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Comment: Web browser in the OS. (Score 1) 99

by Mark Evans (#2020810) Attached to: Be:Niche or Competitor?
I almost agree. I think the DOJ should not focus on the browser issue because, as you point out, a browser is becoming a required tool on the desktop. The issue is whether Microsoft is a monopoly, and if so, do they use their monopoly position illegally. I believe it is hard to deny that Microsoft has a monopoly in the Desktop OS market. Given the facts that they:
1. Replaced their per CPU licenses with per model licenses.
2. Intentionally polluted Java in an attempt to lock developers to the Win32 environment.
3. Forced OEMs to bundle IE with Windows 95, which clearly did not require IE.
4. Prior to #3, MS explicitly told Netscape that if they didn't play ball, MS would crush Netscape.
The list goes on, but I it seems clear to me that MS illegally exploits their monopoly position.

I don't think the major issue in the DOJ case is that MS "gave away" the browser. The issue is that MS forced OEMs to use IE as the primary browser on the desktop (especially for Windows 95 OSR2). Microsoft's assertion that IE is part of the OS is absurd, IE is an application that is used by the desktop and other MS applications. It would be fine to say that in order for the MS desktop to work, you need these IE DLLs, but that's not what MS did. They said "if you don't configure windows to use IE as the default browser, you can't ship Windows." Compaq, Dell, etc., should be allowed to ship Netscape as the primary browser if they choose.

I need Gtk+ to run Gnome, that does not make Gimp "part of the OS." I hope MS is found guilty of exploiting their position and I hope the US government stays out of the OS design business...

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

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