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Date:      Mon, 22 Nov 1999 16:24:52 -0800
From:      "David Schwartz" <davids@webmaster.com>
To:        "Terry Lambert" <tlambert@primenet.com>
Cc:        <freebsd-chat@FreeBSD.ORG>
Subject:   RE: Judge: "Gates Was Main Culprit"
Message-ID:  <000001bf3549$28ca1400$021d85d1@youwant.to>
In-Reply-To: <199911230006.RAA01158@usr02.primenet.com>

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> > > Pull the other one... we didn't just fall off the turnup truck.
> > >
> > > Technical superiority is independent of pricing.  Pricing is a
> > > function of economies of scale and of market forebearance, and
> > > has nothing whatsoever to do with technological capability.
> >
> > What the hell are you talking about? Are you next going to allege
> > that the reason we don't all have Cray T90's is due to Microsoft
> > lock in? After all, they are superior to our desktops, right?
>
> Of course not; if I said that, I'd be arguing from the specific
> to the general, and we all know that that's false logic.
>
> What I'll say is that cost has no bearing on superiority, or vice
> versa, unless we are talking about a technologically superior
> manufacturing process that enables one to drop prices.

	This is a truly Alice-in-Wonderland view.

> > If lock in is a problem, then companies should be allowed to
> > dump to break the lock in. You can't have it both ways.
>
> I don't want it both way.  Companies should not be allowed to dump
> for any reason, including breaking so-called "lock in", and the
> government should be permitted to kick butt and twist nipples
> in order to break so-called "lock in".  I see no inconsistancy
> with prohibiting monopoly tactics from use by all players in any
> market.

	Yes, this is classic. Use the government to create a problem and then
demand that the government fix it. Wonderful.

> > > > If the 'inferior' product is cheaper than the 'superior'
> > > > product, and this price difference overwhelms any feature
> > > > difference, then it's obvious which product is really superior.
> > >
> > > The one with the best technology.
> >
> > This is an Alice-in-Wonderland view. Better technology in isolation
> > doesn't even make a better product.
>
> 1)	I did not state "in isolation".
>
> 2)	I merely disagree with you that cost is a factor in
> 	determining superiority of one product over another.
>
> Let me put it this way: humans effectively give away feces for
> free; does this make it a better food than wheat, merely because
> when I divide the cost of an equivalent amount of wheat by the
> cost of the feces, the price difference overwhelms and feature
> difference, and thus it's obbious which product is really the
> superior food?

	So why do people eat wheat instead of feces? I would say it's kind of a
price/performance thing, though not a purely price/performance thing. A
straight price/performance division tends to give too much weight to price.
I would certainly say that cost is a factor. If wheat for free, things that
substitute for wheat would have a much harder time in the market.

> > 	You have an engineer's view of economics. ;)
>
> No, I have a reasonable view of economics, but that is not the
> question before the board; the question before the board is
> gauging technical superiority between a set of products, seperate
> from their ability to compete in the market, and in specific
> regard to the ability to "lock in" inferior technology through
> reasons other than free market forces (theorem: free market
> forces are not operational in the presence of monopolies).

	You have changed the question to one that has no correlation whatsoever
with reality. Technical superiority has no particular market value at all,
unless it meets some sort of need or drops prices or something. What makes a
product competitive is not necessarily just technology.

> > The 'best technology' does not make the best product. Technology
> > is useful only as a means to an end.
>
> I'm reminded of the "Star Terk: The Next Generation" episode,
> where a revived cryonic suspendee who was a wealthy man in his
> time, is being berated by Captain Picard about how that type
> of power is illusory, and isn't really real.  His retort to Picard?
>
> 	"Really?  I'm _here_, aren't I?"
>
> While I agree that degree of technical superiority is not the
> sole measure of the value of a product, there is no way to make
> a good product with bad technology.  I am reminded of another
> statement:
>
> 	"How can my people make bricks without straw?"
>
> In other words, good technology is necessary, but not sufficient,
> for creating a good product.

	Absolutely.

> Turning this around, if you have all of the other factors
> present, _except_ good technology, then you will have a
> mediocre product, and it doesn't matter if you win the market
> or not using illegal tactics, your product is still mediocre
> (e.g. if it crashes every 46 days because the nanosecond counter
> overflows, etc., then it's mediocre, and no amount of angels on
> the heads of no amount of pins will make it any less mediocre).

	The assumption unstated in this is that it's 'bad technology' that's
responsible for the crashes. When it may really be things like complexity
inherent in the feature set, or immaturity, or any number of other factors.

	In any event, this all irrelevant. Nobody particularly cares about
technology (or should), they should just care about how well the particular
product meets their present and future needs relative to its cost.

> > > > 	My point is that consumers have gained the benefits of
> > > > all of these products. When a competitor points out a deficiency
> > > > in a Microsoft product, Microsoft acts to correct the deficiency.
> > > > This is one way consumers benefit from 'failed' competition.
> > >
> > > You are crazy.  I _still_ can't install Windows 98/2000 onto
> > > removable media because the pager can't correctly do paging on
> > > removable media.
> > >
> > > I reported this bug in 1994, and again in 1996.
> > >
> > > Where is the fix?
> >
> > If you don't like Windows 98/2000, don't use them. Don't bang
> your head up
> > against a wall and complain to me about it.
>
> Are you retracting your statement?
>
> You stated:
>
> 	"When a competitor points out a deficiency in a Microsoft
> 	 product, Microsoft acts to correct the deficiency."
>
> I worked for a competitor of Microsoft both times.
>
> I pointed out the deficiency.
>
> Microsoft _did not_ act to correct the deficiency.
>
> Your statement is therefore false.

	I didn't say, "Any time someone who just happens to be a competitor of
Microsoft points out what they consider a deficiency in the product,
Microsoft always acts to change the product to be precisely what the
competitor wishes it to be."

	You do understand the difference, don't you?

> Turning this into whether or not I "like" the products with this
> deficiency is irrelevant to determining the veracity of your
> statement.

	No, but it would help if you understood the statement.

> > > > > Netscape eventually expected to make a profit from
> DESQview. Microsoft
> > > > > simply wanted to put Netscape out of business. And Microsoft was
> > > > > (and is!) a monopoly. Monopoly leverage is illegal.
> > > >
> > > > Are you saying that Microsoft has no intention of making a
> > > > profit from IE?
> > > > If so, what's their goal?
> > >
> > > How can they make a profit from something they bundle with the OS?
> >
> > Umm, duh, it increases the value of the OS and thus allows them
> to charge
> > more for it. Did you fail Economics 101?
>
> Wait.  Are they giving IE away for free, or are they bundling it
> with the OS, thus "locking out" Netscape?

	They are bundling it with Windows. How this locks out Netscape remains to
be explained.

> Either they are "locking out" Netscape, or they are not adding
> value by bundling; make up your mind.

	Please explain how these are inconsistent.

> > > > Please, show me the browser shootouts that conclude, "In our
> > > > opinion, IE is inferior to Netscape due to its myriad security
> > > > problems". Put up or shut up.
> > >
> > > Uh, they are called "CERT Advisories", not "shootouts"... 8-).
> >
> > Well, unfortunately, consumers don't always have the same
> priorities that
> > you and I do. Yes, it's frustrating for a lot of people. But
> when what you
> > want is not what everyone else seems to want, then that's what happens.
>
> So your tack has changed from:
>
> 	"there are no public comparisons contradicting the point"
>
> to
>
> 	"the public comparisons contradicting the point are
> 	 irrelevant"
>
> Nice to clear that up.

	Umm, what public comparisons contradicting the point are you talking about?
Show me the browser shootouts that conclude that IE is inferior due to its
security problems.

	CERT advisories do not constitute product comparisons.

> > > > > > Umm, it had nothing to do with any predatory tactics.
> > > > > > It had everything to do with IE being a better browser.
> > > > >
> > > > > Utter nonsense. Again, read the judge's Findings of Fact.
> > > >
> > > > 	I have. Remember, that was the starting point.
> > >
> > > I guess you are implying that you disagree with the findings of
> > > fact?  You will have a hard time ignoring them; they are almost
> > > impossible to overturn, unless you can prove that no "reasonable
> > > person" would have arrived at the same conclusions.  Microsoft
> > > has had their day in court over the facts, and they have lost.
> >
> > Well, given Judge Jackson's previous history in this case, I
> > wouldn't jump to that conclusion.
>
> Feel free to try to overturn it.
>
> As good scientists, it is beholden on the rest of us to apply
> Occam's Razor, and state that, in the absence of contradictory
> facts, the simplest explanation is the correct one.

	What's your explanation for Judge Jackson issuing an injunction against
Microsoft, when one wasn't even sought, that was later overturned due to the
entire rationale behind it being incorrect.

	DS



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