The MS/DOJ thing

People ask me about the Microsoft/Dept. of Justice anti-trust/anti-monopoly proceedings. What was that all about? Why should such efforts succeed or be resumed and taken further? How does all this affect Mac?

I have included an article at the bottom of the page (written by someone else) which I feel makes some good points. shares thoughts on the subject prior to that article also.



Bottomline is: compared to your family's health, serving and helping others, spending time with your wife and kids, getting to know your neighbor, furthering the kingdom of God, or honoring the value of each individual, most computer (financial and business) matters (& many of man's other gravity-affected issues) tend to stack up somewhere along a long list which is titled "relative trivia."

However, we live in a world where there are better and worse ways to go about things. And justice is important. And righteousness should be considered. So it's time for...


"Trusts and monopolies are concentrations of wealth in the hands of a few. Such conglomerations of economic resources are thought to be injurious to the public and individuals. This is because such trusts minimize, if not obliterate, normal marketplace competition, and yield undesirable price controls. These, in turn, cause markets to stagnate and sap individual initiative. To prevent trusts from creating restraints on trade or commerce, and reducing competition, Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890. The Sherman Act was designed to maintain economic liberty, and to eliminate restraints on trade and competition. The Sherman Act is the main source of Antitrust law."

- Quote from Cornell Law school


Summary History of Antitrust Law

"At the turn of the century, after the Industrial Revolution, the country was subject to new economic forces which required stricter regulation by the government. As it became feasible and economically beneficial to form larger and larger companies, the ideal competitive capitalist market place became threatened. The Sherman Act of 1890 sought to alleviate that threat by outlawing trusts: "Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, is declared to be illegal." (Section 1)

This general restriction of trusts was interpreted in later case law. At first it was applied broadly, outlawing any trust, but later was interpreted to restrict only trusts which were anti-competitive in nature.

The Sherman Act, and the later Clayton Act (which sought to strengthen the Sherman Act) also make statements in reference to tying. "Tying occurs when a seller conditions the sale of one product on the purchaser's agreement to buy a second (different) product. The tying product is the product the buyer wants and the tied product is the product the seller induces the buyer to purchase in order to obtain the tying product." (Antitrust Summary) Both the Sherman and Clayton Acts forbid tying.

- Quote from Stanford University


Summary of antitrust case:
Standard Oil of New Jersey v. United States (1911)

John Rockefeller, beginning in 1870, actively engaged in a series of mergers and acquisitions of petroleum companies that ultimately resulted in the Standard Oil Company controlling up to 90% of petroleum production, refining, distribution, and retailing in the United States.

During this case the court, realizing that any merger or partnership has some restraint on trade, first advocated a "rule of reason" for anti-trust cases. Some activities such as price fixing are declared to be illegal per se (illegal no matter what.) Other activities, such as mergers and acquisitions are judged on a case-by-case basis depending on the intent and the effect of the activity. Since both the intent and effect of Standard Oil's actions were to monopolize the industry with the end result being monopolistic pricing, the court ordered Standard Oil to be broken up into smaller companies.

- Quote from College of Economics, University of Minnesota



What do we want?


James chapter 1, in the Bible says: "Every good and perfect gift comes from above from the Father of the Heavenly Lights...don't be deceived." The Bible also describes there is a diversity of gifts and talents given to men. We benefit best as a country and as a people when the diversity is brought forth in innovations, and the sharing of ingenuity in the marketplace.

Worldwide compatibility of primarily one software operating system for computers (a modern day tower of Babel, in which most use the same OS & someone like MS becomes god and rules the earth through financial power) is probably not something that the world needs. As far as the DOS/Windows push has gone, my personal feeling is that it has gone too far. And thankfully is now diminishing dramatically through the flourishing of both Apple and Linux the past two years. The DOJ breakup of Microsoft will help their unhelpful domination lessen, so better products can emerge without interference.

MS Windows & other MS products - despite their popularity - have caused many companies and individuals cost, pain and heartache nearly as much as they have tried to furnish solutions for computing needs. Though peoples' opinions vary, it is nearly undeniable, that MS has resigned most of us to accept that computing must mean uphill roads and long, unending struggles with compatibility, setup, breakdowns and repairs. Plus strange, evasive steps to make what should be simple, difficult and complex. Due to Windows foibles and years of related backfirings, we now accept all such things as NORMAL. But I vote for a different world.


I guess I'm looking for, not perfection, but technical usefulness and function that makes sense and is more workable. So far, Apple and Linux are the only trendsetters I know of who seem forging a better direction.


A less burdensome world (full of more blessed hardware and software choices) would be my vote. Personally I feel Apple (primarily), but also Apple's new Unix-based OSX for desktops and servers would be a good new direction for corporations and servers to turn. Mac hardware lasts and runs better and longer (more reliably) on the average than most PC hardware anyway. One reason is that Apple doesn't try to be compatible with every manufacturers' hardware in all the world, like MS. It's just not a smart way to go at things. Make everything work with everything everywhere just increases endless tech expense, incompatibilities and other unmanageable fiascos. Though it seems at first to bless us with lower prices and "more competition." The end of the matter - at least half the time - feels more like: worse products that keep getting cheaper and cheaper (in quality not just price) and break down more than is reasonable. (We're so used to Windows foibles and related backfiring, we now accept all such things as NORMAL.) I vote for a different world.


It'll never be perfect and Apple has made some design mistakes over the years too. But, Apple machines and networks - on the whole are, comparatively, seldom the same feisty alligator to wrestle (as the IBM/MS double-whammy). IBM is not bad inherently. Try the IBM (or sometimes Motorola) G3 or G4 processors in a new PowerMac G! That's IBM in a DIFFERENT context. Much nicer.



MS has been exposed as NOT the Saviour of mankind!

Apple is not either. Only Jesus could save us from our sins.


But since we spend so much time staring into these electronic screens anymore. What path is best for the most as we forge ahead?


How about OS choice?

The new Unix-based, Mac OSX will be (Linux-like and open source) adaptable (at least eventually, to both Mac and PC hardware). And Apple, like Linux, has put it out there "open-source," increasing the chance of better ideas coming from more places. And then nobody hogging them all once they are devised. Mac OSX is honoring of the "priesthood of all programmers. " I am not sure that some of the old models of Unix were so great, but the new Sun-Unix may be OK for some situations and Linux is definitely a big plus for all platforms. Especially Mac OSX and Linux for the Mac & IBM would free more people from the trappings and fiascos which now course down much of the MS pipe. No Microsoft is not the original evil, but - God knows they are NOT the Savior of the technical world either. Not! Not! Not! Never were.


I believe some kind of "priesthood of all programmers" for both Mac and IBM hardware would help everyone (i.e. Linux and an open-source approach for big company products, like what is being done on the Mac/Unix OSX project.



Also, if God is a burdenbearer and the world is already full of ENOUGH burdens (and if and others are going to spend 40 hours a week dealing with computer technology for years to come), then I'm FOR what brings blessing, better design, tighter software/hardware integration (what blesses, installs and flows better from a tech & user point of view), costs less in the long run and is easier to use (more reliable) everyday. The most successful company right now pulling that off is Apple. Though hated and shunned by some, Apple is still the most effective hardware/OS combination if the goals are: reliable, tight, flows.


MS Windows with IBM hardware, at times, in some situations, can be helpful and useful. But by and large - despite its - now waning - season of popularity - the combo of MS-windows with IBM hardware usually means more troubles, more repairs, more incompatibilities, longer & more frequent tech-fix sessions, more headaches, higher frustration, more downtime and less fun cumulatively (except when it's working OK). To be fair, let me say that when computers are working OK, most any computer is fine.



Anyway, perhaps with the exception of an office product or two (which MS could continue to make for Mac, Windows AND Linux), it might be a better day a few years from now for most of us if MS largely retreats, disciplined by the feds for its evil and aggression, banished into a quiet bye bye land where regrets and second thoughts work repentance). I don't want to sound unkind or vengeful. But I am personally for competition, lower prices, more choices, the "priesthood of all programmers," and the resulting chance for some of these new choices to be freed to compete more easily in a market of better products.



We want a market where quality, compatibility and reliability - like most of what Apple currently puts out - has a chance to survive and thrive. Apple has survived and thrived, more than ever now - against years of MS monopoly odds. Apple stock quadrupled in value during '99-2000. In '98-'99, Apple sold over 2 million IMacs in a years' time proving to the whole tech world that different can be popular! But in a monopoly-based, compatibility-paranoid tech world, few other companies have fared so well. The technical world though should now begin to rejoice and welcome in the post-MS era.


Ideas to celebrate the Post-MS era of computing
Support the DOJ in the strongest measures possible against MS (& similar companies).

Take your individual dollars and usher in new innovations and rebuild the marketplace. On a better foundation. Begin now to selectively boycott MS products, as wisdom leads you. Be brave. Be more free and less "compatible." A year or two from now, when Apple and Linux and some other high-class upstart RULE, you will then be worried about how your old MS applications for Windows are no longer compatible with what other companies are using. Think ahead and move where freedom will flourish for everyone.

Vote for superior products - new ones too. Bravely drop support for any company suspected of tech monopoly or overly-pushy marketing tactics. (After Microsoft, you might want to drop support for other carnivorous, over-popular entities like: Intel or Symantec or America Online or how about Hewlett-Packard? Put an Apple monitor on your IBM-compatible and appreciate the IBM processor in your G3. Pull out the old elementary school history lessons you once knew about how the King of England dropped excessively high-priced stamp and tea taxes on everybody (as a monopoly attempt to control the new world and become the richest man at everyone's expense).

Have a backbone and go where no man has gone before. Start your own company. Design your own software. Create an OS that works BOTH on Mac G4's and IBM-generic hardware (like Linux). Do something original. Don't copy everything that Microsoft copied from Apple. Think different. Be your own Rembrandt.


Don't teach your kids that plagiarism (i.e. of computer OS design) is really OK and supposed to be rewarded with financial success (by buying the Windows OS for your home machine). Withdraw your financial stamp of approval on MS business practices as far as you reasonably can. Buy Linux. Check out the new Mac OSX. Get a G4 box. And enjoy how integrated everything is on the new Unix/Mac OSX/G4. Buy all 20,000 of the software titles currently available for Mac. Then get Virtual PC and put Linux (or one of its competitors) on your Mac.

Then write a letter to encourage your corporate moguls to see that much better choices than NT & 2000 are available for Web/Internet and corporate server solutions. Go Novell. Drop NT completely. Vote for free enterprise. Put a Novell server next to a new Linux server and the G4/Unix/Mac server. Then let freedom spin your corporate future. Be balanced. Go half Mac and half IBM hardware. But drop the MS-only fear and control which may have held you so long. Be loosed of thy bondage!

If you, like most companies, find that the IBM, lower quality hardware, drives you repair-crazy (and requires three times the tech staff your Macs do), then vote again on next year's budget. This time, look at the high-maintenance nature of the PC's in your shop and (upon wise re-evaluation) save thousands annually on corporate tech support and network maintenance. How? Celebrate the DOJ's win. And buy much heavier in Apple products for your next round of new machines and upgrades. (If you are heavily dependent on MS Office products elsewhere in your company, that is NO PROBLEM. The Mac version of Office will seamlessly and automatically open all Windows Office-created documents. Have no fear. Your deliverance is HERE!

Monopoly (the Milton Bradley game) was somewhat of a fun pastime years ago. But continuing to use NT server (now a discontinued product to force you to upgrade) or buying into 2000 corporate OS at this late date is to vote FOR monopoly. Think twice before you move to financially support the MS belly, a wounded bully in a world where unethical practices stand ready to be judged. The most important judgment comes from you, not the DOJ. Stop buying! Find alternatives. BETTER products. Let democracy and freedom flow!


For more on Macintosh & Apple, CLICK HERE

See this link for more discussion on the pros and cons of Apple compared to IBM/MS (or the pros of running MS Windows, if you really need it, on Apple hardware).

As you know I have been a Mac-favoring expert and advocate, through and through, for years. However, the favorable opinion I hold about Macintosh came for numerous good reasons weighted by many years of experiencing those reasons. The proof all along has been in the pudding. Apple, for years, (often) blesses. MS heavily burdens many, increases costs and breakdowns. Compared to Apple reliability, tech support requirements for Microsoft go through the roof. Those who love MS often suffer the worst. For some, MS can be a life-controlling problem.

Did you ever wonder why Microsoft chose the abbreviation for a body crippling disease (multiple sclerosis or MS) as their corporate identity. Very strange irony.

So anyway, as always, I am against what increases burdens in people's personal and business lives. MS troubles. (After awhile all the bugs and trials and deciphering more new & strange, unknowable procedures gets to be not so fun anymore.) If you want fun, get a Mac!

I chalk it up like this: Whatever hardware or software installs with more fallibilities, runs (or fails to run) with more breakdowns, inconsistencies, needs more repair, has more security (virus/hacking loopholes). This is the OS I generally would want everyone free of. That means, for most people & situations: Try a step of freedom from the Microsoft OS & particularly Outlook email software (remember Melissa & the Love viruses?) If you want the best network security better protected from virus attacks, then MS Word, Excel & Outlook all need to go out (if you dare). Or at least drop the email client to a competitor like Lotus or Netscape or Eudora.

In today's computer world, there are at least a few other manufacturers (both hardware and software) who may fall dangerously close to the "boycott and don't buy" category. One is Intel. Others might be Symantec or America Online or how about Hewlett-Packard?



I will say, despite all other truth-speaking, that - given the challenge of such an incredible diversity of IBM-compatible hardware - MS - over the last fifteen years has probably done as good a job as any might have done. Trying to pull so many variables together is nearly an impossible task. And the myriad of problems that always still remain testifies to the gargantuan size of the endeavor.


Did you know (according to LATimes. com)

"Microsoft's growing inability to manage the complexity of Windows:
Windows 2000 was released earlier this year with about
63,000 incompatibilities
with other software programs & hardware devices."


The product's bulk and complexity has eclipsed Microsoft's ability to squash those thousands of bugs.

But, honestly, there are just better ways to get the job done. The Apple approach is still far smarter (integrated hardware and software, designed from ground zero to happily work together). Even the Mac OS goes haywire sometimes (when you bring in some outside third party hardware and software products). But, by far, Mac bugs and troubles are far easier to predict and manage. And overall, far fewer. Even Linux, though not as friendly an interface as Mac or Windows, is still a better vote for your OS future (on either Apple or IBM hardware).



MS is not the one & only monopolist (or near-monopolist) in today's computer world. Microsoft just happens to be the pushiest and most prominent. Among today's monopoly-prone marketeers, Microsoft just happens to get the most press. And MS - feeling no need to properly follow the Queensbury rules (for appropriate and fair sportsmanlike conduct) - goes ahead (with illegal moves) to punch the hardest.

I have personally wondered for years if MS-DOS was actually a secret acronym for something diabolical? How about Devil's Operating System (DOS)? Or Monstrosity? (MS) Or even Insane business machines (IBM) (where it'll drive you?) Well, I'm kind of kidding. But - given the track record of MS-DOS/Windows/IBM hardware as a combo - I'm at least a bit serious.

How about an Apple-made open source OS that runs on IBM-compatible hardware? One that's open source (to the priesthood of all programmers) and compatible (for file trading) with various office products run on both Linux & the Mac OS?


If the contemporary punishing of Microsoft's corporate, business and financial misdeeds by a DOJ "agent of wrath" helps put them into a lower market share or introduces a more enterprising & free-er computer market, where more and better products can become "standards," then that will be better for everyone in the long run.

My personal hope is that the DOJ's final decisions take into account the history of defiant, uncooperative, proud, resistant attitudes exhibited by MS, and deem a much more severe judgment than first suggested. (i.e. break up MS, JUST like Standard Oil, into LOTS of pieces, not just 2. Or force a just dissimilation of customer base and geographic dominance like the AT & T breakup. And allow a board of third party jurors to legislate restitution (in actual capital and dollars) by Microsoft to repay all those it has wronged and stolen from.


"US president Theodore Roosevelt signed the antitrust laws in 1911 when the giant Standard Oil corporation,
had to be broken into a number of smaller companies."
Quote & graphic from Univ. of Texas


All such actions would likely be well-deserved and healthy for the free marketplace. It is appropriate to break illegal monopoly strength and the pride of a company that only halfway worked hard for its place. But - for the other half of its success: "grew strong by destroying others."

I congratulate the DOJ for their help in bringing America to the progress of a "post-MS" era. We should applaud the bravery of these men. And look forward to a better future for the computers of America. In the end, the breakup and judgment benefits everyone.

- technical consultant & pro engineer for

P.S. See also the article I have placed below (written by someone else) which I feel makes some good points. shares thoughts parenthetically amidst the article also.


Microsoft Breakup Will Restore Competition

Article following by Howard Metzenbaum, Mark Cooper

[parenthetical comments below by  @]


THE DISTRICT COURT conclusion that Microsoft

``maintained its monopoly power by anticompetitive

means -- in violation of the Sherman Act'' has forged a

remarkable political and intellectual consensus on the

need to restore competition in the software industry.


Judge Robert Bork and the Progress and

Freedom Foundation have joined Ralph Nader

and prominent academic economists (from Harvard,

Yale, Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

University of California at Berkeley and the Brookings

Institution) in calling for a breakup to promote

consumer choice, stimulate innovation and lower prices.

Some want separate companies to immediately sell

competing Windows operating systems, but others,

along with the Department of Justice and attorneys

general from 17 states, recommend two companies that

specialize in different products. The operating system

company would be built around Windows. The

applications company would be built around the Office

Suite and Internet Explorer.


[The opinion of here is that a more thorough breakup - like unto the anti-monopoly verdict rendered some years back to break up Standard Oil - would be much more effective than the considered light measure of breaking MS into only 2 companies. If the punishing of Microsoft's corporate, business and financial misdeeds by an "agent of wrath" helps put them as a result into a lower market share or introduces a free-er computer market for other companies with better products, then the desired result is achieved. We want to move to a place again where better products can become "standards," then that will be better for more in the long run. My personal hope is that the DOJ decisions & followup will be stringent and thorough, much more severe than anything first suggested (i.e. break up MS, just like Standard Oil or AT & T, into numerous smaller non-monopolizing pieces or as many as appropriate to break the strength and pride of the illegal monopoly. If you want to search appropriate basis for judgments from a higher court than the Supreme, that predates the long history of the United States, try the Bible itself, which says: "The Lord has SCATTERED those who are PROUD in their inmost thoughts." There is also a precedent in how judgment was rendered against a proud "corporate entity" in the building of the Tower of Babel. (See Genesis 11)

"Supreme Court precedents, a legal expert advised, clearly establish that a judge who
has found violations of the Sherman Anti- Trust Act can
not only prohibit the conduct that violates the law, but
also take measures to restore competition in the affected
markets and ''fence in'' the monopolist so it can't
commit other violations in the future."

MacIndy COMMENTS again...

All we are saying is: give each better product a fair, equal chance on a level playing field. Other companies in today's computer world need a DOJ warning (MS can be held up fairly as a public example for the benefit of everyone). On some level we all can use some correction. Maybe not in public marketing, but in our private lives. Yeah, those little things that most people don't know about. The proverbs go like this: Don't bully other people. Don't hog center stage. Don't be mean. Thou shalt not steal. Don't do things that cause problems and expense to others for the sake of money & selfish gain. Let everybody take turns. Also, Ecclesiastes says that "If the sentence for a crime is not QUICKLY CARRIED OUT then the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong." ]

-  @


Metzenbaum, Cooper article continues:

Breaking up Microsoft would unleash

powerful new competitive market forces in the industry

and send a strong message that illegal business practices

will not be tolerated.


Competition cannot be restored without a breakup. The

trial identified half a dozen products that Microsoft

prevented or slowed from getting to the market and

evidence that Microsoft is perpetuating its illegal tactics

of creating proprietary incompatibilities to frustrate new

competition from Internet-based software and hand-held

devices, such as the Palm Pilot.



[Other inappropriate practices largely left unchecked, yet marketed hard by Microsoft for financial gain in the past ten years have included a regular pattern of plagiarizing and stealing trademarked and patented design and programming ideas and features from other manufacturers and computer corporations. For a company that is so heavy on anti-pirating enforcement for their own products, they should be as hard on themselves (about the ideas of preserving ownership rights & profits, and temper it with a larger respect for originality). For years (throughout most of the 1990's), this regular pattern of intellectual property "xeroxing" and product design & OS feature & appearance copying & imitating has all been done in the name of "we designed it ourselves." And we "own" the design. And deserve to be able to market it as "ours" for profit. When so many product design & OS features & appearance characteristics are merged into the Microsoft product without even unpaid credits given to the originators, I have some problem with the package being labeled "copyright Microsoft." Is it true that many of the ideas, designs & patents really belong & began elsewhere? When such a pattern is followed and then products are marketed by Microsoft as their own for big prices (with no credit or compensation given the true originators or innovators), questions need to be asked. How about licensing compensation or other agreements which would channel some of the MS millions and billions to those who originally innovated ideas which Microsoft copied solely for profit? With the express intent being imitate and conquer the competition. Where is respect for corporate design patents & intellectual property belonging to other computer corporations? Well maybe in a number of computer firms this quality of respect is lacking, but Microsoft has often seemed the worst and most glaring offender. Nobody likes a copycat or feels comfortable knowing someone is making a mint off the lifestyle of habitual thief. The most blatant taking of others' ideas, of course, occurred with the 1992-1998 copycat imitation of probably at least 50% of the (1984-1998) Apple-designed Mac OS. Somehow we get away with calling it
Microsoft Windows.


Would a more honest name be MACrosoft Windows? Or perhaps...


To copy things so closely, then market it so heavily solely as your own creation for financial gain, without crediting or compensating the company whose ideas were taken, in my book is very questionable. Something to repent of. Since trademark infringement and theft of patented software designs and trade dress has not been brought up in the DOJ trials, I thought I would mention it here. It seems yet another form of monopoly attitudes and aggression to me (if part of the monopoly spirit is to bully out others regardless of ethical considerations). Though Apple stock has quadrupled this past year, and Apple is always in the top 3 strongest computer manufacturers, the age-old theft this past decade of Apple design ideas by MS is still a transgression long left unaccounted for. My recommendation to the DOJ (if it is able to fit into the scope of monopoly-crushing) is that RESTITUTION should be exacted by MS to each company and corporation who has experienced monopoly bullying and trademark theft. A breakup verdict is appropriate and the best measure to benefit everyone. However consequences which urge Microsoft to recompense financially and make restitution & reimbursement to various others for wrongs done are also appropriate. Perhaps MS should be barred from further use of Apple & Netscape & other companies' innovations or ideas in future OS and products?]

-  @



Metzenbaum, Cooper article continues:

Ironically, some argue that the monopoly is good for

consumers, who they believe cannot handle a choice of

operating systems or a variety of combinations of

software. They claim that one workable product is

enough and that consumers are better off with one firm

controlling technological development to preserve

compatibility and avoid confusion.

This argument is wrong because it underestimates

consumer abilities and ignores the tendency of

competitive markets to produce compatible products.


[Apple, of course, is the best current example of a company who has successfully maintained a top notch product which isvery reliable, sturdy and far more trouble-free than the typical MS based machine.]


Metzenbaum, Cooper article continues:

The products Microsoft attacked most vigorously were

those that increased interoperability and compatibility,

because they threatened its dominance. Mature

appliance markets, which is what the PC is becoming,

typically present consumers with a wide range of

easy-to-use products that embody complex price, quality

and functionality trade-offs.


Consumers make sophisticated technology choices

every day when they buy TVs, VCRs, automobiles and

computer hardware. Consumers do not have to know

how things work to be savvy buyers; all they have to

know is what they need and want. The wider the range

of choices, the better consumer needs will be met.


This is called consumer sovereignty. It works in most

markets; it can work in the software market, if given a



Choice and competition will drive prices down.

Evidence from the trial shows that the price of

Microsoft's operating system tripled in the 1990s, even

though its costs were falling. This was hidden from the

public because Microsoft's monopoly prices are bundled

in the total cost of IBM-compatible PC's (and charged only to dealers and manufacturers).


Microsoft's monopoly on the IBM-compatible OS has probably cost consumers, we estimate,

an "overcharge" of $10 - $15 billion. Recent academic analyses suggest even larger monopoly

profits. Monopoly power allowed Microsoft to pursue

an upgrade strategy that drives consumers to buy new

software and more hardware sooner than they need to

at additional cost of tens of billions of dollars.


Experts supporting this breakup conclude it would

restore competitive dynamics in the software market by

changing economic incentives for new

companies. An applications-only baby-MS company could not rely on

the operating system monopoly to maximize its profits.

It would have to find new revenues, like developing

applications for non-Microsoft operating systems, such

as Linux or Apple. It would have to be more responsive to

consumer demands -- improving quality and cutting



With more applications available and interoperability

expanding, non-Microsoft operating systems would put

greater competitive pressure on Windows. The

operating system company could not retaliate by

threatening to withhold its product or raising its prices,

as it has done in the past, lest competing operating

systems become more attractive to computer

manufacturers and software developers, who would

have a real choice in PC operating systems for the first

time in years.


[Instead baby-MS companies would have to IMPROVE their products and lower prices.]


A functional divestiture of Microsoft would restore the

natural competitive process in the software industry.

Products that have gained acceptance in closely related

markets become competitors. This is the competitive dynamic

that existed in the mid- 1990s before Microsoft ``cut off

the market's air supply.'' We agree that it makes good sense to

resuscitate these market forces and let them work.


Former Sen. Howard Metzenbaum is the chairman and Mark Cooper is director of research for Consumer Federation of America.

[parenthetical comments by  @]


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Quotations from another helpful and imformative third-party news story...

Klein (CNET) : Microsoft used monopoly "tricks" to corner market


WASHINGTON--The Justice Department's top trust buster said today Microsoft's anti-competitive actions relied on "time-tested tricks" of monopolists. - Joel Klein, asst attorney general in charge of antitrust division

District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ruled early last month that Microsoft illegally abused monopoly power, wielding its Windows operating system in a way that harmed consumers and competitors.

Klein said the case against Microsoft in some ways resembles its case against another large, high-tech company--AT&T. The Justice Department has proposed breaking up Microsoft. AT&T was also broken up in an agreement with the government.

Then as now, the department was criticized for challenging a technology leader and a critical part of the information structure," Klein said. Citing a 1974 Wall Street Journal editorial, Klein said there were "dire predictions" that telecommunications service would deteriorate while costs went up. Instead, the breakup of AT&T, "unleashed unprecedented competition, innovation and consumer benefit," he added.

Klein said that, in both cases, the fundamental issue was not the skill, foresight and industry the companies used to acquire their monopolies, but, "how that power was protected, and/or expanded."

Klein then focused on Microsoft, which he said got into trouble by using illegal business techniques, "as old as the antitrust laws themselves."

There are only about a half-dozen or so traditional anti-competitive techniques and Microsoft used some of them, Klein said, adding those techniques include:

¥ Cutting off important suppliers and markets from access to competitors.

"The judge found that Microsoft repeatedly intimidated (computer makers) who wanted to distribute competitors' products," Klein said.

¥ Tying two products together. The judge ruled that Microsoft tied its browser to its monopoly operating system, Klein said.

¥ Predatory practices, in which a firm spends money in a way that makes sense only to hurt a competitor.

"The judge found that Microsoft had spent hundreds of millions of dollars to develop and distribute Internet Explorer," although it was a no-revenue product, Klein said.

Klein said that such techniques were indefensible.

"Basically, these are the time-tested tricks of the monopolist's trade," Klein added. makes final apologies...

I apologize if some of the comments earlier on this page or elsewhere on the website may have technically offended someone (i.e. if Microsoft or Windows is/was their best buddy or favorite thing to do)? Everyone is truly "entitled" to their opinion. A few of the observations above are, in part, the MacIndy "opinion." Most statements, however, are actually more the considered result of years of experience working with both Apple & Microsoft/IBM-compatible products and observing their obvious strengths, weaknesses, differences and technical performance.




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