The real issue is volume licensing

This is a very interesting issue and has far reaching consequences for not only the computer industry but also all corporate business globally.

Let us say PC World has 90% of the media market in Australia [Ed. - I wish . . .]. That includes the TV, Radio, Internet and Print media. You then use your position of authority to charge a high advertising rate to a competitor than a sister company.

Is this anti-competitive or just good business practice?

Does the fact PC World has a monopoly then make this practice anti-competitive? The e-mail correspondence you quote in your article, which is allegedly between two VPs of Microsoft, seems to be something any company that manufactures a product would see as value adding and product enhancement. In your inter-office communications, do you not mention by name competitors and discuss how to sell more products than your competitors? The wording of the correspondence would seem to an Australian to be aggressive and anti-competitive.

I would again contend this is standard communications for corporate America and nothing out of the ordinary.

At the end of the day, the consumer has choice and can exercise that choice as they see fit. Yes, it would be very easy to install the browser that comes packaged with the OS.

Is it not true that Netscape held 90% of the browser market before Microsoft made theirs available free? That covers the browsers. Are not the real issues for the lawsuit about the volume licensing for MS Office Products and the agreements between OMEs and Microsoft and other non-software packaging issues?

What if the DoJ wins the case?

How will this affect the business of Intel? Will this affect the likes for Telstra with their communications network monopoly in Australia? They to dominate their respective markets. The unfortunate fact is there is little alternative for operating systems for the home and office PC.

Until there is a viable alternative, Microsoft will dominate the market and the perception will be of anti-competitive practices, that in my view are standard business practices. I will continue to watch the unfolding events with some trepidation.

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Jonathan Charles

PC World

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