Why do so many people want Bill Gates' gang to get walloped by the US government? Despite the outcome of the case there is a lot of bad feeling towards Microsoft - considering that most of the planet uses some of its software, is it justified?
The intensity of the arguments over Microsoft's alleged monopolistic practices and non-competitive bundling of products are again at boiling-point this week, following last week's victory for Microsoft in the US Court of Appeals (see News section). The appeals court struck down the preliminary injunction, won by the Department of Justice (DoJ), that has forced Microsoft to offer OEMs a version of Windows 95 that hides the Internet Explorer browser from the user. While this does not mean Microsoft is in the clear, it's a serious blow to the DoJ's case. There's no guaranteeing that Microsoft can duplicate this victory in the Windows 98 case in September, but its legal rottweilers now have something juicy to chew on.
Whatever about the case, the latest wrinkle is going to stir-up the anti-Microsoft feelings again - maybe they never left. Why are people drooling with anticipation? We know a lot of Microsoft users - or dependents - that can't wait until Gatesy is slapped down. So far, few of them have been able to explain why. The most common answer is: "Well, it's Microsoft, innit?" Maybe the entire planet suffers from a Robin Hood complex where it's good to kick the crap out of the rich and geeky because they have it all. Maybe it's because people hate consistent winners - Stephen Hendry may be a dab hand at potting balls but is not the most popular player.
Maybe its because people with Microsoft software feel trapped into buying Microsoft forever. Maybe Microsoft deserves it.
Whatever the answer, there's not a lot of logic involved. Whatever the outcome of the case, Microsoft will never really win. Maybe you know why you hate Microsoft, or just dislike it enough to want to see it creamed now and then. Maybe it's time to find out why a software company gets your goat. Send your Emails to www.pcweek.com and we'll put the best of them in Letters.
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