This might happen in the not too distant future. A Fed bailout of Microsoft. Just as the Fed bailed out Bear, it might have to eventually bail out Microsoft as well. It is no secret that Vista has been a big flop for Microsoft. What could now happen is Microsoft tries to scramble desperately to develop a new OS that is not like Vista and given that MS never learns from its mistakes all we will we get is some variant of XP and Vista. (gates has already called this Windows 7). As usual, due to to Microsoft's thoughtlessness it will be a flop and what the world will end up with is a monopoly that cannot address the needs of millions of consumers and firms. Very sensitive financial data and hosts of other things will be continue to be hosted on old legacy Microsoft offerings that lag behind other technologies. One the day of reckoning when no one is prepared, there will be a system wide crash and with it the stock markets. The Fed will be asked to bail out Microsoft because a further collapse needs to be prevented. The Fed will agree and rescue MS shareholders while leaving million sof MS consumers at a loss.
I urge what we need is a consumer bill of rights from Microsoft. The right to be free and be able to insist for software that can work with other programs. Also, these rights should enforce hardware providers not to develop hardware that is OS dependent. The driver developers need to be arm-twisted as well. The reason we need the institutions to intervene is that otherwise they would be the ones who would be forced to bail out Microsoft and all the other greedy firms which rely on closed IP, just like we had to bail out Bear. We deserve much better and much more than that.