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The Microsoft Monopoly

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The Microsoft Monopoly Criterion A: Describing the Issue Throughout the years that the personal computer has become the mainstream, different companies have competed over the control of the consumer market. Microsoft, who at one time was a small company with just two employees, has become a computer market juggernaut, rising so fast in power that many did not see it coming. It has taken over the desktop operating system almost completely and it continues to dominate in other areas of the industry as well. It has acquired exclusive control over several computing areas, turning the company into a monopoly. As with other monopolies that have occurred in the business world, it has caused an enormous impact in IT all over the world. Because of its private control of most of the computing world, it has been given the key, although not intentionally, to the future of our technology. Criterion B: IT Background of the Issue Founded in 1975, Microsoft became a leading software designer in 1980 when IBM gave it the job of creating the operating system, or OS, called MS-DOS, for its new line of computers. ...read more.


The principle market in which this is a reality is the OS, which Microsoft dominates with a staggering rate of 95%. 6 Because of this, developers have no other option except to compete on Windows. In addition to this, owning the majority of the market gives enormous advantages in software. Microsoft is able to give information about its own OS to its applications software programmers, who in turn exploit the information to create a product that knows exactly what its OS can and cannot do. The statistics really show how this has become a reality. Between 1989 and 1996, Microsoft's share of the spreadsheet market changed from 8% to 87%, and its share of the market for word processors changed from 18% to 90%.7 When the choice of whether to give information about Windows to other developers comes along, Microsoft can select who gets the information.8 In the words of Steve Ballmer, Microsoft senior executive, "We could say, hey, we're not publishing any APIs to our operating system. Or we could pick five guys and tell them what's in this operating system - we're not going to tell other people."9 One corporation with all this power can only spell disasters for the IT world. ...read more.


Of the two, the split up of Microsoft would be much more beneficial and easier than a global boycott. Usually, when the government gets involved with the regulation of business, people listen. Since the government will not be involved in this global boycott, its effectiveness will likely be hindered. Criterion E: Selection and Use of Sources Endnotes 1. Newman, Nathan. From MSWord to MSWorld: How Microsoft is Building a Global Monopoly. (http://www.netaction.org/msoft/world/part3.html) p. 1. 2. Kaphing, Randy. Where Do You Want to Go Today?: Microsoft Operating System Monopoly. (http://members.aol.com/rkaphing/ms/) p. 1. 3. Newman, Nathan. From MSWord to MSWorld: How Microsoft is Building a Global Monopoly. (http://www.netaction.org/msoft/world/part3.html) p. 1. 4. Douglas, Denver. Microsoft, Does Success Mean Monopoly? (http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Estates/3797/microsoft.html) p. 1. 5. Koster, Ken. Microsoft Monopoly. (http://www-cs students.stanford.edu/~kkoster/microsoft/netscape.html) p. 1. 6. Lowe, Roger. At the Crossroads of Choice: The New Middleman. (http://www.procompetition.org/research/crossroads/middleman.html) p. 1. 7. Lowe, Roger. At the Crossroads of Choice: The New Middleman. (http://www.procompetition.org/research/crossroads/middleman.html) p. 1. 8. Lowe, Roger. At the Crossroads of Choice: The New Middleman. (http://www.procompetition.org/research/crossroads/middleman.html) p. 1. 9. Lowe, Roger. At the Crossroads of Choice: The New Middleman. (http://www.procompetition.org/research/crossroads/middleman.html) p. 1. ...read more.

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