Re: what a lot of people..
"Without Microsoft what would consumers be running instead? And with that answer, how easy would it be for my 60 year old mother to install a print driver, or a small business to setup an LDAP with group policy-esq effects? With Windows, this is possible without being an expert, and without dropping to CLI's - it's EASY to perform these tasks."
Without Microsoft throttling all other innovation in the industry, who knows what alternatives might have thrived? OS/2 could have become the standard. The Amiga might have been viewed as a more viable option and been bought by a company which really pushed it forward. Apple might have been pulled out of the doldrums more quickly and Mac OS/OS X could have become a much more viable option. BeOS could have become much more ubiquitous without Windows grinding it into the ground before it even got going. Any of these options would have been far superior to Windows. The point is that without Microsoft's monopoly, any or all of these systems could have come into common usage and competed properly with each other to push the quality of the user experience infinitely higher than it was with Windows.
By the way, if you think installing printer drivers on Windows is an easy task for the average 60-year-old, you're seriously deluded. The same task on OS X is usually a walk in the park for anyone of any age, however - even nowadays Microsoft haven't managed to catch up in such fundamental areas.