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Re: Re: Supply and Demand

  On Tue, 25 Nov 1997 17:34:17 -0500 (EST), tom hull wrote:
  >Microsoft may indeed have gotten their OS monopoly legally. They out-
  >hustled Digital Research to get in good with IBM, and they worked with
  >Compaq and others to transform the fruits of that into the PC clone
  >industry. They may even have had the better product. It's harder to say
  >that the early iterations of Windows were better than Desq and the others,
  >but they stuck with it, and the combination made them unassailable. But
  >honesty gained or not, we've watched them flaunt their lead and kill off
  >competitors (as well as innocent bystanders) left and right. They'd take
  >out Netscape if they could, whereas Netscape can at most take a little
  >wind out of their sails. So, since the sides are drawn, you know which
  >way you have to go. I just wish I could pick my "good guys" by standards
  >a little loftier than "not as bad as Microsoft."
       I share your frustration with the early browser market but I can't
  let the above misconception go unanswered.  IMO at least anyone who
  believes M$ obtained their monopoly legally hasn't been paying very
  close attention.  The true irony of the above statement is that the
  tactics used by M$ to obtain their monopoly on the desktop are actually
  the only thing that has in fact already been declared illegal.
       The tactics in question and declared illegal in the first consent
  decree between M$ and the DOJ are what allowed M$ to gain their
  monopoly marketshare.  Although the IBM contract did in fact give M$ a
  'leg up' on the competition it wasn't until M$ was able to in essence
  lock everyone else out of the OEM market that they started to build a
  monopoly.  The fact that for several years M$ was using illegal OEM
  contracts to force everyone buying a new computer to pay for a M$ OS
  license whether they wanted one or not is how they built their
  monopoly, and any consumer who wanted to use another company's OS found
  themselves having to pay for two OS licenses (this was coined as the
  'cpu tax').  This is how M$ built a monopoly, and it was these kinds of
  things that landed them in court with the DOJ the last time.
       Somehow it seems that many people believe that M$ is a good
  company gone bad, but it's not, actually they're a bad company that's
  gotten worse.  But actually M$'s behavior hasn't changed a single bit
  over the years, the only difference is that their increase in market
  power allows their perverse 'business model' to do just that much more
  damage...and it will only get worse if they're not stopped.
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