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Annual Cost of Microsoft Monopoly: $10 Billion

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the that's-a-lotta-license dept.

Microsoft 713

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft's deals with major PC vendors lock users out from alternative options, such as Linux. A recent whitepaper calculates that the cost to industry of this Microsoft monopoly is $10 billion per year."

cancel ×

713 comments

Of Course! (3, Informative)

Dagny Taggert (785517) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166764)

This is what happens when a near-monopoly is allowed to thrive...it costs everyone.

Re:Of Course! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13166942)

In the grand scheme of things $10 billion is not a lot of money. But keep subscribing to that FUD.

Re:Of Course! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13166954)

You, Sir, are a posterboy for /. groupthink like most posters under this story.

Can you imagine how much it would cost the industry AND all government operations if we didn't have a de facto standard in the form of Microsoft? Crush Microsoft and you have an epidemic ofo unemployment in your hands: most MCSEs won't be able to hack arcane *nix systems you no doubt cheer for.

Re:Of Course! (4, Insightful)

RailGunner (554645) | more than 8 years ago | (#13167050)

Crush Microsoft and you have an epidemic ofo unemployment in your hands: most MCSEs won't be able to hack arcane *nix systems you no doubt cheer for.

Maybe the MCSE's shouldn't have put their careers in the hand of one company, then? If MS collapses, and the MCSE's are all out of jobs - well, it's their problem for making a poor career choice. Maybe they should have seen the trend and prepared by learning about it.

Software development, however, will not be affected. There's not much different when you're coding C++ for Windows or Linux. Or Java. Or Perl. Or [insert language here].

There's not much different in using those computers, either. Thunderbird is similar in look and feel to Outlook, OpenOffice.org is similar to MS Office, and Firefox is well, Firefox, and a great number of Windows users are already running it.

Blatant Example of Microsoft Monopoly (5, Insightful)

dsginter (104154) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166979)

Here's a blantant example of how Microsoft has everyone in their pocket:

Dell Dimension 2400 w/ Windows XP [dell.com] = $299

Same PC w/ FreeDOS [dell.com] = $319

Now someone tell me how Microsoft prices Windows XP $20 cheaper than the same PC with a free operating system.

Re:Blatant Example of Microsoft Monopoly (1)

js3 (319268) | more than 8 years ago | (#13167046)

so how is that costing us 10billion a year? please explain.

I hope the rent is DAMN high (0, Offtopic)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166773)

if you put a hotel on it. Somewhere in the 5 billion range?

What's going to make them stop? (4, Insightful)

bigwavejas (678602) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166775)

Until the penalties outweigh the revenue, what's going to make MS stop? This 300lb gorilla is going to keep stomping on the little people (Linux, FreeBSD and otherS) unless something changes. In addition... Even if this didn't exist MS still has a stranglehold on the software available for personal computers, everything from Games to Applications. That's the next hurdle.

Re:What's going to make them stop? (2, Insightful)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166832)


Until the penalties outweigh the revenue, what's going to make MS stop?

MS is certainly contributing to making itself stop, with antics like these [slashdot.org] .
As Microsoft makes it more and more difficult to use its products (from a legal standpoint as well as an illegal one), the alternatives are going to look more and more attractive by comparison.

Re:What's going to make them stop? (3, Insightful)

someonewhois (808065) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166950)

Ahaha. Sorry, but that's a REALLY naive way of looking at it. I don't think anyone I know in the non-tech world will consider using Linux (which they have never heard of) just because Windows requires them to verify their license on updates.

Re:What's going to make them stop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13167049)

Hello neighbour! What a beautiful texan afternoon is this init?

Re:What's going to make them stop? (4, Interesting)

chia_monkey (593501) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166893)

Sadly, you are very correct. I don't see an end to this monopoly anytime soon. Microsoft seems to be held to a completely different set of standards than other companies. It's either their market dominance that scares people, their deep pockets (which are filling other pockets), or a combination of these and more variables.

The really sad part about it all is how Apple gets sued for the Tiger name or for "Apple" in cahoots with iTunes. Intel and AMD are going after each other. These are instances of competetition that is allowed to thrive and it's carrying over to the courts. Then you've got Microsoft getting pissy at Google and suing because Google is getting an ex-Microsoft employee (rumor has it, they're getting quite a few employees actually). And then you've got this monopoly business. This current administration in office doesn't care about Microsoft's anti-competitive practices. Microsoft has to get slapped pretty damn hard to stop...and I just don't think that will happen anytime soon.

$AUS10 Billion (0, Troll)

umrgregg (192838) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166776)

But this is what, $42.00 in American currency? ;)

Re:$AUS10 Billion (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166887)

No it's 758 Million USD.

But yea, that's like 42$. But really, what is 42$ USD? Like 13 eurocents?

HAHAHA TURNABOUT IS FAIR GAME!

Tom

Re:$AUS10 Billion (1)

sommie (813451) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166914)

It's like $40 billion(USD) with our economy. :P

Re:$AUS10 Billion (1)

Vapebait (728259) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166933)

And that's what, 0.1 GBP? =P

Re:$AUS10 Billion (3, Funny)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166956)

But this is what, $42.00 in American currency?

They said Australian Dollars, not Canadian Dollars.

Poor Apple (5, Funny)

databyss (586137) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166777)

Poor apple topic sandwiched between two microsoft topics...

I predict apple juice.

Annual cost of MS shoving its cocks into our ass (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13166788)

$0

Dropping... (1)

daviq (888445) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166790)

The reason that Microsoft losing share to these other OS's is because unlike the #1 fastest growing company(Apple) they don't manufacture hardware.

Re:Dropping... (1)

Raistlin77 (754120) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166838)

Since when was Apple the #1 fastest growing company? I love Apple, but you ignorantly give them waaaaaay too much credit.

Re:Dropping... (2, Informative)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166853)

"fastest growing" is relative. If I jump from 0$ in sales to 1$ in sales I've increased ... well an infinite amount I guess...I go from 1$ to 100$ and that's a 10000% increase!

That said... the reason windows revenues are going down is essentially a combo of

1. People are either pirating windows

or

2. Learning to use *bsd or linux.

Getting a cheap PC isn't that hard. If I was naive I'd go to Dell and buy their 399$ box... So Apple doesn't really win there [and them moving to Intel... is another story for another day].

Tom

Re:Dropping... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13166879)

Windows revenues are going down?

Re:Dropping... (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166971)

I can dream can't I?

Mostly I just shake my head at friends/family who bitch about the latest humbug with Windows.

Sure you have humbugs with Linux, but it's free and usually a lot less painful to work out and when it does work [re: 99.999% of the time] it works extremely well.

Oh well... I still game and I never boot windows. I'm happy.

Re:Dropping... (4, Interesting)

zxnos (813588) | more than 8 years ago | (#13167044)

or

3. businesses are not upgrading from windows 2000.

4. many people find their 8 year old computer working just fine for internet/email/word processing/spreadsheets/tax software.

5. some other ancedotal excuse.

Re:Dropping... (2, Insightful)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166866)

the #1 fastest growing company(Apple)

The number one fastest in what way? Revenues? Profits? Employees? Hype?

Re:Dropping... (2, Funny)

bodester17 (892112) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166986)

I would go with....hype.

It's fanboy time! (2, Informative)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166891)

The reason that Microsoft losing share to these other OS's is because unlike the #1 fastest growing company(Apple) they don't manufacture hardware.

Hm. So that's why Apple's marketshare has dropped by something like a factor of 10 in the last 20 years? Also, Apple's growth has nothing to do with Macs, and everything to do with iPods.

I own a powerbook, but it doesn't blind me, despite the glare from its beautiful silver finish.

That is the other way around (1)

krell (896769) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166915)

' The reason that Microsoft losing share to these other OS's is because unlike the #1 fastest growing company(Apple) they don't manufacture hardware '

It is likely the other way around. Apple's "hardware company" nature has actually significantly hindered its OS share. Imagine if Apple were to make its OS compatible with a wide variety of hardware platforms, including the x86/Pentium/PC. If they did this, and promoted it as aggressively as they do the iPod, their OS "share" would jump.

You do not have to look much further than Apple's iTMS to see how this works. It really took off when they decided to make it work on 90% + of desktops instead of just 10%.

Re:Dropping... (1)

bodester17 (892112) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166929)

The fact that Apple has been insistent on using its own hardware for its OS has been its greatest downfall and hurdle. Because of this OSX is going to run on intel now. Because microsoft allowed its OS to run on third party hardware allowed it the thrive and gain a foothold.

Re:Dropping... (1)

varmittang (849469) | more than 8 years ago | (#13167028)

Which has also been MS's downfall, badly written drivers since Windows must support every piece of hardware there is. Where as OS X only needs so many drivers, and Apple helps maintain them so they don't cause problems.

Re:Dropping... (1)

Raistlin77 (754120) | more than 8 years ago | (#13167034)

Your comparison makes no sense. Microsoft has no choice but to let Windows run on 3rd party hardware simply because they are not a hardware manufacturer and never were. If they didn't allow it, nobody would have ever heard of Windows, let alone become dependent on it.

10 Billion? What? (3, Insightful)

zardo (829127) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166791)

Where do they come up with a figure like that? Put on a blindfold and throw a dart? That's ridiculous. It probably does cost the industry, but the fact that they have to come up with a number at all demonstrates some level of bias here.

Re:10 Billion? What? (4, Funny)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166856)

I calculated that numbers pulled out of asses cost the industry $98.2 billion last year!

Exactly! (1)

Karma_fucker_sucker (898393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166865)

I mean, I myself, have lost $5 billion because of MS! My ShitOS (TM), based on the *"doors" paradigm, would have taken off if it weren't for MS!!

The "doors" paradigm means that each and every program runs in its own little door.

Re:10 Billion? What? (3, Insightful)

Revellion (803549) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166878)

That makes me wonder. Some of the Laptops/PCs from Dell would probably be a lot cheaper if the customer could request to not include Windows or any other Microsoft software that they won't even use. I tried myself once to buy a Dell Latitude D610 from them. even asked in an email to em about it and the reply was that they could'nt. major way of screwing the customer over i say.

Re:10 Billion? What? (5, Informative)

bc90021 (43730) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166921)

RTFWP. They figured out what it costs Australia, and they have numbers from Microsoft saying that Australia is 2% of MS's income.

They extrapolate, based on their figure of $200 million in savings, which is 2% of $10 billion.

In reality, in any given year, Microsoft makes $40 billion. Does it really seem ridiculous that 10 of that might be from their monopoly? It seems sensible to me. The WP points out that in buying a computer, that it used to be (ala early - mid 90s) that the hardware was about 85% of the cost, and the software 15%. Now, hardware costs have plummeted, whereas software prices have gone up. Now when you buy a computer, about 65% of the price is hardware, and 35% is software. Good points, if you ask me.

Re:10 Billion? What? (2, Funny)

Glog (303500) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166922)

Here's how they come up the number:

10 spread butt cheeks
20 pull digit
30 if count(digit) 8 goto 10

Re:10 Billion? What? (1)

DeathFlame (839265) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166982)

No no no.

MS hired some good individuals who know how to do this sort of thing.

Or at least, they should have hired the people that calculate lost revenue due to pirated music downloads. Because EVERYONE knows there has to be a direct relasionship, I mean if they couldn't get it for free they would have paid full price for *insert shitty music here*

Re:10 Billion? What? (1)

vinohradska (713189) | more than 8 years ago | (#13167004)

Yes, this is totally bogus. Imagining a hypothetical world without MS and then coming up with a dollar figure of the economy based on that fantasy world is bogus.

Re:10 Billion? What? (1)

NeonRonin (763614) | more than 8 years ago | (#13167017)

47.5% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

Re:10 Billion? What? (1)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 8 years ago | (#13167059)

It probably does cost the industry, but the fact that they have to come up with a number at all demonstrates some level of bias here.

Well, I've been trying to get through to the company web-site. Shockingly enough, it has been slashdotted to oblivion. I finally did get through to the Coral Cache [nyud.net] . Cybersource is an IT services company from DownUnder. They claim to be "Australia's leading Linux and Open Source Solutions Company".

Yes, obviously, there is no bias here. Please move along.

come on... (1)

tom8658 (899280) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166793)

...is anyone honestly surprised? I spend at least half my day trying to patch together 2-year old windows machines... and that's not even what they hired me for. Really cuts into the time I can put in coding...

Re:come on... (2, Insightful)

zardo (829127) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166849)

Well you obviously haven't thought about how much time would be spent helping people with their linux machines. There are other options, like those sun thin clients. But in my experience most people don't even know how to use firefox, let alone a completely new OS.

Re:come on... (1)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13167030)

Really; its not as much as you think.

Put all the icons they would need on their desktop, and they get it.

4 months before you switch em to Linux, put Firefox, Thunderbird, and other applications they use on their desktop, in the top right corner.

Do the same thing when you setup Linux for them. 95% of your hassels will be eliminated right then.

$10 Billion... (2, Funny)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166794)

right from the community chest. That's a lot of little green houses and red hotels.

You ever wonder... (1, Insightful)

JoeLinux (20366) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166795)

Reading articles like this, I often wonder if Bill Gates has managed to delude himself into thinking he's doing good for the industry, of if he actually knows what an evil, vicious spawn he's created?

Also, if Bill Gates would dissapear tomorrow, would the balls necessary to defy the US Government, other larger organizations go as well? I often think that perhaps the rest of the company doesn't have the nerve to go toe to toe like their head does...

Re:You ever wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13166890)

I am sure he is extremely interested in opinions of under-educated welfare-supported conspiracy-theorist losers who never in their life attempted to start anything, let alone a software company.

Rich Uncle PennyBags would be shocked! (5, Funny)

ballstothat (893605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166800)

10 billion! Wow... that's like... 5 million hotels on boardwalk!

I pity the thimble that lands there!

Karma Whores post article here (0, Offtopic)

Karma_fucker_sucker (898393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166814)

Please?!?!

Re:Karma Whores post article here (1)

FreakyAntelope (827365) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166916)

article here You're welcome!

Microsoft's Smart (2, Insightful)

Jeet81 (613099) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166818)

Well you can't blame Microsoft (flame me) but it's a business world.

Just for the record (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166823)

tomorrow's "completely spurious number pulled out of our asses" will 17 Swiss Francs.

The number is crap (3, Insightful)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166834)

The Windows monopoly saves the world at least $500 billion a year in compatibility costs.

Re:The number is crap (1)

Daverd (641119) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166870)

The Windows monopoly saves the world at least $500 billion a year in compatibility costs.

Wow. And where'd you get that number, pray tell?

Re:The number is crap (1)

Pulse_Instance (698417) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166968)

He got it from the same place as the $10 billion number came from. HE MADE IT UP!!

Re:The number is crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13166980)

Don't ask when you know you won't like the answer...

But if you would like a hint, the $500 billion figure was sitting right beside the $10 billion figure before they were pulled out of their... special place.

Re:The number is crap (1)

PhilipDC78 (798126) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166984)

Out of the ass next to the one that the $10 billion was taken out of.

Is the number carp or is it compatibottle? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#13167015)

The Windows monopoly saves the world at least $500 billion a year in compatibility costs.

That's only in India and China where 90 percent (conservative estimate) of all copies are pirated.

Your kilometerage may vary ...

Microsoft OEM Pressure (5, Insightful)

segedunum (883035) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166842)

The pressure from Microsoft on OEMs is very, very well know. Would it be tolerated in any other industry? Absolutely not, but there's a tendency from people to think that that's just the way things are when it comes to computers unfortunately.

Huh? (1)

Have Blue (616) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166848)

This claim makes no more sense than claiming that the industry loses $10 billion to piracy.

Re:Huh? (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166931)

This claim makes no more sense than claiming that the industry loses $10 billion to piracy.

So, if Microsoft stops charging for Windows, the problem will solve itself? :D

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13167021)

Interesting how symmetrically the numbers work out, don't you think?

User lockout? (1, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166855)

Um, how is Microsoft stopping people from using Linux, Solaris, OSX etc? This is like saying Coke locks you out of drinking Pepsi. Just becuase not all vendors offer all choices does NOT mean that there are no other options.

Re:User lockout? (1)

chia_monkey (593501) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166985)

It's quite similar actually. When you go to McDonald's, do you see any Pepsi products? No. Coke has a deal with McDonald's to sell Coke products, thus locking out Pepsi. Now if you head to Taco Bell, you can't get a Coke, but you can get Pepsi and other Pepsi products like Mtn Dew, Code Red, etc.

Re:User lockout? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13166989)

Here at Purdue, Coke has locked Pepsi with an 8 year contract where Coke products are the only colas that can be sold on campus.

Much like the IT people are attempting to lock out every O/S but Microsoft Windows, despite the fact that every successful intrusion has happened via Windows PCs and servers. Then there's the Microsoft Campus Agreement that subsidizes students, staff, & faculty purchases of Microsoft products. I'd rather see that money go for fee reductions & pay raises, and then we could all decide for ourselves what software we want to spend our money on. Or we can run free stuff, and save the money -- what a concept!!!!

Re:User lockout? (1)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166995)

Not user lock-out, distributor lock-out.

If you distribute PCs, you are not permitted to sell Linux, or any alternate operating system, without forfeiting your MS discounts.

Those discounts are substantial. They are the difference between $50-70 per OEM copy and retail price.

Given that a majority of your customers will be purchasing Windows systems, it makes sense to drop Linux and all alternatives. This hurts the PC sellers; the Linux preinstall would either cheapen their systems (in house install of free-Linux), or generate more profit (in house free, or revenue from sales of linux, which is pretty cheap as an OEM).

Re:User lockout? (1)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 8 years ago | (#13167047)

BeOS (a much nicer OS than it's MS, OSS, and Apple counterparts at the time) failed because of this. They fought tooth-and-nail to get onto dual-boot boxen, but MS flexed their monopolistic muscle and pushed them out. The result: no more BeOS.

AU or US $? (1)

justforaday (560408) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166857)

Is this 10B AU or 10B US dollars? If it's AU, then it's about 7.5B US.

Re:AU or US $? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13167007)

... And if it's Canadian it's about $3.76

Somewhere in Redmond... (5, Funny)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166861)

Bill is standing in front of a huge monitor displaying all the major hardware vendors. With a fluffy white cat on his lap and a pinky delicattely placed next to his mouth, he announces to the group that if they do not want his support revoked, they will have to pay, "One hundred Meeeellion dollars."

The vendors laugh and a hush falls over the Redmond conference table. "Fine," replies Bill, calmly stroking the cat before deftly returning his pinky to his lips, "One hundred Beeeellion dollars!"

"Shit," reply the executives.

High overhead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13166864)

It costs a lot of money to by those congress persons, the President and the DOJ.

So what? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13166871)

Better than a $50 billion dollar monopoly with that ass hack OS from Apple.

Shocking, just shocking (3, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166875)

Since the sidebar was the only thing that would load:

"linux support - get penguin powered" [...] "training - for linux administration and web development" [...] "development - apps for linux, unix, windows and the web"

How shocking that a company which sells training, support, and development services for both Linux and Windows would come out with an inflammatory article.

Why, they couldn't possibly have ulterior motives! Nothing like a bit of viral marketing.

And to think... (1)

jazzman251 (887873) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166876)

that we could've used that money for more zero-g water balloon experiments!!

The real cost comes from copy controlls (2, Interesting)

argoff (142580) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166882)


If you look at copyrights as a microregulatory controll on how people use information, and not a free market property right like mindless mob would have you believe. Then it becomes clear that the real harm comes from that poor belief system, and all the rest is just a natural consequence of it being brought to it's logical conclusion.

hey moderators (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 8 years ago | (#13167019)


I'm sorry, but only a Microsoft shill would mod this parent [slashdot.org] redundant as is now at the time of this post.

$10B is a bargain.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13166888)

....compared to what the costs would be for using Linux.

Explain (3, Insightful)

AutopsyReport (856852) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166894)

Can someone explain to me how Linux has been "locked-out" from users? It's widely available to be used on a system with Windows (dual boot).

The reason I don't use Linux is because I know it to be a much less intuitive system, but I'd struggle to refer to my choice for not using Linux as being locked out by Microsoft.

Re:Explain (3, Insightful)

psbrogna (611644) | more than 8 years ago | (#13167038)

The vast majority of users will only ever use the operating system that came installed on their PC. It's my understanding that MS uses it's clout to discourage vendors from shipping systems with anything but MS o/s'. That is how Linux, or other o/s', are locked out.

Hyperbole? (0)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166898)

Microsoft's deals with major PC vendors lock users out from alternative options, such as Linux

How can Microsoft's deals with anyone "lock users out" of alternative options? Anyone who wants can download a Linux distro, and unless you play games, most come with everything you need to net surf, check email, and do word processing. So, this statement sounds to me like hyperbole. I don't much like Windows or Microsoft much either, but whatever their relationships with OEMs is, it didn't stop me from loading RHEL on a server I bought that originally had OEM Win2k on it...

Re:Hyperbole? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13167054)

The deals they make to certain companies require they sell windows exclusively or at a certain ratio. You proved it yourself. You say theres nothing stopping you from putting linux on a box that came with windows. But getting that box initially without ever paying for a copy of window and starting off with linux is ALOT harder.

Not figuring in all the costs (1)

randall_burns (108052) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166918)

There are additional costs besides the direct economic costs this paper focused on. For example, there are various costs and risks associated with having an insecure OS as an industry standard. Microsoft also imposes various costs on the US as a whole via its business practices. For example, Microsoft is an exceptionally large user of the H-1b/L-1 programs that allow them to pay employees by facilitating US immigration rights instead of paying cash. Microsoft and its partners can broadly affect prevailing wages using this practice. Microsoft is also a major political player. Much of its activity is focused on maintaining its monopoly position-but that political activity isn't limited to that area-and has other attendent side effects.

additional costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13166935)

I'd like to see an analysis of the cost to the IT community for providing MS with complimentary QA/QC services for the last 20 some odd years.

I may very well get killed for this, but... (5, Insightful)

soma_0806 (893202) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166943)

Let me begin by saying I don't like Microsoft products. I think it's an evil, opportunistic company that is likely funded by Nazi gold, but....

Microsoft itself is not the real culprit here. If the cost to the industry is really 10 billion, then the threshold for establishing a monopoly should be met. The problem is no real enforcement of the Sherman Act or any of the other federal "calls to arms" against monopoly.

Like it or not, in capitalist society the message sent to business is to be as nasty as profitable and permitted. As long as consumers keep buying (maybe because they feel like they don't have a choice, and there is some argument there) and the government doesn't enforce its own laws (which is probably why consumers feel they have no choice), Microsoft can't be blamed overmuch.

In short (too late!), the problem isn't really the 300 lb. gorilla. It's just doing what gorillas do. The problem is the federal prosecutor with the tranq gun taking a nap.

AC

That's nothing compared to......... (2, Funny)

ARRRLovin (807926) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166951)

....the time we waste at work on the internet! ~$750B.

My Resume Cover Letter (4, Funny)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166955)

Dear Universities, Think Tanks, Consulting Agencies, and all other interested parties:

I would like to apply for the job of "Guy that pulls numbers out of his ass". I feel that my ability to pull numbers out of my ass qualifies me as an excellent candidate for this position. To demonstrate, please allow me to give some examples:

$4.3 Billion
$350k per year
$20.34 for every person in the United States

Please note how I was effortlessly able to adjust the meanings of the ass-pulled numbers by adding descriptive phrases, while still distancing the numbers from any real facts or statistics. I realize that it takes more than pulling numbers out of my ass to succeed in todays competitive white paper/consulting/propoganda market, and feel that I can be a great benefit to your company.

We're gonna be rich! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13166959)

With 5 billion people that entitles us all to a 2 dollar settlement! Justice at last!

Article Summary (3, Informative)

AutopsyReport (856852) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166965)

Took a good five minutes to load, but here's the summary folks. Also, keep checking this mirror [mirrordot.org] , I'm sure it will be up soon.

Over the past decade, the personal computer industry has seen a major reduction in competition in the operating system platform market. A computer operating system platform is the software which computer users learn to operate their computer with, the software that independent software vendors develop applications for and the software that third-party computer hardware developers create compliant hardware for.

Competition in the desktop computer operating system space is practically non-existent, with one platform from a single supplier commanding a very high proportion (over 95%) of the Australian market. This single platform from a sole vendor is Microsoft Windows. Cybersource believes that a sizeable portion of this market share is due to the fact that over many years, most consumers were never given the option to acquire alternative operating system platforms. Instead, Microsoft Windows was always bundled with most vendors' computer products, whether consumers wanted that bundled product on not.

We have seen that the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has acted in the best interests of consumers to increase competition in such areas as telecommunications. Cybersource wants to see similar actions introduced in the computer operating system platform space.

In the software market, as in the telecommunications market, a single, powerful and well-leveraged vendor can cause the reduction of real competition and the corralling of almost all consumers into a single monopolistic platform situation. This causes significant reduction in choice, price competitiveness and innovation. Cybersource calls upon the ACCC to rectify this situation for the benefit of the local Information Technology industry and of all Australian IT consumers.

Key Points

1. It is impossible or extremely difficult for consumers to purchase a desktop PC or laptop from a tier-1 or tier-2 computer manufacturer without also having to purchase an OEM copy of Microsoft Windows operating system platform.

2. Cybersource believes that this greatly reduces choice for consumers and competition for the industry. Such a reduction in choice, and consequent reduction in competition, costs the Australian economy hundreds of millions of dollars annually, through paying one vendor needlessly high prices for monopolistic products.

3. The computer market is many ways similar to the telecommunications market. When one vendor has over 95% of the market, that vendor should be bound by a universal service obligation to ensure that all consumers can access the content, documents and data which reside on that vendor's platform. Neglecting such an obligation hinders all consumers and third-party developers not using that vendor's platform, further increasing anti-competitive pressures.

4. Cybersource believes that such anti-competitive practices should be stopped as soon as possible, through remedies introduced by the ACCC, to secure both a broader competitive base and increased options for consumers.

5. The first remedy that Cybersource seeks from the ACCC is that all tier-1 and tier-2 vendors should be required to offer their desktop and laptop products without an operating system pre-installed, that this choice be presented to consumers as broadly as the products themselves are, and that the price difference between the with and without operating system options should also be clearly and broadly presented at retail outlets, on vendor marketing literature and vendor websites.

6. The second remedy that Cybersource seeks from the ACCC is that Microsoft should be required to offer unfettered and unencumbered access to all major content, document, data and applications formats which could enable interchange and interoperability between users of its platform and users of other alternative platforms.

MS Tax vs MS Profits (2, Interesting)

Dracos (107777) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166973)

MS profited $12B this year, and is expected to profit $15B next year. And they make $10B just from being a convicted criminal?

If only duh-byah hadn't quashed the anti-trust suit.

This sounds as hyped as the piracy numbers. (3, Insightful)

asdfasdfasdfasdf (211581) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166978)

With a New PC system with OS-- easily available for under $500, I find this hard to believe. The price of a microsoft windows OEM install hasn't gone up considerably since the mid 90's, when there was a competing operating system (OS/2) available for about the same price.

I just don't feel they've taken the "good" parts of Microsoft's monopoly into account (kill me for saying that.) Considering all of the features included with the OS that we used to pay for-- Browser, media, utils, etc, Microsoft has "given" a lot to maintain their monopoly. While I support competition whole heartedly (and look forward to a day where I can "choose Mac OS to run on my custom intel hardware) I don't think this is an honest assesment. You get a LOT with what you pay for, and there hasn't even been a new version in 4 years. And they still support you with security fixes for FREE (all jokes aside).

Office is no more expensive now than when Word Perfect was still alive and kicking.. And the features keep coming. (Though I gladly use openOffice, myself.)

I think the worry should be "Let's not make this a total monopoly so one company can't hold all the keys to human technology in the future" rather than, man, they're screwing us out of cash.. because I think the sheer volume of units they ship actually causes the price to be CHEAPER, not more expensive.

I guess we'll only find out if Apple sucks it up and makes their OS able to work on Dells.

Rephrase it slightly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13166981)

A recent whitepaper calculates that Microsoft monopoly generates $10 billion revenue per year for the US economy.

Savings not Cost (1)

kflowers (692556) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166983)

What a bias. This cost to the industry is a cooresponding savings to the consumer. Now if the argument is that by killing the little shops, people get less products to choose from and therefore a less rich feature set, we might have a different story.

10 billion in USD (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166988)

isn't that about 666 Euros?

[caveat - I own MSFT and RHAT shares]

wow (1)

dweebzilla (871704) | more than 8 years ago | (#13166994)

Does that number include the lost productivity and downtime from downloading and installing security upgrades?

Re: does this include downtime from sec upgds? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#13167058)

Does that number include the lost productivity and downtime from downloading and installing security upgrades?

No, that's a feature.

Apple is a worse Monopoly in my opinion. (3, Interesting)

asscroft (610290) | more than 8 years ago | (#13167005)

Not only does MS sell thier OS to OEMs, but you can put together parts and install MS and it will run just fine. Apple restricts their OS to machines they build, and they charge top dollar, and yet they're beloved on /. and MS is the great evil. What's even worse is we know Apple can run on PCs, and their proving that as we speak, and yet, when they switch over, they'll add an evil little chip to make sure your Mobo is one they sold you. How's that for a monopoly?

10billion 40billion (tfa is /.) (1)

SparafucileMan (544171) | more than 8 years ago | (#13167010)

ok, lets get this strait. microsoft has a monopoly. which costs "us" 10 billion per year.

now, since microsoft makes, what, 38 billion a year in revenue?

doesn't that mean they're _not_ a monopoly?

i mean if they made 10 billion a year, but costs us 100 billion, then that would imply they're leaching 90billion from us. if they're "costing us" 10, but making 10 or more, aren't they just being efficient?

Oooo! A new whitepaper! (2, Funny)

ThinkFr33ly (902481) | more than 8 years ago | (#13167023)

Slashdot User's Whitepaper Analysis Code:
if(isWhitePaperAntiMS)
{
this.RTFA = false;
TakeAtFaceValue();
AddAsYetMoreEvidenceOfHowEvilMSIs();
}
else
{
this.RTFA = ((new Random().Next(0,2) % 2) == 0);
ClaimBias();
DismissAsIgnorantRamblingsOfTheUneducated();
}

Hi... (5, Funny)

Tebriel (192168) | more than 8 years ago | (#13167051)

I'd like a big mac, a large fries, and a bullshit statistic to go, please.
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