RE: what if microsoft disobeyed the breakup?

From: zeb haradon (
Date: Fri Jun 09 2000 - 18:49:28 MDT

>From: mjg223 <>
>Subject: RE: what if microsoft disobeyed the breakup?
>Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000 18:03:23 -0400 (EDT)

>If I'm Microsoft, I can tell Dell to ship a copy of Office with every >PC
>or I'll decline to license them my OS and put them out of business.

So? Is it not your OS to do that with?
The assumption people often make about regulation of the economy is that by
engaging in an economic transition, you suddenly enter a sphere where you
are now working for society, which is justified to, through government,
force you to put your products on the marketplace at terms which are most
beneficial to them, not to you.
Whether this assumption is correct and noble is one point to debate. But, if
you agree that it is a bad premise, consider what it would mean to apply
your arguments to any other sphere of human relationships besides the purely
economic. What if you were really attractive and had a great since of humor,
and had a lot of romance in your life as a result. Everyone you date, if
they are monogamous to you, is being taken out of the pool of potential
mates that others could be dating. The solution to this argument would be to
perform some kind of plastic surgery to make you uglier, or perhaps limit
the amount of jokes you can tell in a day. Suppose everyone you've dated,
you have broken up with, suppose it is hundreds. Obviously you're breaking a
lot of hearts, there should be some committee to determine ways to prevent
this in the future.
The knee-jerk reaction I think, is that what you do in your sexual and
romantic life is a very personal thing, and that your business practices, by
implication, are not. This is the fundemental (and un-realized) disagreement
I think between those who would put unneccessary regulations on businesses,
and those who would not. Many people, especially the ones who actually run
businesses, feel as passionate about it as an artist feels about their art,
and this passion and sense of rage at anyone who dares regulate them is
completely justified.

>If I'm IBM and I don't like something your startup is doing, I can do
>a search on my patent database, find a couple of dozen you could plausibly
>be violating, and - right or wrong - bankrupt you in court.

If right, then good, if wrong, then yeah that's a problem. I think whenever
anyone loses a case that they initiated, they should have to pay the loser
double his legal fees.

>Putting aside the issue of whether Windows is any good or whether Microsoft
>or IBM or whoever actually does or did things like that, should they be
>allowed to?

On the issue of accusing another company of stealing a patent when they did
not: no.
Regarding the issue of refusing to sell their products to people, for ANY
reason they want: yes they should be allowed to, just as much as you should
be allowed to not buy them for any reason you want. It's puzzling to me how
anyone could believe otherwise. Why is them refusing sale of a product
somehow different from the customer refusing purchase of it? If someone does
not buy Windows because he believes Gates is part of a Zionist conspiracy,
then quite obviously that individual is insane and is failing to buy a
product for a ridiculous and harmful reason, but how absurd would it be to
force him to buy it?

>Why would we want to let them?

I don't know why you would want to.. I would want to because I'd like to
live in a world where I'm free to produce something and offer it for
exchange on 100% my own terms, and where everyone else is allowed to do the
same, because it will result in the greatest variety of products and means
to exchange them.


>Gates isn't evil, he's just an asshole, and
>Windows wouldn't have succeeded if it didn't have some merit. But
>they're not very nice people, and, having often watched them trample
>people smaller than themselves, I can't really muster much sympathy
>when they're abused by someone bigger yet. Live by the sword, die by
>the sword. I am not greatly moved by MSFT's uncomfortable discovery
>that the world is an unfair place or that it too can be the victim of
>dirty tactics. Nor will I shed a tear for the property rights of the
>richest man in history.

Gates is indeed an asshole, today there was an article - I seem to remember
it being on but it's either been removed or it was someplace else
- it's about MicroSoft joining several others in a complaint against AOL for
their unfair business practices. They obviously have no principles, and this
action by them leads me to believe that they see the business world as an
arena in which anything goes, in which there is no such thing as "fair" or
concept of rights, and in which the only rule is: if you can get away with
it, do it. MS is the lesser of two evils, but not for the reasons most
people point out. Still, I want them to win, not because they're good and
deserve it but because it sets a precedent. Just like I am glad that Larry
Flynt was not convicted for obscenity, even though he's a skumbag, and just
as I am sad that Dr. Kervorkian is in prison for helping people take
ownerships of their own lives, even though what they did with that ownership
was wrong.


Zeb Haradon (
My personal webpage:
A movie I'm directing:

Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:13:04 MDT