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Comment Re:Absolutly (Score 1) 260

My post was a joke, based on the fact that his Slashdot username is Runaway1956.

I agree with you regarding the DCMA, but draw the line at copyright violation, though I'm a huge advocate of copyright reform.

Buying software should be no different than buying a book, car, music, movie, a can of tuna, or any product.

When you buy a car, the terms of the warranty differ if you use the car for commercial purposes. When you buy a movie (i.e., DVD) you're explicitly forbidden from showing it commercially, and you've read the FBI warnings, right? And have you ever read the fine print on a can of tuna? (That was a joke, for the humor-challenged moderators out there. Wouldn't want to get another "-1 Troll" :P)

Comment Re:Not too bad.. (Score 2, Interesting) 226

There are plenty of patents related to automobile airbags. Hasn't stopped them from becoming pervasive.

These days patents aren't about differentiating your product, they're about protecting yourself from infringement charges from others through cross-licensing agreements. The bigger your patent portfolio, the more leverage you have.

Comment Re:My first thought... (Score 1) 443

True. Technically, almost everything is marketing. The selection of products, and their features, are marketing. Setting prices is marketing. Etc.

But the general public tends to think of marketing as being synonymous with advertising. I mean, think of how many times you've heard the phrase "sales and marketing" when in fact sales is a part of marketing.

Over the years when Microsoft has been given credit for its marketing prowess it's my opinion that it's their advertising that people are usually talking about.

Comment Re:My first thought... (Score 4, Insightful) 443

Yup. Another example of that brilliant Microsoft marketing machine we've all heard about.

I mean, when I think of cool and trendy, I think of Ned Ryerson. Wouldn't everyone want to buy insurance from that guy? Wouldn't everyone want him to do their searches?

The truth is that Microsoft has never had much marketing ability. They just have tons of cash to throw at it, and they've always been good at leveraging monopoly power in one market to win the next. They leveraged their PC DOS monopoly to win the PC GUI environment market with Windows. They leveraged that to win the office suite market. They used their office suite dominance to wipe out Novell by giving big corporations huge Office discounts if they replaced their Novell servers with NT Server. They then leveraged NT Server's dominance to gain dominance in Back Office products like Exchange and IIS. Marketing has had little to do with their success. They of course also tied IE to Windows to thwart Netscape. And every time you installed a new copy of IE it defaulted to msn.com as the home page, otherwise MSN never would have had any market share. The list goes on and on.

We finally come to search engines. Other than making Windows and/or IE default to using Live Search, or whatever it gets rebranded to, they really just don't have much power to tie it to any of the markets they currently dominate.

Guess only time will tell, but I'll be amazed if they gain more than a percent or two from Google in the search market, because I can't see any compelling reason to switch from what I've read so far.

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The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow