CCIA report is bad medicine

Monday, 13 October 2003, 3:37 PM EST

A recently published report from the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) claims that "Microsoft's monopoly of the desktop operating system market is a threat to our national security." The paper has understandably created quite a bit of fuss -- so much, in fact, that Daniel Geer, former CTO of @Stake, reportedly received the aforementioned designation of "former" as a result of his co-authoring the paper.

While I do not dispute the individual talents of Geer and the other authors of the paper (folks like Bruce Schneier and Charles Pfleeger), I do dispute some of the conclusions they arrived at -- basically, because I think they are wrong.

It is not too hard to agree with some of the economic implications of the paper -- after all, Microsoft's market share and the legal issues that stem from it are, for the most part, obvious. And it is no secret that Microsoft has used its business and legal muscle to bully competitors on more than one occasion. I certainly would not want to be on the south-end of a north-bound Microsoft Law Mule.

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