From: Ross A. Finlayson (
Date: Fri Jan 14 2000 - 07:45:54 MST

So, it appears from the mass media that Microsoft is under consideration
of being split. This would be the wrong approach to promoting

Splitting Microsoft horizontally or vertically would not benefit any
other company or group. Any kind of enforcement of non-collusion among
the resultant entities would be impossible.

The correct route would be to open Microsoft's, and therefore, a large
percentage of computer users', software source code. What this means is
providing free reference entry-level compilers and tools and the source
code of the operating system and reference documentation and
specifications of the entire operating system and commodity office
software. This would benefit competition by allowing the majority of
programmers outside of Microsoft, and thus, their related business
competition interests, better ability to develop software for their
mission critical applications.

When it comes to development tools, there should be made available a
freely distributable fully-functional reference compiler and requisite
tools. Microsoft and others could still sell their higher level
development environments.

In terms of the operating system itself, "Windows", the source code
should be made available to any licensee upon request. They could
expressly disclaim any liability of recompiled or source code, which is
not much different from the case now. Also, enforcement would be as
simple as compiling the source code and comparing the checksums to
release software. Also, Microsoft would still be selling this software
for a very large profit, as is the case now, considering that an OEM
CD-ROM and a hologram sticker cost less than a dollar.

That is my opinion, and that of others, who care little about
Microsoft's corporate structure or restructure, and want the best in
software engineering. These enforceable actions would be

Ross Finlayson

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