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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2005 5:35 pm 
http://www.techweb.com/wire/security/60402202

He's claiming that MS should embed AntiVirus/AntiSpyware in their operating system. Microsoft has a long history of taking entire markets out by embedding their products inside their operating systems. Usually microsoft's quality is moderate at first, gradually increasing as time goes on.

If you look back on products microsoft has done this with however, there's a disturbing trend. I'll focus on two of them right off here.

1. Internet explorer. This started out as a purchased product, just like Giant's AS software. It was rather shoddy compared to Netscape and remained that way until at least version 4.0. After that it started gaining marketshare because it had caught up and allowed consumers to be lazy and not download or purchase netscape. Sometime after it hit 90% marketshare, however, all evolution halted. The only updates to it were security and there was absolutely no innovation. This continued until Firefox started drastically cutting IE's marketshare. Now MS says they're going to release IE 7.0 sometime this summer.

2. Disk utilities. Dos originally came with a weak utility called Chkdsk that barely did anything at all. There was a booming market for defragmenters, disk scanners, etc. Norton was one of the leaders in this market. Sometime between DOS 5.0 and DOS 6.2 microsoft licensed cut down versions of various tools like Speedisk and norton disk doctor, releasing them as Defrag and Scandisk. The market for disk utilities promptly died down to a whimper. Where are microsoft's disk utilities now? Still embedded, but they are much less capable than Defrag and Scandisk from Dos 6.22. They're almost useless. At least NTFS has made them mostly superfluous so it's not a big deal on 2k/xp.

Do we really want to trust antivirus to a company that will drop it as soon as they attain market dominance?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2005 6:14 pm 
Heh. Microsoft has already tried and dropped the antivirus biz. Anybody else remember "msav.exe"?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2005 11:19 pm 
The whole point of the market improving things instead of making them worse is competition. If you let a company eliminate its competition, you should expect stagnation. It doesn't always happen, and may not immediately, but that's the way to bet.

From the pure Libertarian view, any concentration of power of the sort Microsoft represents is a danger to a free society. Unfortunately, a lot of influencial people nowadays are only psuedo-Libertarians; they worry about concentrated economic/political power when it is labeled "government," and sort of fawn over and fondle it when it is labeled "business." At some point, the difference becomes semantic.

Overall, Microsoft's track record as a monopoly is not that good.


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