You couldn't uninstall Internet Explorer either. What's your point?
52 posts • joined 19 Aug 2016
Here's everything you need to know about the DOJ's case against Microsoft in a nutshell. The CEO of one of Microsoft's competitors, BeOS, testified on Microsoft's behalf because BeOS was also offering a free browser, NetPositive, with its operating system. What Microsoft did to Netscape was not only not illegal, it was not even unethical. Consumers wanted a plug-and-play solution in which a browser came with the OS, and Microsoft provided it. It is no more monopolistic than a car company providing headlights on its cars (which, believe it or not, were at one time an after-market accessory).
Nothing about Windows 95 or Windows 98 made it impossible to purchase or download and then install Netscape if the customer preferred it. It was no more difficult to install Netscape Navigator than it was to install any other piece of software. Nor did anything prevent purchasers of PCs from installing another operating system instead of or in addition to Windows.
Go back and read the actual decision against Microsoft, as I have. The case was a political hatch job from beginning to end (as I've explained). The presiding judge in the case made various inflammatory statements about Microsoft while the case was still on trial that proved he was far from neutral. Microsoft appealed the case. Fortunately, a change of administration in Washington brought about a settlement from the Department of Justice, which knew it had little chance of winning an appeal.
Microsoft's bundling of Internet Explorer was not remotely illegal under antitrust laws. Nothing Microsoft did with Windows 95 or subsequent operating systems prevented users from purchasing or downloading and using another browser. It says a great deal that one of the people who testified on Microsoft's behalf in the suit was the president of a Microsoft rival, BeOS, which was itself bundling a web browser with its operating system.
In a classic monopoly, a company gets a dominating share in a market in order to constrict supply and raise prices. Microsoft didn't do this. Even the DOJ was forced to concede that during the 1990s, when Microsoft supposedly had a monopoly in the OS and office suite markets, the price of its core products kept falling.
It's a shame the American people's time and money were wasted with this suit.
Most people I know don't bother with an OS upgrade until they either buy a new computer, have a software need that requires an upgrade, or find that their current OS is no longer supported.
Moreover, Windows 10 wasn't free to all users of Windows, just to those with a valid copy of Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 (about 70% of Windows users). The proportion of those eligible for an upgrade who took it is consistent with the uptake of previous editions of Windows.
"Companies who are doing well don't give away cash to get you to come or use their service." Or they are doing well and want to kill whatever competition they have. It amazes how in this whole discussion it's just been assumed that this rewards program "isn't working" for Microsoft. The numbers don't bear that out, as Bing's usage share has climbed from nonexistence 6-7 years ago to a third of the US search market. Microsoft has also made successful deals to have Bing power searches on other devices such as Amazon's Alexa.
"Notice MSFT doesn't have Office Rewards to get you to use Office, because they would just be giving away cash for little upside (even though Office is the brand that could easily afford to hand out cash to customers, certainly the brand that is paying for Bing Rewards)." Actually, in a manner they do, since Office is now bundled with OneDrive storage. I remember a few months back a lot of people got pissed off at Microsoft because they got rid of the "unlimited" OneDrive option bundled with Office and reduced the cap to 1TB. Someone I was talking to in a forum said he was going to switch to Google/Google Apps. I pointed out that the same service from Google Apps (1 TB of Google Drive space) cost $10 a month, or $120 per year. An Office 365 subscription, which includes the desktop version of Office, cost $70. It's amazing how some people are willing to cut off their nose to spite their face.
Chromebooks don't run full desktop software and lack backward compatibility for existing Windows applications, all of which makes them a non-starter in the enterprise. The zero dollar cost OS means something to the OEM, not to the enterprise that purchases the computer. And when you pay zero dollars for something you generally get zero dollars worth of support for it. We've been hearing for 25 years now how Linux was going to take over the desktop because of its low cost, and we can see just how far that has gotten.
Chome OS? That thing that lets you browse the internet and do virtually nothing else? It has a niche market for schools that think their needs consist mainly of accessing the web, and even there it's losing ground as you can now buy sub-$200 computers running full Windows.
Apps are not a substitute for full desktop software for a wide variety of purposes needed by business and consumers.
The U.S. Government's case against Microsoft was so weak that it should have been laughed out of court. It was a hatch job--literally a Hatch job, since the only reason it ever got off the ground was that Orin Hatch of Utah (where Netscape was based) pressured the Justice Department into pursuing it. The Justice Department defined the market in which Windows competed in a way that was patently absurd and ignored the existence of its main rival, Apple, claiming that Microsoft was a monopoly in "the market for operating systems for computers using Intel's x86 series of chips." It was farcically absurd to define the PC market that way since computers not using the x86 series could substitute for x86 series computers. The Justice Department conveniently ignored that computer users switched (and continue to switch) between MacOS and Windows all the time.
The Justice Department's argument rested on what it called the "applications barrier to entry"--essentially, there were so many more applications available for Windows than for anything else that no other OS could ever hope to gain a foothold in the market--and on "ecosystem lock", the assumption that, having purchased Windows software, a consumer would never switch to another operating system. This defied logic and experience, since consumers had done just that, repeatedly, with music formats, often repurchasing whole collection to move from vinyl/cassette to CD.
Not necessarily. I regularly alternate among Edge, Firefox, and Chrome on my PC. I don't see why I shouldn't have a choice on my mobile device. Granted Microsoft is equally guilty here too as Windows Phone comes installed with IE/Edge. The lack of other browser options, however, is due to Google's refusal to provide a mobile version of Chrome for Windows not due to anything in the OS.
"You can definitely expand the Gmail compose window to make it larger." Larger is not the same thing as "full screen", and why should I have to expand the compose window to do this when every webmail provider for 20 years has managed to automatically give me a full screen to compose a new e-mail?
You can also pay to have Google not webcrawl your email for ad purposes or display ads, if you have the Google for Work Enterprise version of Apps." Not the same thing as ordinary, consumer-grade e-mail. Of course they would provide some ad-free version for corporate clients who pay them since no company is going to put up with having its internal e-mail scanned for advertising but that's not the same thing as the Gmail any ordinary consumer can sign up for. Google makes virtually all of its money but selling advertising so it doesn't surprise me in the least that they don't offer this simple option that its major competitors do.
"76 of the 100 largest unis in the US (probably similar globally, not sure) use Gmail and Google Apps. " I have no idea what your source for this is. When my university switched over to a Gmail based system for alumni e-mail addresses, I dropped my alumni e-mail address. They had a perfectly fine proprietary webmail system and instead they chose to put my e-mail in the hands of a company that has shown repeatedly it has no respect for privacy or intellectual property rights.
" As nearly half the world population with internet access has a Gmail account (1.2 billion active Gmail users, 3 billion people on earth have some access to Internet), it doesn't seem to bother many people... but others may have different views of privacy." 1.2 billion people have a Google account which is necessary for accessing all kinds of other Google services; how many of those people actively use their Gmail account for e-mail is unclear. Google has been slowly inuring the public to disregard privacy in all kinds of ways so it doesn't surprise me that a lot of the public no longer has the sense to be upset about having their private e-mail scanned to generate advertising.
"but I find the Outlook full client to be anything but "clean" or 'modern' with their ribbons, myriad of buttons, menus which I never used." You are comparing apples and oranges here. I am discussing Outlook.com, not the desktop version of Outlook, which I have never used and have no need for.
IMO, the killer feature of Gmail that Outlook has no answer for is the Google search of emails and never having to delete or archive an email..." All of which you can do on Outlook.com, which also comes with unlimited storage.
"Oh, and drafts. I always hated when I worked at a company that used Outlook that I might start an email on my phone and then want to pick it up on desktop or vice versa... you can't do that in Outlook as the draft files are saved to the local copy." Again you're comparing apples and oranges. I do this constantly with Outlook.com on my web browser and my Windows phone. You're describing the advantages of a cloud-based e-mail system, not any advantage unique to Gmail. Everything you're describing can be done equally well or better with Outlook.com and Microsoft web apps.
" I can't speak to the file format thing as we use Google Docs at work. Possible, but I would pin that one on MSFT's refusal to adopt the common standards to disrupt open source, not Drive." I have spent hours putting together beautiful PowerPoints only to upload them into Google Drive and have fonts and pictures absolutely mangled. Switched to Outlook.com and never had those problems again. Regardless of whose fault it is, Google advertises Drive as having compatibility with Office. If it doesn't it should stop advertising that.
Right...so if one supermarket offers me green stamps and other doesn't, it must mean the second one sells better products?
Companies create and end rewards programs all the time. The only way they could make me feel cheated would be if they refused to honor rewards points I had already earned. So far Microsoft has not indicated any intention of doing so.
I would say that this move concretely establishes the superiority of Edge. I know Google is tracking me all the time when I use Chrome. With Edge I am tracked only if I sign up for a rewards program and am signed into my Microsoft Account. Meaning that I can turn the tracking off whenever I want to by simply signing out of my account.
It's not remotely childish. I looked through the EULA for Windows 10 that has everyone up in arms and it was virtually identical to the ones Apple gives you when you buy an iPhone and the one Google gives you when you buy an Android phone. Yet I don't see 1000 stories all over the web about how Google and Apple don't care about your privacy.
As for installing another OS or ROM on my computer or phone, no thank you. I'll stick to the one that came with my computer, the one that provides me actual support with a real person on the phone, and not waste my time whining about the "Windows tax" of maybe $50 I paid for it.
Then I guess my local coffee shop must be really desperate. Every time I go in I see a little pile of rewards cards that entitle the user to a free coffee after 10 or so coffees are purchased. And Macy's must be really desperate and hard up, since every time I buy a shirt there they try to get me to sign up for a rewards card. And don't get me started on United Airlines and their frequent flyer program. Must mean that all their planes crash and I shouldn't get on one, if they have to stoop to such levels to gain customers.
You mean like the way iOS won't let the user remove Safari? Or Android won't let the user remove Chrome or the Google app store? I'm amazed that techy people waste so much time worrying about whether they can remove software that isn't doing their machine any harm and that they can simply choose not to use.
Actually I get the same or better search results using Bing and about $100 a year in Amazon gift cards. I don't know why whoever posted this article focused on Starbucks gift cards as if they were, or were going to be, the only rewards available. Just sticking within the world of Microsoft products and services, however, I could get:
1) A year of Microsoft's Groove Music ($99.90 a year, $20 a year cheaper than Apple Music or Spotify)
2) Office 365 ($70 a year) plus a TB of One Drive
Market share alone does not determine whether a company is a monopoly. That is determined by the company's ability to exclude rivals or would-be rivals. A company can have 100% market share in something and not be a monopoly if it has no ability to exclude potential competitors from the market. For example, the Department of Justice once went after a movie theatre chain for being a monopoly after it bought up all of the movie theatres in Las Vegas, but the case was dismissed because the chain had no power to keep someone else from starting a rival movie theatre. Despite the time and money the Department of Justice wasted going after Microsoft in the 1990s, Microsoft never was a monopoly for the simple reason that Microsoft had no ability to exclude would-be rivals in the operating systems market, the office suite market, or the browser market. The DOJ tried to fudge this fact by claiming that Microsoft had a monopoly in "the market for operating systems for personal computers using Intel's x86 chips", but this was legal chicanery on their part. Apple computers at the time did not run on x86 chips.
Having used Gmail extensively before switching to Outlook last year, I know for a fact that Gmail sends your e-mail when you hit send, but no version of Gmail is as good as Outlook. Its look is clean, modern, and intuitive, and I have never had a problem locating an e-mail in Outlook. Gmail doesn't even provide you a full screen to compose your e-mail; you're forced to use a little dialogue box in one corner. I know many people who don't like the conversation structure in Gmail, but for what it's worth, the same structure exists in Outlook and can be turned on and off as the user pleases. Gmail also generates advertisements based on the content of your messages and does not offer any paid version that can turn advertising off. Outlook.com, on the other hand, provides advertisements based only on demographic information you provide when you set up your account and, for $20 a year, will let you not be advertised at, at all. Then of course there is the fact that when you use Gmail you are forced to use Google Drive for cloud storage, which in my experience tends to mangle Office documents when they are uploaded.
Edge is at around 5% of all browsing on all PCs worldwide. Take into account, though, that:
1) Edge is only available on Windows 10 computers. As only about a third of PC users have upgraded to Windows 10 thus far, that number is lower than it would be otherwise (and likely will be in a few years).
2) The statistics include Macintoshes, which do not offer Edge but do offer Google Chrome and Safari.
The ads on Outlook are no different from the ads in Gmail or other web providers. Unlike Gmail, however, Microsoft does not use the contents of your e-mail to generate ads (only some very basic demographic info you give when you create your account) and will get rid of the ads together for a fee (currently $20 annually). One of the rewards you can choose on Bing Rewards is to have your Outlook account ad-free for a period of time.
Other Rewards currently offered are Amazon, Chipotle, and IHOP gift cards. There's a wide range of choices for the rewards so I don't understand this author's fixation on Starbucks.
I'm not sure how this came up, since you don't need to use Windows 10 Mobile to use Bing Rewards or its successor, Microsoft Rewards. The current version of Bing Rewards (sometimes) distinguishes between PC and mobile searches; currently users can earn 15 credits on the PC and 10 on mobile (regardless of device or OS used). That said it would be nice if Microsoft gave extra credits to those of us who do use W10 Mobile.
The difference being that Microsoft only tracks you if you:
1) Sign up for Microsoft Rewards
2) Use the Edge Browser and
3) Sign into your Microsoft Account while doing so
Meaning that you can turn off the tracking any time you like simply by signing out of your Microsoft Account.
"Once upon a time (say, 15 years ago), one put $2000+ on one's credit card to buy a nice shiney new PC from, for example, Dell."
And back then many fewer people bought them.
"These days, a decent PC is well under $1000. About half or a third of the price, even assuming constant dollars." Depends on what you call a "decent" PC but again, at a lower price people buy more of them.
"1 reformat and install the Linux distro of their choice. Or, if they're up to additional work, BSD." Just how I, as an average computer user who spends most of his time in MS Office and a web browser, want to spent a Sunday afternoon.
"2 buy a Mac in the first place. Apple doesn't give a damn what OS you run. Install a Linux distro, install BSD, even install Windows, Apple doesn't care. They won't support you if you don't have an Apple OS running, but they don't care what you have running. They'll even provide Windows and (some) Linux drivers for you. Then you're on your own." Apple may believe this is a selling point, and perhaps for a small portion of people in graphic design who need software that is only available on Mac and software that is only available on Windows, it is. For the average user, who wants to spent $200-$800 on a computer, not so much.
I'm amazed how out of touch techie people often are with the average computer user and consumer.
"Likely future: for casual users, Windows Home gives way to Android N; for power users, Windows Pro is replaced by GNU/Linux. PC games shift to SteamOS, and the console world remains divided, with Steam Machines making gradual inroads as the economics of the open, generic PC architecture erode the cost advantage of proprietary games boxes." Likely future: the world continues to run on Windows. Continuum develops to the point that it can multitask and do everything desktop Windows does, consumers realize they only need one device (not three), and Android bites the dust.
"Many consumers would probably like the idea of running the same OS - and apps - on their desktop as they do on their phone or tablet." And yet, when Android fanboys hear it is possible to do just that with Windows 10, they claim no one would ever want that.
"Unfortunately, it's a lot easier for Google to make Android run comfortably on generic PC hardware, than for Microsoft to make Windows run on its own smartphone hardware." The difference being that Microsoft has already done this with Continuum and Android isn't even trying. You're also ignoring Microsoft's vast ecosystem of Windows 32 apps (the reason people buy a PC, after all) and backwards compatibility, the main reason Windows has faced down every would-be challenger for 26 years.
Dream on. Those kinds of users will keeping buying what they always have, Windows, because it's the easiest thing to find and still has the same basic "grammar" they have been used to from previous versions of Windows. Tablets and smartphones have their place but they are not suited to many tasks PCS are used for.
It was a faster adoption rate than Windows 7, so yes, "especially well." My father works in IT for newspapers. He says corporations are notoriously slow about upgrading to new OSs and will cling to outdated tech for years. A lot of his time is spent servicing software designed for XP, because the clients won't stop clinging to it even though Microsoft stopped supporting it two years ago. Sooner or later all those old boxes running XP will die and you will see much higher Windows 10 adoption rates.
More likely they are pricing Windows 10 upgrades artificially high to encourage consumers to buy new computers, on which the OS is likely to be more reliable and stable. It's even more difficult for an OEM to stay afloat NOT offering Windows since it would mean offering a computer that can't run most desktop software.
The difference being the vast software ecosystem that exists for Windows. The point of this tech, as I see it, isn't just to be cheap but to free you from the problems caused by keeping all your stuff in the cloud and having to have it move between devices.
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