I was born before 1960 and was young when the IBM and AT&T
monopolies were broken. I was at a biometrics standards meeting
today and one of the informal pre-meeting discussions was on MS
v IBM v AT&T. One viewpoint was:

"IBM, AT&T & MS were all monopolies, but IBM and AT&T were at
least interested in their customers."
- The mainframe computer may have been expensive, but when
there was a problem, IBM had technicians coming in by parachute.
- The phone may have been expensive, but AT&T would get you a
dial tone.
- MS, on the other hand, ....

I admit it. I worked long and hard to master VB Classic
(versions 2-6), COM, DCOM, VC++6, & ATL. I wrote "niche"
software that was successfully deployed worldwide. I resent
that MS, by fiat, has obsoleted my hard-won knowledge. I agree
that eventually .NET will benefit me as a software developer,
but I also believe that *MY* benefit of .NET dominance is
0.000004% of the benefit of MS's .NET dominance. That is to
say, my impression is that MS went with .NET because it benefits
MS, not their users or developers.

My (argumentative ;-) viewpoint is this:
"Microsoft is a functional monopoly. They are abusing their
monopoly. They are acting as a non-benevolent monarchy."

My question is:
"Is Microsoft qualified to lead us into the 'Promised Land'?"

Personal option for argument's sake: Had MS given a d*mn about
their customers they'd have gone with Java and J2EE rather than
creating functionally identical but incompatible strategies.

Comments? (What if all the MS Mensan's had gotten behind Java
& J2EE? Where would computing be today?)

-- Mark