Monopoly 4.0

As a follow-up to my post on Live.com yesterday – here's a little more dire analysis of Microsoft's grand strategy:

But that’s the key word here of course: Tying.

Though it doesn’t seem to make sense for Live to have the Windows or Office names right now – live.com is just another web dashboard at the moment – there are far more ambitious plans to come. The Windows and Office monikers are there because Microsoft will, of course, be up to it’s old tricks by heavily integrating Live services into the desktop sucking the air supply out of any online competitors. It doesn’t seem that they should be allowed to do this sort of thing, but the success of iTunes seems to have given them a new excuse to start tying products again. And hell, the DOJ agreement only lasts until 2007, no? I can easily see MS adding links throughout their OS and Office products as they have with Passport, Hotmail and MSN in an effort to push these new services.

Even so, I don't see it killing Google, Yahoo, Ebay, et al the way Microsoft killed Netscape. On the other hand, I could be wrong – and that would be a bad thing all around.

UPDATE: Here's a nice collection of opinions on the subject from Betanews

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