Microsoft outlines principles of competition

In what may become a continuing trend, Microsoft pledged today to follow a dozen principles of competition as it builds and sells its Windows desktop operating system software, the ubiquitous product that has been the subject of nearly a decade of antitrust battles. From the article:
“As creators of an operating system used so widely around the world, we recognize that we have a special responsibility both to advance innovation and preserve competition,” Smith said. “We've learned that people care not only about what we do, but about how we do it. That's why we're adopting these principles, and why we're making them so public in this manner.”
That sure is a change of tone for Microsoft. The one point that I am extremely happy to see is and business terms that protect manufacturers who go the non-Microsoft route from retaliation. It may have taken multiple antitrust suits across multiple continents, but Microsoft may actually be starting to get it. I'm as skeptical as the next person and it's going to take a lot of follow through before I'm a believer, but at this point I think Microsoft is feeling real pressure from its large clients, and that is more important to them than any lawsuit ever will be. The entire “Twelve Tenets to Promote Competition” can be viewed here. Hopefully we'll see viable competition flourishing soon.
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