Microsoft's Future

As the action shifts from the desktop to the Internet, Windows is getting into new gear

What's worse for a software company than being told it broke the law? Only this: Being told it makes an inferior product. Scarcely a day after Judge Jackson's ruling of law last week, AOL and Gateway unveiled a trio of low-cost Internet-access devices that pointedly excluded Microsoft from their party. The devices--a countertop, a desktop and a wireless Web appliance--use upstart Linux, rather than Microsoft's Windows, as their operating system. Linux, according to AOL and Gateway execs, beat Windows to the punch by being faster and more reliable. Ouch.

Chalk it up to longstanding Microsoft-AOL rivalry if you will. But "netpliances"...

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