Linked by Kroc on Thu 30th Aug 2007 13:03 UTC
Editorial I hear often that when something new appears that "competition is good". The primary reasons competition is seen as good, are: it drives down prices; it gives consumers more choice; it pushes technology forward, quicker. Competition is not good because: competition is why consumers have to choose between HD-DVD and BluRay; competition is why DRM exists; and more. In this article, each of the supposed benefits of competition will be looked at in more detail.
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more on good and bad competition
by wannabe geek on Thu 30th Aug 2007 15:00 UTC
wannabe geek
Member since:
2006-09-27

Good competition:


_Competing services around open standards. Examples: GNU/Linux distributions.

_ Competing open standards.
Example: GNU/Linux vs *BSDs, Gnome vs KDE

Result: more choice, collaboration, mutual inspiration, efforts at interoperability for further collaboration. The long-term viability of a choice is not in the hands of a few individuals. Good technologies don't disappear due to odd effects of the market. If a choice turns out to be wrong and the technology is dropped, there's usually an easy way to migrate one's data to the new standard, since there are no legal barriers, good documentation and the will to facilitate it.

Bad competition:
_ Competing closed standards. Examples: proprietary OS's, HD-DVD vs BluRay, VHS vs Betamax.

Result: vendor lock-in. Uncertain viability of one's choices. The success of a standard is more tied to business strategies than to its quality. Legal and technical barriers to migration.

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