Reading over the recent blog entry by InformationWeek Editor-in-Chief Rob Preston, I found myself thinking of a certain ex-stripper from Texas, and wondering who's got more business sense--the stripper or Bill Gates?Stripper Anna Nicole Smith met and married an 89-year-old oil billionaire who was a frequent patron at one of the clubs where she danced. Smith appeared at the U.S. Supreme Court last week, defending her inheritance.
In most of her public appearances, Smith is the very epitome of the bimbo, but this time she wore a black dress and wrap that covered her from shoulders to legs. She was clearly making an effort to show respect for the court--demonstrating that she knows something important about business. It's something that everybody who's ever tried to argue a parking ticket knows, but Gates and Microsoft apparently don't know.
As Rob points out, Microsoft lost its first go-round against the U.S. Justice Department in its antitrust trial by alienating the judge. Microsoft failed to show respect for the court--indeed, the company treated the court with disdain, culminating with several hours of Bill Gates testimony where he was visibly contemptuous of his opposing counsel and the entire proceedings.
Microsoft only won its case on appeal when it toned down the sneering and demonstrated that it was taking the matter seriously.
Now history looks to be repeating itself. Microsoft is facing antitrust proceedings in the European Union, which is considering opening a new investigation into Microsoft Office. Microsoft, meanwhile, has accused the EU of being in collusion with Microsoft's competitors and tried to get a U.S. Court to intervene. Today a European court rejected the charges.
What do you think? Should Microsoft continue its current path against the European Union, or should it back off?