Sheeps and Microsoft

Essay by poshwang April 2004

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During the hearings in which the 19 states and the DOJ tried to determine if Microsoft and its Windows operating system (OS) was a monopoly, I listened keenly as executives of the high tech industry tried to explain technology to members of the U.S. government, and how the technology industry had worked. One particularly interesting exchange occurred when then Netscape CEO Jim Barksdale stood up and addressed the room:

"How many of you use computers?" he had asked. The majority of the sheep, er government officials, in the room raised their hands. He then asked:

"How many people here who use computers run Microsoft's Windows on their machines? Again, the majority in the room raised their hands in affirmation. What blew me away was his next statement:

"That my friends, is a monopoly."

He then proceeded to his seat and sat down. I didn't understand it. I thought to myself, huh? How can Microsoft be a monopoly with its Windows operating system when there has always been Apple Computer and its MacOS? My first two computers were Macs.

I was dumbfounded.

So, what the US government is saying with its decision to break up Microsoft into two companies, is, GOVERNMENT knows what IS better for you and what IS better IS for Microsoft two be broken apart, because the way it conducts business has harmed consumers. Huh? Does it all depend on what your definition of the word IS is? Has Microsoft harmed me? Not. Do I get my work done with Microsoft products, however mediocre, at best, that some of them are? Absolutely.

The government didn't tell me what kind of PC to buy. Consumers decided to buy Windows-based PCs versus Mac-based PCs. And because the people, the consumer, who have (at least in the US) the...