After much research concerning the case of Microsoft v. the government we as a group have decided that our presidential candidate should support governmental intervention concerning Microsoft’s monopolizing business practices. The overwhelming amount of evidence against the unlawful tactics that Microsoft uses to gain complete control of the computer market proves that something must be done to allow more competition in the industry. Such an intervention could possibly stimulate more employment, greater opportunity for radical innovation, and increased probability for lower prices.
We will argue this claim with evidence acquired via the Internet and various periodicals. Though there may be substantial amount information that may defend Microsoft’s legitimacy, the claims against Microsoft and those who are being negatively affected stand to outweigh the positive attributes considerably. The key issue is what should the government do about the monopolizing strategies of Microsoft. The entities that have a stake in the outcomes are Microsoft’s competition like Sun Micro Systems, Real Networks, Netscape and the general public as well as the government.
The companies that are competing are affected because they want to get their specific products circulating in the market but are unable to do so because of the monopoly created by Microsoft. With more business competition the general public will benefit because of the increased probability of price wars and more opportunity for critical innovation in the industry. Also, the eventual decision made by the government concerning the future of Microsoft will play a key role in future public approval ratings. Empirically speaking, the companies, and those raising claim against Microsoft have brought much to the table.
A November of ’97 statement issued by Ralph Nader, consumer advocate, and James Love an economist at the Center for Study of Responsive Law’s Consumer Project on Technology informed the nation of the actuality of Microsoft’s monopoly. They clued in the nation of Microsoft’s 90% control over the market for the operating system, and nearly the same 90% control over the market share for popular applications such as word processors, spreadsheets, presentation graphic programs, and relational databases – the components of the office applications that it bundles.
This bundling that Microsoft uses Nader, and Love claim is the site of Microsoft’s piracy. While including the programs in demand of Microsoft the company has been including weaker, and often malfunctioning programs in the initial package they offer to the public. Still, manufacturers have been choosing to produce Microsoft systems due to the much more efficient task of creating one package of programs that is cryptographically designed to work together as opposed to including other companies’ more well-designed programs into the mix. Directly, doing such a thing would be less cost-efficient.
Microsoft, and it’s executives’ bundling technique finally landed itself in a bit of trouble when it so coyly attempted to choke off it’s only true competitor in the internet browser industry, Netscape, by including it’s own internet browser in the initial package of OS software. Action was taken as a result of this, and thus began the 7-year judiciary process that brings us to present. (Cyrus Afzail, www. internetnews. com/bus-news/article. php/333321) There is little to no empirical evidence supplied in the statement made by the Ayn Rand Institute in defense of Microsoft.
We recommend that our political candidate support the movement to divest Microsoft, and that a Court-appointed monitor be positioned to oversee the OS manufacturing subsidiary so as to prevent any un-lawful bundling. We also recommend for our candidate to press a revision of the anti-trust act, one that would include new laws regulating bundling. This way Microsoft would be forced to compete on a much more level playing field where truly the quality of the application product would be of main concern.
This would benefit the public by creating the increased possibility for price wars, and by furthering the creative innovation that would be necessary to compete in the computer application industry. Though most competitors would argue that Microsoft is monopolizing the computer industry by decreasing a chance for other companies to jump on the computer software bandwagon, we also understand that without Microsoft’s innovative and pioneering endeavors in the marketplace, many computer software products would not even subsist: “
Microsoft has the right to set the terms under which it offers these products on the market—products that would not exist if Microsoft had not created them” (Ayn Rand Institute). It may be that government interference in Microsoft’s business would not lead to any progress in the marketplace because competitors, such as Netscape, are not coming up with ways to outdo Microsoft, but “Instead of creating a better product, Netscape simply decided to keep Microsoft, its more popular rival, from competing with it by pressuring the Department of Justice to bring the suit. ” (ARI) Restricting Microsoft might disable the company from continuing to benefit the public universally.
Microsoft creates a commonality among consumers, breaking it into subsidiaries would only cause a lack of unity throughout a public that depends on a common way to share and view information. In a letter to Bill Gates, “it would be very impractical of the government to try to control your company, since the results of such control would be less innovation, higher prices, less competition, and worse customer service. ” (Locke) When thinking about whether or not the government should interfere with Microsoft’s business practices, many moral issues come into play. Does the government have a right to essentially control free trade?
Is Microsoft using unlawful business practices in order to take complete control of the industry or is their “monopolization” simply a result of how powerful and lucrative the company itself is? These questions and issues raise moral consciousness in terms of how a company should run itself. Microsoft might have used unfair practices in selling and distributing their software, but without the innovation and brilliance of the Microsoft Corporation, it is uncertain where the software industry would be and perhaps with government interference, the public would not have access to parts of the Company that revolutionized an industry.
However, competitors to the Microsoft Corporation should have the right and ability to compete with Microsoft and reap the benefits of the industry. The more you discuss this Microsoft issue the more you realize how there has really nothing been anything like this ever in the past. The reason is because of the onset of brand new technology. As new precedents in technology are set, new precedents in policy need to be set as well. The problem is that the technology generally seems to evolve thousands of times faster than the law does.
It is impossible to keep up with the pace of new and improved technology. Similarly, it is especially hard to track the way that this increase in technology is affecting the way the general public does business. It is very hard to know exactly what needs to be done to resolve the tensions with Microsoft and its evident monopoly because we don’t know how the current Microsoft standard is affecting common large and small businesses around the globe. It is clear that if you’ve ever worked in the modern work force you have come to understand how important computers are to running all varieties of businesses.
From state-of-the-art Post-Production facilities in New York City to small grocery stores in Salt Lake City, the people who work in these industries are dependent on computers. And the majority of these computers are made using the Microsoft standard. What we don’t know that we need to know to produce a better policy recommendation is exactly how this computer standard benefits the World’s industries. Thinking about all issues from compatibility to ease of use to quality customer service, a study needs to be done to see if that in reality breaking up Microsoft will actually significantly hurt small and large businesses everywhere.
Though there are great unknowns concerning this issue we have to back the side leaning toward government intervention. With too much power, Microsoft has ample opportunity to become corrupt and greedy. With one company in charge, the nation would be dependent on them and beckon to their every whim. This would create an unhealthy, unbalanced market place for computer and computer software industry. The consequences are too dire to let Microsoft go on like it has in the past. In conclusion, something has to be done to create a more healthy business environment for all people affected by this case.