Let’s be totally fair about this folks. Microsoft is notorious for not playing fair with its competitors and potential competitors. It appears the hardball marketers have been so deeply entrenched in managing the company’s affairs for so long that they’ve lost perspective, about what it means to compete fairly in the marketplace.
Sure being a tough competitor is actually a good thing, and if the company happens to have a superior product, that’s even better. But when a company spends too much time living in gray areas where matters of ethics are often forgotten, you have to wonder just how far Microsoft is willing to go in order to win the ballgame.
This is not to say there are no umpires around, which is supposedly the function of the U.S. government’s antitrust people. However, it took years before the complaints against Microsoft for using deceit and illegal actions to beat down Netscape in the early days of the browser wars resulted in an antitrust action. Even then, some feel that the Bush administration was less concerned about competitive extremes than the Clinton administration, and thus they took half a loaf in settlement rather than go all the way.
The rest was evidently left, in part, to the European Union that has ended up forcing Microsoft to pay huge fines for unethical business practices. Indeed, you’d think that Microsoft will, in the future, be forced to play good guy because they have no choice, but that doesn’t mean they can’t skirt around the edges from time to time.