Tony Belding (
Mon, 27 Apr 1998 14:56:25 -0600

Kris Ganjam <> wrote:

KG> The alleged purpose of the Antitrust laws was to protect competition;
KG> that purpose was based on the socialistic fallacy that a free,
KG> unregulated market will inevitably lead to the establishment of
KG> coercive monopolies.

That "socialist fallacy" falls very closely in line with historical fact in
many industries, particularly those which depend upon huge capital
investments. Banking, for example.

KG> But, in fact, no coercive monopoly has ever been or ever can be
KG> established by means of free trade on a free market.

And if anyone finds an example -- such as Microsoft -- then we'll ignore it,
since it does't fit into our theory. Although to be fair, Microsoft's
monopoly *is* enforced by the power of the US Government, in the form of many
copyrights and software patents. Just imagine how quickly Microsoft would
crack down in the courts on any company that produced a MS-Windows compatible

Microsoft *obviously* have a monopoly. No other company is legally able to
produce operating systems compatible with the huge majority of software
available on the marketplace -- software designed for MS-Windows. There are
not only legal obstacles preventing any other company from muscling in, but
also technical roadblocks: MS have very intentionally made their OS large and
complex, and its inner workings occult, and subject to periodic change, so
that it's impractical for any competitor to attempt cloning it. (They were
stung once by DR-DOS, so obviously Mr. Gates doesn't want that happening

I make no secret of my antipathy toward Microsoft. This company has
single-handedly set back the development of the computer industry 10 years or
more. They've built incredible success upon grossly inferior (often downright
bone-headed) products and lucky historical accidents. They've used their
"compatibility standards" as a mallet to bludgeon down any competing platforms
or innovative products that might have challenged them. They bought and
buried competitors who they couldn't otherwise crush. Worst of all, Microsoft
have colluded with hardware makers and retailers to lock PC owners into a
never-ending spiral of hardware and software upgrades (driven by
ever-more-inefficient MS operating systems), a scam that has bilked consumers
out of untold billions of dollars.

A couple of days ago I saw a telling clip on the news. They were talking
about possible legal trouble for the release of Windows98. They had an expert
who said THE INDUSTRY REALLY NEEDS WINDOWS98! Why did he think we need it so
badly? Because it's a better product? It will allow people to do more with
SOFTWARE. Of course! Win98 will need more RAM, more processor speed, more
hard drive space -- so, people will have to upgrade their computers. That's
good for business! And all the software companies will jump in with new and
improved software, designed to "take advantage of the advanced features of
Windows98". The new software won't actually be any more useful than the old
software, only somewhat bigger and slower, but it'll sure be good for sales!

Many people in the industry are not afraid to admit publicly that this scam is
taking place. Why should they care if people know? It's not like there's any
other viable platform that people can turn to. Oh, there's Macintosh, I
guess, but Mr. Gates now has a finger in that pie too.

Finally, an observation that was recently published in The Funny Times:

> The classically-minded among us may have noted a new TV ad for
> Microsoft's Internet Explorer e-mail (sic) program which features
> the cheery line "Where do you want to go today?" while the chorus
> sings "Confutatis maledictis, flammis acribus addictis" from
> Mozart's Requiem. It means: "The damned and the accursed are
> convicted to the flames of hell."

   Tony Belding