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Charles Lindsey

Microsoft

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No interesting topics the last few days. I'm tired of watching you all solve the world's problems anyway.

So, last I saw nine states had accepted the Justice Dept's deal and nine had rejected and would continue with a law suit. What do you guys think?

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I hope the states lose BIG TIME!! I am tired of having my tax money wasted on frivolous lawsuits.

Microsoft is big and they are profitable, if the states raised taxes again, people would riot, so they are trying to raise money through suing private companies, and I for one think it sucks!!

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This one is not frivolous. At least I don't think so.

So you don't think Microsoft did all those nasty things they are accused of? And in fact some were proven in the original judges finding of fact?

quote:

Microsoft is big and they are profitable, if the states raised taxes again, people would riot, so they are trying to raise money through suing private companies, and I for one think it sucks!!


Hadn't heard that one. Who thinks that? I think it truly is about anti-trust.

What do you think about the subscription model I keep seeing in various articles? You gonna start shelling out $20 a month to keep your computer going?

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Well, this is an interesting topic.

Microsoft was guilty of having a product that everyone wanted. You can't fault them for that, since that is what a market-based economy is all about. So what if Microsoft saw that Netscape nurtured the browser market to the point where it was viable enough for a dominant product to take over. IBM did this with the PC, waiting to see if the market would develop before venturing into it with the AT (I think), and it revitalized them.

The complaint against Microsoft was that they used unfair business practices by bundling their browser with their operating system and then forced the PC manufacturers to include their browser if they wanted the OS. If there was a violation of anti-trust laws, it was the forcing of the browser, not the domination of the marketplace that was at issue.

There are two kinds of monopolies: one is when the marketplace rewards a successful product by their purchases, and the other is when a company absorbs or puts out of business (through predatory pricing) all the competitors. The former is considered okay, the latter is illegal. Remember when the Japanese were dumping microchips on the US market below cost in order to drive out American chipmakers? That was predatory pricing. Microsoft didn't do that, but the bundling thing came close.

However, one can take an evolutionary perspective and say "what is an operating system?" The classical definition is that an OS is what lets the CPU talk to the peripherals. Everything else is application software. In the old days, the peripherals were memory, the video screen, the storage devices, the input devices, the output devices, the network, and perhaps the IPL. Today, the network has been expanded to include the internet and the world-wide-web. Can the internet be considered a peripheral to the computer?

If the internet is a peripheral device, then the software necessary to access the internet could be considered as operating system software, especially if the OS (and the CPU in recent models) is optimized to communicate with it. If that is the case, then one can argue that browser software that is optimized to run with the operating system is a Good Thing, since all one is doing is expanding the operating system to enhance the performance of yet another peripheral to your computer.

The marketplace has already said that simpler computer operation and integrated software suites are preferred over separate software packages that must be configured to run with other separate software packages. Most users are not computer scientists (as evidenced by the recent computer training software commercials on TV), and they just want to buy a computer and have it work when they turn it on.

Personally, I believe that the whole thing was a Democrat plot to knock Gates down a peg or two because he wasn't "spreading the wealth" to the elite's satisfaction. I posted a history of Gates' political donations that began only after the suit was filed, and made to mostly Democrat organizations, but they were on the old board and are no longer accessible.

I'm glad to see this die a natural death.

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Guest $iLk

THeres a war going on. People carrying on with lawsuits and political correct ideals are sabotaging the war effort.

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My .02

The justice dept got what it should have asked for in the first place. With the settlement, Microsoft won't force manufacturers to use their OS. And they will be more open with their code, and there will be a council to keep an eye on things.

That's all that was needed in my opinion.

And this from a MS fanboy no less.

As much as I love MS, I really don't think it's right that a store can't sell you a computer with linux installed off the shelf. That's not competetive. It's wrong. If I own a store, I should be able to make and sell a computer with any OS I damn well choose.

Browsers? Who gives a darn.

Split up the company? Why. It makes no sense.

It's done. The states should come on board.

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Very good post Steve. Hope you don't mind if I don't use the board's quote function on this one.

"Well, this is an interesting topic."

Thanks

"Microsoft was guilty of having a product that everyone wanted."

True, though there is still that ancient "Windows stole the Apple GUI" thing.

"You can't fault them for that,"

Not trying to.

" since that is what a market-based economy is all about."

Granted.

"The complaint against Microsoft was that they used unfair business practices by bundling their browser with their operating system and then forced the PC manufacturers to include their browser if they wanted the OS."

Exactly.

"If there was a violation of anti-trust laws, it was the forcing of the browser, not the domination of the marketplace that was at issue."

Yup.

"There are two kinds of monopolies: one is when the marketplace rewards a successful product by their purchases, and the other is when a company absorbs or puts out of business (through predatory pricing) all the competitors. The former is considered okay, the latter is illegal. Remember when the Japanese were dumping microchips on the US market below cost in order to drive out American chipmakers? That was predatory pricing. Microsoft didn't do that, but the bundling thing came close."

Yes it did. Offering something for free that others charge is predatory pricing is it not?

"However, one can take an evolutionary perspective and say "what is an operating system?" The classical definition is that an OS is what lets the CPU talk to the peripherals. Everything else is application software."

Bingo.

" In the old days, the peripherals were memory, the video screen, the storage devices, the input devices, the output devices, the network, and perhaps the IPL. Today, the network has been expanded to include the internet and the world-wide-web. Can the internet be considered a peripheral to the computer?"

Nope. Just cause everyone wants it does not make it necessary. The Browser is not crucial to the function of the computer itself. The Operating system is.

"If the internet is a peripheral device, then the software necessary to access the internet could be considered as operating system software, especially if the OS (and the CPU in recent models) is optimized to communicate with it. If that is the case, then one can argue that browser software that is optimized to run with the operating system is a Good Thing, since all one is doing is expanding the operating system to enhance the performance of yet another peripheral to your computer. "

You can argue that but I don't agree with it. The internet is not essential to the operation of the computer itself.

"The marketplace has already said that simpler computer operation and integrated software suites are preferred over separate software packages that must be configured to run with other separate software packages. Most users are not computer scientists (as evidenced by the recent computer training software commercials on TV), and they just want to buy a computer and have it work when they turn it on."

And it does. To go back to your operating system definition that is all it should do. It hsould operate the peripherals and store stuff. I.E. keep a file system. The OS itself should not have Internet capability not should it have multimedia capability. Those functions are not essential to the operation of the computer itself and therefore fall outside the realm of OS. That's how I see it and what I beleive the suit is about.

"Personally, I believe that the whole thing was a Democrat plot to knock Gates down a peg or two because he wasn't "spreading the wealth" to the elite's satisfaction. I posted a history of Gates' political donations that began only after the suit was filed, and made to mostly Democrat organizations, but they were on the old board and are no longer accessible. "

No thoughts there other than back to my point that it should be an antitrust suit because all the other stuff they are building into Windows falls outside a strict definiton of OS.

"I'm glad to see this die a natural death. "

What is dying a natural death?

P.S. I have read more on the subscription thing and it does not appear to be a monthly thing but a renewal thing. Kind of like your yearly pest control contract. Wait too long and they charge you full price again.

P.P.S. I take back what I first said. I think it was a great post.

P.P.S. I take back what I first said. I think it was a great post.

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quote:

THeres a war going on. People carrying on with lawsuits and political correct ideals are sabotaging the war effort.

Now that's just absolutely unfair and uncalled for.

quote:

sabotaging the war effort

Pure BS.

How many $ilk's Story Times have I seen lately?

I'm just plain tired of seeing you guys talking of war and solving the world's problems so I started a topic that I wanted to discuss. People have responded so it must interest them as well. And they have responded with good posts too.

I have some thoughts on this "war". It is justified. It is necessary. It will last a long time and I agree with it. However, it is not the end all and be all of life. For you to claim that I am sabotaging the war effort by talking about Microsoft on a website is ludicrous.

In the old days threads that weren't directly pertaining to the game or something related ( OS, Directx, tech, etc.) were deleted. Be glad we can talk about a number of things that affect us.

Go start your own thread. How about "Afghan's new Gov't"? Or how about "The Northern alliance isn't doing what the US wants"?

I didn't bash your threads don't bash mine.

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Dying a natural death...

The judge was removed because of bias. The natural conclusion is that the punishment (splitting up the company) was excessive because of said bias. The fact that the states are accepting settlements in lieu of breaking up MS, plus the fact that a Republican administration is not pushing the issue, is in my opinion, the natural death.

On the definition of the OS:

I can go either way. I'm taking the evolutionary perspective. The definition that I presented (and you agreed with) is the textbook definition. However, how does one factor in the enhancements to the Pentium processor that Intel made specifically for browser multimedia performance? The CPU is the heart of the computer. The CPU has an instruction set designed specifically for the performance of the web. Does that not make the web a peripheral to the CPU? Why, then, have special instructions designed specifically for it?

Remember when RISC (reduced instruction set computing) microchips first came out? That was also an enhanced processor that was designed to optimize the instruction set in order to boost performance for mostly scientific processing. I am making the argument that when the CPU is altered specifically to compensate for peripheral processing rather than letting application software accomodate the peripheral, then that peripheral processing becomes a part of the operating system. Since web processing is accounted for by changes to the CPU, I argue that the web (nee internet) has now evolved to be a peripheral managed by the operating system.

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quote:

The CPU has an instruction set designed specifically for the performance of the web.

Great! But enhancing for or optimizing for still does not mean it is necessary for the basic functions of a computer.

quote:

Does that not make the web a peripheral to the CPU?

Nope

quote:

Why, then, have special instructions designed specifically for it?

As above, optimization is one thing. Claiming it as a peripheral and necessary for the function of the computer is another.

I have a bad feeling someone is going to come along and trounce me. hehe. But I do enjoy discussing this.

And $ilk. Maybe I used too many "angries" in my reply to you but I am going to leave it unedited.

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quote:

Remember when RISC (reduced instruction set computing) microchips first came out?

Barely.

quote:

That was also an enhanced processor that was designed to optimize the instruction set in order to boost performance for mostly scientific processing. I am making the argument that when the CPU is altered specifically to compensate for peripheral processing rather than letting application software accomodate the peripheral, then that peripheral processing becomes a part of the operating system. Since web processing is accounted for by changes to the CPU, I argue that the web (nee internet) has now evolved to be a peripheral managed by the operating system.

I disagree. They can optimize for it all they want but it still is not essential to the operation of the computer. (Goes back to your definition of application software.)

I'm not trying to "win" anything here. I just like the discussion.

What we really need is for someone else to make an operating system that will do everything Windows does and give them some competition.

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quote:

I'm not trying to "win" anything here. I just like the discussion.

Me, too.

Think about a human body. We all have appendices, but we don't need them anymore. We probably have things that we didn't have earlier, and that we can live without, but that make our bodies healthier. Are they "essential" to the original design of the body? Maybe not. Does that diminish their value to the body? Does that alter the minimum definition of what the body is? (I know, it's a weak argument, but I don't have the medical background to give a specific example of biologically recent evolution to make my case, but I hope you get my point).

Anyway, I've made my point, I'm just playing now.

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quote:


Yes it did. Offering something for free that others charge is predatory pricing is it not?

No, it's not. Something that is free, by definition, is not "priced".

quote:


Nope. Just cause everyone wants it does not make it necessary. The Browser is not crucial to the function of the computer itself. The Operating system is.

That depends upon the function of the computer from the consumer's standpoint. If I want a computer solely for Internet purposes (as many people do today), then the browser *IS* paramount to the function of the PC. If the function of the PC is to use the Web, then the browser is crucial.

quote:


You can argue that but I don't agree with it. The internet is not essential to the operation of the computer itself.

You're trying to definte what the operation of a computer is from the user's standpoint. For MOST users today, the Internet IS essential to the computer's operation.

What you're saying is like saying that roads aren't essential to the operation of motor vehicles.

quote:


And it does. To go back to your operating system definition that is all it should do. It hsould operate the peripherals and store stuff. I.E. keep a file system. The OS itself should not have Internet capability not should it have multimedia capability. Those functions are not essential to the operation of the computer itself and therefore fall outside the realm of OS. That's how I see it and what I beleive the suit is about.

I disagree. The Operating System should be able to OPERATE any of the functions necessary to the end-user.

quote:


No thoughts there other than back to my point that it should be an antitrust suit because all the other stuff they are building into Windows falls outside a strict definiton of OS.

There's the problem -- there was NO pre-existing "strict definition" of an OS. How can you blame a company for breaking rules that are not established?

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I sort of get your point but it's backwards. We were talking of things being added to the OS . Now you are talking of things the body no longer needs. I.E. subtracted.

Cars. I like cars. Maybe this will work. Lots of people make cars. Lots of people make computers. So the analogy will be cars = computers. Gasoliine = Microsoft.

Now cars need gasoline to run. Computers need an OS to run.

Lots of people make gasoline. Only one company makes the OS the majority of computers around need to run.

Now, does the gasoline company (now, for the sake of the argument it is truncated to one single domineering gasoline company) mandate a new standard for spark plugs? And does that gasoline company decide that any car that doesn't run the new spark plug capable of using the new gasoline just won't run?

Does your gasoline require you to call into the company to activate it? Does your gasoline sudenly decide it's been a while since you checked in so it quits working? If you change your oil, air filter, spark plugs, etc. does your gasoline choke and require you to check in?

Still a poor analogy but I hope better.

I am buying a product. I want that product to work without telling me what to do OR guiding me to use it's own subsidiaries.

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"Microsoft was guilty of having a product that everyone wanted"

There's the biggest problem IMO. What do you think will happen if say, a small company from Alabama made an OS that is vastly better than Windows, managing memory and all pc stuff 5X better than windows, doesnt crash, super secure vs hackers,stable, etc.... but it is not compatible with windows and windows-based programs (drivers, games, app. software, etc)?

You think they would get into the market? They have a snowballs chance in hell actually. MS monopoly on the market makes any product better than theirs fail by default. Companies will not waste millions of dollars more upgrading to a better OS and its programs..because it costs too much and MS is big and offers support, yada,yada.

Kind of like Linux

THAT is what the greatest problem is. That MS "pushed" companies into using their browser instead of netscape? Thats moronic, the users can always install netscape in their machines. Now, if MS made their OS to be incompatible with netscape and any other browser but their own... well...it IS their OS and they arent exactly obliged to help another company compete with their products anyway.

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I have to agree with Charles' meaning of an OS.

I mean if the internet was essential to the operation of the PC, then by rights, it shouldn't be able to boot up without an ISP connection.

I mean right now, if you were to totally disconnect you PC from the web, it stays functioning, and will even reboot to operational status.

The same goes for the media player. When I found out they integrated it into WinXP, I was wondering why on earth would they do that?

I truly believe when .Net gets going, the next Windows integration will be MS Office. Why you ask? Simply because there really is no more reason to upgrade it, and MS knows this. I feel they will just make it part of the OS, and raise the price by $150, and then sell an add-on pack to upgrade from MS Office Standard to MS Office Pro.

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Guest $iLk

The voice diction on Office XP sucks. I try to talk and it writes some stuff right, but if I cuss at my computer it writes things like Ship Mother Packer But As Peace of Cap

And when background noises like my wife yapping it causes it to write stupid stuff. That's the only improvement I see that it needs.

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quote:

Funny, I just posted a car anaology. But no, what I'm saying is that I can use any road I want. I don't have to pull up to the usage booth, sign in, and prove i can use this road.


Hmmm, that turned into a hit on the activavtion scheme. Not quite what I intended.

Microsoft built their own interstate. They pretty much blocked all the secondary roads. Then they barely give anyone the design specs to connect to said interstate.

*sigh* still poor analogy.

Tac: we have that already. It's called Apple. Except Apple don't run on PC's like you stipulated.

quote:

That MS "pushed" companies into using their browser instead of netscape? Thats moronic, the users can always install netscape in their machines.

Sure they can. But would they? Nope. I didn't because IE was already there. Microsoft won that battle.

quote:

Now, if MS made their OS to be incompatible with netscape and any other browser but their own... well...it IS their OS and they arent exactly obliged to help another company compete with their products anyway.


That would clinch an anti trust suit. They aren't that dumb.

quote:

Kind of like Linux

THAT is what the greatest problem is.


Yup. MS needs a competitor.

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Microsoft got worried in the ninties because they thought computers were going to become dumb terminals and everyone would be computing on the net.

It's a stupid thing to worry about in hindsight, but at the time, Sun was working on exactly that.

IE was never the browser of choice. Netscape was. Netscape was free and it was everywhere. When MS realized that a browser could be the interface between you and your computer, they put everything they had into IE.

Microsoft has always had, and will always have a gentleman's agreement with other software makers. Sure they can put a firewall in XP, but a third party Firewall will work better. They can bundle an MP3 player with XP, but Winamp is better. MS would bundle something that would work okay, but if you really want the best, you do your research and you go out and buy the software that you need.

IE was different. If all computers were going to be dumb terminals, they needed it to save the companies butt.

They put all their resources into IE and made it into a browser that could actually compete. At the same time, Netscape became complacent, was sold, and ended up with AOL who don't give a damn about it.

My point is this.

Everybody was wrong. Computers are not dumb terminals, and that's not what people want. And as far as I'm concerned, it will never be what people want.

There is nothing stopping anyone from having two or three browsers at the same time on their computer. (Like me) What's dumb is the average consumer who will just click on any old icon that connects them to the internet. They probably don't know they have the choice. They do, they just probably don't know it. What's dumber is spending millions of dollars arguing whether a browser should be bundled with an operating system. IT'S JUST A FREAKING BROWSER! You want to make a better browser, go right ahead. No one is stopping you. Not even Microsoft.

The imbicility of the average joe shmo that can't click a mouse to download a different browser is the problem, and that is not Microsofts fault.

(Boy am I ever not in a good mood today)

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I'm not using the quote feature, but here are a few lines from your last post.

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nope. Just cause everyone wants it does not make it necessary. The Browser is not crucial to the function of the computer itself. The Operating system is.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

>That depends upon the function of the computer from the consumer's standpoint. If I want a computer solely for Internet purposes (as many people do today), then the browser *IS* paramount to the function of the PC. If the function of the PC is to use the Web, then the browser is crucial. <

*************************************************

OK. I can see where you are coming from. But:

If I buy a computer with the sole intention of playing games, does every game become a part of the OS? Or only the specific games from my favorite genre? Oh no! What if I just bought a computer for the sole purpose of balancing my checkbook. Excel is included in the OS, right?

What I'm getting at is that the browser may be a part of the software bundle you want with the OS (the same way you choose the Works Suite or Office bundles when you buy one from DELL or Gateway), but it should not be considered part of an OS. It's just an extra piece of software. MS is beginning to include ALL common uses of a computer as part of the OS- at least until everyone else is out of business.

[ 11-13-2001: Message edited by: Remo ]

[ 11-13-2001: Message edited by: Remo ]

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I do agree with the strict definition of an OS. It is the software/firmware necessary to operate the computer as a machine, not to run the computer software that people want their computers for. I'm trying to evolve the definition of OS by evolving the definition of a peripheral, while at the same time preserving the boundaries between operating system software and application software.

The difference between the browser and Excel (or Quicken or games) is that it is not an application per se, but a utility whose purpose is to communicate with servers across all platforms. It allows your local PC to exchange content with (or launch applications on) other PCs connected to the network. If the network is a peripheral (not just the ethernet card in your PC, but the other ethernet cards on the other networked PCs as well), then why wouldn't the software that makes this happen be considered an extension/expansion of the OS?

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If you think about it as well, you get an OS that has a web browser...which people use to browse to www.netscape.com, www.aol.com and to wherever you can get your non-ms browser, install them and set them as your default.

I really dont see any problem in this particular matter.

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A easy way to solve this problem is to tell Microsoft stick with the definition OS that Charles proposed. That would make Microsoft remove all the "extra" software they have bundled with the OS.

Then Microsoft could sell a package of software with all those programs in it. They could even recommend on the OS box to go and buy those programs. The important part is that you have the choice of paying for these programs or not. That way some one can decided if they want those Microsoft programs or other programs or other bundles.

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