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RE: The Problem with Microsoft[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
- To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
- Subject: RE: The Problem with Microsoft
- From: "Dennis S. Wish PE" <wish(--nospam--at)cwia.com>
- Date: Wed, 21 Oct 1998 21:14:47 -0700
Bill Polhemus confuses questionable ethics with morals. Nothing that MS is doing affects the morals of our society - the manner in which you compete is an issue of business ethics and this will be a difficult issue to resolve since our constitution nevery anticipated specific technology issues. Let me ask a questions. If Microsoft is (lets say) unethical for giving their Browser away to the public to keep Netscape from competing, how ethical is it for Netscape to follow suit and release their product on the market to help destroy other competitors. Is it more ethical for one company to have a monopoly or two to share the market and kill off all other competition? Let's assume a company, who anticipates that a tool within their software is a key element to the future of that software, integrates it into their product. Is it unethical to include the tool in the package when the product already controls over 80% of the market? Is it unethical if the company software controls only 60% or 50% of the market? At what point is it ethical to include it? Finally, is it ethical of a company to purposely omit a tool which users feel is important to the product because the company wants to develop an aftermarket of support products by independent developers. Is it ethical to expect the end user to pay more for a tool which most believe should have been included in the package from the start? An example of this might be AutoDesk and the lack of features that, had Autodesk included, may have eliminated the business of one of it's support development aftermarkets. Microsoft, IMHO, is not innocent of some lack of judgement in their marketing scheme. If it is true that they purposly threatened to cut off a manufacture from their operating system because they wished to include another browser, then I think they violated an ethic in business. I am split on the issue of being able to disable IE from Windows so a user can use another product. One one side, the user has the right to be able to make a decision and without different flavors of Windows available, they do not have this choice. On the other hand, IE is an important feature in Windows 98 and is seen as the principle tool for the operating system personal and business networking in the future evolution of the product. In this case, MicroSoft should have all right of control. Finally, they control a large market share, but they are not the only company out there with an operating system. If another company does not take an agressive marking stradegy to compete with Microsoft (assuming that they are on a fair field which many believe to be the problem) why is Microsoft to blame? Microsoft has already spent millions to support Apple by rewritting the software to the MAC operating system. This has kept Microsoft from gaining a monopoly - yet they paid to protect themselves (is paying for protection ethical?). I think it boils down to proving that any one company has gained sucess by taking advantage of the competition through unethical business practices or through acts which are not legal. This is the issue - not how much of the market Microsoft controls or if Internet Explorer should be disconnected from the operating system. Dennis Wish PE -----Original Message----- From: Bill Polhemus [mailto:poly(--nospam--at)flash.net] Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 1998 5:31 AM To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org Subject: Re: The Problem with Microsoft Bill Allen, S.E. wrote: > There is nothing immoral or illegal about buying companies. It happens > everyday. Illegal, perhaps not. But immoral, yes it is. But beyond that: We as users of services and products need to signify that we don't like being boxed into a corner, where only one provider is available (or even TWO, for that matter). I have always been surprised that business users have put up with this. > And no, this is NOT the reason the DoJ has MS in court. Yes it is. No, not this incident, but the anti-competitive tactics that MS has always used, is the "excuse" that DoJ has used to justify punishing MS (for not contributing enough money to the Democratic Party--MS has only THREE lobbyists in Washington, far, far fewer than any company its size).
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