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

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  • Yes

    10 37.04%
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    16 59.26%
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Thread: Was Microsoft a monopoly in the 1990s?

  1. #41
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    Re: Was Microsoft a monopoly in the 1990s?

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    You would be hard pressed to call Linux a real competitor as a consumer desktop OS back in '99.
    My mistake, it was 2009, not 99. I brainfarted on the first digit.

    Microsoft files patent lawsuit against TomTom over Linux-based GPS systems -- Engadget

    I agree though. The first time I used Linux was a redhat version (before it became fedora core), redhat 7 or 8 I think and it was terrible. It was so bad, I uninstalled windows in order to force myself to use and learn it.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 02-12-11 at 08:39 PM.

  2. #42
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    Re: Was Microsoft a monopoly in the 1990s?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    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.
    Some examples of monopolies that were broken up, and explains that they got to their large market share through increasing efficiency and lowering cost.
    Anti-trust, Anti-truth - Thomas J. DiLorenzo - Mises Daily

    So now let's talk more specifically about Microsoft:

    To arrive at a so-called monopoly market share, the trial court accepted a definition of the relevant market ("single user desktop PCs that use an Intel-compatible chip") that conveniently excluded all of the computers and networking software made by Microsoft's major rivals such as Apple, Sun, Novell, and a host of other companies. In addition, counting only licensed systems allowed Judge Jackson to exclude arbitrarily all of the operating systems sold at retail, those downloaded from the Web, and all "naked" computers shipped without any operating system installed at all. . . . If market share is meaningful at all in antitrust analysis (extremely doubtful), Microsoft's actual share of any realistic relevant market was less than 70% and not enough for any monopoly designation.

    . . .

    Nor was the Netscape browser ever unfairly "foreclosed" or "excluded" from the market; PC users downloaded millions of copies of Netscape's browser during the period of alleged exclusion by Microsoft.
    A Politically Incorrect Guide to Antitrust Policy - D.T. Armentano - Mises Daily

    So why did Microsoft have such a large market share? They made a good product. Sure, patents help, even if you can't point to a specific case, people would avoid trying to infringe on that patent. Again, no one was ever prevented from entering the market. Microsoft was just simply the best at the time. Any problems were due to patents.

    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

  3. #43
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    Re: Was Microsoft a monopoly in the 1990s?

    Anyone miss 'Word Perfect'?

  4. #44
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    Re: Was Microsoft a monopoly in the 1990s?

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Some examples of monopolies that were broken up, and explains that they got to their large market share through increasing efficiency and lowering cost.
    Anti-trust, Anti-truth - Thomas J. DiLorenzo - Mises Daily

    So now let's talk more specifically about Microsoft:



    A Politically Incorrect Guide to Antitrust Policy - D.T. Armentano - Mises Daily

    So why did Microsoft have such a large market share? They made a good product. Sure, patents help, even if you can't point to a specific case, people would avoid trying to infringe on that patent. Again, no one was ever prevented from entering the market. Microsoft was just simply the best at the time. Any problems were due to patents.
    If you think nobody was prevented from entering the market, than you obviously did not understand what I wrote about programmatic interfaces.

  5. #45
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    Re: Was Microsoft a monopoly in the 1990s?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    If you think nobody was prevented from entering the market, than you obviously did not understand what I wrote about programmatic interfaces.
    Microsoft only had about a 70% market share, there were other OS's that could be used. The only way people were prevented from entering the market was through patents. Otherwise, Microsoft could do nothing to stop anyone.

    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. #46
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    Re: Was Microsoft a monopoly in the 1990s?

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Microsoft only had about a 70% market share, there were other OS's that could be used. The only way people were prevented from entering the market was through patents. Otherwise, Microsoft could do nothing to stop anyone.
    No monopoly prevents market entrance entirely, that isn't a requirement for it to be considered a monopoly.

    It doesn't appear to be patents that prevented market entry, it was:

    1. Trade secrets (as Mega points out). The develop source code, but what they deliver to customers is a black box that "just works".

    2. Copyright - if you managed to steal their source code, you can't just copy/paste it and not get in trouble.

    3. Integration - In many software systems, once they get large and expansive enough, it looks something like this.
    Software bundle does process a,b,c,d, they are all tied together.
    A competitor has to bite of a small enough chunk to make it feasible, so they try to create processb, for example, better than the monopoly. They do, they do it 2x better, for 1/2 the cost!! A clear winner. Yet it's 100% useless, and unable to compete. Because it can't know how to talk to processA and C efficiently, no customer would be able to use it. This goes on an on, to costs of changing systems, training costs, expertise, etc. It effectively prevents competitive market entry this way.

    Not saying what's bad or good, just trying to point out what I think the software monopoly looks like. That MS email describing integration was spot on (obviously, they ruled an industry that way). Many software markets have similar dominance. Open access is starting to bleed over into old guard software of all types..but it's slow going.

    It is not insane in large markets to consider forcing vendors to allow interfacing with their tool if it's part of a "flow". They don't need to give up the inner workings, just have it terminate in such a way that people can plug other software into it. As long as its evenly enforced, it's not terribly restrictive and it helps the market compete.
    Last edited by Mach; 02-17-11 at 06:44 PM.

  7. #47
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    Re: Was Microsoft a monopoly in the 1990s?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mach View Post
    1. Trade secrets (as Mega points out). The develop source code, but what they deliver to customers is a black box that "just works".
    Then Microsoft, by this method, still has a monopoly of Internet Explorer. Trade Secrets are not a problem, as secrets tend not to stay secrets very long.

    2. Copyright - if you managed to steal their source code, you can't just copy/paste it and not get in trouble.
    But isn't borrowing their code, learning the lessons from it, and using it yourself also a crime?

    3. Integration - In many software systems, once they get large and expansive enough, it looks something like this.
    Software bundle does process a,b,c,d, they are all tied together.
    A competitor has to bite of a small enough chunk to make it feasible, so they try to create processb, for example, better than the monopoly. They do, they do it 2x better, for 1/2 the cost!! A clear winner. Yet it's 100% useless, and unable to compete. Because it can't know how to talk to processA and C efficiently, no customer would be able to use it. This goes on an on, to costs of changing systems, training costs, expertise, etc. It effectively prevents competitive market entry this way.
    A ton of people did this with Netscape though since they didn't want to use Internet Explorer.

    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

  8. #48
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    Re: Was Microsoft a monopoly in the 1990s?

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Microsoft only had about a 70% market share, there were other OS's that could be used. The only way people were prevented from entering the market was through patents. Otherwise, Microsoft could do nothing to stop anyone.
    Now you are talking about patents again?

    I thought I had gotten you past that. I guess not

    Oh well, I guess this is a useless exercise when you do not obviously understand any of my points.

  9. #49
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    Re: Was Microsoft a monopoly in the 1990s?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Now you are talking about patents again?

    I thought I had gotten you past that. I guess not

    Oh well, I guess this is a useless exercise when you do not obviously understand any of my points.
    I never dropped it. Just becuase you don't bring up a patent in a lawsuit does not mean that it is not discouraging competition. If you know that what you want to do is going to violate a patent then you have no reason to do it. You'll be shut down, it's illegal, so why start it in the first place?

    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

  10. #50
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    Re: Was Microsoft a monopoly in the 1990s?

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    I never dropped it. Just becuase you don't bring up a patent in a lawsuit does not mean that it is not discouraging competition. If you know that what you want to do is going to violate a patent then you have no reason to do it. You'll be shut down, it's illegal, so why start it in the first place?
    I just literally wrote some software to work and I probably violated some patents doing so. However, I don't care because the chances of whoever is offended finding out is next to nil. Software is going to get written with or without patents because in general enforcement sucks, largely because its very hard to know how software was written without getting to the source code.

    Heck, look at linux, there are likely many patent violations in that project, but it keeps happening anyway. It may not seem logical to you, but there you go. Also, this has nothing to do with microsoft's position in the late 90s.

    Ultimately though, since you seem to know nothing about what actually happened, I suggest you educate yourself beyond lew rockwell and mises and look at the real world before you bring up issues you don't understand.

    peace out.

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