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New Poor baby
I bought a computer once too, and it came with DOS. Since it had DOS on it, I was forced to use only Microsoft software. No, I don't think so. I have purchased hundreds of software applications over the last 20 years, but I own only one from Microsoft, Microsoft Basic for CP/M-80 on 8" floppy. Somehow I survived.

The DOS/Windows content of a brand name computer has always been about $40. For a "white box" it's twice that, but you can get the "white box" without DOS/Windows. So for $40 out of a $1,500 purchase 95% of users sacrificed their computing freedom and settled for inferior software? No, that wasn't the reason.

Microsoft's tactic was to make it just a little more trouble to use software from other vendors, knowing that over time "just a little bit" was adequate. Not despite Microsoft's public declaration of monopoly intent, but because of it, people migrated steadily to the "all Microsoft" model.

"It's the safe choice because Microsoft is going to drive everyone else out of business." "At least we know Microsoft will still be around in two years". "Yeah, it's better, but it'll be a little easier if we go with the Microsoft product. "Self fulfilling prophecy.

It was to avoid "just a little more trouble" that users not willingly, but enthusiastically sacrificed their freedom of choice. The more competition eliminated, the fewer decisions to make, so users liked it better and better.

The only time anyone rebelled was when Windows 3.11 came out. It was a release with only one purpose - break Windows compatibility in Red Box OS/2. OS/2 users screamed, and Microsoft backed down, removing the product from the market within just a couple weeks. So totally was it gone from the market they re-used the 3.11 designation a year later.

No, the users had choices. They still have choices (though not nearly so many now), but they choose Microsoft, specifically because Microsoft limits their choices "and makes life easier". They will bitch about the costs a Microsoft monopoly can charge, but they won't do anything about them because they'd rather pay than make decisions or risk "compaibility problems".
[link|www.aaxnet.com|AAx]
New While we're casting blame about here...
How much of it should be assigned, to, oh, say, VARs who install Microsoft products?

How much should be assigned to people turning a blind eye to license violations, and doing work anyway?

So for $40 out of a $1,500 purchase 95% of users sacrificed their computing freedom and settled for inferior software? No, that wasn't the reason.

No. Because it all came together.

Have you replaced the icemaker in your fridge? Did you replace the stereo in your car? (I have, but only because the factory one died).

Because that's what it came with. And no, you *didn't* get much of a choice, even back in DOS days. Remember, this was the time of the per-processor licence. If you wanted to buy a OEMed computer, you got DOS.

This was *not* the fault of the users. At least not 100%. They wanted the best price for the usable product. That's maximizing their money. Quite rational.

The OEMs, similarly, it was optimal to use Microsoft, in order to get the deals required, they were paying them ANYWAY, so why not toss them in for free?

Microsoft's tactic was to make it just a little more trouble to use software from other vendors, knowing that over time "just a little bit" was adequate.

Yep. And any OEM who would offer a "Choice" quickly found that they had to pay (lots more) for a component of their best-selling system.

And while I prefer choices, I have to admit that there's a certain *good* about having a "standard". At the time, there wasn't a real standard, for anything. Disk formats weren't compatible....

If you got MS DOS, because that's what you had at the office, and its what everybody you knew had, well, that's a *sensible* decision.

The "fault" here is Microsoft's grand plan, which worked well. In essence, they made it very easy to get to a standard, and no real reason not to use it.

It was to avoid "just a little more trouble" that users not willingly, but enthusiastically sacrificed their freedom of choice.

No, it was to avoid a lot more trouble. As you indicated, it was 3rd parties that would refuse support if you weren't running MS.

Well, hell, how are they expected to continually rebel against the establishment when they can't get any work done?

And meanwhile, *you* were happily installing and billing MS software, no?

Addison
New Yup, we were giving the USERS what they asked for.
We offered a range of operating system (SCO Unix, Esix Unix, Multiuser DOS, DR-DOS, PC-DOS, OS/2, GeoWorks). Most took DOS because it was appropriate for their use. We installed DR-DOS unless specifically asked for MS-DOS (and guess what, DR worked better and cost less).

Actually I don't see any problem with DOS. It was available from several vendors (MS, IBM, DR) and was nothing but a file loader and I/O handler anyway. Most of it was documented (except networking, which Microsoft tried to keep secret).

APPLICATIONS is what I'm talking about. There used to be plenty of viable applications, and no, it wasn't a LOT more trouble to run WordPerfect instead of Word, etc. etc. etc. If Microsoft just controled DOS/Windows, people could easily switch to Linux or OS/2, but that isn't the case. People can't switch because Microsoft holds a monopoly with MS OFFICE, not because they hold a monopoly with Windows.

APPLICATIONS didn't come with the computer, they were, for the most part, purchased as a separate item, even if it was OEM versions that were purchased. USERS selected the applications they ran, not OEMs. Whenever we set up a system, we encouraged users to select non-MS applications, but USERS SELECTED MICROSOFT, so of course we installed it for them.

Now Microsoft is doubling their monopoly with Internet Explorer to make it 10 times as hard to switch. USERS have gone along with this. It wasn't a lot harder to select Netscape or Opera, though it's getting a lot harder because USERS have allowed a new monopoly to develop. It was just a little easier to go along with the ride.

[link|www.aaxnet.com|AAx]
New "Poor baby".
So you've made YOUR buck off of Microsoft, contributed to their dominance, but its not YOUR FAULT, not at ALL.

C'mon, Andrew, get off of it. Its all partially our fault.

Yours, Mine, the OEMs. In fact, I might have a stronger case of less blame than you - because I've had VERY little to do with Microsoft, comparitively.

Actually I don't see any problem with DOS. It was available from several vendors (MS, IBM, DR) and was nothing but a file loader and I/O handler anyway. Most of it was documented (except networking, which Microsoft tried to keep secret).

What networking?

DOS didn't network.

But you previously blasted the USERS for picking the OS that was supported, that they could get their work done on.

APPLICATIONS is what I'm talking about.

Ah. Silly me, I saw you blasting people about DR-DOS and DOS, and I read that as "operating systems".

There used to be plenty of viable applications, and no, it wasn't a LOT more trouble to run WordPerfect instead of Word,

Nope, used to be less.

But then it was CHEAPER to run Word. And all the OEMs had package deals that let you buy Word cheaper. And then you could buy Word AND Excel cheaper than Wordperfect....

And OEM's started BUNDLING Office for "Free" with their systems. I've got old PC mags that have Gateway ads with the "Free Microsoft Office" with their Windows 3.1 systems.

APPLICATIONS didn't come with the computer,

To get back to a prior point, when you WEREN'T talking about apps - by and large people take what's on the computer when they get it.

Including Office. Which was "free" and the other machines, it was easy enough to install it on.

And you'll notice as the pricing boom lowers, that the costs are being found.

Hell, just in '97 they *gave away* Office 97, to lock it in as the defacto suite... (the $5 kinko's "demo").. Because they didn't have monopoly leverage - yet. By 98, 99, they did.

And who could oppose them?

BTW, in 98 and 99, I sold a fair amount of WordPerfect Office - when it was cheaper ($50 versus $299) than MS Office. But now M$ owns the distribution channels now.. and everybody's got it at work (thanks to "deals" that are turning sour for the businesses).

You're forgetting the work aspect here, and how M$ has played that, hard.

No, its NOT all the USERS fault.

Its yours (and mine), too.

Addison
New It is all our faults
You, me, the OEMs, the government, even the King of the PATATO-People. We all made Microsoft rich.

DOS did not have networking built in, you needed WFW or Windows 95 for that. Before that you had to use Novell Netware, Banyan Vines, LANTastic or some other DOS based driver (Client Access/400 for DOS, etc) to network, and then later came the Windows network drivers. Then with networking built into WFW and Windows 95, who needed the other guys? Just switch to an NT server and plug in the "Client for Microsoft Network" drivers. Then switch to SQL Server, Exchange Server, SNA Server, IIS, etc. Until everything is supported by the same software company. It was easier to just order from MS, than buy from several different vendors, just ask the Pointy Haired Bosses that now run IT shops that use mostly MS technology. If they had to, they would only give support money to one vendor. Since the same OS that came bundled with the workstations and servers was also made by the same guys who made the other stuff, it wasn't hard for the PHBs to standardize on MS technologies.

Oh, by the way, don't forget to blame Microsoft for making it easy for the PHBs to choose Microsoft products over others by the simple fact that most of the MS stuff is bundled with new hardware systems.

Sure Linux, SAMBA, MySQL, and other software applications could do the job better, but the PHB wants something they can futz with themselves without editing techie-speak text files. If they cannot get MS, the PHBs may eyeball OSX next? ;)

Anyway we are all to blame for making Microsoft number one. But what can we do to suggest alternatives?
"I can see if I want anything done right around here, I'll have to do it myself!"Moe Howard
New You can spread the blame any way you like . . .
. . . but as a person who has fought Microsoft for over 15 years, who has heard his clients tell him over and over "We know you don't like Microsoft, but that's the way we're going to go", I'm not accepting any of it.

Was I successful? not particularly, but I do have a few clients on OS/2 and Linux desktops and a number on Linux servers. Why was I not particularly successful? Because I wasn't getting any support from anyone. Everyone else was taking the path of least resistance.

So you can say "We're all guilty", but you're not speaking for me.
One other thing - If you think there's any profit in Microsoft software, think again. Microsoft publishes a single price, and customers expect to get that price. That's the same price the distributors sell it for.

Microsoft's official word is "No, you won't make a dime on the software, but think how much you'll make on the support". That's why everyone pushes Microsoft products so hard, Microsoft products require so much support, and so many add-on products to make them work.

Personally, I think it is unethical to promote a product of this sort without full disclosure of what's involved. If the customer still wants it, well, there's nothing I can do about that. If I sell it to him, and it doesn't work out, I get a chance to sell him something better down the road. If I don't sell it to him, I'm out of the picture.
[link|www.aaxnet.com|AAx]
New I suspect that your ethical performance is unusual.
Hell: I *know* it is. Even at IWE, and over the years - too many times has this er M$-bonus of infinitely expandable maintenance been umm - 'presented' as a boon, without any indication that there is a duty to disclose - that which you have suffered to know.

So while the blame game certainly includes the duplicitous, the forgetful among your cohorts - You actually explained your rationale and STILL: they would not hear.

(I indeed wonder what % of consultants et al - ever even mentioned such subjects? We'll never get many to fess up.)

I don't see though, finally - how we could separate out the pig-ignorance of the buyer (even after sufficient experience to have grasped a few concepts like 'lock-in'? yada yada) AND the hand-in-hand encouragement of the complicitous and duplicitous shills.

I takes a Whole Village to produce an ethically fucked-up society. Like This one. And good 'ol IW-Bob L. was prolly one of the not-quite so predatory ones: yet *HE* didn't even get the poverty of the McDonalds scenario! let alone some finer ethical (duties?)

Ugh.


Ashton
I.T. appears to mirror exactly - the general miasma. Fuck the 'science' idea / ploy! it's all about 'degrees':

BS, M$, and Piled Higher and deeper. Billy eats lunch of merely Another predatory Corp. Whom do ya cheer for?

(Oh I Know: Excellence !)
New Then you're in denial.
And there's no point in saying much more.

So you can say "We're all guilty", but you're not speaking for me.

If you sold it, installed it, then YES, you're as guilty as I. Hell, probably MORE, because I've fought it and refused to run it in most of my jobs. Was ordered to in a couple of them, which is why I'm not there, anymore.

But yes, I had a hand in it. SO DID YOU.

Being holier-than-thou might make you feel better, but the facts ain't there.

Sorry.

I sold maybe 10, 15 systems that I installed Windows. So I'm partially responsible (This was Win95 OSR2, past when there was really a choice).

I've administered Windows systems. I've helped people with their problems, rather than insist they change. So I'm culpable... *too*.

Addison
New Lighten up: you sincerely tried. So did Andy. No 'blame'
except by the Puritans - who can blame 24/7. You ain't one o'Them are ya?

Unless you believe that some idealized Individualist would stand on the necks of giants while loading OS/2 with your free hand.. as the guards are coming to eject you from the building (?)

Hey.. I know of damn *few* like my author friend - who bloody well informed his publisher - they um Like his work(s) -

I intend to stay with this version of Word on DOS; see no use whatsoever for any other features or tailfins - I write. I don't play with toys for their own sake.

(that's an approximation from memory). He stayed. They accommodate. But very few can get their way, unless they have the moxie and the talent. And will not be pressured for stupid reasons. Colin is Welsh - that may help ;-)


Sorry Addison - the sheep who welcome shearing, always have to shiver til the wool grows back into their eyes. And, it will. XPalidocious anyone? NETPassportHailMary-Storm anyone?


A.
     MS chases Windows licence fee from kids charity - (brettj) - (34)
         They should. - (addison) - (32)
             How often do we have to pay for Windows? - (brettj) - (31)
                 Whether called 'license' sale or lease, - (Ashton)
                 The answer is "Yes". - (Andrew Grygus) - (29)
                     MICROSOFT HAS A MONOPOLY - (imric) - (27)
                         OEM's who installed alternatives . . . - (Andrew Grygus) - (16)
                             Come on, tell us what you *really* think...... ;) -NT - (tjsinclair) - (3)
                                 What I really think . . . - (Andrew Grygus) - (2)
                                     *evil grin* -NT - (imric)
                                     That flyer must make for some good stories. - (static)
                             And of course - (imric)
                             There's a lot of blame to go around. - (addison)
                             Blather what you wish - (wharris2) - (9)
                                 Poor baby - (Andrew Grygus) - (8)
                                     While we're casting blame about here... - (addison) - (7)
                                         Yup, we were giving the USERS what they asked for. - (Andrew Grygus) - (6)
                                             "Poor baby". - (addison) - (5)
                                                 It is all our faults - (orion)
                                                 You can spread the blame any way you like . . . - (Andrew Grygus) - (3)
                                                     I suspect that your ethical performance is unusual. - (Ashton)
                                                     Then you're in denial. - (addison) - (1)
                                                         Lighten up: you sincerely tried. So did Andy. No 'blame' - (Ashton)
                         Minor correction, not all IBM's fault. - (a6l6e6x) - (9)
                             Not Digital Research's only mistake. - (Andrew Grygus) - (8)
                                 Full agreement. - (a6l6e6x) - (7)
                                     It was the Lattice C compiler. And they live! - (a6l6e6x) - (2)
                                         Weren't they the ones who did the C compiler for the Amiga? -NT - (tjsinclair) - (1)
                                             Yes, indeed. - (a6l6e6x)
                                     A big problem was Kildahl - (Andrew Grygus) - (3)
                                         Good points. -NT - (a6l6e6x)
                                         excellent viewpoint - (boxley)
                                         The Amiga and Linux - (orion)
                     Well said, as usual, Andrew. -NT - (tjsinclair)
         Let's hope they hit some widows, geriatrics next- preferably - (Ashton)

Nobody has that much Schadenfreude in him.
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