Financial Times: US v. Microsoft: Who Really Won?, Thomas Hazlett

Before he became Mother Teresa, Bill Gates was Darth Vader. As captain of the Evil Empire, he and his minions dominated PC operating systems, vanquishing all rivals. In May of 1998, the US Department of Justice struck back. In the “antitrust case of the century,” the DoJ accused the Microsoft Corporation of monopolisation. The company was accused of destroying a rival in browserware – Netscape’s Navigator — to suppress a competitive threat in operating systems – Sun’s Java. With Navigator’s browser becoming popular and ubiquitous, the Java script it embedded would, the DoJ predicted, provide an alternative platform for applications. This would deprive Microsoft’s Windows operating system of control over the computer; independent programmes could gain access simply by launching via Java. Soon Windows would be a trivial layer between valuable stacks of hardware and software applications. Fearing this, Microsoft sought to thwart Netscape and technological progress. So went the theory. Full article available on  Also available by [PDF Download] on Prof. Hazlett’s faculty profile.

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