Yes and No!

You asked for this! Do I think Microsoft is being unfairly challenged? Yes and No! I don't think Microsoft should be forced to unbundle Explorer. On the other hand, if some of the reports I have read about Microsoft blackmailing OEMs and about other non-Microsoft software products are true, Microsoft should be punished.

I used to use Quattro spreadsheet software & loved it. When Windows 95 came & I obtained the Microsoft Office Suite, I feel I was forced to use Excel (the other crowd were too slow off the mark, and that may have been Microsoft's fault). I am still struggling with Excel! I have had to replace a single Quattro macro with a combination of 3 Excel macros and I still don't know how to get back to the original cell!

I feel that Microsoft has pushed several software companies to the wall -- possibly by unfair competitive practices (I don't know this for certain). If they have, then I say again that Microsoft should be punished.

Finally, and I may be wrong about this: I feel Microsoft lead the way in charging for support. There should be no charge for support if the problem is due to a bug in the software, and the onus of proof should not be on the user.

Some time ago I bought a new computer, but I had an old printer -- I had to ring Microsoft re the printer printing out garbage, and I must admit their support speedily helped me rectify the problem, though charging me $30 for the privilege. Another time I was charged $30 for another problem, but did manage to get a refund after a couple of months -- this was due to a bug in a Norton (Symantec) program causing havoc with Word.

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David Barnett

PC World
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