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In Search of a Little Economic Security

  	BG never wanted to hire anyone.  MS would build
  	the tightest code, etc., with the least payroll, and
  	sock away cash -- insolvency would never knock
  	at the door.  His top lieutenants made him hire.
  	They hired top talent without experience and proved
  	microcomputer programs could compete in business
  	with mains and minis. To keep payroll down they
  	hired with options.  They hired many who worked 
  	until they burned out and quit as millionaires.
  	(None of this is written as a defense against AM or
  	the DOJ action. What is today a near monopoly in
  	too many markets must be made to obey our laws
  	under which MS was able to grow, and others now
  	have the same right.)
  	BG ought to put on our List a voice that would tell
  	us what their fears are.  This is my short imagined
  	version of some of them.
  	Having brought together at a great campus site
  	thousands of brilliant youngsters, they have to
  	continue to meet payroll and do the applications
  	that will make money for themselves and save 
  	money 	for their customers. (Again, I do not defend
  	their marketing -- I am only expressing their need.)
  	The challenges and opportunities in the information
  	revolution are terribly inviting -- many will not be
  	met except by giant, well run, deep pocketed firms.
  	Think of what you would like in terms of a perfect
  	combination of  content, delivery, interactivity, etc.,
  	including education, home business, shopping, 
  	banking, travel, and possible services, etc., and how 
  	incomplete much of what we have is -- how slow it 
  	will improve without continued enormous effort by
  	the likes of MS people.
  	This whole AM, DOJ, Congressional inquiry
  	matter will, I trust, force MS to engage in fairer 
  	marketing practices and less monopolistic motive
  	in planning and acquisition of peripheral firms.
  	But from their perspective, if their revenues are
  	diminished their better effort will be curtailed: 
  	          Will others in their markets -- software, 
  	content, delivery, etc., -- do nearly as well for 
  	          Perhaps they will, but without revenues
  	in very high amount, will it really be possible?
  	The aforesaid notions of what BG and MS may
  	be thinking do not provide answers.  Monopoly
  	positions in lucrative markets do provide much
  	of what we have that we like.  The flagrant
  	missing elements in what we have, include that
  	little bit of economic security for competing talents
  	that will outperform MS and any other giant in
  	specific applications. 
  	And missing also is the grand scale investment 
  	that might provide a learning notebook computer 
  	to students who can't afford but otherwise 
  	demonstrate they ought to have one.
  	Bringing MS into compliance with the law and
  	fair business practice is a necessary task -- and
  	we are trying here to do it.  
  	Providing federal support for competitors and 
  	students in an effective supplementary system to 
  	the market is also a necessary task that may be 
  	beyond the immediate scope of AM, but may 
  	nevertheless remain the more important unmet 
  	need once MS' revenues are reduced by the 
  	forces of fair competition.
  	No doubt fair and effective funding of such a
  	supplementary system requires new and innovative
  	information system applications.  If MS would get
  	to work on them, I'd be tempted to switch sides and
  	defend the softer elements of their hard ball game.
          John Gelles                   email  address: myturn@vcol.net
          http://www.myturn.org   ;    http://www.rain.org/~jjgelles/
          URL's above seek enactment of an economic bill of rights.