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Looking at Microsoft today, Mitchell Kapor, an elder statesman of modern computing, is reminded of another industry power that was chastened by a lengthy antitrust struggle and a seismic shift in the technology landscape — I.B.M. in the 1980s and early 1990s, as the mainframe gave way to personal computing.
“I.B.M. came out of those years still large and enormously important to its customers, but I.B.M. was displaced by Microsoft,” he said. “I.B.M. was no longer the defining company.”
“The irony is that what Microsoft did to I.B.M., Google is doing to Microsoft,” said Mr. Kapor, founder of Lotus Development, which made the leading spreadsheet program in the 1980s, and the founding chairman of the Mozilla Foundation, developer of the free Web browser Firefox.