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Supply and Demand
Pieter Nagel <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
>All this sounds a bit fuzzy. What precisely do I mean by
>"information"? I think that this relates to issues such as
>interoperability, openennes, and even consumer choice. It is in this
Can we also introduce terms like 'meaning' or 'value' of
information. Some of us beleive the 'value' of info should
be set by supply/demand price seeking - altho the 'supply' side
of the equation is what's tricky to producers of this
slippery and easily pirated commodity software, since, as was
pointed out before, making copies has virtually zero 'cost', and
thus depends, unlike physical widgets, upon an artificial
mechanism or system of laws which limit supply and provide
an incentive for producers to innovate and compete by allowing
them to recoup their development costs.
Probably the most important, and confusing, point is what
Mr Mueller pointed out, that a company w/ deep pockets like
MS can, at this point, circumvent any need for generating revenue
by limiting supply and resort to 'dumping'. Seems to me this dangerous
trend was started by Netscape. It's actually amazing that an
'important economic battle' is being waged between two products
which have no price! (other than 'registering' your existence).
So what's at stake? Mindshare? Should a dumping strategy work,
and Netscape isn't able to survive by generating revenue from
other products, what would be the result? We will still have
our 'free' Netscape browsers around, just all development on
it will cease, or will fall to another company much like
Caldera harbours DRDOS, etc. Will MS then be able to recover
their cost of this battle to death by jacking the price of IE
up to $80 a copy, or whatever the market will bear in absense
of a real competitive product?
This (dumping and free software) seems like such a tricky double-edged
sword to master: rampant piracy can destroy a company; rampant piracy
WITH A HOOK can rake 'em in.
On the issue of open platforms and interoperability, remember the
history lesson of Eli Whitney - according to
"Whitney's gin brought the South prosperity, but the unwillingness
of the planters to pay for its use and the ease with which
the gin could be pirated put Whitney's company out of business
by 1797. When Congress refused to renew the patent,
which expired in 1807, Whitney concluded that 'an invention can
be so valuable as to be worthless to the inventor.'"
A situation which no intelligent, informed and enlightened person
today would ever want to find themselves!
(or is nforce owned by MS?)