Re: Why Microsoft is a Threat to Freedom

Michael Lorrey (
Wed, 12 Nov 1997 10:36:46 -0500

Arjen Kamphuis wrote:
> At 21:23 3-11-97 Lee Daniel Crocker <> wrote:
> >>
> >> Why Microsoft is a Threat to Freedom
> >> [the usual tripe...]
> >
> >While I have nothing against a voluntary consumer boycott, why is
> >it that the MS-bashers always seem to want someone to use guns, like
> >the FTC, rather than actually competing with them?
> Guns? Real or otherwise? Haven't seen those. What's the FTC, some US
> Federal agency?

Federal Trade Commission, high and almighty protectors of the
mercantilist oligarchy from the threat of (gasp) a monopoly that only
controls less than 90% of the OS market, with a anti trust suite against
a company that only occupies the #2 position in the browser market.
Where is the antitrust investigation against Netscape for its 70% share
of the browser market? I guess payoffs to the DNC and Clinton for Prez
Cmmty will buy off anything...

> >Why are those
> >who don't like Microsoft's tacics not using those same tacticts,
> >since they obviously work? (And don't give me any bullshit about
> >how morally upstanding a company Netscape is).
> The fact that a tactic works is not always a reason to use it, the way
> Saddam Hussein runs Iraq obviously works, he's still got his job unlike Mr.
> Bush. That doesn't make it OK (I think). The people at Netscape problably
> aren't angels but at least they don't treaten my free choice in Operating
> systems and PC-applications.

No, only Andreesson and his buddy Ellison at Oracle want you to buy a
castrated PC, called an NC, so you can only run their applications on
THEIR servers, and you'll have to pay each time you use them. Now
there's a route to take for personal choice....Or you could buy a Mac,
pay twice as much for the same performance you get in your PC. There's
another choice.

> I use OS/2 for most 'small' stuff and AIX (IBM UNIX) for 'big' stuff.
> Haven't been able to find a good mailer for OS/2 (something that can beat
> Eudora) so I use a Win 3.X box for that. OS/2 is pretty good, but you don't
> find as many nice app's on the net. The same for games, most are designed
> to run under DOS or W-95 (which is basically DOS with a nice shell). I
> really regret that IBM didn't market OS/2 correctly since it has always
> been (technically) better than windows.

Right now I'm developing HTML front ends for legacy cobol AIX
applications, that will be usable by anyone on the net with access to
the front pages. XWindows is fun, and Netscape works just fine on AIX
most current customer use is via dumb terminals which they will be using
ALPHABrowser with, but while my bosses look at my work as extending the
usability of the dumb terminals our customers use, I look at it as
bridging them toward greater graphical capability when they get bored
with the same old vanilla, they can go over to any graphical system and
run the same apps from the browser of their choice...

> >Here's a free clue: the MS monopoly /will/ fall, as every so-called
> >monopoly in history always has, despite the fact that the government
> >will do everything in its power to keep it in power.
> Was is not the US governement that broke up the monopoly of Standard Oil,
> thus ending a monopoly that consumers and the competition could not break?

Standard Oil had a monopoly on drilling technology and a capital
advantage in distribution. Once drilling technology advanced, and
distribution diversified, there was no need of antitrust action. THis
was already starting when the gov't brought its case against Standard.

> How about the diamond monopoly that DeBeers company has, they own more than
> 95% of all the diamond mines in the world and are working hard to buy those
> that remain, they have been dictating prices for a century or so now.

DeBeers began as and remains a monopoly only by the laws of South
Africa. It once was, in its infancy, merely a competetive cooperative of
claimholders. GOvernment made it the giant it is today.

> monopoly can only be broken by a new technology (Like MNT) that makes
> diamond mining obsolete, but even then they may buy the patents of such a
> discovery and thus keep control.

If a patent holder is that small minded to accept the bribe of current
monoliths, then they obviously aren't smart enough to have figured out
the be all and end all invention for that technology, and contrary to
the paranoid dreams of resentful dreamers everywhere, most companies
that buy up patents do indeed intend to use them. The problem comes when
they figure out that such and so invetion is only cost effective if the
cost of a given resource rises to a certain level. Usually by the time
prices reach that level, or the cost of the technology to build the
invention goes down (like Moore's law dictates for electronics), someone
has come along with an even better invention....

> It is well known that Shell (Royal Dutch Oil) frequently buys patents for
> solarenergy and hydrogen fuelcells and puts them in a vault.

And they do and have used them when the cost of energy rises, or the
cost of the invention drops to the point where the new invention is a
cost effective change in technology.
> >And it won't
> >be because some clueless group of whiners staged a boycott; it will
> >be because someone with courage, vision, talent, and creativity will
> >have made a better product. If you want to hasten that day, fine:
> >don't avoid MS products; just keep buying good ones. Innovation is
> >what kills monopolies,
> Anbody that tries to make a M$ competing product will be aquired by MS or
> will be cut of with technical incompatibility tricks. That failing, the
> legal team of MS will create some clever licensing article that makes it
> illegal for end-users to effectively use such a product in combination with
> any MS-product (they tried that against Netscape).
> >and MS has never innovated in its life.
> Here we agree 100%
> And in spite of this they (effectively) have a monopoly, so talent and good
> product are apparently only (a small) part of the equation. Carpet-bomming
> marketing technique also has a lot to do with it.

WHy is it that anti-MSers only perceive "innovation" to pertain to
software technology itself? That is the sort of narrow minded view of
the world that explains why these people and the systems they worship
never go anywhere commercially. They have no idea that there is such a
thing as commercial, marketing, or entrepreneurial innovation. How it is
sold, how it is made, and how it gets to market are just as important as
how it works to its commerical success.
> Daniel, with all due respect, why do you have such an unshakeble faith in
> the free market mechanism as the best, only and ultimate resource
> allocator? Isn't it a bit dogmatic? While free market is probably the best
> system in many cases it is _far_ from perfect and in some situations other
> mechanisms can complement it. There's nothing wrong with aknowledging that
> some things can't and won't be solved by market forces.

Its alright to acknowledge that some things don't need the hand of big
brother to come and fix things for spoiled little brats who can't make
it on their own. Isn't that a bit dogmatic? Why do you have such an
unshakeable faith in the moral righteousnesss of government
bureaucracies to best determine who and what is competetive and who and
what is "cheating"?

> The idea that there is a single method/solution/answer to all problems is
> (IHMO) denying the complexity of some of those problems. How much would
> people have been willing to pay to win the cold war? I don't think the
> zillion dollars it cost. But it was money well spent considering the
> alternative and, in retrospect, maybe even a good investment with the
> technology spinn-off and the Chinese market opening up and such...
> >Someone should go the idea futures exchange and make the following
> >proposition, so that I can buy shares:
> >
> >"By January 1, 2010, Microsoft Corporation (or the aggregate of all
> >sub-entities it may have been ordered to split into) will own less
> >than 50% market share in its product with highest sales."

I'll agree with that, but I'll also say that no other company's app will
have more than 10% of the same market, cause they still won't make them
as good. THough that could change. I got a rather lengthy and in depth
response to my list of bugs/fix demands, etc. from Corel the other day,
regarding my extreme dissatisfaction with their Ventura product. It was
the first time I'd sent a real life letter of dissatisfaction to a
company. SOme of the problems I've found they have just fixed in the
newest maint. upgrade, and other suggestions they liked and are
implementing, while a few that I thought obvious and important they wont
be doing, but I batted .800 with them so I guess I did pretty good. This
is known as "market signals"

			Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------	Inventor of the Lorrey Drive
MikeySoft: Graphic Design/Animation/Publishing/Engineering
How many fnords did you see before breakfast today?