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One Step Up, Two Steps Back

Just when you might have thought Microsoft had figured out how to deal with antitrust issues as a smart, long-term strategy, the company reverts back to its defensive, paranoid tactics--and all because it thinks it somehow can never be wrong. How stupid.
Something--who knows what, really--has prompted Redmond to take on the European Commission over the antrtrust finding that Microsoft has to allow third parties to work with Windows Server. Of course, one strategy would have been to simply comply with the ruling, but that's not the Microsoft way. So it has instead gone on the offensive, charging the EC staff with colluding with Microsoft's competitors and suing some of those companies to force them to shake loose case-related correspondence.

What cards does Microsoft think it's holding here? It's essentially daring the EC to start imposing the $2 million/day fines that are currently being tolled, and it's inviting yet another antitrust case against it; the EC seems to be obliging with a look at the dominance of Microsoft Office, yet another piece of Microsoft software that strangely enough doesn't always play nice with third-party products. You may have noticed by now that none of this has anything to do with helping you, the customer.

What's inexplicable about this is that not all that long ago, Microsoft's strategy seemed to be dealing with the antitrust claims against it throughout the world by settling the cases with long-term antagonists such as Sun, inviting partnerships instead of protracted court cases, and being able as a result to focus on its business instead of its legal strategies. Now it's back to a hubris-filled vision of being picked on by everybody and thinking it has to fight back. It would be well served to get this stone out of its shoe the right way--by adhering to the ruling--and getting on with the business at hand.