Friday, February 23, 2007

Microsoft needs an ethics officer

I'm not sure if they have one. But, even if they do, I'm sure he's not doing a good job. Time and again, we see this company entering anti-trust lawsuits (I can list so many cases where they were penalized by the EU). This time, it is in the U.S., for patent infringement.

As a company, they must learn to compete ethically and produce innovative products with their own creativity. Alcatel-Lucent had accused the world's largest software maker for infringing on its patents related to standards used for playing MP3 digital music files. A U.S federal court found Microsoft guilty today and ordered the firm to pay Alcatel-Lucent $1.52 billion in damages. This is a large sum to settle a suit, even for Microsoft, which is used to paying in the order of hundreds of millions for the anti-trust lawsuits that it faces frequently.

I'm not very surprised at this, this time. I adjust my thoughts to believe that this is what happens when a company grows to this size. It loses its controls on ethics. Today, it could be Microsoft, tomorrow it could be anyone else! Microsoft, of late, have been more of a follower in terms of products -

Playstation ==> XBox
Apple iPod ==> Zune MP3
Mac OS X ==> Vista (3d graphics, etc.)
Google Docs ==> MS Office Live
Google Earth ==> MS Virtual Earth

All these put together suggest a pattern to me - dearth of creativity at the giant!



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