View Poll Results: Was Microsoft a monopoly back in the 1990s?

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    10 37.04%
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Thread: Was Microsoft a monopoly in the 1990s?

  1. #31
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    Re: Was Microsoft a monopoly in the 1990s?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Those APIs were at the heart of the lawsuit. The simple fact is that microsoft had create secret APIs that it did not publish the specifications to, which made its software superior to run on windows than third party software. This created an unfair advantage for microsoft.

    Patents and copyrights never entered the picture, this is more akin to trade secrets actually.
    Patents enter into the picture when Microsoft makes its money off of its software. Patents are what make the trade secrets profitable in the first place.

  2. #32
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    Re: Was Microsoft a monopoly in the 1990s?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    Patents enter into the picture when Microsoft makes its money off of its software. Patents are what make the trade secrets profitable in the first place.
    At this point, I am becoming convinced that you either did not read or understand what I have previously wrote. I specifically explained how software works and where the problem actually was.

    I will state a third and final time THE SOURCE CODE IS THE TRADE SECRET AND THE PROBLEM WAS NOT PATENTS BUT THE FACT THAT THEY WERE NOT PUBLISHED.

    A low tech example of the same sort of thing is the coca-cola formula. The formula is locked in a vault and nobody outside the company can figure it out.

    Also, just for kicks, I googled the 1998 microsoft lawsuit and the word patent doesn't even show up.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 02-12-11 at 08:11 PM.

  3. #33
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    Re: Was Microsoft a monopoly in the 1990s?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    The only other operating system available at the time that would run on consumer grade hardware (meaning, not 40k+ servers or engineering workstations) was OS/2, apple, and something else I can't remember (but it had good graphics for its day), all were a joke for the needs of even a small business network.

    At that time, if you wanted to actually use a computer for the benefit of a company, it was a combination of unix (very expensive), netware (servers only), and windows (nt or 9x)

    Also software patents didn't even get started until 1994, too late to the party in this particular scenario as well.
    The case was filed in 1998. Besides:

    "The United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted patents that may be referred to as software patents since at least the early 1970s."

    Software patent - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    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
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  4. #34
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    Re: Was Microsoft a monopoly in the 1990s?

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    The case was filed in 1998. Besides:

    "The United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted patents that may be referred to as software patents since at least the early 1970s."

    Software patent - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The 1994 court case actually gave it teeth, before then the industry did not take it seriously. Also, as I just found out, if you google the 1998 microsoft case, the word patent does not show up.

    Justice Department Files Antitrust Suit Against Microsoft for Unlawfully Monopolizing Computer Software Markets

    You guys can keep believing your ridiculous fiction if you wish, but I have shown multiple times at this point that it has no basis in reality. It is obvious that you guys have no real knowledge of the case (and trust me, I do, I have been a techie for a LONG time, since I was 8) and all you have to go on is some weak correlation, nor do you actually seem to understand how computers, software, and software development actually works.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 02-12-11 at 08:17 PM.

  5. #35
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    Re: Was Microsoft a monopoly in the 1990s?

    Without patents, all of those complaints would have been meaningless as competition would have not required all of those things that Microsoft wanted. None of what Microsoft was able to do is possible without patents. And of course, there were still alternatives, but people still chose Microsoft.

    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

  6. #36
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    Re: Was Microsoft a monopoly in the 1990s?

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Without patents, all of those complaints would have been meaningless as competition would have not required all of those things that Microsoft wanted. None of what Microsoft was able to do is possible without patents. And of course, there were still alternatives, but people still chose Microsoft.
    Go back and reread my posts on how software works, what the actual problems presented in the 1998 lawsuit were, read my analogy to the coke formula, think about what you just posted, realise how wrong you are (sorry for being rude, but your insistence on this, despite me explaining to you, in painstaking detail, what actually happened, is very frustrating on my part). Or else, please cite something specific about this case and how it relates to patents (and good luck). However, at this point, you cannot back up your statements with actual facts.

    And no, there were not alternatives. The only two operating systems at the time that could truly work in a networked environment were windows and unix. It the same sense, one does not use a kitchen stove to run an industrial bakery. Sure its possible, but you will not stay in business long.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 02-12-11 at 08:27 PM.

  7. #37
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    Re: Was Microsoft a monopoly in the 1990s?

    For anyone who claims that Microsoft uses software patents as the means of maintaining their monopoly, please show the court cases in which Microsoft sued its competitors in the OS market for patent infringement.

  8. #38
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    Re: Was Microsoft a monopoly in the 1990s?

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    For anyone who claims that Microsoft uses software patents as the means of maintaining their monopoly, please show the court cases in which Microsoft sued its competitors in the OS market for patent infringement.
    in 1999, microsoft sued tomtom over its version of linux over the use of FAT32 (a method of organizing hard drives). However, this had nothing to do with its monopoly status in the 90s, obviously (I don't think tomtom even existed back then). It was settled out of court, tomtom still uses FAT32 to read SD cards and nothing was accomplished for or against in terms of microsoft's position in the industry and market share.

    Worst case, if microsoft won, the industry would have just started using another type of file organization on SD cards and the appropriate drivers would be loaded into windows when tomtom or whoever installs their software. Microsoft would have actually ended up being a net loser.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 02-12-11 at 08:41 PM.

  9. #39
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    Re: Was Microsoft a monopoly in the 1990s?

    Here is some helpful reading that may help explain the difference between a patent and a trade secret.

    Difference Between Trade Secrets & Patents | eHow.com

    Please note that the windows source code has not been disclosed to the US patent office.

  10. #40
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    Re: Was Microsoft a monopoly in the 1990s?

    in 1999, microsoft sued tomtom over its version of linux over the use of FAT32 (a method of organizing hard drives). However, this had nothing to do with its monopoly status in the 90s, obviously (I don't think tomtom even existed back then). It was settled out of court, tomtom still uses FAT32 to read SD cards and nothing was accomplished for or against in terms of microsoft's position in the industry and market share.
    You would be hard pressed to call Linux a real competitor as a consumer desktop OS back in '99.

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