This story was written by Keith Dawson for the Industry Standard's Media Grok email newsletter. It is archived here for informational purposes only because The Standard's site is no more. This material is Copyright 1999-2001 by Standard Media.

Windows XP: Threat or Savior?

Jul 30 2001 08:26 AM PDT

The 'ecosystem' that relies on Microsoft, and sometimes hates it, awaits the big release date.

Over the weekend the press scrutinized Windows XP from a number of directions, and anyone who lived through the release of Windows 98 might be feeling some deju vu.

The Washington Post stressed the degree to which "an entire ecosystem of computer-part makers, software integrators and even small-town computer professionals" are counting on Windows XP to pull them out of the doldrums, according to a Prudential Securities analyst. Ariana Eunjung Cha explored the conundrum facing federal regulators who are grappling with remedies for Microsoft's monopolistic behaviors in the face of its "love-hate, codependent relationship" with suppliers.

ZDNet's Interactive Week ran two stories by eWeek's Peter Galli that laid out Microsoft's line on XP. Galli pictured Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's stance of bewilderment and pain that anyone could possibly see a threat in the features of the new Windows release. A separate story centered on protestations by Jim Allchin, VP of Microsoft's platforms group, that the product he is building bears little resemblance to the one the press is describing. Can't we all just get along?

In this morning's New York Times, Steve Lohr harked back to the release of Windows 98, back when federal and state officials were filing their antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft. Should government officials now seek to block XP's release or force Microsoft to change the software? Lohr quoted a no-namer "involved in the antitrust case" who said the government and states think that "the bar has moved substantially" in their favor since 1998. But Lohr pointed out that time is short and that no further talks are scheduled between Microsoft and regulators.

For Now, Rivals See Microsoft as Savior
Washington Post

Microsoft: No XP Contingency Plans

Ballmer 'Shocked And Dismayed' By XP Criticism

New Software, New Scrutiny for Microsoft
New York Times
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