What Kind of Company is Microsoft?

Microsoft”™s past conduct demonstrates its ability and willingness to engage in unlawful acts to the detriment of consumers, and awareness of its history is valuable today in understanding Microsoft”™s ongoing business practices and strategies.

The European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS), part of the European Commission, produced a white paper which outlines Microsoft’s monopolistic and unlawful conduct:

For more than two decades, Microsoft has engaged in a carefully designed and extremely successful campaign to protect and extend its monopolies. Microsoft has repeatedly made market allocation proposals to its competitors and has used a broad range of other anticompetitive and unlawful tactics to eliminate potential rivals, including tying, predatory product design, and intentional deception.

The paper, which you can download here, was passed over to me by a friend. My view of Microsoft has changed over the years as the company became fixated on total domination of the market at any cost. Microsoft’s behavior was focused not on delivering better products but on eliminating competitors. The result has been poor quality products for consumers culminating in bloatware like the multiple versions of Windows Vista.

Reading the history of Microsoft’s anticompetitive behavior and the harm it created for consumers highlighted that the values of the company were flawed from the very beginning.

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