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Re: Fair Trade and Anti-Monopoly
Like you, I've used MS tools to create a good living for myself.
For this I do applaud them. I make it a policy to use the best tool for
the job, and many times (not always) that approach has caused me to turn
However, your blanket approach to the issues raised in this list is
flawed. Simply put, the issues discussed in this list are not "black
and white". Microsoft has done enormous good for society, but Gates &
Co. have also acted against the public interest many times over. Being
able to distinguish these two sides of the coin is, I believe, crucial
to this discussion, and to achieving the end result at least I hope to
see -- which is a GENERAL PUBLIC perception of Microsoft that is more in
touch with reality.
Gates is a very brilliant public relations speaker, using at times
in interviews an almost Johnnie Cochran-like smoke-and-mirrors approach
to avoid the real issues being put to him. However else any of us feel
about him, I think we would do well to all admit that he is extremely
adept at creating a public persona that he is a mellow-mannered,
laid-back, almost ingratiating kind of guy. Really the battle against
Microsoft (including this conference) is a psychological one as much as
anything. If Sun, Netscape, or whoever, get up at this conference and
give speeches that smack of anything approaching envy or jealousy, Gates
wins, in my book. As much as I know the individual speakers are human
(as we all are), we must approach this merely on the issues. Doing this
will be enough, and Gates will be forced to understand that he needs to
play by the same rules we all have played by for the last decade.
One question I have for you David, as you write about MS giving the
little guys a chance, is this: how do you feel about the way they've
treated Andreeson, a 20-something generation X-er who WAS a "little guy"
with a great idea (the WWW browser), who was one step ahead of Gates and
capitalized on it, and who is now on the verge of being taken out by
Gates, simply because Gates has applied the financial resources he has
had at his disposal? That is, I don't mean this as an insult, or as any
kind of slant on the success of your company (which I admit I know
nothing about -- I wish you all the best, honestly), but if you are an
ISV I think you would do well to consider that if you grew as sucessful
monetarily as Netscape, you might change your tune a little bit, as
Microsoft might be coming after YOUR company. That is, they might be
wanting to integrate YOUR software product into their OS.
David E. Y. Sarna wrote:
> I believe that Microsoft has created more wealth in ten years than any
> other company in history. And I am not referring to the more than
> Microsoft Millionaires (employees of Microsoft) but rather to the tens
> of thousands of small businesses like mine who grew through nurturing
> by Microsoft, and because Microsoft standards, once mastered, allow
> little guys to create for the big guys. Microsoft standards are a
> leveler; the low cost of their products put them in reach of all. As
> someone who favors giving the little guy a chance, you should be
> applauding Microsoft for all it has accomplished.
> David E. Y. Sarna email@example.com
> ObjectSoft Corp. (NASDAQ:OSFT) http://www.objectsoftcorp.com
> 433 Hackensack Ave., Hackensack, NJ 07601
> Tel.: (201) 343-9100 Fax: (201) 343-0056
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: firstname.lastname@example.org [SMTP:email@example.com]
> > Sent: Sunday, November 02, 1997 12:25 PM
> > To: Multiple recipients of list
> > Subject: Fair Trade and Anti-Monopoly
> > COMPANIES GROW BIG TO DO BIG THINGS.
> > THE PUBLIC PROTECTS SMALL COMPANIES
> > UNDER LAW WHEN THIS IS NECESSARY.
> > Were it not for antitrust actions that compelled IBM
> > to respect our competitive markets, MS would be a
> > zero today.
> > Now, based on some merit and much aggressive
> > questionable practice, MS is a near monopoly in
> > significant markets. It will get its day in court as all
> > of us should.
> > The story of the success of a small company reported
> > today that may be indebted to the standards the
> > market has seemingly adopted, is a fair one. This
> > appraisal of MS must take into account the need for
> > such standards to allow both consumers and small
> > producers to succeed.
> > The current method of fighting it out in marketing to
> > get standards out there, and then curbing abuse via
> > fair trade and anti-trust, has its faults. The best
> > technology is not always the standard the market
> > selects.
> > Some new systems may be in order that would balance
> > marketing by jury competitions, as in architecture.
> > Winners of jury awards might get large subsidies to
> > allow them to catch up to inferior products that have
> > "caught on" -- especially when "catching on" is often
> > the result of marketing practices that only barely escape
> > prosecution.
> > In all events, the Nader Appraisal has its work cut out
> > for it. If it does not come up with solutions it can
> > sell to voters -- such as juries and large subsidy awards
> > -- we will make only marginal progress. (Of course,
> > MS will, I hope, be made to back down in the browser
> > tie-in to Windows.)
> > Meanwhile, there is a good chance that in ten years a
> > user friendly open system, with virtually no user futzing
> > required (VNUFR), served by many producers, none
> > with dominance over all others, will emerge. MS may
> > even be the largest software writer for such open
> > system. Or it may be only a lesser player.
> > Our real need is for digital money to support
> > democratic free enterprise, digital education on
> > demand, and digitally enhanced law and politics to
> > inform the public and serve its interest. If MS
> > doesn't supply these needs, and PBS does not,
> > and Disney, Sony, Turner, Murdoch, etc., do not,
> > maybe NS (Nader Systems) will.
> > John Gelles email address:
> > http://www.myturn.org ; http://www.rain.org/~jjgelles/
> > The Web addresses above argue for economic rights and
> > wealth creation, and for individual and national
> > to be financed by credit and protected against inflation by
> > full automation and saving -- not by high interest,
> > unemployment and high taxes.