The Digital Future
5:00 am
Tue May 31, 2011

The next monopoly?

Microsoft is appealing a $1.3 billion fine from European antitrust regulators. But its antitrust worries in the United States appear to be over. The consent decree with the US Justice Department expired May 11th. A lot has changed since Microsoft crushed Netscape in the browser wars of the 1990s. This month on The Digital Future, Strategic News Service publisher Mark Anderson says Microsoft has transformed itself into a much better corporate citizen.

Mark credits CEO Steve Ballmer for Microsoft's change in behavior, saying Ballmer achieved "a brand conversion from one of being a feared and often disliked or hated company, to one of being a well liked and respected and honored company around the world. That would have been impossible in anybody's marketing book, and Steve did it."

You can read more about Mark's views on Steve Ballmer in Sharon Pian Chan's article in the Seattle Times.

As Microsoft's antitrust issues are winding down, where will the next battle be? It's hard to tell, but Mark says to keep an eye on on Apple and Amazon:

Maybe we should expect to see monopolies in certain kinds of content and distribution. Maybe we should expect to see that Amazon owns books, and maybe Apple owns media...that kind of thing.