>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.

Ah, but -why- are these programs so popular?

Because they -come with your computer!-

What parent would say 'yes' to little Johnny saying, "But I want XYZedit,
not Word!" when XYZedit costs $200 extra.  Mom would say, "No, you'll just
have to use what -came with your computer.-'

And there's the monopoly power that Microsoft has, with its bundling or
steep 'package' discounts to PC manufacturers.  Pre-load Microsoft
software, and charge a penalty for every non-microsoft product loaded.

It was just recently that PC makers started loading their brand-name splash
screens into BIOS to get around Microsoft's requirement that the -Windows-
screen be the first program screen that users see.

Microsoft's goal:  You're running a WINDOWS machine, not a Gateway, not a
Compaq, not a Dell.  Reduce the machine to commodity status.

As far as the quality of Microsoft's products:  They work.  Most of the
time.  They're not bad.

And that's a problem.  They work with each other pretty well, but not as
well with other manufacturer's programs.

Microsoft programs are NOT the best at what they do, just the most common.
There -are- other word processors out there, and spreadsheets, and
databases, and project planners.  But they don't get the free press that
Microsoft does, don't get the reviews that microsoft does, and only skim a
teensy bit of the sales away from Microsoft.

Remember FoxBase?  A nifty Macintosh dbase package; ran rings around
anything else.  Microsoft bought it, and it's never been the same.  [You
can still see pieces of the interface in the current Microsoft data base


--Paul E Musselman

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