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Monopoly on Competitors' Turf

  The Micro$oft Monitor
  Published by NetAction          Issue No. 15               October 27, 1997	
  Repost where appropriate. Copyright and subscription info at end of message.
  * * * * * * *      
  In This Issue:
  Microsoft Monopoly on Competitors' Turf
  Microsoft Under the Microscope
  Seeking Sponsors
  About the Micro$oft Monitor
  Microsoft Monopoly On Competitors' Turf
  A NetAction survey of Silicon Valley retail consumer electronics stores
  found Microsoft's operating system monopoly firmly entrenched on the home
  turf of the company's major competitors.  
  The survey report is on the NetAction Web site at:
  Even in the heart of Silicon Valley, Microsoft controls the market.
  NetAction found the Windows operating system installed on 100% of the IBM
  compatible personal computers sold in retail outlets in four Silicon Valley
  communities.  Moreover, even though the area is Apple Computer's backyard,
  NetAction found surprisingly few Apple computers for sale in area stores.  
  NetAction conducted the survey to determine how much choice consumers really
  have when purchasing a computer for home use.  Although several companies
  manufacturer IBM compatible computers, differences between products are
  essentially cosmetic since all of them come equipped with the same operating
  The communities that NetAction visited -- Mountain View, Palo Alto, Santa
  Clara, and Sunnyvale -- are the heart of Silicon Valley, home turf for
  Microsoft's most outspoken competitors, and home to some of the most
  technically-savvy consumers in the nation since the technology industry is
  the area's major employer.  
  The survey results underscore the need for more vigorous enforcement of
  antitrust laws to prevent Microsoft from leveraging its operating system
  monopoly to gain control the Internet.  
  If Microsoft's strategy is successful, the company will ultimately control
  the gateways that consumers use to reach the Internet, the content they view
  on the Internet, and the commercial activities consumers engage in online.
  With the Internet's emergence as an important sector of the U.S. and global
  economy, this would give Microsoft unprecedented control over society's
  economic, political, and cultural activities. 
  The survey was conducted on September 30, 1997.  NetAction visited eight
  retail stores: Circuit City, Comp USA, Fry's, Good Guys, Office Depot,
  Office Max, Radio Shack, and Sears.  The survey found:  
   	* Consumers in Silicon Valley cannot purchase an IBM compatible personal
  computer off the shelf from a retail outlet without the Windows operating
  system.  Microsoft has 100% of the retail consumer market.
   	* Although the survey was conducted on Apple Computer's home turf,
  NetAction found surprisingly few Apple computers for sale at the retail
  outlets surveyed.  Neither of the chain office supply stores sold any Apple
  computers.  Moreover, the stores that sold Apple computers had a very
  limited selection to choose from.
   	* Intel is gaining monopoly control of the processor market for PCs.  
  It is possible to purchase a computer with another type of processor, but
  choices are limited.  The four stores that offered consumers a choice in
  processors had a very limited selection.  Fry's, for example, had 71
  different computers on display, but only four of them were powered by a
  non-Intel processor.
  Microsoft Under the Microscope
  In the wake of last week's move by the Justice Department to sanction
  Microsoft for violations of the 1995 consent decree, NetAction's Executive
  Director was invited to debate the pros and cons of the government's action
  with Forbes Magazine columnist Peter Huber.  A transcript of the program is
  on the CNN Web site, at: <http://cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/9710/21/cf.00.html>.
  Seeking Sponsors
  NetAction is seeking sponsors to provide financial support for the continued
  publication of the Micro$oft Monitor.  Sponsors will be acknowledged in the
  newsletter and on NetAction's Web site.  Contact Audrie Krause for
  additional information, at: <mailto:audrie@netaction.org> or by phone at:
  (415) 775-8674.
  About The Micro$oft Monitor
  The Micro$oft Monitor is a free electronic newsletter, published as part of
  the Consumer Choice Campaign <http://www.netaction.org/msoft/ccc.html>.
  NetAction is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to educating the
  public, policy makers, and the media about technology-based social and
  political issues, and to teaching activists how to use the Internet for
  organizing, outreach, and advocacy.
  To subscribe to The Micro$oft Monitor, write to: <majordomo@netaction.org>.
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  NetAction is supported by individual contributions, membership dues and
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  Krause by phone: (415) 775-8674, by E-mail: <mailto:audrie@netaction.org>,
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  Copyright 1997 by NetAction/The Tides Center.  All rights reserved.
  Material may be reposted or reproduced for non-commercial use provided
  NetAction is cited as the source.  NetAction is a project of The Tides
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