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Re: Woohooo! Dell + Linux

Except for Dell, most hardware vendors sell their product wholesale to
retailers. These vendors need to convince retailers to stock their product
and offer it to the public. The retail marketplace is dominated by
Microsoft. Much as I like Debian and Linux, I find it hard to believe
that Microsoft dominance of retail will end in the near future. Is this
monopoly, oligarchy, or simply reality?


For me your distinction makes no sense  because monopoly is, by definition, the situation in  which a single vendor controls the marketplace.

Perhaps you meant "is this Microsoft monopoly situation illegal or unethical, or merely a result of free market?".

Which is simply absurd. Microsoft's actions such as
1) Bundling IE
2) Changing MS Office file formats with each version, in order to make people use the most recent version. (Amazingly, Openoffice is often *more* compatible with older MS Office file formats then MS Office itself).
3) Faking grass-roots support (CAGW, ATL, Campaign for Creativity, receiving support from dead people)
4) Abusing the Windows monopoly to gain monopoly in other areas. For example, when they change the windows API (like when moving from Win 3.1 to Win 32) their Office engineers have early access to the API and this allowed, for instance, MS Office to be the first 32 bit Office suite for MS Windows
5) Embrace & Extend. See IE for example.
6) Halloween Documents.
7) Hostile attitude towards competitors. Threats. Flying chairs.

Leave no doubt on the ethics of Microsoft. Let's remember that Microsoft has already been convicted in USA, Europe, Asia (Korea and Japan IIRC)...

Software is like sex: it is better when it is free.
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