Research toko IDC blijkt interessante ideeën te hebben over een mogelijke Microsoft break-up. IDC stelt een splitsing in vijf aparte bedrijven voor, een scenario dat niet overeenkomt met de huidige structuur van Microsoft. Volgens IDC hebben deze vijf Microsofties gezamenlijk een grotere commerciële en technologische waarde dan één groot Microsoft, dat krampachtig het eigen Windows platform dichtgemetseld probeert te houden. Onderstaande info komt uit een analyse van The Register:
IDC's recommendation is more radical than the commonly-suggested 'three companies' split, both in terms of the number of companies proposed (five) and in the way those companies would operate and interoperate. Nor do they fit in with the current group structure of Microsoft, which itself follows the fault lines of the three breakup company scenario. Instead, IDC sees the split as being as follows:
- Operating systems and middleware
- Application development tools, languages and databases
- Business and consumer applications
- Hardware devices
- Content, telecoms and integration services
There's clearly scope for leveraging within the first suggested company, but in other areas the segmentation would be more effective in blocking this than the standard three company scenario. For example, the separation of middleware, databases, applications, hardware devices and integration services all into different companies does a fair job of strewing Bob Muglia's current group to the winds. This is clearly entirely contrary to Microsoft's current thinking, but if implemented would mean a radical change of strategy.
Which according to IDC is the point. Aside from getting the Feds off the company's back, the split would regenerate Microsoft, and this would be good for the market (nobody said IDC was full of Linux-lovers, OK?): "long term, the value of five highly competitive companies optimising products for different technologies across a much larger base of opportunity (beyond Windows-only markets) will be much higher than that of a single company that is forcing all its products through the same desktop and server operating environment."