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Should Microsoft Be Broken Up By The Government?

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IMHO, it is pretty hard to deny that Microsoft has a monopoly on Operating Systems and is in violation of US anti-trust laws.

It is also in the consumer's best interest to see Microsoft broken up because it would result in better products and cheaper prices. One of the best things the Government did, in regard to monopolies, was breaking up AT&T. We were using the same old phone technology for 10 years until different phone companies started competing with eachother and we finally received new technology.

It is not right that we, as consumers, have to rely solely on Mircrosoft to improve and set the prices of the operating system. (Even with the small open-source movement.)

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We were using the same old phone technology for 10 years until different phone companies started competing with eachother and we finally received new technology.

Same old technology? Bell Labs brought us pretty far.

Manual (Operator) -> Mechanical (Step) -> Electromechanical (1AESS) -> Electronic (ESS/DMS)

Bell Labs was about innovation and science. They developed the transistor, the first mobile phones, and all sorts of other crazy stuff.

How would you split up a company that develops operating systems (Microsoft)?

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god uses linux.

chroot your ass

wget the backdoor

I don't think microsoft should be broken up. If anybody should be broken up, it it the government.

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We were using the same old phone technology for 10 years until different phone companies started competing with eachother and we finally received new technology.

Same old technology? Bell Labs brought us pretty far.

Manual (Operator) -> Mechanical (Step) -> Electromechanical (1AESS) -> Electronic (ESS/DMS)

Bell Labs was about innovation and science. They developed the transistor, the first mobile phones, and all sorts of other crazy stuff.

How would you split up a company that develops operating systems (Microsoft)?

I'm saying that a lack of competition means that you rely on a single company to do the research and apply that research to products at their leisure. Because a company's goal is making money, they will delay new technology (if they have a monopoly on that technology) if it is in their best financial interest. Why spend money to improve if the product you have is selling? The company also has the control to set whatever price they want for thier product because it is inelastic.

I would break up microsoft into 3-5 different companies. This way you have constant competition and 3-5 companies striving to create new technology in their products. We would have a faster growth of technology, greater than Microsoft could ever provide alone. Prices would go down as well as a result of competition. (No longer $200 for an HomeOS, or $400 for an OfficeSuite.)

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god uses linux.

chroot your ass

wget the backdoor

I don't think microsoft should be broken up. If anybody should be broken up, it it the government.

Microsoft delays OS technology growth.

The government is broken up, into 3 branches lol. But if your talking about breaking up the Gov. as in "getting rid of it" then I would say... "you red-blooded anarchist you."

Have a little "number six" in you eh?

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there's nothing wrong with a monopoly. Microsoft played it smart, they should not be punished. Your just pissed off that your dwindling power-less *nix distros can not stand up to something with financial backing.

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I'm saying that a lack of competition means that you rely on a single company to do the research and apply that research to products at their leisure. Because a company's goal is making money, they will delay new technology (if they have a monopoly on that technology) if it is in their best financial interest. Why spend money to improve if the product you have is selling? The company also has the control to set whatever price they want for thier product because it is inelastic.

I would break up microsoft into 3-5 different companies. This way you have constant competition and 3-5 companies striving to create new technology in their products. We would have a faster growth of technology, greater than Microsoft could ever provide alone. Prices would go down as well as a result of competition. (No longer $200 for an HomeOS, or $400 for an OfficeSuite.)

How would breaking microsoft up improve competition. Let's take the OS part, how well divesting that from the applications increase competition? Microsoft will still have a market penetration in the high 90% or so range.

As for research, you dont need to have all the market share to do research. Plenty of OS research is being done, and to say otherwise is quite frankly really idiotic.

Moving on to applications where microsoft has monopolies, or nearly so...let's take word. What would cause competition (competition in a more meaningful way than we have now, that is) to be created strictly because a different company makes the application and the os?

Certainly there are some advantages for microsoft by being a combined company, but let's not exagerrate them. I'm not a big fan of microsoft, but I don't see any benefit to breaking them up. Indeed, one could argue that from an investment perspective, microsoft is more valuable broken up than combined.

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there's nothing wrong with a monopoly. Microsoft played it smart, they should not be punished. Your just pissed off that your dwindling power-less *nix distros can not stand up to something with financial backing.

I am not just "pissed off" that "my" *nix distros can't get anywhere.

I'm in no way pissed, I was just interested in debating economics views on the issue. I am not interested in the open-source movement as a solution to the problem. I believe in the sale of an OS, I just don't believe that one company should have 95% of the market control.

There is plently wrong with monopolies.

1. We, as comsumers, rely on the company to improve the service and technology. (With multiple companies, technology growth would move a lot faster because of competition. Versus one company doing what is in it's best interest financially and holding back new technology for the people.)

2. The company can set it's own price for their product because they are the only one selling it. $200 for WinXP? $400 for MSOffice?

3. Monopolies are unfair to other businesses because they write the rules for the game. (They have 90% of the consumers already under their grasp.) This is why if your a hardcore gamer and like to play the new games, you're forced to use Windows.

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there's nothing wrong with a monopoly. Microsoft played it smart, they should not be punished. Your just pissed off that your dwindling power-less *nix distros can not stand up to something with financial backing.

The problem is not that MS has a OS monopoly. The problem is that they are using that monopoly as leverage to get monopolies in other markets. If they were to be split up it would probably be a split of os and application components. One company for OS, one for IE and IIS, one for the Office Suite, etc.

I don't really care if they are split or not, RMS and the FSF saved us all with the work they did in the 80's and 90's. We're to the point that anything we need can be built by those willing to do the work. Patents and dmca type laws are more of a threat to future innovation that Microsoft, imho.

edit: speling erorrs...

Edited by phizone
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I agree that microsoft needs to be divided. They are an official monopoly with a bad record. Maybe separating microsoft may have a result on the progress of TCPA. I hope.

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I agree that microsoft needs to be divided. They are an official monopoly with a bad record. Maybe separating microsoft may have a result on the progress of TCPA. I hope.

I agree, thanks for your input.

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there's nothing wrong with a monopoly. Microsoft played it smart, they should not be punished. Your just pissed off that your dwindling power-less *nix distros can not stand up to something with financial backing.

The problem is not that MS has a OS monopoly. The problem is that they are using that monopoly as leverage to get monopoplies in other markets. If they were to be split up it would probably be a split of os and application components. One company for OS, one for IE and IIS, one for the Office Suite, etc.

I don't really care if they are split or not, RMS and the FSF saved us all with the work they did in the 80's and 90's. We're to the point that anything we need can be built by those willing to do the work. Patents and dmca type laws are more of a threat to future innovation that Microsoft, imho.

edit: speling erorrs...

I agree with what you say about Microsoft using their OS monopoly as leverage to obtain monopolies in other application markets.

I think Microsoft does a good job with the rate of technology they produce. However, the fact remains that the rate of technology would still increase if there was competition.

Plus I still think the OS monopoly is a problem because that defines the type of apps that can run on that OS and overall technology increase on that specific product. (Relying on Microsoft alone for improvement.)

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I think that there has to be either:

a) Open standards followed by EVERYONE

B) A monopoly on software

Otherwise how do you know your Powerpoint will work when you bring it to school/work/etc?

Edited by BlakeOPS
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I think that there has to be either:

a) Open standards followed by EVERYONE

B) A monopoly on software

Otherwise how do you know your Powerpoint will work when you bring it to school/work/etc?

You bring up a very good point, there would be compatibility issues. However, because of demand, the companies would be forced to allow compatibility of certain office programs betwee OSs.

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I cant bring applications from home, because the versions or powerpoint are different then the ones on the computers at school. It is a HUGE hassle.

MS was investigated for owning monopolies. (Correct if wrong) When netscape came out, they immediately came out with their Internet Explorer, and totally owned Netscape. I heard this on some video about Bill Gates, please correct if wrong

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I cant bring applications from home, because the versions or powerpoint are different then the ones on the computers at school. It is a HUGE hassle.

MS was investigated for owning monopolies. (Correct if wrong) When netscape came out, they immediately came out with their Internet Explorer, and totally owned Netscape. I heard this on some video about Bill Gates, please correct if wrong

Can't you save versions of ppt as an older one so newer and older versions are backwards compatible?

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I havent really had to bring in any powerpoint, but word.....its horrible. My printer has gone out, leaving me immobile. So I go to school, bring up the text and its all hex.....

Companys (Hewlett, Compaq, Gateway) all have different typing programs, none are compatible, I would just send myself an email with the paper

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I havent really had to bring in any powerpoint, but word.....its horrible. My printer has gone out, leaving me immobile. So I go to school, bring up the text and its all hex.....

Companys (Hewlett, Compaq, Gateway) all have different typing programs, none are compatible, I would just send myself an email with the paper

Atleast with like Notepad, and sometimes rich text docs, you can usually copy/paste or read with no problem. But werd e-mails/ html host is what I do anyway. Screw Office.

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3. Monopolies are unfair to other businesses because they write the rules for the game. (They have 90% of the consumers already under their grasp.) This is why if your a hardcore gamer and like to play the new games, you're forced to use Windows.

A lot of times developers only want to develop for one platform. It is a waste of resources to reimplement a game for many smaller systems. In this case a monopoly on operating systems actually brings the price of games down and increases their quality.

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3. Monopolies are unfair to other businesses because they write the rules for the game. (They have 90% of the consumers already under their grasp.) This is why if your a hardcore gamer and like to play the new games, you're forced to use Windows.

A lot of times developers only want to develop for one platform. It is a waste of resources to reimplement a game for many smaller systems. In this case a monopoly on operating systems actually brings the price of games down and increases their quality.

you bring up a good point, as far as games go, i know its annoying when games are written for both say pc and xbox and us pc guys suffer.

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Halo is a prime example of that. The graphics on the 1st one are fine for x-box, but on PC? They are horrible

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Halo is a prime example of that. The graphics on the 1st one are fine for x-box, but on PC? They are horrible

remember tho there will be a demand for compatibility between PCs, not PC and xbox. Besides, consumer demand will call for it and the companies will be forced to make multiplatform games. Although having different OSs for different purposes wouldnt be bad ethier. I wouldnt mind having an OS company just for games, but i think multiplatform games would be killer.

it's always better when consumers have a choice

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dude just get over it, the govenment will not brake up microsoft, my guess is that Gates helps 'finance' some govenment officals, if Microsoft get broken up, someone's kid aint gettn his college money :blink:

Just totaly igonore micrsoft and just do the country a favour, install linux on every windoze box you come across

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dude just get over it, the govenment will not brake up microsoft, my guess is that Gates helps 'finance' some govenment officals, if Microsoft get broken up, someone's kid aint gettn his college money :blink:

Just totaly igonore micrsoft and just do the country a favour, install linux on every windoze box you come across

I don't think you understand. I'm not pissed about anything, nor do I have anything to "get over." I'm presenting a certain side on an issue and I'm interested in the opinions of others.

I'm sure Microsoft pays off Government officials for certain legislation procedures dealing the anti-trust laws. Corruption in Government happens all the time. I'm not whining.

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Microsoft is not only a US business, it is a multinational corporation. It is possible that the US government would be able to break them up, but whatever power structure replaces them would probably be a multinational monopoly too, just like most of the companies that make most of the commerical products you consume:

Tyson Foods: meat processing

ADM/Cargill: grain processing

Procter & Gamble: drug-store consumer shit

Mittal: steel production

Companies like packing plants and steel producers were broken up by our government in the previous century, but those monopolies have reconsolidated. They're not total monopolies, at least in the US, but they act as monopolies in the industrialized world as a whole. They are more subtile than the true monopolies of the past. What about Wal-Mart? They are the largest employer in the US, and the largest company on earth. I think that that's a lot more significant than the Microsoft monopoly.

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