Lacey's Paper Round

It has been the toughest week I can remember for Microsoft with bad press just about everywhere. Well, everywhere except Business Week, which points out that Americans still love Bill.

That UK tech stocks may still be worth a punt is the surprise of the week -- surprising when you consider that the tip comes from the FT. As this Paper Round hits the Net, the AOL Netscape marriage bans are just being read. More on that next week. Did I miss something? If you see an interesting article in print about computing or the Net send it to me, Eugene Lacey, at ZDNet. I have an exclusive, limited edition, ZDNet pen for all contributions published.

83 reasons why Bill Gates reign is over - Wired

The whisper is fast turning into a scream, and the word is that fortress Microsoft is under siege. Not just by anti-trust lawyers but by a whole raft of interests and developments - some external and some internal -- which collectively represent the biggest challenge to MS market dominance that we have seen since Apple gave up all hope of a serious challenge to Windows. In case you are in doubt - the December issue of Wired lists 83 reasons, all plausibly argued, why Bill's reign is over. Wired, December 1998.

Time not convinced by Gates' courtroom performance - Time

Time magazine contrasts Bill Gates' courtroom performance with Bill Clinton's and concludes that whilst the President was hugely effective, the Microsoft chief left little to be desired. "To many who watched Gates' apparent dissembling and self-serving memory lapses, Microsoft's effort at spin had the zany logic of the old Groucho Marx gag: Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?" Time, November 16, 1998.

Americans still love "icon" Gates -- Business Week

Business Week published the results of a Harris poll that challenges the assertions made in Time magazine above, concerning the effectiveness of Gates' courtroom performances. "50% of those who are aware of the trial have a favourable view of Gates... The trial, which examines whether Gates and Microsoft have grown too powerful, is unlikely to topple him from his icon status." Business Week, November 30, 1998.

Lex says the proposed Netscape AOL merger could be a "serious challenge" to Microsoft -- Financial Times, Lex Column

AOL and Netscape united would change the Internet landscape. According to Lex in the FT "this deal would move AOL out of the Microsoft camp, whose browser it has been using, and into the arms of Sun and Oracle. This coalition may well be able to provide real competition to Microsoft when it comes to setting the future standards for the Internet". Financial Times, Lex Column, November 24, 1998.

European IT may still be a good long term bet -- Financial Times

The FT's Lex column commented on the affect in the UK of the "frothy Internet flotations return to favour" in the US. "The information technology rally after its October plunge is fragile. This does not undermine the long term bull case for the sector across Europe. The US spends more than twice what Europe does on IT as a percentage of gross domestic product, so the scope for catch up is substantial." Financial Times, Lex Column, November 16, 1998.

Sun's McGeady gets most laughs at Microsoft hearings -- USA Today

USA Today reported on the potential fun to be had by attending the Microsoft Vs DoJ hearings in Washington. Top witness for entertainment value is Sun's Steve McGeady. "Did you learn that from (Oracle CEO) Larry Ellison?" Holley (attorney) asked at one point. "No. I haven't learned much from Larry Ellison," McGeady said, getting laughs from everyone including Judge Jackson." USA Today, November 18, 1998.