Re: POL: Reaction to Microsoft Ruling

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Thu Apr 06 2000 - 18:59:59 MDT

mjg223 wrote:
> On Thu, 6 Apr 2000, David Blenkinsop wrote:
> > Maybe I should try for some analogy here, I mean sheesh, next thing you
> > know, Ford Motor Co (say) might insist that their cars won't run without
> > the "integrated hubcaps" or something; at some point the presumption of
> > customers' intelligence and freedom to choose ought to be placed
> > foremost, don't you think?

Hey, you can't use Ford Bronco wheel rims on a Jeep Cherokee, so the
analogy sticks.

> Well, you can come up with absurd analogies either way. If I have no
> credible alternative to buying a Ford, can they require that I purchase a
> life-time service contract along with it? Bill Gates said, back when the
> latest round of this stuff began, that forcing Microsoft to ship Netscape
> with Windows is like forcing Coke to put a can of Pepsi in every six
> pack. In fact, it more like saying if Coke owned ninety-nine percent of
> all the supermarkets in the world then it's ethical to force them to carry
> at least a few competing products.

Sorry, MS doesn't own your computer, or anyone else's. The proper
analogy is that its like forcing GM to offer their customers the option
of having a Chrysler or a Ford engine in their Chevrolets, making them
to design and build the car without an engine, and have motor mounts
installed to allow the installation of anyone else's engine, possibly
even require that the consumer buy the car with all three engines
installed at the same time.

> Of course freedom is important, but competition and choice are important
> too. The task of government regulators is to draw an optimal, principled
> compromise between the two.

Competition doesn't come through the use of government stormtroopers.

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