Sun discusses results of developer poll on "US vs. Microsoft"

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News: Sun discusses results of developer poll on "US vs. Microsoft"

  1. Sun has posted an article by Java Software Vice President and General Manager Rich Green, discussing the results of their recent developer poll on responses to the "US vs. Microsoft" settlement.

    read more @
    http://java.sun.com/features/2002/01/source-doj.html.

    Threaded Messages (34)

  2. This is sure to be a very busy thread. I think Sun should focus more on producing more/better/cheaper products rather than using the Big Club (the Feds) to do their dirty work. As for the State Attorney's General, Microsoft is just another bag of money to raid; like they did to the tobacco industry. If MS is so lousy like everyone claims then it should be easy to take some of their business.
    (I own no MS stock, I do not work for MS, I currently do 100% J2EE development, I have no ties financially to MS).
  3. Why are we so scared of expressing a pro-MS opinion here? Being J2EE comuunity certainly does not mean we close our eyes to the world.
  4. Speaking of which, .NET supports a really nice language feature, which they're calling attributes. Essentially, you can mark up various language features (fields, classes, methods, properties, etc.) with meta-data which is queriable from their reflection API.

    MS, so far, is using this feature to mark methods as SOAP-accessible (as I understand the XDoclet @soap tag does). Bean info can be used to store this sort of thing (via set/getValue() in FeatureDescriptor) but the syntax is nice and concise.
  5. A few posters have chastised Mr. McNealy for trying to use the legal system to beat up on a competitor and your point is well taken. Free markets are the best arbiter!

    ON the other hand, most people seem to agree with the Jackson decision, upheld by appeal, that Microsoft is a monopoloy and repeatedly broke the laws regulating monopolies. Clearly, PC software is not a free market!

    So the dispute come down to what the legal remedy should be. Personally, I am more concerned about there being a level playing field than about punishing MS. But MS is using political influence and public relations to try to influence the outcome. Is Mr. McNealy wrong to try and counter that? We all have a responsibility to express our views. Let's stick to the issues and we can learn from each other. Hopefully in the process we can help our govt arrive at a fair solution.

    Larry O.

    PS: I use MS products when its expedient, but I worry about their inordinate power.
  6. http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=95001733
  7. Sartoris,
    Your latest post was in reply to mine, so I assume you meant that today's WSJ editorial was a refutation of my position. However, the WSJ editorial was about a DIFFERENT lawsuit. One which I would agree seems to have less merit than the Jackson case.

    My point (please refute if you can): The Jackson findings being upheld on appeal, the proposed settlement is too soft on MS and is quite likely the result of excellent PR and political pressure.
  8. Sorry. My post was meant as an "in general" post, not as a reply to your post. My mistake.

    As to whether MS is a monopoly(by the legal definition) I have no idea.

    I do disagree with your point "Clearly, PC software is not a free market! ". I can write PC software and sell it if I want. There are other OSs, other spreadsheet programs, etc. So the market is open.

    "My point (please refute if you can): The Jackson findings being upheld on appeal, the proposed settlement is too soft on MS and is quite likely the result of excellent PR and political pressure"

    My cynicism cuts through all sides. Sun, Oracle, Netscape/AOL et al, the lawyers, state and US governments, MS. I really don't think the public interest is well represented. That includes Judge Jackson and DOJ.

  9. Good discussion. But Sartoris, I really must beg to differ on whether MS is a monopoly. Judge Jackson ruled (and appellate upheld) that MS is a monopoly in the OS market. Yes, you can write one and TRY to sell it if you want, but you and I both know that you are not likely to overcome the huge barrier to entry. Not even Apple OS and Linux can overcome it and they are both excellent products (not to mention that one of them is free).

    Natural monopolies exist in many technologies. As Cedric pointed out, it is not illegal, but that's not the point. The US Congress has long held that where natural monopolies exist, the company has certain responsibilites that other companies do not have. That is why local utility companies must get permission to raise prices. That is why your local phone company is required to let you use any long distance service. That is why the cable TV companies are required to fund and broadcast CSPAN. And that is why MS should be required to allow equal access to all applications that run on their OS.

    Now that we have basic principles out of the way, here's the issue. How can we prevent MS from exploiting their natural monopoly (which they got fair and square, sort of) to unfairly restrict trade in related markets? Any solution must be both equitable and enforceable. Allowing "market forces" to decide in the presence of a monopoly is not a free market position. Sometimes, markets need help.

    Larry
  10. Larry O,

    "Judge Jackson ruled (and appellate upheld) that MS is a monopoly in the OS market. "

    I cannot argue that MS may be a monopoly in the desktop OS market by the definition of the law. They are not a monopoly as defined by, e.g., (http://www.dictionary.com/cgi-bin/dict.pl?term=monopoly).

    Apple OS and Linux are examples of other OSs being available.

    "The US Congress has long held that where natural monopolies exist, the company has certain responsibilites that other companies do not have. That is why local utility companies must get permission to raise prices."

    There's no reason why competition cannot exist in areas like utilities. A big reason for regulation is that the utility companies want them. It locks out competition.

    And a downside of that type of regulation is poor service because of the lack of competition. Right now in my city there is a fight between the city government and the local
    cable company about penalties for bad service. The cable company is, by law, the only provider in town.

    When I look at MS I don't see a true monopoly because I see alternatives, I also don't see how the consumers are being harmed. I see a formidable foe as far as competition is concerned but nothing more.

    Cedric raises an interesting point about (hopefully I'm not putting words in his mouth) bundling of OS with middleware. MS is surely doing this. But who's to say one man's middleware is another man's OS feature? Again, the consumer is not harmed. OSs used to be fairly pedestrian. Over time they have incorporated more and more stuff(middleware).

    In closing, I'd rather things be left as they are now then to have the US government start meddling. They have a long bad history of regulating business.


  11. We seem to be arguing over terminology somewhat, but let's give it a try. For practical purposes, a natural monopoly exists when there is a natural barrier to new competitors, such that its not practical to have multiple companies providing the same service. Examples abound:

    1. Commuter rail systems. There is a public good achieved by having one, even though its rarely profitable for a monopolist, let alone multiple competitors. As a result, this example is the least "free market" example.
    2. Local elec, water, and natural gas service. It is ridiculous to suggest that several competitors build expensive pipes into each residence.
    3. Telephone and cable TV service has the same problem, but to a lesser degree. That is why they are less regulated.
    4. PC operating systems are a natural monopoly because of the well-known "chicken and egg" phenomenon with the OS and its applications.

    In each case, its more practical to allow one company to have a monopoly and appoint someone (ie, a watchdog agency) to make sure the public's interest is represented. I am a big believer in free markets, but part of that means that the public interest has to be included in the equation somehow.

    Without govt intervention, there can be little doubt that the price of electricity would double, commuter rails would disappear, and all Windows applications would eventually come from Redmond. (Is that last comment inflamatory? I don't mean to suggest that Bill Gates is the greediest SOB on the planet. Only that the temptation is great.)

    Larry
  12. A lot of this is subjective, but scroll to the middle for discussions about the court case:

    http://www.kmfms.com/whatsbad.html

    And another thing: correct me if I'm wrong, but when Microsoft screamed "the gov't isn't allowing us to innovate, so we have to abandon Java", it wasn't because of the additional "innovative" features like WFC, it's because they replaced RMI and JNI with their own proprietary standard. One day after the case was decided against them, they posted a patch that brought them back into compliance.
  13. I seem to remember it was actually a combination of both. Sun wanted Microsoft to include RMI and JNI both, which Microsoft didn't do (if I remember right, RMI was included as an add-on, but you had to get it separately, and JNI was only released right before they were forced to include it).

    Microsoft also had to change Visual J++ to turn off certain MS-specific keywords, and you had to flip a switch to enable use of them again. I'm not sure what these were (I never used Visual J++), but I'm assuming this would impact things like WFC and direct Win32 API calls.

    Mark
  14. Thanks for pointing that out Stephen. It's pretty scary when taken all together, even though any individual transgression might be easily explained away.

    Sartoris: After my last post, I looked up the defn of natural monopoly in my old econ textbook and it says its when economies of scale dominate throughout the relevent range. That's similar to the way I worded it in the sense that all the investment is up-front and incremental units cost next to nothing. Railroad tracks, gas lines, software all have that in common. Just thought I'd mention it for completeness.

    Along that logic, here's another way to look at it. The more commoditized the software is, the more its a natural monopoly. It seems the me that an OS is a commodity in the sense that it is the software that allows other software to run. To the extent that you bundle in other unique features, it is not a commodity. But paradoxicaly, such a product is also not an OS anymore. (How's that for logic?)

  15. I can't argue with you much. I'm really not well versed in the particulars of the law, economics. I can say that my gut is telling me:

    - MS is not a monopoly, I can install free OSs on my PC if I want. I can use browsers other than IE (heck I could write my own if I wanted). MS's products are not very expensive and pretty good quality-wise. So, I, as a consumer am pretty darn happy.

    - The prior DOJ being disdainful of business and being prodded by Netscape, AOL, Oracle, et al was more than happy to go after Big Bill for the fun of it.

    - Several State Attorneys General being disdainful of business and hungry for more money (Big Tobacco was a Horn-Of-Plenty) can see a big windfall. After all, if they lose it wasn't on their dime.

    - Consumers have a low tolerance for high prices for software. We need electricity, water, food, roads, railroad tracks, shipping lanes. But we don't need PCs. If MS was a monopoly in the same sense they would be charging beacuop $ for their stuff. They aren't because they can't. XP* has been a yawner so far. Because the demand is low. MS is controlled by the "price goes up demand goes down law".

    * Wasn't XP know as Cairo at one point? The Greek alphabet has X - chi, and p -rho does it not? Coincidence? Or am I the last one to notice?
  16. If we can't agree on whether MS has an effective monopoly in OSes, then we can never get to the more interesting issue of what a fair and enforeceable remedy is.

    The fact is, MS lost on the findings because they meet the legal definition. Maybe they are getting off easy because people are uncomfortable with the legal definition.

    I'm not a lawyer, but I have no problem separating the two. The courts are bound to enforce the laws as they are written. If people don't like the laws, they should lobby to change them.
  17. Sartoris: "- MS is not a monopoly, I can install free OSs on my PC if I want. I can use browsers other than IE (heck I could write my own if I wanted). MS's products are not very expensive and pretty good quality-wise. So, I, as a consumer am pretty darn happy."

    Yes, and the electric company is not a monopoly because you can buy a generator, and for that matter you can heat and light with gas too, and no one is forcing you to use a computer so you don't actually need electricity.

    The court did find that the Microsoft pricing was _not_ profit-maximizing, which means either (a) they have no business sense or (b) they want to undermine competition and/or hide the fact that they are a monopoly.

    The court did find that the Microsoft pricing had increased over time by a significant factor and the quantity being purchased as a percentage of the overall market continued to increase. That is one of the "monopoly tests", and is reasonable proof to most economists that there is no choice.

    I would like to reiterate that it is _not_ illegal for Microsoft to be a monopoly, and it is _not_ illegal for them to innovate and improve their products. I think that they've done an incredible job with Windows 2000, for example; they've finally delivered to me the stability and features and usability that they claimed to have delivered with Windows 95! (I do like Windows 2000.) I think that they've done a really good job with Office XP -- same thing again. I don't hate or dislike Microsoft or want them to be destroyed or broken into pieces or whatever -- I just want to see them either choose to -- or be forced to -- behave in a way consistent with the law.

    Sartoris: "- The prior DOJ being disdainful of business and being prodded by Netscape, AOL, Oracle, et al was more than happy to go after Big Bill for the fun of it."

    Don't believe everything you read. Again, I think you've been brainwashed by subliminal messages placed in the BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death).

    Peace,

    Cameron.
  18. "Don't believe everything you read. Again, I think you've been brainwashed by subliminal messages placed in the BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death). "

    Maybe I have. But it is naive to think that the prior DOJ, State Attorneys General, lawyers suing on behalf of the consumer are/were doing what they are/were doing based on looking out for the little guy.
    MS is a big bag of money to them and a big trophy.
  19. Sartoris:

    That's really interesting --- you have made a point that offers a point of view of MS as being the corporation that is the "victim" here, when ironically the very reason that this situation occurred is because MS has ( whether intentionally or not ) victimized others.

    I don't see any relevance in the insinuation that the "Powers That Be" are only pursuing this because its all about making other people's wallets fatter. Is it naive to say that the DOJ, lawyers, etc etc are empowered by the people's demands? You cannot refute the last sentence if posed in an idealistic world, but it seems like your position is that the DOJ and an army of lawyers have gone off on their own personal vendetta of turning Bill upside down and shaking out his pockets while the whole world watches their blue screens of death, mesmerized with their new Frankenstein.

    There is no conspiracy here --- MS makes great products, but it has come to the point where they are a monopoly and now they need to recognize their new role. And as I implicated before with my acknowledgment that MS does indeed make great products, there is a strong possibility that a "decoupled" MS could prove to be just as strong, so it's not over yet!
  20. "when ironically the very reason that this situation occurred is because MS has ( whether intentionally or not ) victimized others. "

    Who have they victimized?

    "Is it naive to say that the DOJ, lawyers, etc etc are empowered by the people's demands? You cannot refute the last sentence if posed in an idealistic world, but it seems like your position is that the DOJ and an army of lawyers have gone off on their own personal vendetta of turning Bill upside down and shaking out his pockets while the whole world watches their blue screens of death, mesmerized with their new Frankenstein. "

    Maybe I've missed it but I don't see now nor have I ever seen public outcry against MS's practices, prices, etc. I saw more people upset about ATM fees!

    It is not naive to say that US and state governments and lawyers have/will go after businesses for money: tobacco, breast implants, asbestos, etc. The MO fits.

    "but it has come to the point where they are a monopoly and now they need to recognize their new role"

    You saying they are a monopoly does not make it so.
  21. "You saying they are a monopoly does not make it so."

    That's what the courts are for, and in this case, the court found that a monopoly does exist, based on accepted monopoly tests.

    FWIW - A monopoly does not mean (nor has it ever meant) "100%". Likewise, it does not mean (nor has it ever meant) "no other choice".

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy
    Tangosol, Inc.
  22. The point I was trying to make was: MS engaged in anti-competative practices as determined by a court, it is not a monopoly in the traditional definition. After the court proscribed remedy nothing will change as to its "monopoly" standing.

    "... the court found that a monopoly does exist, based on accepted monopoly tests."

    I haven't seen that kind of phrasing to explain the case(s). Maybe I missed it. If "monopoly" is used then It is my mistake for stumbling over the legal definitions.

    "FWIW - A monopoly does not mean (nor has it ever meant) "100%". Likewise, it does not mean (nor has it ever meant) "no other choice".

    http://www.dictionary.com/cgi-bin/dict.pl?term=monopoly
  23. Sartoris:

      I understand your rebuttal, and it is clear to me that you are asking for clarity on the technicalities of the case( ie. what definition of "monopoly" should we use ). I share your desire for this.
      For example, you raise a good point when you say that you have not seen the word "monopoly" or the phrases that Cameron was alluding to used anywhere in this case with regards to the charges that MS faces. I guess what you are saying is that you are requiring more proof than simply the following statement which can be found on http://java.sun.com/features/2002/01/source-doj.html:

    Clicking on "..far stronger remedies..." we get the PLAINTIFF LITIGATING STATES’ REMEDIAL PROPOSALS document, which uses the language you are asking about. Here's an excerpt:

    "A unanimous en banc decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed the District Court’s conclusion that Microsoft Corporation (“Microsoft”) unlawfully maintained its monopoly power by suppressing emerging technologies that threatened to undermine its monopoly control of the personal computer operating system market. See United States v. Microsoft Corp.,253 F.3d 34 (D.C. Cir.), cert denied, 122 S. Ct. 350 (2001). The key to Microsoft’s monopoly maintenance was the use of its monopoly power to enhance and maintain
    what the Court of Appeals called the “applications barrier to entry.” Computer operating systems can compete successfully only if they provide a platform for the
    software applications that consumers want their computers to perform; but software developers naturally prefer to write applications for operating systems that already
    have a substantial consumer base. The applications barrier to entry, coupled with Microsoft’s 90% plus market share, gave Microsoft the power to protect its “dominant operating system irrespective of quality” and to “stave off even superior new rivals.” Id. at 56..."

    Again, I am not claiming to be a lawyer or an economist. I guess until the final judgment is made, there are going to have to be two sides attesting to what is true and what isn't true. One thing is for sure, I will be glad when a judgment is finally made, regardless of the outcome.
  24. Thanks for the link. This document is from the plaintiffs (I'm no lawyer either, so I could be wrong). But it did lead me to http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f4400/4469.htm which clearly uses the the term "Monopoly" throuhout.

    Thanks for the clarification.

    There are some very curious statements in the document.

    "The Court has already found, based on the evidence in this record, that there are currently no products - and that there are not likely to be any in the near future - that a significant percentage of computer users worldwide could substitute for Intel-compatible PC operating systems without incurring substantial costs. "

    I wonder what the Linux crowd would say about that? ;-)

    Thanks again.
  25. Sartoris,

      Again, good point. What I think you are reinforcing is the conception out there that the competition to MS is so poor, it seems ridiculous to suggest punishing MS for other companies incompetence.
      I can't argue with that logic, because I too believe that the Windows desktop is still the best desktop out there( servers are another story, but let's not go there for now ).
       But regardless of what our personal opinions are concerning MS software, this discussion's main theme is if the lack of healthy competition is a resultant symptom of monopolistic actions committed by MS, or is the lack due to the fact that no other company in the world can make a better product thereby giving MS the o/s market by default.
       Either scenario leads to the same result: Tie in every single product you make to the Windows product that has given you dominant market share, and voila! Instant success! Regardless of whether or not these other products are good or bad or useful or whatever, they WILL sell and they WILL become the number 1 product in that category( which is usually a category of 2 or 3! ).
       So I guess the point I'm trying to make is that I think it's great that MS has found itself in the position it is in. This is every company's dream to get to their point. But whether they earned it or not, the state of things in this market cannot continue to persist, because a company that is trying to sell products automatically contradicts itself when it says that it can responsibly control what has turned out to be a monopoly. It is definitely in MS's best interests to lose this court fight, because only then will they be given the opportunity to show why their products are the number 1 sellers in certain categories.
        And if the plaintiff's goals are to somehow broadside their way into a market and gain market share by bringing MS to court, I'm not entirely convinced that they can pull it off even if they do win -- they still need to win over the people with a good product.
        And all I know is that we will never know if they can or not unless the barriers to entry are brought down.

  26. Sartoris:

      So basically you are saying that even though some people think this or that, it may not be true. Even experts and judges can be wrong, history can be misleading, and facts can be twisted. Conspiracy theories are sometimes true, even the most informed people can be wrong, and an opinion is only valuable to the people who believe in it.
      Can't argue with that! :-)
  27. I am not an American, so I cannot comment on the legal interpretation of monopoly there, however I can tell you my perceptions on why Microsoft IS (or acts as) a monopoly.

    Where I work (a govt dept with ~60,000 PC's) desktops all run windows NT. Over 1,000 servers, ~85% running Windows NT. Of course you gotta have Word and Excel, why? because every one else does. Gotta have Outlook, why? because it ties in with Exchange. Gotta have Exchange, why? becuase we got a good deal on it from th rest of the purchases. Gotta have NT desktops in order to run all those apps. Gotta have NT servers so that we can have commonality of equipment, expertise, components, etc.

    I cannot tell you exactly how many IIS servers we have, but judging from Code Red effects, the number is pretty close to 100%.

    So, how does a mail server vendor compete? Or a mail client vendor? Word processor, database, OS, middleware, etc, etc.

    I can tell you from personal experience, I needed to introduce a Sun box into the above network - it was a long battle. Microsoft markets itself successfully as pretty much a one-stop shop for all your needs (esp now with a Services arm). Often management don't care about another product if there is a Microsoft product marketed in the same segment.

    Rant over.
    ps. I have written this within IE5.5 on Win 98. :-)
  28. <quote>
    ON the other hand, most people seem to agree with the Jackson decision, upheld by appeal, that Microsoft is a monopoloy
    </quote>

    This is not what the judgment is about. It is perfectly legal to be a monopoly (and if you think about it, you are surrounded by them: Cisco, Intel, etc...)

    --
    Cedric
  29. Just to steer some comments towards the other point of view, let me offer this:

       Although I must admit that I am a Java-proponent, I am a capitalist first and foremost. The idea of forcing MicroSoft to NOT innovate and NOT expand its business in areas that make sense for itself and for the consumer is offending to the very nature of capitalism, but as we have all learned in Economics 101, one of the serious flaws of capitalism is the issue of monopolies and to a lesser extent, collaborating oligopolies. Neither phenomena should be allowed to exist in the Information Technology sector as this industry has become the lifeblood of the US economy. It needs to be protected in such a way that healthy competition will encourage dozens of corporations to continue their innovations.
       At our current point in time, the IT industry is sick and weak from both recession and redundancies within the labor market and corporate inventories. It will become more and more difficult to build a healthy capitalistic environment in IT as the next few crucial years go by and the country starts taking their applications to the next levels of computing.
        It's time to put a stop to this now, before irrevocable damage is done. Although MicroSoft should not be asked to surrender their intellectual property, as the SUN article points out, they should decouple their middleware components from their operating system. I for one will be the first to say that since I love using Windows as my Desktop environment, the chances are that I would probably use Windows even if there were other available o/s's that worked just as well with the decoupled middleware components. I'm used to it now, and I find that it fits my needs. But that doesn't mean to say that I want the rest of the world to be prohibited in trying to convince me otherwise. The way it stands now, the only way you are going to convince me is if you give me the product for free and offer the same great service that MicroSoft gives. That sentence is a contradiction in terms -- nobody can do this. Thus, there is an impregnable barrier to this market and it needs to come down.
        Can you imagine what the world would be like if at the beginning of the Transportation revolution( ie. way back when the car was invented on top of the engine ), there was only a single Big Corporation that could make the highways and roads that vehicles could drive on? And then that Big Corporation acquired the few companies in the world that made automobile tires? What if a better vehicle with better tires wanted to drive on the same road? Can you imagine the Big Corporation spending its time, effort, and money inventing ways in which to make the better vehicle's tires deteriorate faster than its own while travelling on its roads? It's a perfect analogy and everyone knows it --- the point of it is to illustrate that MicroSoft itself would be better off if it is forced to decouple because it could concentrate on doing what it supposedly does best. And as mentioned before, I think it makes the best desktop, but I don't like how this concept affects other areas of the market that it has no right to.
      
  30. Hi Ted,

    I appreciate your flag-waving defense of capitalism, but unfortunately your opinions are just the result of brainwashing by Micorosft using subliminal messages in the Windows 2000 shut-down screen and reinforced by hidden messages in the cleverly-named "blue screen of death".

    "The idea of forcing MicroSoft to NOT innovate and NOT expand its business in areas that make sense for itself and for the consumer is offending to the very nature of capitalism..."

    Personally, I'm not worried about offending Mr. Capitalism ... he seems to take good care of himself. He doesn't really have feelings, after all.

    This drivel about "oh please let Microsoft innovate" has got to fokking stop though -- it's worse than Huxley's worst repeated distorted cliches in BNW. Twenty times a minute, sixty minutes an hour, the sound wafting from under the childrens' pillows, "Please let poor Microsoft innovate ... they just want to help the consumer ... Please let ...."

    "as we have all learned in Economics 101, one of the serious flaws of capitalism is the issue of monopolies and to a lesser extent, collaborating oligopolies."

    Not really. I graduated with honors in economics and I don't remember a thing about it. However, there's nothing wrong with Microsoft being a monopoly, unless (a) they obtained the monopoly illegally, (b) they attempt to maintain the monopoly illegally, or (c) they use monopoly power in one segment to attempt to gain monopoly position in another segment. You may not like my opinion, but this isn't my opinion, its the law, at least in this country, at least until the republicans have majorities in back both houses.

    "the IT industry is sick and weak from both recession and redundancies within the labor market and corporate inventories."

    Actually, it's primarily because the tax rules for depreciation are based on cotton milling machinery not web servers. Different story though.

    Personally, I believe that the nine states are taking the right approach. Identify the problem, get the court to agree that it's a problem, and then try to get the court to take steps that actually deal with the problem.

    I also think that Microsoft is doing a good job spending millions of dollars on PR and political contributions etc. in order to divert attention from their illegal activities.

    The show goes on.

    Peace,

    Cameron.
  31. Cameron,

    Are you saying that (a) MS *does* have a monopoly, and (b) MS is not maintaining its monopoly as should? I am, and that was the point that I was trying make.

    It was also unintended that I come off as some flag-waving fanatic, but I still like your response as it may deter those that are. ;-)

    The general theme of my piece was to point out that even though I support the idea that MS should be afforded the same restrictions and requirements as other monopolies, I *do* recognize that a lot of their innovations have been founded on the very product that is the centre of the debate here, and that MS does have a legitimate argument, although in the end I will not support it. Kind of makes me cringe to say that because I am not currently using their products in my career, but I am trying to be fair.

    Your remarks about blue screens of death and a brainwashed public leads me to believe that you are insinuating that we only *think* that MS products are good, and that if it wasn't for their monopoly, MS would be trounced by other companies' products. I don't want to put words in your mouth, but that's the impression I'm getting --- is that what you meant? Because if you did in any way, I have to say that this is the only thing I disagree with your response. I think that there are many MS products that are valuable and of high quality, and people aren't just brainwashed into using them.

    But a key remark to my claim that these are good products is the fact that there is an impregnable barrier to MS's market, and it is spreading by way of tying in the products to MS's existing monopoly of the o/s. This is what I recognize as the action that must be stopped and controlled, and this is what I meant when I said that just because I like a few of their products, it doesn't mean that it should prohibit other quality products from coming to the market. In a sense, I am caught between liking some of the products, but am willing to risk MS's ability to innovate them further if it means breaking down the barrier that MS has set up.

    Why don't you let us know your exact views on the topic? I don't mind being debated, but before we begin, let's find out if what we are saying is the same thing.
  32. Hi Ted,

    I did agree with your conclusions ... the BSOD and flag-waving bits were just to introduce some humor into a way-over-discussed topic ;-)

    Peace,

    Cameron.
  33. Cameron,

    Yes that's what I thought too; and I especially agree with these two comments of yours:

    <Cameron>
    The court did find that the Microsoft pricing was _not_ profit-maximizing, which means either (a) they have no business sense or (b) they want to undermine competition and/or hide the fact that they are a monopoly.

    The court did find that the Microsoft pricing had increased over time by a significant factor and the quantity being purchased as a percentage of the overall market continued to increase. That is one of the "monopoly tests", and is reasonable proof to most economists that there is no choice.
    </Cameron>

    I also agree that the topic is getting beaten to a pulp, and this is encouraging more sweeping statements and generalizations from both sides of the fence that are looking to make the most impact and the deepest impression regardless of their factual worth. This is why I have singled out your two comments above because they get right down to the bottom line, and all analysis should flow from there.

  34. I'm no MS enthusiast, but I think these poll results aren't reliable, and Sun shouldn't conclude anything about the community's opinion based on it. On-line polls that have no enforcements on the spectrum of respondants have no scientific validty what so ever. This is the case in Microsoft's rigged polls and in this one.
    Just my 0.02

    Gal
  35. Enough, Already![ Go to top ]

    I am a Java, J2EE developer from a Unixoid C++ background. I've been working on Suns and other workstations forever, but I say enough!

    Mr. McNealy, stand over in the right corner and write in the wall 100 times:

    'I will quit saying nasty things about Mr. Gates'

    Mr. Gate, over there in the left corner and write 100 times:
    'I will load a Sun-compliant JVM with each copy of Windows and quit trying to eviscerate the Java movement.'

    There. That was easy, wasn't it?