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Tech Industry

A mortal Microsoft

Competitors, customers find cracks in the software empire.


By Mike Ricciuti, Alorie Gilbert and Joe Wilcox
Staff Writers, CNET
October 14, 2002, 4:00 AM PT

For the first time in years, Microsoft seems vulnerable.

The technology recession, strategic miscalculations and general wariness following the Justice Department's four-year antitrust case have resulted in a psychological shift against Microsoft throughout the industry. Rivals and customers are sensing opportunities to challenge the software empire after decades of presumed invincibility.

In this four-part special report, CNET examines key technologies, competitors and internal mistakes that are exposing cracks in the Microsoft kingdom.

Day 1: Open source: Rebels at the gate


Editors: Mike Ricciuti, Mike Yamamoto, Lara Wright
Art: Ellen Ng
Production: Mike Markovich, Ben Helm

Open source: Rebels at the gate
After years of scorn and dismissal, the communal movement is forcing Microsoft to take action to protect the Windows franchise.
Enterprise: Clash of the titans
The company is targeting the corporate applications market but must first battle some of the most powerful names in technology.
Services: A risky bet on MSN
In its perennial struggle with consumer Web services, Microsoft now plans to sell them through its money-losing Net access provider.
Strategy: Microsoft vs. Microsoft
As high-profile problems with its .Net campaign have shown, the software giant can be its own worst enemy in major initiatives.
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