The Microsoft Monopoly Essay

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The Microsoft Monopoly

I. Introduction

United States vs. Microsoft is one the largest, most controversial antitrust lawsuits in American history. Many claim the government is wrongly punishing Microsoft for being innovative and successful, arguing that Windows dominates the market because of the product’s popularity, not because of malpractice by the parent company. Others argue in favor of the government, claiming that Microsoft’s practices conflict with the free market ideal. There are many arguments for both sides of the lawsuit, but what the case really comes down to is this: does the government have the right to interfere in today’s marketplace? Or is Microsoft violating laws that are rightfully imposed by the government?
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Throughout the 1980’s, it became the pre-eminent operating systems of personal computers, until another operating system, DR-DOS, was released by a company called Digital Research. Critics claim that this operating system never had a chance at gaining a fair share of the market because Microsoft deliberately slowed DR-DOS’s sales by announcing a better version of MS-DOS was on its way (Newman).

Windows, a program that was created in 1983, but did not change the market significantly until 1990, has grown to control 94.1% of the operating system market (Newman). This has required other companies in the software industry to make all of their applications Windows compatible. Critics claim that Microsoft systematically eliminated all competition of other operating systems and software manufacturers. Microsoft also controls a large part of the software industry. According to sales from April 2002, Microsoft sold 89% of office software to consumers (Washington Post). Microsoft bundles these applications with the Windows operating system, which is, according to them, an effective technique. Critics assert that this forces other makers of office software, like Corel, to lose business, because consumers will not buy another application if one is already pre-installed. Critics point to the proposed 1995 merger between Microsoft and Inuit which ultimately failed. Inuit is the maker of the best-selling money management
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