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The Pulpit: Justice is Blind [in MS Antitrust Case]

Jun 08, 2000, 22:30 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robert X. Cringely)

"So how has Microsoft abused consumers in a way that is blatant, yet was somehow missed by the Department of Justice? The example I gave Geraldo was the technical precision with which Microsoft has taken control of the PC hardware standard. Yes, hardware. IBM used to control it, then Intel, but now it's all Microsoft. Here's how they do it, and why."

"According to hardware developers who want to keep their jobs and businesses, and who therefore choose to keep their names the heck out of this column, Microsoft uses hardware certification as a part of their marketing strategy. Redmond deliberately sets unreasonable standards for new hardware that has the result of requiring customers to purchase new Windows operating system versions where they might otherwise not have had to."

"Have you noticed how each version of Windows seems to require more memory to do essentially the same functions as the previous version? In part, this is because the Microsoft Hardware Design Guide says that's the way it has to be. So we add more DRAM or, more likely, we buy a new computer that much sooner than we really need to. Microsoft makes most of its profits from OEM sales, so forcing us to buy a new PC every two years instead of every three costs us all money without giving us much in return. Now that's "innovation," and it's just one example of what the Department of Justice missed in its case."

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