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RE: GPL & commercial software, the critical distinction (fwd)



Forwarded message:

> Date: Sun, 04 Oct 1998 12:42:58 -0700
> From: "James A. Donald" <[email protected]>
> Subject: RE: GPL & commercial software, the critical distinction (fwd)

> Microsoft is not a monopoly.  In servers, where much of their
> income comes from,

Malarky, MS makes the vast majority of their money off end-user and single
machine licenses. Look at their quarterly or yearly earning statements.

> Linux is eating their lunch,

It is certainly growing but the fact is that by a factor of orders of
magnitude commercial Unix'es own that market. When it comes to mission
critical servers Solaris, HP, & AIX own the market still.

> and the
> desktop is under continual threat.  For a monopoly to be a
> monopoly, you not only have to have most of the market, you
> have to have some means of excluding others, which Microsoft
> manifestly does not.

Not from a lack of trying on their part and the fact that federal regulators
stepped in before it became totaly regulated.

> You are totally deluded.  None of these are examples of
> monopoly,

Certainly they were. Each and every example listed (and many more) were
industries which were controlled by a small number of companies whose share
in the total market was squeezing out competition. The results would have
been a growing number of buyouts and thinning of competition to the point
that only one or two companies would have survived.

 except for the railroad industry where government
> intervention was for the purpose of creating monopoly, not
> preventing it.

In the aircraft industry for example, while the number of riders was growing
very quickly there was a concommitent increase in end-user ticket prices
that was way out of line with the increased cost of business operations as
well as a decrease in the overall safety of the industry which was
exemplified by a increase in the number of air crashes and aircraft who
couldn't pass maintenance inspections yet continued to fly.
 
> The garment and food packing industries were and are a huge
> network of innumerable tiny shops,

All working for about 5 or 6 companies who actlualy marketed and distributed
the items. Just get a Dallas Texas phone book for that period (it's a
distribution hub for the clothing/garment industry even today).

> and the aircraft industry
> had several big companies in fierce competition.=20

Yep, in the mid-50's there were like 5 national/international aircraft
operators and the number of commercial avaition manufacturers selling to the
national and international carrier market was like 3. There were smaller
companies like Ryan for example but they were owned by the larger companies
and eventualy merged into the regular operations.


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