Resellers indifferent to rumoured DoJ ruling

Resellers indifferent to rumoured DoJ ruling

As the US Department of Justice (DoJ) prepared to announce its proposed punishments in the Microsoft antitrust case last week, local resellers remained phlegmatic about the effect the recommendations would have on the channel.

The DoJ was expected to hand down its decision late Friday as ARN went to press, amidst speculation that Microsoft would be forced to split off the Windows operating system business from the rest of the company. Other rumours suggested the company could be compelled to make its source code available to third parties, publish the licensing terms or disclose how much it charges vendors for the operating system.

However, local resellers say whatever the decision, it will have very little short-term effect on the channel.

"It is not up to us to speculate," said Com Tech's director of technical marketing Darron Lonstein. "From our point of view it is business as usual with Microsoft. We aren't modifying anything in our relationship.

"We are planning as if things will remain the same in terms of Microsoft's interface with the channel."

Powerlan's Theo Baker said while he thinks the break-up of Microsoft would be a positive move, he didn't think it would change the way the company operates.

"It would allow more organisations to be innovative without being quashed by a large company," he said.

"But it is difficult to understand how the break-up would change the industry unless there is regulation in the way Microsoft conducts its business. I think the overall impact on the channel will be negligible."

Dennis Woolcock at Praxa said he thought the decision would have no effect on the channel.

"I don't think it's over by a long shot - Microsoft have indicated that they will appeal the break-up so it could go on for quite a while. Meanwhile, we are a solution provider so we will keep using the technologies whether the company is split up or not."

Microsoft Australia's marketing director Peter Cray said Microsoft would certainly appeal a decision to break up the company.

"There has been nothing in the court proceedings or rulings which would justify a break-up of the company," he said.

"The antitrust law is about protecting consumers rather than competitors and I think a recommendation to break up the company is both premature and incredibly extreme. We would object to that; it doesn't reflect the market or the benefit the software has given to consumers."

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