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Essay on “Monopolistic Microsoft” Complete Essay for Class 9, Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Monopolistic Microsoft


Microsoft, one of the biggest concerns in the world, has been accused of monopolistic practices, the company was dragged to court on this issue Microsoft’s antitrust problems began for them in the early months of 1990, when the Federal Trade Commission began investigating them for possible violations of the Sherman and Clayton Antitrust Acts, which are designed to stop the formation and Clayton  Antitrust Acts, which are designed to stop the formation of monopolies. The investigation continued on for the next three years without unresolved, until Novell, maker of DR-DOS, a competitor of Microsoft’s MS-DOS, filed a complaint with the Competition Directorate of the European Commission in June of 1993. Doing this stalled the investigations even more, until finally 1993, the Federal Trade Commission decided to hand the case over the Department of justice. The Department of justice moved quickly, with Anne K. Bingaman, head of the ended on July 15, 1994, with Microsoft signing a consent settlement.

The settlement focused on Microsoft’s selling practices with computer manufactures. Until now, Microsoft would sell MS-DOS and Microsoft’s other operating systems to original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s) at a 60% discount if that OEM agreed to pay a royalty to Microsoft for every single computer that they sold regardless if it had a Microsoft operating system installed on it or not. After the settlement, Microsoft would be forced to sell their operating systems according to the number of computer shipped with a Microsoft operating system installed, and not for computers that ran other operating systems.

 Another practice that the justice Department accused Microsoft of was that Microsoft would specify a minimum number of operating systems that the retailer had to buy, eliminating any chance for another operating system vendor to get their system installed until the retailer had installed all of the Microsoft operating systems that it had installed.

In the end, Microsoft decided to suck it up and sign the settlement agreement. In signing the agreement, Microsoft did not actually have to admit to any of the alleged charges, but were able to escape any type of formal punishment such as fines and other criminal punishments.

The settlement that Microsoft agreed to prohibits it, for the next six and a half years from: Charging for its operating system on the basis of computer shipped rather than on  copies of MS-DOS shipped; imposing minimum quantity commitments on manufacturers; signing contracts for greater than one year; tying the sale of MS-DOS  to the sale of other Microsoft products.

Although these penalties look to put an end to all of Microsoft’s monopolistic practices, some people think that they are not harsh enough and that Microsoft should have been split up to put a stop to any  chance of them forming a true monopoly of the operating system (OS) and of the entire software market.

Probably the biggest proponent of government intervention into the Microsoft issue is Netscape Communications, based out of Mountain View, California, Netscape has filed Lawsuits accusing Microsoft of tying again. This time, Microsoft is bundling their world wide web browser, internet Explorer 3.0 into their operating system, Windows 95. Netscape is the maker of Netscape Navigator, currently the most widely used internet browser on the market, and now, facing some fierce competition from Microsoft’s internet Explorer. Netscape says that in addition to bundling the browser, Microsoft was offering Windows at a discount to original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s), to feature internet  explorer on the desktop of the computers that they shipped, thus eliminating any competition for space on the desktop by rival companies such as Netscape.

Netscape is becoming ever more concerned with Microsoft’s practices, because for now, they are going untouched by the government and it looks as if it will stay that way for quite some time now. They are very much worried, as they watch the numbers of users switching to Microsoft’s browser, and the number of users using Navigator slipping.

Besides all of the accusations of monopolistic actions Netscape lay down on them. Microsoft does seem to have on e advantage when it comes to the browser wars. Their new browser, version 3.0 matches Netscape’s feature for feature, with one added plus: it is free and Microsoft says that it always free. So is their internet server, internet information Server, Whereas Netscape charges $50 and $1500 for its browser and web server, respectively.

The charges of monopolistic practices against Microsoft are not all imaginary. It remains to be seen what the government and courts will do to contain bill Gates’ soaring ambitions. 


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