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Re: Supply and Demand

  On Sun, 30 Nov 1997 13:17:37 -0500 (EST), Mitch Stone wrote:
  >>     The OS leveraging aside???  It's impossible to remove that fact
  >>from the argument, it's what M$ is all about.
  >Correct me if I am wrong, but before there was leveraging, there was 
  >dumping. Dumping began in August, 1996 with the release of MSIE 3.0. 
  >Leveraging began in earnest this year with MSIE 4.0.
       No it's been going on for a while, it's just been less obvious. 
  If you asked OEM's that wanted to bundle Netscape instead of IE you'd
  find that the extortion's been going on for a while.
  >>     That said I don't think it's fair to blame Netscape for society's
  >>poor ethics when it comes to registering software, and at the time
  >>almost every other browser was also available as a free download too.  
  >>But the fact *IS* that Netscape's browser is NOT free, so I'd say
  >>people's penchant for not registering software is a matter for their
  >>own conscience not Netscape's.  Would you feel better if Netscape had
  >>their lawyers chasing everyone who uses it without registering just
  >>like M$ would??
  >When you say "every other browser," which ones do you mean? Navigator is 
  >free to essentially everyone outside of corporate environments. If 
  >Netscape was serious about collecting registration fees, they could 
  >employ any one of several time-tested methods of distributing demo or 
  >time-limited versions. At this stage, they simply cannot afford to hobble 
  >the downloaded versions of Navigator, and I can certainly understand why. 
  >But this doesn't explain why they were doing the same thing three years 
       I meant browsers like Mosaic.  But Netscape is NOT free to anyone
  outside of a corporate environment, it's ONLY considered free for
  students and non-profit organizations.  It's true that Netscape doesn't
  cripple downloaded version of the browser, but there's been several
  examples of similar behavior by companies selling what's in essence
  'shareware'.  Look at Phil Katz and 'PKZIP' for example.  Would you say
  that the majority of those who've ever used his compression and
  archiving package have registered the software??  I don't think so, but
  nobody can say that 'PKZIP' is 'free software'.
       Another thing that points to Netscape not being 'free' is the fact
  that it's available as a shrink wrapped package in most software
  stores.  And I think you'll also find that a registered version of
  Netscape (Netscape Gold) includes features not found in what can be
  downloaded for free.
  >>     I'm not saying Netscape was without sin.  I do believe that at the
  >>time Netscape was trying to use their marketshare to forge their own
  >>standards, but IMO that's a far cry from trying to steal content like
  >>M$ will.
  >The purpose here is not to assign blame, not especially to Netscape, a 
  >company fighting for its life. Instead, I am asked rhetorical questions 
  >intended to get at the question "when is dumping not dumping?"
       Actually I don't believe there are as many 'free' copies of
  Netscape out there as you and I might think.  Although it's true that
  anyone can download a copy for free and use it without having to worry
  that it's going to die after a pre-determined amount of time there are
  still quite a few copies currently in use that were part of their ISP's
  'New User' package.  Before M$ started to bribe ISPs many included
  'registered' copies of Netscape with a new subscription.
       Although I do think Netscape believes that allowing someone to use
  an unregistered version of their browser is better than having them use
  a competitor's product I wouldn't go as far as to call that "dumping". 
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