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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
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: email@example.com