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Re: What do we mean when we say "competition?"

  • From: Owen DeLong
  • Date: Wed Nov 16 23:56:54 2005

> Windows 98 price (in 1997) -> $209
> Office 97 Standard (in 1997) -> $689 
> Windows XP price (now) -> $199.
> Office 2003 (now) -> $399.
> Want to try that again?
Yes... Here's some more accurate data:

Windows 3.1 price $49
Windows 3.1.1 price $99
Windows 95 (Personal) price $59
Windows 98 (Personal) price $99
Windows ME (Home) price $99
Windows NT WS price $99
Windows 2000 Pro price $299
Windows XP Pro Price $399

If you're going to use list prices, use list prices all the way through.
The above represent, to the best of my knowledge, M$ retail pricing for
the lowest level of their "client" version of their OS available at
the time.

I confess I haven't followed pricing on M$ Office, but, I'm willing to
bet that an apples-to-apples comparison would reveal similar results.

Finally, the price of the client software is actually not the primary
problem with M$ monopolistic pricing.  It is the back-end software
where they really are raising the prices.  Compare NT Server to
2K or XP Server or Advanced Server.  XP AS is nearly double 2000 AS
last time I looked.

> The problems most people have with microsoft's
> monopoly status have nothing whatsoever to do with the
> price of the software which forms the basis of their
> monopoly (windows + office), but rather their
> willingness to use the profits from them to subsidize
> other losing ventures to drive out other competitors.
Actually, it's both.

> The argument regarding ILECs is reversed.  I
> appreciate the citation of Standard Oil, but it is a
> fallacy to think that there is a one-to-one mapping
> between SO and any/all of the ILECs.  
True.  What is the point?

> Assertions that "monopolies do X and they're bad, and
> we know that Y will eventually do bad because they're
> a monopoly" are circular.
Statements like "In the past, monopolies have done X, and, the
results of X are bad.  Since Y is a monopoly, we can expect them to do
X as well, with similar negative results." are not circular.  They
are attempting to learn from history rather than repeat it.

There are a number of monopoly ILECs in the US which engage regularly
in anticompetitive practices and use their ownership of the LMI to
reduce competition, delay innovation, and, provide less than
acceptable service to their subscribers.  If you don't believe this,
please look through the records of almost any PUC in the country.

Since that is the case, I cannot believe that preserving such
a monopoly on LMI is a good thing.

Since the market is risky to deploy LMI once, you will have a hard
time that the market exists to pay for multiple copies of a given
LMI in order to support competition.


If it wasn't crypto-signed, it probably didn't come from me.

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