No surprises in reaction to Microsoft findings

The local IT industry had an essentially indifferent reaction to the finding that Microsoft is officially a monopoly.

Microsoft's arch-rival in the database space, Oracle, saw the findings as good news.

"It's the decision everyone anticipated," said Oracle Australia's managing director, Phil Kiely.

"I will not be surprised to hear Microsoft appeal the decision," he said.

Kiely said he expected the outcome would see the DoJ take action and split Microsoft into separate companies. Kiely expects that to happen in tandem with Microsoft's appeal.

"But it's good news for consumers," Kiely said, alluding to possible lower software prices.

Philip Nesci, CIO at Orica Australia, did not foresee the announcement having an immediate impact on the company's strategy.

Nesci believes any results from the case would be more likely to impact on Microsoft's competitors than on its customers.

Microsoft partner, Great Plains Software, said the finding would not impact the company as a developer. Gail Johnson, Great Plains Australasia's marketing manager, said it would be "business as usual".

"We will continue to work with Microsoft," she said.

Providing his own opinion, Paul Spiteri the general manager of IT at Wattyl Australia, doubts the decision would have a short-term affect on the local industry.

"However, in the longer term there is a potential for an effect, depending on the final ruling of the court and the initiatives and capabilities of Microsoft's competitors," Spiteri said.

He said it was not known exactly what the court would do if, and when, Microsoft was found guilty of operating illegally, however, he pointed out that the range of options open to the US courts was considerable.

In a 1983 anti-trust case against the US telecommunications giant, AT&T and the US Government forced the breakup of the corporation into the "Baby Bells" because of its monopolistic power.

Spiteri said that users who stopped using Microsoft products would have to face up to the considerable task of working out what other products were suitable to use for the long-term viability of their businesses.

He also said he believed Microsoft's competitors would be "rubbing their hands together with glee".

A number of local IT managers were not prepared to comment on the case, while, surprisingly, others were unaware of the release of the details over the weekend regarding the case. Major hardware vendors Intel and Dell would not comment on the findings.

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