I wish I could take short hand - I'd love to be able to actually go and make a transcript and actually hear the arguments. I'd stopped following it because, well, whatever the outcome Wordperfect is pretty much defunct. But here is a perfectly good example of one major reason Microsoft is so successful - their brilliant, and utterly unethical, abuse of the courts, laws, and legal system of the US. Even if Novell wins, Office will continue its dominant position. There's been some fascinating work showing that the business world is like an eco-system (some argue just one variation, but that's for another thread) and that once a company occupies a top niche, it is VERY hard to topple them unless there is outside intervention, or there is a severe disruption in the economic system that gives other competitors a chance to compete. Think wiping out wolves letting coyotes spreading into the areas wolves had lived in (wolves kill coyotes) - or the Dinosaur killer meteor strike.
Back to the abuse of US laws - you might say the MS uses the Walmart model of competition (not orginated my Walmart but the most egregious current example). You move into a market, use your size to undersell all the local stores while profits from your other divisions let you continue to operate, and then once the local competition is largely eliminated - stop dropping the prices to rock bottom and create another profit center. Walmart is smart - you don't raise the prices too high that someone else can compete, i.e. pay the costs both of opening a new store and operate it successfully - just high enough that nobody can open a new operation, and yet operate with a very lucrative profit margin.
Theodore Roosevelt, one of my favorite Presidents despite his pretty vicious statements reference Native Americans, understood how monopoly power hurts the growth of a country. You need free and open markets, and MS has done an excellent job of creating anything but this. Their abuse of their market position has truly hobbled the development of the business software market. One example is that if you create a new business program/service, MS will often make you an offer for your company, usually a very "good" offer if you ignore your growth potential.
If you don't sell to them, they will develop a similar product and offer it for less, or even free by "incorporating" those features into one of their products. That's why the morons at the EU anti-monopoly agency have pretty much been unable to touch MS - once MS "incorporates" the similar program, it will interface better with all the other MS programs out there. Sound familiar - in the period between and including DOS to Windows XP, "updates" often would nuke important features of the competitions other programs. Of course the MS offerings strangely enough almost never had a problem with these.
As a last, and parting note, of MS abusing the legal and regulatory system in the US, look up patent abuse SCO linux. SCO had a large number of Unix patents/licenses, and was a software company locked in a downward spiral. MS put several hundred million into SCO, and SCO proceeded with a series of patent lawsuits as well as letters demanding licensing fee from most, if not all, large businesses running Linux (first link). The large companies shied away from adoption of Linux, and slowed or halted the spread of Linux for several years. Now MS is directly filing patent lawsuits, and claims their are 237 patents MS owns that Linux violates - but MS will not disclose those patents! The last link actually takes MS and large corporations attitude towards software patents - the link from Wikipedia before that does a good basic job of covering the controversy about whether those are genuine "patents" versus leverage for large companies to prevent competition. As I said, they are extremely good at using and abusing the US legal system to prevent any actual competition from developing. Definitely neither a free nor fair market.
Klaatu: I'm impatient with stupidity. My people have learned to live without it.
Mr. Harley: I'm afraid my people haven't. I'm very sorry. I wish it were otherwise.
Facts burns! Facts burns us! Numbers freezes! Nasty liberals twisted it. Take it off us! - deliberate misquote while arguing factoids about healthcare cost inflation.
You may be born stupid, but ignorance is a choice - personal observation.
Who need drugs when you can have fatigue toxins and caffeine. - Keith D., law enforcement
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