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Date:      Tue, 16 Nov 1999 16:29:14 +0000
From:      Joseph Scott <joseph.scott@owp.csus.edu>
To:        David Schwartz <davids@webmaster.com>
Cc:        walton@nordicrecords.com, freebsd-chat@FreeBSD.ORG
Subject:   Re: Judge: "Gates Was Main Culprit"
Message-ID:  <3831865A.9ED7E6E3@owp.csus.edu>
References:  <000001bf3004$979c2b60$021d85d1@youwant.to>

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David Schwartz wrote:
> 
>         If we assume that Microsoft's products stink and that the only reason
> people buy them is to be compatible with everything else, then we have to
> acknowledge that this compatability has value to consumers. In other words,
> if this argument is right, then a monopoly in operating systems would be a
> beneficial outcome. So far from correcting some 'market problem', the
> government would actually be undoing market efficiency.
> 

<big snips>

	For me personally what you touched on above is exactly what makes me
nuts.  In my ideal realistic situation for things all the "data" would
be compatable with all other "applications".  My prime example in this
is something like an MS Word document.  I would like to be able to edit
that document in any ( with in obvious limitations ) word processor,
like Applix, Word, StarOffice, WordPerfect on any OS ( that the given
word processor runs on of course ).  In order to do this everyone would
need to publish their format specs.  I don't think MS would be too hot
on this idea, but it's not totally out of range of being possible
either.  Of course this should not be limited to word processor
documents.

	This would buy me the independance that I want.  I already have an
awesome server OS in FreeBSD, and I've been using as a desktop OS for a
reasonable time now.  I'd love one day to replace on the NT workstations
on peoples desks with FreeBSD.  Making the "data" compatitable across
"applications" would be a huge step in seeing that happen.

>         So you're saying that Microsoft is a run-of-the-mill monopoly case?

	No, I would say not.  I think part of what makes this so hard is that
we are talking about a situation that people try and prevent, so once
it's arrived each one tends to be unique.  Besides that, this isn't an
industry with a very long history ( the desktop/home PC market ).

	What surprises me about how MS went about the case is this : it's my
understanding ( and I may be wrong, who knows ) that it's only illegal
to have a monopoly if you have abused your power once there, or done bad
things to get there.  With statements from MS about how unimportant
things like Open Source/Free Unix is that it's fairly obvious that they
consider their position fairly dominant ( setting aside the argument for
now as to how hard they do or don't work to keep it ).  Why then didn't
they just admit, yes we have a monopoly, but we've been nothing but the
nicest of folks about it.  ( Personally I'd find that pretty hard to
swallow, but who knows )  I think any time they spent trying to convince
the court that they didn't have a huge amount of the market ( ie :
monopoly ) is time wasted, from a legal standpoint.

	Anyways, please don't get me wrong, I don't want MS or even Windows to
go away.  Competition is good, and if they went away then I think it
would hurt everyone.  

-- 

Joseph Scott
joseph.scott@owp.csus.edu
Office Of Water Programs - CSU Sacramento


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