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Your first paragraph makes an underemphasized point. I remember at the time of the antitrust litigation against MS reading interviews with former IBMers about IBM's comparable experience years earlier. They all said that what MS had to fear was not losing the case but rather a slow strangulation due to the climate change (so to speak) that protracted antitrust action would evoke within MS internally. It seems that this is exactly what happened. Hindsight is 20/20 of course, but given that this was widely predicted at the time, I wonder if it was a failure on Gates' part not to settle quickly. MS were at the height of their power then. But as the I Ching says, it's precisely at the height of one's power that one should worry about the coming decline.

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