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Date:      Sat, 13 Nov 1999 09:47:35 +0000
From:      Mark Ovens <>
To:        David Schwartz <>
Cc:        Giorgos Keramidas <>,
Subject:   Re: Judge: "Gates Was Main Culprit"
Message-ID:  <19991113094734.A317@marder-1>
In-Reply-To: <000101bf2d70$84b9a810$>
References:  <> <000101bf2d70$84b9a810$>

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On Fri, Nov 12, 1999 at 04:46:27PM -0800, David Schwartz wrote:
> > "David Schwartz" <> writes:
> >
> > > 	Yes, and they crushed it by putting out a superior product.
> > What is wrong
> > > with that?
> >
> > Nothing, but IE is not a superior product.  Superiority is never defined
> > as taking advantage of `internal' knowledge of the OS, in order to make
> > a program load faster.
>       Ahh, I see. Superior has nothing to do with user
> experience. Superior is to be judged by experts according to arcane
> principles. That's much better than letting the market decide.

The point is that M$ *didn't* let the market decide. IE is installed
by default with every copy of Windows and the conditions that M$
imposed on OEMs regarding not pre-installing another browser, and/or
diabling IE, are well documented in the Judge's findings. Similar
tactics were used with ISPs and AOL in respect of their access

That is not letting the market decide. Whilst those participating
in these lists are quite happy to go to the "trouble" of installing
an OS and apps of choice Joe Average PC user is just going to use
whatever is pre-installed when (s)he buys the PC. That is point
that the Judge made; IE's market share rocketed because it was
there when the PC was switched on and as the vast majority of PC
users are not "geeks" won't (possibly don't know how to) replace
IE with NS, even if they believe it to be better.

> > For instance, half if not more of the IE
> > libraries (aka DLLs in the Windows world) are loaded because they are
> > part of the base OS of MS.  That makes IE `seem' to load faster than
> > other Web browsers, because a large part of it is already loaded.  This
> > is not superiority, it's plain good ol' cheating.
> 	Cheating is a great way to make a product better. All the user cares about
> is the user experience. If integrating IE into Windows improves the user
> experience, then that's a legitimate reason to do it.
> 	You may consider some of Microsoft's innovations cheating, but that's not
> your decision to make.
> 	Go ahead, take memory management out of the OS. Take disk compression out.
> How far do you want to set us back?
> > And more examples
> > like this one can be found at closer inspection, like those rumours that
> > non-MS products are offered the great honour of a few extra wait-states
> > by the scheduler of the OS in question, which is another way of making
> > all the _others_ look like they're tooo slooow when compared to ma' MS's
> > finely intergrated products, etc. etc.
> 	Look, it's Microsoft's operating system. If they didn't want to sell it at
> all, no one could force them to. If you like it, use it. If not, don't. But
> do you really want the government telling Microsoft how to design its
> products?
> > Superiority is also a funny word to use for a browser that runs on one
> > and only OS, when that other inferior browser runs on a dozen different
> > platforms.  Ok, Motif sucks in X11, and I would prefer Mozilla to be
> > using Troll's Qt library or even GTK+ if that matters at all, but then
> > again who am I to push my own humble opinion on Mozilla crowd?
> 	Look, IE is superior. Period. Anyone who has used both browsers, and who is
> honest, will tell you that. There have been dozens of browser shootouts.
> Pretty much every single one of them (after IE4 was released) has concluded
> the same thing. The market concluded the same thing.
> > > > MS has not changed, and will not change unless forced.
> > >
> > > Of course not. And thanks to them, we have an incredibly competitive
> > > computer software industry.
> >
> > Competition is another truly controversial subject, especially when
> > based on what I called _internal_ knowledge (see above).
> 	A company should use every resource at its command to provide the best
> products possible to its customers and the most competition. Technological
> leverage is the bedrock of pretty much every high tech company. They all ask
> "how can we take the technology, expertise, and knowledge we have and use it
> to make new and better products". If that is a crime, then innovation is
> over.
> > > Harmful to consumers? Please -- show me any evidence of monopoly harm
> > > to consumers. (Do you know what monopoly harm is? Or am I wasting my
> > > breath?)  Show me reduced output. Show me higher prices. Show me
> > > reduced quality.
> >
> > Compare the price of running Netscape on *BSD, with that of running IE
> > on Windows.  Both browsers are free, but with IE you find yourself in a
> > lack of choises.  You absolutely _must_ use Windows to have IE running,
> > even if you would prefer to run *BSD as your primary desktop OS.
> 	Neither Netscape nor FreeBSD are commercial products. I'm talking about
> comparing Windows to other commercial operating systems.
> 	Do you think you could start a company, build an proprietary operating
> system from the ground up, and sell it for prices that compete with
> Microsoft? Of course not. Microsoft can only do so because its enormous
> volume gives it tremendous economies of scale. That makes it nearly
> impossibe to compete with Microsoft.
> 	This is how competition is _supposed_ to work.
> > Monopoly harm begins when you start to get your choises limited, and the
> > choise of one's operating system is IMHO a very fundamental one.
>       But you have the choice of numerous operating systems. Most
> people choose Windows simply because they find it superior for
> the tasks they need to solve.

Wrong. Most people use Windows because it is virtually impossible
to buy a PC without it pre-installed. M$ has created a sheep-like
(or should that be lemming-like?) mentality amongst PC users whereby
they just follow the crowd and don't make objective decisions.

> Build a better operating system,
> and nothing Bill Gates can do will stop you from ultimately
> triumphing in the market. But Microsoft is powerful and is a
> fiendish competitor. This is a successful market.

OS/2 Warp is a superior OS to Windows but M$ *did* stop it triumphing
in the market firstly by announcing, when Warp was released, that
a 32-bit Windows (95) would be out in a couple of months (which
turned out to be 18 months, and largely 16-bit) and by refusing to
grant licences to OEMs unless they installed it exclusively on
*every* PC they shipped. This is abuse of a monopoly postition,
something the Judge continually found M$ guilty of.

> > > And in any event, killing the competition is what companies are
> > > supposed to do. Our antritrust laws exist to _ensure_ the most
> > > vigorous competition possible.
> >
> > Forgive me if I am wrong, but companies are not supposed to "kill"
> > competition.
> 	Yes, they are. They are supposed to compete so effectively that their
> competitors have to provide better products at lower prices or go out of
> business. That's a strong, competitive economy.
> > Instead, they are supposed to create superior products, in
> > order to be in the head of it.  If someone finds the resources, the
> > will, or the ideas to create the next superior product, other companies
> > are certainly not supposed to "kill" anyone, but rather try to create
> > something of their own with the quality that will ensure their
> > superiority and give them a larger market share.  Perhaps this would
> > seem too idealistic in a world like ours though.
>       There is nothing a company can do to stop consumers from
> buying a better product at a lower price. The hard part is producing
> a better product for a lower price.
> 	I'm going to try to get some essays on the Findings of Fact up at
> 	DS
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