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M$ Monitor: Buying Spree

  The Micro$oft Monitor
  Published by NetAction          Issue No. 18              November 12, 1997	
  Repost where appropriate. Copyright and subscription info at end of message.
  * * * * * * *      
  In This Issue:
  Microsoft's Buying Spree
  About the Micro$oft Monitor
  Microsoft's Buying Spree: From MS Word to MS World
  In a comprehensive White Paper released today, NetAction reports that
  Microsoft has invested an estimated $4-$5 billion in its quest for control
  of cyberspace and is acquiring key strategic technologies at a rate of over
  one per month.   
  The report, "From Microsoft Word to Microsoft World: How Microsoft is
  Building a Global Monopoly," provides an in-depth look at Microsoft's
  strategy for domination of the global information technology industry.  
  The complete report is available on NetAction's Web site, at:
  The report was researched and written by Nathan Newman, Project Director for
  NetAction's Consumer Choice Campaign <nathan@netaction.org>.  
  What is most disturbing about Microsoft's buying spree, according to Newman,
  is that Internet markets are expected to explode geometrically within the
  next few years.  Financial analysts are predicting anywhere from $80 billion
  to $160 billion in electronic commerce by the year 2000, so the stakes are high.
  The White Paper warns that if Microsoft isn't reigned in soon, there is a
  very real possibility that it will become an unprecedented financial and
  technological colossus, reaching into more markets and industries than any
  monopolist has ever aspired to dominate.  
  NetAction's research documented nearly 50 Internet-related investments and
  acquisitions made by Microsoft, most of them within the past 24 months, and
  the White Paper traces the company's leveraging of these investments into
  dominance of the global information technology industry.   
  In addition to a detailed description of the steps Microsoft is taking to
  gain control of Internet access, content, and commerce, NetAction's report
  reveals that the company is spending millions of dollars to subsidize
  developer tools and train software developers and other computer
  professionals in order to tie them to the Microsoft framework.  Microsoft's
  tactics range from forging partnerships with commercial and academic
  training institutions, to stealing key employees away from its competitors. 
  The White Paper is one of the most comprehensive examinations to date of
  Microsoft's strategy for global dominance.  NetAction is distributing copies
  to key members of Congress and the Justice Department, as well as to
  participants in Ralph Nader's Appraising Microsoft Conference, which takes
  place Thursday and Friday in Washington, D.C.  
  Micro$oft Monitor readers are encouraged to print out the chart of
  Microsoft's known Internet-related investments and acquisitions, and forward
  it to their representatives in Congress with a brief note urging their
  support for Congressional hearings to put consumer concerns on the record.
  Although the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony regarding
  Microsoft's anti-competitive actions at a recent hearing on computer
  industry issues, no consumer representatives were among the witnesses
  invited to testify.
  The chart is at: <http://www.netaction.org/msoft/world/table.html>.
  The report includes five recommendations for action by policy makers to
  restrain the negative aspects of Microsoft's dominance:
  * Require Microsoft to divest its Windows operating system monopoly into a
  separate company from the application and Internet divisions, and determine
  whether there is a need for divestiture of the Internet division, as well.
  * Restrain predation by stopping Microsoft from giving away its Internet
  * Prohibit licensing practices that restrict customer dealings with
  Microsoft's competitors, as well as exclusive dealing and tying arrangements
  for products.
  * Promote processes that support open standards, and defend open standards
  established through industry processes from anti-competitive abuse by Microsoft.
  * Establish processes to ensure that Internet users can participate in
  policy decisions effecting consumer use of the Internet, including
  appropriate mechanisms for addressing complaints about product marketing and
  the quality and reliability of Internet services.
  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$oft Monitor, write to: <majordomo@netaction.org>.
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  For more information about contributing to NetAction, or sponsoring the
  Micro$oft Monitor, contact Audrie Krause by phone: (415) 775-8674, by
  E-mail: <mailto:audrie@netaction.org>, visit the NetAction Web site at:
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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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