October 31, 2014
 
 
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Dissecting Microsoft's Rebuttal - page 2

Looking at the Testimony of Compaq's Capellas

  • June 4, 2000
  • By Paul Ferris
  • 3. Breaking Microsoft into two separate companies-putting operating systems in one company and development tools and applications in another company-will make it more difficult for OEMs to provide customers with the tightly integrated product offerings they demand. Compaq's experience is that complementary products created by unrelated companies do not work as well together as products created by a single company. The result will be that OEMs will have to expend considerable additional resources testing the software products to ensure that they work together well.

See the reply to point number 2. Your experience in the past is of no value due to the fact that Microsoft could do what it wanted with the API. In the future, if true standards exist in this arena, then products will be chosen by their quality--not forced down consumer's collective throats.

  • 4. If the user interface for Windows and applications designed to run on the operating system diverged because the same company was no longer developing Windows and its development tools, personal computers would become more difficult to use. Customers want more consistency of operation, not less.

It is difficult to judge what consumers want, when they have been faced with no choices for 10 years in one of the most important sectors of our growing technological society. You are speculating here anyway--who knows where things will land if true competition is restored?

But lets start here--let's give consumers a true choice when it comes to Windows and products like Microsoft Office. To jump to the conclusion that the interface will become harder to use when there is no precedent for the situation is baseless.

  • 5. The rapid growth of the PC operating business is largely the result of open industry standards in computing where technologies are adopted that allow new software and hardware offerings to be introduced that are compatible with offerings from others in the industry and with the industry's installed base.

    A key open industry standard is the Windows operating system.

Windows is not an "open standard"--it is a proprietary one.

The rapid growth of the PC industry is due to a wide combination of factors--some (myself) would argue that it is mostly due to inexpensive PC hardware, and not the innovations of Microsoft. If there were more operating systems that used a truly open standard API then true competition would exist and your words would have more merit. As it stands, there has only been one proprietary standard for quite some time, and prices for existing technology such as Microsoft Office and Windows--the only items with one (proprietary) source, have been the only items in the mix to go consistently up in price.

A side issue: since these products lack competition, the security and quality of these products is literally among the lowest in the industry. If Compaq considers itself a customer-focused company, ask yourself how much your customers would benefit from high quality software that doesn't break or require reboots on a constant basis. Ask yourself if you want to be part of a machine that helps spread software that damaged American mail systems recently to the tune of billions of dollars. Ask yourself if it's time to look elsewhere--somewhere where security is a technical concern and not a marketing one.

  • 6. The base level of consistency of the Windows desktop across multiple brands of personal computers increases ease of use, lowers training and support costs, and gives customers more choices in personal computers. Allowing every OEM to modify Windows in ways as substantial as replacing the Windows desktop with another user interface would undermine the consistency of the operating system, hurting customers.

This is negated every two years, when Microsoft makes so-called "shell-upgrades" to existing operating systems, forcing consumers and OEMs alike to learn new interfaces, often leaving the underpinnings in a state of dismal quality, with very little in the way of truly innovative new features.

Often, software products that were in a working state are broken by these new interface changes. Consumers must often go out and purchase new PCs simply to run these new incompatible interfaces and software, simply because they cannot get the new products to install on their legacy equipment--hardware that is was often to run the previous software just fine. Who benefits from this action--OEMs such as the company you work for, and of course, Microsoft?

Some people argue that part of Microsoft's motivation to do this is to force people to repurchase the technology they already own, thus increasing Microsoft's revenue stream by reselling the same technology. What you say is a very good argument toward Microsoft harming consumers.

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