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Date:      Tue, 16 Nov 1999 16:49:33 -0800
From:      "David Schwartz" <davids@webmaster.com>
To:        "Jonathon McKitrick" <jcm@dogma.freebsd-uk.eu.org>
Cc:        "David Scheidt" <dscheidt@enteract.com>, "Erick White" <erickw@taurus.oursc.k12.ar.us>, <freebsd-chat@freebsd.org>
Subject:   RE: Judge: "Gates Was Main Culprit"
Message-ID:  <000001bf3095$9d3e7640$021d85d1@youwant.to>
In-Reply-To: <Pine.BSF.4.02A.9911170009330.61548-100000@dogma.freebsd-uk.eu.org>

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> How about this, then.  We all stand idly by while Bill Gates makes
> billions by making it necessary to upgrade regularly to enjoy the latest
> benefits of technology.

	It will always be necessary to upgrade regularly to enjoy the latest
beenfits of technology. This is not a Bill Gates invention. To remain even
remotely current, I've had to replace processors, memory, hard drives, and
graphics cards about every two years. Why should software be any different?

	As I've said before, SP1 through SP6 for NT4.0 represent tremendous
enhancements and maintenance over many years for which Microsoft charges
_nothing_.

> Then, we will also allow him and his company to
> shut down competition so we really won't have any viable alternatives.

	Show me a competitor that he has 'shut down' without having a better
product to compete with it. Show me one. Please.

	In every case, Microsoft has 'shut down' competition by providing a
superior product. All the while, prices have fallen across every market that
Microsoft competes in.

> Then, when the next big revolution occurs, a bunch of grunts will provide
> us with Microsoft Linux as the new standard.

	Perhaps. If Bill Gates is smart enough and Microsoft dynamic enough, he can
stay on top of the next revolution too. Of course, he can only do that by
embracing the new technology. He has no power to keep it from us.

> Unfortunately, Gates will
> say, older M$ applications will not run on the new platform, so windows
> owners will need to upgrade....

	Exactly. If Microsoft can stay on top throughout more revolutions, it will
do so by offering revolutionary products. If those products are better than
the competition, and better than the previous products, people will gladly
pay to upgrade.

> all he needs now is to offer Linus
> Torvalds a job, and he'll be all set.  And the hardware/software rat-race
> will continue.  Sounds wonderful.

	That race does continue. And consumers reap enormous benefits from it.

	Look at the Linux scalability project. An awful lot of that work arose out
of embarassment over comparison tests between Linux and NT. Linux benefits
from that embarassment, and its users benefit from the enhancements that
came out of it.

> Let's just make sure that FreeBSD stays strong, so those of us on the
> lunatic fringe can stand our ground.

	Exactly. Hold the niche markets and make it as hard as possible for
Microsoft to grab them. Embrace the right new technologies faster than
Microsoft can and use its weight against it. This is how truly superior new
technologies can throw out the past. But they have to offer significant
advantages to outweigh the cost of breaking with the past.

	When you can do that, Bill Gates won't be able to stop you unless he can
put out a superior product. And if he puts out a superior product at a
better price, you lose but consumers win. That's a healthy competitive
market.

	Look at Netscape. IE is probably a much better product developed much more
quickly than it would have been otherwise thanks to Netscape. Netscape lost,
but consumers win. We get a better browser at a lower price. That's the
beauty of strong competition -- no matter which companies win, consumers
always win. We get to skim the cream off the top.

	DS



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