Windows will soon be obsolete, says MS defender

He's got to be talking carpentry, right?


MS on Trial I was a quieter Halloween weekend than we expected, with no news from Judge Jackson (OK, our source was a dud). But we do expect some news this Friday night.

There were many exquisite fireworks in court, so why not issue the findings of fact on the anniversary of Guy Fawkes' attempt to use gunpowder to blow up the Palace of Westminster - but with the venue being Fort Redmond?

Microsoft has so few serious supporters in its contretemps with the DoJ that any expression of support tends to get pride of place on its site. The latest is another article from the Seattle Times by Robert Levy, a former law clerk to a judge in the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, a notorious hotbed of opposition to antitrust law.

Levy now hangs his hat at the Cato Institute, a libertarian public policy research institute in Washington. He is evidently trying to raise the spirits of Microsoft workers by empathising with what he describes as a post-modern world of high-tech antitrust.

He defends notions such as "big is bad", "lofty profit margins", "aggressively-worded emails", and "propping up politically-wired competitors" by scorning the concepts but not by offering any evidence.

"To maintain an independent posture", the Cato Institute "accepts no government funding" but "contributions are received from foundations, corporations and individuals". It would be interesting to know if Microsoft or Bill Gates has supported the Cato work, directly or indirectly - and we don't mean by a "gift" of software.

Levy cheers up the Redmondonians with claims like "Microsoft has zero leverage in a world where applications are written", which is as amusing as it is ill-informed.

Levy also thinks that there is no OS competition for Microsoft because "it isn't a growth market any more". Well, that's not what Microsoft's profit and loss statements are saying.

Levy claims that what the government wants to happen to Microsoft has already happened, which is really silly. His concluding point is that "the whole concept of antitrust is flawed to the core" and that "antitrust, if it were ever needed, is as obsolete as Windows soon will be." There are many who would forego antitrust law to achieve the obsolescence of Windows. ® Complete Register Trial coverage


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