, Research Paper
Associate Justice John Paul Stevens
United States Supreme Court
Dear Judge Stevens,
I am a freshmen student attending Penn State University. I would like to take a moment from your involving world to express my opinion on why Microsoft should not be broken up. I feel that the outcome of the verdict will have a ripple affect throughout the economy and can possibly be damaging. I know the government must do what is politically right, and at best try to follow and obey all laws. But there are certain laws that must be broken in order to handle business successfully and efficiently. Please take the time to read this letter to hear out my argument.
As a freshmen student, making the transaction to college from high school normally is very difficult. Things that seem the same as it did back home makes me feel at ease. The posters on the wall and the soft pillows are the small things that remind me of home. Even the computers here all run on Microsoft, and use the Microsoft software. As most of our computers at home did, this makes it easy for us to use the computer in the computer labs. I am going to try to prove a point on how Microsoft is monopolizing in a good way for everyone except the competing companies. Microsoft is not trying to intentionally hurt the other companies only trying to improve life and help the people in society.
Monopolies are considered to be illegal in the United States, because of how it eliminates competition. Competition is what gives consumers the advantage of being able to freely choose its suppliers. Pointing to the fact that without competition the supplier can have absolute control over the consumers, without fearing its competitors for cheaper prices or other substitutes. This means the price of a product can be sold for any amount, which Microsoft did for the sale of its Windows 98. They have been found guilty in that they were selling the product in a determined price to maximize its profits. On this I have to agree with the government, because they are cheating the people. But that is not a reason to punish them severely, or to break them down into smaller companies. Just because they have no competition it goes to show how consumers have made them the best, and we accept no substitutes other than Windows. Microsoft is not hurting the people, which a monopoly intentionally hurts its customers.
Some times monopolies are needed just to be rational about things. For example, if Penn State ran their computers on Linux many students would be confused. Myself included, I am not familiar with any operating system other than Windows. As likely others are probably not familiar with other suites other than Windows. Students who are familiar with Microsoft Excel would have to learn how to use Corel Spreadsheet, if there were no Microsoft Office software. That can be very time consuming, especially for busy students, to learn how to use a word processor just to write their papers. Most students would probably even refuse to change; knowing there is no need to learn how to operate a different system when most of the world uses Windows.
Also for businesses, new eligible employees probably all know how to run on the Windows system. To use several systems to operate their computers, the businesses would need to buy many upgrades instead of just one. They would also have to hire employees who know how to operate on the other systems. This can become very expensive over several decades that the software programs would change.
For the consumers having just one brand name to buy from is very relaxing. Knowing we are buying a product from Windows we are guaranteed that it is compatible with the computer we have at home. This makes buying programs and games a lot easier for many people who consider themselves computer-illiterate. Computers are changing very rapidly and programs need to be upgraded frequently to work at the best of its abilities. Changing is not very easy for people, and sticking with the same company and upgrading is easier then switching from one to the other.
Microsoft runs on about 90% of all computers, virtually making it look as they have no competition. Linux runs on about less than 3% making it no comparison to Windows. Bill Gates said it best, and I quote, .It’s a shame. It’s a shame. [Laughing.] You’re not supposed to have a court telling you that you have no competition when you have competition! They are trying to change the rules of the game in a way that would be very chilling, very damaging. x(Time). The people have chosen to use Windows instead of Linux, we chose to have Windows as our monopoly.
Breaking Microsoft into smaller divisions of companies would confuse most people. Now they would not know which program they would need to run their computers and which will or will not work at home. The idea of Microsoft being broken up is inconceivable, because it is a company viewed by many to be the most successful. Breaking them up just for being too successful is just like breaking up a dynasty of a sports team. Telling the Chicago Bulls that they are not allowed to win any more championships, it s time for other teams to have a chance. The people have built Microsoft into an empire, so the people should decide whether to break the company up. .Just as corporations listen to their customers, so do government officials listen to their constituents, x Bill Gates comments (Maximum PC).
It is unfair to give the weak a chance, even if the people are unwilling to accept them. In today s world the strong survive, while the weak fall apart. Thousands of companies fail each year because they are eliminated from competition. Breaking up Microsoft can possibly hurt the stock market even more, bringing down the Dow Jones. Microsoft having a big impact on the stock market can be seen this past spring. After Judge Jackson s (the Judge hearing the case) ruling it caused weeks of gut-wrenching roller-coaster stock rides (Time). This can be a big deal for the economy that is already struggling to survive and stay afloat. Both the U.S. and Seattle will see the damages with the stock of Microsoft falling. Seattle s economy has been boosted with Microsoft having to be located there. .The impact on the state economy is just unbelievable, x says Chang Mook Sohn, Washington s chief economist (USA Today).
Please take into consideration the fact that more people in society will be affected with the outcome of the decision, then employees of computer companies. Even though it is unfair for others to be knocked out of the race, Microsoft has built itself up so that the people trust them. It is easier for the people to stay with the household name Microsoft, then to hear a different name. I know there are many reasons to break Microsoft up, but the good outweighs the bad. Tell me Judge can you personally say that you wouldn t mind having to change to Linux