From an internal Microsoft memo.
"The Windows API is so broad, so deep, and so functional that most ISVs would be crazy not to use it. And it is so deeply embedded in the source code of many Windows apps that there is a huge switching cost to using a different operating system instead...
"It is this switching cost that has given the customers the patience to stick with Windows through all our mistakes, our buggy drivers, our high TCO, our lack of a sexy vision at times, and many other difficulties [...] Customers constantly evaluate other desktop platforms, [but] it would be so much work to move over that they hope we just improve Windows rather than force them to move.
"In short, without this exclusive franchise called the Windows API, we would have been dead a long time ago."
Microsoft API's were written to increase the cost of porting an application to a new platform, raising the barrier to enter the market. When you combine this with their huge marketshare, you get a textbook example of monopolistic behavior.
Netscape was certainly a piece of crap, but IE was just as bad. IE only dominated because Microsoft used its desktop monopoly to force OEM's to bundle IE, and prevented them from bundling netscape. Netscape may or may not have succeeded on a competitive marketplace, but we will never know because they got squashed by an illegal exercise of monopolistic power.I'm sorry but you either weren't alive when netscape was around or you forgot about netscape. Netscape wasn't killed because of packaging IE with windows, but instead that Netscape sucked, while, IE on the other hand, didn't.
If nothing else, this thread is useful for exposing the absurd definition of monopoly that some use when they claim that monopolies are not natural. It helps me understand their argument (and why its wrong) better.
Microsoft claims software like Linux violates its patents - May 28, 2007
We would have much more competition if it were not for those protections.
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully. Psalm 24
"True law is right reason in agreement with nature . . . Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature [and] will suffer the worst penalties . . ." - Cicero
If we want to take a bird's eye view, though, and see what is good for free and competitive markets, it's quite different.
My opinion, based on being involved in patenting inventions, is that overall it is a good thing because technology is progressing faster than it would without patents. Again, that is an opinion based on my experience.
Last edited by tacomancer; 02-12-11 at 04:06 PM.
1) Software patents are completely and utterly absurd. They are so vague and obvious that you write right even the most basic program without violating someones patents. The only way to avoid getting sued is to have your own patents so you can counter-sue anyone who goes after you. If you want to see what a cluster**** the system has become look at this chart of patent lawsuits in the mobile phone world. Who’s Suing Whom In The Telecoms Trade? That chart was from October '10 and it has only gotten worse.
2) Patents are not responsible for Microsoft's ongoing monopoly. They didn't kill their competition through patent lawsuits in the 90's, they used their non-government backed monopoly.
Last edited by rathi; 02-12-11 at 04:35 PM.
It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
"Wealth of Nations," Book V, Chapter II, Part II, Article I, pg.911