Background on Microsoft's tacticsThe information presented here is highly relevant to the next sections, it sets the background in which this platform is developed and is the main reason why cleaning up and maintaining windows platform is both necessary and difficult.
In order to understand the scale of the damage caused by Microsoft's monopoly, you should be aware of a few simple facts:
- Microsoft is a convicted monopolist, in the USA (US Department of Justice) and in Europe (Commissioner's Statement)
- They have repeatedly used illegal practices to stifle competition, and only just lately stopped denying any wrong doing - but still strangely claiming this is has never hurt consumers
- This has allowed them to grow from 10% to around 25% of the average cost of any new PC sold.
There have been some very amusing remarks on this subject (see comments)
The profit margins on the products that have market dominance are usually around at least 30 to 50%
More than 95% of consumers will pay this tax whether they will ever use the products or not: you are not given the choice and you cannot get a refund (except in the few countries that have started to fight back).
This is also known as the Microsoft tax, the only worldwide tax paid directly by the general public to a private company.
- The current laxism in defending consumer rights, often pre-empted by copyright and patent abuse, means that remedies taken by the courts, if any, amount to letting Microsoft decide how to execute them - or not. By being able to charge for licensing technologies that they have force fed to the industry, they are able to set the barriers of entry. Controlling competition or at least profiting from it more than the competitors could ever do themselves.
- Lies (I, Cringely)
- Their powerful marketing machinery seems almost capable of changing history, and you may encounter such flawed ideas as:
Microsoft has helped economic development through de facto standardization, or through innovation, etc.
Fortunately, this documented media brainwashing, heavily sponsored by bribes ("Microsoft McCarthyism") is now struggling to hide the facts in the information age, the truth is that Microsoft has always resisted most of the important technological advances in computing of the past 20 years, including:
- The mouse and desktop "windows": it took Microsoft many years to come up with a half decent graphical operating system. They are now suing lindows.com and any other company that remotely sounds like "windows", even though they did not create the concept, and only reluctantly followed the idea years after it was apparent that it was successful.
- The Internet Protocols, backbone of the Internet, which handle transport and format of email, web browsing, etc.
Microsoft pushed its own, incompatible (and inferior) protocols (NetBios, NBT..) for years and resisted this fantastic evolution
- More recently: they only provided their systems in more languages after Linux started providing internationalization in many more languages
- Standardization: even between them the various windows platforms are incompatible, the only thing that is uniform is Microsoft's desire to force people to upgrade, at cost obviously
- Features: because they are trying to prevent competitors from getting a foothold in the lucrative desktop market, their software is designed to be as hard as possible to remove (as they did in the Internet Explorer trial in US courts), bloating and overloading people's computer with software that is insecure by design. See our avoid IE! page for more details
- "Contrary to what many people see as a cultural war between conservative business types and liberal independents, this is not a 'commerce versus anything' conflict. It's about powerful (business) interests and if they can stop new innovators" >>more
- The latest series of fines and sanctions imposed on Microsoft for its illegal activites, although reaching unprecedented record amounts, are not a real deterrent, just an inconvenience. Most analysts believe it is unlikely to change their tactics
- Not convinced yet? boycottnovell.com and many other mainstream news channels have started covering the damage, especially since the security issues have started to cost the public dearly.