Free ride? I'll say

Started May 4, 2002 | Discussions thread
Tom May Senior Member • Posts: 1,676
Re: Enjoy the ride

By definition, a monopoly is bad as it stifles competition and innovation. Also, I don't believe that the government stated that Microsoft became a monopoly only through legitimate business practices. In fact, the previous consent decree, which Microsoft ignored, did fault Microsoft for unfair business practices. These practices continue today.

Microsoft has been a champion of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) in its marketing practices, and continues this practice even today. It has launched a very strong anti open source campaign, targeting Linux, which seems to be backfiring. It has spoken at length about the unfolding tragedy that would occur if IE and Media Player were to be removed from the Windows OS to allow OEM's alternatives. It has stated that it would not be possible to accomplish this even as it advertises Windows XP Embedded that is binary compatible with Windows XP. Even his Billness testified that this was the case.

Either way, the law (Tunney Act) requires that the government mitigate monopoly power, as they did with both AT&T and IBM. The fact that the Federal Government has adopted a very weak position was the cause for the 9 remaining states to continue the legal action.

Meanwhile, Microsoft, with its $40 billion in cash, is attempting to use its position to dominate other industries, fortunately without too much success (note the lackluster success of XBOX and MSN). The truth is, Microsoft has been very successful when it can leverage its OS and Office monopolies, and proprietary technologies such as Media Player and C#. It has been less successful when it has strayed from this formula.

Fortunately, the era of the Personal Computer is evolving towards consumer devices, segments that the likes of Sony, Nintendo, Panasonic, Ericson, Nokia and Apple are more successful at. And Linux is having quite a bit of impact in the less developed world, which may constraint MS success to first world countries, I'll bet even these of which are grousing about MS business practices.

At any rate, I value everyone's opinion, though I believe that we the consumer are served best when we are allowed choice.

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