I feel dirty.

All this defending Microsoft is making me feel rather dirty. The fact of the matter is I'd defend the Devil himself against the pompous asses residing inside the Beltway. That does not mean that I approve of the Devil.

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Hey! I live inside the

Hey! I live inside the beltway.

Just because the governments

Just because the governments that attack Microsoft are worse than it doesn't mean Microsoft is OK. Would you defend Bush's policies just because he's better than the Saddam Hussein he fought?

The enemies of my enemies aren't my friends, and I don't feel like defending them.

Spoonie - You may live there

Spoonie - You may live there but I don't think you meet the pompous ass qualification. Do let me know if I'm wrong on that. :-)

Fare - I only point out the truth. In the particular cases of EU v. Microsoft and U.S. v. Microsoft, the claims of monopoly and "trust" are at best mistaken, at worse fraudulent and setting precedents for further government tyranny over truly innocent producers. See my post "Anti-trust as robbery".

You're wrong.

You're wrong.

Yeah!? Prove it!

Yeah!? Prove it!

I think the problem here is

I think the problem here is seeing things in black and white. I have seen people hold up Microsoft as the Antichrist, and I have seen Microsoft held up as a paragon of capitalism. Such talk is pointless and unrealistic, both viewpoints make me roll my eyes and sigh.

The truth, of course, is that they do some serving of their customers and some exploiting of their power. Just like any other business. The interesting question is: how much of each? And what factors affect this?

In Microsoft's case, I think there are strong arguments that they do more exploiting and less serving than companies in more competitive industries. (I mean for their OSs and the Office market, the XBox is completely different).

Monopoly is not a matter of black and white. The more customers have to use your product because everyone else does, the less you need to make it a good product in order to survive in the marketplace. [if there is a high barrier to entry] Seems like pretty simple economics to me...

The only monopoly Microsoft

The only monopoly Microsoft has that I'm aware of is the one enforced on its Windows operating system by the U.S. copyright laws. I'd like to see the U.S. government (or the EU government, for that matter) stop enforcing THAT monopoly.