By now most of you I am sure must have read long-winded stories on AOL Time Warner’s Netscape division suing Microsoft Corp. You might have read by now the AOL side of the story, and Microsoft side of the story. Legal issues aside, I just want to bring up one little aspect which is sometimes overlooked when it comes to Microsoft bashing ? it wins because it has stupid enemies.
Need an explanation ? the reason Netscape is irrelevant is because it never kept up the product development, and started charging for its browser, even though it got us all hooked on free browser software. Microsoft simply imitated the lessons it learnt from Netscape ? it kept on giving away its browser. Now if Netscape has charged the rest of us say even $1.99 a browser, it still would be around.
Take other examples ? why did Apple lose out to Windows OS ? because it tried to focus too much on the hardware business (meanwhile I love the OS-X and this piece was written on a Apple Titanium) and never licensed its operating system. And this is not the only example. These days apparently Pocket PC, the handheld operating system being touted by Microsoft, is pummeling Palm.
Now whether it was Netscape, Apple or Palm ? the reason they lost or are losing to Microsoft is because they did not have the business acumen to keep up with the masters up in Seattle. If a smart CEO is running a company, he or she can compete and even beat Microsoft. Look at Real Networks and Intuit ? two companies who have survived despite Satans of Redmond trying to give away their Windows Media Player and Microsoft Money for free.
So I find it incredible that AOL would sue Microsoft. I think deep down Case & Co., know that they cannot really beat Microsoft despite all the content and muscle they have right now. So instead they decided perhaps it was time to sue them.