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Microsoft's destroying itself

A reader says Microsoft doesn't need any help defending itself against open-source challenges; it's digging its own grave.

In response to the Nov. 8 Perspectives column by Charles Cooper, "Microsoft's new open-source woes":

The Goths are at the gates, and the Rome that is Microsoft is doomed to collapse. Helping them to fend off the open-source software hordes for a short time will only make the fall that much more bloody. In this way, the (antitrust) settlement agreement is the best thing that could happen. Don't change Microsoft one bit, they're doing a fine job of destroying themselves.

The company is simply not competitive anymore, and their paradigm of operating system ownership is now simply wrong. World momentum has shifted and people are starting to see the price of a closed operating system where one vendor controls all. Once the defections start, I believe the switch will happen with astonishing speed.

Computers are now everywhere and--for the most part--the OS should be thought of as a "public utility." Like electric power or standardized fasteners, the public good is served by having the specifications for the operating system public for everyone to look at.

Whatever you do, don't encourage people to start helping Microsoft better manipulate the system and extend their rule. Microsoft doesn't need a chorus of people telling them how to "fix" their broken model...the worst thing that could happen is that they marginally start moving in the right direction, thereby extending the pain that they inflict on the consumer.

Like the tragic hero Macbeth, Bill Gates should forge ahead on his current path. His fate is already sealed.

Dan Devine