Re: what if microsoft disobeyed the breakup?

From: phil osborn (
Date: Sun Jun 04 2000 - 01:04:25 MDT

>From: "John Clark" <>
>Subject: Re: what if microsoft disobeyed the breakup?
>Date: Mon, 29 May 2000 17:47:53 -0400
><> Wrote"
> > Not an option; most of MS is owned by public investors. Gates'
>stake is
> > vast, but he's very much a minority shareholder.
>Yes, Bill Gates owns 20.8%, Paul Allen owns 5.8%, Steve Ballmer owns 4.8%,
>and 37,882 other shareholders own the remainder, but direct confrontation
>with our
>wonderful benevolent government would never work even if Gates owned
>What Microsoft really needs is not better programmers but better lawyers,
>a good public relations firm. For years Microsoft bragged that it was the
>large company that didn't have a lobbyist in Washington, government
>were never a big part of their business so they foolishly thought if they
>concentrated on business and did research to improve their products so
>actually wanted to buy them then they'd be OK. They also displayed
>when they failed to debase themselves and show proper respect to Janet Reno
>when she tried to help by informing them of what the proper method of
>software was. Well Microsoft finally wised up so they do have a lobbyist in
>Washington now, but it's too little too late, they're paying the price for
>learning how to play ball with our saintly altruistic government.
> John K Clark

As an anarcho-capitalist, objectivist libertarian from the '60's on, it
pains me deeply to actually find myself even close to the same side of
things as Janet Baby-killer Reno, but the fact is that if you were really
aware of how badly the market has been served by the MS mob, and why, you
hopefully would never have made such silly remarks. MS, to me, represents
the triumph of a fundamentally idealess moneyed yuppy oligarchy in using a
corrupt system to sell amazingly shoddy products to an ignorant market. And
they didn't even invent that!

Apple, if anyone, started that whole ball rolling with their marketing of
the Apple II to the U.S. education market. The Apple II was the WORST
possible choice for an "educational computer." It cost 3 times what the
Commodore 64 or Atari 800 did. It had inferior hardware - with the
exception of its card slots, which meant more money and were only used in a
small minority of schools. It had a truly primitive OS - if you could even
call it that, with no screen editor. The kids didn't have it at home - they
had C64s or Ataris or TI's - which didn't require a college course to use.
But Apple figured out how to play that game. They put the money into
MARKETING, instead of product or R & D. And because they managed to promote
themselves so well, the purchasing authorities felt SAFE in buying an Apple
II. And hundreds of thousands of them ended up sitting in closets or
warehouses, often still shrink wrapped.

So IBM and MS just followed suit. But then MS - and possibly IBM, from what
I saw - also used dirty tricks, including stealing software, such as the
compression system on DOS 6, for which they got successfully sued and had to
pay as I recall $120 million in compensation. Similarly for the Dr. DOS
incident - but it succeeded in wiping out a superior OS, even if it did cost
them. Don't outcompete, don't make a better product. Just use the legal
costs, the rigged patent game - BUY them out and bury them... This is the
kind of yuppy scum slease that I expect from our class of new oligarchs who
treat everything as negotiable. I'm going to laugh my head off when they
finally run head-on into the real pros at that game in the near future - the
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