I've never seen anything like this story, and I don't think there's ever been a precedent in history. A story summarized at Electronista seems to show a Microsoft employee complaining that the company actually has smaller monopolies within itself destroying it from the inside. What can happen when a single corporation does the closest thing to enslaving the entire human race that any entity has ever done and goes unchecked, unchallenged, and uncontrollable for so long? Its empire fragments into a bunch of warring sub-monopolies, that's what.
From the linked Fortune.CNN article:
"Others talk about what a few former employees call the 'made men' -- those who earned their bones during the 1990s when Microsoft was riding high and now can do no wrong, even as they bungle decision after decision. 'You want to innovate in mobile?' said a former top Microsoft engineer named James Whittaker before leaving to take a job at Google. 'Then deal with the made men who run the relevant cartel. And if they don't like you or your idea, your innovation goes nowhere.'"
Well, yeah, what did you expect? No world empire has ever remained stable, and this applies to corporations to monopolize one industry for all seven billion of us as well.
Let me pause here and let some of you catch up, so you see what I mean about this global empire business: The Computer Revolution changed the human race. Information and communications technology fundamentally changed everything about us by the end of the 20th century. It was a landmark whose impact on homo sapiens is only comparable to the dawn of the industrial age itself, and perhaps things like the dawn of agriculture and discovery of fire. What I'm trying to say here, is, computers are kind of a big deal. Microsoft, into this millennium, still has a market-share past 90% - over all of computing technology combined. When computers are a part of every aspect of human life in every country on Earth and one company controls some 92-to-98% of everything that is done on those machines, they're basically the world's government. Hey, both the US and UK have tried to check their behavior with multiple legal actions - Microsoft blows them off like an elephant shrugging off a gnat. I would say that Steve Ballmer has considerably more power in his hands than was ever enjoyed by Emperor Charlemagne.
Yes, I know, I'm generalizing all to hell. It's shorthand. Just roll along with it and make air-quotes with your fingers around all references to Microsoft as a global empire, OK? And I'm not just talking about Windows - don't forget to count Mobile, XBox, MSNBC, and all the other octopus tentacles. When I say "empire", I mean considering all of the holdings, subsidiaries, partnerships, and bought politicians.
Anyway, the fascinating new things I'm hearing from within the MS empire is all this talk of "made men", "mafia", "cartels". It may not be the beginning of the end yet, but it may be the dawn of the Balkanization.
PS Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, Jim Zemlin just made his famous "competing with Microsoft is like kicking a puppy" statement. That's braggadocio - exactly what the Linux Foundation Executive Director should be doing. I wouldn't compare Microsoft to a puppy unless it was this one.
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