The Microsoft Decision: Investors Duke It Out on the Message Boards

Investors weigh in on Microsoft, and the competitors that could possibly benefit from the ruling.
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Let

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

and the U.S. government battle in the courts. The Microsoft haters and lovers are taking their fight to the Internet.

Friday night, after

U.S. District Court

Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson delivered his long-awaited findings in favor of the government in its antitrust case against Microsoft, dozens of posts started pouring in on

Yahoo! Finance

,

Raging Bull

and

Silicon Investor

.

Microsoft Decision: Join the discussion on

TSC

Message Boards.

The biggest fans of the ruling were backers of Microsoft competitors such as

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

,

Red Hat

(RHAT)

and

Cobalt Networks

(COBT)

.

"RHAT + COBT to soar Monday on MSFT ruling. COBT will hit 200 for sure," wrote "gettingricherdaily" on the Yahoo! Finance thread devoted to Red Hat, the Linux software distributor and Windows competitor. Red Hat closed at 85 15/16 in regular trading Friday, up 11/16, and then closed at 92 in after-hours trading on

Island ECN

. Cobalt, a maker of hardware that runs the Linux operating system, closed at 128 1/8, up 482% from its 22 offer price when it debuted today. Its last trade on Island was 131 15/16.

Investors on Yahoo!'s Apple thread were no less enthusiastic.

"Gawd bless us ALL," posted "dave4419." "Justice dept 'found' what we all knew all along anyway ... sometimes life is just worth LIVING." Apple closed at 88 5/16 in regular trading, and was up slightly at 89 7/8 in after-hours trading on Island.

Some Microsoft haters even got an early start. Before the findings were disclosed, "iamit" on Raging Bull wrote, "Can't wait for a negative news Burn Microsoft Burn."

But while Microsoft opponents gloated, Microsoft devotees earnestly defended the embattled software maker.

"Hard-nosed competition built this country and

Bill Gates

exemplifies all the greatest qualities of the U.S.," wrote "jmlima" on Raging Bull. "Anyone who supports this ruling ... has an agenda bordering on complete regulation of business."

"This should not be news to anybody who has followed MSFT," wrote "sirtradealot" on Raging Bull. "Yes we have a monopoly right here in the good old U.S.A. and everyone should be proud of this."

And a few optimistic investors merely saw it as a chance to get more Microsoft stock at cheap prices. "Thanks for the cheep shares," wrote "b_i_l_l_y_g_a_t_e_s" on Yahoo. "I love america."