Subject: Just one rebuttal?
Date: 7/2/2001 6:49:40 PM (GMT-7)
IP Address: 188.8.131.52
In Reply to: Geez man... look at what you are saying. posted by
Hey, if you don't like biting the hand that greens you, I don't blame you a bit, but you'd best disqualify yourself as an authority on the subject, eh?
"A company doesn't just 'HOLD' market share. It's not something you can take, it's something you earn: by producing superior products, either by price or features, or both."
Maybe you intended that statement to mean more than I am reading into it, but as written it is only half true. Monopoly conditions are a widely observeable market phenomenon, recognized by any economist and taught in even the most basic 101 Business & Econ clases; and a company can wield monopoly power without having to be an absolute monopoly (i.e. without holding 100% market share).
In monopoly conditions, a company can act to quell competition, manipulate market conditions, acquire new market share, maintain existing market share, and set prices that are well outside what even an oligopically-competitive market would bear. In other words, behave in ways that over-rule normal market competition conditions, including the concept of consumer demand.
"if MS and Intel weren't doing an excellent job at SATISFYING CUSTOMERS NEEDS, they wouldn't be the dominant players in their respective markets right now."
That may be the chief reason of how they ascended to their positions, but that does not necessarily mean that they have been maintaining them that way. In fact Intel is currently losing about two percentage points of market share to AMD every quarter because a competitor managed to arise that is capable, at least for now, of producing a superior offering that is compatible with existing hardware.
This is precisely the kind of competition that Micrsoft DOES NOT have in the desktop sector -- yeah, it has that kind of competition in the server sector, and the result is that both it and UNIX have lost market share to Linux. Touché. Furthermore Microsoft HAS gained market share by means other than customer satisfaction -- the ugly Compaq/Netscape/Microsoft issue in the IE 3.0 days was a perfect example. In addition to Windows/IE, Compaq wanted to bundle Netscape on its machines. Microsoft did not like that and threatened to pull Compaq's rights to Windows if it followed through with its Netscape plans. For some reason, Compaq did not feel like being the number one computer vendor without rights to the world's most widely used OS, and capitulated. Microsoft gained browser market share by means fully exclusive of "satisfying the customer."
And let us not forget Microsoft's licensing system that prevents vendors from offering competing OSs, which is one of the central complaints in the current antitrust action. Some vendors are finally making a stab around this by offering complete machines with blank drives, but...
Really now, whether or not Microsoft's OSs are actually the best is almost completely academic because there really isn't much with which they can be compared. Telling people "if you don't like it, there are alternatives so stop complaining" is a red herring at best. There may be a jillion niche offerings out there but they generally have very limited hardware support and very limited applications support, and are often very worthless to a majority of people.
"You can't force people to give you their money. They do it willingly."
Nobody FORCES anyone to buy a Microsoft OS in the "Sir, this gun is loaded, now hand your wallet over slowly" sense, but through licensing contracts et al Microsoft forces OEMs to buy Microsoft OSs, and to the end user, what's the difference? If I walk into Best Buy tomorrow looking for a new computer, what are my options? WinMe and 2000, and the customer indirectly pays for these when they buy the compuer even if they make it a dual boot system later, or put a different OS on it later. We here in the DIY market have better options if we wish, yes, but we are nonetheless still a very small portion of the overall market.
Yeah, Microsoft makes an easy OS, but you said it yourself, Linux is only ALMOST a viable desktop alternative. Frankly, regardless of whether or not it really is better, the OS with 90% of the desktop market is going to reel in the lion's share of development efforts, meaning that the OS drives the applications development and the applications drive people to the OS, regardless of whether either is really operating at full potential and maximum benefit to the consumer.
Again, Microsoft HAS done good things for the OS market, I acknowledge that. And for now I will continue to use Microsoft products because they ARE convenient and, regardless of whether or not I like the fact, they give me maximum mobility and compatibility.
But that doesn't prevent me or anyone else from being suspicious of how future Microsoft plans might be consumer-injurious, and if enough consumers can complain and successfully change something they would prefer not to have (SmartTags) -- hey, even if they were driven by alarmist logic, at least they got the company to listen.
Quite frankly I'm surprised that you went on the Microsoft defense as viciously as you did, you're normally one of the most cyncial, suspicious persons on this board