In December, Samuel Goodhope stood hunched over an Austin conference-room table eyeing a dismembered personal computer. As a special assistant in the Texas Attorney General's office and point man in its antitrust investigation into Microsoft Corp., he needed a keen understanding of a PC's innards. So a technician painstakingly explained how each of the components is supplied by a different company, but they must all work with the critical Windows operating system made by a single corporation, Microsoft. That's when it hit him: Microsoft owns a key monopoly in the Digital Age, and the software maker is a lot like the Borg. These fictional Star Trek characters--part flesh, part machine--prowl the universe conquering other races. "Resistance is futile," says Goodhope in a mechanical, Borg-like voice. "You will be assimilated."
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