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Can Microsoft stay ahead?

Is Microsoft's monopoly of personal computer software transferable to the internet and the network businesses of the future? If so, should we worry? Geraldine Bedell considers the implications of the latest court cases

By Geraldine Bedell   February 1998

Personal computers may have changed the way we work and live, but we can’t quite learn to love them. Orwellian associations of the computer as an instrument of tyranny linger on. Perhaps this is why we cannot decide whether Bill Gates, co-founder and chairman of Microsoft and the world’s richest man, is a harmless and even useful nerd or Big Brother.

Washington DC is certainly taking seriously the notion that Gates, with his enormous personal fortune ($38 billion in Microsoft stock) plus his company’s $9 billion cash and asset base, might be a danger to capitalism and democracy. Microsoft produces…

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