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Microsoft Under Fire

Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
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Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

I was reading another article today on the whole Microsoft Anti Trust Suit. As I was reading it and worshiping the 18 states that have teamed up against Microsoft, it really got me thinking on the reasoning behind the suit.
I consider myself an advanced computer user. I have been using computers and programming in various languages for almost 11 years now. So when I look at Windows I see a big GUI mess. Much like most people that visit JAVA Ranch I suspect. But let's consider for a moment the target user for Windows.
My wife know how to turn the computer on, open her applications, do what she needs to do and she is really good at it. I introduced her to Linux and the KDE desktop a while back and she was lost from the start. Now, maybe it was because she just likes Windows and refused to learn, and KDE and Linux have really come a long way. Or maybe it's because she is the target consumer for Windows and so it serves its purpose.
If Linux became what windows is, looking at it from a target consumer point of view, would Microsoft be in this Anti Trust Suit today? I say no. Why?
Microsoft has no competition. That's not Microsoft's fault. They cornered the market. They created what the target consumer wants. Now they may have shut down potential competition and maybe the way they did it was not entirely legit. But if those companies had any kind of back bone or stratagy then they should not have caved to Microsoft.
Basically my point or question rather is: Is Microsoft in an Anti Trust Lawsuit because of lack of competition?
No matter how much we all hate Microsoft, I don't think the fault lies entirely with them.

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Happy Coding,
Gregg Bolinger


GenRocket - Experts at Building Test Data
Paul Stevens
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Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
You are assuming the states are doing this for a reason other than money.
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

I realize that the states are having a problem with the liscensing costs. And I agree that Microsoft is probably over charging, but what would you do if you developed something that everyone had to use and there were no competition.
It's always about money. You expect Bill Gates to just do the country a favor and lower the costs? Would you??
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Happy Coding,
Gregg Bolinger
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
As much as I don't like Micrsoft the company, and have issues with Windows, we really need to thank them. I don't think many people would like to go back to the days when you had to worry about whether your software would run on DOS, CP/M, Apple (][, Mac), Commodore (Amiga or C64/128), Atari(ST or 800), Spectrum, Tandy (CoCo, Model I, Model II), Z80, or any of the myriad of OS's that were available "back in the day". If it were not for Windows I believe, I don't think that there would be as many home computer users today. More users means lower prices, and higher availability of software and hardware. It also means a more techinically aware public, which is a good thing. So I guess whatever we want to say about M$ and their business practices, we should probably be glad things are the way they are now.
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

Wow, Jason and I agree for once!! Mark it down.
Also, if Microsoft were ever to be split into two companies and you had to purchase Windows OS and then go out and buy IE?? That's crazy. Windows comes with necessary software in my opinion. XP comes with some extra software, like the CD Burning software. But it sucks. So I am glad I bought ROXIO. On the other hand, it also came with scanning software for my HP scanner which is BETTER than the scanning software I got from HP. So it's a trade off I think.
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Happy Coding,
Gregg Bolinger
Paul Stevens
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
My problem is the states acting like they care about something other than the $$$$$. Like the tobacco issue. How much has went to smoker related issues. A small percentage. This to them is just about the money.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:
Wow, Jason and I agree for once!! Mark it down.

Hey now! As far as I know we've agreed at least twice.
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

Ah, I had forgotten.
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Happy Coding,
Gregg Bolinger
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

What a nice topic to come across tonight. I'm sitting in my office trying to get my sister's machine up and running. She sent it to me after originally bringing it to CompUSA, where they spoke a langugage she couldn't understand and sounded expensive.
So here I sit, three hours after replacing the modem and adding some memory, about 15 reboots later, and then I look to the other side of the room at my Solaris machine -- it's mail server, web server, development workstation, RMI test machine, NFS server, backup pilot, and I can't remember when I last had to reboot it just to add a driver or install a program.
Boys, you can talk about the target user all you want. It's a lousy OS for serious use. So BIll cornered the market on ease-of-use because he knew ease-of-administration was someone else's problem. Good for him.
But I'm frankly appalled to hear this gainsaying on behalf of Microsoft. The ends justifies the means, to read this topic so far. Well there are more than a few companies with more than a few good products out there that have had trouble making honest deals with manufacturers and such for no other reason than M$ had the leverage that forced those companies to choose sides.
REAL competition, guys, is about producing a "better" product, however you measure that. You make it difficult for others to compete by producing a product they can't match. That's the kind of competition consumers ultimately benefit from.
I suppose we eventually dig down to facts here, but saying Microsoft was condemned for being a monopoly because no one could compete with them is some pretty seriously blind apologetics. Pick up a paper -- shareholders may like the bottom line, but no one is writing a book on how to mimic MS's business practices.


Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
- Robert Bresson
Angela Poynton
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Joined: Mar 02, 2000
Posts: 3143
Now I've always been very torn on the whole Windows vs Unix arguement.
At work I have an NT machine and run lots of windows applications, one of which is Hummingbird Exceed which allows me to use XWindows to the Unix Boxes we do our development on. So one one machine I can be using windows, DOS (Before anyone says anything I know windows is just a DOS app) and unix.
The thing is I HATE command line stuff. Probably because I'm a windows generation girl. I like ease of use, I like not having to remember commands. I spend at least 10 hours a day in front of a computer i want it to be as stress free as it can possibly be.
now so far it's sounding like I prefer windows isn't it
However, i want to go back to my last point. "i want it to be as stress free as it can possibly be." Which aside from usability means I want it to be reliable.
I don't want it to just freeze and require a rebot when I'm right in the middle of typing a long document (or some code).
I don't want it to for some inexplicable reason every 6 months or so decide "Oh, I'm going to frighten the life out of her and tell her some system files have gone missing or something is wrong with the hard disk and she'll have to (if she's lucky) use DOS to rescue whatever data she can (of course only using 1.44MB disks cos i can't run the CDRW software) and format the hard disk and completely reinstall EVERYTHING.
I don't want my taskbar to crash because of something I did in a different app.

So my ideal.
Nice, easy to get to grips with, intuitive GUI written in something that is more stable and less likely to crash than an Elephant standing on a matchstick and of course, sotware to run on that OS that also conforms to the same standards.

Pounding at a thick stone wall won't move it, sometimes, you need to step back to see the way around.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Angela Poynton:

However, i want to go back to my last point. "i want it to be as stress free as it can possibly be." Which aside from usability means I want it to be reliable.
I don't want it to just freeze and require a rebot when I'm right in the middle of typing a long document (or some code).
I don't want it to for some inexplicable reason every 6 months or so decide "Oh, I'm going to frighten the life out of her and tell her some system files have gone missing or something is wrong with the hard disk and she'll have to (if she's lucky) use DOS to rescue whatever data she can (of course only using 1.44MB disks cos i can't run the CDRW software) and format the hard disk and completely reinstall EVERYTHING.

Heh. That made me think of this, which you might get a kick out of.
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
It's a lousy OS for serious use.

I agree it is lousy for [b]serious
use. Development use. But everyday home user use, is it that bad? Would your sister know anything about your Solaris? Would she be able to use it? Would she be able to fix it IF it did go down? Windows doesn't crash on me like it does on my friend's PC. Is that because it is only lousy on their PC or because people don't take the time to learn how to use the OS.

REAL competition, guys, is about producing a "better" product, however you measure that.[/B]

I agree completely. Microsoft if far from perfect. But they are probably the closest in a generic well rounded kind of way. Like I said before, most of it is just a trade off.

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Happy Coding,
Gregg Bolinger
Matthew Phillips
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 09, 2001
Posts: 2676
I have always felt that Microsoft is a major reason for the former economic boom. By putting the computer into the hands of the average person, companies were able to increase productivity and profitability. That, of course, led to more jobs.
That being said, the settlement will not change any of MS's business practices. While I didn't agree with splitting Microsoft, I do think that the punishment should have been more severe.
Matthew Phillips

Matthew Phillips
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

I think that if the government wants to say "Ok, you are a monopoly" then they should be regulated as such. For instance, the government regulates gas and electric rates in states where there is only one provider. Well, if the governement will just give Gates what he wants, then the government can regulate the cost of the goods and services that MS provides. And by doing so, possibly keep the ever growing cost of liscensing and software to a reasonable level.
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Happy Coding,
Gregg Bolinger
 
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subject: Microsoft Under Fire