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Understanding Microsoft

The story of the rise and fall of Microsoft is already a business classic. But does the appeal against its break-up matter? Like IBM before it, Microsoft will go from being a big company that dominates the world to just a big company.

By Tom Standage   March 2001

Things are not going well for Microsoft, the world’s largest software company, in either the courtroom or the marketplace. Microsoft was found guilty by a US court of being a “predatory” monopoly last April, and a judge ordered it to be split in two; the case goes to the appeal court at the end of February. Meanwhile, Microsoft is struggling to cope with the shifting landscape of the computer industry, where the rise of the internet, and its philosophy of “open” software standards agreed by consensus, has undermined its business strategy. Under the leadership of its co-founder, Bill Gates, Microsoft…

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