Microsoft has become by far the most dominant computer company on the planet. Three MS shareholders are multi-billionaires, with Bill Gates at the top as the world’s wealthiest individual. Hundreds of others are millionaires. Market value of MS shares exceeds that of the big three U.S. auto companies combined. One might think that MS has become so enriched mostly because it has produced wonderfully innovative products. Don’t believe it.
Microsoft’s products have long been hugely overpriced. How has it gotten away with this? Recent anti-trust proceedings against MS by a raft of companies, U.S. state governments and the U.S. federal government are giving a picture.
It appears that Bill Gates and company have been ruthlessly crushing competition over the years. Threats to competitors, coercive licencing conditions imposed on manufacturers for the right to include the Windows operating system on their products, strategies to destroy or buy up competitors and manipulative marketing strategies (promise soon – knowing you can’t deliver for years, so customers won’t buy competing products) have helped MS to eliminate most competition.
Vital information about the Windows operating systems is withheld from competing developers of applications. Companies have complained about the MS code seeming to cripple their programs’ compatibility with Windows. Most are fearful about going public with complaints or refusing to play ball with Microsoft’s demands. At a 1997 Washington D.C. conference on Microsoft, speaker Andrew Shulman stated, “Windows supports third-party applications similar to the way a rope supports someone about to be hanged.” The software giant’s reputation for ruthless retaliation and Bill Gates’s frequent and intense temper tantrums are well known. This is all a serious abuse of the free market.
The flawed Windows 95 and 98 operating systems are very prone to crashes, especially for heavy users who have lots of complex programs on their systems. It would be delightful if the millions of frustrated Windows users could get together and launch a multi-billion-dollar class-action suit against MS for the billions of dollars of wasted time (no exaggeration) spent coping with Windows’ flaws.
Dangerous Microsoft Monopoly
Considering how computer-dependent the world is becoming, it is dangerous for one company to have such control over the operating systems of more than 90 per cent of the world’s computers. Why? Control over the operating system (Windows or NT) is especially control over what will or won’t work with the OS (programs and hardware). This gives massive economic and coercive power to the keeper of the OS. More significantly, though, it ultimately gives MS control over information creation and distribution – the most important computer product. Massive information control becomes control over the direction of society.
The staunchly pro-abortion, pro-population-control multi-billionaire Ted Turner uses his information-control power to the advantage of his agenda. His much wealthier friend Bill Gates could potentially do far more damage.
Gates has been trying desperately to gain monopoly control over the Internet. At the Washington conference, another speaker, Jamie Watt, stated that, “MS is attempting to lock in the entire Internet and make it proprietary by controlling access gates to the Internet.”
Here’s how it works: MS has made its Internet Explorer browser a mandatory part of Windows software sold each year. The browser has also been given away by the millions and computer manufacturers have been forced to include it on all the new computers they sell. Because of the Windows OS monopoly and the above strategy, Internet browsing will become another Microsoft monopoly. Then MS can control what words come up first in searches, the viewing of sites via only its own browser, what products, services and information get priority on the Internet and so on.
Microsoft is expanding big-time into travel, banking, real estate, investment services, magazines and car sales. Its goal is to achieve a monopoly. So on the Net, it will attempt to dominate these fields and rake in billions of dollars. Samuel Goodhope, special assistant to the attorney-general of Texas, stated, “The information superhighway is becoming Bill Gates and a Microsoft toll road.”
Microsoft is by no means all bad. Its products are relatively quite good and it has played a huge role in expanding the everyday use of computers. Lets pray for Bill Gates. It would be wonderful to have him on the side of life and family. Still, let’s not tempt Bill and Microsoft anymore. If possible and practical, don’t buy or use Microsoft products. There are a lot of wonderful programs produced by other companies. Healthy competition is one of the best solutions to Microsoft’s – and any other giant corporation’s – dangerous concentration of power.