Micrisoft-A Modern Monopoly Essay, Research Paper
Many have asked the question of whether Microsoft has turned into a monopoly of the high technology and software industry. This question is an easy one to answer, yes it is. Over the years, Microsoft has used its wealth and influence over the software industry to pull away from the competition by threatening competitors of withdrawing contracts and software deals. This is how Microsoft has grown to become a modern monopoly.
Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson presided over the case and at the end of a long trail found Microsoft to be guilty of violating the federal anti-trust law. Microsoft was also found guilty of harming consumers by overcharging for many of its products. In a anti-trust case, all damages are tripled. Microsoft speaks in fear of other operating systems when they themselves control 90% of the industry. If you include Apple, Microsoft still has control of 80%.
There are many major moves that Bill Gates and Microsoft have made to support the findings that Microsoft has used its power to take control over the industry. First of all Microsoft refuses to make the source-code of Windows public so that some similar products could not be made. In 1994 after Netscape had launched Netscape, its new browser, Microsoft proposed a deal to absorb Netscape into Windows and when Netscape refused, Microsoft made its own browser (Internet Explorer) and included it in the Windows package. In 1995, Intel developed a new technology called NSP (Native Signal Processing). Gates thought that this would undermine Windows and threatened to cut support for Intel PCs, Intel then stopped all work on NSP. Then when Apple had made Netscape its default browser Microsoft told Apple that they would cancel Microsoft s Mac Office software and later IE (Internet Explorer) was Apple s default browser. Microsoft then persuaded America Online to offer IE in return for a AOL folder on the Windows Desktop, Microsoft made sure that Netscape was never offered or promoted by AOL. In 1995, Intuit started to offer Netscape with its software and Gates offered $1 million in return for switching browsers and a year later Intuit switched browsers. Then in 1995 Microsoft licensed Java, which is a language that runs anywhere and made their own version that is only compatible to Windows. Microsoft is also accused of over pricing Windows at $89 when they first considered it at $49, this would mean that they would have to pay $120 for every copy of Windows sold.
With all this against them is it possible that they would be found not guilty? Jean-Louis Gassee said I wonder do they really belive this…? after Microsoft had said that all they want to do was be innovative.
Many things were said by Microsoft and others of what Microsoft had become and has done. Gates had said …Microsoft s actions and innovations were fair and legal, and have brought tremendous benefits to consumers, our industry and to the United States economy…I m proud of the great work our employees have done over the years. Also during his annual speech at the Comdex technology conference he tried to give the impression that Microsoft was giving consumers choices on how to use computers etc., but many …expressed doubts of whether Microsoft was truly embracing the idea of competition. An aid to one of the attorneys general said There s more tension between the states and Justice…than there was during the trial. Speaking of the debate of what to do with Microsoft.
The remedy for Microsoft is still being thought over by many. Many say that Microsoft is to be broken up into smaller pieces or give up the source-code for Windows . Some also say that Microsoft should re-write its contracts, modify its behavior and many different ideas on how to break it up and/or to give up its most valued possession, the source-code for Windows . One thing that would probably happen is that is Microsoft was to be broken up then the part that got Gates and Windows would win over the others. There is also the fact that regardless of what happens to Microsoft, it will still have a huge impact on the industry for a very long time.
Despite the findings and overwhelming evidence against their case, Microsoft continues to disagree and strongly oppose the idea of them being a monopoly and violating the Sherman Act, the basis of the anti-trust laws. Some agree with Microsoft that the fact that other companies are getting hurt and that Microsoft does business in a very aggressive way doesn t meant that they re a monopoly. I agree with that, but the fact is that even though they got where they are now legally, they turned into something illegal. There is just too much going against them to prove otherwise. Microsoft in my opinion, is a total monopoly beyond any doubt.