On Microsoft and Integration

By Wayne Dunn

Although the Bush administration won't break up Microsoft, the Justice Department will continue to scrutinize the company’s strategy to integrate new features into the Windows XP software package.

People everywhere will sleep easier knowing government officials won't abide the dastardly act of a company merging new ideas into its product designs. After all, just look at the horrors that befell us after Microsoft made spreadsheets that could integrate into word processing documents.

And then there's the incident of Microsoft's "integration" harming poor Netscape, the company that once hoped to remain eternally profitable by selling a web browser¾ you know, that complex piece of software architecture with the forward, back, stop and refresh buttons. Netscape, in the spirit of the rearview mirror retailers who bristled when automakers added their own mirror as a standard feature on every new car¾ cried "antitrust!" when Microsoft designed its own browser and made it a standard feature on every new computer running Windows.

And now instead of consumers deciding with their wallets the value of Microsoft's new package, those high-tech geniuses¾ judges, lawyers, politicians and the like¾ will be deciding for them.

It's time the American people did a little integrating of their own¾ i.e., mentally integrate the concept "free" with "market."

© COPYRIGHT 2001 by Wayne Dunn


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