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

Jim Choate wrote:
> Remember, you can't dominate a market that can't be saturated 
> and you can't saturate a local market unless you find a 
> mechanism to keep outside competition from moving in. Currently 
> this is only possible in very strongly regulated markets in 
> control economies.

By golly Jim you almost got it.

The only problem is your statement that one can dominate "saturable"
markets without some artificial "mechanism." If you mean dominate by
market share, then sure that is possible. But that in itself is not bad,
ALCOA dominated via low prices and high efficiency. Domination in the
bad sense is to be immune from the laws of supply and demand, and hence
have arbitrary power over the market -- that is the definition of a
coercive monopoly. You will find that that is not possible without an
artificial barrier to competition.

> Though, it does occur to me that the fact that OS/2 has a 
> stronger faction in Europe than in N. and S. America in 
> relation to Microsoft may be an indication that continental 
> saturation is possible.

The conclusions I would draw from that are IBM as the former market
giant had a very strong International infrastructure, channels and
reputation. Since the US market is the principle industry producer, it
was more competitive and less dominated by IBM. Microsoft, therefore,
had an easier time in an already competitive US market than breaking in
overseas. They also had the underdog phenomenon going for them here, the
local competitive market wanting to break IBM's dominance. The fact that
OS/2 utterly flopped in the US and found some adopters overseas is
credit to IBMs international reputation and little else.