the company that dominates the internet-search business. Another possibility is Apple, current top-dog in the small but rapidly growing market for legal music downloads with its iTunes software. This week Microsoft launched a Google-like search "toolbar", and has stated its plans to build internet-search features into Windows. Similarly, Microsoft plans to launch its own online-music store later this year, tied to its now-dominant media player. Expect the market share of iTunes, currently at 70%, to plummet.

Isn't this simply a matter of Microsoft competing vigorously? The strange thing is that its products invariably succeed in PC-based markets where the dominance of Windows provides an advantage: office productivity, web-browsing, media playback and servers. Yet in other markets that have nothing to do with PCs, such as mobile phones, set-top boxes and games consoles, the company is far less successful. Odd, that.


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It will also be interesting to see if MS continues to use proxies, such as SCO, to strike back when threatened.

Microsoft has 5 years to live.

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