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Date:      Tue, 16 Nov 1999 01:32:37 -0800
From:      "David Schwartz" <davids@webmaster.com>
To:        "Erick White" <erickw@taurus.oursc.k12.ar.us>
Cc:        <freebsd-chat@FreeBSD.ORG>
Subject:   RE: Judge: "Gates Was Main Culprit"
Message-ID:  <000001bf3015$85686100$021d85d1@youwant.to>
In-Reply-To: <Pine.LNX.3.96.991116035235.27204A-100000@taurus.oursc.k12.ar.us>

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> 	Let me explain this to you yet again. I am not saying people are
> stupid. Once again I say people are Miss-Informed. The do not know all the
> facts. People in general that is. I dont know how much plainer I can be on
> these issues, or how any one else can be. Me, no I am not going to save
> the world from their stupidity, I dont think anyone can do that. The world
> of mankind is after all in the process of killing itself despite
> information of what it is doing.

	If people are misinformed who is misinforming them? Are you saying that
everyone just believes whatever Bill Gates has to say?

	I hate to break this to you, but people use IE because it's better than
Netscape. Really. That's why I use it. It looks better. It works faster.
Really.

	People use Windows because it does the job better. I am very familiar with
both Linux and FreeBSD, yet I choose to use NT on my desktop. I'm sorry, it
works better. Misinformation has nothing to do with it -- I've used all
three operating systems. I'm more productive on NT. That's a fact.

	Would I run a corporate web server on Windows? Not unless a gun was put to
my head. All the misinformation in the world won't make me choose a vastly
inferior product. I wish Microsoft luck in the Enterprise/server market.
They have a long way to go.

	But the fact is, nothing can touch 98, AGP, DirectX 7, and a good graphics
card for a personal computer. And nothing can touch NT for a productivity
desktop workstation (though Linux and FreeBSD are almost there, IMO). I
won't talk about servers.

	All the 'information' in the world won't change the plain, obvious fact
that people buy Windows because they prefer Windows. And they prefer Windows
because it lets them do the things they want to do. If you are able to deny
that, well, I'm darned impressed.

	Microsoft enjoys the success they do in the personal computer operating
system market precisely because they make an operating system that is very,
very good for that purpose. It is far from perfect, of course.

> 	I am not saying that FreeBSD is the answer, or Linux , I am saying
> that Microsoft is wrong.

	Regardless of how wrong they may or may not be, the fact will not change
that Microsoft enjoys market success for Windows 98 because it is the best
product available for its market niche.

> You attempt to draw away from my reasoning by
> attacking my character. I am not saying that I and I emphasize NOT SAYING
> I am going to save people from their stupidity. For the last several days
> we have been beating our heads against the proverbial brick wall in trying
> to reason with someone who refuses to see reason. It is not just I that
> has seen through Microsofts sham!

	What's the sham? The product does the job. It is the best product currently
available to do that job. That's why people buy it.

> We are not saying we are smarter than
> the rest of you. What others here, and I myself, are trying to do is get
> you to open your eyes to what they have truly been doing. Those here are
> not saying were smarter, we are as a whole saying that we see the truth
> what is going on which anyone can see, not that their stupid, just that
> they dont have all the facts.

	I don't need another explanation for why Windows is successful. It's
completely obvious -- it's successful because it's the best product out
there.

> 	You however, sir, seem to be ignoring the facts presented before
> you and still fight against the truths. I admit that I dont always choose
> the right words in order to bring my point across. I might not always be
> the most tactful person, but I do know what is there, and when someone is
> being misled.

	What truth? What are you talking about? How am I being mislead? How has
Bill Gates convinced me that my NT desktop is more useful than a Linux
desktop when I have used both extensively? I have an Irix desktop not 6 feet
from me that I could be using, but I don't. What other facts do I need?

	The fact is, most people who use Windows use it because it's the best
product available to do the job they need to do. I need no other explanation
for its success because this reason is sufficient. If you showed me some
better product that wasn't as successful, then we could go look for the
explanation.

> > >Research? The field test their products not even fully finish the
> > >job to begin with in the programming department. Their not spending
> their
> > money by and large on research, their using it to cannibalize other
> > >threats to their products, and then crush them into powder as the
> company
> > >throws its money behind it. Their letting other companies do the
> research
> > >for them, then they try to crush them once they see what they need for
> a
> > >bare minimum to drive out the competition with a cat o nine tails. What
> > >they have been doing, and doing for YEARS is letting the competition
> test
> > >the waters, once it realizes that it is a threat it comes up with a
> >> "solution" for what it did not think up did not create, and then
> continues
> >> on its merry way.. Nuh Uh.. not good.... Reread your facts.
>
> >	Yes, that's extremely efficient. That way they (and their
> customers) get
> >the benefit of the innovations without having to pay for them. That's
> great.
> >That's extreme market efficiency.
>
> 	No, getting someone elses innovations and Ideas from them without
> paying for them, that is what is defined in the dictionary as stealing, as
> plagiarism at the least.  You see by doing this they are in effect making
> themselves crooks.

	No, not at all. Look -- everyone benefits from everybody else's ideas. I
can't believe that on a FreeBSD list, someone would make this argument. The
irony is amazing.

> >	A company can have all the ideas in the world, but if they can't
> turn it
> >into a product that consumers actually want to buy, it won't amount to a
> >hill of beans. Microsoft excels at turning ideas into marketable
> products.
> >And that's what the market wants -- products, not ideas.
>
> 	The reason why Microsoft cannibalized them to begin with is
> because the company had turned it into a product customers actually wanted
> to buy.

	At least you admit that people actually want to buy Windows. ;)

> That is why the price raised and they were inculcated into the
> distribution or another product.

	As soon as the price goes $1 more than the value of the product, people
will stop buying it. Unless you're going to go back to claiming that Bill
Gates has mind control.

> When you make something included and
> jack up the price so to speak, then you are in fact making people pay for
> a product you made even if they would rather have someone elses,

	How can you make people pay? Do you put a gun to their head? Do you send
your armed men to their houses and take the money out of their wallets? Do
you understand the difference between a gun and an argument at all?

	If people would rather have someone else's product, go buy it. Microsoft
can't stop you. If you don't think Windows (or a product that bundles it) is
worth the price, don't buy it. Bill Gates won't force you.

> and when
> they are ran out of business by Microsoft because the those using their
> version begin to believe it is their only option because the other
> business can no longer survive under Microsofts heavy hand and
> racketeering then you are stuck with an inferior product. In todays world
> money is what runs everything. The golden rule of arts and sciences I
> reiterate,

	What is the inferior product? You are back to arguing that people buy
Windows even though it doesn't work. Show me an inferior Microsoft product
that enjoys market success -- you cannot do it. Look at Microsoft Money --
it sucks, and people don't buy it. Look at IE -- it's the best around, and
people use it.

	If you'd like, I can point you to some more rigorous market analysis of
where Microsoft has succeeded and where they have failed along with
independent reviews of their products to show this correlation. But it
really should be common sense -- only the government can actually force
people to buy an inferior product against their own interests. Bill Gates
can't possibly fool people into buying products that don't do what people
want -- not for long anyway.

> 		He Who Has the Gold Makes the Rules.
> That means that if you can crush another companies income, it doesnt mater
> if it is a better product, if they have been crushed, or overflowed by
> someone with a stronger power base does that make them any more right?

	Not at all. There are always people with money. If they see a better
mousetrap, they'll sink in the money to penetrate the marketplace. If the
product is truly superior, that advantage will eventually allow a competitor
to win out.

	What will happen is that investors will draw up an accounting of costs and
market penetration. The more superior the technology you have to what's out
there, the more that cost/benefit analysis will sway in your favor.

	For example, if you had a product that was 10% better than Windows, you'd
need an awful lot of money to promote it. This isn't because Bill Gates is
so all powerful, it's because switching standards is expensive and you can't
sell a product without subsidizing that cost.

	If you had a product that was twice as good as Windows, however, the value
gained from your better operating system would more than cover the costs
incurred in changing standards. (This is why 99% of x86 software today
requires at leats a 386 or better.)

	But this is really all moot -- there isn't a better product out there to
point to. The closest there was is OS/2, and nobody ever sunk in the money
to make that happen.

> If
> someone had a animal that was dear to them, and another man with more
> power took it away from them, and had power to forcefully take it from
> him, even though he already had plenty, and the one man with only the one
> animal that was dear to that man. Does it make it right just because the
> man with plenty had enough men, or power, or strength to take it from the
> poorer man? Does that make it right, just because one has the ability to
> take from another and ruin their ability at future development?
> 	I am sorry sir, but I think not.

	This would be relevant if Bill Gates pointed guns at people's heads and
made them buy his software even though they don't want it. But this isn't
what happens.

> >> It is monopoly harm, because what
> >> their taking credit for was actually researched, updated, run, and
> >> designed by someone else's brain.
> >
> >	*sigh* What the hell does credit have to do with anything? Who
> designed
> >Windows?
>
> 	What does credit have to with anything? I am sure that if you
> created something you would want credit for it. If you created something
> and someone took it away from you and made money on it and did nothing to
> give you credit or money, You must admit you would be incensed. You want
> to know who originally designed Windows? Try Xerox. If you Mean MS
> Windows, then it is nothing that has been taken from one company, they
> have taken it from many peoples, and companies that no longer exist
> because they were crushed with a mailed hand on soft skulls so to speak
> sir!

	This has nothing to do with anything. Every company takes ideas from
everything that they see. To make something from scratch, you'd have to
create the universe. Microsoft would be in serious trouble if they _didn't_
take every good idea they could possibly find and try to integrate it into
their products.

	But your argument is amusing because of it's 'damned if you do, damned if
you don't' angle. If Microsoft doesn't put every fancy new feature into its
operating systems, you'll argue that it's forcing mediocre technology on
people. If they do, you'll accuse them of stealing.

> 	Also here is something else for you to consider. Until recently
> you were forced to buy Windows if you bought a new PC unless you custom
> built it and put it together yourself. You had no choice.

	This is just melodrama. Of course you had a choice. Who put the gun to your
head and took the money out of your wallet?

	If you want to buy a car, you're forced to buy a hood. If you want to buy a
camera, you're forced to buy a lens cover.

	This is not actual force, this is metaphorical force. It comes from the
fact that customization has a cost associated with it.

	Microsoft secured these bundling arrangements by convincing distributors
that it was in there best interest to do so. That is, he made it worth their
while. Because the computer retail market is so competitive and margins so
razor thin, this discount percolates down to comnsumers, so the vast
majority of consumers benefit from this arrangement.

	For you to complain about it because you didn't happen to benefit because
you weren't in that majority is as absurd as complaining that Intel has
somehow coerced you to buy a P2 because most new software won't run on your
386 anymore. Technology moves ahead, and it's painful not to follow it. It's
just economies of scale, that's all.

> IE has had more
> effort put into it recently to crush Netscape.

	Right. Competition makes products better. When IE has strong competition,
it will get better. When it doesn't, it may not. This is how the market
works.

> I will admit I like the
> integration of IE so that I can type in a command line on a windows box
> window and shortcut all the point and clicking. He, however makes people
> buy something they dont want every time they buy windows with something
> packaged in that has contributed to a higher price that they dont want,
> need, or desire.

	*yawn* So we're back to you can't buy a car without a hood again. Look,
most people want cars with hoods. So it makes sense to bundle the cost of a
hood into the cost of a car. Yes, this makes it harder for other companies
to market hoods, but it makes life easier for those who like an integrated
hood that comes with, and fits perfectly into, their car.

	How many people want an operating system without a browser? Not many. So it
makes sense to bundle the browser with the operating system and integrate
them cleanly. This also benefits developers who can rely on that
functionality being there and so can, for example, include their help in
HTML.

	Microsoft is under no obligation to create and nurture a broswer market.
Those people who want such a market can create them and nurture them
themselves. Personally, I'd rather commoditize the browser so the smart guys
can move on to the technology that's going to make browsers obsolete. That's
what's going to bring down Microsoft.

> >	They read reviews, they consider other products, they look at what
> other people
> >are buying, they look at what might become available in the future, and
> they
> >make the best decision they know how to. Why do you think you know better
> >than they do?
>
> 	The sad truth is most people dont read reviews. They usually dont
> consider what you and I might do and consider in such a situation, as you
> stated above.

	That's just plain not true. Most people either read reviews or ask others
for advice. Really, they do. And that trend is only increasing with easy
access to the Internet. I think you severly underestimate what people will
do when they make buying decisions. You seem to have a strong belief that
"the masses are asses" and nothing seems to shake you from it. It's just
plain not true. It's very hard to make people buy something that doesn't do
what they actually want.

> They key point you make there however is the best decision
> THEY KNOW HOW TO. Without having all the information, can they make an
> informed decision? I dont say I know better than a well informed person, I
> am saying I am looking at it from an informed point of view on both sides.

	You again assume that people are really stupid and don't know what's good
for themselves. They do. Really. They take enormous amounts of information
into account when they make buying decisions, especially big ones.

> 	I am also not bitching. I am not paying for an upgrade. Windows
> right now has the support of the gaming industry and that is something
> that has driven the computer industry for many years as far as
> development.

	Yes, it has. Why do you think it has the support of the gaming industry?

> 	They buy Windows because it does what most people want yes, but so
> do other OSs, other programs, and other companies that although they make
> a superior product get crushed by the heavy hand of Microsoft. The finding
> of fact points this out.

	What is the superior product? Where is it? Show me a superior product and
I'll change my desktops from NT and 98 instantly. Where is it? What is it?

> >	If the competing technologies are truly better, than they should
> be able to
> >find better financing. If you can't convince an investor that they're
> >better, they probably really aren't. I tell Engineers that investors are
> the
> >litmus test of how good their ideas are, since investors specialize in
> >knowing what ideas really are good enough to work.
> >
> >	If you had an idea that was really better than Microsoft's, that
> should
> >give you enough of an advantage to take a sizeable market share. If the
> >better idea isn't winning, look long and hard at whether it's really
> better.
>
> 	No, not a sizeable market share for your ideas when it is being
> blocked by a larger power base. By someone who already has the money to
> make you go away, or make your company enough problems that it cant bust
> through the "Superior Money" of Microsoft. It could very well be a better
> product.

	Oh, bullshit. If you need a large market share to make the idea work, just
give it away until you build up that market share. If you can't afford to do
that, it will only because your idea really isn't better. Shit, Linux and
FreeBSD _ARE_ given away, and people still won't use them in mass for their
desktops. Oh, right, that's because they're too stupid.

> >	Ask people why they use Windows instead of FreeBSD. I guarantee
> you one
> >thing they won't say is because Microsoft is so powerful and impressive
> that
> >they have to buy Windows even though it doesn't do what they want. Think
> >about it - that's really what you're trying to convince me of.
>
> 	No, they will say Free what? Believe me I have asked those kind of
> questions. Only those well in the know, and in the computer technical
> fields know about such systems in general. I use to get angry at Microsoft
> all the time for many things, that is before I found UNIX, this is
> although I was good in computers, I did not know anything but Windows
> existed. Taking the different path so to speak

	See, the point you're missing is that the knowledgeable people are making
the same decisions the masses are. I use NT for my desktop. I can list a
whole bunch of people who are very comfortable with many operating systems
who make the same decisions. We all choose Windows simply because it works
better. Really.

> 	"Has made all the difference"
> I still use windows for things that programmers havent released a version
> for UNIX for.
> 	Their is measure to my madness, and it is this: People are not
> foolish in general, they are not stupid, and given enough information and
> support without a heavy domineering hand, are capable of making the right
> choice, when they know all their options.

	What do you mean by "without a heavy domineering hand"? Are you suggesting
that Microsoft somehow manages to keep FreeBSD secret? Or is this Bill
Gates' mind control again?

	No matter how many times I say it, you still don't get it. People choose
Windows because it does what they need to do. People choose IE because it
works better. People don't choose Microsoft Money because it doesn't work
better.

> >	Yes, but a company with superior technology wouldn't need to
> brainwash
> >anyone. If it really had a better product, it would eventually take over
> the
> >marketplace. Really.
>
> In an Ideal world yes. However without resources thousands of well thought
> out, working ideas or inventions are lost because they cant get through
> the initial, our name is what you know buy us phase of the market. Most
> things are bought on name value these days.

	Again, we're back to people are too stupid. All they do is see a name, and
buy it. Tell me -- why isn't Microsoft Money the market leader? It has the
brand name, right?

	People are smart. Really. They research their buying decisions. They watch
the news. They ask their friends. They sometimes even read computer
magazines. Now they browse web sites. Yes, some people do get taken some of
the time, but nobody could make people buy a truly inferior product for very
long. Not without help from the hand of the government.

	DS



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