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Antitrust Alternative? Stop the Upgrade.

  The weakness in the argument for open competition for OS is that
  people and companies must protect their very large investment in
  appliances, like spreadsheets, wordprocessors, databases, cad programs, etc.
  Switching to an OS, even on a pentium box, which cannot run WIN31 apps
  is a dead proposition.  Investing in making WABI or WINE or FREEDOWS
  (windows emulators) is fruitless when Microsoft can release a new API
  at will.
  If MS couldnt change the api "at will," the efforts to make free
  standards like Linux and Freebsd could compete by supporting the
  standard appliances. And Sun's solaris/wabi and ibm's OS/2 would be good
  supported option for companies.  Unfortunately, you have to make a
  win95 emulator, and before you finish that, you have to make a win98
  The key legal issue is to PREVENT unilateral OS upgrades by the
  monopolist, which makes everyone's investments obsolete.  Upgrades to
  a public interface standard should be carefully considered as to the
  public costs involved.
  So I have a question for microsoft developers on the list: 
  I can understand why appliance makers would make appliances which run
  under windows 95/NT/98 perceiving opening markets.  but since there
  still is such a large installed based of win31, why are manufacturers
  not releasing software for it?  Are the services provided so critically
  necessary? Are the compilers no longer compatible? 
  Or are there legal covenants involved in being a "certified developer"
  which require no delivery of products compatible with Windows 3.1?
  Professor Jordan B. Pollack   DEMO Laboratory, Volen Center for Complex Systems
  Computer Science Dept, MS018  Phone (617) 736-2713/Lab x3366/Fax x2741
  Brandeis University           website: http://www.demo.cs.brandeis.edu
  Waltham, MA 02254             email: pollack@cs.brandeis.edu