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  1. #41  
    No offense taken. I only wanted to distinguish between criticism and insult. The point of this discussion, as I see it, is to discern the shades of difference between a corporation with vast power (possibly ruthless) and one that abuses its vast power (possibly illegal), and to examine what courses of action might actually make for a more competitive, consumer-oriented environment.
  2. #42  
    everybody else is doing it
    Note: There are many business practices which are completely legal, if one is not a monopoly.

    Example: Product binding. You want to buy Acme's widgets; fine, just sign this contract that says you will only buy thing-ama-bobs from Acme. If Acme is not a monopoly, you can just go to someone else. But, if Acme is a monopoly, you have no choice but to sign. Thus Acme is uses itís monopoly power in one product market to leverage their way into another. I am not saying that Microsoft did this, but Standard Oil (the first company to fall under the Sherman Act) did.
  3. #43  
    Regarding Microsoft and product binding.. The biggest problem I see is where to draw the line.. Sure, it simple to point out an Acme Widget example where they are bundling their Widgets with their Gadgets, however, with regards to bundling with the OS .. how can you define what should and should not be included?

    Technically everything beyond DOS 1.0 from Microsoft that is included with the OS would be bundled. Disk maintance utilities (instead of using PC Tools or Norton), compression routines (instead of Stacker), GUI (instead of the various GUI shells such as GEM..), TCP/IP stack, Networking drivers, and then finally Internet Explorer (or basic Internet APIs) ..

    Sure .. technically you COULD rip out all of the internet functionality that Microsoft has included in their system, however, just think of all of the applications that now use that plumbing would instantly be broken because it was no longer there..

    IF it was limited to not including this functionaility when competitors were able to add new functions to their base system, it would only be a matter of time before it is considered obsolete.

    Granted, certain practices that Microsoft has done such as forcing companies to load Windows and only Microsoft software (Office, works, games, etc..) can fall under the traditional product binding and technically splitting the company into two parts (OS and Apps) would solve this issue. However, whats to stop the OS company to decide to bind many of the application features right into the OS? Ie, system wide spell check, database system, advanced page formatting, integrated web content editor (U have Wordpad for paper docs, so why not?), voice recognition, etc..

    Its definitely an interesting subject.. Yet another area where traditional law just doesn't seem to have an answer...

  4. #44  
    Microsoft is not a monopoly. If they are a 'monopoly', they are one by the people's choice. I frankly don't understand what all the MS bashing is about. Microsoft made an OS. Netscape attempted to develop applications for Microsoft's OS. Microsoft didn't want that. That's the way business works. Get over it. Microsoft's market dominance has HELPED users have a "universal" standard to exchange information. Microsoft has helped the computing industry, not harmed it. Now, if you want a monopoly, look into AOL...... [wink]

    Greg

    ------------------
    Greg Leffler, MCP+I
    ICQ 8074951
    Caveat Visor.
  5. #45  
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