• Subject: Re: Bill Gate$. - long, rant, ramble
  • From: email@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (James W Kilgore)
  • Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 11:37:32 -0800
  • Organization: Progressive Data Systems, Inc.

Colin Williams wrote:
> 
> I agree with what you say, and I'm not a Microsoft devotee, but Windows,
> Word and Excel have got to be some of the most popular software ever.
> 

Colin,

When you buy a car, do you take note of the brand of tires "preloaded"? 
Do you have a choice?

Now I'm not up on the most sold car, but does the fact that they factory
load a brand of tire automatically make that tire, although "popular",
good?

RANT(*ON)

Now here's the way I heard the story:  Micro$oft would offer a pricing
contract to the hardware manufacturer.  It was, just for discussion
sake, $60 wholesale per machine preinstalled.  The alternate is $30 per
machine manufactured, installed or not.

So it's simple math.  If I make 3 million computers per year and sell 1
million to the international community that would rather have OS/2
(because it's the closest thing to OS/400 stability on the desktop), but
anyway, 2 million domestic sales times $60 each is $120 million.  3
million times $30 each is $90 million.  Guess what, the difference is
$30 million to the bottom line and if I didn't do it I would be faced
with a shareholder suit.

Now here is where the Sherman Anti-trust Act comes into play.  In order
for me, as a consumer, to buy mainstream, quality, hardware, $30 of that
price is for software forced upon me when all I may want to buy is
hardware.  And if you try to "special" order a Dell, Gateway, Compaq, et
al, without the undesired (Micro$oft) product you would be charged
MORE!  The coercion is that you are being forced to pay for a secondary
product in order to purchase the primary product.  And that's against
the law.

The second part to the story, as I heard it, was that Micro$oft
prohibited the hardware manufacturer from preloading any competitive
product.  The Redmond stand was exclusively us or none of us, for every
machine you manufacture.  So the manufacturer could not preload Windoze
-and- Word Perfect, Lotus or Netscape.

It's black or white.  ALL Micro$oft products or none, nadda, including
the OS for every machine you manufacture.

Now Micro$oft's defense is that no one put a gun to the manufacturers
head to force them to sign this agreement.  Therefore the agreement of
Micro$oft only, at the exclusion of competitive products, was entered
into voluntarily by the manufacturer.

Personally, I would be happy if the justice department gave up the whole
monopoly ploy and just allowed the manufacturer to negotiate volume
pricing.  If you look around your company, whatever you buy, the more
you buy, the better the price.  And your vendors have NO say about any
competitive product you may choose to include in your finished goods.

Under this situation the manufacturers could have introduced an OS/2
based product line, a DRDOS line, or a Linux line of equipment to
satisfy consumers, not Redmond.

RANT(*OFF)

Thanks, I feel better now.
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